Illy targets gastro-pub market

Illy targets gastro-pub market

Illy, the Italian espresso coffee brand, is targeting the gastro-pub market.

Glen Brown, UK head of sales at illy, said that pubs are increasingly focusing on coffee to drive trade during quiet times of the day as well as at the end of a meal. “In most cases you can have a beautiful three course dinner and then an unexpected bad experience with a coffee at the end if it is not done correctly,” he added. “It is about that experience. People don’t complain about a coffee but they just won’t come back.”

Illy already works with Greene king on its Loch Fyne and Old English Inns brand. Brown added: “A V60 would not operate in a pub. For us when we are working with a pub we try to create a simple menu for them. It is about instilling the training and making sure that the basics are done correctly.”  

He admits that the high turnover of staff in the industry does create a challenge for pub operators. “That is why you see some of the pubs going for the bean to cup option.  It is slower preparation than a traditional machine as a well-trained barista is always going to be faster,” he added.  “Gastro pubs are moving towards traditional machines while bean to cup machines are more for the bigger pub groups that have a higher turnover of staff and a bigger portfolio.”

He said another growth area for coffee is in contract catering and the office environment.

“It is interesting watching the behaviour of the contract caterers. Their job as a contract caterer is to stop these 3,000 people from leaving the building and in order to do that they will monitor where they go out and what they are consuming,” he said. “They will then try and replicate that.”

For more information on stands and sponsorship at European Coffee, Tea & Soft Drink Expo 2020, which will take place at London’s Olympia on 19 and 20 May, contact John Blackley on +44 (0) 203 668 9809 or email

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