New Nature Reserve Cafe Concept
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.
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.
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.
- 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