catering, cafe, museum, heritage and art

The Geffrye Museum

Change Programme for Visitor Cafe

The Client

The Geffrye Museum is set in elegant 18th century almshouses and depicts the quintessential style of English middle-class living rooms. Its collections of furniture, textiles, paintings and decorative arts are displayed in a series of period rooms from 1600 to the present day. In 2000 the museum opened a café within a new wing that overlooked attractive period gardens.

The Challenge

The café, run by a dedicated team of in house staff, was a popular venue for visitors and locals alike but had not achieved the financial success that it deserved, so the Trustees decided to investigate why. In 2008, Boyd-Thorpe Associates was appointed to carry out an operational and financial review of the café. The review highlighted a number of areas where improvements could be made but, as there was no catering expertise in-house above the café manager, BTA was retained and continued to work closely with the catering team to implement the necessary changes. 

Results Delivered

The result has been a major turnaround in the cafe’s financial position and much improved customer service standards. Turnover has been increased by 21% and costs have been reduced; delivering a 30% improvement to the bottom line. BTA continues to provide monthly management support to the venue.

Delivery Model

  • Operational, staffing and financial review
  • Consultant management support to guide the team through a change programme
  • Staff training in service standards
  • Management training in budgeting and ongoing financial management
  • Menu engineering and product development
  • Health & safety and food safety assessments, staff training, policies and procedures
  • Ongoing management support in the form of ad hoc telephone advice, e-mail advice, monthly operational support meetings and continuing staff training

“A real pleasure to work with! All of Fiona Boyd-Thorpe’s consultants have been fantastic!
I cannot tell you how wonderful Louise is...”

Deputy Director, Geffrye Museum

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