The Garden Centre Association (GCA) has launched a new ‘Rising Stars’ catering initiative, a programme aimed at highlighting and developing garden centre catering staff.
The programme will be led by Chris Brown from Turpin Smale Catering Consultants. Brown is a UK catering consultant with practical experience in opening and operating bars, restaurants and cafés for the past 15 years.
GCA said that it is inviting applications from member garden centres who would like to put candidates forward, with around 20 people already set to start the programme this year. There will be four masterclasses in total designed to help them to improve their “knowledge and experience”, as well as show them what else is going on in the “wider market place”.
It added: “Candidates will have training in simple financial controls, food merchandising, innovations in the sector and how to present effectively. Their homework will focus on specific examples of how their own café can be improved in terms of sales, profit and quality.”
Iain Wylie, CEO of the GCA, said the existing ‘Rising Stars’ programmes have gone from “strength-to-strength” and remain a significant benefit to GCA members wishing to develop their staff. He said it is also an important “tool” for garden centres wishing to “celebrate and acknowledge” those staff that give their all and are eager to learn more.
He added: “We felt that it was right to develop a Rising Stars programme that ‘caters’ specifically for their needs. So, we have created a separate catering programme with the aim of developing individuals within our industry and raising the profile of garden centre catering.”