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Month: September 2021

TAF’s Trade Show Season Starting on a High: Lunch! 2021

On Thursday TAF Catering Consultancy attend Lunch! – the definitive event for the café, coffee shop and food-to-go sector. Visiting Excel for the first time in nearly two years was almost emotional and something we were really looking forward to.

Despite the changes brought about by the pandemic – with visitors required to show proof of their vaccination status or a negative Covid test before entering – it was great to see the foodservice sector come together again, with traders very keen to showcase their fantastic products and services.

Here’s the show highlights, according to Consultant Alex Mingoni.


1 | Paul Ettinger (Caffe Nero) | After reflecting on how the business has evolved its offer and strategy over time, the Business Development Director offered his expert advice around 3 Key Elements to consider when opening an independent coffee shop:

  • Location, location, location: getting the location right in terms of how the business would fit within the local community is vital;
  • USP: “walking the streets” to assess what the competition is doing, what is popular with customers and what their needs and priorities are, to help establish what your own point of difference is (whilst ensuring consumer preferences are met);
  • Local Quality: speciality coffee is a must, as well as having a network of local suppliers to tap into to produce unique, sustainability friendly F&B with a story to tell.

2 | Kate Nicholls (UK Hospitality) | The UK Hospitality Chief Executive summarised how the organisation has worked with the government to ensure hospitality businesses were able to survive the “black swan” of Covid and outlined how they are now collaborating to implement a future strategy for the sector, to facilitate recovery and dodge the “grey rhinoceros” of uncertainty, debt and still fluctuating consumer confidence.

3 | Sonia L. Carvalho (Restaurant Associates) | RA’s Head of Coffee and Communities shared insight on how to craft the perfect coffee offer, elaborating on 3 Key Elements:

  • Product: a dynamic coffee offer that changes often and meets client and customer evolving needs in terms of quality and value;
  • People: empowering and educating catering teams by teaching them how to craft the perfect cup of coffee and the story/science behind what they serve, as they are ultimately responsible for delivering a fantastic customer experience and drive sales;
  • Purpose: a coffee offer with a positive social and environmental impact, especially in light of the current focus on “net zero strategies” and increased customer awareness around the ethical credentials of coffee brands.

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