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Earlier this year we ran a customer survey and one of the biggest pieces of feedback we had from our customers around their current challenges was rising costs and not wanting to pass too much of this on to their customers. If you are looking at making cost savings in your independent pub, restaurant, hotel or catering business, one avenue you could go down it to create a ‘capsule menu’. Much like a capsule wardrobe, limiting the amount of produce but getting creative with how you use it can help you cut costs whilst still producing excellent dishes for your diners. Here are some tips on how to create a capsule menu:

  • Choose a theme: One route is to offer a limited menu that focuses on a specific cuisine or theme. This can help you to reduce your food costs by streamlining your ordering process and eliminating items that are not popular or that require a lot of preparation. With a bit of creativity this can still ensure an excellent experience for your customers, for example as part of a theme night of the week.
  • Use seasonal ingredients: As you well know, seasonal ingredients are often more affordable than out-of-season ingredients and diners are becoming increasingly discerning about the provenance of their food. Of course, seasonal ingredients are also fresher and tend to taste better too!
  • Keep it simple: AS well as keeping costs low by limiting the number of ingredients, simple dishes are often easier and less expensive to prepare than complex dishes. Ensure you use high quality produce and you can afford to let the flavours speak for themselves. Depending on your clientele, they may also prove more popular with customers.
  • Use less expensive cuts of meat: There are many delicious and affordable cuts of meat that are often overlooked in the catering industry. With a bit of creativity and culinary flair, these cuts can be used to create flavorful and satisfying dishes without breaking the bank.
  • Offer smaller portions: Do your plates come back clean or is there often a good few mouthfuls left? Offering smaller portions can help you to reduce your food costs without sacrificing quality. They can also help you to control portion sizes and prevent food waste.
  • Promote your capsule menu: Let your customers know about your capsule menu and why they should try it. You can do this through your website, social media, and signage.

With a dollop of imagination and a pinch of flavour, you can create a capsule menu that is both delicious and affordable. Don’t forget to talk to your suppliers about what options are available to you, for example less expensive cuts of meat. At Cooper Foods, our friendly sales team are always up to date on what’s in stock and can advise you on the best options to suit you.

Head to our website to apply for an account if you’re not already a customer, or give our customer service team  a call on 01264 321050.



Whilst the restaurant industry has historically been slower to adopt technology and innovation, the pandemic and ensuing economic instability have forced many food businesses to think differently about what they offer and how they offer it. In parallel customers have changed their spending habits too! The good news is: embracing new technology doesn’t have to be painful, and there are many ways that owners of independent pubs and restaurants can use technology to their advantage. The opportunities for improving their operations are wide-ranging, from online ordering to inventory management. Here are a few of the most common and their potential positive impact:

  • Online ordering and delivery: According to, the market size of the global online food delivery sector was estimated at 770 billion U.S. dollars in 2022. By 2027, the online food delivery market is forecast to generate revenues reaching 1.4 trillion U.S. dollars. What does this mean for your business? Embracing a tech solution that allows your customers to order food and drinks from your restaurant without having to come in can be a great way to ensure customer loyalty, increase sales and potentially reach new customers too. Here at Cooper Foods we have recently launched online ordering to better support our customers to get exactly what they need, when they need it. Get in touch to find out more.
  • Point-of-sale (POS) systems: These systems can help you manage your inventory, track sales, and process payments. Whilst they do represent a significant investment of time and money up front, they will save you time and money in the long-run, supporting smooth operations and helping you make better business decisions.
  • Restaurant management software: Software such as this can help you with everything from scheduling staff to managing reservations. Managing reservations manually can eat into your staff’s time, but being able to automatically manage waitlists, waitlists and seating, can free up their time to focus on the customers’ experience. An added bonus is being able to collect things such as diet or dining preferences and contact data, to gain market insights or for ongoing contact to maintain a customer loyalty scheme, for example. All of these areas, and many more, can free up your time so you can focus on other aspects of your business.
  • Marketing automation: This software can help you automate your marketing campaigns, giving you the opportunity to drive repeat bookings and automatically collect online reviews. . Online reviews are one of the most powerful ways to influence customer decision-making, so make sure you respond to all reviews, both positive and negative, in a timely and professional manner!

These are just a few of the ways that technology can help you streamline your operations, increase bookings and stay ahead of the competition.



It’s no secret that independent pubs, hotels, and restaurant owners are currently under a lot of pressure. With rising food and staff costs, labour shortages and the long-term impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, not to mention the increasing popularity of delivery and takeout, the challenges are many and varied. Also, according to a recent FSA survey*, consumer dining habits are changing, with many eating fewer takeaways cooking and eating at home more; buying items on special offer more; and changing what and where they buy to cheaper alternatives.

These challenges are therefore making it difficult for independent pubs, hotels, and restaurants to do what they do best and thrive. However, there are a number of things that businesses can do to adapt and overcome these challenges. For example, focusing on providing high-quality food and service to attract and retain loyal customers, partnering with other businesses to offer discounts and promotions, or getting creative with their marketing and how they promote their business. One of the most effective approaches can be to create unforgettable dining experiences, which we will explore in this blog. Not only does this approach keep your customers happy and loyal, but drives new customers through your door with word of mouth and glowing online reviews.

From our experience as food-lovers here at Cooper Foods, and conversations we’ve had with many of our own customers, here are just some of the things that can take a good dining experience and make it something truly special:

  • Good food, made with high-quality ingredients: It might sound obvious, but the quality and presentation of your food is everything to your customers. To create a memorable dining experience, ensure your food is fresh, well-prepared, and flavourful. Even if it’s a twist on a classic, your dish should be something your diners won’t get at home. This is one of the reasons our customers choose us to deliver their fresh meat, seafood, frozen and chilled goods. We work hard to source the best ingredients, so they don’t have to!
  • Excellent service:Exceptional service goes a long way, especially if there are any hiccups with the food. Ideally your waiting staff should be attentive, friendly, knowledgeable about the menu and able to make recommendations. Providing training for your staff on areas such as food intolerances and allergies can help you customers feel more comfortable to enjoy their time with you. According to YouGov, 2% of the British public are vegan (3% during January!) and 10% of the British population that follow a gluten-free diet. To support growing market demand for vegan and gluten-free options, we now supply 17 vegan and 40 gluten-free food products to our customers.
  • The right atmosphere: What kind of experience do you want to create for your diners? Consider whether your most loyal clientele prefer a relaxing atmosphere, with soft lighting and ambient music, or whether they prefer theme nights or live music. Find out what brings customers through your door and cater to their tastes, to ensure they keep coming back for more.
  • Attention to detail: A clean, well-maintained and nicely decorated dining area (and toilets!) cannot be underestimated. Your customers should feel immediately reassured when they walk in the door that they have made the right choice, booking a table at your establishment. Don’t forget comfortable chairs and easy access for wheelchairs too!

We hope you’ve found these ideas helpful and would love to hear how you are creating unique dining experience for your customers.




On 10th July 2023 Cooper Foods is launching a new wholesale meat brand called ‘Chalk Down Farm’. The new brand consolidates the fact that Cooper Foods are already one of the premium wholesale butchers and preferred catering meat supplier for many Southern counties, including Hampshire, Wiltshire, Berkshire, Surrey, Dorset, Somerset, Devon, Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire.

The Chalk Down Farm brand will cover all beef products sold by Cooper Foods. This includes premium beef burgers in addition to popular cuts of beef. For several years Cooper Foods have been producing Beef Burgers from a 50/50 mix of both beef Rib cap and Beef Chuck Roll.

Rib Cap has the fat content of the burger, which is particularly sweet, whilst the Chuck Roll is the lean element which is not only soft and succulent but has no sinew or tough gristle.

With the introduction of the Chalk Down Farm brand, Cooper Foods will now only make burgers that have been made from 100% aged, under thirty-month Steer or Heifer Beef. Seasoned with just salt and pepper, Chalk Down Farm has created a new burger that is exceptional in both flavour and texture and will suit the most discerning menu.

Every brand has a story to tell and the Chalk Down Farm story starts with tradition and of fifty years of expertise. Chalk Down Farm has selected ‘Connoisseurs Choice Beef’ as it’s source of beef. Our supplier has always focused on quality not only selecting the size, weight and conformation of the cattle but also ensuring that the preparation and knife skills are still adhered to with consistency in mind. All the beef is under thirty-months old and is either Steer or Heifer. The beef is then transported to our modern purpose-built facilities in the middle of the county of Hampshire to be then aged for 28 days in our Himalayan Salt Chamber.

After the ageing process is completed, our own in-house butchers, process the meat into the various cuts of meat and burgers that our customers order.

From 10th July 2023, you can order Chalk Down Farm branded products in exactly the same way as you order other products from Cooper Foods. If you are a new customer then you will need to register for a wholesale account first before placing your order.

There are two ways to place an order, the first is by calling us on 01264 321050 between 9am to 3pm and 6pm to 12am, Monday to Friday. The second is via our new online ordering portal.  You will need to contact our sales office to be registered for this.

Any business with a Cooper Foods registered wholesale account can add Chalk Down Farm products to their order.

Our Chalk Down Farm Products will be delivered to your delivery address along with any other food items from Cooper Foods, by our very own fleet of modern refrigerated vans.

For more information about our Chalk Down Farm range and to order, please contact us on 01264 321 050.



Our supplier sources Atlantic Cod and Haddock making sure the fish they buy is sustainable. Meaning that fish stocks can replenish and that procurement does not contribute to over fishing in any particular area or species. They are monitored and certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) exceeding the high standards by setting their own sustainability targets.

Only the finest fillets of these wild species are selected to be rolled in freshly baked golden breadcrumbs.

Three Oceans have developed a wide range of breadcrumb and ‘dusted’ coating recipes which can be rolled with a wide variety of white fish.

Either way you can be assured of a delicious combination of crisp, golden finish surrounding succulent fish.

  • MSC Certified
  • Caught in the Atlantic
  • Cases are sold Net Weight
  • Suppliers of Quality Fozen Fillets for 25 years
  • All the Frozen Cod & Haddock Fillets are 99% Boneless

To talk to us about our range of frozen seafood, call us today.



Veganism has become a popular lifestyle choice across the UK in recent years, with as many as 1 in 3 British people significantly reducing their consumption of meat and dairy. 

Veganism in the UK has increased and continues to rise, so too should the production and availability of vegan wholesale food; enabling restaurants and eateries to cater for vegan tastes. 

The rise of veganism: takeaways and restaurants

Takeaways and meals out may still be considered a luxury to most; something consumers indulge in for special occasions like anniversaries, birthdays or celebrations with family and friends, but in just 2 years – between 2016 and 2018 – the number of orders for vegan takeaways increased by an incredible 388% with more than 2% of the population (600,000 people) now considered to be vegan.

But what does this really mean for chefs like you? 

This dramatic rise in veganism means that takeaways, restaurants and eateries need to respond to the changing expectations and demands of your diners; offering a generous range of vegan-friendly foods for those who have either chosen the lifestyle, live with food allergies and intolerances or are simply curious to try something new. 

The UK continues to lead in the production of vegan products

In 2018 the UK launched more vegan products than any other nation, according to the World Vegan Society – responding to the increasing trend in this country for vegan tastes. 

Vegan wholesale food

Veganism is rapidly making its way into the mainstream, not only for the health benefits associated; increasing widespread awareness of food allergies and intolerances, but also the environmental benefits, the availability of good quality, vegan wholesale food for restaurants and eateries needs to also respond to this.

Cooper Foods are constantly expanding the range of vegan wholesale products available; delicious foods that are entirely vegan friendly, including sausages, pies and desserts.

For more information about our vegan range and to order, please contact us on 01264 321 050.