A NEW look is proving so popular with guests at an Ash pub it has doubled its turnover within the first month of trading and some like the design so much they are trying to re-create the look in their own homes.

Ember Inns has invested over £3.6million in the Surrey area, the most recent of which was a £400,000 refurbishment of The Greyhound in Ash.

Gone are the days when the local was viewed pre-dominantly as a man’s domain, which would be run down often dark and dingy.

Cosy leather sofas and armchairs, real fires and a warm, modern colour scheme help create a home-from-home ambience in each inn.

With such an inviting environment, it’s no surprise that the company is reporting a large shift in the type of audience now visiting the local.

Following the conversion, a pub will often see wine sales increase fourfold, suggesting that women and over-50s appreciate a calm atmosphere in which to socialise.

Brand manager of Ember Inns, Simon Dodd explained: “We’ve invested £3.6m into the refurbishment of 12 Ember Inns pubs in the area, which has created around 120 jobs.”

The brand has introduced a ‘Service that Smiles’ training programme, which is a leader in the industry. Prior to opening, managers complete a comprehensive ten-week training course and new bar staff undertake a ten-day pre-opening course.

Ember Inns consistently achieves the highest mystery guest scores across the Mitchells & Butlers brands and has one of the lowest levels of staff turnover.

The rigorous independent audit assesses all key areas of the business, from guest service, to the condition of the décor and toilets, quality of food and the speed of service.

Keen to make a contribution to the local community in which it serves, each Ember Inns pub will adopt a local charity and then proactively raise money for its cause via fun fundraising events, such as a sponsored sofa sit or a cask ale run.

Winner of the 2003 Retailers’ Retailer best newcomer award, Ember Inns is committed to combining a relaxing environment with the highest levels of service, comfort and friendliness.