Although rumours have been circulating recently, it has now been confirmed to VentnorBlog by The Royal that they will be stepping away from running the Royal Garden Cafe at Ventnor Botanic Garden.
Visitors to the cafe have seen the decor, service and quality of food improve dramatically since the concession was taken over by The Royal Hotel two years ago.
New owner wants to run cafe
Owner William Bailey told VB this morning, “As a result of several meetings, John Curtis decided that it would be best if the new CIC took over the running of the catering.
“We tried to point out that having the Royal as appointed caterers would have been an asset to the new CIC and having excellent food would attract more people to the Garden.”
Percentage of turnover and ground rent were offered
Anyone who uses the cafe regularly will agree that the Royal’s involvement has turned around the offer by the Garden cafe.
William continued, “Furthermore Mr Curtis is also aware that in the two years we have been there we have substantially increased the turnover. We also highlighted that the CIC would get 8% of turnover and a ground rent of £10,000.
“However Mr Curtis was quite adamant that he would prefer to do the catering himself. Therefore we are trying as hard as we can to make sure that there is a smooth hand over.”
“Really enthusiastic about what … we’re concluding “
Only two weeks ago when we interviewed John Curtis he gave no indication that he was planning to take over the running of the cafe.
Readers who listened to the podcast will remember John saying, “I’ve spent a lot of time working with the Royal about how we’re going to work together, and I’m really enthusiastic about what we’re concluding. Today it’s a cafe and it’s going to stay a cafe.”
John Curtis just replied
We have written to John Curtis a couple of times over the last three days and in the last two minutes we received this, “William and I have been focused on providing a consistent service through the transition of the Garden from the IOWC to the C.I.C. Please reassure your readers that the cafe will continue and nothing will be lost. I rather agree that fresh bread baked at the Garden, sandwiches to order, and the excellent cakes are important and should continue. William and I are working hard to make the transition invisible for cafe customers.”
Thanks to loyal customers
William finished by saying, “We wish the team at VBG good luck and every success.
“Lastly the Royal and Bridget wanted to thank all our loyal customers for supporting us over the last two years.”
Listen to Interview with John Curtis.