Insider

CARRYING ON WITH ‘EAT OUT TO HELP OUT’

Eat Out to Help Out (EOTHO) has been a success with many food businesses reporting weekend and even ‘Christmas-like’ dining numbers Monday to Wednesday. The final totals were 87,000 businesses registered, 34 million searches on the EOTHO website, a staggering 100 million meals claimed, and the jobs of nearly 2 million hospitality sector workers reignited. …

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10 MOBILE PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS FOR CHEFS

Get the word out, you’re here, you’re open and you’re offering great food. Do it by posting to social media channels regularly to build a following be both consistent and persistent so your followers look forward to your posts and encourage them to engage with you and share your content to increase your following.  …

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THE HANDCRAFTED GIN IN GIN-INFUSED DESSERTS!

Two years. That’s how long it took for Graham Carr-Smith to hit on the perfect flavour profile for cucumber gin. But before too long, there was no stopping him. Graham, the managing director of The English Drinks Company, runs the firm with his wife – and it was only after successfully producing, selling and promoting…

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AFTER “EAT OUT TO HELP OUT” – 4 STRATEGIES

The Eat Out to Help Out scheme is helping out massively. Kickstarting restaurants at an ordinarily quiet time and taking advantage of the fact that we are staying ‘local’. Neighbourhood restaurants are reporting ‘weekend like trade’ Monday to Wednesday, and some are even doing December turnover. Along with the 15% VAT holiday, this is helping…

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GIN GLAZED TARTE AU CIRTON WITH DRINKS

We are delighted to introduce the first product in our Excellence range, the Gin Glazed Tarte au Citron, a bespoke crafted dessert. Formed with a crisp, sweet shortcrust pastry case and filled with a zesty, creamy Sicilian lemon curd, the tarte is hand crowned with a sticky mirror glaze laced with ‘English Drinks Company’ Lemon…

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[NEW] GIN GLAZED TARTE AU CIRTON

We are delighted to introduce the first product in our Excellence range, the Gin Glazed Tarte au Citron, a bespoke crafted dessert. Formed with a crisp, sweet shortcrust pastry case and filled with a zesty, creamy Sicilian lemon curd, the tarte is hand crowned with a sticky mirror glaze laced with ‘English Drinks Company’ Lemon…

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CREATING YOUR “EAT OUT TO HELP OUT” MENU

The government is launching ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ discount scheme for August, giving people across the UK a 50% discount, capped at £10 per person, on meals out. Chancellor Rishi Sunak said the scheme would run from Monday to Wednesday each week at participating businesses. This scheme will be a great help, encouraging diners…

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HOW TO MARKET FOODSERVICE AFTER LOCKDOWN

With the reopening of food and hospitality – what will you be doing to reengage with your old customers and what about attracting new ones? Will you just fling open the doors and wait for the regulars to fall in or, perhaps you might consider something a bit more tactical. Maybe you’re planning to open…

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ROBUST HYGIENE PRACTICES FOR FOODSERVICE

While hygiene has always been of paramount importance in foodservice, the outbreak of COVID-19 has bought it to the fore. It’s never been more essential to have robust measures to protect staff and customers.  A standard site-specific food safety management system will include well-trained staff with good personal hygiene, the correct use of chemicals for…

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WANT TO OPEN FOR TAKEAWAY?

If you’re considering reopening after lockdown with a takeaway service or quick turnaround food, you may be concerned about what to offer, potential stock shortages and how you’ll manage with limited staff. Done right, it’ll be a great option to ramp up your business, and if you’re successful, you’ll be able to continue and become…

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HOW TO CATER FOR DIABETIC CUSTOMERS

It’s Diabetes Week 2020 and despite the prevailing pandemic topmost on everyone’s mind, with food establishments expected to reopen in some form in the near future, it’s a great opportunity to factor in the needs of diabetics and those on a low-sugar diet. For your diners, eating out should be nothing short of a pleasurable…

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STOCK MANAGEMENT AFTER LOCKDOWN

Every few weeks, we have a new directive around social distancing and what we can do. Many businesses are starting to re-open, and many takeaways are already trading in some form. Restaurants are planning when they will open and what their offer will be. Perhaps ‘take away only’, a meal kit to make at home…

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HOW TO MAKE A RESTAURANT SUCCESSFUL

So I’m back, six weeks after opening and Manjit’s is busy. People popping in on the way to the cinema, quick snack before the pub or just plain old night out for dinner. From the start Manjit and Michael decided to only open for dinner and only Thursday through Sunday – very wise as they…

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MOTHERS DAY INSPIRATION

With under a month to go until we all celebrate mums, stepmums, mothers-in-law and grandmothers, we’re bringing caterers everywhere some more inspiration ahead of the big day. Taking place on Sunday, 22 March, Mother’s Day is one of the busiest dates on the hospitality calendar – and for good reason.  It’s an opportunity for mums…

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ARE WE GIVING VALUE FOR MONEY?

Last weekend was my daughters 8th birthday and I did what most parents do and allowed her to choose what she would like to eat or where to go for a meal. We live in a suburb of a large city so lots to choose from, small independents and various chains, most of my family…

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PLANT BASED DIET IN FOODSERVICE

Interest in plant-based eating is at an all-time high and this gives us a huge opportunity to meet   customers demand with a wider choice of both healthy and environmentally-friendly dishes. Plant-based eating is not a fad, it’s a mainstream lifestyle choice and if we don’t embrace it our customers will simply eat and drink…

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WHAT TO DO WITH TINNED TOMATOES

Tinned tomatoes have always been a larder staple and are regarded as a ‘cook’s comfort blanket’, an ingredient that you will find in any professional of domestic kitchen in any town or city. Tomatoes were a prime candidate for canning due to their high acidic nature and were canned more than any other vegetable or…

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WHAT IS PANCAKE DAY? WITH 8 SERVING SUGGESTIONS

THE PRO CHEF As a child one of my favourite days of the year after, of course, Christmas and my birthday was Pancake Day.  I knew nothing as to why we had a pancake feast on pancake day, just that we could come home from school and eat mum’s amazing pancake topped with all the…

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HOW TO OPEN A RESTAURANT

In this, the third part of our four part series tracking the transition of Manjit’s Kitchen from food cart to to a bricks-and-mortar restaurant, we take a look at the restaurant opening. If you’re joining us now, have a look at: Part 1: The transition from street food to restaurant Part 2: Financing through crowdfunding…

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IS YOUR VENUE READY FOR ST PATRICK’S DAY?

Ah, St Patrick’s Day! One of the busiest dates in hospitality, the event marks the passing of St Patrick – the foremost patron saint of Ireland. A cultural and religious observance, it’s celebrated annually with all manner of beer-themed, green-tinged events. Taking place on Tuesday, March 17, St Patrick’s Day is a public holiday in…

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HOW TO MAKE MOTHERS DAY SPECIAL

The single biggest day in the catering calendar in the UK whether it be a pub, café or restaurant is Mother’s Day, this year it falls on 22nd March.  From a caterer’s point of view, it’s a busy day. A day for families, a day of larger than normal tables with a mixed demographic of…

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WHAT ARE SWEET POTATO FRIES? WITH 7 SERVING SUGGESTIONS

The most popular side dish of all time is probably fries. We all love a portion of fries, they are ordered with most street foods, in pubs, restaurants and coffee shops. Everyone serves them because customers love them with one major high street burger chain serving 9 million pounds a day worldwide. A relative newcomer…

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HOW TO CROWDFUND A RESTAURANT

In this, the second part of our four part series tracking the transition of Manjit’s Kitchen from food cart to to a bricks-and-mortar restaurant, we take a look at crowdfunding. To make this restaurant happen we need operating capital to kit out the restaurant and keep it operating in the early days. Manjit and Michael…

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HOW TO CREATE A VALENTINES DAY DINING EXPERIENCE

Valentine’s Day (February 14) is one of the most important events on the hospitality calendar – and if you aren’t rolling out a new menu or introducing a fresh drinks selection for the occasion, you could be missing a trick. According to WebstaurantStore, Valentine’s Day is so popular in foodservice, in fact, that it directly…

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PARAMOUNT 21 – A STARTUP STORY

Paramount was founded over 30 years ago, and our story is one categorised by determination, family – and just a little faith in the future!  In 1988, Ali Hannaford watched her father’s seafood processing business close through acquisition. Taking matters into her own hands, Ali used her £3,500 severance to buy a car, fax machine…

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HOW TO PREPARE THE PERFECT SUNDAY ROAST

The Sunday roast is by far the most popular meal of the week in the UK and Ireland. It is a tradition which goes back centuries, historically featuring roast beef, but today other roasts take equal billing. Roast pork, lamb, and chicken are all served, and each will sit alongside Yorkshire puddings. By far my…

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HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OF 2020 FOOD TRENDS

With new research from 70,000 businesses indicating that a staggering 50 million adults eat out in Great Britain each year, there’s never been a better time to ensure your menu is enticing enough to pull diners in. Undertaken by Paymentsense, which helps companies take card payments from their customers, the research will form a new…

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2020 CONSUMER TRENDS FOR CATERERS

If you want to innovate as a caterer, you need to anticipate consumer trends and ‘capitalise on the next big thing’. That’s the advice from Synergy, who recently published some interesting insights on the future of food and drink. With its own in-house team of marketers and innovators, the company also has access to a…

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BURNS’ NIGHT INSPIRATION

You’ll have heard of Burns’ Night (January 25) and you may well have enjoyed haggis once or twice – but what does the date mark – and why do hundreds of thousands of Scots celebrate it annually? Commemorating the life and poetry of poet Robert Burns, the author of many Scots poems, the evening –…

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BANNISTERS FARM, A STARTUP STORY

When it comes to potatoes, we really know our onions… we’ve been growing potatoes on our farm on the Yorkshire Wolds for over 50 years. We began baking, then freezing potatoes for foodservice back in the eighties to satisfy the year-round demand for quality baking potatoes. Freezing the potatoes when they’re at their best, ready…

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BOOST THE AMBIENCE IN DRY JANUARY

Ah, Dry January. The one-month booze free challenge is excellent news for your diners’ well being – but perhaps the same can’t be said for the health of your turnover. The fact is, fewer people drinking can mean fewer people dining, too. So, how can you boost footfall to your café, restaurant and bar –…

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FROM STREET FOOD STALL TO RESTAURANT

A four-part look at Manjit’s Kitchen and it’s transition from food festival cart to a bricks-and-mortar Leeds restaurant. Just over 2 years ago I was overseeing the hospitality for Manchester International Festival on Albert Square, for those who haven’t experienced it it’s a biannual international arts festival with a specific focus on new work. Along…

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SURROUNDED BY WATER +4 RECIPES

As a nation surrounded by water I find it weird that we are not more enthusiastic about fish, when I say fish let’s just not think about the big 2, dipped in batter and cooked to within an inch of its life or an un-interesting fish pie on Good Friday. TV has done its bit…

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FISH FINGERS AND 5 SERVING IDEAS

Fish fingers in Britain have been an amazing success since their launch in 1955, more than 60 years later those little frozen blocks of fish are just as popular. Invented in the Birds Eye factory in Great Yarmouth, Clarence Birdseye (or Captain is I refer to him) was a US born scientist who pioneered frozen…

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WEBSITE ACCESSIBILITY FOR YOUR RESTAURANT

You adapt your menu with the seasons, ensure your drinks menu is innovative and exciting and provide exceptional front of house customer service. Oh, and you whip up food worth shouting about on social media. So, you’d say you put your customer front and centre when it comes to your offering. But do you really?…

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SHMOO, A STARTUP STORY

THE Australian ‘thickshake’ isn’t just any milkshake. No, it’s much, much more indulgent. Take a regular milkshake and turn it up a notch – adding more milk (full fat, of course!), plenty of ice cream, and lots of flavour.  They’re so tasty, in fact, that they were the inspiration which led to Shmoo – a…

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CHRISTMAS DINNER ALTERNATIVES

There’s nothing like a delicious Christmas dinner – cooked with premium-quality ingredients or locally-sourced fayre – to pull in customers over the festive season. Whether you’re going all-out and serving turkey and all the trimmings, or you’re planning to serve Christmas-themed canapes or light bites, offering something a little bit different may well win you…

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HOW TO MAKE PERFECT MACAROONS

With Christmas just around the corner why not try my 10 steps to Creating macaroon perfection, these are great to serve after the Christmas day main event for your customers. Ingredients Makes 16 small or 6 large 75g ground almonds100g icing sugarPlus, extra for dusting2 large egg whites50g caster sugar½ tsp red food colouring (you…

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STIR-UP SUNDAY: WHEN SHOULD YOU MAKE CHRISTMAS PUDDING

The Stir-Up Sunday tradition dates back to the Victorian era, when families would meet to stir the Christmas pudding five weeks before December 25, read 24 November. In fact, the opening words of the Book of Common Prayer are: ‘Stir up, we beseech thee, O Lord, the wills of thy faithful people’. The essence of…

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ONE POT COOKING

We all enjoy rattling pans, creating complex, show stopping dishes to wow customers, busy, busy, lots going on, lots of things on a plate, different moves… it’s so exciting but everyday takes its toll on us and on the customer. One pot cookery is a very different approach to taking multiple items last minute and…

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BRUSSELS SPROUTS

Love them, hate them… make sure they don’t get left on the plate It’s that time of year when we move into Winter, we change menus and change it with Christmas in mind. How can we integrate our menu with the festive menu? What’s in season? How can we link ingredients to control costs? And…

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WILD AND GAME – STARTUP STORY

How do you cook game? The fact is, too many people are unsure how to prepare dishes which feature wild game – and it’s one of the reasons the founders of an exciting start-up set up their not-for-profit business. Steven Frampton and Michael Cannon are the men behind Wild and Game. Their aim? To make…

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HOW TO CREATE A WINNING PLANT-FRIENDLY MENU

Considering introducing a vegan menu? The latest research by the Vegan Society reports that there are some 540,000 vegans in Britain – and the figure is rising. In fact, the Plant Based News site suggests veganism in the UK will ‘skyrocket by 327%’ by 2020, with more and more people catching onto the benefits tied…

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12 TASTY TIPS TO TURBOCHARGE YOUR INSTAGRAM

Many brands know that Instagram can be powerful for their business. Follow these valuable tips to enhance your online presence. Gathering the right ingredients Increase the number of (relevant!) people following your page. Consider competitions (‘follow our page and tag a friend’ is a popular tactic) as well as Instagram-only content that your customers can’t…

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BRITAIN’S LOVE AFFAIR WITH ITALIAN FOOD AND DRINK

With the ever-growing core of restaurants in any town or city throughout the UK being Italian, there’s no mistaking the popularity of this cuisine. Britain’s love affair with Italian food and drink goes back for further than the famous Spaghetti Houses of the 1950s. 2,000 years ago the Roman Empire brought us olive oil and…

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STARTUP STORY: WHITAKERS CHOCOLATES EST 1889

In 1889 John and Rebecca Whitaker established the principles of their chocolate manufacturing business, which through five generations have enabled Whitakers Chocolates to evolve into one of the UK’s leading Chocolate manufacturers. Today Whitakers Chocolates are one of the few remaining family-owned and managed chocolate companies in the UK, supplying chocolate and confectionery in branded and private…

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HOW ONE PUB CELEBRATES RETRO-DINNERS ALL YEAR ROUND!

They say your school days are amongst the best of your life – and we reckon that’s true. After all, you get to see your best pals, day in day out, before heading home at 3pm minus any homework. Probably. Oh, and if you were someone who had school dinners, you could look forward to…

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WHAT MAKES A PERFECT PUB MENU

So, what does make a great pub menu? I have been asked this many times, what goes on the menu? How much does it cost? Is the best fish for fish and chips haddock or cod? Is a pickled egg a bar snack? We all have an idea of how it should be, that’s what…

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YES, YOU CAN BARBECUE YEAR-ROUND!

If your idea of barbecued food is your ‘cliched pile of burnt offerings and a token salad’, says chef and barbecuing expert, Richard Holden, it’s time to think again. After spending much of his early career as an in-house training chef for Weber Barbecues, the Lancashire-born aficionado of alfresco dining experiences soon discovered there was…

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A WORLD TOUR WITH THE HOG HOUSE

There’s no denying our nation’s love of food. We’re travelling more and learning about different cultures and flavours from around the world – and as a result, we’re all eager to experience new and exciting dishes. It’s this love of all things culinary that has led The Hog House to explore its own ingredients and…

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THE BIG BREAKFAST

As we all know, or have been told, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. We are told this from an early age by our parents along with ‘carrots give you night vision’ and ‘Santa doesn’t bring toys to misbehaving children’. But research shows that the body uses lots of energy stored for…

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WHERE HAVE ALL THE CHEFS GONE?

I started my career in 1989 and was lucky to get my first job in a 1-star Michelin restaurant in Gloucestershire cooking fantastic food 6 days a week, the restaurant was small the team was very skilled (not me!). I have to say at first it was tough, we worked hard, we looked after each…

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INSIGHTS 5/5: PULLING IT ALL TOGETHER

It’s here – the fifth and final part of our five-part insights series. In it, we look at what we’ve learned from the enlightening independent research we recently commissioned. If you haven’t yet checked out the previous pieces, make sure you delve into them. Parts one to four shed plenty of light on why customers…

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HOW TO RUN A ZERO WASTE KITCHEN

There’s no denying it, food waste is a huge problem – and not just in the world of catering. In our homes, we’re responsible for throwing away multiple pounds of untouched food each week, with younger members of the family watching and learning these bad habits. But food wastage isn’t a UK issue – it’s…

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11 HANDY TIPS FOR CHRISTMAS PHOTOGRAPHY

Create a mood for the festive season with your own photography, just follow our handy tips for your food and environment pictures. Festive rooms and exteriors Consider using the available light in your room (so no flash), fixing your camera to a tripod or still surface so not to get camera shake. By using the…

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SMALL WORLD – BIG FLAVOUR

The high street has changed massively over even the last few years and this includes the foods we see. Street food ‘pop-ups’ are exciting food concepts creating big flavours, it really is a great time to discover new things. Food choice in our shops has never been better either and we can travel then find…

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OUT IN THE WILDERNESS

When four friends of mine said they wanted to open something different in Manchester, it didn’t surprise me. Between them they run some of the most exciting places, not only in Manchester but across the country. Not bad for a bunch of guys who started out working in bars together! While out together in Manchester,…

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2019 RUGBY WORLD CUP MENU IDEAS

There are lots of different events and occasions that can help with menu specials and in turn increase sales, a lot we already think about throughout the year and plan them in to our operations like Valentine’s day, Mother’s day and Easter to name a few, but there are other easy wins that can increase…

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INSIGHTS 4/5: RESEARCHING WHERE TO EAT

Choosing where to dine has long since outgrown the traditional guidebook. While the Michelin Guide may still be relevant, most diners are choosing where they spend their hard-earned money by other means – and by using a range of platforms to piece together their plans. In part four of our multi-part series on consumers’ dining…

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PRO CHEF: PART 4 OF OPENING A COFFEE SHOP

This is Part 4 of our multi-part series following the journey of our intrepid consulting chef as he works to open a new coffee shop for his client. You can navigate to part 1 (planning) and part 2 (creating the menu) and part 3 (staffing and the food critic). His story continues… It’s a fantastic…

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DESSERT AS THE MAIN EVENT

Most diners will visit your restaurant for its main courses, but there’s a growing number of people who head out with one thing in mind – and we’re not talking about your drinks menu. Instead, foodies everywhere are viewing dessert as the ‘main event’ during a meal – and there are plenty of reasons this…

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HEALTHY CUSTOMERS ARE HAPPY CUSTOMERS

“At least you still have your health” is how the old saying goes, and it’s as true today as it was when it was first said. Your health and wellbeing is the foundation of a happy life and whether you’re serving up wholesome and nutritious food, educating your customers around a balanced diet or making…

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INSIGHTS 3/5: EATING OUT TRENDS

In this, Part 3 of our multi-part series, we share the latest trends in eating out. After all, the most important driving forces behind consumer behaviour in any sector are trends – and if caterers are to get ahead, they can do much worse than keeping on top of them. Be sure not to miss…

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PRO CHEF: PART 3 OF OPENING A COFFEE SHOP

This is Part 3 of our multi-part series following the journey of our intrepid consulting chef as he works to open a new coffee shop for his client. You can navigate to part 1 (planning) and part 2 (creating the menu). His story continues… Now to open any successful business as I have said before…

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TIPS FROM A KEEN FOOD FORAGER

It’s a Nordic trend but one that has made its way to Blighty – and there’s no denying that foraging for food is big news in the culinary world. Some of the UK’s most-respected chefs are foraging for wild food to add to their menus, with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall promoting the ‘virtues of locally sourced, uncultivated…

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PRO CHEF: PLANNING FOR CHRISTMAS

In our industry Christmas is a make or break for us, we know it’s coming, we try to leave it to the last minute as we have other things that are more important don’t we……wrong. For the last 15 years I have started to plan Christmas in January, yes, its true as soon as New…

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