Free to participate in and focused on local produce, can Savour be a saviour for restaurants under strain this autumn? It’s a good start, says Simon Soar of the Jersey Hospitality Association.
“We’re grateful to be seeing an awful lot of support from local diners. There is an appetite for dining out and that’s a huge relief for the hospitality industry.
“What we are concerned about, however, is what the Christmas season will hold. Usually, Christmas is about large bookings, big tables, lots of covers and a lot of business. Capacity is now an issue. Big tables of people is not something we can do anymore.
“Understanding the challenges ahead, the Savour festival is a way of trying to keep people in restaurants through the shoulder season, but without participating restaurants having to offer heavy discounts.
“I’ve spoken before about the value of a product and how there’s a culture of people expecting more for less. Now, more than ever, there has to be a recognition that things don’t come for free, and people must be willing to pay for quality.
“Participating restaurants will be offering a fixed price menu, which doesn’t force them to operate at a loss, which is often the problem with something like Tennerfest; you have to pay to take part and you’re expected to offer food at an unrealistic price. With everything the hospitality industry has been through this year, that’s not a very attractive proposition.
“As a concept, Savour offers quality without compromise and we hope that it will continue the momentum for supporting local producers and local businesses that we saw build through lockdown. Encouraging islanders to support local businesses is good for Jersey as a whole.”