It's August time and the hospitality industry is already looking towards the festive season. For many businesses it's the busiest time of the year with the most bookings, but possibly the most stress too. With this in mind, our five-part guide guide to Christmas features top tips from industry experts on pulling off a profitable, fun and popular Christmas offering - from putting together a menu to readying your venue for a big festive event.
It’s the time of year that the hospitality industry starts putting together its festive plans for Christmas, with a number of bigger venues already taking bookings. BigHospitality is starting our special feature on planning for Christmas with a look at what venues can do to make themselves stand out this festive season, and how they can get the customers in.
In this second part of our special feature on planning for Christmas we look at the latest trends that have cropped up in the festive food and drink world and gather some expert advice on what to consider when putting together the perfect Christmas menu.
In this third part of our special feature on planning for Christmas we take a look at what exactly goes into planning a Christmas event, with some expert advice on putting together your packages and choosing décor and entertainment.
In this fourth part of our special feature on planning for Christmas we look at what venues can do to save themselves some money during what can be a very expensive time of year, as well as getting expert advice on how they can manage a more sustainable Christmas.
Here BigHospitality takes a look at some of the new products on offer for Christmas this year, from food to tableware.
With a recognised skills shortage and the continued decline of unemployment, the ever-growing hospitality sector is facing one of its biggest challenges yet. In this feature we examine the reasons causing the sector's recruitment issues, and ways companies can attract candidates, select the right ones and improve staff retention.
With the continued growth of the hospitality sector, combined with the lowest unemployment rate since 2008, finding new recruits is set to become more and more challenging. So where can restaurants, hotels and pubs find potential candidates, and what can they do to make the industry an attractive career prospect?
Once the challenge of attracting applicants has been overcome, hospitality recruiters find themselves with the task of selecting the right candidates for their brand - ultimately aiming for improved staff retention.
At 20 per cent, staff turnaround in hospitality is one of the highest in the UK. Though this is an improvement on the 30 per cent recorded in 2008, continued retention efforts are needed to relieve the sector’s recruitment burden.
Aside from the challenge of attracting, selecting and keeping the right candidates, recruitment brings a range of legal risks hospitality businesses should be aware of.
Staff retention can be greatly improved by providing new recruits with the right training. BigHospitality visited a Jamie's Italian kitchen to find out more about the company's training programme.
With consumers craving an 'experience', design is an increasingly important factor for any successful bar, restaurant or hotel. In this special feature we look at the trends driving hotel design, share expert tips on designing or redesigning a restaurant or bar, and look at the changing world of tableware.
In the first part of our special feature, we look at how restaurant design is finally moving away from American-inspired industrial chic and reflect on the next big trends for 2014.
In the second part of our special feature on design, BigHospitality looks at how clever use of space and furniture can ensure a restaurant or bar delivers the right balance of aesthetics and efficiency.
In the third part of our special feature on design, we look at the top five trends influencing hotel design in 2014.
In the fourth part of our special feature on design, we look at the changing trends in tableware and glassware, and offer some hints and tips for choosing the right products.
For the fifth part of our special feature on design, BigHospitality speaks to Mark Dempsie, group property manager for Redefine|BDL Hotels, to find out more about the recent £4.5m eco-refurbishment of the Holiday Inn Southwark Express.
A reduction in habitual mid-week drinking has hit traditional alcohol sales of late, with consumers concentrating their alcohol spend on food-led occasions and ‘the big night out’. In our special report, BigHospitality looks at how this has affected trends and innovation across the beer, cider, wine and spirits categories, with some top tips on how to maximise sales.
In the first part of our special feature on alcoholic drinks we look at the latest trends in the on-trade beer and lager market, which is being boosted by the popularity of craft and worldwide products.
In the second part of our special feature on alcoholic drinks we look at the latest trends and innovation in the on-trade cider market, which is out-performing beer and hitting the consumer sweet spot.
In the third part of our special feature on alcoholic drinks we look at the key trends driving the wine category, which has faced competition from fruit-based cocktails in the on-trade.
In the fourth part of our special feature on alcoholic drinks we look at the key trends and innovation in the on-trade spirits market, which is riding high on the wave of the cocktail boom.
For the final part of our special feature on alcoholic drinks, BigHospitality asked some experts for their tips on maximising sales of wine, beer & cider, and cocktails.
Whether it’s capitalising on coffee culture or making money from mocktails, attending a seminar on tea or buying a new espresso machine, our comprehensive guide to non-alcoholic drinks helps you identify the golden opportunities to increase liquid sales. Pour a glass and drink it all in…
In the first part of our special series on non-alcoholic beverages, we look at the astronomic rise of coffee culture in the UK and ask how restaurants, bars and hotels can keep up with increasingly high consumer expectations.
The second instalment of our special feature serves up some fresh insight and intelligence with 10 top trends in the vital non-alcoholic drinks arena.
If this series of special features hasn't already inspired you to take a closer look at your non-alcoholic drinks offering, this picture guide of 10 of the hottest pieces of kit to help to shake up your liquid sales.
Look for advice or inspiration to expand your non-alcoholic drinks offering? Check out our preview of this year's hottest shows - The London Coffee Festival and Café Culture.
In the final part of our special feature on non-alcoholic drinks, BigHospitality travelled to the London School of Coffee in Kingston to meet artisan coffee producer Paddy & Scott's, and ask what restaurants and bars can do to improve their coffee offering.
Hospitality technology is becoming increasingly sophisticated with the meteoric rise of mobile transforming the way customers interact with hotels, restaurants and pubs. Here, we look at some of the latest technological developments and explore how operators are using them to revolutionise the customer experience before, during and after their visit.
For the final part of our technology special feature, BigHospitality checked in at one of the country’s most high-tech hotels to bring you an exclusive video report on the business benefits of customer-focused technology.
Mobile technology offers the chance to completely revolutionise the customer experience, with clear benefits for business. In the first of this three-part focus on technology in hospitality, we look at the meteoric rise of mobile, and how operators can harness the latest technology to boost bookings.
In the second of our three-part focus on technology in hospitality, we look at how mobile technology can be used to improve customer experience from the moment they walk in the door.
So you’ve enticed your customer with an efficient mobile booking service and wowed them with portable EPoS devices and super-fast Wi-Fi. In the third part of this special feature, we look at how you can use technology to encourage that customer to visit again.
The kitchen is one of the most important areas of any food business, but when you come to kitting it out with the equipment you need, what do you do if space is limited, or impractical? In our three-part feature series on the subject we speak to those in that situation who faced the challenge head on and get some top tips from operators and equipment providers on how to get the best out of your commercial kitchen. Plus, browse the latest kit in our kitchen equipment photo gallery.
From large bespoke oven ranges to small salamander grills, chefs' requirements' for their perfect kitchen are often as varied and fanciful as they are mind-blowingly expensive. But hopefully this picture guide of 15 of the hottest pieces of kit to hit the market will appeal to all tastes and budgets.
How much should I spend? How long should it last? Do I even really need one? These are the questions every chef and restaurant operator will be asking when on the hunt for a new bit of kitchen kit. Here are BigHospitality’s top 15 tips on what to look out for before forking out your hard-earned cash.
In the first of this special feature series, BigHospitality speaks to operators and suppliers to find out how best to equip your restaurant, pub or hotel kitchen, depending on the size you have to work with.
Any hospitality operator, new or established, will say that finding finance to start up or grow their business over the last few years has been tough. However, it isn't impossible and many have done so to build up successful businesses. Here we ask experts for their views on the market and for their suggestions on how to be prepared as well as look at a range of different ways - from ploughing your own cash into the business, to securing a bank loan or even turning to crowd-funding - that have been used by successful operators to build their businesses.
So, you’ve been turned away from the bank, run out of deep-pocketed friends and family and aren’t keen on giving away an equity stake in your company. Is all hope of securing finance to develop or expand your business lost? No. There are still plenty of other options to explore, and some of them might actually be more beneficial than the aforementioned alternatives.
From Piper Private Equity’s backing of Be At One and more recently Loungers to Graphite Capital’s management buy-out of Hawksmoor, there are private equity (PE) deals to be done in the hospitality industry but are they right for your business?
Most hospitality business owners will agree that bank lending isn’t the same as it used to be. Pre-recession, a budding entrepreneur with a bold idea for a new concept would often be given a blank cheque from the bank manager to support their ambitions. Now, the system has become so complicated that just knowing who to talk to can be a challenge.
The amount of money needed to set up or grow a hospitality business will, of course, depend on what kind of business you are looking at starting or growing.
In the first of our five-part series on finding funding within the hospitality industry we ask experts in the field what the market's like and what operators can do to enable them to successfully set up or grow their restaurant, hotel or pub business.
Following the success of last year's Hospitable Cities feature, we return with part two and study the hospitality markets of three more thriving cities - Edinburgh, Leeds and Liverpool.
For years Liverpool was viewed from afar as the second-best city in the North West never mind being a destination in its own right, but in the last few years it has risen like a Liver bird from the flames due in part to its burgeoning hospitality scene.
While it doesn’t have the same historical and cultural pull of yesterday’s hospitable city Edinburgh , the North Eastern city of Leeds is nevertheless fast becoming a hospitality hotspot with a growing eating-out market.
What better time to write about the Scottish capital than when the world’s biggest arts festival is in full swing? The Edinburgh Fringe brings in thousands of performers and tourists and its cosmopolitan and bohemian nature encapsulates the city’s year-round hospitality offering.
Get inspiration for your wine list as some of the UK's top sommeliers and wine consultants share their thoughts on the most exciting wine regions and tell us about their top wine and food pairings.
Drinks wholesaler Matthew Clark is aiming to help restaurants, hotels and pubs bring more diversity to their wine lists by adding a number of new agency and boutique wineries to its portfolio.
We've seen which regions are top of the wine list, now to find the food to go with them. Concluding this week's focus on wine, we ask sommeliers to suggest some top wine and food pairings.
While including popular wines such as a Pinot Grigio from Italy or a Merlot from France on your wine list is a sensible idea, there are times when you might just want to head out of your viticultural comfort zone and add something a little different.
The Moet UK Sommelier of the Year competition took place in London last week with Clement Robert of Medlar in Chelsea, finally taking the title after five attempts.
Whether it’s offering a gluten-free menu, catering for customers with nut allergies or providing additional calorie information, our series of articles, guides and multimedia content will guide your business through exactly what’s required in the world of dietary requirements, with all of the details and advice you need to understand how to tap into a potentially lucrative, and widely untouched, marketplace.
Should restaurants be making more of an effort to make menus healthier and more nutritious? In the fourth and final part of our Dietary Requirements feature we look at what the industry is already doing and what it could do to help reduce the nation’s waistline without compromising on taste or quality.
In the third part of our Dietary Requirements special feature, BigHospitality takes a trip to Terre à Terre vegetarian restaurant in Brighton, to find out exactly what it’s like running a venue that is not just continuing to push the boundaries in meat-free cooking, but also aiming to cater for virtually all other dietary needs.
In the same month as our Dietary Requirements special feature, the 2013 FreeFrom Food Awards were held in London last week, celebrating excellence in allergy and intolerance-friendly food and drink from manufacturers and foodservice businesses across the country.
As the first part of our special feature on dietary requirements shows, effectively catering for customers with food allergies and intolerances can help set your business apart from the rest, potentially increasing your bottom line. But with food allergies on the rise and a new set of Food Information Regulations looming, it is important you and your staff are fully aware of exactly what’s on your menu.
In the world of dietary requirements, allergies and food intolerances, the UK hospitality industry has come on leaps and bounds. Go back just 10 years and a restaurant would stand out for including an ‘N’ on the menu next to dishes containing nuts, while coeliac disease was virtually unheard of.
With alcohol consumption going down and the Budget pushing prices up on wine, cider and spirits up yet again, there is arguably no better time to push the non-alcoholic options in your restaurant, hotel or pub, particularly when the mark-up can be good. Here we look at why you should make your coffee and tea menus more interesting and how to do it, plus, mixologist Tony Conigliaro shows us how to make the perfect mocktail in our exclusive video.
In the third part of our special feature on non-alcoholic drinks, BigHospitality sat down with leading mixologist and bar owner Tony Conigliaro for an exclusive video on how to make money from mocktails and to discover some current trends and practical tips and recipes for alcohol-free cocktails.
Take five and catch up with the latest innovations in tea and coffee within the industry in the second installment of our focus on non-alcoholic drinks.
With alcohol consumption going down and the Budget pushing prices up on wine, cider and spirits yet again, there is arguably no better time to push non-alcoholic drinks like tea and coffee.
In our series of articles on technology, we look at how keeping your finger on the pulse and employing the latest systems at your hotel, restaurant or pub can not only streamline your business, but help improve the experience for your customers before, during and after they visit you.
In the final part of our series of special articles on technology in hospitality, BigHospitality paid a visit to three of the most high-tech restaurants, hotels and pubs to investigate the business benefits for a special video report.
When a customer leaves your restaurant, hotel or pub your relationship doesn’t have to end there. Employ the right technology and you’ll not only have them returning, but potentially seeing an improvement to service when they do.
The world of technology is, by its very nature, driven by innovation and change. Ordering room service through smartphones, dining with on-table touchscreens and browsing drinks lists on iPads are not visions of the future, they are happening right now.
Technology can sometimes feel at odds with the hospitality industry’s core values. After all, diners and guests will rate their experience in a restaurant, hotel or pub on skills and services that ultimately only human beings can deliver, such as the warmth and speed of service they have received or the quality of the food they have consumed, not by whether a business has devised its own app or has switched to cloud computing.
Do you know your RevPAR from your EPoS or what you do with a Josper? Find out more about some of the current terms used in the hospitality industry by reading our A-Z guides of restaurants, hotels and pubs and impress your peers with your quick-found knowledge.
While publicans might not be faced with as baffling a list of acronyms as hoteliers or as driven by fashion as some restaurateurs, our handy A-Z glossary of key industry terms and trends is a must-read for those looking to make a few pounds from a few pints.
The hotel sector is awash with acronyms and exclusive terms that can sometimes be confusing. If you don't know your RevPAR from your GDS or you just want a brief overview of the market today, read this handy A-Z guide.
The restaurant sector is a busy place, full of operators large and small, formal and casual, corporate and independent, high-end and mainstream, which can make it hard to define. Here in our A-Z guide we summarise it in just 26 words, explaining some of the key terms, and exploring some of the current trends, events and issues shaking up the UK dining scene.
As we approach the end of the year we take a look-back at our most-read articles to find out what the hot topics were that got you clicking on and sharing in 2012. Find out what the most popular stories and topics were and read expert analysis of them from some of those responsible for helping make the news by clicking on the articles below.
The fifth and final part of our 2012 look-back featuring our top 10 most-read stories of the year investigates the impact the Channel 4 show Hotel GB had on the industry and asks why the opening of bars with table tennis tables in has seemingly grabbed the industry's attention.
What were this year's hot topics in hospitality? Find out what made the BigHospitality top 10 most-read stories of 2012 in this photo gallery.
As we move up our most-read list of stories on BigHospitality during 2012 to the top three and four articles of the year, we discuss the topics they approach, namely the rise of Asian dining in the UK and the Michelin Guide, in more detail.
The third instalment of our 2012 look-back feature sees us take a closer look at two big stories from the year, including one about the impact of the London 2012 Olympics on the hospitality industry and another about how restaurants are better catering for diners with special dietary needs.
In the second instalment of our look-back at the top stories of 2012, we digest two more of the hottest topics featured on the website this year - the rise of the dreaded restaurant no-shows and MWB Group Holdings' appointment of administrators.
As we approach the end of the year we take a look-back at our most-read articles to find out what the hot topics were that got you clicking on and sharing in 2012. In our first instalment we look at the rise of the chicken restaurant and the evolution of pub food.
In recognition of its unprecedented National Restaurant Awards hat-trick, Restaurant magazine spent a day in Brett Graham’s cramped basement kitchen in an attempt to find out what makes The Ledbury the best restaurant in the UK. You can read the exclusive feature here where we have also listed all our articles on the Notting Hill restaurant and its chef-patron Brett Graham.
What is it like working in a two Michelin star, multi award-winning restaurant? In recognition of its unprecedented National Restaurant Awards hat-trick , Restaurant magazine spends a day in Brett Graham's cramped basement kitchen and attempts to unpick what makes the Ledbury the best restaurant in the UK.
As the saying goes 'Christmas comes but once a year'. This may be a relief to those responsible for catering for Christmas parties and festive events, but it also underlines how you only get one chance to get things right if you want your business to make a positive impression on customers during the festive season. Our four-part guide is designed to arm you with everything you need to succeed this Christmas - from ideas on how to spice up your offering and your food and drink menus to top tips from industry experts on executing the perfect (and stress-free) festive events.
It doesn't matter how much you've prepared, what events you’re running, or even if you’re thinking of doing something completely different this year, if you want to have yourself a profitable Christmas, the quality and variety of the food and drink you offer is paramount.
As we’ve seen, preparing for the festive season early on is vital if you want it to go smoothly for your business, impress your customers and ultimately keep tills ringing.
What do Elvis Presley, The Mad Hatter and a nautical sailor all have in common? Aside from all being popular choices at a fancy dress party, all three have formed the inspirations for some of the quirkier themes and events that hospitality businesses are running this festive season to make sure Christmas isn’t a turkey.
The end of the Jubilee and Olympic summer can mean just one thing – Christmas is coming! As festive thinking caps are donned to work out how to unwrap seasonal profits, what should hospitality operators be doing to plan for the change from gold medals to gold baubles?
With hospitality business owners under more pressure to find ways to survive in today's tough economic climate, spending time and money on training could feel like a luxury, but as research shows, to achieve consistency and attract paying customers across a business it is necessary. Here we talk to experts about the importance of training staff and dig out some examples of restaurants, hotels and pubs with successful training schemes already in place.
As is the case with restaurants and hotels , the pub sector is made up of a range of varying sizes of business, from the individually-owned freehold pub employing a handful of staff members, to the multi-site operator with thousands of recruits.
With a hotel’s reputation increasingly made or broken in a single tweet or TripAdvisor review, increased guest expectations and the need to provide as good an F&B offer as any restaurant or bar, staff training is arguably more crucial in hotels than other hospitality businesses.
As those involved in training within hospitality have underlined in our previous article , developing staff can make a difference to consistency within a business, but if you don’t already have a training scheme in place it can be hard to know where to start.
With one of the highest labour turnover rates in the UK (23 per cent), employers in the hospitality industry could be forgiven for thinking ‘why bother’ when it comes to investing in their staff.
The current economic climate has made it harder than ever for UK businesses to find the cash to start-up or grow, but there are still ways for hoteliers to refurbish hotel rooms, chefs to buy new kitchen equipment or restaurateurs to build a successful chain. In this four-part feature BigHospitality examines some of the funding options available to the hospitality industry in an attempt to help you find the right type of finance to help you grow your business.
In the final part of our special feature on securing investment for your hospitality business our focus turns to private investment: from love money courtesy of friends and family to equity houses and venture capital.
With restaurateurs, hoteliers and publicans finding it harder than ever to get funding from the high street banks to grow their businesses, many have been forced to look elsewhere for finance.
Whether you’re a budding entrepreneur with a bold idea for a new restaurant concept or a successful hotelier with plans to expand an already popular business, there’s one thing you’ll always have in common – a bank account.
Attempting to gain funding to start-up a hospitality business or expand an existing one in the current economic climate, as many will know, is no easy task.
We take a look at burgeoning food trends within the eating out sector and ask chefs and other industry experts to predict what they think will be on everyone's plates this year and into next.
In the fourth and final part of our feature on food trends in 2012 we asked 10 leading chefs, restaurateurs and food critics including Heston Blumenthal, Simon Rogan and Richard Vines for their top tips and predictions on the hot trends to hit restaurants in the next 12 months.
The ‘Rene Redzepi factor’ is set to take the UK by storm, with an increasing number of chefs and restaurants taking a more natural approach to food, using less meat products and incorporating raw ingredients into dishes.
Asian food may already be a huge part of the UK restaurant scene, but the world’s largest continent has a lot more to offer. Restaurant magazine's Joe Lutrario looks at the rise in Asian food in the UK and at how some of the less familiar cuisines are set to become much bigger.
As Koh Thai Tapas prepares to open its third restaurant in the South East, a number of other new tapas-style concepts are springing up around the country, with sharing dishes and a more informal dining approach beginning to be applied to a variety of world cuisines.
As London basks in the glory of the excitement cast by this year’s events, namely the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the Olympic Games, it may seem that the nation’s other cities are left in the shadows.
However, recent research, along with the number of new hospitality businesses opening, indicates that over the last few years many cities outside the capital have not only started attracting more tourists, but have also seen changes and improvements in their hotel, restaurant and pub and bar offerings.
In our latest feature we pick five thriving cities to put in the spotlight, picking out some facts and figures and highlighting the most recent hotel, restaurant and pub openings to show what has been happening to explain why we feel they are worthy of being dubbed a ‘hospitable city’.
In the fifth and final part our hospitable cities feature we head to Brighton on the south coast to explore the hospitality market in this cosmopolitan seaside city.
In the fourth part of our UK hospitable cities feature, BigHospitality is turning attention to the only capital city on our list. Cardiff is a major European capital but does the Welsh city have a capital hospitality offering and what is driving growth in its restaurants, hotels and bars?
The third part of our hospitable cities feature sees BigHospitality head 80 miles south of Manchester to the thriving city of Birmingham. We take a look at all the facts and figures and explore some of the hospitality businesses which have helped the city stand out from the crowd in recent months.
In the second part of our hospitable cities feature, BigHospitality is moving south of the border from Glasgow to focus on another thriving city for hospitality businesses outside of London - Manchester. What makes its restaurants, hotels and pubs and bars tick?
In the first part of our hospitable cities feature, our spotlight on thriving cities outside London, we take a look at Glasgow to examine its hospitality offering.
Recruiting the right staff and then retaining them is notoriously difficult in the hospitality industry, but it isn't impossible. If you're having problems finding suitable talent for vacant positions or keeping hold of them when you do find them, read our three-part guide to recruiting and retaining staff. From where to post vacancies to what to ask in interviews as well as innovative ideas for training and developing people, we aim to provide all the information you need to find and keep a successful hospitality workforce.
Advertising in all the right places and whittling down prospective candidates for a job can seem wasted if you are forced to dig out the job description again after only a few months. So how can you ensure staff development supports the recruitment process in the hospitality sector with noted low levels of staff retention?
So you’ve advertised a role in your business and the applications are beginning to pour in. But how do you effectively search through stacks of CVs and what questions should you be asking in the interview stage to make sure you’re picking the best person for the job?
What do Gumtree, Twitter, viral web videos and local newspapers have in common? The answer is they have all served as promotional mechanisms for advertisements for hospitality jobs recently.
While food may be core to a restaurant, hotel and even many pubs’ business today, drink is potentially a greater profit driver. Offering customers a strong choice and ensuring staff have the knowledge and training to sell it well are essential in successful drinks sales. But if you wish to take it further, why not look more closely at marrying your food and drink options? In this four-part feature we take a look at the latest trends in liquid and how suggesting different drinks with dishes could not only enhance your customers’ experience but, with the right approach, maximise sales.
Alcohol sales are of course an essential revenue generator for most hospitality businesses. But soft drinks, smoothies, freshly squeezed juices and non-alcoholic cocktails could in fact generate even higher margins for more diligent businesses, especially if they are effectively upsold.
As we have seen in previous parts of this feature, food and drink can be a marriage made in heaven for restaurants and pubs. But cocktails, apéritifs and spirits are not products that tend to be associated with food and they are rarely even advertised or upsold.
Of all the drinks categories, wine is the most traditional match to food. Wine lists are given out readily with food menus in the vast majority of restaurants and most diners will expect to see one at least integrated into the food menu if not given to them separately.
When it comes to maximising drinks sales, beer has always stood in the shadow of higher GP wine and there has been little faith that diners would ever choose grape over grain. But, with a rise in the popularity of craft beers and a continuing surge in food-led pubs offering vast ranges of speciality brews, beer a food matching is an opportunity not to be missed.
A kitchen is at the heart of any business that wants to make food its main focus, so to be able to deliver the best to your customers, it needs to be working efficiently for you and your staff. Here we look at what you can do if your kitchen isn’t performing to its best abilities and present the best options for you depending on your budget. We’ll look at the pros and cons of a total refurbishment versus replacement of one or two key items. Plus, chefs tell us about their favourite pieces of kit in an exclusive video and we round up the latest gadgets for the kitchen in our product guide gallery.
For the final part of our Kitchen Equipment feature we've found the latest and hottest new products available and rounded them up in this interactive picture guide.
In the latest instalment of our Kitchen Equipment Special Feature we asked chefs working in pub, restaurant and hotel kitchens to tell us the one bit of kit they couldn't live without and we filmed three of them showing us exactly what made the equipment special.
Installing a completely new kitchen is great if you have the funds and the time to do it, but for many, a dream kitchen can remain just that.
Replacing a kitchen is not something you consider every day. When margins are being squeezed in every area of the business it can be hard to see how spending a five or six-figure-sum on new kit will have an immediate effect on your profit margins.
With the emergence of websites like TripAdvisor and Toptable giving anyone the chance to post reviews of restaurants, hotels and pubs, together with the growth in social networks like Twitter and Facebook, owners of hospitality businesses are finding themselves written about and scrutinised in a way they've never known before. The results aren't always positive, so how can you monitor and deal with negative publicity? Read our five-part feature to find out.
In the consumer-led world of hospitality, it is easy to underestimate the power of the internet. But with well over a million Google searches for ‘London hotels’ being made every month in the UK, and an ever-increasing number of restaurant bookings made online, an effective website can be crucial to a business’s success.
Social media, like it or not, now plays an integral part in the marketing plans for the majority of restaurants, hotels and pubs , so we’ll presume, if you’re reading this, that you have at least set up a Twitter account and/or a Facebook page to promote your company.
Review websites can be double-edged sword for businesses. When used successfully, they can turn you into an overnight success. But they can just as easily destroy your reputation, with negative reviews able to spread like wildfire if left unchecked.
The internet has become something of a mixed blessing for owners of hotels, restaurants and pubs. On one hand, you can use it to help direct potential customers or from anywhere in the world to your business quickly and easily, but on the other, its ease of use and the emergence of social networks and review sites means anyone can print practically anything they like about your business and you’re often powerless to stop them.
Organised by Callebaut, Caco Barry and Carma, the World Chocolate Masters saw the best chocolatiers in the world redraw the boundaries of working with chocolate.
The World Chocolate Masters is, by a considerable margin, the world’s most important competition for chocolatiers and pastry chefs. Organised for the fourth time by Cacao Barry, Callebaut and Carma, the competition sees 20 or so contestants work unaided for three days to produce a huge array of chocolate products under the constant scrutiny of a highly qualified judging panel.
James Petrie, UK judge and head of creative development at The Fat Duck Group, shares his thoughts on the competition.
The UK’s contestant talks technique, authentic flavours and offers advice on how others can get into advanced chocolate work.
Involved in chocolate for more than 150 years, well-established Belgian brand Callebaut and French brand Cacao Barry joined forces in 1996 to create a new company, Barry Callebaut.
The term 'gastropub' - once a useful descriptor for a serious food pub - has become a catch-all for all manner of places. Now, BigHospitality's sister publication Restaurant magazine has set out to reclaim the term and restore its meaning. In this series of features, read why the term has become so confusing and see which kind of food pub your business really is as Restaurant narrows the sector down to four key categories.
The fifth and final part of our feature series, first published in Restaurant magazine, looks at whether a pub serving restaurant-quality food alongside a vast selection of beers would be better described as a 'craft pub' rather than 'food-led' or 'gastropub'.
The fourth part of our feature series, first published in Restaurant magazine, continues to define the term 'gastropub' by looking at whether a pub serving great food would be better describing itself as 'food-led' than 'gastropub'.
The third part of our feature series, first published in Restaurant magazine, looks at what kind of pub really makes the grade as a 'bona-fide gastropub'.
In the second part of this feature series, first published in Restaurant magazine, we bring you one definition to replace the term 'gastropub' as we attempt to redefine the market as we see it today.
When the term 'gastropub' was coined in the ’90s few could have predicted its use would become so widespread. What was once a useful descriptor for a serious food pub has become a catch-all for all manner of places.
With just over a year to go before the Olympic Games come to London, it's time to start planning your involvement if you want to make next summer's big event profitable for your business. Our practical four-part Planning for the 2012 Olympics guide aims to provide you with everything you need to make your hospitality business a winner during London 2012 .
As McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc once said ‘You’re only as good as the people you hire’ so if you believe his mantra and want to make sure your business is a winner during next year’s Olympic Games, make sure you read our fourth and final instalment of our feature series which looks at the best ways of training, motivating and getting the best out of your workforce.
Hospitality businesses will be amongst the most affected by the transport and logistics changes during the Olympics next year. This article includes a simple break-down of what you should be thinking about to ensure business continuity, together with links to key information to keep your business running.
Once you’ve made yourself aware of what’s happening during the 2012 London Olympic Games (by reading our first feature in this series) you need to decide how you’re going to use the event to boost your business’s profile.
The London 2012 Olympics are just over a year away with almost a million* people expected to be attending them and their related events both in the capital and across selected areas of the country.
The British hospitality industry has been through a tumultuous period, as have similar markets across the globe, forcing operators the world over to dream up innovative ways of drawing in customers and operating more efficiently. In this sense there’s much British hospitality operators can learn from their peers both at home and abroad.
In the final part of our inspirational feature series hotel, restaurant and pub and bar experts share some of their observations from hospitality outside of the UK.
As pubs and bars struggle to cope with alcohol tax rises and red tape, operators who want to do more than simply survive need to come up with new ideas to boost their business. In the third part of this month's feature we take a look at some of the bar and drink trends that are happening outside of the UK to bring some fresh thinking to the sector.
Many major hotel trends reach our shores after first taking a hold in international markets. In the second part of this month’s feature, BigHospitality takes a look at the latest concepts that have been emerging in hotels abroad.
The British restaurant industry can often be short-sighted; concentrating too much on what’s happening in their local neighbourhood rather than focusing on the bigger picture.
If April’s glorious weather is anything to go by, publicans can expect a fruitful summer this year as drinkers emerge from their living rooms and embrace the long-forgotten pub beer garden. But to make the most of the season, operators should be tapping into what summer drinks consumers may be demanding if they want to maximise their profit margins.
Local and premium beers will continue to be a priority for consumers this summer, but in order to make the most of sales and appeal to a range of consumer groups, publicans must promote beer as a respectable drink with a diverse history.
While there are no real new trends emerging this summer in the wine category, there are several areas of growth that restaurant and pub operators need to be aware of.
In the second part of our feature on summer drinks trends, BigHospitality takes a look at which spirits will be in the spotlight this summer season, and why.
Usually kicking off on the first public holiday in May, the cider season began early this year with the celebration of Prince William and Kate Middleton’s royal wedding in April.
Pop-up restaurants and bars are not a new concept but have continued to remain a popular stalwart of modern drinking and dining culture.In our special feature this month, we take a look at how it’s done, what costs and overheads are involved and what location you should choose from those that have been there and done it.
Last October Mark Jankel and Jun Tanaka took to the streets of London in an Airstream van to serve fresh, British food inspired by Jankel’s project The Food Initiative over the course of two weeks. Street Kitchen was run as part of the London Restaurant Festival, but is set to return this June after a successful first run. Jankel explains how the concept was executed.
In 2010, former Maze executive chef Jason Atherton decided to run a pop-up in a disused Caffé Uno in Mayfair, to raise funds for homelessness charity Street Smart. The venue, which ran for just two days, was entirely funded by donations, and raised over £20k.
Adam Fellows, chef/proprietor of Goodfellows restaurant in Wells, Somerset, launched Glastonbury’s first ever fine dining pop-up restaurant in 2007. He explains how his experience hasn’t put him off running a business in a muddy field just yet.
Running a pop-up restaurant or bar can be an overwhelming and challenging experience, but do it properly and you’ll find the benefits make up for the labour. In this feature series, we uncover how to run a pop-up restaurant successfully.
The UK’s hospitality, leisure, travel and tourism sector is one of the nation’s largest employers and contributes around 8 per cent to GDP, but while Britain is considered to be the fourth most admired country by global tourists, it is only ranked 13th for its hospitality. We take a look at how and why Britain needs to improve its service standards.
Improving your own service skills, as well as those of your staff, can make a noticeable difference in your business and the satisfaction of your customers.
Jules Murray, of sales and customer service consultants Spider on the Wall tells BigHospitality how restaurants, pubs and hotels can measure customer service in the most cost-effective and beneficial way.
Michel Roux’s Service TV programme has put front-of-house on the map, but how can the hospitality sector sustain this momentum? BigHospitality takes a look at steps that can be taken to help raise the profile of a career in service.
Restaurant magazine’s Stefan Chomka joins the front-of-house team at Galvin at Windows for a glimpse into the service secrets of the Michelin-starred restaurant.
Britain may be the second most popular country in the world, according to the recent BBC World Service Country Rating Poll, but when it comes to delivering a warm, hospitable welcome, we rank just 14th.
Every week this month we’ll be bringing you ideas on how you can use breakfast to drive extra revenue in your business, as well as tips on getting customers through the door during the early hours.
Breakfast in hotels is often one of the most under-rated and overlooked meals, but if it’s done right it becomes a key driver for business and extra revenue. BigHospitality takes a look at how you can make the most of breakfast in your hotel.
Some restaurant operators have been serving breakfast successfully for years, while others are only just beginning to understand the potential revenue stream afforded by the early morning mealtime.
With some of the biggest high street pub brands moving into the breakfast market, BigHospitality takes a look at why early morning trade makes sense – for some pubs.
Hotels have benefited from the breakfast opportunity for years, but with the economic downturn biting at the heels of many hospitality businesses, restaurant and pub operators are now waking up to the potential revenue provided by early morning service too.
Armed with fact and opinion from leading industry experts, we predict and identify what cuisines will take off this year, which flavours and food pairings will become popular, plus we’ll have an exclusive insight into what ingredients the UK’s top chefs will be using in 2011.
Vouchers and discounts have meant big business for restaurants over the last year, but with consumers increasingly looking for value in more than just their wallets, and with warnings that vouchers could permanently damage brands, restaurants will need to pay attention to other dining trends in order to fulfil their customers’ desires.
BigHospitality brings you an exclusive insight into which ingredients will be top of the agenda for some of the UK’s top chefs this year.
In the second week of BigHospitality’s food trend feature, some of the country’s top chefs tell us which popular flavours and food pairings they think will be big in 2011.
British diners have become more aware than ever of their expanding waistline and shrinking pockets, shifting their taste for out-of-home dining towards lighter, healthier meals that give value for money.
The past 12 months have thrown a mixture of fortunes in the paths of restaurant, pub and hotel operators. From ash clouds and snow to Michelin stars and royal weddings, we take a look at what has defined 2010 for the hospitality industry.
With 2010 almost over its time to look ahead to what the future brings. We’ve spoken to some of the industry’s key players to find out what they believe 2011 has in store for them and the industry, and look forward to the major openings hitting the UK.
As 2010 draws to a close, we take a look back at how the hotel sector has evolved in the past 12 months.
As 2010 draws to a close, we take a look back at how the pub sector has evolved in the past 12 months.
As 2010 draws to a close, we take a look back at how the restaurant sector has evolved in the past 12 months.
Being sustainable needn't be expensive, tedious, time-consuming or tricky. In this series of articles, BigHospitality looks at what restaurants, pubs and hotels can do to improve their sustainability status, and gives you a peak at a selection of products that can help along the way.
BigHospitality's Sustainability Week: What is sustainability, why should your business support it and how can you be sustainable?
Being a sustainable business isn’t an ideal achievable only by those with wads of cash to spare.
We find three hotels who have taken the sustainability message to the core of their business.
With pub closures at an all time high, the sector has had to be extra resourceful and creative in order to stay afloat. We speak to a small pub company and an independent to see what they're doing to run their businesses in a more sustainable way.
Our top 10 tips to help make your business greener, leaner and more ethical.
If you want your business to be more sustainable, you need to ensure that both the products you use and the suppliers themselves run environmentally-friendly practices.
Sustainably-sourced food should be matched with sustainably-sourced drinks if businesses are to lower their carbon footprint.
From the build and design of your hospitality business to the way you dispose of your waste, here are a few equipment ideas to keep your restaurant, pub or hotel more sustainable.
Tea, coffee and even hot chocolate are vital products for every hospitality business to keep in stock, and environmentally-aware operators will know the best brands to buy are those marrying quality with sustainable production.
Sourcing all your produce from within the UK can be impossible at times, but importing from abroad needn't hit your sustainablilty credentials. Try our eco-friendly food product ideas to get you started.
As part of BigHospitality's Sustainability week we visited the Lancaster London hotel to find out what managers and staff were doing to help run the business more sustainably.
Like a lot of gadgets these days, Electronic Point of Sales (EPoS) systems can do some pretty amazing things. In this series of articles, BigHospitality looks at all the latest systems and how using them can help you streamline your business and make it more efficient.
Like a lot of gadgets these days, Electronic Point of Sales (EPoS) systems can do some pretty amazing things. In fact, the installation of a decent EPoS system in a restaurant, pub or hotel business will not only help operators manage staffing, stock control and reservations, but ensure guests appreciate the speedy and accurate service that it helps deliver.
Ideal matches: Pizza Express, New Forest Hotels and The Glow lounge tell us about their perfect EPoS systems.
With so many EpoS systems claiming to perform amazing tricks to boost your profits and quality of customer service, it can be hard to know which system is the right one for your business
Do you want your EPoS to work that little bit harder for you? Check out these products that can integrate with your existing EPoS or with their EPoS to offer you and your customers that little bit more.
In the final instalment of our week-long feature on Electronic Point of Sale, Andrew Evans, managing director of Keystep, tells us we can expect to be going mobile in the future.
As the world moves online, so too must the hospitality industry. But how do you ensure you use the web to your advantage? From the use of external websites, to social networking, e-newsletters and mobile phone applications, we examine the different options for promoting your company online.
As the online world grows in size, how can you ensure your restaurant, hotel or pub doesn't get lost in that increasing community?
One of the most effective ways of getting bums on seats and bodies in beds is through the use of email marketing, but how can you ensure your newsletter is even opened?
In the third part of our four-day feature we look at how restaurants, hotels and pubs can use social media networks like Twitter and Facebook to target customers.
Technology moves faster than Alastair Darling at a pub convention, but one rising trend that looks likely to stick around is the iPhone application, which if implemented properly, can help increase restaurant or hotel bookings
Staying on top of hygeine can play a part in the success of your hotel, restaurant or pub. Here, we look at why it's important to make hygiene a top priority for your business, what you can do if you haven't already pushed it to the top of your list.
At the start of a week-long hygiene feature on BigHospitality, we take a look at why making hygiene practices a top priority for your hotel, restaurant or pub could be the secret to business success.
If you work in the hospitality industry, you will be in no doubt that it is one of the most heavily regulated business sectors. But do you know what the consequences are for your business and its employees if there is a breach of food safety rules?
Cleaning, while essential, may not be the most exciting aspect of a job in the hospitality industry, but maybe you'll feel inspired with some of these different ideas for keeping things clean.
Running a hospitality business and keeping on top of hygiene day-to-day can be a challenge, but there are things you can do when the occasional slip-up occurs to rescue your reputation and prevent bad word of mouth.
The FIFA World Cup 2010 kicks off on 11 June in South Africa with 32 teams battling for football’s greatest accolade. The competition presents a huge opportunity to drive sales and BigHospitality's series of articles will help you make the most of it.
The FIFA World Cup 2010 kicks off on 11 June in South Africa with 32 teams battling for football’s greatest accolade. BigHospitality takes a look at the opportunties it presents.
It may be all too tempting to turn your business into a World Cup party zone, but the true winners from the competition will be those who can successfully separate their original business concept from the football.
The FIFA World Cup 2010 will command a global TV audience of millions, and although many will watch it at home, restaurants and pubs can create a carnival atmosphere with the right equipment in place to show the games.
Graeme Cushion at licensing solicitors Poppleston Allen gives his advice on enjoying a profitable and successful World Cup that remains within the law.
Any pub, restaurant or hotel screening the World Cup games is sure to see a boost in trade over the summer, but how can you ensure you have the edge over the competition?
As Restaurant magazine launches the R200 list of the UK's largest food-led pub and restaurant operators , we take a look at the steps you should take to expand your business and brand across two or more sites.
With many a bank notoriously reluctant to lend to the hospitality sector in the past, how do you pay for expansion and who is likely to lend and help you build your restaurant, pub or hotel empire?
If you have funding in place to grow your single restaurant, pub or hotel into a chain, the current economic uncertainty presents an opportunity to gain a foothold in the property market and start along the road to building your empire.
As we look this week at the ways restaurants, pubs and hotels should expand their business across two or more sites, we asked a handful of operators for their own experiences of growing a brand.
Most people rarely get things spot on first time around, and setting up a restaurant, pub or hotel business is no exception. But if you don’t get the design and branding on your second or even third site perfect, you’re in trouble of damaging your business.
We asked a selection of experts and operators for their top tips on how to turn a single restaurant, pub or hotel into a chain of two or more sites.
BigHospitality looks at how you can get the best out of your team and drive them on to new heights, be they front of house, in the kitchen, or behind the bar, to ensure your business prospers thanks to a focused and motivated workforce.
Why take time to inspire your team? Well a motivated team is a hard working one that will deliver the attention to detail and customer service hospitality businesses live or die by.
Good service is unobtrusive. Whether it’s the warm welcome you receive, or the relaxed but attentive care provided as you enjoy your meal and it's paramount to your business's success.
There's no doubt there are some great leaders in our industry, but what makes a good leader? This was the topic of discussion in the latest Restaurant magazine Roundtable.
The ability to knock together a decent dish and menu is just one aspect of a head chef’s role in the kitchen. Knowing how to handle and lead a team is another. So what makes a good leader?
Working behind a bar can be a lot of fun but you’re on your feet for most of your shift and thirsty customers can be a demanding bunch. Keeping your bar team on top of their game is therefore vital to your business’s long-term success.
As consumers look to cut back on their restaurant and bar bills, we take a look at the ways you can help your drinks offering boost your bottom line.
Money made from drinks in food-led operations should account for 30-50 per cent of your total revenue, but even though consumers are now seeking cheaper options, there are a few tricks you can use to help your drinks offering fight back.
Alcohol sales in the on-trade are on the slide, but the soft drinks category continues to go from strength-to-strength. So whether you’re running a bar, restaurant or hotel you need to make sure your soft drink offer has plenty of fizz.
As the most widely-drunk beverage in the world, its important you know exactly how to serve the perfect cup of tea to your guests.
As consumers look to a more continental lifestyle, one that involves a mid-afternoon coffee or tea, restaurants, pubs and hotels should take note to improve their hot beverage offering, which will ultimately boost revenue.
More and more alcohol is being consumed at home, so whether you run a hotel, restaurant or bar you need to make sure you maximise your wine, beer and spirit sales to boost profit.
As your employees, suppliers, customers, the local community and the environment are all directly affected by how your business is operated, it’s important to adopt a responsible attitude and find out how Corporate Social Responsibility not only works for those around you, but improves your profits too.
With the hospitality industry still reeling from the effects of the recession, concentrating on how responsible your business is may not be at the top of your ‘to do’ list.
Being a responsible business isn’t just an extra, it’s an essential, says restaurateur Sam Harrison, owner of Sam’s Brasserie in Chiswick and Harrison’s in Balham.
Hotelier Jeff Gillard, who has recently reopened South Sands Hotel in Salcombe, Devon, believes there is no excuse for shying away from your commitment to the local community, no matter what size of business you have.
At 290 sites, Orchid is one of the largest food-led pub groups in the country, which is why Paul Cutsforth, the group’s operations director, is happy to give something back to the community, both at home and away.
Trouble beginning your journey toward becoming a more responsible business? We've asked the experts for their top tips to help get you started.
To help you have the most profitable Christmas you can, we've compiled this guide full of hints and advice on getting your offer right, marketing it, making your operation efficient and cutting costs, plus a few festive ideas to get you started.
Although the hospitality sector is recovering well after the recession, and despite consumers’ traditional increase in spend during December, the Government’s £80bn spending cuts may mean that restaurants, pubs and hotels will need to work just as hard as last year to attract trade.
With consumer spend expected to drop this Christmas, the last thing you’d want is for your business expenses to eat away at your potential profits, but there are several small, low cost initiatives you can implement now to tackle your growing outflow.
Tightened consumer belts over the Christmas period need not be as damaging to the hospitality industry as you might fear. Despite the expected slowdown, here are some simple measures that can keep people coming through your doors.
Christmas is a time for good cheer, plenty of treats, and general jolliness. But if you’re in the hospitality industry, Christmas is all about welcoming those extra people who come through your doors, and making sure you find ways to bring them back.
Christmas in hospitality this year will be all about adding value to your services so you attract – and keep – new customers, while at the same time keeping your costs down. If you’re stuck for ideas as to how to go about doing this, take a look at what some of your peers are up to.
Often the personal skills required to work in our industry can’t be cultivated through traditional training programmes. Here, you'll find some quirky but effective training techniques that could help develop your staff's skills, attitude and drive.
Often the personal skills required to work in our industry can't be cultivated using traditional training techniques, which is why Pizza Express chose to hire a dialogue coach to encourage its staff to flirt and converse more with its diners.
Personnel who are well trained in their discipline are key to the success of any hospitality venue. But if they also understand how to sell, the immediate results of successful business could start to shine through in your bottom line.
Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) won’t equip you with the skills to become the next Derren Brown, but it may help provide your management team with the tools they need to motivate and communicate with their staff more effectively.
Teaching your staff new skills in a static, boring environment will only succeed in ensuring information goes in one ear and straight out the other. Try some of these ideas to get your staff buzzing when it comes to teaching them new tricks.
No matter how skilled an employee is, if they don’t feel motivated to do their job, they won’t perform well.