The organisers and participating venues of the Nottingham food and Drink Festival have hailed the new format as a resounding success. For the 2011 festival, the length was extended from 4 to 12 days, running from June 29-July 10, and there were also many special events, master classes and special festival menus at restaurants and bars across the city.
A special festival market dedicated to all things food and drink was held in the city’s market square for 4 days, and featured over 70 stalls as well as demonstrations from participating local venues. Most of the participating bars and restaurants reported a healthy rise in the number of customers who came in during the duration of the festival.
The MD of the Ever So Sensible Group, Chris Bulaitis, said there was an evident increase in trade across its Nottingham portfolio, which includes such eateries as Dogma, The Castle, Bad JuJu and Le Mistral. He added that in his mind, there was no doubt that the changes made had driven customers into venues, with the city centre restaurant Le Mistral a prime example.
He said that for the week that ended on July 10th, they took 40% more than was expected, when compared to the same week the year before, and taking into consideration other things such as growth trends. He reiterated that such an impressive increase was a brilliant result for the company.
Commenting on the feedback, Sylvia Manser, chief executive of Festival organiser We Are Nottingham, said:
“Changing an established format is always a risk, but the reaction has been overwhelmingly positive. Events were extremely well attended, the market was bustling and we’re thrilled to see some impressive figures coming back from the venues.
“This is certainly the format we would like to take forwards, but as always we’ll look to make subtle changes to keep things fresh and exciting.
“We’ve started to look ahead to 2012 and the next few months will see the search begin for new partners, as this was the last Festival to receive funding from the East Midlands Development Agency. We certainly welcome interest from any businesses and organisations looking to support Nottingham’s vibrant food and drink scene.”
We Are Nottingham is a Business Improvement District that represents leisure businesses throughout the city centre. It is responsible for a host of initiatives to improve experiences of Nottingham’s bars, restaurants, clubs, hotels and other entertainment venues, including the successful Taxi Marshals and Street Pastors schemes.
For more information on We Are Nottingham, visit www.wearenottingham.co.uk <http://www.wearenottingham.co.uk> .