Spotlight Series: Ed Sargent from 4 Pines

For over a decade 4 Pines has been offering their patrons a brewpub experience with great beers and legendary burgers.

In this ‘spotlight on success series’ we chat with 4 Pine’s Group Executive Chef, Ed Sargent, to see how they’re serving and staying connected to their community throughout the
COVID crisis.

FINDING AN OPPORTUNITY IN THE CRISIS

MLF: WHEN DID YOU LAUNCH HOME DELIVERY?

Ed Sargent: “We launched our home delivery service on 25 March 2020 — as soon as COVID meant we couldn’t entertain patrons in our venues, and we were confident we could ensure a logistically executable service that wouldn’t compromise customer experience or the quality of our products.”

MLF: YOU ADAPTED VERY QUICKLY TO RUNNING DELIVERIES. WHAT’S YOUR SECRET?

Ed Sargent: “We’ve always been a flexible and nimble company. Part of our business purpose is to challenge what the world imagines a business should be.

That raison d’étre has served us well in these incredibly challenging times; we were able to brainstorm ideas, collaborate across all functions of the business and execute a plan quickly. As a company we’ve never been afraid to try something new — to experiment. If it doesn’t work, that’s OK, we just try something else. That open-minded approach allowed us the freedom to challenge what was possible and act accordingly.”

OVERCOMING HURDLES

MLF: WHAT WAS THE BIGGEST HURDLE WITH GETTING HOME DELIVERY SET UP?

Ed Sargent: “Customising existing delivery platforms, so that they suited our unique business. All third-party providers worked productively with us, but as there was no time to design a bespoke delivery platform, there was always the necessity to work around hurdles and compromise in small ways.

There was no ideal solution, but we were operating in extreme times and “perfect” will never exist under such circumstances.”

MLF: WHAT’S BEEN THE BIGGEST “YAAAAAS!” SUCCESS MOMENT FOR YOU?

Ed Sargent: “It has to be the way our entire Hospitality staff, and staff across other functions of the business, has pulled together — in such a short space of time.

We’ve helped each other, supported each other and really rallied around a unified cause: to keep the business generating revenue and ensuring we didn’t have to lose any of our staff.

I’m delighted we were able to keep everybody that wanted to stay with us in a job and I’m incredibly proud of the way our teams have come together and supported each other. It is a great example of everything 4 Pines has strived for as a business.”

MLF: HOW SUCCESSFUL HAS HOME DELIVERY AND TAKEAWAYS ONLY BEEN?

Ed Sargent: “Home delivery has been a real success. Of course, there has been a reduction in trade, but we haven’t seen the terrible falls that many other businesses in hospitality have suffered.

We’ve managed to keep going and have been able to make people’s lives in isolation that little bit more bearable. We are so thankful and proud of the support we have received from existing customers and new alike.”

COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS

MLF: HOW ARE YOU COMMUNICATING WITH YOUR CUSTOMERS? 

Ed Sargent: “We connect to our customers in a myriad ways; through our social media channels, over the telephone, on the doorstep (at a safe distance of 2 metres), when dropping off deliveries and through bespoke messages written on take-away bags. Our delivery drivers have even been left gifts on the doorstep, when they visit returning customers.

Our Marketing team has been fantastic. They’ve been devising content through social media platforms to entertain our customers (from online Trivia and cooking shows, to arts and crafts with our resident designer Joel).

They’ve also been advertising our services and promotions, such as rewarding Australia’s frontline workers by giving a free 6 pack of beer to any nurse that wanted it on International Nurse Day.”

MLF: WE”RE LOVING THE 4 PINES SPOTIFY PLAYLIST. CAN YOU TELL US WHAT ELSE YOU’VE BEEN DOING TO KEEP THE VIBE AND COMMUNITY SPIRIT UP?

Ed Sargent: “As mentioned, our social media channels have been used to connect and entertain our customers. We’ve been running online Trivia with Matty V., Get
Cooked with Ed & Block (a cooking show), Arts and Crafts with Joel, Cheers Dedications (sponsored streamed live music) with Duane and Only… the list goes on.”

MLF: WHAT’S THE SUPPORT AND FEEDBACK BEEN LIKE FROM YOUR COMMUNITY?

Ed Sargent: “Our community has been amazing. From lovely messages through social platforms, over the phone and by email, to gifts left on the doorstep for our delivery drivers.

And of course, from repeat custom: patrons calling up week in, week out, to order from us and tell us how much they have loved having 4 Pines delivered to their doors. It’s been overwhelming.”

 

WORDS OF WISDOM

MLF: WHAT ADVICE CAN YOU GIVE TO VENUES LOOKING TO DO HOME DELIVERY FOR THE FIRST TIME?

Ed Sargent: “Simple: give it a try. What’s the worst that could happen?”

MLF: ITS BEEN GREAT TO SEE HOW YOU’VE MADE THE BEST OF A BAD SITUATION. ANYTHING ELSE YOU’D LIKE TO SHARE? 

Ed Sargent: “Stay safe. Look out for one another and support your local businesses. They will need you now more than ever, today, and long into the future.”

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