Trade Shows 2018 and 2019 – Catering and Hospitality

Trade shows and fairs present an opportunity to learn from some of the best and brightest minds in your industry. They are also a great place to meet potential suppliers, distributors, and manufacturers for your restaurant, bar, cafe, or hotel.

Here are some dates for the biggest upcoming catering and hospitality exhibitions in 2018 and 2019.

2018 Catering and Hospitality Exhibitions, Fairs, and Events

Restaurant & Takeaway Innovation Expo

25 – 26 September 2018

ExCel Exhibition Centre, London

The Restaurant & Takeaway Innovation Expo is a great avenue to build your brand and grow your business. The event features an impressive lineup of 200 panellists, 500 seminars, and over a thousand exhibitors. Connect with major suppliers and key decision makers in the food and beverage industry. There will be live demos, show exclusives, and panel debates designed to equip you with cutting-edge strategies to boost your restaurant’s profits. Attendance to the event is completely free.

The Restaurant Show

01 – 03 October 2018

Olympia London, London

One of the leading industry events for those owning, operating, and working in the food and hospitality sectors, The Restaurant Show is a must-attend event for suppliers and business owners alike. Returning for its 30th year, this exhibition is bringing together 500 of the best manufacturers, retailers, and wholesalers in the hospitality industry. The Restaurant Show will showcase a vast array of exhibitors, from food to front of house to business services.

Independent Hotel Show

16 – 17 October 2018

Olympia London

The 7th annual Independent Hotel Show is the premier business event for luxury and boutique hotels in the UK. Every year, thousands of hotel owners, managers, decision makers, manufacturers, and suppliers come together to discuss innovations and trends in the hotel sector. This fair provides buyers with easy access to high-quality supplies and products, as well as avenues to learn more about their trade. This year, there are over 20 free seminars and workshops, as well as 300 exhibitors in the luxury, boutique, and independent hotel supply chain.

2019 Catering and Hospitality Exhibitions, Fairs, and Events

The Great Hospitality Show

21 – 23 January 2019

National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham

This biennial expo returns after a majorly successful showcase in 2017. The Great Hospitality show is one of the largest national exhibits for foodservice, providing the ultimate platform for networking. Exhibitors come from the food, drink, catering, interior, and tableware industries. The event aims to showcase a broad range of trends and talents in the hospitality sector. There are two concurrent events under the Great Hospitality Show: The Professional Kitchen Show for catering equipment, dealers, designers, and manufacturers; and The Foodservice Show, which features the best products and services from the food and beverage industry.

Casual Dining Show

27 – 28 February 2019

ExCeL Exhibition Centre, London

The Casual Dining Show is the UK’s only trade show entirely dedicated to the casual dining industry. Catering to branded chain and independent restaurants around Britain (and beyond), there are over 200 hand-picked quality suppliers and exhibitors from the food and beverage sectors. You can learn cutting edge technology and tools of the trade at either of the two theatres hosting free panels and seminars.


13 – 14 March 2019

SEC Glasgow, Glasgow

Scotland’s most anticipated food trade event is coming back in 2019. ScotHot is the nation’s premier food, drink, tourism and hospitality showcase is on its 46th year and boasts 200+ exhibitors that sell everything you could need under one roof. It’s the perfect platform to find innovative products for food, drinks, interiors, tableware, and equipment. Learn about the latest developments and trends and engage with over 7,000 industry decision-makers.

International Food & Drink Event

17-  20 March 2019

ExCeL Exhibition Centre, London

IFE is the largest and most respected annual food and beverage trade event. It brings together an international community of suppliers, distributors, manufacturers, and entrepreneurs in London, the home of food and drink innovation. It’s a must-attend event for trade visitors, who can get updates on revolutionary trends in the catering and hospitality sectors. There will be over 1,350 suppliers and manufacturers from over 55 countries exhibiting at the event, which draws in around 30,000 visitors every year. The event has partnered with two other events for four days of jam-packed activities and workshops. Pro2Pac, the UK’s only processing and packaging event, as well as sustainability event Waste Works,  are co-presenting next year.

Planning a coffee morning for charity?

Cake sales and coffee mornings in aid of charity have become a really popular way to raise funds for a cause close to your heart. Macmillan Coffee Cup Just look at events like Macmillan’s World’s Biggest Coffee Morning, Maggie’s bake sales, or The Big Tea Cosy for Breast Cancer Haven. Everyone loves cake and cookies, and we challenge you to find us a Brit who can turn down a good cup of tea. It’s no wonder that so many of us are happy to get involved in a coffee or cake sale to raise money for those in need.

For maximum impact, you’ll want to do a little bit of pre-planning to make the most of your event. We’ve put together a checklist, to get your event preparation off to the best start:

Sort out your “staff”

Who’s going to help out? You’ll want people to help bake cakes, and people who are happy to turn up and act as hosts, cashiers, and clean up staff. Bonus points if you can find bakers who’ll produce you some specialist items like gluten-free or vegan-friendly items. You can never have too many hands on deck, so get asking as soon as you can before diaries fill up.

Choose your date and venue

Once you’ve got an idea of who’s staffing the event, choose a venue to run your event from. Maximise your potential by choosing a location with plenty of passing people, on a day where plenty of potential customers will be passing by. An ideal time and place would be a sunny Saturday on the high street, perhaps when a big event like a carnival or concert has brought plenty of people to town.

Get the word out

With your venue and helpers organised, it’s time to let the world know. Put up posters around the local neighbourhood, leave leaflets in local businesses, and get on to as many social media pages as you can to let people know all about your event.

Stock up on sundries

You’ll be bringing cake, tea and coffee, and maybe your kettles, but think about customers. Some customers may want to buy items to take away with them, so make sure you’re set up for that by bringing in cake boxes, paper cones or disposable cups.

To price or not to price?

Naturally, you’ll want to raise lots of money, but you also want to tempt buyers with pocket-friendly prices. Discuss your pricing with your volunteers so that everyone’s agreed on what to charge, and if you’re feeling organised, produce some price labels or cards to place by the items for sale. If you’re working on an honesty box system, make sure your donation jar is prominently displayed, and secure.

Can the community help?

Get in touch with local businesses and tell them about your event. Not only might they be happy to display a poster for you, they may be able to donate supplies or match supporter donations.

If you’re looking to take your fundraising to the next level, Banksford can print your charity logo or message on to aprons or uniforms, to really show your dedication to the cause. Get in touch with Banksford today, and discuss your requirements. We wish you lots of luck with your fundraising!

Etiquette tips fit for a Royal

Etiquette TipsIf, like us, you’re still waiting for your invitation to the Royal Wedding, you’ll be pleased to know that there’s still time to brush up on your fine dining etiquette before any other big day. Even if that invitation didn’t come through your door, our helpful hints for proper table manners will hopefully keep you on the right side of the royal family if an opportunity ever comes up. (image by Bright Side)

1. The invitation

For formal occasions, you will receive an invitation, which you should always reply to, even if only with a quick phone call. Your invitation should specify if “plus ones” or children are allowed, but it’s OK to check with the host if it’s not specified. Don’t just bring them and hope it’ll be OK. Do take a gift with you for the host or hostess, such as a bottle of wine, but don’t be offended if it’s not used during your meal. The host has probably set out their menu well in advance.

2. Getting started

For a rectangular table, the host or hostess takes the seat at the narrow end of the table, and if their partner or co-host is there, they take the opposite end. The guest of honour sits to the host’s right. The host may say grace, or offer some sort of religious blessing. If you’re not comfortable joining in, it’s good manners to sit silently and observe. Some hosts may raise a glass to toast a guest, which you should join in with. Clinking your glass with another guest’s is not necessary.

3. Napkins or serviettes

Always remove them from the table and place them on your lap. If you leave the table to use the bathroom, the napkin can be left on your chair. When your meal is finished, the napkin goes back on the table, on the left side of your plate.

4. Cutlery

Don’t pick up your cutlery until everyone has been served. If there’s more than one set of knives and forks, you start from the set on the outside, and work in, towards the plate. During the meal, if you need to stop eating temporarily, point your knife and fork into the centre of your plate, crossing over at the tines of the fork. When you’ve finished eating, the knife and fork sit parallel to each other, with the handles pointing to about 4 o’clock.

5. Passing dishes of food

It’s good manners to pass the serving bowl anti-clockwise, unless a person across the table has specifically asked for it. If you’re passing a loaf of bread, cut yourself a few slices (Ideally without touching the bread) which can be shared with the person on your left, before passing the loaf on. Your bread plate should be on your left.

6. The end of the meal

Once the meal is finished, what happens depends on your venue. At a restaurant or formal venue, there will be staff to take away plates. At somewhere more casual, it’s down to the host or hostess to clear away, although it’s fine for one or two of the guests to help. Traditionally, the signal that the meal is over is for the host or hostess to place their napkin on the table, stand, and suggest everyone leaves the table for coffee in another room.

7. After the event

While you should always thank your host or hostess as you leave, formal events call for a written thank you note, simply thanking them for the meal, and noting something you particularly enjoyed. This should be sent within a couple of days of the event.

There are plenty of other common sense rules, which are probably obvious, such as turning off your mobile phone before the meal begins, keeping elbows off the table, and not talking with food in your mouth.

Now you’re ready to sit down at even the finest restaurant and enjoy your meal like a true society maven. If you didn’t get your invitation to Harry and Meghan’s big day, we’re sure you’ll find somewhere to put your skills into action, and it could well be one of the many restaurants which Banksford supply!

Can you ever purge single use plastic?

Clear Plastic CupsThe reduction of single-use plastic is all over the news at the moment. The government want us all to take steps to reduce the amount of plastic items we use once, and throw away into landfill, never to be seen again.

Various ideas have been publicised, such as deposit schemes were returning a plastic drink bottle would give the consumer a small refund, and the bag for life scheme which is popular in our supermarkets. However, all of these incentives are intended for the domestic customer, and not a lot of information for those of us in hospitality has made the news. What’s on the cards for the catering industry and what can we do to increase our eco-friendly credentials?

Disposing of the disposable

In the world of hospitality, single-use plastics are everywhere. Fast food and fast lifestyles rely on plastic cutlery, polystyrene plates, drinking straws and plastic coffee shop cups to keep customers moving. We can’t suddenly demand that everyone stand in our shops until they’ve finished their entire latte or sandwich, but neither can we afford to provide each customer with bone china to take away. The sad fact is that One Poll’s market research shows that 74% of takeaway customers don’t even use the single-use plastic items which they’re given, they get chucked straight in the bin. What a waste of your money!

Perhaps one of the biggest offenders is the NHS. A Freedom of Information request discovered that they get through 120 million plastic cups every year. By their own admission, while plastic cups are sometimes the only sanitary option, there are plenty of places where a traditional stoneware alternative would be perfectly acceptable. Two NHS trusts have implemented the use of china crockery, which is a slow start, but shows that they’re willing to change. Can we all make the same commitment?

What can we do?

You may have heard of a scheme popular in coffee shops, giving customers a discount for bringing in their own reusable cup and offering a discount to those who do. While this clearly wouldn’t work in a fine dining restaurant, it’s a popular scheme with coffee shops who would normally be providing cups which would otherwise be condemned to landfill by the end of the day, it might be one way those of us involved in quick eats could implement the change.

The eco-friendly alternative products which have started to emerge are well worth investigating. You can now get biodegradable items which look and behave just like plastic but are actually made from an earth-friendly alternative. Companies such as Biopac supply “plastic” cups which can be composted, because they’re actually made of biodegradable cornstarch, which will break down completely when it’s served its purpose. The same starch-based material can be used to make “plastic” cutlery, and with no difference in performance, these plant-based products will go a long way to getting rid of single-use plastic items.

As purchasers, there are steps we can take to encourage change higher up. Next time you’re ordering for your business, ask your supplier if they’d take back unwanted packaging for recycling, or would they be willing to provide your order in reusable containers such as wooden crates rather than plastic wraps. If they won’t, find out why, or take your business to someone who will.

If you’re interested in making your catering business a more sustainable one, there are several organisations which can help. The Sustainable Restaurant Association started in 2010 and works with its members to bring down waste and increase sustainability, there’s plenty of advice on the website of the Nationwide Caterers’ Association and the British Hospitality Association.

One Poll’s research found that 49% of customers would switch to a different caterer if they knew that business wasn’t going to be using single-use plastic items. Can you afford to be one of the businesses which miss out?

Our A-Z of Uniforms

Banksford’s A to Z of uniform

At Banksford, we think we stock one of the most comprehensive ranges of workwear uniforms, so
we’ve come up with a complete A to Z of our catalogue.

A – Aprons
Aprons are a key part of so many uniforms, and whatever you need an apron for, you can be sure
you’ll find a suitable apron at Banksford. Full aprons, cotton aprons, waist aprons, and even
tabards, all of which are designed specifically to put up with the demands of a hard working
professional environment.
B – Branding
Your brand is something which is unique and individual to you, so why not take the opportunity to
keep it on show by branding your uniforms? Banksford’s personalisation services can introduce you
to new ways to get your brand in front of the people who matter.
C – Clogs
Chefs are on their feet for hours, and it’s crucial that their footwear is comfortable and protects from
kitchen hazards like spilled liquids, slippery floors and extremes of temperature. Banksford stock a
wide range of professional grade clogs and other chef shoes to keep catering staff safe and
D – Denim
It’s not just for jeans! This tough cotton fabric makes it ideal for jobs where uniform needs a little
more protection than a standard cotton or polycotton fabric. Check out Banksford’s denim aprons –
contemporary and rustic in appearance, with a little more safety for its wearer.
E – Embroidery
There are many ways to personalise your uniforms, but for longevity and durability, we don’t think
you’ll beat our embroidery services. Wash, iron and tumble dry it – embroidery gives you a clear,
crisp premium way of putting your branding onto your uniform pieces.
F – Fabric
There are so many different fabrics to choose from, and Banksford offer something to fit every
budget and requirement, from budget friendly polycottons to tough leather.
G – Gilet
A great way to take your inside uniform to the great outdoors, these sleeveless jackets, sometimes
called bodywarmers, are really easy to wear, and can be colour matched to the rest of your uniform.
H – Housekeeping
Working busily behind the scenes to keep your premises neat and tidy, modern housekeepers are
so much more than cleaners. That’s why Banksford have uniform choices specifically designed for
them, including tabards with practical pockets, and polo shirts to keep them cool and comfortable all
I – Identity
Each business has its own unique identity, derived from your vision and values. If you’re looking for
a uniform to reflect this – maybe you want eco-friendly pieces, or a really bespoke look – Banksford
can help source key items to define your identity.
J – Jackets
If your staff work outside, they’ll thank you for a warm jacket as part of their uniform. Banksford
have smart fleece and soft shell jackets to keep them cosy, no matter what the weather has in store.
K – Kids
Kids love to be part of the team, so whether you’re looking for uniform for young members of staff,
or company branded items for little visitors, we’ve got plenty of options for youngsters. Aprons, polo
shirts, caps and many other items in our catalogue are available in child sizes.
L – Leather
Trusted for centuries, leather is one of the hardest wearing materials you’ll find at Banksford.
Leather aprons for the most extreme conditions, leather shoes and boots for kitchen staff, and
safety footwear for people working outside. Breathable, and easily waterproofed, leather items are a
high quality investment.
M – Modern
Image is everything, and that’s why Banksford moves with the times, stocking the latest items from
some of the industry’s top brands. Gone are the days of stuffy, starched hospitality uniforms in
monochrome colours. Say hello to contrasting colours, patterns and designs.
N – Natural
If you’re trying to keep your uniform choices as eco friendly as possible, Banksford can make that
happen. We stock a range of items made with natural fabrics like cotton and leather, and wherever
possible, we’ll source from Fairtrade suppliers.
O – Offers
Everyone loves a bargain, and because our stock moves so fast, we’ll occasionally have end of line
or out of season stock for sale at reduced prices. That’s on top of our already low prices on all items
we sell. Keep in touch with our social media Banksford Facebook and
Banksford Twitter for details on our latest offers.
P – Pockets
Who doesn’t use pockets? Particularly useful in the hospitality trade, they let your waiting staff stow
payment machines, notepads and pens safely, housekeeping staff keep their cleaning essentials to
hand at all times, and front of house staff keep phones, keys and tablets ready for action. Add
practical pockets to your uniform and you’ll never look back.
Q – Quality
You can be sure of great quality items and customer service when you buy from Banksford. Look at
our reviews from existing customers to see how happy they were with the Banksford experience
Banksford Reviews.
R – Retail
Retail workers need a uniform which is both practical and presentable, so take a look at some of the
smart options in Banksford’s extensive catalogue. Traditional shirts and blouses, smart trousers,
and ties and scarves to match your colour scheme are all available.
S – Screen printing
Looking for a quick and easy way to get your logo or message onto your uniform items? Screen
printing is a budget friendly way to do it. Ideal for those starting up, or looking for items for a one-off
special event, we use the latest technology to give you the crisp result you want.
T – Tie
An easy and affordable way to take your uniform up a notch, a classic tie from Banksford takes a
shirt from something casual to something more upmarket. Choose from a range of vibrant colours to
link ties to your colour schemes.
U – Unisex
Unisex outfits are becoming more popular each season, and Banksford stock uniform pieces which
look great on both men and women. Polo shirts, fleece jackets and sweatshirts are a great choice
for guys and girls.
You may not know it, but if you wear a uniform, the tax man might actually want to give you money.
Because Banksford do more than just sell you a uniform, our blog is full of useful information for
uniform wearers and purchasers – take a look at Tax Rebate on Uniforms.
W – Waterproof
Hot, steamy kitchens, al fresco dining, and the chill of a walk-in refrigerator – all of these scenarios
mean that your staff are going to encounter water. Be ready for it with waterproof options like shoes,
aprons and jackets from Banksford.
X – added eXtras
Sometimes small accessories can make or break a look, and Banksford offer the perfect
accompaniment to your uniform. We can provide the finishing touches to your uniform with our ties,
scarves and hats.
Y – Your logo
Banksford have been customising workwear since 2009, so we’ve got it down to a fine art. Choose
your items, select which of our methods of personalisation you’d like and send us your logo. We’ll
send you a full cost breakdown of what it would cost to add your logo to your uniform. Because we
do everything in house, we think it’ll be cheaper and easier than you think!
Z – Zandana
No, we didn’t make that word up. A zandana is something a chef wears on his head as an
alternative to the tall white hat, or the snugly fitting skull cap. You learn something new every day!

We hope you found our list very useful, Banksford are suppliers of uniforms and here to help you!

Are you thinking of running your own catering business?

If your passion in life is food, you must have wondered about the possibility of turning your hobby into a business. Estimated to be worth £1billion per year by Ibis World, running a food outlet could prove to be lucrative if you get it right. This infographic reveals that only 40% of independent restaurants make it to the end of their first year, so you need to make sure you’ve covered all the bases.
There’s a lot to consider though, so at Banksford, we’ve put together a summary of the key things you’ll need to know.

Before you start
There are a lot of food outlets out there, so you need to make sure yours is going to cater (excuse the pun) for a need which exists. Perhaps you’re thinking of a specific type of food, or you’re directing your business at a particular audience? Check out the competition, get a feel for their style, prices and market. It may even help you identify a gap in their market. This preparation will help you to move on to the next step.

Writing your business plan
Your business plan is particularly important if you’re seeking financial backing from the bank, or looking for investors. Even if you’re not looking for start-up finance, it will help keep you focused in the early days of running your service.

It should cover:
1. A description of your catering service
2. The type and amount of space you need
3. A list of the equipment you need to have
4. Additional costs, such as insurance, phone and broadband
6. Your marketing strategy

One of the prime causes of catering business failure is lack of marketing knowledge, so don’t underestimate it. There are some excellent suggestions on this page.

To see a very comprehensive business plan example from a specialist catering provider, click here.

Choose a venue
If you’re working from home, this bit is already done. Make sure your equipment is up to scratch (more on that later), and you’re ready to go.
If it’s a commercial premises you’re looking for, it’s up to you to make sure it’s suitable. Don’t be lured in by a low rent – you’ll need to factor in utility costs, rates and any service charges. Think about how it could work for you. Does the layout seem appropriate? Is there enough storage?
If you’re running a restaurant where customers will be coming in, consider how many tables you canfit in, any access for disabled customers, toilet facilities and fire exits.
Commercial food outlets will have a classification, which may or may not need to be altered to fit the business you’re operating.

Common choices for food businesses are:
• A1 – Retail, including packaged food
• A3 – Cafés – but check the exact wording as there are restrictions
• A4 – Pubs or bars which will serve alcohol
• A5 – Hot food takeaways

Get registered
Now it starts to get official. Your next step is to complete the Food Business Registration form online, which has to be done at least 28 days before you begin operating. Registration is free, but must be done for every address where you’ll be preparing food.

Once you’re registered, it’s time to tackle your employment status. If it’s just you on your own, you’re going to be a sole trader, so head over to the
and set up as a sole trader. If you’re starting a business with employees, it’s slightly different, and you may trade as a limited company. Register here and pay the £12 set up fee.

Play by the rules
Your local council’s Environmental Health department are needed now, so get in touch with them and let them know your intentions. You’re probably aware of their role, their first job is to come and inspect your kitchen to ensure it meets their standards. They’ll be looking at things like proof of well maintained food preparation surfaces, facilities to keep chilled food at the correct temperature, and washing amenities. Working from home? You can also expect to be asked about hygiene risks from pets and visitors, and how your lighting and ventilation will cope with the demands of a commercial kitchen.

It would be a good idea to go over some of the laws regarding food preparation at this stage – if you
haven’t done so already. Have a look at the Food Standards Agency website for their guide to what you should know, and make sure you’re aware of the Food Safety Regulations.

Get qualified
Now you’ve put the basics in place, it’s time to get the qualification you must have if you’re going to be granted permission to run a catering business. Expect to pay about £100 per course, and allow a full working day. Courses are run by the Chartered Institute of Environmental
and the Nationwide Caterers Association (NCASS). Without these qualifications, neither you nor your staff will be allowed to be involved in commercial food preparation, so make sure that everyone in your business is working within the law and has their certification.

Get stocked up
Obviously, you’ll be looking to purchase ingredients on a fairly regular basis, but don’t forget things like fire extinguishers, safety signs and stationery.
When you accept any delivery of food for commercial use, it’s not like signing for a parcel at home. Every delivery must be logged, with a note of the supplier, the date of the delivery and what was in the delivery. In the unfortunate event that someone is unwell as a result of your food, you will then have the means to trace back the ingredients or supplier that might have been at fault. It’s all about accountability.

With the legal requirements covered, you can shop for the equipment you identified in your business plan. If you’re working from home, you’ll probably have a lot of the equipment already. If not – or if you’re expanding your home setup – you’ll want the kit to cope with demand. Cookware, utensils and consumables should be on the list, along with the right chef wear. It’s really important to have the right uniform for your business, not only to keep you safe but to help you get into work mode.

In conclusion
The best businesses are those which come from the heart, so if your heart is set on entering the world of catering, why wait? Work through our printable checklist, and join Banksford’s existing customers in the world of catering and hospitality.

1) I’ve registered as a food business with my local council
2) I’ve decided whether I’m a limited company or sole trader
3) An environmental health officer has visited my premises and I have followed up their
4) I’ve studied the laws around commercial food businesses
5) Everyone working in my business has completed food safety qualifications to level two or above
6) I’m ready to record all information about my suppliers and deliveries
7) Required firefighting equipment has been installed
8) I’ve ordered my catering uniforms from Banksford

Find your perfect fabric partner with Banksford

It’s not just an astonishing range of colours and styles on offer here at Banksford. We’re also proud
to offer aprons in a large selection of tried-and-tested fabrics. Whether your first concern is budget,
origin or durability, there really is a fabric to match your requirements. Let’s take a quick look at
some of the most popular choices we have for our customers.

100% Polyester
Polyester has had a bit of a hard time in the past, and became associated with sweaty and
uncomfortable clothing. Anyone for a 1970s polyester suit? These days, polyester has evolved. It’s
still a man made fabric, which is essentially made from woven plastic thread rather than cotton, but
it’s developed some enviable qualities. Not only does it top the charts for durability, it resists
stretching and shrinking, and resists wrinkles with ease. Being an entirely man made material, it’s
been engineered to be strong and lightweight, easy to wash, and dries quickly. If you’re looking for
a practical and hard wearing choice, polyester might pleasantly surprise you.

100% cotton
The traditional choice for hundreds of years, a 100% cotton apron is still spotted on butchers,
bakers, and maybe even candlestick makers. Cotton is a natural product, from a plant lovingly
grown and harvested before being spun into thread. You pay a little extra for the TLC it gets, but we
love its natural appearance and feel, and it’s a great choice for keeping staff cool in a hot
environment. Reassuringly heavyweight cotton is a breathable, absorbent fabric which can handle
spills and abrasions with ease. If it does get messy, it can be washed in either a domestic or
industrial laundry, at temperatures around 60oC, and will come up nicely after tumble drying and
ironing. As with all natural woven fabrics, there may be some shrinking after the first wash, but this is
a quality garment which should last you a long time if properly cared for.

Fairtrade cotton
The fair trade movement has been around for some time. It ensures that the people who bring the
raw material to the market receive a fair wage for their hard work. Sadly, cotton is an easily exploited
trade, with some workers receiving as little as 5p per hour, and exposed to harsh, unregulated
chemicals. Buying fairtrade cotton protects workers from low wages, and the dangerous pesticides
used by some industrial growers. There is a slight price difference, but a few extra pennies from you
makes a world of difference to the people who need it most. By buying fairtrade cotton, you’re
ensuring that farmers receive a fair wage, and can afford healthcare and eduction for their families.

Poly-Cotton mix
Offering the best of both worlds, polycotton is fabric woven from both polyester and cotton threads.
The ratio of the blend varies from item to item, so can be anything from 50:50 to 20:80. You retain
most of the breathability of cotton, but gain a slice of the longer life and lower price of polyester. It
can be dyed into a rainbow of colours, so there’s sure to be a match for your organisation available.
Durability is very good – it’s more tear resistant than cotton, and can be engineered to look like
other fabrics, such as canvas, so you’d never know you were looking at a partially man-made

Klopman fabric
Nobody knows the industrial fabric world like Klopman, and they’ve made it their business to
provide fabric solutions which stand up to the most demanding work day. Focusing on the principles
of comfort, image and durability, these engineered fabrics are behind the best selling workwear in
Europe. Lightweight, extremely strong and incredibly hardwearing, our Klopman polycotton blend,
Superbandmaster, is crease resistant and suitable for industrial laundry. A premium product like this does naturally come with a premium price tag, but Klopman’s reputation is well deserved.

You may already have made your mind up, or you may want to speak to us for further advice about
the best option for you. The great thing about buying from Banksford is not just our extensive stock
selections, but the fact that we know each item inside out. Whichever option you choose,
you’ve come to the right place.

Have you got what it takes to be a champion chippy?

There are few things more British than a portion of fish and chips. Of course, they’re a hot topic for debate, as well as a great hot supper. Why did they stop serving them wrapped in newspaper? What makes the best chips? Are any of the modern alternatives as good as traditional cod? Perhaps most importantly – where’s the best chippy? It might be your local, or one you visited on holiday.

To help us make our minds up, the annual National Fish & Chip Awards were created 30 years ago.

Of course, it’s not all fun and games. For those behind the counter, a nationally recognised award can make a real difference to their business. Previous winners report that staff are more motivated, and PR opportunities arrive in abundance. An uplift in sales as curious new customers come to sample their prize-winning fare could mean the expansion of their business to levels they’d never dreamed of. With 35 sponsors from the catering and hospitality trade, this is a serious competition. Pukka Pies, The Marine Conservation Society and Friar’s Pride make up an eclectic panel of respected organisations well known to those who fry fish for a living. Getting your establishment name known to these organisations is an amazing opportunity for business evolution.

There are 14 different categories where business owners can win. Separate awards for takeaways and dine-in restaurants mix with more modern awards, which recognise excellence in healthy eating, school meals, use of sustainable seafood, and responsible sourcing. The top prize, which generates the most interest, however, is the Independent Takeaway Fish and Chip Shop. The full list of categories is available – Enter Here

2017’s winners were announced in January this year. With the country divided into 10 regions, the regional finalists for the Independent Takeaway Fish and Chip Shop and the nominees for the 13 other categories came together at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge Hotel in London, where Kingfisher Fish & Chips from Plympton in Plymouth ( won the title of the Best Independent Takeaway Fish and Chip Shop. It was their third year of entry, and owners Nikki Mutton and Craig Maw were thrilled to take home the trophy. Also coming home with national recognition were Harbour Lights from Falmouth, who won Independent Fish and Chip Restaurant, and The Hip Hop Chip Shop from Salford, who won the Best Mobile Fish and Chip Operator Award.

If you’re looking to enter for a 2018 award, you need to submit your entry now as entry closes on June 30th for many of the categories, although the full list of closing dates for each category is available here: (Categories). You can enter free of charge online, and two lucky entrants will be selected to take part in a two-day course at KFE’s School of Frying Excellence, which will also include travel and accommodation costs.

Think you’ve got what it takes to be the country’s best fish and chip fryer? If you’re a fish and chip shop owner, why not enter for 2018’s awards? Banksford will back you all the way, with our superb selection of fish and chip uniforms which are sure to impress the judges just as much as your fish and chips. Celebrate the great British fish and chip supper with the National Fish and Chip awards, and Banksford.


Picture of the winners with their trophy, from the Daily Express –

Picture of the winners outside their shop, from the Daily Express –

Official photos from the Kingfisher’s website

Best of British Catering Exhibitions and Tradeshows

Banksford’s Best of British Catering Expos

Exhibitions are a great way to get out there and meet other people involved in your industry. Whether you’re after new faces for networking, the chance to see new suppliers to the market, or just get some ideas, catering exhibitions are a real opportunity to boost your business. Here are some of Banksford’s favourites chosen from around the UK.

• BBC Good Food Glasgow, 20-22nd October, SEC –
A satellite show of the main BBC Good Food show, this is billed as “Scotland’s most delicious day out”. It highlights Scotland’s best chefs, cuisines, and restaurants, and is full of entertainment and inspiration for the general public and those in the trade. Invitations are still open if you want to exhibit, and there’s a dedicated page on their website for potential exhibitors.

Speciality and Fine Food Fair, 3–5 September, Olympia
Okay it’s not in Scotland, but this trade only show is currently looking for exhibitors for their Scotland – A Land of Food & Drink pavilion. This is one of the busiest hospitality and catering events, with more than 11,000 visitors coming from wholesale, retail and food service backgrounds. If you provide a luxury product, or a speciality item, this is the place where buyers come to source artisan items for their establishments. There are 4 different packages available for potential exhibitors, and they’re listed at

North and Yorkshire
• Northern Restaurant and Bar Show, 20-21st March 2018, Manchester Central
Currently looking for exhibitors for the 2018 show, this is the north of England’s premier local show for hospitality professionals. 2017’s show featured 275 exhibitors, 65 live demonstrations, as well as an award show. 7,500 trade only visitors came through the doors last year. Book your stand for 2018 by calling the team listed on

• BBC Good Food Show, 30th November – 3rd December, Birmingham NEC –
While the main event may just have finished, the Good Food Show also has several satellite events you can visit, including the Birmingham Winter expo. This is a show for the general public as well as those in the trade, so expect plenty of big names and lots of exhibitors showing food, drink and cookery products. If you want to boost your brand awareness or launch something new, you can apply to exhibit on the website.

• Imbibe Live, 3-4th July, Olympia London –
Aimed at restaurant owners and those involved in the sourcing, selling or buying drinks, Imbibe Live will showcase products, seminars and sales boosters you’ll want to include in your business.

Food Matters Live, 21-23rd November, ExCel London
If you want to be play a part in the way food evolves and innovates, this is the one for you. Open to any food industry member, it’s a get together for retailers, service providers, government representatives and nutritionists who want to collaborate and encourage cross sector working to make the business of eating even better.

Street Food Live, 26-27th September, ExCel London
Having moved away from its image of greasy burger vans, street food is big business. Whether you’re starting out or looking to grow, you can meet suppliers, take part in seminars, and meet the experts in the industry at their masterclasses. Targeted at caterers, restaurateurs, and those behind the scenes in the catering business, it’s a great source of inspiration. You’ll also find this show incorporating mini-expos like Takeaway Expo, Restaurant, Bar and Hotel Tech, and The Food Entrepreneur Show.

• ExpoWest Cornwall, 6th-8th March 2018, Royal Cornwall Showground –
Why shouldn’t the south west get its own food expo? It’s the home of some of the best cuisine in the UK, and Rick Stein is so passionate about it that he’s based himself there. Attended by the region’s major suppliers, and billed as a boost for the business and social calendar, this event focuses on all that’s great about Cornish catering and hospitality. Visit their dedicated exhibitor’s page at

• Harlech Food Service Expo, 20-21st February 2018, Venue Cymru –
Wales is a nation that knows good food, and with record-breaking numbers attending the 2017 show, you’ll be able to book your stand for the 2018 expo in November this year. This year showcased the best of Welsh produce, as well as some surprising stands, such as pizzas made using Welsh flour.

Wherever you’re exhibiting this year, Banksford is on hand to provide you with the catering uniforms and supplies you need to keep your team smart and make a fantastic first impression.

The Great British Startup

A long time ago – well, 1984 to be precise – in a galaxy far, far away, a bright spark came up with the idea of shifting food ordering online. The world’s first online food shopping order was placed by Mrs Jane Snowball, of Gateshead, who ordered her groceries from Tesco, from the comfort of her own home.

This got other brands wondering how they could enjoy a piece of the online food delivery action, and digital food delivery was born. Tesco wasn’t the only brand offering to bring your dinner to your door either. Other supermarkets hopped on board, and as the idea of having your food come to you became socially acceptable, catering for once-unusual food requests became more commonplace.

One model adopted by the industry was a subscription-based model, like the one offered by Graze, Gousto and Hello Fresh. Sure, you could order your ingredients from the online supermarket, and your potatoes, pork chops and pak choi would arrive each week, ready for you to make the family’s favourites. Or, you could think outside the box, and let someone else send you the exact ingredients to make something a little different. No waste, no going through recipe books, just everything you need to whip up something more exotic than bangers and mash for dinner. Plus, you can say you made it all yourself. Your subscription would provide a different menu each week. All you need to do is choose which menu items you’d like delivered.

But it wasn’t just subscriptions where the British food technology industry was diversifying. Some fantastic niche startups, like Innocent Smoothies and Joe & Seph’s brought trendy treats to the masses. Funky branding, fun websites, and a healthy spin on an old favourite made smoothies and flavoured popcorn the snacks to be seen with.

If home cooking isn’t your cup of tea, there’s an online solution for that, too. Websites like Just Eat, Hungry House and Deliveroo link you up with your local takeaways with minimum fuss. If you’re lucky, they’ll even bring your order to your door. No engaged ring tone as you wait to call in your order, no struggling to make yourself heard over a busy restaurant; just log on to your account, check out the menus of all the local takeaways, add your order to your basket, and sit back on your sofa until dinner arrives.

Maybe food hasn’t gone entirely digital in the way music and movies have, but we’re definitely seeing a digital revolution in the way we eat. We’ve got some determined key players, keeping the British food industry at the top of its game, finding new ways to bring us something a bit different for dinner. It’s definitely an exciting time to be involved in the food industry, and at Banksford, we couldn’t be more excited to be a part of a trade which is sure to revolutionise what’s coming soon to a dinner table near you.

Use a uniform, are you eligible?

Use a uniform? The tax man may want to pay you!

If you’re an employee who uses their own money to pay for work related items or travel, you might be surprised to know that you’re entitled to some money back from HMRC. It’s called Tax Relief For Employees. It’s not open to everyone though, and if your employer pays you expenses, or has provided you with alternative compensation, you don’t qualify.

Why is that relevant to our customers? Because if you have to wear a uniform for work – whether that’s a chef’s whites, a simple printed T-shirt with company branding or logos, or a nurse’s dress – you could claim back up to £500 towards the cost of looking after it.

If you think you’re eligible, here’s our quick guide however do ensure you seek professional guidance and advice.

When can I claim?

As long as you paid tax during the same year that the money was spent, you can claim from HMRC. What you get is based on the rate of tax you’re paying. For example, a person who pays 20% tax would be allowed to claim £24 back on a work related spend of £120.

Before you claim tax relief, you have to be able to prove that what you’ve spent the money on is not for anything other than business use, and you’ll need to keep records of your spending for four years after the end of the tax year when the money was spent, which is the latest date for making a claim.

How can I claim?

If you’re claiming for up to £2,500, it’s fairly straightforward. If you use the self-assessment system, just declare it on there. If not, print and post a P87 form to HMRC. As long as you’ve had a validated claim from the previous year, and your expenses come in under £1,000 (£2,500 in the case of subscriptions and professional fees), you can even phone HMRC and complete things verbally with an advisor. You’ll be repaid in the form of an adjusted tax code for the rest of the tax year.

Claims over £2,500 must be made through your self-assessment form. You’ll also get relief through an adjusted tax code over one or two tax years and receive a tax return form to complete.

How does this work for uniforms?

HMRC recognises that a uniform is part of your job, just as much as scissors are for a hairdresser, or a drill might be for a builder, so you can claim tax relief on costs involved in cleaning, replacing or repairing your uniform.

While you don’t get tax relief on what it costs you to purchase your work clothing (that’s something different called Capital Allowance), you can make a claim based on what you’ve spent, as long you’ve got receipts, or for a flat rate deduction. These flat rates are fixed amounts, which HMRC sets each year based on what spending they’ve seen from people in different professions. If you’re not one of the occupations on their list, you can claim for a single rate of £60 per year. Claiming a flat rate means you don’t need to keep your receipts, either.

I want to know more!

Of course you do! There are some fantastic guides on the internet. We’d recommend the easy to understand guide from Moneysaving Expert []. If it seems daunting to claim, you can even hire the people at Uniform Tax Rebate [] to make a claim on your behalf.

Once the forms are in, all you need to do is look forward to receiving your own little windfall, then sit back and thank the people at Banksford for giving you not only top quality branded catering and hospitality uniforms, but a way to get paid for what you’re already doing to look after them in the fantastic condition we provide them in.

The information in this article is for general information and is not legal or professional advice.

UK’s top 10 multi-cultural cuisines

We Brits are a pretty open minded lot. We like our beans on toast and bacon sandwiches, but we’re also happy to try out dinnertime favourites from more exotic locations. Street food, takeaways and the emergence of new and unusual foreign restaurants offering exotic cuisines are bringing exciting offerings to our shores.

Foods from around the worldA study by Cauldron Foods revealed that 60% of the food we eat is not from a traditional British background. In fact, in 2015 the most popular food to make at home, and order from the takeaway, was Chinese. Whether it was made from scratch, a takeaway, or simply cooked as a ready meal, 12% of Brits admit to eating Chinese food at least once a week, with 78% eating at least one Chinese dish in the last 3 months. The study by Mintel found that the dishes from the world’s most highly populated country were a big hit in the UK, knocking Indian favourites off the top spot. Soy sauce now sells as well in the UK as traditional condiments like apple and mint sauces. Retailers say that Chinese continues to be a popular choice as it translates so well into the ready meal market.

A close second place went to Indian food. 74% of Brits have eaten an Indian meal in the last three months. Much loved classics like chicken tikka masala still appear regularly in the top ten, but research shows that people are ditching these old favourites in favour of healthier alternatives.Spices of India

Third place went to Mexican food, with 48% of us enjoying a Mexican dish such as chilli con carne or fajitas in the last three months. With the DIY Mexican dinner kits available in all the supermarkets, a dinner which wouldn’t look out of place in Guadalajara is now a common sight on tables from Grantham to Gateshead.

Research and training charity IGD put Italian food not far behind. Forget your spaghetti Bolognese and carbonara sauce, because Italy has moved with the times. Embracing organic, rustic food and incorporating modern trends like veganism and gluten free alternatives, it’s no surprise that it’s a popular choice with diners.

Taking fifth place, market research company Kantar put French cuisine in the middle of the league table. Our continental neighbours are close enough to influence our diets, and while we’ve moved on from snails (much to the relief of some!), you’ll often hear TV chefs making confit of duck or a cheese soufflé, encouraging would-be chefs at home to have a go.

US FoodAmerican food has fallen in popularity, perhaps thanks to documentaries like Supersize Me, which dented the American takeaway market. We may have moved on from burgers, but southern states are starting to regain ground, thanks to pulled pork, smoking instead of BBQing, and slow-cooked ribs.

Perhaps something we didn’t see coming was the resurgence of Greek food. Wave goodbye to the cheesy tavern image, because a new generation of predominantly independent Greek eateries are landing on our shores. Particularly in the north of England, grabbing a souvlaki, a street food dish of meat inside a wrap, is now just as popular as a burger or burrito. The UK’s first chain of Greek restaurants, “The Real Greek”, launched in London in 2015, and hope for a nationwide rollout during 2016.

The Telegraph branded Thai food as “magic”, and in 2015, the UK was home to 2000 Thai restaurants. Not quite on a par with their Chinese cousins – yet, Thai dishes are usually based on combinations of favourite ingredients, such as lime juice, galangal, fish sauce, garlic, lime leaves, rice vinegar and chilli. Accompanied by a Chang beer, you can be sure of an oriental experience.Jamaican Food

Hoping to make it big, Malaysian and Caribbean foods are predicted to be the rising stars of 2016, thanks to Levi Roots’ “Reggae Reggae Sauce” hitting supermarket shelves and extensive media campaigns, while dishes like beef rendang, which has been wrongly labelled as a Thai dish for years, come into their own.

However you choose to eat, it’s clear that Britain has a fantastic culinary heritage, and we’re fast becoming one of the most cosmopolitan and adventurous nations in the world when it comes to our dinner time dishes.

Food Hygiene Rules

What do you need to know?

Let’s be honest – if we want a night off from cooking dinner, we want to be sure that the food we’re bringing into our homes is from somewhere where staff take as much care as we would over its preparation and cooking. In order to make that happen, any business which prepares food is subject to strict rules and regulations, and this regulation of safety and hygiene is down to the Food Standards Agency in the UK, who carry out unannounced inspections on all companies who make food their business.

While there’s no law which states that food handlers must have a formal qualification in food hygiene, it’s becoming more commonplace for employers within the food trade to insist that their workforce do. Some local councils even provide training for food workers. Employees may take a course, study themselves, or just have on the job training – whichever method works best for them, as long as the business owner can prove that their staff have received supervision and instruction.

Hygiene RatingsYou’re bound to have noticed the food hygiene rating stickers when you’ve visited a shop which sells food. If you sell food directly to the public, the law says that you must display this sticker at all times. Great news if you’ve been rated 5/5, but not so good if you’ve scored 1 or 0!


If a customer has been unlucky enough to have suffered food poisoning, it’s likely that the infection will fall into one of the five most common types.

1) Campylobacter, as a result of uncooked or undercooked meat.

2) Salmonella, from contaminated eggs, milk or dairy.

3) Listeria, which can be found in soft cheeses, and is especially dangerous for pregnant women.

4) E.coli, from beef or unpasteurised milk, which can be harmless in small doses, but in larger quantities can cause serious illness.

5) Norovirus, a nasty vomiting bug which can be caught from shellfish such as oysters.

So, how can a business reduce the risks? Anyone involved in food preparation will be able to tell you about the 4 Cs of food prep; cleaning, cooking, cross contamination, and chilling. In longer terms, these rules entail keeping work areas hygienically clean, cooking all food thoroughly, avoiding contaminating products with potentially dangerous items (such as using a chopping board for both meat and vegetables), and keeping food chilled to preserve it safely.

If you’re a business owner, it really does pay to keep your staff as aware of the health and safety regulations as you are, because you never know when the men from the Food Standards Agency will turn up with a book of window stickers, which could see your business becoming the most popular place in town, or somewhere to avoid like the plague.

Ordering branded clothing made simple

If you’re looking for branded uniform or catering uniform then we can guide you through our easy ordering process. Our friendly and personal approach to quotes mean you always have contact with an account manager who you can speak to or email at any point during the process. Alternatively if you prefer a more automated process then you can order all your uniform online and we’ll only contact you to confirm your design and let your know your order has been dispatched.

Getting a quote

We recommend that if you are ordering less than 10 products it is simpler and quicker to order online instead of going through our quote form. The quote form is designed to get as much information as
possible from you to us in a simple way so that we can cost your potential order and give you an idea of timescale. We are also able to tell you if we can meet any urgent deadlines you may have. Once you’ve completed the quote form and uploaded your logo your information is delivered to one of our experienced sales advisors. We try to respond to all quotes within 3-4 hours, but it can take up to 24 depending on when you submit your quote and the complexity of your order.

Your quote will be emailed to you with a full price breakdown and estimated turnaround times. At this point we leave the quote with you and wait for your decision.

Progressing your order

If you are happy with the quote then simply email or call us and we’ll get the ball rolling. The first step is to ensure that we have the best quality artwork files. Once we have received these we will provide you with a digital proof of your order and an invoice. In general all orders must be paid for before production, but we do have account facilities for some clients. Please call us for more information on
eligibility for this.

The proof we supply to you can be amended if you are not happy with it. We want to provide you with clothing that you are happy with, which is why the proofing stage is vital. Once everyone is happy with the proof we move to production.

All our garments are personalised in house so that we can ensure the quality of your order. We will give you a guide of when your order will be dispatched and supply you with full tracking information from our couriers.


Once your order is complete we keep all your design information on file so it’s simple to reorder at any point in the future.

Can you trump the tap, or is bottled best?

The average human is around 60% water, so it’s not surprising that we need to drink a lot of it to keep our bodies in tip-top condition. The NHS recommends six to eight glasses of water, or water-containing fluids, per day. Plain water is obviously the most direct route here. It’s up to you how you make that happen, but if you’re looking for plain water, you’ve got two choices – water from the tap, or bottled water.

These days, you’ll frequently hear people request tap water when they go out for a meal. As long as the bar is licensed, the law in England, Wales and Scotland says that the tap water should be free. It really is friendlier on the pocket, too. Martin Lewis, from Moneysaving Expert, calculated on his website that for the price of a single litre of bottled water, you could get 100 litres of tap water. Drinking tap water is also better for the environment, with 100g of carbon dioxide being produced for every bottle manufactured. Let’s not go into how that bottle will also take nearly 500 years to decompose when it’s thrown away!

Levelling the playing field, you may be curious about the purity of both bottled and tap water. While bottled water may be able to offer you additional nutrients, respected scientist Professor Paul Younger points out that any water used for drinking, be that from the tap or in a bottle, has the same standards to meet. In fact, tap water monitoring is probably more rigidly enforced.

The thing is, you really can’t beat the convenience factor of bottled water, which is often sourced from natural springs or hills a million miles from the smokey cities. It’s there, it’s usually available chilled, if you prefer it cooler, and it’s so much easier to pop a bottle of it into your work bag or carry it about.

There’s a taste factor to take into account, too. Mains water is processed in different ways across the country, with treatment plants using gasses and chemical compounds to kill off bacteria, so you may find that some tap water has a chemically tang, or an unpleasant aftertaste, especially if you’re used to water from somewhere else in the UK. At least with bottled water, you can usually be happy that it’s received some level of purification which should remove those nasties, leaving you with the pure water you’re so fond of.

However you choose to get your H2O, keep those six to eight glasses in mind. You really can’t beat a glass of water for hydrating your body and mind. Try it with a little fizz, or fruit flavouring, and we’re sure you’ll feel the benefits.