Make the Most of Local Events

By Jennifer Coles    Date released:  25th March 2014
Now that spring is here, it's time to shake off the cobwebs, pack away the woolly layers, and get ready for an amazing summer of outdoor events.

From the Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race (April 6th) to the Harrogate Spring Flower Show (24-27 April), big events help to bring new people to your area and put your business on the map.

Chat to your local Tourist Information Centre to find out what's coming up, then pull together a strategy.

The Food

If you find yourself catering for an influx of people, think about the amount of time it takes you to take a customer's order, prepare it and serve it, even during 'rush hour'.

If there's a cultural event nearby, you're likely to find that some customers ask how long a dish will take. The key thing is not to over promise.

Consider offering a 'pre event' menu consisting of a limited number of easy dishes. Your door staff can then inform customers that these items will arrive more quickly.


  • Salads can be assembled very quickly if you have cooked, ready-to-eat ingredients prepared. Try unusual combinations such as blue cheese, nectarine and pine nuts.
  • The same goes for grazing platters of cheeses, cured meats or cooked seafood. Simply arrange the main ingredient with crusty bread, fresh green leaves, and mayonnaise or chutney. At Booker Wholesale, our award winning cheeses are among our most popular catering supplies.
  • Sandwiches don't require any cooking and you can get really creative with fillings and different types of bread.
  • Mexican food is great, because you can use a limited number of ingredients (such as sour cream, guacamole, chilli, rice and cheese) to make a huge variety of dishes.

  • If you're stuck, our latest 'All About Food' brochure, available from your Catering Development Manager, is a good place to start.

    The Drinks

    Everyone has a favourite summer drink, whether it's an aromatic Gin and Tonic, a carefree cider, or a refreshing white wine spritzer. We're currently offering 'Cheaper by the Case' deals on Gordon's Gin, Bombay Sapphire and Gordon's Elderflower Gin.

    Pimms by the jug can be really profitable, as it's a single transaction so there are fewer serving costs.

    At events, tourists are generally happy to trade up, as they're enjoying a special day out. So why not experiment with a few premium ales, such as Moorland Old Golden Hen, or Shepherd Neame Spitfire Premium Kentish Ale?

    The Marketing

    Once you've decided on your menu and deals, use eye-catching POS to advertise it. If you can, refer to the event, e.g. 'Flower Show Menu'. Check with the official organisers to make sure you are not breaking any regulations.

    If you have sufficient budget, consider taking advantage of any marketing opportunities that the event will bring. This could include an advert in the official program, a billboard near the event entrance, or leafleting outside the event.

    You could even get involved in the event itself by providing food, giving a talk or running a class. If there are any smaller community events or spin off events, you could be an official sponsor.

    Tell us about it!

    If you're getting involved in any big events this summer, send us a picture! We'd love to share details of your business and your event photos on our Facebook page!

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