Background The hospice kitchen has provided nutritious home-cooked meals for patients for the past 33 years. More recently, following complete refurbishment of the kitchen, we saw potential to develop a commercial arm with a view to generating additional income for the charity. The appointment of a Head Chef in April 2021, with an extensive commercial background, was the catalyst for The Caring Kitchen to be established.
Upskill existing catering team to work within a commercial environment.
Enter the market tentatively using a ‘learn and develop’ approach to grow the business organically.
Develop menus and marketing materials to promote The Caring Kitchen brand locally and via social media, utilising corporate supporters and hospice retail shops.
Provide excellent catering services generating positive feedback and repeat custom.
Generate and grow income to cover the cost of the hospice catering department to release income to support patient care and contribute towards the financial structural deficit of the charity.
Key results (as at May 2023):
Three course meal event serving 120 guests utilising hospice volunteers as waiting staff.
Provide training day meals to local super league rugby club.
Provide daily meals to children at a local nursery.
Supply small buffets and afternoon teas to local businesses.
Catering for private parties.
BBQ for corporate events.
Food offering at local community events.
150 coronation teas served.
Conclusions A steady flow of orders over the last 12 months has delivered a turnover of £60,000. We believe this is just the tip of the iceberg. With a re-energised team keen to utilise their skills, the foundations are now in place to take this to the next level. We are excited to see what the next couple of years will bring.