PROVIDING top-quality food at reason-able prices is the bread and butter of an expanding Basingstoke business.
Le Caffe Aroma, run by Simon Dayer and Dawn Valler of Dayer’s Fine Foods, has recently set up five new deli bars for international service office provider Regus.
The new sites are in the Thames Valley, and include Regus’ head office in Slough, along with other centres in Bracknell and Theale, and two in Reading “We now have 13 sites where we run Le Caffe Aroma,” said Dawn.
The first deli bar, complete with its bright red branding, opened towards the end of 2010 at telecommunications company Global Crossing, now called Level 3, on Chineham Park.
Since then, several of Basingstoke’s largest employers have Le Caffe Aroma deli bars, including the likes of TaylorMade-Adidas, CareFusion and TechData.
Dawn puts down the success of the brand largely to the quality of food and beverages on offer at very reasonable prices.
“Our customers who come in to buy their coffee and a sandwich know they are buying the best,” explained Dawn.
“We use the best produce and offer value for money – we believe we can give a very good lunch for under £4.”
Excellent customer service also plays its part. “Our staff are carefully picked and trained, so they are people who are very happy and bubbly, offering the best customer service – that is absolutely paramount,” said Dawn.
On top of this, a good business model makes taking on a Le Caffe Aroma deli bar an attractive proposition for employers. As Simon explained: “It’s good for companies because in effect they get a canteen in their premises for free.”
He said Dayer’s install equipment, food display units and a serving counter at no charge to their clients, who invariably employ more than 200 people at a site.
In return, Le Caffe Aroma operates the facility, serving employees with the likes of hot soup, baked potatoes, freshly made sandwiches, burritos and paninis, along with hot drinks and fruit juices.
Dawn is especially pleased to operate at the Regus sites.
She said: “We were up against some very big names and to finally win the contract is an honourable achievement for a small local business, however ambitious we are.”
Dayer’s Fine Foods’ flagship restaurant at Stagoak Lane, on Chineham Park, is also growing in popularity.
Popular among workers on the business park, the restaurant has started offering an evening service every Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, offering a range of cooked foods from a surf and turf style menu, which includes ribeye steaks, gourment burgers king prawns and pasta dishes.
Simon said: “The evenings have been a success. It’s been a matter of people coming in and then telling their friends. It’s about getting people to think that Dayer’s is more than sandwiches.”