Strategic & Operational Visitor Catering Review – Crofton Beam Engines

Crofton Beam Engines is a Grade1 listed industrial heritage site and visitor attraction open to the public. It has been owned and operated by the Kennet and Avon Canal Trust, a registered charity, since 1968.

Crofton Beam Engines houses the oldest steam engine in the world remaining on its original site and capable of performing its original task. It is one of the most significant industrial heritage sites in the UK and is a rare survivor of the technology, which enabled British engineers to drain mines and supply towns and cities with water throughout the world.

Crofton Beam Engines is currently in a period of significant organisational and strategic change following the award of a major Heritage Lottery Fund grant towards conservation work and visitor offer enhancements, with a range of commercial developments designed to secure the site for the next generation as well as achieve business sustainability.

Visitor catering services at Crofton Beam Engines are provided via a café called the Engineman’s Rest Café. Montfort Catering Consultants have been working with and supporting Crofton Beam Engines with a strategic and operational visitor catering review to determine the most relevant and sustainable future visitor catering operation, as well as assessing how the visitor café should be managed in the future.

This exciting project included reviewing historical performance and financials of the visitor cafe along with understanding visitor profiles and dynamics to determine the future visitor catering requirements. Our approach also included a workshop with stakeholders to fully investigate all options. A proposed future management model, taking in to account the seasonality of the heritage and visitor attraction, is now in the process of being implemented.

Posted on February 1st, 2019