There are two basic principles which underpin how I approach an analysis of how hospitality will work best for, and within, any arts organisation.
The first is that the priority must be always be given to the vast majority of visitors who invariably want to eat well, inexpensively and relatively quickly rather than to the minority who have more time and a greater disposable income. The consequences of this are that cafes have to be in convenient locations where guests can regain their strength and composure after a lengthy exhibition or where they can easily refuel body and soul. This approach can lead to tensions with the Board or Trust members who can see matters differently.
The second is to hammer home the point that food does not travel. If the objective is to serve good, well-prepared food at reasonable prices then the Board, architects and senior management of any arts organisation must realise that the closer the kitchens are and the closer the café is to the ground floor or the main entrance then the better the food and the overall experience will be.
Customers, staff and wine travel – food does not.
My ultimate ambition is that the hospitality on offer is the equivalent of the artistic standards set by the arts organisation. I don’t think I have managed to achieve this yet but I will continue to aspire.