July 2009 - Posts
The Eyes Have It!
I have had a serious eye infection for the last 10 days. I had to go to the eye hospital in Darlington and this made me think. The ward I had to go to was clearly marked with black and yellow eye signs. Not surprising really when many people are suffering with eye impairments, infections or diseases. However, I pose the question do we use our eyes enough as we walk round our businesses. The answer is a definite No, in my opinion. How often do we just watch what customers do? This can give us so much information about our hotel or restaurant. For example do people read your menu outside and walk on, do they go to a competitor or are they just window shopping. There are other areas such as signage. Why do we make signs unreadable with shiny faces? Why do we use stainless steel in bathroom fittings where directions wear off and it can be very easy to burn yourself. And why do we make marketing materials look good but then are unreadable? A recent example was trying to read someones business card.
The eyes are a really important marketing tool but we do not give them enough attention.
Help us to find Britain's most popular school meal - Please!
My two daughters Karen and Nicola were busy on the National School Meals Week stand at the Local Authority Caterers Association Conference last week. They were handing out information including details of how to vote for Britain's favourite school meal. Please can you help, it will only take a minute of your time. Just go to www.iloveschoolmeals.co.uk and click on the "Vote 4" button in the top right corner. Then follow the instructions.
We are trying to get 1500 votes from all over the country so please pass this on to colleagues, family and friends.
Thank you for your help.
It is time to name and shame
I am so fed up with vehicles abusing accessible parking I am fighting back. It is just me now but perhaps the craze will catch on. I will photo any vehicle that has a name on its side that I see abusing accessible parking. This is not my job. It should be the hotels. But we have to start somewhere and hopefully more will follow. Perhaps the culprits will feel guilty and not do it. Abuse of this type is totaly unecessary and sends out very poor messages to people with disabilities. If you see it happening please say something. Thank you.
Acessible parking made easy
Congratulation to the Express by Holiday Inn in Wandsworth. This is the sign they have outside in their car park for people with disabilities. They give a telephone number for the disabled person to phone on arrival. Then someone from the hotel comes out to release the padlock on the car parking space and give assistance. It is so simple why doesn't every hotel do it.
The changing figure of Catey
I was very excited when I came home on Friday night as I could put the Group Marketing Catey 2009 beside the 1988 version for Foodservice Caterer Catey (See the picture above). I am pleased to report that Catey has been following all the healthy eating advice in Caterer over the last 21 years. She is just as beautiful but she is a lot slimmer and more toned. She is obviously staying healthy for a long life. Long live Catey and all that win her heart.
Oh what a night to remember
Well we won the Group Marketing Catey with Richard Ware from Cambridgeshire Catering and Cleaning Service (CCS) on Tuesday night so it has been a brilliant week and the night got even better when Richard won the Public Sector Award.
Special congratulations to him for being a double Catey winner on one night. It was in 1987 that I received my first shortlisting for the Group Marketing Catey for the Healthy Eating Marketing Campaign in North Yorkshire led by a giant called HERBIE (Healthy Eating Is Really Better In Everyway). Some 20 years before Jamie Oliver, I was not a celebrity chef but I did win the Foodservice Catey in 1988.
The Cateys are brilliant, over 1,000 people in the Great Room at Grosvenor House. The leaders and celebrities of the industry are present.
The awards have been judged by your peers and I have been shortlisted five times for this Catey but never gave up. I always believed that I had a chance and with the help of all 30 clients on the www.myschoolunch.co.uk website and CCS we did it.
Richard Ware and his team have been just brilliant in the way they have set about the task of eliminating the deficit, they are so keen and committed, it has been a very great pleasure to work with them. Richard Ware has led and encouraged them but as in all things there is one person you could never be without. It is the marketing assistant that makes sure things happen. In CCS it is Megan Shale. She is on holiday this week so it will be a brilliant surprise.
On behalf of everyone thank you for doing a brilliant job.
A visit by my father that made me smile
Life is strange. As you will see from my blogs I stayed at the Holiday Inn at Lancaster recently. I was not very impressed by the facilities for disabled people. But by chance my father stayed there the week before last and in fairness to the hotel he...
It wasn't to be
Well Andy Murray didn't win. But let's pay tribute to his opponent who played the best tennis I have seen him play in years. There are many years ahead for Andy and I am absolutely certain he will win Wimbledon. He is only 22 and he is improving...
Off to the Cateys we go
Well it is on Tuesday night that we will be off to the Cateys at Grosvenor House. The Cateys are the Oscars of the Industry and I shall never forget winning one in 1988, I got a new job as a result. This year we have been nominated for the Group Marketing Award. We entered with Cambridgeshire Catering and Cleaning Service. Our entry showed how www.myschoollunch.co.uk was put at the centre of the CCS marketing plan and was a key factor in numbers rising by 6%. So with best bib and tucker we will see how we do. This is our fifth short listing but will it be our first win. Let's see on Tuesday night. It is a very tough call because the competition will be very tough.
Come on Murray
Well it is just about to start. Andrew Murray is walking on court for his semi final as I write. I come from Wimbledon and I did play at the All England Club so this is my annual trip down memory lane. Ok, it was a long time ago in the days of Buster...
I hate the terms handicapped and disabled, there are people behind those terms
Why do we have to use these negative terms. I met a client last week and on his confirmation it said "Handicapped room". There is no such thing. I also don't like being referred to as disabled. I am a person not disabled or a wheelchair...
National School Meals Week steps up a gear
Well where did the last week go. It has been full steam ahead at AVF Marketing as we prepare for the Local Authority Caterers Association and the launch of the website at www.iloveschoolmeals.co.uk. The week is taking place from 9th to 3th November and on 8th July we are announcing the star athlete of the week. We are encouraging school caterers from across the country to "Get Involved" with the activities planned. If you are a school caterer make sure you visit the website after wednesday. Here is something I wrote earlier.
National School Meal Week (NSMW) is run and organised by the Local Authority Caterers Association (LACA). It has taken place since 1993 and has the following aims:
• To increase the number of children enjoying a healthy school meal at lunchtime so that they learn more in the afternoon.
• To educate children about healthy eating by making it fun and enjoyable for Primary Pupils to have a school meal.
• To engage with teenagers so they understand how having a healthy lifestyle is relevant to them no. This includes a balanced diet with regular exercise and using role models such as athletes.
• To make parents aware that all school meals now have to meet strict nutritional standards as set out by the Government.
Over the years there have been many different activities and competitions including winning a trip to Disneyland, Paris. In 2009 the event is supported by the Partners of LACA. This includes food and equipment suppliers. Other support is coming from the School Food Trust and the Association of Service Solutions in Scotland Facilities Management (ASSIST FM). The week is taking place from 9th to 13th November.
The theme of the week is “Get Involved” and is encouraging school caterers to take part. On Monday 9th LACA will announce the results of their “Big Vote” to find Britain’s most popular school meal and dessert. On the Tuesday children will be encouraged to “Get Cooking” online with School Chef of the Year, Debbie Mumford. On the Wednesday the theme is “Get Active”, on Thursday teenagers will have a competition to win £350 by filming a 30 second advert about the new healthy school meals. Lastly on Friday Primary Pupils will be able to download “Thank You” cards to send a special message to the school caterers at their school.
To find out more and how you can “Get Involved” in promoting healthy eating to school children during National School Meals Week then please go to www.iloveschoolmeals.co.uk.