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Common sense options for your on-site food servings…
According to a YouGov survey of Britain’s most popular dishes, roast chicken just overtook fish and chips at the top of the taste bud pops.
For the record, both share 85 per cent of the adult popularity vote, with the all-day English breakfast hot on their heels at 83 per cent.
In an ever-changing world, it is good to know some of the old traditions still have staying power.
But ignore the march of not just new eating habits but preferred ordering techniques at your peril. It is no good sitting back and watching your residents receive their Just Eat, Deliveroo and Uber Eats deliveries bypassing your on-site restaurant and take away options.
If Covid taught us anything it was to be flexible with our hospitality business and to embrace new ways of creating business. That means reaching for the clouds with an assortment of your own bespoke APPs to boost business including holiday cabin deliveries.
Personally, while juggling the grandchildren and their bingo cards, I loved ordering my holiday park drinks from my table via an APP only to have them arrive at the table within minutes.
Statistics provides the power to make knowledgeable decisions about our on-site catering. In another survey, OpenTable found that the average British person spends over £4k on dining out each year – that’s a quarter of some people’s annual income.
The study also revealed that Brits eat out 1.5 times on average per week and spend about £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.
Why limit yourself to just on-site customers when you can build a reputation and extend your reach throughout your geographic area. South West Holiday Parks teamed up with an award-winning Devon restaurant business as part of an overhaul of its leisure facilities at Coast View Park. The new ODE&Co restaurant welcomes park guests as well as the general public.
Visitors to the 120-seat venue can enjoy sour dough 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.
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.
Catering to a wide range of budgets and tastes can create challenges for operators – particularly when you’re looking after diverse needs and expectations on the same site, from campers in tents to guests in luxury holiday lodges.
It’s an issue they recognise at the award-winning Tyddyn Isaf Camping and Caravan Park in Dulas, Anglesey.
The Anglesey campsite has been owned and operated by the Hunt/Mount family for 45 years. Long before a restaurant was created on site, however, food was still on offer, thanks to a very forward-thinking purchase of a pizza oven.
While guests can enjoy a casual meal in the restaurant, there are also options available for those who want to dine alfresco.
Thinking outside the box and a firm believer in supporting local businesses, Tyddyn Isaf partnered with The Great Orme Brewery to create their own range of four local ales and a craft lager.
Catering surely is a complicated business. Add to those complications the challenge of recruiting and retaining good staff and you will know that making money through on-site catering is not for the faint-hearted.
Hospitality and catering professionals met recently to discuss apprenticeships and their role in reducing the severe people and skills crisis in hospitality and catering. The common issues were recruitment and ensuring a path of continuous professional development.
Food prices have gone up at their fastest rate in nearly 30 years - but there is worse to come, experts have warned.
Soaring food costs and the energy bill crisis drove inflation to 5.4% in the 12 months to December, up from 5.1% the month before, in another blow to struggling families.
The last time inflation was higher was in March 1992, when it was 7.1%. And with gas and electricity costs set to rise further in the spring, analysts predict it will reach that level again.
As one of Britain’s leading family holiday companies Haven own and operate 40 award-winning family holiday parks throughout England, Scotland and Wales. Haven appear to be opting for do-it-yourself solutions, covering their catering bets with options for extreme ends of the food chain.
Holidaymakers heading to Lincolnshire’s coast could have another option for their meals with a number of jobs being advertised at a Burger King in a holiday park.
Numerous jobs are being advertised for roles at a restaurant in Mablethorpe - but the fast food chain is yet to confirm whether it will be being built.
Haven is also introducing an opportunity for budding chefs to receive on-the-job skills and experience training as part of its new Haven Chef Academy.
This new training academy will provide fundamental learning experience for 200 specially selected trainees who will be inducted into an 18-month development programme with access to world class kitchen facilities, working alongside professional chefs as well as having a personal talent coach and mentor. Once initial training is completed, trainees will be placed at one of Haven’s coastal parks across the UK to embark upon priceless on-the-job training.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for anyone who is eager to get into the food & beverage industry,” said Anne Blyth, Talent Director at Haven. “This carefully curated programme will be hugely beneficial to all those selected, giving applicants the tools they need to begin a fantastic career and get that essential on-the-job training which is very hard to come by these days”.
Successful applicants will start their time at Haven Chef Academy with an initial accelerated eight week learning programme that will provide them with a sound start into the industry with several tailored masterclasses and live demonstrations leading into an on-the-job learning structure. The selected trainees will be lucky enough to be earning whilst learning at one of the best places in the leisure industry – plus they will gain a professional industry recognised apprenticeship qualification through Haven’s training partner Lifetime.
“Emerging out of several lockdowns where the appetite for jobs have been slim, this is an immense opportunity for those who are struggling to get back into the hospitality industry,” said Joe Hurd, celebrity chef and Lifetime Ambassador. ”These opportunities are hard to find and as no prior experience is needed applications are open to all who are hungry to start their culinary career and gain from the expert tuition on offer.”
WITH millions of British holidaymakers heading for holiday parks in the UK this year, one of the major attractions for most visitors was that the cooking would be done for them. Catering is the vital ingredient of the holiday park business menu.
From high-class restaurants to family-friendly pizza cafes, the choice on offer at many locations is vast. Quality food and good surroundings are key to the restaurant enjoyment factor with staff service and excellent menus par for the course in these competitive times.