The founders of the UK’s first specialty meatball and craft beer bar, The Yorkshire Meatball Co., have announced their plans for a short break in service at their Harrogate-based restaurant, citing growing competition for catering staff in the town and an imminent supermarket deal.
The break will be spent revitalising, recruiting and training their front of house and kitchen team, ahead of its reopening this October, and to ensure full focus and support is given to the brand’s imminent expansion plans into retail.
Gareth Atkinson, co-owner, comments: “Recent months have seen an influx of national dining chains into Harrogate, most notably those within the new Everyman cinema development, as brands more commonly found in larger cities and retail parks now focus on regional expansion.
"Whilst healthy competition is always welcome, the huge increase in competition has brought with it an unprecedented demand for hospitality staff, particularly kitchen staff, at a time when there is a known national shortage of skilled chefs.
"This presents an incredibly challenging recruitment environment for small independents like us."
“Consequently, we’ve lost a selection of our key staff in a relatively short period, and as a result, it’s important we’re proactive and committed to recruiting and retaining the best staff, as we move forward with the next chapter of the brand. After all, our customers’ experience is only as good as the team that deliver it.
Founders, David and Gareth Atkinson, say Yorkshire Meatball Co. range of premium-branded meatball products for retail is set to launch in supermarkets nationwide this autumn.
After listening to customers, founders, David and Gareth Atkinson, have created three different meatball products for purchase: Yorkshire Balls, Smokey Balls and Hot Balls.
The launch will position The Yorkshire Meatball Co. as one of the first North Yorkshire hospitality businesses to break into the 'Big Four' supermarkets nationwide, thanks to its high quality and unique product offering.
Alongside the retail developments, the Station Bridge restaurant in Harrogate has recently undergone a refurbishment of its interior layout to create a more relaxed, casual atmosphere, with the addition of bar seating zones and a move away from formal, laid-up dining tables.
The menu has also been refined for the new concept, with emphasis on the brand’s signature dish, “The Combo”, and additional craft beers added to the already extensive Yorkshire beer and ale offering.
The recent concept and interior changes have been well received by customers old and new, but refusing to stand still and seeking to maintain a competitive position in the Harrogate food and drink scene, David and Gareth are committed to finding and developing the vey best team, to ensure a dining experience that continues to go above and beyond the diner’s expectations.
David said: “With the launch of our retail products on the very near horizon, we’re incredibly busy, and this short break in service allows the much needed time for myself and Gareth to ensure that the product launch is the huge success that it looks set to be.
“It is also crucial in this period that we find and create an exceptional team to support the management, front of house and kitchen departments.
"Ahead of our re-opening this October, we plan to have the best team in Harrogate and we’ll be coming back better, stronger and even more Yorkshire.”
He said The Yorkshire Meatball Co's range of premium-branded meatballs for retail will hit Yorkshire supermarket shelves in a matter of weeks, closely followed by a nationwide launch.