Forest Holidays

With nine forest locations in England and Scotland and part owned by the Forestry Commission, Forest Holidays offer short breaks and holidays in luxury cabins and treehouses, employing 600 staff. We worked with Forest Holidays to update their food proposition to increase sales, profit and customer satisfaction.

The Challenge

Forest Holidays contacted Peppercorn to review their Food & Beverage operations at their Blackwood Forest site in Hampshire. The aim was to unlock opportunities of increasing sales and profit, while improving customer satisfaction.

Our review showed that their food proposition was not aligned with the quality of the brand or the unique surroundings. The layout was not optimal for both customers and staff, with no clear designation between the F&B, Retail and Reception areas. This was further compounded by the amount of product being stocked.

This impacted on sales opportunities and profit, and created a cluttered, confusing environment for the customer. Once on site activities were done for the day, there was no compelling reason for customers to leave their cabin.

As a result of our findings, the brief was to evolve the site's F&B strategy and create a design that truly matched the ethos of Forest Holidays.

  • Evolve food proposition
  • Improve customer satisfaction
  • Increase sales and profit
  • Create a design reflective of brand

What We Did

We began by building a base strategy, detailing what improvements could be made to the Blackwood Forest site while also recommending the process to build long term strategic food principles for the brand.

From our review, we knew we needed to optimise the layout of the site to improve experience and service levels. We reconfigured the space so Reception and Retail were in one area.

We then separated and designated the F&B area to service all day parts with the emphasis on "quality casual dining" in relaxed surroundings. To accurately reflect the Forest Holidays brand and seamlessly match the rest of the customer experience, we created a design that made clever use of furniture, finishes, lighting and music.

Lastly, to remove the need for frozen ready meals and low quality refrigeration & product placements in customer areas, we worked with Forest Holidays to implement a more credible food offer.

The Results

In the first three months trading post investment sales increased significantly versus prior year.

Customer satisfaction scores and meal penetration levels also showed strong growth.

Based on these results, Forest Holidays have since appointed Peppercorn to carry out a fuller review of their existing estate and assist them with planning new developments in their openings programme.

Project Photos

Great enthusiasm, friendliness and professionalism…

We embarked on a radical change to our food offering and enlisted the help of Peppercorn Food Solutions. As with all good projects, we gave tough deadlines and pushed the boundaries of what we could do versus what was possible. With great enthusiasm, friendliness and professionalism, Lee and his team guided us through the learning’s necessary to ensure we came up with the right solution for our business. Project and training was delivered on time and with no end of patience, teaching an existing team new skills and ways of working. I’m positive we will utilise the skills of this team again.

- Julia Winterburn, General Manager, Forest Holidays