Restaurateur Matteo Frau used the University of Derby’s à la carte style of tailor-made teaching to put more money-making ideas on the menu at his Peak District pub business. The mature student used this three years of study for a BA (Hons) in International Hospitality and Culinary Arts to research new ways to manage and expand opportunities at The Red Lion in Birchover. Now the pub not only serves high class meals, but also beer from its own brewery and cheese made on the premises. And Matteo is even selling his knowledge through courses on beer and cheese making.
Matteo, originally from Sardinia, already had a wealth of experience and training when he took over the Red Lion: “When you’ve learned one way of working you stick to what you know day-to-day, you have the knowledge to work – but you don’t see the business potential. What the University gave me was a different way of looking at my business and the ability to analyse everything, from managing staff to dealing with customers.”
Teaching based on industry experience, high quality speakers, access to a library of business textbooks and journals all helped Matteo to look at his business in a new light. “We expanded with a brewery and a cheese room, and now we offer services such as cookery classes, cheese-making and brewing,” he said. “It’s all about maximising the business, selling our knowledge to people who are happy to pay for it.”
Fancy an evening out at Matteo’s pub? He regularly organises Sardinian Nights, a chance to sample authentic Sardinian cuisine and learn more about their culture and traditions. Also Supper and Quiz nights are a firm favourite, as well as their Sunday Carvery. Call 01629 650363 for reservations.