Garden centres owners advised on cost-effective catering

A number of suggestions were discussed by garden centre cafe owners with the 100-plus delegates.

  • - Thirsk Garden Centre co-owner Helen Joyce said the turnover threshold of £750,000, given by the HTA as a viable figure to open a cafe, is not always true. She recommended keeping menus simple, not pricing too low, and using the best equipment you can afford.
  • - Langlands Garden Centre co-owner Robert Ducker said his new cafe-bar had taken pressure off his restaurant and was popular with "yummy mummies" and younger customers. HTA adviser Doug Stewart helped set up the operation.
  • - Byrkley Garden Centre co-owner Frank Thompstone and his catering manager Andy Evans suggested setting up island food points, grab-and-go areas and more ready-made food to buy as queue-busters.
  • - Heighley Gate Garden Centres catering manager Susan Givens said the Wyevale-owned operation's bakery was proving popular for visitors to its food facilities.
  • - Blueberry Consulting owner Sajid Salim, who set up the catering at Blooms in Bicester, said the next big thing would be outdoor play areas adjacent to cafes.
  • - Searcy chief executive Duncan Ackery said that caterers must look at "menu engineering" - using cheaper ingredients or smaller portions - to cut food costs and keep profits up.

AVERAGE FOOD COSTS

Catering Business Improvement Scheme members' food costs
2007: 32 per cent of turnover
2008: 30 per cent

Labour and food costs
2007: 72 per cent
2008: 69 per cent

Average transaction
2007: £5.67
2008: £6.39


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Are you a landscape supplier?

Horticulture Week Landscape Project Leads

If so, you should be receiving our new service for Horticulture Week subscribers delivering landscape project leads from live, approved, planning applications across the UK.