Schwartz September 2019

Find your inner artist

Art has been part of the restaurant scene for a long time now – ever since Picasso and Miro painted for their supper at La Colombe d’Or in France. Now many restaurants have embraced the use, or even practice, of art in their businesses and so can you.

Hosting work by local artists and allowing people to sell their creations in your establishment will not only help you refresh your décor, it will also open up your establishment to a whole new clientele and even earn you some money. Artists benefit because they can display their work to a target market with money to spend. What’s more, artists won’t have to hand over the 50 per cent commission they would with a gallery, but 10-20 per cent to you wouldn’t be unreasonable. You could use this added income to throw a launch party for the exhibition. By putting on nibbles and drinks, you can form a bond with the local community and allow the artist to speak about their influences and inspiration – they will no doubt invite family and friends who may never have been to your establishment before.

But before you start tracking down the local talent X-Factor style, you need to consider where and how the artwork will be displayed. You will need to ensure the paintings and pictures are well lit, and make sure you don’t turn your restaurant’s walls into a pin board with each new collection. Most importantly, diners shouldn’t have to worry about people looming over their table to admire pictures. If you aren’t keen on the first option then why not bring art in for the day? There are a number of ‘paint a pot’ companies that would be quite happy to hold an event in your restaurant. This type of occasion would do especially well in the run up to Christmas as people look for unique gift opportunities. You could host a lunchtime event and get patrons to buy tickets. By providing snacks, coffees and a gift that they have created, you could fill your lulls during the week.

Too tame? Then you could go the whole hog like the Emporium in Clitheroe, Lancashire. Everything in the bustling building is for sale, even the tables and chairs in the dining area. This means that as well as having luxurious surroundings people are able to buy anything and everything that they see.

Want to throw an extra special party?

Christmas parties and celebrations should be enjoyed and hailed with beautiful creations. Martin King of King Brothers knows more than his fair share about creating an impact. He is not just part of the family business of foodservice; he is also an award-winning ice sculptor.

He supplies his stunning ice creations to a number of events including those for premiership footballers, car manufacturers and major event agencies.

Says Martin who was World Champion Ice Sculptor in 2009: “There are many opportunities for caterers to earn profit from ice sculptures. Those who have a wedding venue can add them to their wedding packs as decorative pieces for the big day or luges for evening entertainment.

“Chefs can add value to buffets with food displays made in ice which can be both decorative and functional.

“Corporate logos work extremely well here. “Probably the most profitable is the Vodka Luge, with an unlimited number of designs available to suit your customers needs. They offer both profits from selling on but also good increased bar spend on spirits. “Commercial sculptors are well placed at providing the caterer will a fuss free supply route to extra profit.

“Deliveries can be on a timed basis to include set-up of the sculpture, including any necessary drain trays required.”

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