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Author Topic: Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway (GWSR) - heritage line  (Read 84973 times)
ChrisB
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« Reply #75 on: November 05, 2017, 02:37:21 pm »

Looks as though there wasn't much chance to make a profit for those interested in bidding to run it?
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Red Squirrel
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« Reply #76 on: November 05, 2017, 03:43:14 pm »

The implication is that they haven't asked anyone beyond their own volunteers to staff it.

On the face of it (and of course this is just my uninformed opinion) the cafe ought to be viable - there's a popular Caravan Club site next door with no onsite catering facilities and providing a steady stream of visitors; there are no other facilities nearby (Broadway village centre is nearly a kilometre away) and the station itself is maturing into an attraction in its own right.

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« Reply #77 on: November 05, 2017, 03:48:13 pm »

Maybe you're right - but surely, they'd put feelers out to local trades people to see if anyone wanted a concession before redesigning it?
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Red Squirrel
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« Reply #78 on: November 05, 2017, 04:01:44 pm »

You would, and I would... Smiley

The debate rumbles on on the blog site comments section...
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« Reply #79 on: November 05, 2017, 05:43:22 pm »

Any thoughts..?

A shame, unless Pumpkin were going to run it.
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« Reply #80 on: November 06, 2017, 08:18:30 pm »

Quote
The cafe, for which the station building was laid out with dining room and kitchen, has just been dropped from the plans in a surprise move. Instead, the space will become a souvenir shop, with a coffee machine.

[snip]

Concerns about staffing the intended cafe have led to this last minute change of plan, we were able to ascertain.

Source: GWSR Extension Blog

Give them time, once Broadway gets established and they understand the footfall I am sure the catering offering will increase.  Must admit I always enjoy a coffee, sandwich and a slice of cake at Winchcombe
Any thoughts..?
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johnneyw
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« Reply #81 on: November 06, 2017, 09:09:03 pm »

A shop has a lower start up cost. Given that GWSR have financial constraints just like everyone else and they have (I gather) to budget for the platform 2 waiting room still to be built, a delay to a cafe my be a necessary measure. I'm sure it could turn a profit but a 2018 opening may be step too early. A little more clarity of intention might be a bit more diplomatic though.
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ChrisB
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« Reply #82 on: November 06, 2017, 09:47:40 pm »

That would be the case if they were to run it themselves & perfectly understandable, but they could sell a concession for immediate income
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Red Squirrel
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« Reply #83 on: November 07, 2017, 09:22:00 am »

A shop has a lower start up cost. Given that GWSR have financial constraints just like everyone else and they have (I gather) to budget for the platform 2 waiting room still to be built, a delay to a cafe my be a necessary measure. I'm sure it could turn a profit but a 2018 opening may be step too early. A little more clarity of intention might be a bit more diplomatic though.

This issue seems to have come to light because the station building has reached the point where the location of services needs to be decided. Presumably someone thinks it's a good idea to economise by not installing plumbing, drainage and kitchen electrics.

It looks like the powers that be in the GWSR have a fixed view of what a cafe should be - they appear to have ruled our franchising it, and it doesn't appear to have crossed their minds that for most people a decent cup of tea or can of pop with maybe a slice of Mr Kipling or a bag of crisps is quite sufficient, requires little equipment to prepare, and can be sold with a decent markup. Hot food could come later.

The 'Board' state in their blog that they wish to "increase the size of their retail estate" - as if they were John Lewis or something. Presumably they have access to market analytics, hidden from the rest of us, that show exponential growth in the gift shop tat market whilst coffee shops stagnate; the evidence of my eyes suggests otherwise.  They also say that this decision was taken two years ago... if that's the case then it looks like they didn't communicate it very well to the people who are building the station.
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« Reply #84 on: November 07, 2017, 09:56:54 am »

That would be the case if they were to run it themselves & perfectly understandable, but they could sell a concession for immediate income
Quite. As a cafe magnate (ho ho - well, the chairman of Charlbury Deli & Cafe Ltd) I know we'd be very interested if a similar opportunity arose here; indeed, we run the cafe in the new Charlbury Community Centre as our second venue.

For an existing business, it's a really attractive prospect. You don't need a kitchen; you prepare the sandwiches etc. at your main cafe in the less busy periods, then ship them up to the station to be sold there.

I don't know the Broadway site well enough to comment definitively, but the combination of steam railway, Caravan Club site, and its situation in a busy walking/cycling area makes it look like a good prospect for a cafe business.
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Red Squirrel
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« Reply #85 on: November 07, 2017, 10:05:16 am »

I don't suppose you could be persuaded to post words to that effect here, could you?

http://gwrboardroom.blogspot.co.uk/2017/11/broadway-station-there-appears-to-be.html
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« Reply #86 on: November 07, 2017, 10:19:53 am »

Quite. As a cafe magnate (ho ho - well, the chairman of Charlbury Deli & Cafe Ltd) I know we'd be very interested if a similar opportunity arose here; indeed, we run the cafe in the new Charlbury Community Centre as our second venue.

For an existing business, it's a really attractive prospect. You don't need a kitchen; you prepare the sandwiches etc. at your main cafe in the less busy periods, then ship them up to the station to be sold there.

I don't know the Broadway site well enough to comment definitively, but the combination of steam railway, Caravan Club site, and its situation in a busy walking/cycling area makes it look like a good prospect for a cafe business.

Cheese scones, please.
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« Reply #87 on: November 07, 2017, 10:22:36 am »

Red Squirrel - I will, but it's Blogger with its accursed commenting system that seems to break every browser I try, so it might take a few goes...

4TN - come over to Charlbury and we'll sell you some cake. Smiley
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« Reply #88 on: November 07, 2017, 10:23:37 am »

Well, The Ecclesbourne Valley Railway (EVR) in Wirksworth, Derbyshire appears to operate a very successful outfit in an ex Gatwick Express coach in a station siding. No idea how it's staffed, but they attract locals, walkers, cyclists, tourists and trainloads for hot and cold snacks. I receive a free, daily update email from the railway (Just sign up) on progress, specials, vistitors and successes of the engineerium. (all very positive news in these bleak times, and I thank them for it). No doubt like GWSR, it's a very well run operation, largely by dedicated volunteers. I'm sure if a catering officer from GWSR contacted the EVR operation, advice would be forthcoming, to say nothing of a 'behind the scenes tour and a warm welcome) I'm not even a member of the EVR, just a visitor. Jim
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TonyK
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« Reply #89 on: November 07, 2017, 10:32:10 am »

4TN - come over to Charlbury and we'll sell you some cake. Smiley

I shall be in Oxfordshire later this week. I shall apply for shore leave.
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