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Ice cream vans in a changing climate

Ice Cream Van Insurance

Ice cream vans in a changing climate

Imagine a long hot summer’s day, time to relax and enjoy the sun….. at the time of writing this seems a long time ago!

During the longer, hotter summers the living was easy for ice cream vans.  Into the 21st Century the summers seem shorter, less predictable and wetter.  So the lot of the ice cream van vendor is not as straightforward as it used to be.

It is not just the weather either, ice cream vendors are restricted by the introduction towards the end of the 20th Century of legislation that limits where people can trade, taking away some of the most profitable sites.

This means that it is necessary to seek alternative pitches and licensing can be a nightmare of persuasion as you fight your case to earn a living.  If you are new to the business you need to be aware that you are not allowed to set up within 50 metres of a hospital, school or place of worship. The lovely chimes cannot ring for longer than 12 seconds at a time or for more than once every two minutes, have to be at or below 80 decibels and you are not allowed to use them after 7pm or before 12 noon.

All of this makes a fun and potentially lucrative business just that much harder to manage.

All is not lost though; there are plenty of people who love ice cream vans and the chimes.

Those who are not tied to the constraints of a brand or tight franchise could benefit from expanding the range.  Is there room for a hot water boiler?  Selling hot drinks is a good way to counterbalance the weather problem.

Shows, fairs and other events are a good way to boost the income from the van and the hot drinks especially could make the difference between profit and loss or deciding to stay at home on a wet, dreary day.

Another tip to help you is to get a DBS, there is often suspicion about people who run ice cream vans, and understandably, most kids love the ice cream man or lady!  Proudly display your DBS and always mention it when enquiring about pitches at fetes and so on.

If you are a Ice Cream business owner and would like to Insure your Ice cream van, get in touch with us. Our Ice Cream Van Insurance quotes are very competitive and we are not on comparison websites.

All content provided in this blog is for informational purposes only. Catering Insurance makes no representation as to the accuracy or completeness of information on this blog or found by following any link within the article. The owner will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information. These terms and conditions of use are subject to change at any time and without notice.

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Do Catering Vans have to Follow the Same Hygiene Rules as Other Takeaway Outlets?

Catering Van Insurance

Do Catering Vans have to Follow the Same Hygiene Rules as Other Takeaway Outlets?

Catering Vans and Trailers are an exciting proposition for those wanting to be their own boss and to a certain extent choose their own working hours.

However, there is a lot to consider when setting up a catering van, here we cover the food hygiene aspect.

Your first priority is to ensure that the build standard of the catering area is sufficient to pass the stringent Food Standards Agency (FSA) health and safety checks. 

You will also need to take and pass a food hygiene course to be allowed to operate a catering business.

In England Wales and Northern Ireland it is essential that you register the food business with the environmental health section of the local authority.

The local authority in partnership with the FSA may inspect the vehicle.  Get registered early, to give them time to inspect and yourself time to make recommended changes before you start the business.  Discuss what is required with the inspecting team, the better your standard when you are checked the higher your rating, the higher your rating the higher customer confidence will be. 

Any catering premises with a low score will need to rectify any shortfalls in the standards and be subjected to a follow up inspection.  In extreme cases premises are not allowed to trade if the inspector is not happy with the level of hygiene.

What this means for you is that the catering van needs to be of the highest catering standard.  It is an advantage for you and/or your staff to go on and pass a good recognised industry food hygiene course and to pass with high scores.  Remember to practice what is learnt and you should pass the food safety checks.

Whilst some councils may use a slightly different checklist or criteria for catering vans over bricks and mortar catering businesses, generally the same high standards are expected.

If you are a Catering business owner and would like to Insure your van, get in touch with us. Our Catering Van Insurance quotes are very competitive and we are not on comparison websites.

All content provided in this blog is for informational purposes only. Catering Insurance makes no representation as to the accuracy or completeness of information on this blog or found by following any link within the article. The owner will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information. These terms and conditions of use are subject to change at any time and without notice.

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The USP of an Independently Run Takeaway

Takeaway Insurance

The USP of an Independently Run Takeaway

So you want to open a takeaway business?  You’ve found the premises signed the lease and installed the equipment and the food you offer is based on your expertise and all is good to go.

The catering market is a booming one and is highly competitive.  The high street is brimming with the big chain takeouts and there is a fish and chip shop along the road.

No matter how good a cook you are or your chef is or how good your recipes are, you will need an edge, a unique selling point or USP in order to really hit the profit spot you want.

A few simple things that will help any business is to buy the best possible equipment that you can afford.  Find the best possible staff, ensure they are invested in the business and ensure that everything both sides of the counter is always, always spotlessly clean and fresh looking.

Your USP will have to come from you.  Do you specialise in a particular sub-section of the type of food you sell at the takeaway?  If so that could be your USP.  Do you have an uncle who is a baker or a friend who loves gardening?  Including artisan baked desserts or your own fresh vegetables could be enough for people to say ‘ah yes, ‘the takeaway with the lovely pastries’ or ‘yes, the one with home grown vegetables’.  Think about it, think well and maybe brainstorm with your team.  Your USP is what is unique to you and it will help sell if you promote it.

If you are a Takeaway business owner and would like to Insure your business, get in touch with us. Our Takeaway Insurance quotes are very competitive and we are not on comparison websites.

All content provided in this blog is for informational purposes only. Catering Insurance makes no representation as to the accuracy or completeness of information on this blog or found by following any link within the article. The owner will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information. These terms and conditions of use are subject to change at any time and without notice.

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Importance Of A Good Hygiene Rating For Catering Businesses

Importance Of A Good Hygiene Rating For Catering Businesses

Hygiene is defined as a series of precautions taken for the preservation of health. As per World Health Organization hygiene is referred to as practices and conditions which assist the maintenance of health and prevention from any disease spread whereas hygiene ratings in food and catering businesses is a measure of the food hygiene standards as per the rules of food on the day of inspection.

Hygiene Ratings of any food or catering business is provided by local food authorities and health safety officers. The authorities determine the rating through periodic inspections and visit the premises of the business. The ratings are judged according to some essential perimeters, the foremost importance in any checks the hygiene of food itself. The hygiene inspection of food will include the conditions food goes through during all stages. From the raw material used to the end product prepared, every step is looked up, which include the cooking, preserving, storage and reheating. Considering that health is not only affected by the food quality but also by the environment hence equal importance is provided to the conditions of buildings.

The building conditions are judged based on cleanliness, lighting, layout, air ventilation and all other facilities which may have any relation or affect to health. Whereas equal importance goes to the record of maintenance kept by the organization and the precautionary measures it takes to ensure high hygiene.

Importance of hygiene in the catering business is directly related to the importance of health. With a busy life schedule and burdened work-life of customers nowadays, health concerns are the most critical factor of any choice. Moreover, the media coverage of numerous notable incidents, due to low hygiene of food, has resulted in a new food culture which results in food safety awareness in the general public. The public has been putting in efforts to increase alerts regarding food safety and hygiene.

Due to the increased awareness consumers are also more interested in looking for “scores on the doors”. This term refers to the hygiene rating provided to the service provider by the local authority after inspection or visit, giving a detailed description of their hygiene rating. In case the scores are not being displayed, the public assumes that the ratings are not good enough to be displayed. This implies that the standards are not up to the mark, and the provider is not trusted to be selected. Considering the current situation and facts mentioned above, it is not wrong to say that hygiene rating can significantly affect your business where a bad score can reduce the number of customers, hurting your business as a result.

At the same time, a good rating can entice a higher number of customers to your business, giving it a nice boost. An expert in the field Mike William says that the hygiene rating system enables the interested customers to make a choice, regarding the selection of their provider, with complete knowledge about its hygienic standard. Mr Williams also shed light on the fact that it is not difficult for any business to reach 5* rating as long as they show compliance to state policy and legislation regarding hygiene.

If you are a Catering business owner and would like to Insure your business, get in touch with us. Our Catering Insurance quotes are very competitive and we are not on comparison websites.

All content provided in this blog is for informational purposes only. Catering Insurance makes no representation as to the accuracy or completeness of information on this blog or found by following any link within the article. The owner will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information. These terms and conditions of use are subject to change at any time and without notice.

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Importance Of Customer Retention For Restaurants

Restaurant Insurance

Importance Of Customer Retention For Restaurants

An ability of any company, organization or product to be able to retain the users or customers for a specific period is known as customer retention. If customers of that particular product do not tend towards any other product and continue using the same product, that product is said to have high customer retention.

Based on the latest research and studies, customer retention in any industry is dependent on uniqueness and reviews as well as the service provided by the industry. It has been seen that customers of the modern world are profoundly affected due to online reviews. Customer retention is also heavily dependant on the consistency of basic service provided and the quality of the end product. Be it the product or any service provided. Customers are reported to leave a provider due to lack of variety in the provision of product or service. Another major factor affecting customer retention is customer-provider interaction. It has been studied that providers who indulge in a friendly conversation with customers are more likely to get higher numbers of loyal customers. Showing enough of personal interest in customers, being an attentive listener or by finding requited solutions to some specified needs and concerns a relation can be developed between the providers and customers.

Customer retention is one of the most challenging matters to deal with when talking about restaurants. Although the taste of food and quality of service is of immense importance when talking about the success of restaurants but is not the only thing which brings back the customers.

In a Global Village of today, social media is known for playing a massive role in marketing online, and so is an essential factor. So it should be made sure that the presentation is different from other local providers and should be photo-friendly. As per the expertise of Crave the more critical factor in deciding the restaurant is the photos uploaded on social media applications. 

The importance of customer retention lies in some basic marketing facts which help boost up the growth and revenue of restaurants.

Customer retention is of extreme importance as loyal customers are the continuous provision of business regularly. As per experts, they are finding that a new customer can costs on average 4 to 9 times more finance as well as the time when compared to doing business with an existing client. Hence retaining customers can be commercially intelligent in terms of saving higher profits. Moreover, customer retention also results in expansion of business through customer recommendations. Loyal customers, who talk positively about the product or service being provided can be considered as one of the most effective marketing. In the modern era, with customers having more knowledge and information, personal reviews, also known as word of mouth, are considered to be the most reliable source of information by 92% of the customers. Hence retained customers can be considered as an effective advertisement. Providing facts about customer retention Harvard Business School states that five per cent of customer retention can result in a 25 to 95 per cent increase in profits.

If you are a Restaurant owner and would like to Insure your Restaurant, get in touch with us. Our Restaurant Insurance quotes are very competitive and we are not on comparison websites.

All content provided in this blog is for informational purposes only. Catering Insurance makes no representation as to the accuracy or completeness of information on this blog or found by following any link within the article. The owner will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information. These terms and conditions of use are subject to change at any time and without notice.

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The advantage of using an independent cafe

Cafe Insurance

The advantage of using an independent cafe

What Independent Cafes Offer

Stroll down any high street and chances are you will see a few cafes, restaurants and takeaways.  Some will be small and some will be larger, some will be the big chain brands and others will be the smaller brands or independently owned and/or managed.

So what can the independent cafe owner or restaurateur offer to make them stand out from the crowd?

There are a few things you can do to give you that all important edge.

Reputation

Get a good reputation and keep it.

What the majority of owner run or individual catering outlets have to offer is a personal experience. End of.

Your customers will return time and time again if they are warmly greeted, treated as individuals and especially if you or your staff remember their favourite table, their requirements and the way that they like their coffee for example.  Let them know that you remember and value them.

The balance here though is that some will want to be your friends, whilst some will not.  If you want to be friends outside of the cafe, then sure, go ahead build that relationship.  If not or if you feel that the customers don’t desire that next step in the relationship keep things friendly, welcoming but with that slight distance that the best restaurant managers show.

An example is an artisan bakery I use that also serves basic beverages and snacks.  The owner baker has a small team and they soon get to know the regulars and what they like.  The bread and baked goods vary, this is a small establishment and the selection is never the same two days running, yet the staff all know that I prefer granary bread or sourdough, they remember that I drink tea and not coffee.  They are friendly but professional.  I return frequently because the bread is good, the morning goods that I can eat in or take home are good and the service is good.

Offer something that your competitors are not offering – Individualism.

If you are a Cafe owner and would like to insure your Cafe, you can get a competitive Cafe Insurance quote from us.

All content provided in this blog is for informational purposes only. Catering Insurance makes no representation as to the accuracy or completeness of information on this blog or found by following any link within the article. The owner will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information. These terms and conditions of use are subject to change at any time and without notice.