At the heart of the Taste Durham initiative is the commitment of a business to provide a quality offer for their customers. Businesses that sell direct to consumers – bars, restaurants, cafes, hotel restaurants, takeaways and fast food outlets – can all take part in the Taste Durham assessment process. It can sound scary, but it isn’t.
The assessment is a business development tool that involves an experienced assessor from Quality in Tourism, on behalf of VisitEngland who visit and score the business against a range of criteria including: physical features such as the condition of the establishment, the food on offer, cleanliness, comfort and ease of use of the facilities. The assessor also looks at the warmth of the welcome and the atmosphere for customers. A commitment to local sourcing of produce is also evaluated, if this is relevant.
The visits take the form of a mystery shopper exercise, so businesses are not alerted in advance of a visit from the assessor. However the assessor will introduce themselves on completion of the assessment and offer a personal debrief of the visit. A short while later the business receives a detailed business development report highlighting areas of excellence and outlining areas for improvement. The report also indicates if an award has been given. The awards are then revealed at an annual celebration event. All Taste Durham award participants receive a range of marketing, business support and networking benefits.
For more information about Taste Durham please contact the Product Development Team on 03000 261 225 or via email.