How will the ‘eat out to help out’ scheme work?

Get ready for the increase custom throughout August.  The Chancellor is determined to help Restaurants, Cafes, Pubs and Hotels with a whopping 50% discount.

How will the ‘eat out to help out’ scheme work?

Here’s what we know about how the scheme will work so far, from the customers point of view.  The Chancellor will update us all.

  1. You’ll be able to get a 50% discount on sit-down meals and non-alcoholic drinks if you’re eating in. The total amount you get off the bill will be capped at £10 per person, per meal (Takeaways won’t be discounted).
  2. You’ll only be able to get the discount at participating restaurants, cafes and pubs. Firms can apply online Monday 13th July, and; the Government says a full list of those participating business’ will be published on it’s website shortly. Major eateries are likely to join the scheme, but; at the moment it is not yet known.
  3. The discount will apply on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays only. It will run throughout August 2020.
  4. You’ll be able to use the discount as many times as you want. There’s no limit, as long as it is on the three days.
  5. Your discount will be applied automatically when you pay. So; you won’t need to do anything to get it – the restaurant, cafe or pub will simply apply the reduction, then claim the cost back from the Government via their online gateway..
  6. Crucially, you WILL be able to use the discount in conjunction with other vouchers. This is important, particularly because many restaurants already offer discounts early in the week. The Government discount will be applied after the other vouchers – so if you use a restaurant voucher, you’ll get a 50% discount on the already-discounted price.

From a business point of view, you need to think it through, will your current vouchers stay in place for use throughout August?  Do you have social distancing requirements in place to enjoy the additional trade that will come your way?  BHMA can help you with all the social distancing products to allow you to follow the law and keep both your customers and staff safe.  Take some time to consider your needs and then log on to and look at the headers.  To the far right, hover over social distancing and choose the section that you need.  Do it now, as there are lots of businesses that will be trying to get ready for the rush.

Why Practice Social Distancing?

Information gathered from the CDC (Centres for Disease Control & prevention) says that COVID-19 spreads mainly among people who are in close contact.  I think we all now appreciate that much now.  The spread happens when an infected person, spreads droplets, by coughing, sneezing, or even talking to another person. The droplets from their mouth or nose are launched into the air and land in the eyes, mouths or noses of people nearby.  The UK Governments ruling is to ‘socially distance’ by two metres is to assist in minimising this possibility.  The droplets can also be inhaled into our lungs, where the virus can attach itself to our own cells.  Recent studies indicate that people who are infected, but do not have symptoms, are likely also play a role in the spread of COVID-19, because they literally don’t know they have it, and therefore don’t avoid others as they should.  We; at BHMA realised these possibilities of the person to person spread a while ago, and were prompted to make screens for business’, transportation and offices, which are now within many businesses already.

COVID-19 can be contracted by touching a surface or object that has been infected by the virus.  If you then touch the contaminated surface with your hand and transfer it to your own mouth, nose, or eyes, you stand a chance of becoming ill.  However, this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads. The main spread is person to person, hence the Government locking us all down. COVID-19 can live for 72 hours on some surfaces it is thought, dependant on factors such as sun light and humidity.  Again; BHMA has a product to kill germs on a non porous surface, we recommend using a 70% alcohol medical grade cleaner.  Its listed in the Sanitiser link below.  It saves having to buy anti-bacterial wipes, which contain the dreaded plastics.

The risk of severe illness may be different from person to person.  Some seem to have a mild version, others may die from this dreadful disease. Anyone can get and spread COVID-19. Everyone has a role to play in slowing the spread and protecting themselves, their family, and their community.  Business’ play a key role in ‘Keeping the Country’s economy going’ as well as protecting their workforce.  They have a huge responsibility.  Keeping their employees two metres apart can be very challenging in many office, factory and warehouse situations.  It is especially difficult if the business’ interact directly with the public at the same time.  Take-aways, Shops, Banks, Garages, Cafes and many others all have customers and staff together.  The 3 S’s below will certainly assist both customer and staff to stay safe.  Please take a look, and then share this blog.  Your action could help save others.

Sanitiser –


Stay Safe – A message from the Team at BHMA.

Why are Local Pubs on the Increase?

Good news, the decline of the local pub may be at an end! For the first time since 2010 the Office of National Statistics (ONS) has reported a net gain of 320 pubs in 2019 to 39,145*.

The rise has significantly shown a dramatic result compared with the previous years, where the UK pub network declined by an average of 732 pubs each year.

It appears more pubs are utilising technology and using data to understand their customers better, they can then change business hours based on behaviour patterns and try and generate more sales during quieter periods.

Another reason is the increase on beer sales. Craft beers grew by 194,000 pints in 2019 and has created a popular cult following in real ale. Many smaller pubs are now showcasing guest and world beers and are creating tasting events along with food promotions and accommodation. The local pub can no longer rely on the same old regulars and have upped their game! 

The potential revival could gather momentum after Tim Martin, the founder of the Wetherspoon chain announced plans to spend £200m over the next four years on expansion, an investment that will create 10,000 jobs.

The local pub is as much a part of the British culture as the Queen, in fact they are referenced to in the 11th century. They improve community engagement and are the third most popular tourist activity, and we can finally say the numbers are heading in the right direction.

* There are now a total of 39,145 pubs in the UK – based on businesses classified by the Standard Industrial Classification code 56302 : Public houses and bars. Figures are rounded to the nearest five by ONS to prevent identification, meaning these are not exact numbers

What is Recycled Polycolour?

Recycled Polycolour is the latest material to be used in the construction of our notice boards.

It is manufactured from 100% PET plastic, which depending on the colour of the finished material, contains up to 90% post-consumer material, plastic bottles in the main!

The Polycolour FR sheets need to be stored horizontally and kept as clean as possible during storage and manufacture and must be stored indoors in a dry cool, well ventilated area and avoid exposure to heat 65°C or greater. 

Before cutting we inspect the whole sheet for any defects, damage or soiling, we always wear clean gloves when handling the sheets to offer the best finish possible for our customers. The surface texture is very similar to felt and measures 9mm in thickness, messages may be attached using pins. It is flame retardant and has a 0.8 noise reduction rating making it perfect for schools, hospitals and offices.

This material is the best choice for those wanting to be environmentally conscious whilst still needing a notice board!

Our Polycolour notice boards can be mounted on walls and hung from ceilings using standard fixings, adhesive tapes or hook and loop. The acoustic rating also allows the boards to be used as noise reduction screens and at the end of their life they can be recycled in your PET waste stream.

The class B fire rating makes them suitable for schools, offices and public buildings, as explained below.

European Standards Class B (Highest Rating)
Class B fire resistant notice boards have been designed and tested to meet the latest European fire regulations EN13501-1:2007+A1:2009 Class B. These notice boards are suitable to be mounted in corridors, stairways, lobbies, escape routes and dead end corridors. Please note the European Class B replaces the British Standard Class O

British Standards Class 1
Class 1 fire resistant notice boards have been designed and tested to meet British Standard BS476 Part 7, Class 1. The boards have a fire resistant material covering/surface and are suitable for offices and classrooms where the risk of fire is minimal. If there is any risk of fire whatsoever then Class B is advised.

Please visit our website to see our full range of Recycled Polycolour Notice Boards.

Top 10 Food Costing Tips

Getting your prices right is the most important aspect of catering, especially at this time of year! Follow our top 10 tips below to save your business money and add healthy profits to the bottom line.

Every recipe for every menu item, both à la carte and catered, must be standardised and costed correctly. This basic discipline ensures consistency of product and ongoing profitability. While the initial set up requires some effort on the part of the chef or management team, it allows each item to be priced based upon its raw ingredient cost. Some ingredients will change price quickly, so its important to revisit recipe costing on a regular basis. Set up each recipe on a separate worksheet in Microsoft Excel. This way you can amend the ingredient prices and re-cost dishes quickly. Train someone else in your team to re-cost also, this will lighten the burden for you.

The standard method of pricing is to take the cost of each menu item and multiply it by an appropriate multiplier to cover the cost of labour, fixed and variable costs. For instance if you multiply the cost of the ingredients by 2.5, you will yield a 40% food cost, with a 60% profit; 3 times, will yield a 33% food cost and 66% profit. This simple formula is all well and good, but if your revenues are below projections and/or your payroll cost or overhead are higher than expected, you may still lose money. Given the interplay of revenues, pricing, volume of business, and cost structure, these numbers must be tracked closely and reviewed frequently.

Standardised recipes are costed based upon specific portion sizes. If untrained or poorly supervised employees routinely serve larger than costed portions, you can kiss your profitability goodbye. Costly meat and fish products should be weighed to ensure correct portion size. Ladles of specific sizes should be used to plate menu items. Pies, cakes, and other baked desserts should be cut and served using templates to ensure the correct number of portions are realised from a multi-portion. All kitchen staff must be trained to serve the portion size that has been costed.

Labour, both front-of-house and in the kitchen, is the single largest expense in a food service operation; it is also a continuing challenge to control. Electronic timekeeping systems make it easier for supervisors to verify employee hours, but regardless of system used, supervisors must monitor payroll hours daily. In my experience a ceiling of 20% of VAT exclusive income should be adhered to, to ensure profitability if a 66% profit is achieved.

Benchmarking is the act of measuring and analysing operating performance. In a food service operation there are many things to benchmark, such as meals served and average spend per meal period by day of week; payroll hours by position by meal period or day; and beer, wine, liquor sold per meal period and day of week. When tracked over time, these statistics become the baseline to project and monitor future performance. Benchmarks also allow measurement of customer reaction to foodservice initiatives such as new menus or pricing. Most importantly, benchmarking makes supervisors more knowledgeable about their operations. Such knowledge translates to improved operations and bottom lines.

Inventories are critical to monitor stock levels, avoid shortages, control pilferage, and determine cost of goods sold. Inventories can also be time consuming and inconvenient for hard working chefs. Inventories sometimes get delegated to poorly trained subordinates who miss or miscount key items. Sloppy inventories contribute to erratic cost of goods sold. Poorly organised storerooms contribute to sloppy inventories. Keys to accurate inventories include well-organized storage areas, knowledgeable individuals conducting inventories, routine and timely inventories, and organised receiving documents, invoices, and credits slips. Delegating counts is acceptable if employees are trained. However, having the same employee conduct all inventories without spot-checking and oversight will invite problems.

Service employees who are trained in the techniques of suggestive selling can improve your average sale value and bottom line. Whenever a new menu is put in place, all servers should be provided a “selling sheet” that gives key information about each entree. Such information should include cooking method, ingredients, time of preparation, and enticing descriptors to help sell each item. Just as standardised recipes are important in the kitchen for consistency of product, selling sheets provide the service staff with the knowledge and information they need to sell the product. In addition to entrees, special training should be given for the suggestive selling of appetisers, desserts, wines, and speciality alcoholic beverages. The time spent providing servers with the information and confidence to sell your food and beverages will yield consistently higher average sales values.

Every month’s budgeted food sales is made up of how many meals are sold and how much each guest spends on average for a meal. By breaking your projections down into meals and average spend per head and posting your daily targets prominently in the kitchen, you provide your servers with goals that connect their daily efforts to your profitability. By comparing month-to-date actual meal counts and average spend per head to projected, you give your employees a day by day record of their progress. Most people are competitive by nature and this simple technique will become a powerful incentive to servers. The same technique can be applied to appetisers, desserts, and bottles of wine sold.

By tracking key benchmark statistics and keeping a daily log of business levels and staffing, foodservice supervisors can develop a routine system of forecasting business levels. While some level of volatility can always be expected in guest patronage, the act of forecasting, when formally done and evaluated after the fact, will assist in maintaining service levels while controlling labour cost.

While some guests are vocal with their opinions, many are not. Food service supervisors should make it easy for guests to provide feedback. Comment cards must be readily available, periodic surveys should be conducted, revenue benchmarks should be analysed to measure guest responses to offerings and initiatives, and employees should be trained to routinely report comments made or overheard to supervisors.

Every professional food and beverage manager is aware of these necessary elements to success. Unfortunately, in the ongoing rush of business they are often overlooked. At its root the problem is one of organisation. By taking the time to establish systems to address each guideline, by training and delegating tasks, by making each guideline part of the daily routine, each of these steps can be easily integrated into your operation. While the initial exertion may be great, so also is the ongoing payback.

Useful formula – To determine profit percentage = Gross Profit cash multiply by 100, and then divide by VAT exclusive sales price.To achieve a particular profit percentage = Take your desired % figure from 100. Then take the cost price of your portion/product and divide it by the number you have left. Then multiply that by 100.

Is the perception of your marketing reality?

The Marketing Truth You Cannot Ignore – Perception is Reality! 

This simple statement can enhance or destroy your business!

So; Just what is perception? Perception is defined as the process by which individuals select, organise and interpret stimulation of their senses (sight, smell, touch, hearing or taste) into a meaningful and coherent picture of your business.  The picture painted by the customers senses should be Reality.  Reality can of course exceed expectation.

Much of the disciplines of marketing communications focuses on creating stimuli that positively influence consumer perceptions.  Does your marketing do this?

What is the product you are selling?  It’s important to define.  It’s not just a consumable product, or service that you sell.  It’s the whole business.  The way it looks outside and online.  The quality of the toilets.  The look of the signage.  The quality of the menu, or a price list, whether its stained and dog eared, or whether is clean and new.  All of these messages create a perception for the customer.

I once took a holiday in the Isle of White at a hotel on the seafront.  When I arrived the first letter of the hotel name was missing.  I immediately thought, this could be ‘Faulty Towers’ experience, and it was!  The availability of poached eggs was confined to certain days.  The lift doors didn’t stop if they touched you (I literally had to wrench my shoulder from the doors), and to top it all, unsympathetic staff.  There were many more incidents too.  The message I want to share with you here is my perception was disappointingly – a reality.  Some hotels will unfortunately, have the same negative messages on the outside, customers viewing these messages may well assume that the standards are poor because of those external message and pass to stay at another hotel instead.  This is lost business for that hotelier and they wouldn’t have noticed, because the customer wouldn’t have told them.  The messages outside your business are crucially important, and; will make a difference to your income, either positively of negatively.

My advice:  Take a regular look at your business with the Customers Eyes.  Identify what you perceive, and then strive to communicate with the customer with all of their senses making sure that its positive and matches what you intend them to perceive.

Do you perceive these vegetables to be abundant and fresh?














What about this shop?
















Perception is ‘nothing fresh and nothing to make your meal with’.  You would probably go to a different supermarket.  The big question is ‘Would you go back to the original supermarket?’  Have they now lost your business?

In consumer behavioural terms, perception is the result of two inputs that interact to form the personal evaluations that ultimately drive purchase:

  • Physical stimuli from the outside environment
  • People’s expectations and motives based on past experiences

While it’s difficult to impact the expectations and motives formed on past experiences, here’s how you, as a marketer, can impact the physical stimuli consumers perceive in your business.

Much of the discipline of marketing communications focuses on creating stimuli that positively influence consumer perceptions. Best practices in doing so include:

  • Identifying your product’s value proposition: In order to influence perceptions, you need to define and document your product’s value proposition, don’t forget your product is not just the consumable product or a service, it’s the whole business. Your value proposition is your big picture promise, the benefit your product or service uniquely provides. Defining your value proposition requires you to understand your target customers’ unmet needs and how your products, as well as that of your competitors, will fulfil those needs. Identifying gaps where your customers face unmet needs that are not fulfilled by competitors can help you to identify your product’s value proposition.

The Basics of Marketing

  • Find out what the customer wants
  • Design the product, service and facility to match
  • Tell the customer you have it.
  • Telling the customer you have it, includes using all of the customers senses.

We have many display products to help entice your customers and improve your marketing, please browse our site for more information.

Patrick Huggins

Director for BHMA Limited.

Employee of the Month: Hitesh Patel


January’s employee of the month is our I.T. Manager, Hitesh. He has been nominated for the following reasons:

  • Dedicated & hard working.
  • Problem solver.
  • Being our I.T. Guru.


Tell us about yourself.
My name is Hitesh, I am 24 years old and I graduated from Staffordshire University in 2015 where I studied Multimedia Computing. I chose this subject because I was interested in a range of computer-related subjects, but definitely enjoyed the website development side of it the most. After graduating I went onto developing a few websites for myself to enhance my skills further.  I secured my first job with Ideal Shopping Direct where I worked for 2 years before starting here at BHMA.

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Overview of 2018 at BHMA

It always seems a little crazy that in the middle of all of the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, we somehow choose this time of year to try to set some new goals for ourselves for the coming year! With 2018 coming to a close and 2019 just a matter of a few weeks away, we have decided to do a brief overview to highlight our year.

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Out with The Old & In with The New

For many pubs, bars & restaurants New Year’s Eve is one of the busiest & most profitable days of the year, with customers in and out all day long, New Year’s Eve parties are a brilliant way to encourage families and their friends into your business to celebrate the big night with you and see in the new year.

However, there is nothing worse than putting all of your efforts into creating a great party for no one to turn up. Let’s not let this happen to you this year, we have some great products that will help you with your advertising efforts for New Year’s Eve but can also be re-used throughout the year.

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