An interview with Cubitt House
Why passion, premiumisation and people are key
Cubitt House’s ‘farm-to-fork’, or ‘grape-to-glass’, philosophy is one that we share, which is why we’re so pleased to be entering 2019 as their new wine partner! It’s an exciting time to be listing premium, interesting wines as consumers are increasingly starting to drink outside the box…
Cubitt House has five eclectic, cosy and locally run pubs in the heart of London. We’re working together to bring interesting, delicious wines with a story to the bustling communities where the pubs are located, providing a range of not only premium, but great value wines that suit their modern British cuisine and home-from-home vibe. We caught up with Cubitt House Managing Director Tony Gualtieri to find out more about the pubs and what this year has in store.
Tell us more about the philosophy of your pubs
We have a very simple mantra – locally sourced, carefully crafted, expertly delivered. We buy the best produce we can, sourced in the UK, look after it well, and ensure our well-trained teams deliver it to the guest with best in class service. Sustainability is important to us, so we’re very proud to be one of the SRA (Sustainable Restaurant Association) 3-star rated founding members.
What challenges have you faced since you joined the business?
I’ve been with the business for one year, and in that time, it’s been all about recruiting, retaining and developing the best talent. There is no doubt that it has become harder to recruit in the industry, as the number of applicants for roles has diminished significantly, so people are the challenge that we focus our efforts on.
What is it about Cubitt House that brings your customers back?
Our pubs are housed in uniquely-restored, beautiful buildings nestled in great London neighbourhoods – being an active part of the community definitely gets people back through the door. Essentially, customers like our upmarket but down to earth atmosphere which is nurtured by our team, who are well trained, knowledgeable and passionate about what we deliver.
We’re delighted to be your new wine supplier, why did you choose Bibendum?
We care deeply about who we work with, so wanted a partner that supports our philosophy, and that can help instil the passion for the product with our team, as well as bring the offering to life with our guests. I really felt that Bibendum would be able to do this, with their carefully selected wine producers, their training resource for our staff, and their ability to share the excitement for the wines with our guests, by inviting winemakers to come to our pubs and meet them.
Premiumisation has been the focus while we’ve worked together on compiling your list. What factors have been key in your mind while selecting the new offering?
Picking winemakers with a story and a passion that mirrors Cubitt House was paramount. This makes it really easy to get my team passionate about the changes to the list. We also look to be relevant to customers' changing needs and therefore we invested in Coravin to ensure our bythe-glass range is as extensive as possible, to reflect changing customer habits to drink less, but better quality.
What are your thoughts on the current restaurant climate in the UK?
I think it will continue to be a challenging environment. Too much competition came into the market, and cost inflation has made it difficult to stay guest focused. Both these things can lead operators to make the wrong short-term decisions. I think that staying true to your core values, as difficult as that can be at times, is imperative to your long-term success.
What exciting prospects have you got for 2019?
As a business, we are looking to carefully grow, and as each of our sites is unique, it’s exciting to look at adding a distinctive new addition to the ‘family’ during the year. With the core business we are doing lots of investment in systems to make us more efficient and stronger, so we can focus on what really matters in terms of enhancing guest experience. A new website for each pub is also due to go live in the spring.