Scottish Enterprise’s Experiencing Scotland team and the Fife Food Network have just held a special workshop for people involved in Fife’s food and tourism industries.

The event was run on the theme “Serving up success – making the most of local produce”, and was held this week at the SRUC Elmwood Campus in Cupar.

Business and food group representatives were offered advice on delivering engaging and profitable visitor experiences that put local produce at the heart of their food and drink offer.

Participants were welcomed by Viv Collie, a director of the network’s “Food from Fife” initiative, and the session began with a working lunch.

Participants heard chef lecturers Wullie Balfour and Vicki Munro describe the work of the hospitality team in the campus training kitchen and restaurant, then a presentation from Barbara Wardlaw of Fife Farmers’ Market.

Two experienced facilitators from the tourism and hospitality sectors, Sue Crossman and Sandra Reid from Experiencing Scotland, led workshop sessions.

They were then joined by Eric Milne of Fisher & Donaldson, and Simon Baldwin, from the Old Course Hotel, Golf Resort and Spa, during wide ranging interactive discussion about the case for local sourcing  and enhancing visitor experiences.

Viv said afterwards that research has shown that :

  • in terms of the bottom line business benefits – visitors are willing to pay, on average, a premium of 7 – 8% for food and drink they consider to be fresh, seasonal and locally sourced
  • “trying local food” is the most popular visitor activity in Fife – more popular than shopping, walking, visiting beaches or sightseeing
  • most visitors eat out during their time in Fife – 61% in cafes or tea shops; 60% in pubs and bars; 56% in quality restaurants

She said that each participating business will receive a free follow up telephone consultation after the workshop to provide individual advice and support.

“We hope to help businesses increase their food and drink sales, improve experiences for their visitors, and excite their staff about what is being offered to guests” she said.

Participants included the National Trust for Scotland, Cluny Clays, Grill 48, Cairnie Fruit Farm, Doorstep Bakery, Wester Dura B&B, Ceres Inn, Crail Food Festival, Fairways Restaurant, and Fife Council.

The photograph shows a plate of delicious Fife lamb

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