Passion for food key to successful garden centre catering, trade event hears

Be passionate about food and employ passionate people were two of the key points to come from the first day of the HTA Catering Conference, according to the show organisers.

The show was held on Tuesday and Wednesday this week at The Belfry in West Midlands and is sponsored by Vision Commercial Kitchens.

In the opening session, Chris Brown from Turpin Smale Consultancy highlighted ambiance, pop ups, special interest groups and technology as the key areas to focus on for the future.

Delegates heard from independent garden centres (Felicity Down from Cleeve Nursery and Tim Greenway from Highfield Garden World) and groups (Alan Roper from Blue Diamond and Jason Danciger from Wyevale Garden Centres).

Despite the differences in the scale of operation, there were definite similarities in approach in terms of providing a passionate offer, great ambiance and individual character, the HTA said.

Interactive workshop sessions on managing people, costs and the environment provided delegates with further opportunities to hear from and contribute to discussion on key areas relating to running a garden centre-catering offer.

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