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The York Roast Co – A Crackling Success Story

Video Transcription

The story of The York Roast Co. goes back to 2004. When I was in York one day, I noticed that there was a butcher's shop. It was for sale, who were selling roast meat sandwiches. And he was doing this to subsidize the butchery business. "Well, this is a fabulous idea." It was quite busy on the day that he was selling roast sandwiches. The shop was on the market and we bought it. And we went from strength to strength from there. We built up a business from that one unit. We have five in Shrewsbury, Salisbury, Chester, two in York, and the rest is history.

We were doing extremely well, prior to us going viral on the internet. Once we went viral on the internet, it was really surreal because, you know, we were inundated with people contacting us by phone, by email, on social media itself, and it was the first time I'd ever experienced anything like this. I'm inherently used to traditional forms of media, particularly radio and television. Yet, this was the first time it proved to me that social media is so very, very powerful. It is overwhelming, even to this day. People are traveling to see us. They're making a point of coming to see us if they're visiting from abroad or even from within the country.

Since 2004, we have this traditional British food menu where we were selling traditional roast sandwiches, roast potatoes, Yorkshire pudding meals, regular, sort of, Sunday-style meals, all, sort of, traditional British food. We have a lot of students who visit our establishments and we wanted to increase that. So we decided that we needed to look for something which students can walk around with. So we thought, "Well, what can we do? Let's see if we can wrap a Sunday lunch up in a Yorkshire pudding." Our problem, initially, was how were we going to do it, create this, and be able to serve it in a timely manner? In March 2017, when we started selling the YorkyPud wrap, it was an incredible success. 15% of our sales were attributed to the sale of the YorkyPud Wrap. Incredible, I mean, incredible start.

September of 2017, our world completely changed. We had posted the YorkyPud wrap on our Facebook page. The next day, the next morning, my partner said, "Have you seen what's happening?" So I said, "No." "Well, on Facebook, we've had 10,000 views." Then 30, then up, up, up, right? And 100,000, and then we weren't interested in 10,000. We were interested in another 100, 200, 300. We got up to over nine million reach on our Facebook page. BBC found us, local initially. Other media started to phone us, TV programs like "The Wong Show," "ITV This Morning," I mean, this bubble, we're all in the bubble thinking, "What on earth is happening to us?" It was incredible.

I'll tell you something. I didn't do it on my own. We're a family business, but we have an incredible team who work for this business. We all work extremely well together. And it's as a result of our management and team that we have the YorkyPud out there. It's not just me. We are wanting to open another store, at least one more store, before the end of 2018, and then another three or four in 2019.

We've started a new venture, which is an events company, which is extremely exciting for us. We've already got two catering trailers, which look fantastic, that we've had made, manufactured, for us. We are this week, for 10 days, we're at the Fringe, comedy Fringe, here in York, only 200 meters from here. And the sky's the limit for that business. You have to be singularly persistent with what you're wanting to do. It's very, very easy to be distracted when you're running a family business. You have to be self-disciplined, and you have to, at all times, remember that it's not all about you. It's about the team and you. And then, you'll make it. We like to reach out to our customers through social media, as I'm sure you appreciate. We're popular. Our notoriety is a result of social media, so we now play a heavy hand in terms of online platforms. On top of that, our local community...we have a loyalty card system, which works extremely well for us.

So Langleys, as a law firm, are incredible. We've been working with Langleys, now, for about three years. They do a lot of our conveyancing work, and they are reactive. I mean, only recently, when we decided to open up an events company, we turned around, the conveyancing of a lease, was turned around in 10 days.