Laurel Pub – Menu Costing System (054)


Menu costing system required.


The Laurel Pub Company was formed by the purchase of the Pub Division of Whitbread by Deutsche Bank in 2000. The business comprised 650 managed pubs and 1500 pub premises leased to independent managers. Deutsche Bank sold the group on in late 2004 but in between times, the central team had to disconnect from Whitbread suppliers, processes and systems, manage the sale of the leased estate and purchase of other small pub groups. The Laurel Food team needed to update their process for creating menus in the 650 managed pubs. The existing process was based on spreadsheets and was difficult to maintain and cumbersome to use.

Issues / Challenges

Finding a product which would meet the needs of the Laurel food team.

Aims of the project

We were bought in to source and implement a menu costing system. The small head office team needed to create and edit dish and menu components and be able to see the resulting change in profit margins. When prices of ingredients fluctuated these had to be reflected throughout the whole dish and menu structure without having to re-key information. The system had to be ‘standalone’ but with the ability to integrate with other company systems in the future.

Measures implemented

  • We put together a small team to evaluate a shortlist of products he had put together
  • A package was chosen by the team that met the requirements
  • We managed the project from purchase through to final implementation and the product was in use for the team to accommodate a major price review for their ingredients


A product was selected was Star Chef that met the requirements of the Laurel food team.

Learning points

It is important to use a rigorous process for identifying, evaluating and selecting suppliers.