Caterers are being urged to champion the best of British produce – and maximise sales in the process.
British Food Fortnight, which runs from September 23 – October 8, is an ideal opportunity for operators to promote British food, and there are lots of resources and support to help you do it. Whether you are a pub, school, hotel or independent restaurant, taking part will help you attract new customers, increase spending from existing customers and establish a point of difference between your business and those that serve only mainstream products.
Leading wellbeing expert and pasture-fed farmer, Liz Earle MBE (below) is an ambassador of the campaign. “I’m often asked about what to eat for better health and so much of the good stuff comes from high quality, local and sustainable British food”, she says. “As an organic and grass-fed livestock farmer, I’m also aware of how important it is to support our home-grown farming community who produce all this goodness.”
Suggestions for maximising sales
- Run a competition or prize draw to highlight the new menu. Give every customer who eats in your venue a gamecard featuring ‘just for fun’ questions about British food that could be entered into a prize draw.
- Ensure the whole catering team knows about the new products and suppliers and encourage them to communicate this to customers while serving food.
- Use phrases such as ‘seasonal veg’ on the menu that enable you to take a variety of stock from different suppliers.
- Use the opportunity to experiment with new dishes on your menu and set yourself a target of at least five locally sourced dishes.
- Make simple dishes special by sourcing British Soup of the Day and Bangers & Mash are always popular and are easy to localise.
- Organise an event to celebrate British food. Name producers and farms rather than simply use the term ‘local’ on your menu. If it is difficult to specify producers by name then use generic phrases such as ‘All the meat served comes from within 30 miles of this pub/restaurant.’
- Approach local restaurants to ask whether a chef can come and demonstrate in school.
- Decorate the classrooms and hallways to help people get into the spirit.
- Hold a British assembly in the form of a ‘banquet’, and focus on food through the ages – that which would have been eaten by Kings and Queens at different times. Encourage the children to dress up as Royals from different points in his tor y and if possible produce dishes for them to try.
- If you have an allotment, encourage the children to think about where some of the foods planted originate from, and label those that are truly British.
‘Love British Food’ posters, shelf barkers and bunting are available to download free of charge at www.lovebritishfood.co.uk/resources/promotional-material.