Good food, doing good: a bright future for food and beverage at the National Trust

21 February 2022 by
Good food, doing good: a bright future for food and beverage at the National Trust

As Europe's largest conservation charity, the National Trust helps to care for over 500 historic houses, castles, parks and gardens, 780 miles of coastline, 250,000 hectares of countryside and more than 1 million objects in its collections. It also has over 200 food and beverage outlets. The income from these outlets goes directly towards looking after the places in the Trust's care.

During the pandemic, the much-publicised challenges faced across the hospitality industry; supply chain issues, recruitment struggles, and ever-changing restrictions were also faced by the Trust's Food and Beverage (F&B) teams. Many outlets were reduced to a takeaway-only service whilst some temporarily closed. However, from Easter 2021 onwards, the Trust's cafés became the backdrops for families reuniting for the first time in months, finding the abundance of outdoor space and fresh air the ideal spot for family reunions, whilst revelling in the pleasure of a freshly baked treat and a hot cuppa made by someone else.

With much greater stability during 2021 and the popularity of outdoor places in particular, visitors returned, sometimes in higher numbers than 2019. Along with government support, such as the VAT reduction scheme for hospitality, the F&B team at the Trust is now able to return its attention to growth, investment in both people and facilities, pushing its environmental ambitions and team well-being.

The next 12 months will see investment in physical buildings, from extensions and refurbishments all the way through to opening new cafés and improving accessibility and environmental credentials.

For example, as part of the Trust's commitment to be carbon net-zero by 2030, their food outlets are in the process of receiving new, more efficient coffee equipment which will decrease CO2 emissions by approximately 262 tonnes over the next five years.

Staff and volunteer wellbeing is a priority throughout the charity, and as part of this, all of the Trust's F&B Managers have been offered Mental Health Awareness training. It's important that the teams who, throughout the pandemic, kept doors open, coffee machines grinding and visitors fed and cared for are offered the highest level of care and support in return.

Once again opportunities exist for career progression with many managers, team leaders and chefs having grown their career within the organisation, often joining as café assistants or kitchen team members and progressing to more senior positions.

The future for F&B at the Trust is looking optimistic, exciting and challenging in equal measures, with visitor numbers on the rise, ambitious environmental targets and a refocus on growth. Opportunities and variety are vast for those who choose to work there and be a part of their Good Food Doing Good movement, championing fresh, seasonal food with genuine provenance that ultimately benefits nature, beauty and history for everyone, for ever.

To discover more about working in Food & Beverage at the National Trust please visit National Trust Jobs :: Food and Beverage

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