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The Caterer

Time to get ready for barbecue season

28 April 2011
Time to get ready for barbecue season

With spring now officially here, it's time for establishments to start thinking about alfresco dining. Barbecue season is one of the most anticipated British eating occasions for consumers and provides a great opportunity for outlets to be more creative with their menus.

Customers often begin adjusting their meal choices with the warmer weather and healthier eating becomes high on the agenda, so establishments have to be prepared to meet this need. It is just as important to bear in mind though, that as well as customers who demand a healthy option, there are those who still prefer regular meals.

Barbeque and alfresco dining opportunities are highly relevant for caterers, particularly those who can introduce outdoor dining facilities in response to the smoking ban and the growing food trend.

A barbeque and summer dining offering gives outlets an opportunity to add interest and seasonality to their existing menus and, advertised correctly, can generate greater footfall and create a unique selling point for their outlet. Holding special alfresco events are a great way for outlets to differentiate themselves from high street restaurant chains.

Barbecues have grown to become a more substantial dining experience in recent years and cover a range of dining styles, from informal after-work socials or alfresco parties with friends, to family affairs and dinner parties including starters, mains and desserts. This means operators now have to be better equipped to tap into the rising demand for better value, healthier eating, convenience, authenticity and local sourcing.

Olivier Kutz, Heinz Foodservice brand managerwww.heinzsight.co.uk

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