Yorkshire Event Centre sits in the heart of Harrogate and is home to some of the North’s biggest events. 2016 saw an £11 million new build of Hall 1 now with an increased capacity of up to 3,000 guests in theatre style or 2,500 guests for a banquet. Yorkshire’s biggest single event space, made up of 2 large halls, Yorkshire Event Centre is perfect for exhibitions, trade shows, consumer shows, corporate events, large scale conferences, awards ceremonies, dinners, sporting events and concerts.
Proud to have been catering partners for over 20 years Lizzie Baxendale is the Event Manager at the Yorkshire Event Centre. Lizzie’s role at CGC sees her managing the Yorkshire Café, which Lizzie has decorated with various trinkets and decorative Yorkshire fair. On event days visitors are able to enjoy hot meals such as classic filling sandwiches, a range of hot daily specials and “YAPAS” – Yorkshire tapas; featuring pork pies, cold meats and help yourself salad.
November 18 has seen The Yorkshire Café updated to a higher spec to match the more modern Hall 1 café. We caught up with Lizzie to discuss her time heading up the Yorkshire Event Centre and the update to the café.
What big retail changes have you seen in your 16 years heading up the Yorkshire Event Centre?
One of the things I’ve noticed is that meals have got lighter, now if we do a curry we’ll only sell it with a naan, rather than with naan and rice. Obviously street food has really become big on certain shows we’ll have a street food offering on the menu such as a lamb kofta kebab. Lastly, Coffee! Everyone wants coffee especially cappuccinos and lattes.
What are your best sellers?
It really depends on what event it is; today it’s the North of England Woodworking & Power Tool Show so the best seller will be fish and chips (this classic is rather popular with the older gentleman),but for example when it’s The Harrogate Flower Show or The Great Northern Quilt Show salads are very popular. Our best seller can often tend to be the first dish on the hot plate too! If customers like the look of what they see first more often than not they will buy it.
What input have you had into the cafes?
Over the years a lot. We have a great relationship with the venue having worked together for such a long time, so we’re able to work with the venue on projects like this. With the update of the new café it was very much about customer experience, the queues can flow more easily and it’s more versatile we now have the flexibility to move our offering around depending on what the menu will be as I tailor it to each event.
What trends have you seen come and go over the years, or stay?
The Yorkshire classics like fish and chips will always be popular as it’s good wholesome food, but one thing I’ve seen is sandwiches have got simpler, with good quality produce.
What can other retail units across the business learn from the YEC?
Don’t have too much choice. We only ever have 3 things on offer to keep it simple.
If you’re attending an event at Yorkshire Event Centre in the near future make sure you pay Lizzie a visit and get yourself something delicious as you take a break.
Intrigued to find out more? To enquire about holding your next event at the Yorkshire Event Centre, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
To book hospitality at an upcoming event at the YEC please click here: Bookings at the YEC
More information is also available on the Yorkshire Event Centre’s website: eventcentre.co.uk
Great Yorkshire Showground
01423 544 544