Catering for individual tastes

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Giving delegates what they want is key to customer service excellence, and food plays a vital role in that, according to David Vaughton, director of venues for EEF Venue. A former chef himself, he understands the importance of satisfying delegates’ tastes and expectations.

“This is all about identifying the tastes of our customers within our three distinctive niche markets,” said David Vaughton.

“It’s about differentiating ourselves from others in the sector and going above and beyond what is considered the norm for a venue food offering.”

To ensure this happens, we have a rolling food development strategy focussing on dynamic and creative food propositions. Provenance, seasonality, local sourcing and presentation are important elements. 

Over the past twelve months alone, we have invested over £150K in kitchen facilities and the craft skills to ensure that the quality and style of food reflects our ethos.

“Sandwiches seem to be the mainstay of most buffet offerings these days, particularly in London, but there are so many more exciting, healthier and more appetising alternatives,” said David Vaughton. “Food is a memorable part of a delegate’s experience so we want to make dishes tempting, attractive, tasty and intrinsically yet not obviously healthy.”

At Broadway House, our Westminster venue, the food offer is constantly evolving to satisfy tastes where up to 200 delegates a day enjoy working lunches, buffets and private fine dining. This is restaurant quality food at its very best.

In this highly competitive London market, variety, choice, seasonality and provenance are all on the table. An added focus on super foods reflects our health-conscious customer-base with bowl foods such as a superfood salad made with broccoli, carrots, quinoa and edamame beans with a honey, soy and ginger dressing providing an additional nutritional punch.

Head chef, Alex Bungey, comes from a four and five-star hotel and restaurant background so he has an eye for detail and is tuned into the tastes of a London market.

He said:”We keep our food simple, well-seasoned and visually attractive. Everything is made on-site from fresh, seasonal ingredients so why over-elaborate with complicated dishes?”

Finger foods on the new spring menu include blow-torched mackerel with salsa verde and fennel; ham hock terrine with parsley and carrots, and Teriyaki glazed salmon with sesame seeds and coriander.     

With eating habits changing, our food offering is also more flexible, less formal and more responsive, reflected in the choice of lighter bites, shared platters and grazing options and nibbles available.

“Everyone seems to be a foodie these days. The challenge for any good venue operator is to surprise and delight them beyond their expectations,” said David Vaughton.


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