catering, cafe, museum, heritage and art

Burnham Beeches

New Nature Reserve Cafe Concept

The Client

Owned and managed by the City of London Open Spaces Department and located in South Buckinghamshire, Burnham Beeches is classified as a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a National Nature Reserve. Attracting around 500,000 visitors a year, the Beeches has been a valuable recreational amenity for over 125 years and is managed both as a public open space and also for conservation.

The Challenge

In 2007 Burnham Beeches initiated a major project to update its visitor facilities - including a café, toilets and an information point – to service the needs of the visiting public in a way that would complement and enhance the site's special status.  As a designated National Nature Reserve and a candidate for Special Area for Conservation, the foodservice management consultants from Boyd-Thorpe Associates (BTA) knew that any changes to the provision of catering would need to be sensitive and appropriate.

Results Delivered

BTA recommended the development of a single catering unit, constructed from natural materials, and located on a less-environmentally-sensitive and more commercially-attractive spot than the two existing kiosks. The cafe has been highly successful in meeting the City of London’s aims and objectives for Burnham Beeches; supporting the overall site management plan and attracting usage from a wide visitor base. The catering consultancy services provided by BTA have resulted in an increase of concession income to the City of London from £1,500 per annum to over £20,000 per annum.

Delivery Model

  • Mystery shopper reviews of the two existing kiosks
  • Market research interviews with 450 visitors
  • Analysis report highlighting key issues and recommendations
  • Engagement with local management team
  • Strategic plan for catering
  • Outline business plan
  • Design of café layout 
  • Management of competitive tender to source a concession tenant
  • Ongoing support for the operator & The City of London

“The service provided by Boyd-Thorpe Associates was extremely helpful and professionally delivered. I would not hesitate to use their expertise again.”  Superintendant, Burnham Beeches

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