Catering continues to play a huge role in the make-up of garden centres accounting for in excess of 25% of sales in many cases. Over half of all garden centres have a café or restaurant with many having invested further to increase their covers and grow their offer.

Complex businesses in their own right, there are many elements to consider from menu planning, cost control and staff recruitment to menu development, service options, allergens and much more.

Help is on hand! Bookings are now being taken for the HTA Catering Conference and Dinner – A Piece of Cake? which takes place on Tuesday 13 June and Wednesday 14 June 2017 at The Belfry in Sutton Coldfield.

A milestone in the garden industry calendar, the HTA Catering Conference is a must attend event for all garden centre catering operators, from business owners and garden centre managers to catering managers, chefs and front of house staff.

Bringing together speakers from inside and outside the industry the HTA Catering Conference is the event to attend to find out the very latest developments, issues and topics of interest impacting on garden centre catering.  The conference is supported by an exhibition and the programme allows for plenty of networking with delegates and suppliers.

Day one of the conference focuses on strategy and operations and will be chaired by Neville Stein. HTA’s David Denny will set the scene for the day with the latest market information about the sector.  Throughout the programme there will be sessions from David Yardley and Keren Feeney from Klondyke and Strikes Garden Centres , Salim Sajid from Rosebourne Garden Centre and James Debbage from Green Pastures. Representing businesses of different sizes they will each talk about their catering operations and their challenges and successes.

Day two, chaired by Pippa McKean Director of McKean Consulting, will focus on food. The day will begin with an insightful session from Professor Charles Spence from Oxford University who will look at food psychology – touching on topics such as our evolving palate and flavour perceptions. In a joint session Caroline Benjamin from Food Allergy Aware will provide an insight to the freefrom customer, and chef Dominic Teague from One Indigo, the restaurant at 5-star hotel One Aldwych in London, will explain why they decided to go gluten and dairy free with impressive results in terms of bookings and revenue. Also joining the programme is Matt Drew, Head of Food and Beverage from the National Trust who will talk about how their catering offering is business critical to their success and profitability and is key to delivering special days out for visitors.

Back by popular demand Mark Farnsworth and Sharon McNair from Tong Garden Centre will update delegates on their story one year on. There will also be panel sessions and workshops over the two days.

The Conference dinner takes place on the evening of Tuesday 13 June and this year we are delighted to announce that we will be joined by Jane Devonshire, the 2016 winner of Masterchef. Following dinner will be the presentation of the Greatest Catering Awards.

This year’s event is supported by:
Conference Partners: Frobisher’s Juices Ltd, Blue Cap Coffee and Matthew Algie
Exhibition Partners: Tea from the Manor, Majestic Coffee, The Handmade Cake Company, Towergate (HTA Insurance), Dawn Foods, Speciality Bread, CPL Training Group, Whitco, Beanworks, Creed Food Service, Ascential, Swan Retail, Vision Commercial Kitchens, Space Catering, Belvoir Fruit Farms.
Dinner Partner: Quinton Edwards

More speakers and details to be announced.

For more information and to book your place visit www.hta.org.uk/cateringconference

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