Shrewsbury hogroast and marquee company on track for growth

Shropshire Hogroasts, the garden marquee hire and outdoor catering company based in Shrewsbury, has reported a significant increase in business this year, with the company almost fully booked up to spring 2014.

Tim Draycott spent 20 years catering for major events before he started his own business eight years ago with his partner Amanda.  He has invested in a number of Gala Tent marquees over the years, because he liked the product and the price and now owns 14 in different sizes.  Tim Draycott said: “Our aim is to provide a first class events and catering service, whilst keeping it affordable.  I know I’ve achieved this because we’re so busy, with so many repeat booking and personal recommendations coming through all the time.”

At a time when some marquee companies charge for every single item, Shropshire Hogroast prides itself on offering a complete package with no hidden extras.  Tim said: “We provide everything from catering, tables, chairs, marquee decorations, lighting, bunting, flooring, snow machines.... you name it, we’ve usually got it!  It’s what makes our marquees and hogroasts so popular.”

Shropshire Hogroasts finds that at least 60 per cent of their business comes from referrals.  Tim adds: “Some people insist on having us for their weddings and parties, they’d rather change the date than go with anyone else.  It’s really flattering that they think of our services so highly!”

Before he got into catering, Tim worked for a couple of years as a scaffolder, so is used to carrying around a lot of poles and equipment around. He says: “I can erect a 10m x 6m marquee in just 16 minutes.  I find the marquees durable, easy to erect and most importantly to my business, they are safe and fully water protected.  I get so many fantastic comments from my clients about how they like the quality of them. What makes it so rewarding for me is seeing the smiles on people’s faces when their event has been a massive success.”

Jason Mace, Managing Director of Gala Tent, said: “It is fantastic to hear how well that Shropshire Hogroasts is doing. Tim has a great business model, combining his expertise in catering with marquee and event hire.  Our products are affordable so that companies like Shropshire Hogroasts can benefit from durable marquees that are popular with customers, but which mean they can keep their prices competitive.  We wish Tim and Amanda all the best for the future.”

Tim’s marquees are booked out every week, apart from his quieter months, which are usually January and February, when he concentrates on supplying nightclub decor and also snow and bubble machines to clubs around the area.

Tim adds: “Garden marquee parties are becoming more popular, as people like the fact that they’re less formal and also that they don’t cost as much as hiring a venue.  In the past, we’ve done a lot of festivals, but now we are focusing more on weddings, anniversaries, street parties and live music events.  We’ve hosted some really top name bands in our marquees the past few weeks, including the Arctic Monkeys, and it’s just fantastic to see people having such a good time at an event we have created for them.”

Tim continues: “I’d like to franchise our business model one day, as we have a proven recipe for success and it would really take the business to the next level and on a national basis.”

There are many advantages of being a Gala Tent trade customer, which includes receiving priority sales leads, automatic discount off every purchase, exclusive offers throughout the year that are available to members only and ongoing support with marketing.

Jason Mace explains: “We are looking for more Gala Tent hire companies across the country, We provide all the support for a new business starting out and an extensive, high quality product range. This means the payback time is quick and setting up a hire business involves a relatively small investment to get it off the ground.”

Founded in 1999, Gala Tent has grown to sell over 10,000 tents and marquees each year, along with around 90,000 event accessories and furniture products in the UK. In the UK, Gala Tent is a preferred supplier for organisations including the military, NHS, the South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service, South Yorkshire Police Service, St John’s Ambulance and AA.

For more details, contact Gala Tent on 0871 4234312 or visit the website www.galatent.co.uk.

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Pete White Pete White

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