On Monday 24th November the Year 12 Hotel Management students visited The Suffolk Food Hall. Linked in with their assignment work, the purpose of the visit was to investigate the customer profiling of the Food Hall, and then analyse how they undertake customer service.
The students were given a tour of the extensive premises in the stunning location down by the Orwell Bridge. Starting in the Cookhouse, they went through into the home and garden section, and then on into the Food Hall itself. They were also given access to the Artisan & Cookery school kitchens on the ground floor, and then the Cookhouse kitchen & Front of house upstairs. Students were particularly interested in the Red Poll cattle that the Food Hall rears to stock its butchery and Cookhouse restaurant.
Hannah Benneworth, Cookhouse Business Manager, spent time with the students discussing who the customers for the business were and how they gave these people excellent customer service. They gained a real insight into the ‘holistic foodie experience’ the food hall offers its customers – whether they are having a coffee in the café, ordering a turkey for Christmas, buying fruit & vegetables to plant the gardens or having a the renowned ‘Cookhouse Fish Pie’ at lunchtime. Central to the Food Hall’s business is local, quality produce.
The key theme the students learnt was that the success of the Food Hall results from their clear identification of their customer & their unique selling point. This is supported by the expert knowledge of the staff and the desire to exceed expectations.
The visit is due to be followed up in January by the Suffolk Food Hall coming into College, and a work placement scheme of students going down there one day a week in January to work front of house & in the kitchens of the Cookhouse.
Thank you to all the people down at the Suffolk Food Hall for welcoming us on the cold Monday morning, and giving us a very detailed insight into their business activities.