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Author Topic: Catering at stations - blip, thinning out, or chance of a new start?  (Read 269 times)
grahame
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« on: July 19, 2020, 05:50:31 am »

From Examiner live ...

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A couple who have been running a cafe at Huddersfield Railway Station for the past 15 years say they may have to quit unless trade picks up fast.

Geraldine and Chris Smith have run the Station Buffet on Platform 4 since 2005 and say passenger numbers are a fraction of what they were pre-lockdown.

Quote
And they are not alone. Coffee Room, a national chain, serving light snacks and drinks has yet to reopen and may never do so.

While Darryl Townend and his wife Angela who have run Newstrack, a once-popular convenience store close to Platform 1, since 1989 also bemoan the lack of trade.

A story from "up North".  Is that repeated across GWR-land?

The article goes on to share one of the operator's goes comments:

Quote
And they say the situation is not helped by advice asking passengers not to drink or eat on the trains.

I think I have seen a subtle difference here - with GWR suggesting that if you're headed for a long journeys on which you'll need food and drink, buy before you board.

Are we going to see a massive thinning out of catering offerings in the new normal, a resurgence of venues in spite of current concerns, or a wave of new businesses starting in the territory left by those who cease trading?   Is now a good time to be planning a catering operation at a station?

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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2020, 08:19:10 am »

Upper Crust, which was a staple of railway station catering is in rapid decline and other similar outlets are struggling.

I guess if the larger concessions go, it may open up opportunities for courageous individuals to fill their places, but again I guess it all depends on to what extent the world of travel, and especially rail travel changes/recovers post COVID.

DfT figures currently show rail travel at 18% of pre covid levels and bus travel (outside London) at 31%. Road travel by contrast is at 84%.
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Lee
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« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2020, 09:02:30 am »

Is now a good time to be planning a catering operation at a station?

No.
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2020, 09:35:15 am »

Is now a good time to be planning a catering operation at a station?

No.

Don't sit on the fence Lee!  Cheesy
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Lee
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« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2020, 09:40:46 am »

Is now a good time to be planning a catering operation at a station?

No.

Don't sit on the fence Lee!  Cheesy

Yes.
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