Barracuda looks to Costa to fuel sales

BARRACUDA is to launch Costa coffee at its pub estate – and will now open at 9am for breakfast.
Costa coffee is expected to be available in 100 of its 217 pubs by Christmas with the rest launching in 2011.

Barracuda, which also has the Smith & Jones brand, is pursuing a more food-focused policy at its pubs, which will see 22 non-core pubs sold off.

The pubs will have a new breakfast menu to coincide with the availability of Costa coffee with executives hope that the premises can attract traditional coffee shop customers.

A pilot at 12 pubs was a success with shoppers sitting down to eat with urban workers buying takeaway breakfasts.

Chief executive Mark McQuater said: “We are confident that Costa will be positively received by our customers, driving a substantial increase in coffee sales and further growing all-day trade in our pubs, building on our recent success in this area to date.

“We remain committed to continuing to broaden our customer offer and keeping Barracuda pubs at the forefront of industry trends.”

Barracuda is spending £16m refurbishing and rebranding 60 of its 220 pubs, in a major shake-up of the business.

Last week it re-opened the Alchemist, in Houndsditch following a £300,000 investment.

Barracuda’s rivals, including Mitchells & Butlers, much of the focus has been on the company’s food, in an attempt to widen the pubs’ appeal to attract more women and families.

JD Wetherspoon – which serves Lavazza coffee – sells 25m cups a year. It has started opening all its pubs at 7am, for “early-bird” breakfasts.