Tag Archives: Events

14 
Jan

Top Tips for Catering Businesses in 2020

Top tips for catering

This year has started somewhat explosively, with concerns about the environment, bush fires, international political escalations and the future of certain members of the monarchy in jeopardy. But people still have to eat. So putting the news aside, it’s time to consider the next twelve months for catering businesses. Here are our top tips for catering businesses for 2020.

Firstly, there are no guarantees about the impact of Brexit. The best route to take is the one that is already benefiting your business directly. Top of the list is the maintenance of your appliances. Put in place a maintenance programme for your ovens. This will ensure that whatever disasters or decisions may befall us over the next twelve months; a substandard, under-performing oven won’t be one of them.

It’s All About the Planning

Secondly, plan for regular and irregular annual events. There are always catering opportunities linked to traditional dates, such as Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Christmas, food festivals and so on. Take a look at our sporting calendar for additional opportunities in 2020. It’s an Olympic year as well as Euro 2020 for football fans and the start of the new cricket Hundred game. So if you are catering for sports fans, take advantage or provide an alternative for non-sports fans.

Staff training is essential. Don’t stint on training because if something goes wrong, the consequences can be catastrophic. Make sure that your staff are fully familiar with all relevant health and safety requirements and appliance operation, and make this an ongoing exercise. There is a plethora of H&S legislation and come Brexit, there is bound to be more. Educate your staff so that in your absence, your business will still thrive.

Goal Setting

Set goals in terms of time management and profit and loss, and make them realistic. There is nothing more demoralising than not reaching your target within the time frame allotted but be reasonable on yourself. We have endured a turbulent and uncertain few years politically, and it’s not over yet. Continue working to the highest standard professionally and don’t cut corners.

Invest in catastrophe training. As we have seen from the traumatic scenes in Australia, sometimes we are at the mercy of unforeseen and unpredictable forces. These may be natural or man-made but either way, they can cause the loss of business. Be prepared. If you are a mobile catering company, plan for both rain and shine at events. If you live in flood-prone areas, check weather predictions and plan for the safe removal or protection of appliances and staff.

Trend-Spotting

The last of our top tips for catering businesses and perhaps most importantly, keep an eye on current trends. We have seen a momentous rise in vegan and vegetarian demands for restaurants and fast food outlets in the past few years. With culinary trends changing constantly, there is always an opportunity for savvy operators to gain a foothold in a new market.

Don’t be afraid to be bold and always check out the news on AC Services Southern’s blog and like our Facebook page.

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Published Date: 14th January 2020
Category: Blog, Catering Business, News, Ovens
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13 
Jan

Welcome to AC Services 2020 Calendar

AC Services 2020 calendar

2020 has arrived and with it comes the promise of a huge year of sport as can be seen in AC Services 2020 calendar for catering businesses.

The Olympic and Paralympic Games take place in Tokyo.

Football fans are eagerly awaiting the start of Euro 2020.

And with two Twenty20 World Cups, cricket fans also have the inaugural season of the new The Hundred competition to look forward to.

January

  • 3-12, Tennis, ATP Cup, Australia
  • 12-19, Snooker, the Masters, Alexandra Palace, London
  • 20 Jan-2 Feb, Tennis – Australian Open, Melbourne
  • 25, Chinese New Year

February

  • 1, Rugby union – Men’s Six Nations:
  • 1, Cricket – Australia v England women’s T20, Canberra
  • 2, Rugby union – Women’s Six Nations
  • 7, Cricket – India v England women’s T20, Melbourne
  • 9, Cricket – Australia v England Women’s T20, Melbourne
  • 12-16, Cricket – South Africa v England T20, East London
  • 21-8 March, Cricket – Women’s T20 World Cup, Australia
  • 22, Boxing – Deontay Wilder v Tyson Fury heavyweight world title
  • 25, Pancake Day

March

  • 1, Football – Carabao Cup final, Wembley
  • 10-13, Horse racing – Cheltenham Festival
  • 13-15, Athletics – World Indoor, Nanjing, China
  • 22, Mothers’ Day

April

  • 2-5, Women’s golf major – ANA Inspiration, Mission Hills
  • 4, Horse racing – Grand National, Aintree
  • 9-12, Golf – Masters, Augusta National
  • 12, Easter Sunday
  • 14-19, Swimming – British Championships, London
  • 16-19, Gymnastics – British Championships, Liverpool
  • 18-4 May, Snooker – World Championship, Sheffield
  • 26, Athletics London Marathon

May

  • 8, May Day and VE Day Bank Holiday
  • 9, Football – FA Women’s Cup final, Wembley
  • 14-17, Golf – US PGA Championship, San Francisco
  • 22, Rugby union – European Challenge Cup final, Stade de Marseille
  • 23, Football – FA Cup final, Wembley
  • 23, Rugby union – European Champions Cup final, Stade de Marseille
  • 24-7 June, Tennis – French Open Roland Garros, Paris
  • 27, Football – Europa League final, Gdansk
  • 28, Cricket – first round of T20 Blast group matches
  • 30, Football – Champions League final, Istanbul

June

  • 4-7, Women’s golf major – US Women’s Open, Houston, Texas
  • 6, Horse racing – The Derby, Epsom
  • 12-12 July, Football – Euro 2020 various venues, Final at Wembley
  • 16-20, Horse racing, Royal Ascot
  • 18-21, Golf – US Open, New York
  • 20, Rugby union – Premiership final, Twickenham
  • 20, 21, Longest day then Fathers Day
  • 25-28, Women’s golf major – PGA Championship, Pennsylvania
  • 29-12 July, Tennis Wimbledon

July

  • 4-5, Athletics – Anniversary Games, London Stadium
  • 16-19, Golf – The Open, Royal St George’s
  • 17-15 August, Cricket – The Hundred
  • 18, Rugby league – Challenge Cup final, Wembley
  • 24-9 August, Olympic Games, Tokyo

August

  • 14, Cricket – The Hundred women’s final, Hove
  • 15, Cricket – The Hundred men’s final, Lord’s
  • 20-23, Golf – Women’s British Open, Royal Troon
  • 25-6 September, Paralympic Games, Tokyo
  • 31-13 September, Tennis – US Open, New York
  • 31, August Bank Holiday

September

  • 5, Cricket – T20 Blast Finals Day, Edgbaston
  • 6-13, Cycling – Tour of Britain
  • 10-13, Golf – PGA Championship, Wentworth
  • 19, Cricket – One-Day Cup final, Trent Bridge
  • 25-27, Golf – Ryder Cup, Whistling Straits, Kohler, Wisconsin

October

  • 10, Rugby league – Super League Final, Old Trafford
  • 18 Oct-15 November, Cricket – Men’s Twenty20 World Cup, Australia

November

  • 2-8, Tennis WTA Finals, Shenzhen, China
  • 7, Rugby Union – Autumn internationals, England v New Zealand
  • 8-15, Tennis – ATP Finals, London
  • 15, Cricket – Men’s Twenty20 World Cup final, Melbourne
  • 23-29, Tennis – Davis Cup finals , Madrid
  • 24 Nov-6 December, Snooker – UK Championship, York Barbican

December

  • TBC, Darts – PDC World Championship, Alexander Palace, London
  • 26, Horse racing – King George VI Chase, Kempton

So a packed year of opportunities for events targeting those interested in sport and those trying to avoid it for catering businesses in AC Services 2020 calendar.

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Published Date: 13th January 2020
Category: Blog, Catering Business, News
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13 
Aug

The Big Numbers of the UK Events Industry

UK events big and small

The events sector is worth £42.3B the UK economy. This is the direct spend by event delegates, attendees and organisers. While the spend by those accompanying attendees at business events is worth an additional £7.7B.

This why the cancellation of events like Boardmasters at the weekend can have a significant impact locally. Most amply shown by the 200,000 unneeded toilet rolls offered for sale by the toilet suppliers!

Breakdown of UK Events Spend

Conferences and meetings are worth £19.9B, with exhibitions and trade fairs amounting to £11B. Corporate hospitality and corporate events are worth £1.2B. While outdoor events and festivals and cultural events each bringing in £1.1B. Unsurprisingly, sporting events are worth £2.3B.

The events sector employs over 25,000 businesses that sustain 570,000 full-time jobs. Over 7,000 major outdoor events are held each year. Following the success of the 2012 Olympics; the UK has become a world leader in outdoor events with UK expertise sought globally.

There are a number of events coming up that the UK government is aiming to capitalise upon, including:

  • 2020 UEFA European Championships,
  • 2020 400th Anniversary of the Mayflower voyage,
  • 2021 Rugby League World Cup and
  • 2022 Commonwealth Games and Festival of Britain.

The UK government published in June a comprehensive International Business Events Action Plan 2019 – 2025. This outlines in detail how the UK government policy will “support the business events industry in attracting, growing, creating and retaining international business events”.

Events Industry Impact on Catering

Which brings us to the impact on the catering industry. For those who have attended events in the past, whether sporting, music or entertainment, there has been a significant rise in the scope and quality of food available. In the past, there were three options: hot dog, burger or fish and chips but sophistication has entered the mobile catering market big time. Today, there is a bewildering choice of street food available at any worthwhile event.

Event catering can be a high-risk business, but with high risk comes the opportunity for huge rewards. The profitability of corporate catering has been highlighted recently by the acquisition by food delivery giant Just Eat of City Pantry . City Pantry works with suppliers to provide thousands of meals for corporate events and business meetings.

Working with City Pantry to accelerate its mission to improve and modernize the workplace dining experience is a great opportunity… it’s the right time for us to enter the corporate market and expand our offering.” Said Peter Duffy, Interim CEO of Just Eat.

Event Opportunities

Venue catering is a growing and expanding industry. It has many opportunities for start-ups and established caterers to capitalise on. Variety, quality and value are the key aspects for customers. With events drawing in more and more visitors every year, this sector of the industry has great potential.

Bob Fox, director, The Nationwide Caterers Association (NCASS) offers some advice to those providing for outdoor events. “Experienced caterers can take five figure sums in only a few days. Before committing to any event, caterers need to ensure that the organiser knows what they are doing, that the event is well marketed and that the occasion is going to be a success. After all, the best stall in the world will make no money if there is nobody there to buy the product.”

While even the best marketing in the world can do nothing against the British weather if it decides to be bad; not planning events at all is the worst gamble given how lucrative it is for all kinds of catering businesses.

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Published Date: 13th August 2019
Category: Blog, Catering Business, News
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18 
Jun

FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019

Women's World Cup logo 2019

The Women’s World Cup is underway which gives us something to watch while the UK slowly drowns in the worst June weather in decades. The host country, France, is home over the next few weeks to 24 teams from six confederations with 17 matches scheduled to be played.

2019 is the eighth edition of the FIFA Women’s World Cup, with France winning the right to host the event for the first time. Matches are being played in nine cities across France.

The United States enters the competition as defending champions and firm favourites. Scotland, Chile, Jamaica and South Africa are making their Women’s World Cup debuts. Other teams include France, United States, Germany, England, Canada, Australia, Netherlands, Japan, Sweden, Brazil, Spain, Norway, South Korea, China PR, Italy, New Zealand, Argentina, Nigeria and Cameroon.

If you were wondering, the emblem mimics the shape of the World Cup trophy football surrounded by eight decorative shards of light. This symbolises the eighth edition of the Women’s World Cup. Ettie is the mascot. According to FIFA she is “a young chicken with a passion for life and football…the daughter of Footix, the official mascot of the 1998 FIFA World Cup in France.” How charming to see such a family-oriented tournament.

Catch up

So what are the talking points of the Women’s World Cup so far? A 13-goal fiasco from the United States team have sent fans into a frenzy. The Americans celebrated every goal with expected exuberance, adding on a fair few minutes to the end of the game. With this historic win over Thailand, the USA squad has taken the record for the biggest winning margin in a World Cup. That was previously held by Germany, who beat Argentina 11-0 in 2007.

Although as we go to press the World Cup virgins (Chile, Jamaica, Scotland and South Africa) have racked up nil points so far. But they are all performing well and are proving the theme of the World Cup slogan – Dare to Shine. And the attendance has been excellent throughout all of the venues, with the Netherlands fans seemingly the most avid. Their orange dominates the colour scene in the host French cities. Over 30,000 Netherlands fans packed PSV’s stadium against Australia.

Players to watch out for include Nikita Parris from England. Head coach, Phil Neville, claims that she could develop into one of the world’s best players. Parris scored the opening goal of England’s Women’s World Cup campaign in their 2-1 win over Scotland on Sunday. She was the Women’s Super League’s all-time top scorer last season with Manchester City before moving to European champions Lyon.

The competition concludes on 9 July 2019 where the winners will take the biggest prize in women’s football. And with the viewing figures for the Women’s World Cup, eight times that of men’s cricket, there must be an opportunity for catering businesses.

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Published Date: 18th June 2019
Category: Blog, Catering Business, Events, News
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29 
May

ICC Cricket World Cup 2019

ICC Cricket World Cup 2019

It’s been a long time coming but it’s finally here. Yes, Theresa May is resigning. But before that, there’s the little matter of the Cricket World Cup 2019. This starts this week which, at least to sporting fans, is infinitely more interesting.

The UK will host this elite event through many venues across the country and excitement is already building.

The event has a long and varied history, having begun with three nations, England, Australia and South Africa in 1912, with England as the host. Sadly the tournament was not a success. For one, the weather was abysmal – the August of 1912 was recorded as the “coldest, dullest and wettest August of the 20th century”. Some might say typical English cricket weather.

A Very Brief History

The first of what is now accepted as the official Cricket World Cup was held in England in 1975 who hosted the four-yearly event for the next three tournaments. India and Pakistan were the hosts for 1987.

2019 will be the fifth time that England has hosted the tournament and as hosts, automatically qualify. The next seven spots belong to the top seven ODI ranking teams in the ICC, and for the last two spots, the ICC conducted a qualifying tournament for the remaining test playing nations in the world. West Indies and Afghanistan occupy those spots.

10 teams will face each other in a total of 45 games before the final stage of the tournament. The top four teams from the group stage will qualify for the semi-final as there are no quarter-finals for the 2019 Cricket World Cup. The two successful teams will then compete in the final on 14 July.

Venues and Stadiums

Venues are London, Birmingham, Southampton, Trent Bridge, Chester-Le-Street, Leeds, Nottingham, Cardiff, and Taunton. The stadiums are Lord’s, The Oval, Trent Bridge, Edgbaston Cricket Ground, Rose Bowl, Old Trafford, River Side Ground, County Cricket Ground, Headingley, and Sophia Gardens. So with some local and others televised there’s plenty of opportunity for themed catering events.

The schedule is as follows and makes June a veritable month of cricket.

  • May 30 England v South Africa
  • 31 West Indies v Pakistan
  • June 1 NZ v Sri Lanka; Afghanistan v Australia
  • 2 South Africa v Bangladesh
  • 3 England v Pakistan
  • 4 Afghanistan v Sri Lanka
  • 5 South Africa v India; Bangladesh v NZ
  • 6 Australia v West Indies
  • 7 Pakistan v Sri Lanka
  • 8 England v Bangladesh; Afghanistan v NZ
  • 9 India v Australia
  • 10 South Africa v West Indies
  • 11 Bangladesh v Sri Lanka
  • 12 Australia v Pakistan
  • 13 India v NZ
  • 14 England v West Indies
  • 15 Sri Lanka v Australia; South Africa v Afghanistan
  • 16 India v Pakistan
  • 17 West Indies v Bangladesh
  • 18 England v Afghanistan
  • 19 NZ v South Africa
  • 20 Australia v Bangladesh
  • 21 England v Sri Lanka
  • 22 India v Afghanistan; West Indies v NZ
  • 23 Pakistan v South Africa
  • 24 Bangladesh v Afghanistan
  • 25 England v Australia
  • 26 NZ v Pakistan
  • 27 West Indies v India
  • 28 Sri Lanka v South Africa
  • 29 Pakistan v Afghanistan; NZ v Australia
  • 30 England v India
  • July 1 Sri Lanka v West Indies
  • 2 Bangladesh v India
  • 3 England v NZ
  • 4 Afghanistan v West Indies
  • 5 Pakistan v Bangladesh
  • 6 Sri Lanka v India
  • 6 Australia v South Africa
  • 9 First sf: 1st v 4th, Old Trafford
  • 11 Second sf: 2nd v 3rd, Edgbaston
  • 14 Final, Lord’s

Cricket World Cup Fun Facts

When the game slows or it begins to rain a few fun facts to throw into the conversation:

  • Australia became the first country to win three consecutive World Cup tournament in 2007.
  • Until now Australia has won five times, India and West Indies twice, and Pakistan and Sri Lanka once.
  • Sachin Tendulkar scored a total of 2278 runs from 1992 to 2011 which is the most by any batsman.
  • Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels have the record of highest partnership (372 runs against Zimbabwe).
  • The most runs in a single tournament and most hundreds in World Cup history belong to Sachin Tendulkar.
  • Glenn McGrath has taken most wickets in the World Cup tournament (71).
  • Ricky Ponting holds the record for the most catches.

And if the Cricket World Cup 2019 is not the sport you want to celebrate or its rained off then there is always the women’s football world cup starting on 7th June as an alternative!

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Published Date: 29th May 2019
Category: Blog, Events, News
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09 
Apr

Food Festivals Summer 2019

Food Festivals

The weather is changing and the nights are getting lighter, which can only mean one thing…summer. And with summer comes festivals, in particular food festivals, and we have gathered some of the best to consider.

Music or Not?

The Big Feastival is taking place on Alex James’ Farm in the Cotswolds from Friday 23 August to Monday 26. It will welcome some of the world’s top chefs. They will demonstrate their expertise in cooking skills live on The NEFF Big Kitchen stage. Raymond Blanc and Tom Brown are just two of the names who will headline, together with a host of music acts including the Zutons, Elbow and the Fun Lovin Criminals. Look out for the Collaboration Kitchen. Here special edition dishes will be served up with all proceeds going to Charity Partner, Action Against Hunger.

The Food Rocks festival will take place on 7-8 September 2019 in Lyme Regis. This presents some of the best food, producers and suppliers that Dorset and the South West has to offer. The festival brings together top chefs, exhibitors, locals. The main stage will showcase a diverse mix of interactive cookery demonstrations, talks and tastings across the weekend. Highlights include the Glenarm Estate beef supper club and the crab and mackerel supper club

Venue-based Food Festivals

Smoked & Uncut at THE PIG near Bath on 15 June features a line-up of handpicked classic and contemporary artists, including Imelda May and the Kaiser Chiefs, home-made festi-food, local ales and cocktails. Family style feasts will feature heavily with the focus on alfresco dining under canvas. While Mark’s ‘Ruby Murray House’ which will be dishing up indulgent home-style Indian curry.

24 and 25 August sees The River Cottage Festival taking place at River Cottage HQ, Axminster with food, music, talks, master-classes and a host of children’s activities. Vegan, vegetarian and gluten free food will be available and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall himself will be in attendance.

Coming Together Locally in May

Moving across the border, the Caernarfon Food Festival is on May 11 2019. It promises to be “perfect for foodies to explore the food and drink producers from the local area.” The event will feature market stalls of food and drink, live cooking demonstrations and freshly cooked street food, celebrating local food and drink produce. There will also be live music from local bands, artists and choirs.

Also in May (18-19) is the Spring Tide Food Festival on Hive Beach near Bridport. This is a food festival jam-packed full of activities and things to eat and drink. The aim of the festival is to combine the network of artisan food and drink producers from Somerset, East Devon and Dorset to “welcome in the new season of food and ingredients in style, to celebrate the pleasure that can be had in the growing and cultivation, the production and cooking and consumption of tasty food and drink.”

Any Reason to Hold a Festival?

Finally, there must be a mention of the Cooper’s Hill Cheese Rolling on May 27, 2019 when a 4kg cheese is thrown off a terrifyingly steep hill chased by people in Brockworth, Gloucester. In theory, the aim of cheese-rolling is to be the first person to catch the wheel of cheese; but nowadays, the majority of people participate in the event to raise money for local charities and other good causes.

Lots of food festivals this summer in the South West of England and South Wales. So if you’re a catering business, think what food festival could you hold this summer to boost trade? Or where you might go as a mobile caterer?

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Published Date: 9th April 2019
Category: Blog, Events, Local food, News
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06 
Nov

Remembrance Day 2018

Remembrance Day 2018 events11 November 2018 marks a significant date in the history of the world. At 11 o’clock on the 11th day of the 11th month, the First World War – the Great War – ended. Germany signed the armistice prepared by Britain and France and the guns fell silent. Britain, France and all of the countries that supported them, celebrated the end of a heinous war that lasted four years and four months. Millions died, not only in battle but from the terrible living conditions they faced during that time.

Since then, the red poppy has become a symbol of peace and remembrance used since 1921 to commemorate military personnel who have died in war. It was inspired by the WWI poem In Flanders Fields then adopted by military veterans’ groups in parts of the British Empire and then throughout the world.

Lest We Forget

Remembrance Day 2018 commemorations will take on a special centenary meaning for all those involved. Across the country, beacons will be lit and special services taking place to mark the 100 years since the end of the war. Weymouth is conducting a Beacon Lighting event, known nationally as the `Battles Over’ taking place at the Nothe Fort starting at 6pm on 11 November. The event will feature performances from the Bovington Military Wives Choir and the Decadettes followed by a service and will encompass elements of the traditional Remembrance Service normally held at Holy Trinity Church.

In Wales, Gwent’s St Woolos Cathedral will host a free day of events to mark the centenary with music from the U3A choir, Newport rugby club choir, and the local Boys’ Brigade band. Re-enactments will include a World War One surgeon, a Monmouthshire Regiment infantryman, and a member of the Royal Flying Corps. Caerleon Remembers  will mark the centenary with a tribute of words and music from local choirs as well as an exhibition. The concert will take place on Saturday, November 10 from 7pm at St Cadoc’s Church. 100 red poppies will also be seen on the Wales Air Ambulance (WAA) aircraft as a sign of respect.

Poppy of Honour 2018

In Wincanton, a commemorative Poppy of Honour has already been unveiled. Over 250,000 individual volunteers and businesses have joined forces to create an eight-foot steel and glass poppy-shaped sculpture, the first memorial of its kind, dedicated to the 1,117,635 British and Commonwealth service personnel, killed or declared missing in action in the war. 1,117,635 individual poppies are contained within, all labelled with the details of the men and women who died. In early 2019, the Poppy will embark on a major tour around the United Kingdom and Southern Ireland, before being displayed at the Tower of London.

And in Bristol, The Bristol Festival of Remembrance  will take place at Bristol Cathedral on 10 November, presented by Terry Waite CBE. The evening begins with orchestral pieces, choral works, readings and a performance by local children, and the night will finish with a performance of Karl Jenkins’ The Peacemakers, a piece dedicated to all those who have lost their lives during armed conflict. On 11 November, also at Bristol Cathedral is Duruflé’s Requiem performed by Bristol Cathedral Choir. Admission is free.

Finally, the annual act of remembrance at Wells Cathedral this year will feature John Rutter’s Requiem, a free event taking place from 3-4pm on 11 November followed by a devotional service, interspersed with War Poetry.

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Published Date: 6th November 2018
Category: Blog, Events, News
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19 
Jun

Events Industry Update June

South West Summer Events IndustryIn the events industry, everyone is competing to stand out in a busy marketplace; but even with the threat of Brexit looming over the industry, event organisers are optimistic.

A recent report from Pulse reveals that events have now become a rich tool for marketing organisations.

Experience-driven marketing is the way forward apparently, with people preferring a sense of “camaraderie and shared culture. Why eat luxury cheese at home when you could tap into a community of cheese lovers at a festival or pop-up marketplace?”

80% of millennials reported that they would prefer to make sacrifices of material or luxury goods to participate in experience-driven exercises. This is very welcome news in particular for the festival industry.

The report continues to say that more creative events in increasingly creative spaces have become the norm in 2018. Passive marketing techniques which were previously employed are now being replaced with “more personable, and intimate event spaces… as brands look to engage each individual customer.”

Outdoor Festivals

More than 7,000 major outdoor events are held each year. Outdoor events cover all activities from major festivals, agricultural shows, sporting and charity events through to small village and craft events.

Following the Olympics in 2012, the UK has established itself as a world leader in outdoor events. Now many UK companies export their events industry expertise. The sector has witnessed huge growth; between 2005 and 2009 there was an average annual increase of more than 1.64M adults attending outdoor events in the UK.

Festival Food Trends

One trend that has expanded over the years and has now become a sophisticated part of festivals is catering. Once upon a time, when festivals started, visitors were lucky to find anything more than a greasy burger or a curled up sandwich. Those days, however, are long gone. Today the culinary credentials of a festival have become increasingly important, and this is an accelerating trend.

Chief Executive of the Association of Independent Festivals, Paul Reed says that spending on food and drink at independent festivals was 36% higher in 2017 than in 2008. “Customer expectations have shifted considerably and, in some cases, food and beverage options can be as important as the music and arts programming itself,” he comments.

In March 2018, CGA Strategy, a consumer research group, published a report on festival-goers’ attitudes towards food and drink based on 5,000 interviewees.

The research revealed that the range of food and drink was an important factor when choosing which festivals to attend. Nearly two-thirds of the respondents (61%) cited “a diverse selection of food and drink stalls” as a significant factor when choosing a festival.

On average, a music festival ticket cost £150. This is a significant amount and attendees expect a more luxurious experience. In addition, and more importantly, they also bring the cash to pay for it. Thus festival organisers are placing more emphasis upon the catering, from gourmet burgers to fresh, healthy smoothies, sushi and vegan options.

For the catering fraternity in the events industry, the options are endless and accelerating to provide a variety of food for every palate.

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Published Date: 19th June 2018
Category: Blog, Events, News
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05 
Jun

Russia World Cup Fever Begins

FIFA Russia World Cup LogoIt’s time to start trading Panini stickers! After the excitement of the FA Cup, the Champions League Final and the domestic playoffs, we can now sit back and look forward to the next great sporting event, the FIFA Russia World Cup.

There is a feeling that this year, the anticipation is somewhat muted. Perhaps it’s too soon after the Euros when the England team was humiliated by a bunch of Scandinavian part timers with their chilling Viking thunder clap. Whatever the reason, the Russia World Cup starts next week and the strains of Three Lions will surely be heard in pubs and homes around the country.

Harry Kane leads the team as captain, a position which has been bestowed on many but successfully fulfilled by few. And here’s a couple of pub quiz facts for you: the Premier League’s ‘Big Six’ teams provide 17 of the 23 players chosen by Southgate and Manchester United holds the record as the only club represented in every England football tournament squad since 1950.

Teams that should have but didn’t qualify include Austria, Czech Republic, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Scotland, Turkey, United States and Wales.

Group Stages of Russia World Cup 2018

For those who want to organise their events and viewing in advance, here is the schedule.

  • Thursday June 14 Russia v Saudi Arabia (A) Moscow (Luzhniki) 4pm
  • Friday June 15 Egypt v Uruguay (A) Ekaterinburg 1pm; Morocco v Iran (B) St Petersburg 4pm;  Portugal v Spain (B) Sochi 7pm
  • Saturday June 16 France v Australia (C) Kazan 11am;  Argentina v Iceland (D) Moscow (Spartak) 2pm;  Peru v Denmark (C) Saransk 5pm; Croatia v Nigeria (D) Kaliningrad 8pm
  • Sunday June 17 Costa Rica v Serbia (E) Samara 1pm; Germany v Mexico (F) Moscow (Luzhniki) 4pm;  Brazil v Switzerland (E) Rostov-on-Don 7pm
  • Monday June 18 Sweden v South Korea (F) Nizhny Novgorod 1pm; Belgium v Panama (G) Sochi 4pm; Tunisia v England (G) Volgograd 7pm
  • Tuesday June 19 Poland v Senegal (H) Moscow (Spartak) 1pm;  Colombia v Japan (H) Saransk 4pm; Russia v Egypt (A) St Petersburg 7pm
  • Wednesday June 20 Portugal v Morocco (B) Moscow (Luzhniki) 1pm; Uruguay v Saudi Arabia (A) Rostov-on-Don 4pm; Iran v Spain (B) Kazan 7pm
  • Thursday June 21 France v Peru (C) Ekaterinburg 1pm;  Denmark v Australia (C) Samara 4pm; Argentina v Croatia (D) Nizhny Novgorod 7pm
  • Friday June 22 Brazil v Costa Rica (E) St Petersburg 1pm; Nigeria v Iceland (D) Volgograd 4pm; Serbia v Switzerland (E) Kaliningrad 7pm
  • Saturday June 23 Belgium v Tunisia (G) Moscow (Spartak) 1pm; Germany v Sweden (F) Sochi 4pm; South Korea v Mexico (F) Rostov-on-Don 7pm
  • Sunday June 24 England v Panama (G) Nizhny Novgorod 1pm; Japan v Senegal (H) Ekaterinburg 4pm; Poland v Colombia (H) Kazan 7pm
  • Monday June 25 Uruguay v Russia (A) Samara 3pm; Saudi Arabia v Egypt (A) Volgograd 3pm; Spain v Morocco (B) Kaliningrad 7pm; Iran v Portugal (B) Saransk 7pm
  • Tuesday June 26 Denmark v France (C) Moscow (Luzhniki) 3pm; Australia v Peru (C) Sochi 3pm; Nigeria v Argentina (D) St Petersburg 7pm;  Iceland v Croatia (D) Rostov-on-Don 7pm
  • Wednesday June 27 South Korea v Germany (F) Kazan 3pm; Mexico v Sweden (F) Ekaterinburg 3pm; Serbia v Brazil (E) Moscow (Spartak) 7pm; Switzerland v Costa Rica (E) Nizhny Novgorod 7pm
  • Thursday June 28 Japan v Poland (H) Volgograd 3pm; Senegal v Colombia (H) Samara 3pm; England v Belgium (G) Kaliningrad 7pm; Panama v Tunisia (G) Saransk 7pm

Knock Out Rounds

LAST 16 (3pm and 7pm)
Saturday June 30: Sunday July 1: Monday July 2: Tuesday July 3
QUARTER-FINALS (3pm and 7pm)
Friday July 6: Saturday July 7
SEMI-FINALS (7pm)
Tuesday July 10: Wednesday July 11
THIRD-PLACE PLAY-OFF (3pm)
Saturday July 14
FINAL (4pm)
Sunday July 15

All that remains is to wish the England team the best of luck and please, no penalty shootouts. And for all of those in the catering businesses organising Russia World Cup related events good luck.

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Published Date: 5th June 2018
Category: Blog, Catering Business, Events
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22 
May

What Does Our MD Get Up To On The Weekend?

Royal Wedding ProtectorsIf you spent all week working with catering businesses that range from catering vans through to the finest dining in the land, what would you do for a weekend break?

That’s right you go to the biggest event in the country, where both types of catering businesses delivered royally.

MD Helen Hagger, as usual, was well prepared with a plan leaving nothing to chance. She travelled to a hotel in Slough West on Friday night with Allison, her friend of 35 years.

The alarm was set for 4.20 a.m in good time for the booked taxi to arrive at 5 am. Then a half hour trip to a misty Windsor; already rich with a promise of a beautiful day for the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

Celebrities Around the World

Helen and Allison at the Royal WeddingHelen walked to Long Walk, where many hardy royalists had slept overnight for their prime position among the 100,000, who viewed the procession.

She was in good time to set up the front row directly behind Sky News and opposite ITV News. Perfectly placed for Allison’s and Helen’s image to be beamed around the world for the almost 2B viewers, among the enthusiastic crowd shots and scene-setting.

It was certainly a great place for celebrity spotting.

Alan Titchmarsh Royal WeddingRational Celebrities Chef and BertOur duo saw Philip Schofield, Julia Etchingham, Alex Beresford, Scarlett Moffat, Lucy Verasmy, Carol Kirkwood, Kay Burley and Alan Titchmarsh.

Not forgetting Rational’s own Chef and Bert, who being prepared, Helen had brought along for the great day.

Crowd Control for Event Success

The Long Walk and WaitThe crowds began to build once the first trains started to arrive in Windsor around 6 a.m. The atmosphere was amazing and the weather was glorious. And there to protect all were the police using the latest crowd science training developed to respond to various terrorist threats by the College of Policing.

Thames Valley Police were supported by 100’s of police officers drafted in from various police forces. Being there for six hours, Helen had many officers stand in front of her. All were brilliant, happy to chat to the crowd and delighted to be working at such a prestigious event.

The final officer during the actual procession was Slough Police’s Commander. She had just volunteered to man the procession route as a regular police officer and was not in charge on the day.

Sadly all the officers were ordered to face the crowds to ensure there were no incidents. So they were unable to see any of the Royal Wedding procession. Rather like those many catering businesses across the country who are fundamental to the success of an event, but are too busy working to fully enjoy it.

Ceremonial and modern protectors AC Services Southern

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Published Date: 22nd May 2018
Category: Blog, Events, News
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