Restaurant and pubs see 2% like-for-like rise

rising-graph1Some rather encouraging figures have been released that provide welcome reading to those involved with the restaurant trade.

According to a leading market analysis firm the nation’s restaurant and pub groups have, collectively, have seen like-for-like sales grow by over 2% during the month of October when compared to the same month last year.

“Overall, the [businesses] are seeing steady, consistent growth in eating and drinking out,” said Peter Martin, the vice-president of an insight company.

However, despite the heartening figures, it was London that led the growth: Those encircled by the M25 saw sales jump by 4%.

…continue reading Restaurant and pubs see 2% like-for-like rise

Tougher sentences proposed for breaches of food hygiene laws

healthnsafety-flagSome tough sentences have been proposed for those who breach health and safety guidelines when it comes to food preparation.

These new guidelines – which are yet to be ratified – could see people face a potential fine of 700% of their weekly income or 18 months in prison, though this is only for the most severe of offences.

There are also suggestions that businesses determined to be “micro” (companies who turn over less than £2 million per annum) may be forced to pay around £120,000 for serious breaches whilst “small” businesses (those who have a turnover between £2-10 million) could be handed a £450,000 bill.

…continue reading Tougher sentences proposed for breaches of food hygiene laws

Should we turn to tech to speed up service?

circuitboardWere you aware that regular diners would welcome the implementation of technology in a bid to speed up service, especially if it would speed up the process of ordering their meal.

After finding out what we already knew (that customers hate waiting around) a new piece of research – conducted in partnership between a marketing insight group and a technology specialist – found that many customers would react positively to the ability to order for a pay for courses via mobile phone apps and other, similar, pieces of technology.

Almost half of those who responded in the survey said that they would give new ways of service the thumbs up.

…continue reading Should we turn to tech to speed up service?

Belgian university sells insect-based food. A glimpse into the future?

mealworm-dishGenerally speaking the idea that students will eat just about anything that’s edible is true. I remember my student days and when times were tough – or when the shop was just out of reach – we would all make do with whatever stale bits of bread, leftovers and other bargain basement items left in the fridge or freezer that we could find. Some almost saw it as a rite of passage, akin to earning the degree after a couple of years of study.

Well some students in Belgium have taken things to the next level. One academic institution in Brussels has started serving an insect-based menu in its canteen. The decision has seen it become the first commercial kitchen in Belgium to offer such products.

…continue reading Belgian university sells insect-based food. A glimpse into the future?

Spend and industry innovation on the increase

Tables and chairsCustomer spending in the foodservice and catering industries may be on the rise, but according to a further report, conducted by EBLEX, there is no room for complacency in the weeks and months ahead.

After tracking customer behaviour, the latest trends and the potential for opportunities, the study has revealed that the cash splashed by consumers has grown by 2%. Yet despite these extremely positive signs some parts of the sector are flagging whilst others represent an untapped resource of revenue, according to analysts.

One example given is that in quick-service environments, the typical customer appears to be male as females have begun to desert such establishments.

…continue reading Spend and industry innovation on the increase

Hungry? Your decision making could be enhanced

Empty-plateHere’s a question for you: What do you do when preparing to make a big decision?

Are you a meticulous planner or a spontaneous doer? But importantly, what we really want to know is if you’re one who snacks whilst mulling things over. If you are, new research suggests you’re best doing your thinking, evaluating and concluding on an empty stomach.

A study, which has just gone online in the journal PLOS ONE indicates that people predominantly make better decisions if there has been an absence of food.

Sub-titled Hunger is Associated with Advantageous Decision Making, the Dutch-led investigation instructed participants to start a fast at 11pm. …continue reading Hungry? Your decision making could be enhanced



You may have seen our rather punny joke on social media today, and that contemporary witticism has set our taste buds tingling once again. So to rectify that we sent our resident vampiric entity to go in search of a traditional ghoulash (sorry, goulash) recipe that will keep your warm and full as the nights draw in.

It will also keep you off the brains too!

The first recorded reference of goulash can be dated all the way back to the 9th century and the Hungarian dish takes its name from the farmers that prepared the dish? In the Hungarian language “gulya” refers to a ‘herd of cattle’ and, subsequently, “gulyas” means ‘herdsman’.

Goulash is such a versatile dish, something which we hold in high esteem when it comes to culinary concoctions.

…continue reading G(h)oulash!

How to get the overt look this Christmas

Red Christmas BerriesAlready in this series we have discussed how to install a traditionally festive ambiance in your restaurant or cafe this Christmas period and how to up-style your urban and minimalist establishment to fit this time of year, but in this piece we are embracing those who just love to sing and shout about December 25th.

We have dubbed this as an ‘overt’ style, though the designs on show here are never overbearing – a key point to remember.

Here the traditional colours of reds and greens are used – along with soft creams – but these base tones are then accentuated with the presence of familiar Christmas tropes on accessories such as napkins, tablecloths and other decorations.

Read on to see how we suggest decorating your restaurant by using printed napkins and tablecloths, but without being haughty, this winter. 

…continue reading How to get the overt look this Christmas

Optimistic outlook for the catering industry

Restaurant glassesA new report – conducted by the market research company JRA and the foodservice data specialists Horizons – has stated that over two thirds of operators have seen a year-on-year increase in food sales. Now that’s news to brighten up a Monday morning!

Over three hundred businesses were surveyed, including a large number of restaurants, pubs and hotels, and the results, as noted in the opening paragraph, indicate that the catering and food service industry is in rude health.

With there being a near sixty-six percent rise across the board, a quarter of those respondents described their increases as ‘large’.

…continue reading Optimistic outlook for the catering industry

A very expensive loaf

BreadAn early morning slice of bread, toasted, and then covered in butter and (lime) marmalade is one of the simpler things in life that I enjoy from time to time. Come to think of it, I really do like a good bread and butter pudding as well.

Basically, I like bread – this recipe is great too by the way.

However there is one freshly cooked loaf that I think would have to be kept away from the toaster or the oven. Instead of finding a home in the breadbin, it is more likely to take up residence in a heavily guarded Swiss bank account.

Robert Didier, who at one point trained with Raymond Blanc, has baked what is set to become the United Kingdom’s most expensive bread.

…continue reading A very expensive loaf