Heathcotes Outside pulls out of two Blackpool restaurants

15 January 2013 by
Heathcotes Outside pulls out of two Blackpool restaurants

Heathcotes Outside, the events business of Lindley Group that was set up by former double Michelin-starred chef Paul Heathcote, has pulled out of two restaurants in Blackpool 18 months after they opened.

The caterer relinquished control of the Empress Grill and Mazzei Cafe in the Winter Gardens after it was forced to declare a loss of £45,000, but it will continue to operate the events and conferences business.

"It hasn't been the success as envisaged," said Heathcote (pictured). "As a compromise, when we took on the outside catering contract, the council wanted us to run the restaurant but it was always believed it would be a difficult venue to run.

"It has never been anything to do with me directly and I have never visited the site."

The venues are both owned by Blackpool Council, which had sought investment of £200,000, but Heathcotes Outside was only able to put £88,828 into the businesses, reported the Blackpool Gazette](http://www.blackpoolgazette.co.uk).

The poor performance of the two operations was blamed on a lack of passing trade.

Stephen McDade, Lindley's operations director said: "Heathcotes Outside has by mutual consent with Blackpool Council, agreed to relinquish responsibility for managing and providing general catering services at Blackpool Winter Gardens' Empress Grill Room and Mazzei Cafe in order to focus on Heathcotes Outside's core area of expertise - catering for conference, banqueting and events at the venue by providing a bespoke, first-class fine-dining experience for all occasions."

Both restaurants are expected to remain open, and will be run by Crown Entertainment, which operates the rest of the attractions in the Winter Gardens.

Councillor Graham Cain, cabinet member for tourism and culture on Blackpool Council, said: "We are disappointed things have not worked out with Heathcotes Outside. However, I want to reassure residents that under new operator Crown Entertainment Centres the exceptional quality of food and service will remain, with existing staff remaining in place.

"Crown will be offering expanded opening hours and a greater range of promotions and we are delighted Heathcotes will continue to operate as specialist event caterer in Blackpool."

The Mazzei Cafe opened in February 2011, while the Empress Grill opened in June 2011 in the former Backstage Bistro, employing 12 staff.

By Janie Manzoori-Stamford

E-mail your comments to Janie Manzoori-Stamford here.

If you have something to say on this story or anything else join the debate at Table Talk - Caterer's new networking forum. Go to www.catererandhotelkeeper.com/tabletalk

Catererandhotelkeeper.com jobs

Looking for a new job? Find your next job here with Catererandhotelkeeper.com jobs

[Blogs on Catererandhotelkeeper.com ](http://www.catererandhotelkeeper.com/blogs) Catch up with more news and gossip on all Caterer's blogs
[E-Newsletters](http://www.catererandhotelkeeper.com/email-newsletters.htm)[ For the latest hospitality news, sign up for our E-newsletters
The Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email

Start the working day with The Caterer’s free breakfast briefing email

Sign Up and manage your preferences below

Check mark icon
Thank you

You have successfully signed up for the Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email and will hear from us soon!

Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. Read more.


Ad Blocker detected

We have noticed you are using an adblocker and – although we support freedom of choice – we would like to ask you to enable ads on our site. They are an important revenue source which supports free access of our website's content, especially during the COVID-19 crisis.

trade tracker pixel tracking