Edinburgh Zoo caterer launches giraffe-themed menu after contract extension

Restaurant Associates is marking a decade as catering and hospitality partner at Edinburgh Zoo with a three-year contract extension.

By Scott Reid
Thursday, 7th October 2021, 8:31 am
Updated Thursday, 7th October 2021, 8:31 am

The business, part of workplace catering giant Compass Scotland, provides catering and hospitality services for weddings, conferences, meetings, team building and charity events, as well as running the Grasslands Restaurant and two cafes for visitors.

Bosses said the new three-year contract would continue to see the partnership “align with the core ethos of the zoo”. There will be a “giraffe-themed” food and drink menu, which celebrates the arrival of five new giraffes at the capital attraction.

The theme is further supported by the introduction of hydroponics in the Grasslands restaurant, which will grow cress for sandwiches and wheatgrass for smoothies, “promoting sustainability and nutrition while taking inspiration from the diet of the giraffes themselves”, the firm said.

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'Fun, forward-thinking' additions include the launch of ‘girafternoon tea’, featuring sandwiches, scones and giraffe shortbread and cupcakes; smoothies; and the Giraffe Cafe close to the giraffe enclosure, bringing a new food and drink stop.

Steve Chandler, managing director of Restaurant Associates Venues, said: “We have loved every minute of working with Edinburgh Zoo over the last decade.

“Our partnership began in 2011 with the arrival of the Giant Pandas, so it seems fitting that we mark our tenth anniversary and contract extension with another much-anticipated new arrival.

“The giraffes have generated a lot of excitement, and it has been a pleasure to adapt and support the zoo to come up with a new sustainable catering concept to match.”

He added: “Conservation is the core message at Edinburgh Zoo, and their ethos of sustainability and high quality matches our own values.”

Ben Supple, Royal Zoological Society of Scotland director of engagement and business development, said: “This is a partnership in the truest sense of the word, with the Restaurant Associates team very much part of the RZSS family and our journey to connect people with nature and protect threatened species.

“As a wildlife conservation charity, sustainability is incredibly important and will be integral to how we develop our food offer.

“Restaurant Associates also share our commitment to delivering a premium product, the finest service and unique experiences for our visitors and guests, with our new ‘girafternoon’ teas a great example.”

Compass Scotland launched as a distinct business in November 2020 and will support the contract.

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