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Lockhart Design: Lee Valley White Water Centre

Posted on Monday 13 August 2018

In the first of our new series of features on Lockhart Design Services 360° design & installation solutions, we've presented details of one of our clients; Lee Valley White Water Centre Bar & Cafe. A full refit & installation was carried out to improve service during peak seasons back in October 2017. Find out more below...

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Client Brief

Lee Valley White Water Centre was built for the canoe slalom events at the London 2012 Olympic Games. It opened to the public in April 2011 and reopened post Olympics in September 2012. Usage at Lee Valley White Water Centre has grown significantly throughout the last two summer seasons which has resulted in significant budgetary and footfall improvements. It has however also stretched the venue's operations and led to a number of capacity related challenges.

Above: Initial Designs For The Centre

Within the main café at the white water centre; the current counter configuration does not allow for accommodating large volumes of customers currently there is no suitable storage upstairs for the volumes of stock required during peak times. There is also a requirement to schedule staff to "work the queue" in an attempt to manage the level of custom through a single point.

It is proposed that the counter and café be re-designed and configured to change the mode of operation to a limited-service restaurant. This should be achieved through the in-statement of multiple, clearly defined outlets aimed at increasing choice, speed of service and the venues ability to deliver a high standard of service to all customers visiting the venue.

Above: Before Shot Of Indoor Seating Area

Above: Before Shot Of Service Area

The new counters should include storage solutions to minimize the requirement for staff to move from their station, be "fed" by the main kitchen and allow for more food to be prepared in-house rather than being purchased ready-made. The café at the Lee Valley White Water Centre needs to adapt to delivering service to anything from 20 customers to 3,000 on any given day.

In order to do this the design of the counter needs to ensure adaptability and clear "modes of operation". These modes of operation should enable the centre to adapt from a quiet Monday to a busy Sunday within the same week. The proposed design should address current health and safety issues associated with poor work flow and enable the centre to continue to grow and adapt. If possible the design should incorporate a level of theatre (such as Pizza oven or Live Cooking) and should create a relaxed and inviting atmosphere. The counter must enable the venue to adapt to and cater for the different audiences visiting the centre. Flexibility is key in terms of catering for large groups.

Above: Outdoor Mobile Pizza Oven On Terrace

Equipment Used

• CED Drop In Units
• Coffee Machines
• Refrigeration
• Ice Machines
• Varithek Cooking equipment
• Urban Cultivator
• Static & Mobile Pizza Ovens
• Ventilation Canopy
• Servery Counters

Above: The Newly Renovated Service Area, featuring an Urban Cultivator

Collaborative Manufacturers

• CPF Installations
• Protocol UK
• CED
• Arctica
• Merry Chef
• Lincat
• Varithek
• CCS
• Caffine
• Mechline
• Sammic
• Classeq
• Foster
• Pentland
• Hoshizaki
• Bravilor
• FEM
• JGel Electrical LTD
• N & W Services
• Improve Air

Above: New Spacious Indoor Seating Area & Bar

Customer Testimonial

"When we initially engaged Lockhart to develop our café facility we had a clear vision for how the café should feel and a number of clear goals to achieve.

We required a space that offered flexibility to adjust to the seasonal nature of our business; able to cope with 30 customers in a day as efficiently as 3,000.

We wanted the ability to adapt our menu throughout the year and to create a 'third space' for our customers to enjoy throughout the year. Lockhart Design incorporated all of these elements into a welcoming and relaxing space; with the final finish completely mirroring the initial concepts laid out on paper. Testament to the quality of design and finish.

Lockhart were set a tight timeline to deliver these refurbishment works and delivered the project on time and on budget. The refurbished area is yet to be tested in peak season, but we're confident that the flexibility of design will enable us to scale the business up to the required level."

Calum Ferris-Lay
Catering & Hospitality Manager
Lee Valley White Water Centre

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