Operator bucks trend with move to site that gives it 50% space back-of-house

Stem + Glory

Plant-based restaurant operator Stem +Glory is set to relocate its Cambridge site in a move that will give it significantly larger kitchen space to support its expansion plans.

The brand currently operates from a small site in Cambridge, which has been a major factor in its decision to initially only reopen for delivery and click and collect from 30 July.

But it has secured another site in the city that will transform its operational capabilities, reveals founder Louise Palmer-Masterton.

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“It is much bigger and much more of a Covid-secure environment and it will allow us to build,” she explained. “In this new site we’ll have 50% back-of-house and 50% front, which will allow us to grow the online delivery side of the business as well.

“We got a fabulous deal on this site too, so things are changing a lot but what I think will emerge from this is far greater than went into it, albeit with a little bit of time obviously to settle down.”

Ms Palmer-Masterton said this “50-50 model” would necessitate a wider range of equipment to sustain menu expansion.

“I think there was a trend before with Deliveroo and so on that you’re basically buying restaurant meals, but we’re kind of thinking a little bit laterally to that now and having a menu that works equally in the restaurant for delivery.

“We’re also producing ready meals, so for example you can order a hot food delivery from us but you could get some cold meals as well which you finish off at home for the next day or the day after that. And obviously to manage that operationally you’ve got more equipment back-of-house – so more preparation equipment, more ways of preparing the food that can be used in a multitude of different ways, such as eat-in or takeaway and so on, so I think the model’s shifting.”

She added: “I never was much of a fan for the kind of delivery where you’d get your restaurant dish and it would all be in one box and the cold stuff would have got a bit soggy and the hot stuff would have kind of wiggled around a bit.

“We’ll actually build the dishes in the containers and heat them in the container, so when you get it at home it looks nice. The sides will be in their own little dish as well. So, yes, much more space, more equipment definitely, and more energy saving and efficiency in the back-of-house area as well.”

Louise Palmer-Masterton was speaking during the latest episode of Market Talk. View the full episode below.

MARKET TALK: Equipment price freezes, rebranding a restaurant business and plant-based kitchen design

Tags : plant-basedStem + Gloryvegan
Andrew Seymour

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