Catering design firm boosts sales with university project


Restaurant Design Associates (RDA) has designed and installed three catering areas at Leeds Beckett University – which changed its name from Leeds Metropolitan University in September this year – subsequenlty boosting food and drink sales.

RDA completed a new shop and lobby within the Portland Building at the city centre campus, as part of a £340,000 contract. During the renovation, the creative team designed a dedicated brand for the popular campus shop, which is situated in one of the busiest areas of the university.

This brand was replicated in RDA’s second installation project– a £65,000 retail shop in the renowned Broadcasting Place – which was named the Best Tall Building in the World in 2010 by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH).

The firm was also tasked with installing a £42,000 hospitality kitchen within the confines of a disused office space inside the James Graham Building at the university’s Headingley campus, which overlooks three acres of parkland and is regularly used for banquets, receptions, conferences, exhibitions, meetings and training.

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RDA has a longstanding relationship with Leeds Beckett University, having renovated five other sites there in previous years.

Alex Bradley, commercial manager at RDA, said: “Throughout our work on the Portland Building, we worked closely with Leeds Beckett’s architects’ specification to ensure that the finished result of the busy lobby area was in-keeping with the character of the rest of the building, which sees such a high footfall and forms a central hub of university life.

“Meanwhile, within our new retail shops, we introduced hot displays and freshly made, locally sourced hot food offers – which had not previously been provided – including pasta, curries, soups and jacket potatoes.

"This choice of great value products, combined with a strong brand and inviting, modern surroundings, is serving to encourage more students to eat and drink on campus between their lectures.”

Nick Foster, project manager for Estates Services at Leeds Beckett University says: “RDA successfully worked to tight timescales in the summer window while the students were away, and we’re very pleased with the outcome of their installations.

"We have seen a marked improvement in sales since the introduction of these new catering areas, and the hot food offerings in particular are proving to be a hit with our students.”

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Kathy Bowry

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