British Food Fortnight which runs from 22 September – 7 October 2018? is the biggest annual event celebrating all that is great about British food bringing together organisations and individuals, and not least some of our best loved chefs including long-time supporter Raymond Blanc and his son Olivier. Well-being writer and farmer, Liz Earle and Candice Brown winner of Great British Bake Off, are also backing the campaign.
Organised and run by Love British Food, British Food Fortnight sees large and foodservice operators taking part in various ways. It’s a campaign that resonates with the pub and restaurant industry, with hundreds of outlets taking part every year. And, not forgetting the great British public who now more than ever want to see British food on the menu.
Research shows that taking part in British Food Fortnight will attract more customers, raise awareness and increase sales for catering establishments from pubs and restaurants to hotels and the public sector.
Last year, Smith & Whistle bar & restaurant ran a themed pie menu throughout British Food Fortnight. Each pie was paired with a unique mash and an alcoholic drink to complement the flavours on the plate. Highlights included Best of British Pie, Fishing for Clues and Piggy in the Middle.
The Blue Bell Inn, Emsowrth always supports the Fortnight. Giles Babb owner said: “British Food Fortnight and Emsworth Food Fortnight are big events for us. We organise brewery tours, tastings and Fizz & Chips at a local vineyard. It is all about celebrating the food the is produced in our region and the promotion really helps footfall to the pub.”
Anyone can get involved and there are a number of ways to participate:
Tips on getting involved:
- Promote your participation by displaying material using the British Food Fortnight logo or Union Jack on menus and in restaurants.
- Organise a special menu and expand the range of seasonal produce that you use. Rather than just using the term ‘local’, name the producer or farm to give it a more personal touch.
- Use phrases such as ‘seasonal veg’ on the menu that will enable you to take a variety of stock from different suppliers.
- Look at your existing suppliers. If any of them are local and British make sure you tell your customers about them.
- And if you are able to specify that all the meat used comes within 30 miles of the restaurant then highlight this on your promotional materials.
- Include a ‘Chef’s Special’ on the menu to give you flexibility in your ordering process.
- Communicate menus in advance, for example on newsletters to your database, via social media, employee intranets and on signage within the restaurant. You can add further appeal by using a discount offer.
- Run a fun competition or prize draw to highlight the new menu.
- Ensure the whole kitchen, admin and front of house staff and suppliers know about the British Food Fortnight promotion well in advance and encourage them to communicate this to customers while serving food.
- Organise a consumer-focused event such as the following:
- Invite producers into the restaurant and run a tasting of new and existing products – research shows that products offered for tasting increases sales significantly and adds value to the whole dining experience.
- Create a mini farmers market in the restaurant using fruit and veg from local suppliers and producers. This will add interest, colour and help build the atmosphere.
- Organise an industry dinner and talk. Host a high-profile dinner focusing on a key issue that could impact your area e.g. local growing, urbanisation, future cities, pollution, climate change, etc.
- Create a display of British food and drink in a prominent position such as a window or entrance so that customers can see that you are supporting the campaign and that you have available a good selection of products. A display is also a useful draw for the media and can be used across social media and other digital platforms to help raise awareness.
Other useful tips
- If you organise a tasting e.g. regional cheeses, it makes sense to sell complimentary foods and drinks such as biscuits, chutneys and wine
- Use British Food Fortnight as a lever to build relationships and network with other suppliers and businesses. Think about running regular supplier events and introduce local suppliers to other businesses in the area.
- Use the Fortnight to create online content such as videos, blogs and social media and, to drive traffic to your website
Sourcing British food
Increasingly, consumers want to know how their food and drink is produced and where it comes from. Sourcing products that are part of assurance schemes is a powerful way of demonstrating that you are selling or serving quality produce and that it is fully traceable. Visit our advice pages for information on sourcing and buying British food and which logos and marks to look out for.
What resources are available?
Promotional materials including bunting and posters are available at www.lovebritishfood.co.uk There is also a ‘What’s Happening’ map where you can find foodie events taking place near you. If you would like us to add your event, please email the details to firstname.lastname@example.org
Where can we find out more?
To find lots more ideas, download promotional material and details of what’s happening near you, visit www.lovebritishfood.co.uk or email email@example.com To be the first to hear the news, follow us on Twitter @LoveBritishFood, #LoveBritishFood, #BuyBritishFood
Instagram – Love_British_Food