Baltzersens in 2019
This a post that I (Paul) wanted to write towards the start of a new year so that we know what we’re aiming to do, and so do you; our guests. If you read it and see us doing something later in the year that you feel doesn’t fit in with what we stated then pull us up on it because I don’t think these overarching principles should change over the next 12 months.
Here’s what Baltzersen’s means to me in 2019:
We’ve always felt we are an inclusive place and that is something that for us extends into a few areas.
The people that visit Baltzersen’s are from a wide range of backgrounds and we want to make as many people feel welcome as possible. There will always be an open door policy and no guest from any background should be made to feel uncomfortable about visiting as long as their visit does not adversely impact other guests.
We have to price our food and drinks at a level that sustains the business and allows us to keep on growing and progressing. Having said that we do offer opportunities for guests who do not have a lot of money to visit us. Our half price waffle deal runs Mon-Fri all year around – we don’t mess with it even in busy holiday periods. We also offer half price coffee to takeaway before 10am every day of the year.
These days guests have a wide range of dietary requirements and we do our best to offer a menu that offers something for the vast majority of guests. We’ll continue our commitment to create dishes that look and taste great whilst also catering to different requirements. This of course extends to guests who make dietary choices such as vegetarianism or veganism.
Accessibility has always been a problem at Baltzersen’s because of the lack of level access and our toilets being downstairs. It’s something that sat badly with us given the extent to which we aim to look after guests. With the opening of the coffee shop next door we are now able to serve guests who require level access.
If you think there are things we could do to broaden our inclusivity then feel free to drop us a line.
Support the Indies
It’s no secret that Baltzersen’s is an independent business and that we wholeheartedly support the other indie businesses in town. 2019 is not a time to change that perspective, in fact it’s time to double down. We’re going to tell you about even more great indies this year via our ‘Spotlight’ feature as well as on our social media feeds. We’re going to do more link ups, collaborations and partnerships too.
We have a campaign that we’re going to run throughout April that also ties in with supporting a charity that is close to our hearts here at Baltzersen’s.
We have been around for a little while here in Harrogate and we know that one of the most important things for businesses that hope to have any kind of longevity is consistency. That is consistency in terms of each visit; be it the service, the food or anything else that directly affects a single visit.
We know also that consistency in our wider approach is also important. We have a reputation for certain things for example sourcing locally and using great ingredients – nothing is going to change there. We’re going to focus in on doing the things that you expect of us really really well.
Ideally you won’t notice this so much, but we’ll be working hard on it behind the scenes. One specific reason for doing so is that with the opening of the coffee shop space we know we are getting close to maxing out what we can do in our existing space. Our thoughts will be moving to working out what’s next.
You may think that consistency and constant improvement are at odds but we don’t think they are. We want to consistently improve what we do. We achieve this by always trying to be better. It could be through the purchase of different/better equipment, improved training methods, better recruitment, more training.
There are 10,000 small things we could do better everyday.
Some of these improvements take time and cost money, some are smaller things that purely require attention to detail and taking action. We’re going to continue to try and come at this from both sides.
As a business we genuinely care about what you think. We keep on asking and despite knowing that this might sometimes get a bit annoying. We do it because it matters to us.
Now, don’t get us wrong, we aren’t ever going to be able to do what everyone wants. Sometimes we have to take decisions that are driven by business necessity rather than what guests (and sometimes staff) want. On these occasions we try our best to explain the reasoning rather than just sweeping it under the carpet.
If you want us to change something about Baltzersen’s or you think we are getting something wrong then the best thing to do is to engage us about it. If you suffer in silence we might not be aware of an issue or the strength of feeling about it from guests.
We aren’t afraid to discuss things with you out in the open and often if one guest has a problem then more will too. We really value guests that are willing to point out the problems to us. As difficult as it can sometimes be to hear at the time we try our best to be professional about it.
Have an Opinion
We are a business that has an opinion.
We have shown in 2018 that the use of disposables is something we care about and this has meant we no longer offer single use cups. There is no doubt in our mind that this decision has cost us financially, but we think it’s the right way to go so we aren’t losing any sleep about it. We’ve also had some amazing support from guests who have decided to change their own habits as a result. We’re going to continue to examine what we do in 2019 from an environmental perspective and be better.
We supported the Harrogate BID. We are pleased that it was voted in and we approach 2019 with some excitement about what it could begin to achieve for our town centre.
We are often surprised when we read about how colleagues in the hospitality industry are treated by their guests, there are some real horror stories around at the minute. Fortunately our interactions are generally positive and it’s not too much of an issue for us.
Make no mistake though, our position is and always will be that our team are professionals and deserve the respect of every guest that enters the building. They look to be respectful themselves and they expect to be treated fairly.
If you have an issue and you don’t raise it in an appropriate way we will not tolerate any kind of abuse.