Thursday, 28 April 2011

Hopefully always Good

Comment Books - not just cards - are back in fashion.  It certainly fits the historic venue location and if you can find an old leather-ledger type book, all the better.

Great examples seen at Rufford's Savile Restaurant, Burghley House's Orangery Restaurant and Holkham's Rose Garden Cafe.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Staff Tips

What do we think?

Naff in the extreme is my view.  Especially in a cafe where you queue to order and take your own drink to the table.

My suggestion would be to feature the food rather than the tip box.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Memories of Spam & Dripping


The cafe at Crich Tramway Village sold dozens of Spam, Corned Beef and Dripping sandwiches at their Easter 1940s Weekend.  True retro food!   The National Tramway Museum based at Crich has turned around the financial performance of their catering operation by careful management of their margins - case study to follow.

Friday, 22 April 2011

Fun with a Multideck

Napket (5 outlets in the City and West End) have fun with their multi-deck chiller cabinets.  They make most folk look plain boring.  Wood on the shelves and artificial grass on the base.

Makes you smile.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Honest staff?

This is how Burger King at Paddington station keep a check on things.  Simple, self-policing and relevant to high volume locations.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Grocer Deli Bakery Cafe

Melrose & Morgan in north London. Kitchen and storage area right in front of you. Product fresh from the ovens displayed on a simple wooden table.  One of our favourites.

Monday, 18 April 2011

Stuff the Rules; Make me Smile

Welcoming, inclusive and unexpected - our characterful 'local' on the river at Cookham.  Do you have a sign that makes your customers smile?

Friday, 15 April 2011

A new take on Toast

A clever take on an old favourite - toast.  Starbucks, and now EAT, offer thick slices of fruit bread toasted on the panini grill.   There has always been that challenge of how you can get a decent price for dear old toast - now you can.

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Cakestands - No need to get married

Wedding cake stands are what you need to present your cakes and, boy, are their makers doing some business.

Suppliers culled from the web:

Good to Great Cafes -

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

New use for telegraph poles

Cocomaya's new cafe on Pavilion Road (Sloane Square end) uses the same cake presentation device - a chopped down telegraph pole with fret-shaped shelves - as its original cafe on Connaught Street.  Fabulous food, beautifully presented.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Two Stars; No Sense

One way of putting your customers off!    As yet, you don't have to put the score on your door.

Macaroons on steroids

Seen at Peter Jones' rooftop cafe on Sloane Square: whoopie size (i.e. large) macaroons at £2.60 a pop.

John Lewis have redone the servery but its design is how not to do it. Check out the number of coffee machines and how you can pay for a main course and not even see the cakes. Great company but off the pace in terms of great cafes.

Monday, 11 April 2011

Kastner & Ovens - Keeping it Simple

Simple and inexpensive cake presentation on standard mobile stainless steel shelving units at Kastner & Ovens' new unit in Spitalfields.  Great name for a bakery retail unit.

Friday, 8 April 2011

Lolly Cake

Cake on a stick - colourful, fun and not seen elsewhere.....yet.  Not the easiest to eat but typical of the innovation seen in the cut-throat coffee bar business.  Well done Starbucks with their 'Petites'.

As part of our popular London Cafe Tours we always visit the majors and caterers are often the worst at knowing what's new in the market.

Good to Great Cafes -

Thursday, 7 April 2011

POD - one to watch

Nine City of London locations, growing fast and voted Independant Retailer of the Year 2010-11.

Their tag line is: Fresh, seasonal, healthy food in compostable packaging.  You can't argue with that.  Lots of green/sustainable/simple ideas:

How they fit out the place

Recycling station

Good to Great Cafes -

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Timed and undated

We are well used to truly fresh sandwiches and the horror of the dated (i.e. potentially yesterday's) lunchtime favourite.  Benugo put the time of preparation - smart.

Good to Great Cafes -

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Popcorn and not just at the movies

Pret has had it for a while - popcorn that is - and it has now moved mainstream.  Low cost, high margin, healthy (oh yeah) and popular.  A rival to the kettle chip.   Metcalfe's popcorn spotted at Maidenhead station in a Puccino's unit -  a wonderful example of a compact take-away servery.

Friday, 1 April 2011

Tea ....on the Sea

The £52 million rebuild of the Grand Pier at Weston-super-Mare (Bristol way) is quite something. The latest in arcade gizmos, a 4D cinema, dodgems and a go kart track all under cover - 60,000 people a day are anticipated in peak season.

The Tiffany tea room at the end of the pier feels like you are at sea (when the tide is in) and is both upscale and thankfully quiet.

The owner Kerry Michael (Mr Weston-super-Mare) deserves to do well.  Catering is in-house and covers the bases 
Worth a look sea!