Boyd-Thorpe Associates Retains Prestigious Royal Parks Consultancy

The Foodservice consultants at Boyd-Thorpe Associates are celebrating this month; having retained the concession advisory contract at The Royal Parks following a recent retender of the service. The contract, which the company has held since 1994, covers the consultancy for the catering and leisure concession contracts across the eight London Royal Parks; St James’s Park, The Green Park, Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, The Regent’s Park and Primrose Hill, Greenwich Park, Richmond Park and Bushy Park.

Catering in The Royal Parks has come a long way since Boyd-Thorpe Associates were first engaged in 1994. Then, the catering provision was a fairly low-key visitor service. Now it is very much a part of the London dining scene, with an ambition to raise standards even further.

The concession contracts today cover catering, boating, tennis, putting, bowling, deckchair hire and car parking: generating over £20 million per annum in turnover, a proportion of which is returned to the Agency in concession fees. Boyd-Thorpe Associates’ role includes financial auditing of the concession accounts and monitoring of customer service standards as well as more strategic consultancy in the form of feasibility studies, benchmarking and assistance with competitive tendering.

Peter Chua, The Royal Parks Head of Sales and Marketing said: “Boyd-Thorpe Associates have continued to demonstrate their expertise in the leisure and concession catering sector, and The Royal Parks look forward to working with them on opportunities to consistently improve our catering offer for our park users.”

Fiona Boyd-Thorpe, managing director of Boyd-Thorpe Associates, states, “We are exceptionally proud of the 17-year relationship we have shared with The Royal Parks and are delighted to be able to continue this partnership. I love the rich diversity of The Royal Parks – from the iconic tourist attraction parks of central London to the larger outer London parks.”

The team is looking forward to an exciting few years ahead with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Celebrations, 2012 Olympics and several large contract renewals in Bushy Park, Richmond Park, The Regent’s Park and Greenwich Park. Fiona continues, “Over the next five years the emphasis will lie on upholding and extending the high quality standards achieved in recent years, whilst improving turnover – and thus the Royal Park’s income. We are thrilled to be a part of it!”

Over the last 20 years Boyd-Thorpe Associates has gained a reputation for its work in open spaces – with a particular understanding of the challenges presented to caterers operating in parks. The unpredictable nature of the British weather, the seasonality of the business, irregular and often limited footfall, a diverse socio-economic market and the requirement to balance the needs of visitors against the core values of the open space in which the café/restaurant is operating are all factors that make trading conditions tough. “But there is always a solution,” says Fiona Boyd-Thorpe, “it’s about taking time to find it and match the caterer with the park.”

In addition to The Royal Parks, Boyd-Thorpe Associates also advices The City of London Open Spaces Department, The National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire, the London Borough of Hackney, the London Borough of Brent, Hylands Park in Chelmsford and Nene Park Trust in Peterborough.


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