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NATASHA’S LAW: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

From October 1st, Natasha’s Law will come into force, requiring food businesses in Wales, England, and Northern Ireland to label all pre-packed food with a full ingredients list. The law has been introduced to protect allergy sufferers and give them confidence in the food they buy. What is ‘Natasha’s’ Law? In July 2016, 15-year-old Natasha…

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US FOOD TRENDS TO TRY NOW

Trends in the food industry seem to move fast. One minute it’s all about sourdough pizza; the next it’s plant-based alternatives, poke bowls and bhorta (thanks Nigella). Luckily, the UK tends to be around six-twelve months behind the US, which means we can be prepared for the next foodie phenomena if we look in the…

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PERFORMANCE-FOCUSED MENUS FOR ACTIVE CUSTOMERS

We have collectively, and individually, spent many months indoors. This has led to a rise in people being active outside as much as possible, and the growth in outdoor sports is almost unprecedented. In particular; road and mountain biking, trail running, hiking and climbing have all seen a significant increase in participants and spending. Unfortunately,…

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FOR THE LOVE OF BRITISH FOOD

British Food Fortnight is a national food promotion which invites communities and organisations across the country to celebrate the diverse and delicious, high-quality food produced in this country. Organised by Love British Food the event takes place every autumn and is now in its 20th year. The foodservice sector has been at the heart of…

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WHY IS SOURDOUGH SO POPULAR?

Sourdough bread was once a rare find, saved for specialist shops and on-trend cafes. However, over the last few years, the delicious bread has become a weekly buy for many – or bake, if you’ve jumped on the sourdough making bandwagon, as so many did during the lockdown. And it’s now become a hugely influential…

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HOW TO BUILD A POKE BOWL WITH 5 EASY RECIPES

The old saying ‘you eat with your eyes’, couldn’t be more true, especially in the last few years where ‘Instagrammable food’ has become one of the key things to consider when planning a menu. Food can’t just taste great anymore, it has to look great too. It’s got to be colourful and well presented. This…

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SUPPLIER STORY: FARRINGTON OILS

Farrington’s Mellow Yellow was founded in 2005 by the fourth-generation farmer Duncan Farrington. Born and brought up in the beautiful Northamptonshire village of Hargrave, following University, he returned to the farm to join his parents in the family business. However, it soon became clear that farming, driving tractors and growing crops would not be enough…

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BUSTING THE MYTHS OF FROZEN VEGETABLES AND HOW TO USE THEM

Somewhere along the way, frozen vegetables got a bad rep. Well, all vegetables apart from maybe peas, which almost everyone keeps in their freezer for more than just eating (any bump, peas will sort!). But really, this preconceived idea that frozen vegetables are any less nutritious for you than fresh, is complete nonsense. Frozen vegetables…

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ADVENTUROUS STAYCATIONS, CULINARY ROADS LESS TRAVELLED

In this, our fourth and final, part of our staycation series, we look at how to amp up your offer with cuisine for the more adventurous staycationer.  With foreign travel more restricted our intrepid explorers are looking for something exciting especially after binging on all the streaming travel and cooking shows over the past year! …

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TRANSPORT YOUR CUSTOMERS TO AN EXOTIC LOCATION

In the previous articles of our staycation series, we looked at how to make your restaurant, bar or cafe stand out to customers and bring them an experience they won’t forget. We also took a deeper dive into how you can transport your customers to an exotic location, looking at holiday hotspots like France, Italy,…

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HOW TO HOST AN ARGENTINIAN BBQ (WITH RECIPES)

We’re in the height of summer, with our lakes, forests and mountains thronged with people enjoying outdoor adventures. With this surge in outdoor living, we have a great opportunity to entice more customers through our doors with the scent of wood-fired dishes. To stand out from the crowd, we need to offer more than homemade…

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FIVE HEALTHY AND NUTRITIOUS SALADS TO ADD TO YOUR MENU

Gone are the days where a salad consists of a few pieces of wilted lettuce, cucumber, and tomato, and is drowned in dressing. Salads are wonderfully versatile. They can be a whole dish, a side or a starter. They can be fresh, vibrant, crunchy, fruity, acidic; vegan, vegetarian. People eat with their eyes and a…

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HOW TO ELEVATE THE HUMBLE JACKET POTATO

Ah, the humble jacket potato. A food that often splits the nation in two – those who crave it and those who loathe it. Often, when people loathe it, it’s down to the feelings it conjures up: school dinners, soggy skins, undercooked flesh and lukewarm baked beans. A complete insult to a jacket potato if…

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WHY OFFER CHOCOLATE DESSERTS?

Dessert menus may have more variety than ever, but one constant is chocolate. Research shows 95% of dessert consumers choose a chocolate dessert when dining out, therefore it is important that at least half of dessert menus include desserts, cakes or pastries which are made with, or include, chocolate.  As a versatile product, chocolate-based desserts…

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BRING THE VACATION TO THE STAYCATION

In our other staycation article, we look at how to make your restaurant, bar or cafe standout to customers and bring them an experience they won’t forget. Here, we’re going to take this even further, by giving you some brilliant food, drink and ambiance-creating ideas that will transport your customers to another country, without even…

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SIX WAYS TO UP YOUR STAYCATION GAME

With the outlook on international travel this summer still looking bleak, staycations are set to become the new vacation. And if 2020 is anything to go by, customers are going to come in their thousands. Popular UK holiday destinations are already filling up, with campsites, holiday parks and hotel groups all reporting a huge surge…

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THE POWER OF VEGETABLES

Vegetables are nutrient powerhouses, with each type containing a combination of different vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Nature has cleverly made it simple for us to identify what foods we should be eating to improve aspects of health.  So eating ‘the colours of the rainbow’ has a major benefit to our wellbeing, keeping our brains and…

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ADDING “CREATIVE” TO VEGAN DISHES

Back in my days as a chef, if a vegetarian walked through the doors, we could manage as we already had a wide variety of ingredients in the kitchen. But if a vegan walked in, it was considered a real pain in the neck; it threw the kitchen off-kilter because we were uneducated and ignorant…

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WHY BUYING BRITISH IS IMPORTANT

When we buy British, everything we do – from purchasing local-based produce, to combining these into satisfying and tasty meals; is beneficial for the British food industry as a whole. With a ‘Buy British’ campaign from McCain Foodservice Solutions, we thought now was a great time to highlight why backing the British food industry is…

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HOW TO SERVE A MORE VIBRANT AND HEALTHY BREAKFAST

One of the treats we are all looking forward to, as we emerge blinking into the post-lockdown sunshine, is going out for breakfast. The popularity of eating breakfast and brunch out of home was growing strongly before the pandemic and, if anecdotal evidence is anything to go by, it’s set to make a strong return.…

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HOSPITALITY REOPENING, WHAT CUSTOMERS WANT

As you work on your reopening and get back to business, we wanted to share some top insights from the insights survey commissioned by Aviko Foodservice.  The survey which was run via the company’s consumer social media channels collated data gathered from the public regarding the long-awaited reopening of hospitality. The aim of the survey…

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Fairway’s #EatLocal to #SupportLocal Campaign

With hospitality opening up and striving to get back to serving great meals again we looked at how we could continue to help our customers and the industry at large. Caterers are undeniably doing their best to ensure they are fully prepared to make customers happy, but the hospitality rules have changed. At present we…

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IT’S TIME TO MAKE VEGAN CATERING YOUR NEW NORM

Anyone who thought that following a vegan diet was a passing trend is probably ready to admit that they were mistaken. A recent Mintel* report has found that a quarter of young, British millennials have stated that the recent pandemic has made a vegan diet more appealing. Add to this the record-breaking 500,000** participants of…

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#EATLOCAL #SUPPORTLOCAL

Now we’re easing out of lockdown, we can see a bright light through that gloomy tunnel, and I’m excited! Businesses are keen to get back to some normality, but the hospitality rules have changed. Now we have limited outdoor seating areas, distancing at bars, face masks and polite smiles from a distance. These changes represent…

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GIVING YOUR CUSTOMERS A REASON TO COME BACK

With the excitement building around the reopening of hospitality and being able to welcome customers back in, I’m sure you’re ready and eagerly anticipating the rush. But what else can you do to deliver an extraordinary experience and give your customers a reason to come back? I don’t know about you, but I took part…

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HOW TO CLEAN AND DISINFECT YOUR ESTABLISHMENT

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought public health and cleanliness to the fore as a first-line defence in halting its transmission. As a respiratory illness, the virus spreads through the air and on surfaces. It is not thought to spread through food. Increasing hygiene standards will help to reduce the spread of COVID-19 as well as…

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ADDING “WINTER WARMERS” TO YOUR MENUS

With winter just around the corner its time to look at your menus. The colder weather ignites a desire for ‘Winter Warmers’, dishes that grab you and hug you with their big, bold flavours. These are casserole and stew dishes where all the flavours are cooked together and go from oven to table. Customers love…

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HOW TO SERVE ALABAMA FUDGE CAKE

HOW TO SERVE ALABAMA FUDGE CAKE We can thank Paul Hollywood, Prue Leith and The Great British Bake Off for catapulting a nation’s love of cake to near-stratospheric heights in recent years. From traditional favourites like Victoria sponge to quirky classics like pineapple upside down cake, we all enjoy a slab of something sweet with…

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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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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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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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[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 elsewhere.…

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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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