Serving Up Success

Serving Up Success

Switched on park operators are upping their game to compete in the lucrative food and beverage market…

When Cofton Country Holidays in South Devon embarked on a major redevelopment of the leisure facilities on site, a key aim was to improve the restaurant and bar areas. Pic: Fruition Creative Services.

When Cofton Country Holidays in South Devon embarked on a major redevelopment of the leisure facilities on site, a key aim was to improve the restaurant and bar areas. Pic: Fruition Creative Services.

The UK’s restaurant scene has never been so appetising. In fact, a study by OpenTable found that the average British person spends over £4k on dining out each year – that’s a quarter of the average annual income. The study also revealed that Brits eat out 1.5 times on average per week and spend up to £53 per meal. We are now seeing the evolution of industry trends, fuelled by the population’s growing appetite for eating out.

Increasingly, all-day eating is becoming the norm. Set meal times are a thing of the past – people want to be able to grab a bite to eat at any time of the day in a casual and informal environment.
Many restaurant outlets are also stepping up their investment in the coffee market, driven by our thirst for coffee outside the home. Even fast-food operators are improving their offerings to get in on the highly lucrative coffee shop culture.

SWITCHED ON

Now switched on park owners are upping their game to compete in the increasingly competitive food and beverage market place. South West Holiday Parks has teamed up with an award-winning Devon restaurant business as part of an overhaul of its leisure facilities at Coast View Park.

The park, located in Shaldon, underwent a major refurbishment to make way for a brand new restaurant, pool, gym and spa facility. The new ODE&Co; restaurant opened earlier this summer and welcomes park guests as well as the general public. “The park wanted to move away from the traditional ‘hi-de-hi’ style holiday venue, to offer guests a more high-end lodge park with improved facilities,” explains Sales and Marketing Consultant Jim Gandon. “The new restaurant is one of the main elements of the renovation project and the response we have had since it opened has been amazing.”

Visitors to the 120-seat venue can enjoy sourdough pizza cooked in a wood-fired oven from an open kitchen and prepared with impeccably sourced ingredients including organic flour and 100% buffalo mozzarella from Laverstock farm in Hampshire. ODE&Co; also takes advantage of the fresh seafood available on its doorstep, serving local catch, crab, lobster and grills. Locally sourced beverages include craft ales from Two Beach Brewing Co, organic and bio dynamic wines, local ciders on draft and soft drinks.

“Catering facilities can really make or break a holiday park, that’s why South West Holiday Parks felt it was essential to get advice from the experts before investing in the new restaurant,” says Jim.
“The park’s location is a hotspot for tourists and Tim Bouget, owner of ODE, is a renowned chef, so it’s a perfect fit.” The restaurant has panoramic views of South Devon coast from the newly created inside and outside seating areas. The restaurant will also offer take away and delivery services using electric vehicles.

BALANCING ACT

We are now seeing the evolution of industry trends, fuelled by the population’s growing appetite for eating out.

We are now seeing the evolution of industry trends, fuelled by the population’s growing appetite for eating out.

It’s important to remember that the quality of the food needs to be reflected in the design and layout of the restaurant, to create the ultimate dining experience for customers. When Cofton Country Holidays in South Devon embarked on a major redevelopment of the leisure facilities on site, a key aim was to improve the restaurant and bar areas.

The park worked with design company Fruition Creative Services to create a welcoming environment for guests in the bar and carvery area on the ground floor and the breakfast server on the upper level.

“There are two elements to the design process that need to be addressed in all projects,” explains Mark Green, Director at Fruition Creative Services.
“What it looks like to attract customers and how it functions to ensure customers have nice time and come back or stay longer.

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Smartphones Lead Bookings Boom

Smartphones Lead Bookings Boom

Smartphones are driving a staycation boom claims pitchup.com.

Smartphones are driving a staycation boom claims pitchup.com.

A steep increase in impulse holiday bookings via smartphones have driven a post-EU referendum staycation boom, according to accommodation specialists Pitchup.com.
Pitchup.com registered an 111 per cent rise in smartphone bookings in a seven day period following the referendum, which accounted for more than 35 per cent of overall bookings.
Dan Yates, Founder of Pitchup.com, commented: “Over the last three months, over 30% of our bookings were made on a smartphone and we now receive 34% more bookings via smartphone than tablet.
“While bookings via smartphones and tablets overtook desktop bookings nearly two years ago, now smartphones are increasingly the norm rather than the exception.
Dan says that improvements in technology mean that fewer people ‘device switch’ like in the old days when they would fire up the tablet or desktop computer, having spotted something on their phone in a lunch break. As such the main casualty appears to have been the tablet, rather than the desktop computer. “

Park Owners Fined Over Boy’s Pool Death

Park Owners Fined Over Boy’s Pool Death

Loch Earn Caravan Parks Limited, which owns the Seafront Leisure Centre and the Red Lion Holiday Park, were fined £234,000 for health and safety breaches.

Loch Earn Caravan Parks Limited, which owns the Seafront Leisure Centre and the Red Lion Holiday Park, were fined £234,000 for health and safety breaches.

The owners of a holiday park have been fined £234,000 for health and safety breaches after the death of a boy found at the bottom of a swimming pool in 2011. Six-year-old Aidan Yule had been playing in the main pool at the Red Lion Holiday Park in Arbroath when, unnoticed, his head slipped under the water.
CCTV showed that he was spotted less than a minute later but he was found unconscious. CPR was attempted and Aidan was rushed by ambulance to Ninewells Hospital in Dundee where he died four days later. Loch Earn Caravan Parks Limited, which owns the Seafront Leisure Centre and the Red Lion Holiday Park, was fined £234,000 at Forfar Sheriff Court after Aidan’s death.

INSUFFICIENT MEASURES

An investigation by Angus Council and the former Tayside Police force found that no risk assessment had been carried out and that little consideration had been given to the potential risks to the public in relation to the use of the swimming pool. Staff had not received adequate training on safety procedures such as monitoring those using the pools, ensuring pool rules were enforced or responding to accidents or emergencies.
It was also found that there was inadequate supervision of the swimming pool and a lack of lifeguards monitoring the pool was contrary to the recommendations contained in HSE guidance.
Gary Aitken, Head of Health & Safety Division said: “The measures that Loch Earn put in place were insufficient to ensure, so far as was reasonably practicable, the safety of members of the public using its pool.
“The presence of a lifeguard on duty at the poolside would have reduced the likelihood of the incident occurring and the failure to have lifeguards in place is a significant factor in the incident and the resulting tragic death of a six year old boy.
“Hopefully this sad incident will remind other pool operators that failure to fulfil their obligations in law can have tragic consequences and that they will be held to account for their failings. Pool operators need to read the relevant guidance and ensure that their safety arrangements match legal requirements.”