If the walls could talk, oh the tales they would tell. Dating back to Tudor times and steeped in history, The Chequers Inn, Woolmer Green, Hertfordshire, (with its roaring fires), is warm and inviting with a colourful past and a promising future.
Running this business is a family affair. Proprietors Marian & Nick Darter took over the Coaching Inn, famously visited by Dick Turpin, five years ago, in August 2003. Head Chef is their son Ben. With extensive experience in the catering trade, Ben knows the importance that homemade food plays in building a pub’s reputation and customer loyalty. With the emphasis on fresh, local produce the enticing and reasonably priced menu is changed frequently, and all food is cooked to order.
When they took over the lease for the Chequers, the property was run down and uncared for, and as a result, a viable business was practically non-existent. They liked the layout and saw tremendous potential but knew they would have to start from scratch.
The business was only closed for two weeks whilst a hectic schedule of redecoration and refurbishment took place. For the first twelve months after the place was run as standard. Since then the family has strived to consistently improve the surroundings, without sacrificing the character of the original building. Unlike the building, which remained standing for hundreds of years, the management team does not stand still. Marion says: “We want our customers to feel we are making efforts to give them the best customer experience, and we are constantly looking for ways to improve it, and offer what other outlets are not. We are fresh food led and we are trying to cater for all levels, all occasions, and meet different people’s expectations.” It’s simple really. We just want to be seen to be the best for miles around.”
Marian tried radio advertising to raise awareness but with mixed results. Huge banners were put up, announcing the Inn was under new ownership. A colleague then assisted with the design and printing of some leaflets for distribution. Then Chris Storey, local DOR-2-DOR franchisee for her area and frequent visitor to the Chequers, offered to manage the campaign.
What did you want to achieve with your leaflet campaign?
“We wanted to push our food trade further, especially focusing on the week days.”
What format is the leaflet and who designed and printed it?
“A4 folded to A5. This was a joint effort and printed by DOR-2-DOR.”
What areas did your campaign cover and over what period?
“We had 10,000 delivered, over a four week period, every other week to local households in Welwyn, Datchworth, Woolmer Green, Knebworth and surrounding areas.”
What results did you achieve and what was the ROI?
“Results were very favorable; people would see a leaflet and then pop down to visit us for an evening. We had a good response and leaflet distribution was certainly worth doing. Word of mouth has spread.”
Would you recommend DOR-2-DOR and/or use our service again?
“It is an excellent option if you want to get word out about what you are advertising. For the response we saw we enjoyed a reasonably priced, efficient service. Our local franchisee Chris Storey communicates very well with us and keeps us updated on our campaign.”