The new restaurant manager at Gloucestershire’s largest independent garden centre has his sights set on filling the restaurant for as many hours of the day as possible. Highfield Garden World opened its new 450 seater restaurant in December, and took on a new restaurant manager in July.
Marc Gibbons went to Highfield with over 20 years’ catering experience gleaned from managing high end hotels and restaurants across the Cotswolds and South West. These ranged from The Castle Inn in Castle Combe, to the Oxford branch of Raymond Blanc’s ‘Le Petit Blanc’ chain. Most recently Marc spent 10 years in Prince Charles’ home village of Tetbury in Gloucestershire where he was General Manager at the highly popular Snooty Fox – part of the Hatton Hotels Group, and a recipient of a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence 2014.
Marc commented; “A good garden centre restaurant should be full to brimming at breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea time – but what about the rest of the day? I’m keen to look at ways of boosting footfall during the quieter times while keeping levels as high as ever during the traditionally busy periods. This year’s launch of the new £2.5m restaurant and retail development has broadened Highfield’s appeal and brought in new customers. With new customers comes an opportunity to offer new products and try new things.”
Marc continued; “The restaurant here at Highfield is a fantastic space in a stunning setting. It’s already doing really well for us*, and we think it could do even better. Just for starters, coming from a hotel and restaurant background, I can see plenty of potential here for staging all manner of evening events. Watch this space!”
Owned and run by two generations of the Greenway family, Highfield is the largest independent garden centre in Gloucestershire. April saw the completion of a £2.5m new restaurant and retail development at the site. Transforming the food offering was the catalyst and the cornerstone of the entire project, and the new 450 seater lakeside restaurant features far-reaching views, floor to ceiling glass walls, a vaulted ceiling and indoor and outdoor seating areas.
*In August Highfield announced that year on year, restaurant till movements during the first half of 2014 were up by over 22,000, and the average transaction value increased by around 28% to just over £9. Restaurant sales overall were up a massive 82%.