Cardiff & District
1 - 9 August 2008
The National Eisteddfod of Wales traces its roots back to 1176 in Cardigan and has been held annually across
Wales since 1880. World famous for its celebration of Welsh culture and Welsh life, it is steadily developing into
a wider platform for promoting the "best of Welsh". This clearly includes the development of a substantial food
and catering offer and the Eisteddfod is particularly interested in proposals from Welsh suppliers.
From 1 - 9 August 2008 the Eisteddfod visits Cardiff, and will be located close to the city centre on Pontcanna
fields. Based upon research from previous years around 160,000 visitors can be expected at the Eisteddfod in
Cardiff 2008 and it is estimated by BIC Eryri, the Welsh food industry consultants, that £1.5m will be spent on
food and drink at the Eisteddfod this year.
Alcohol will be sold on the site in at least three specific outlets in designated areas, that is, bars at each of the
two patio areas and in the Blas Restaurant and Shop. This will provide a further stimulus to food and drink sales
at the event, and could well develop in future years. It is envisaged that a second restaurant will be present at
the event with permission to sell alcohol, if required, with food.
If you are not familiar with the National Eisteddfod of Wales we would urge you to visit the website
www.eisteddfod.org.uk to find out more about the unique commercial opportunities that the Eisteddfod may offer
your business, not only for this year's event in Flintshire but also for future years.
2. Key Principles
We are seeking suppliers who can offer and demonstrate a quality service and operation. An initial one year
contract is offered for 2008 but there may also be opportunities for 2009 and 2010.
We encourage use of foods and ingredients which reflect the Eisteddfod’s position and importance in terms
of Welsh life and culture, and recognise the need for use of quality products that represent good value to
visitors. We are seeking to include ranges of ethnic and speciality products including vegetarian. The
Eisteddfod is also keen to promote Fair Trade products.
Concessionaires will have to provide signage and materials in Welsh. Any other language may also be
used in conjunction with the Welsh, but priority must be given to the Welsh language e.g. the notice board
above the unit should be in Welsh. Assistance is available with translation if required. At least one member
of staff on each shift must be Welsh speaking, and advice on recruitment can be provided.
Electricity shall be provided free of charge. Rubbish collection shall also be free of charge in the two patio
areas and other communal areas where mobile or retail concessions operate. All other costs associated
with operating a concession will be the sole responsibility of the Concessionaire.
We will require full details of any proposals submitted of payments that are to be made to the Eisteddfod in
consideration for the right to operate a concession, including details as to how such payments will be made.
You may be required, if requested, to provide details of income (turnover) and payments from the National
As part of the Eisteddfod’s environment policy you must use plates, cups, knives and forks etc., made of
recycled material and/or are biodegradable. (See Appendix 2)
Good Practice Guide. You are encouraged wherever possible to offer healthy options such as:
o fresh fruit
o unsweetened fruit juice and mineral water
o a choice of semi-skimmed or skimmed milk
o low fat spreads
o a choice of wholemeal or white bread
o fat and/or skin trimmed from meat
o a fish option
o reduced fat dressings
o a variety of vegetables in salads
o vegetarian dishes
3. Tendering Process: timings, criteria for selection
All proposals MUST be received at the National Eisteddfod of Wales offices, 40 Parc Tŷ Glas, Llanishen,
Cardiff CF14 5DU by 12 noon on the 1st of December 2007.
The management team will then assess the proposals and notify successful bidders by mid January. If any
issues require clarification we shall endeavour to finalise matters by early February.
Criteria will include:
(i) quality and variety of the proposed offer, including promotion of Welsh products,
(ii) revenue generation by the Eisteddfod,
(iii) visitor value for money,
(iv) level of payment offered for right to operate concession.
4. Eisteddfod Site
As a first step we would recommend that you familiarise yourself with the site layout. (A draft copy of the
2008 site plan is appended).
The licensed Blas Restaurant/Shop is located near the entrance.
There may be scope for additional restaurant provision in this area to consolidate storage and preparation
The appointed concessionaire for the restaurant facilities may have other opportunities for servicing
corporate hospitality and events on the field.
There will be a licensed bar located at each of the two patio areas.
Up to 10 further mobile units may be selected for each patio. Proposals are welcomed for these individually
or as a whole.
Other areas for mobile catering provision are at the discretion of the Eisteddfod Chief Executive but specific
proposals are welcomed.
Retail foods are expected to be located in the main thoroughfare.
Ice Cream, coffees/snacks and other offers can be located where appropriate by agreement.
5. Opportunities to operate Concessions
(a) Management of Blas and Other "Sit Down" Catering Offers
Anyone interested in tendering for Blas are asked to note the Blas Mobile Eisteddfod 2008 Specification
Proposal, and must agree to comply with the 2008 Minimum Standards of Service (appendix 7)
Blas will be licensed.
It now comprises a contemporary style cafe bar with 120 covers inside and 84 covers outside. The
Eisteddfod will be responsible for erecting and dismantling Blas at no cost to the appointed caterer.
As the premier "sit down" offer Blas must appeal to the mid to upmarket customer seeking a quality food
experience. It will require a well planned all day menu reflecting the operational restrictions of outside
We would expect emphasis on products which reflect Wales, Welsh cuisine and Welsh recipes although not
There may be opportunities for further seated and covered catering areas alongside Blas given the previous
levels of demand for "sit down" eating by visitors and officials.
Offers are welcomed either incorporating Blas or as stand alone proposals.
(b) Mobile Catering
Mobile catering is an important part of the Eisteddfod experience.
In the two patio areas (see enclosed layout map), with central covered seating areas, there will be
opportunities for up to 20 mobile catering units.
They will also benefit significantly from proximity to the only licensed bars on the Eisteddfod field.
The broad categories considered for these areas are:
o Fish and chips
o Jacket Potatoes
o Indian, Italian, Chinese or other ethnic offers
o Sandwiches, wraps or other bread products, including a selection of bread and fillings which
provide for a Welsh flavour
o Vegetarian and vegan
o Specialist, e.g. seafood
o The above will be limited to one unit on each patio, but chips may be sold from all units if desired
In addition to the two patio areas up to 6 further mobile catering opportunities are available around the
Eisteddfod field. Specific sites may be proposed in any proposals.
(c) Other Retail Offers
Suggestions for specific locations around the Eisteddfod field will be considered seriously.
Up to 3 coffee bars are envisaged on the Eisteddfod field.
Other retail opportunities for which proposals are welcomed include:
o Delicatessen including chilled/fresh or ambient packaged goods
o Milks, Juices and Drinks, e.g. "smoothies"
o Fruit and veg
o Sweets and confectionery
Caravan site catering. Between around 550 caravans are expected during the week.
Provision of a bar on MaesC on the caravan park.
Blas Mobile Eisteddfod 2008
Prepared by: Howel Food Consultancy
In January 2003 the first ‘Blas’ opened in the basement of The Old Library in The Hayes, Cardiff. An initiative of
the WDA Food Directorate, the operation consisted of a cafe, cheese deli, shop, exhibition, cyber cafe and
cookery demonstration theatre. The Blas concept was developed as an exhibition to showcase the True Taste
Award Winners 2002-3. Visitors to the exhibition were able to see, purchase and taste the Award Winning
produce in a contemporary and stimulating environment. With an expected duration of three months the
exhibition was continually updated and remained for 15 months due to its success.
Following it’s third successive year Blas Mobile has been showcasing True Taste Award winning Welsh produce
to a wider audience by taking it ‘on the road’ to variety of high profile events.
(For the purposes of this document the Food and Marketing Development Division of the Welsh Assembly
Government shall be referred to as FMDD, WAG.
The Welsh Development Agency has now been superseded by WAG and shall be referred to as WDA.)
1.1 What makes Blas different?
...Blas is passionate about Welsh food and drink.
Our aims are to carefully choose quality ingredients, which we treat with integrity, a commitment shared by our
suppliers, many of whom rely on traditional methods passed down from one generation to the next.
Flavour is the key – we take superb quality, fresh ingredients and prepare them with simplicity and flair to bring
you a new Welsh taste experience.
In a comfortable-contemporary setting our friendly and attentive service team bring you the very best of Welsh
food and drink.
1.2 What is the purpose of this document?
This document aims to specify how the Blas model can be adapted and improved for the Eisteddfod 2007. It will
form the basis for concessionaires to tender to operate the Blas café and food to go. Blas mobile forms an
integral part of the WAG FMDD strategy for promoting the winners of the True Taste Awards year on year. The
food and drink offer has to be compatible with the brand and all associated standards.
This document has been developed to ensure that the objectives of Blas are met and that the brand values are
1.3 How does Blas mobile work in practice?
FMDD, WAG contract with the Eisteddfod organisers and agree the format for Blas. They fund the Blas front of
house build. This usually includes a seated café area, food service area and food to go area. However exact
designs vary depending upon the site and style of operation. The front of house areas are designed and built in
liaison with the catering contractor and the Blas brand manager who works as a consultant to FMDD, WAG. The
front of house areas are fully finished, branded, furnished and part-equipped by FMDD, WAG. The catering
contractor is responsible for equipping the back of house areas including refrigeration, storage, food preparation
areas, cooking equipment, washing up facilities and for providing all light equipment, including crockery, cutlery,
glassware etc. Arrangements are made with the contractor regarding utilities and power. The catering contractor
is responsible for all connections for plumbing, electrical, water, water bowsers, waste and gas. The FMDD,
WAG are responsible for the final electrical output bill.
1.4 How can Blas be developed for the Eisteddfod 2008?
In the past Blas has operated a waitress service café with indoor and outdoor seating, with separate food to go
with an indoor capacity of 84 covers, outdoor 108 covers and food to go up to 72 covers. The café area has
grown in popularity and the contractor needs to appreciate that at peak times customer demand is high and the
flow of customers constant. The café takes bookings from the organisers for hospitality and this also affects
seating capacity at peak times.
It is proposed that for 2008 the style of service is changed to facilitate improved customer service. A simpler,
faster, smoother operation is outlined below.
The Blas café will operate a similar but simpler menu, where hot and cold drinks and cakes will be counter
service, i.e. the customer self serves cold drinks and orders hot drinks/cakes at a service counter, collects hot
drinks/cakes and progresses to the till where they order hot food/cold platters/desserts and pay. They will then
be given a hot food number which they take to the table. Hot food/ cold platters will be prepared freshly to order
and waitress served.
One section of the café will be permanently reserved for hospitality which will be waitress service. This section
may be screened off with a half height glass partition, thus enabling it to be part of the main café and benefit
from the Blas atmosphere, rather than be in a separate room. Dedicated waitress service in this area will ensure
that hospitality will be seamless.
The footprint will be increased to allow an indoor seating capacity of 120, and outdoor to 84 incorporating some
high level window/bar type seating.
Blas Food to Go will operate as in previous years.
A large menu will be displayed at the service counter, reducing the need for table menus and table numbers.
2. The True Taste brand and Award Winners
2.1 The True Taste brand
The WDA Food Directorate originally developed the True Taste brand following extensive research which
revealed that awareness of Welsh cuisine was not high, and perceptions of food culture were not positive on the
broader stage. Wales has much to shout about and the True Taste brand is designed to raise the profile of
Welsh food and drink, establishing a strong reputation both within the UK and internationally.
The True Taste brand is based on the simple promise - that food from Wales tastes as it was meant to taste,
and the strapline – ‘Good food, true taste, real pleasure’ expresses this.
2.2 The True Taste Awards
Supporting the True Taste brand The True Taste Wales Food and Drink Awards celebrate some of the food and
drink industry’s most inspiring techniques and tastes.
The Blas Mobile menu must reflect the very best of Welsh food and drink. The menu needs to sound creative
and inspiring with the emphasis on simply prepared quality food and value for money.
3.1 Menu Content
True Taste Award Winners have to feature strongly on the menu, with a minimum of 40% of the total winners to
be included in the menu.
Welsh produce should be used wherever possible and this should be sourced locally, if available.
Seasonal availability and the use of fresh produce must be included.
3.2 Menu Planning
Listed below are factors which must be considered when planning the menu:
staff – number and capability.
equipment and preparation facilities – what type and condition of cooking equipment is available,
refrigeration space and storage space.
ensure variety of meat, poultry, fish, fruit or vegetables.
ensure variety and styles of cooking methods and presentation – no repetition of say deep fried foods,
roasts or casseroles
ensure contrast of colour and texture.
focus on complimenting the main ingredient so that the main food remains ‘true to its roots’ reflecting the
True Taste ethos
ensure variety of tastes throughout the menu – some plain dishes with spicy or stronger flavoured ones
ensure that vegetarians and other dietary requirements are catered for and be aware of food allergies
balance rich and lighter dishes with an overall emphasis on a lighter, healthier style of cooking
3.3 Menu Description
The menu descriptions must focus on the main ingredients and remain simple.
Whenever relevant, reference should be made to the source of the main ingredient/s, e.g. Snowdonia Black
Bomber cheddar, Rachel’s Organic crème fraîche.
Menu descriptions should sound contemporary and innovative.
The selling price must represent value for money.
3.4 Menu printing
WAG FMDD will arrange for the menus to be printed with the Blas branding and this cost will be met by WAG. A
template for the menu format will be provided.
Permission must be sought from FMDD, WAG by the contractor prior to holding any receptions or functions at
Blas. FMDD, WAG will also need to approve menus for any such events.
4. Food Suppliers
When sourcing food suppliers follow the criteria below:
the food and drink is produced in Wales
produce is of a consistent high standard of quality
producer is able to meet demand
producer is able to provide information regarding source of product
produce represents value for money
producer can evidence good food hygiene practices
For further details on possible food suppliers see appendix 1
5.1 Presentation of the food
The food should be presented in a simple contemporary style. The following principles should be used:
Keep it simple – do not over-garnish or elaborately decorate.
Keep it fresh – ensure that food is freshly presented
Keep it relevant – echo/complement the flavours used in the dish with any garnish
Plain white contemporary bistro style crockery must be used. No pattern including self pattern or embossed
Simple glassware must be used – no cut glass or engraved glassware.
Simple bistro-style cutlery must be used – no ornate pattern.
We encourage the use of recyclable materials in all disposable wear. The following specification for disposables
can be used as a guide. Extra strong paper cups for hot drinks plus lids.
Crystal Styrene or Polarity PET disposable tumblers or compatible for cold drinks.
Disposable wooden cutlery.
For both operations disposable napkins must be used, 40cm, 2 ply, colour to be discussed.
6. Staffing and service
6.1 Staff skills and knowledge
The contractor is responsible for ensuring that suitable levels of trained and qualified staff are employed.
Staff must be given job descriptions. Adequate levels of supervision must be in place at all times, both front and
back of house.
All food and beverage service staff must have
Sound knowledge of the food and drink on offer. This includes knowledge of the Blas concept, True Taste
Award Winners, where they feature on the menu and their origin.
Competence in technical skills required for the role, including relevant food hygiene training. The contractor
is required to train and supervise front of house staff in the standards of service required.
Well developed social skills enabling friendly and professional communication with customers.
The ability to work as part of a team.
All food and beverage preparation staff must have
Sound knowledge of the menu. This includes knowledge of the Blas concept, True Taste Award Winners,
where they feature on the menu and their origin.
Competence in technical skills and the relevant presentation skills. Relevant training in food hygiene.
The ability to work as part of a team and communicate well with customers as necessary.
FMDD, WAG will provide additional training for service staff members on induction which will ensure that they
have an in depth knowledge of the Blas concept and the True Taste brand and Awards scheme.
Provision must be included for ongoing training for new staff who come on line during event.
The front of house manager needs to be able to act in a planned and agreed manner in the event of the front of
house area becoming over populated at times of extreme public demand.
6.2 Front of house staffing levels
All front of house staffing levels and rotas must be agreed with the Blas brand consultant prior to the event.
The following acts as a minimum standard.
A front of house manager must be employed at all times to take full responsibility for the front of house
Customers should flow along self service counter smoothly. At peak times a minimum of 4 drinks service staff
should be on duty and 2 tills must be manned to ensure customers do not take more than 10 minutes to collect
drinks/cakes, order food and pay.
Sufficient front of house staff must be employed to ensure that, food is served within 20 minutes of customers
being seated and tables are cleared within 5 minutes of being vacated.
Food to Go
If there are more than three customers in a queue at one till, then both tills should be operated.
If there are more than three customers in both till queues then a third member of staff should assist with hot
During busy periods a fourth member off staff should be on duty to ensure food to go items are well stocked and
presentation of the area is maintained.
The catering contractor must be able to demonstrate clear contingency plans for any ‘drop off’ in staff.
This may include the decision to overstaff initially, based on experienced ‘drop off’ at previous events.
6.3 Welsh Language
It is key to the Blas ethos that a proportion of the food and beverage service staff speak Welsh. For example at
the National Eisteddfod 100% of front of house staff must be Welsh speaking.
In an eat-in operation a bi-lingual host/hostess must be employed to meet and greet customers. On occasion
FMDD, WAG will employ this person directly, when this is the case a job description will apply.
The contractor will be responsible for providing uniform. It will not be a requirement that this has any Blas
Uniform should be modern and simple with aprons for food service staff. Staff must look smart and clean at all
Equipment responsibilities will be agreed separately for each event.
8. Financial control
The catering contractor is required to financially control the food and beverage operations. They shall run the
concession on a business basis, setting their own budgets for fixed and variable costs. The contractor shall
retain any net profit generated by the event; the contractor to provide FMDD, WAG and the National Eisteddfod
of Wales with the necessary accounting and paper work as requested. In particular records of the value of
Award winning produce, turnover and the number of meals served daily (itemised). These records must be
forwarded to FMDD within four weeks of the event.
9. Legislative requirements
The contractor must be able to demonstrate that they have systems in place to meet the Food Safety and
Health and Safety Regulations. The caterer is responsible for the safe operation of the whole area including
back and front of house areas.
A documented HACCP system must be in use and staff training records should be available for inspection.
The contractor is responsible for ensuring that local Environmental Health Officer requirements are met
The contractor must follow good practice in terms of employment legislation adhering to guidance on staff hours
worked and break times.
Cleaning schedules must be in place.
A Health and Safety Policy and risk assessment must be available for inspection by the Project Manager.
Public and Employers Liability insurance for the whole area, i.e. back and front of house and an alcohol licence,
insurance to cover all equipment.
FMDD, WAG responsible for initial styling of front of house prior to hand over to contractor; contractor to
maintain styling for duration of event.
FMDD, WAG will provide table decoration and advise as to what should be displayed on the tables.
FMDD, WAG will arrange for literature and display stands to be available for Blas Mobile. The contractor will
ensure that the display is ‘topped up’ as required. No additional literature will be displayed by the contractor.
Music/ AV will be provided in the form of CD’s by FMDD, WAG.
Standards of Service
The following shall act as a guide for Blas Eisteddfod 2008 minimum standards of service.
Seating area, before service and after each use:
All tables will be cleaned with a clean cloth, and detergent
Chairs will be checked for crumbs and wiped down if necessary
Excess crumbs on floor will be swept up
Chairs will be re-positioned and table tops tidied
Any rubbish on the floor will be disposed of
High chairs will be checked and cleaned after each use
In external areas bins will be emptied regularly, and kept clean – using disposable paper
Crockery and cutlery:
Glasses will be washed in the dishwasher using clean water, and polished before use
Cutlery will be polished and wrapped in a blue napkin
All tea cups, saucers etc will be checked as they are put away with any dirties returned to wash up.
Stained tea cups will not be used.
All tea and coffee pots will be sent to wash up after use and polished
Milk jugs may be re-cycled but must be checked continually to ensure that they are clean; all milk jugs
must be sent to wash up during and at the end of service
Sugar bowls may be recycled but must be checked continually to ensure that they are clean; all sugar
bowls must be sent to wash up at the end of service
All trays must be clean before they are re-used
Counter service staff:
Will smile and welcome customers bilingually
Will serve drinks to customers efficiently and courteously
Will present a professional and friendly front at all times
Will maintain a clean and presentable appearance at all times
Will inform the front of house supervisor of any customer dissatisfaction
Will continuously clean the counter top and work in a clean, organised manner
Table service staff:
Will serve hot and cold food to customers in a friendly and courteous manner
Will communicate bilingually
Will present a professional and friendly front at all times
Will check table for salt and pepper
Will clear tables when all customers have finished, using a clean tray
Will maintain a clean and presentable appearance at all times
Will inform the front of house supervisor of any customer dissatisfaction
As part of the National Eisteddfod’s policy to reduce the effect of the festival on the environment, we intend to
promote the use of biodegradable materials, recycled materials and easily recyclable materials.
This scheme will be fully integrated in 2008, and only biodegradable materials and those made of recycled
materials will be allowed on the site from 2008 onwards.
You must use only wooden knives and forks, and biodegradable paper, cups and food boxes.
The types of materials available can be seen on: http://www.ripplecups.com/ or you can make enquiries with
your usual supplier
The Eisteddfod keeps a stock of biodegradable cups available for your use, and these can be purchased on the
site from Glyn Jones, the catering officer.
Please complete the following and return with your tender offer:
We agree to aid the Eisteddfod with its Environmental Policy,
and intend to use the following material(s)
at the National Eisteddfod in 2008: