As Newcastle's The Laundrette gears up for its first Christmas, director Jon Charles tells BQ how he plans to cope with the surge in demand for 'cocktails and carbs'.
What does your business do?
We are a bar and restaurant and opened our doors on Westgate Road in October. Our concept is ‘cocktails and carbs’, which sees us whip up amazing food and truly unique cocktails, served in mini bathtubs, with ice cream accompaniments and topped with candyfloss.
How does Christmas affect your business?
Christmas is set to be a very busy time for us, as Geordies will be out with friends, family and colleagues at work parties, getting festive and enjoying indulgent food and drinks.
How do you cope with the extra demand that Christmas brings?
It’s important to us that all of our drinkers and diners enjoy their experience of The Laundrette, so we have a team of friendly staff – all with their own bright and individual personalities. We also employ additional staff over the festive period. Throughout December a Christmas menu is available, but don’t expect a turkey dinner – it’s a carb feast!
How do you market/advertise your business over Christmas?
We have been open for two months now and have found that word of mouth is seeing Geordies pay us a visit on the hunt for the best cocktails and carbs in town. Elsewhere, we have plenty of social media content going out over Christmas to spread the word about our festive menu, events and specials. Additionally, our e-newsletter keeps our loyal customers in the loop on the goings on in our venue.
What has been the biggest achievement in your business so far?
Our biggest achievement would be developing our concept and building the idea from the ground, from our cocktails and food menus, to our personality as a business and style. It is a huge achievement to have come so far, now with three sites all performing well.
Where do you see your business in five years’ time?
We are a fast growing enterprise with plans to open sites all over the UK. In just one year we have opened in city centres here in Newcastle as well as in Manchester. In five years we hope to be onto many other locations!
What’s your favourite thing about the holiday season?
At this time of year there is a real buzz to soak up as people are in festive spirits and out for a good time. This allows our teams to have even more fun with customer service. We love a challenge here at The Laundrette, and strive to deliver a selection of really cool festive cocktails and food dishes, which won’t be found anywhere else in the city.
How does your business celebrate Christmas?
This will be our first Christmas in Newcastle so we’re keeping to our normal excellent service and enjoying the season. We will have a big staff party in January once the festive rush is over.