Ei Group launches Barrel Top pizza concept at eilive2018

Ei Group, the largest pub company in the UK, is launching a new ‘Barrel Top’ pizza concept for publicans across its estate at eilive2018 – its Ei Publican Partnerships’ annual series of nationwide trade shows which start later this month.

The exciting new offer has been specifically designed to help publicans get a slice of the lucrative pizza market and support them with all aspects of developing and running a commercially attractive pizza proposition.

The comprehensive package, which also caters for pubs currently operating without a food proposition, includes a range of different kitchen plans to fit the requirements and restrictions of the diverse pubs across the Group estate.

A bespoke, high quality pre-rolled dough made to the specific requirements of the Group has been sourced for the offer, along with a range of other quality ingredients. A suitable set up will be recommended depending on the needs of the site, ranging from a full pizza kitchen with a high capacity Cuppone oven, to a table top pizza oven.

Paul Farr, Head of Food at Ei Group, said: “We have focused on identifying key trends across the eating out market and supporting our publicans with simple offers that tap into them and drive sales.  We’re confident Barrel Top can deliver tangible results for all our publicans.

“A great pizza is only as good as its ingredients, the oven and skills used to cook it, so we’ve brought in some fantastic products and created a range of different kitchen layouts and flows, to ensure the best quality and a  easy to make product every time.

“Barrel Top will be an evolving offer, as we aim to take key learnings from our managed estate and share best practice with publicans across our wider portfolio, creating additional value across the entire business.”


Selected Regional Managers have undergone an internal training course to help them understand both the quality and simplicity of delivering this new menu and are now rolling out that experience to their wider teams as well as publicans.  They will also offer ongoing advice and conduct quality control tests for sites in their respective areas.

Publicans interested in Barrel Top will be able to understand more about the concept at eilive 2018, where it has a dedicated space at all five shows.

Designed to support and update publicans on the latest trends, developments and offers in the industry, this year’s show will see the return of the eizone, offering expert advice on: digital; marketing services; online ordering; property investment, Ei Group Awards for Excellence; recruitment and training; and its Beacon  managed tenancy model.

A new addition to the show will be the Molson Coors Food and Beer Theatre, where leading beer sommelier Annabel Smith will be showcasing the science of tasting beer and matching different food to beer styles. Those interested in attended the sessions will need to sign up online via the Publican Channel to reserve their place.

A myriad of food and drinks suppliers have also signed up including: Diageo; Meantime; Molson Coors; Booker; and Heineken, who will be exhibiting its Draughtmaster system.

Football fans are in for a treat as a World Cup entertainment area will be available for visitors to experience courtesy of AB InBev, whilst Chivas will be running a premium whisky (The Blend) masterclass.

Nick Light, Ei Publican Partnerships MD, said: “Each year, eilive gets bigger and better as we bring together fantastic publicans from across our estate with leading industry suppliers. The show is a great platform for us to share face-to-face the latest innovations, trends and offers in the industry that will help publicans drive sales and stay ahead of the curve.”

Publicans who register to attend will receive a book of vouchers which they can use to redeem free products. They will also be able to take advantage of exclusive offers from a wide range of suppliers, including savings on products, free POS kits, glassware and stock.

A dedicated Facebook and Twitter page will provide publicans with show news and updates throughout the five events.

The dates for eilive2018 are:

  • 27th February – Elland Road, Leeds
  • 1st March – NEC Birmingham
  • 6th March – EventCity, Manchester
  • 13th March – London Olympia
  • 20th March – Ashton Gate, Bristol

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