Updated: Oct 13, 2021
With the recruitment crisis in full swing here in Wales and venue after venue closing completely or cutting down hours, Wales online spoke with the Hare and Hounds owner Sarah Watts-Jones in Aberthin (Winners of the title of Wales’ best from the National Pub and Bare Awards 2021) about how this crisis has affected the renowned Welsh pub.
Running a pub or restaurant is an expensive business although misconceptions would have you believe otherwise. Running the pub alongside chef Tom Watts-Jones who returned 6 years ago, the team's passion for good, local food and keeping their hardworking and talented team intact has seen them expand, opening the Heathcock in Llandaff, Cardiff and the Hare & Hounds Bakery in the centre of Cowbridge.
An impressive journey that we here at taste. blas implore you to go and try for yourself. The comments and reviews of the Hare & Hounds speak for themselves and it is an experience to be had by anyone looking for an incredible place to eat.
It pays to be a truly hardworking individual in this industry and with the long hours, hot kitchens and customers who now expect only the best from their local, the Hare & Hounds has risen from strength to strength during the pandemic to continually bring a fine dining experience to this tucked away pub local. Preparing for 4pm food service at 9am tells of the effort that continually goes into ensuring the business thrives.
When talking to Wales online about how they have managed so much recent success in such trying times, commenting specifically on the low pay the industry is famous for Sarah said,
"We have been able to up people's pay" Sarah adds. "And we say that even if you start on quite a low down minimum wage pay bracket, like if you come into the kitchen as a commis, it will go up to reflect. And ideally for us everyone would stay with us build their way up and keep getting paid more and more."
Sarah manages to prioritise the quality of food and service while also ensuring her staff are happy and have the capacity to grow in the industry in anyway she can help. A determination to adapt to the industries needs as well as this pandemic is admirable to say the least.
Click the images above to read more on what Sarah and Tom had to say themselves about keeping the Hare & Hounds a staple of the community to Wales Online, all the while adapting to the ever changing tide of the last two years.
Maendy Rd, Aberthin, Cowbridge CF71 7LG