Harrogate restaurants are being encouraged to get involved in the district’s food group which aims to improve business in the town.
The Food Group has existed for several years, mainly as a food safety group, however chairman Mick Triffitt is hoping the group can become a business association for local restaurants.
He said: “The foodie industry in Harrogate is massive, from our point of view the Tour de France was a great weekend and it will bring visitors to the town, but it also means the town caught the eye of big businesses looking to expand.
“There is a huge choice of fantastic independent restaurants in town. We should work together on how best to benefit from the boost to town.”
The Food Group held its first business event last week - a mini trade fair at the Harrogate International Centre where local suppliers rubbed shoulders with food safety inspectors and the fire brigade gave a talk.
Mr Triffitt said: “Fire safety is so important, especially after what happened at Prezzo.”
Mr Triffitt has owned three town centre restaurants, Damn Yankee, Cattlemens and Salsa Posada, for more than a decade. He said the biggest changes he has noticed is an increase in people eating out early, and people looking for discounts and vouchers.
Last week plans to demolish Beales and build a cinema with up to 12 restaurants were approved by Harrogate Borough Council. Developer 4Urban promised ‘London-centric restaurants’; however Mr Triffitt is unconvinced.
“What does that even mean? If they can’t get that they will just fill it with chain restaurants,” he said.