The Fylde Food Festival is off the menu for this year – and its entire future has been thrown into doubt because of a lack of support, it has been claimed.
The event, promoted by Fylde Council and offering specially-priced menus in January and early February in a bid to encourage diners into restaurants at a traditionally quiet time, returned last year after previously being run as the Feast For Ten but then taking a break in 2012.
New features, including the chance for diners to vote for their favourite participating restaurant, were introduced as part of the revamp and 14 restaurants were listed as taking part, but other fresh ingredients for the incentive, including a planned festival dinner and a quest to find the best pies and sausages made in Fylde, had to be cancelled because of a lack of support.
Now, Fylde Council’s tourism boss has claimed last year’s entire event wasn’t well enough supported – and will need a total rethink if it is ever to return.
“It just wasn’t popular enough – with the restaurants or with the public,” said Coun Sue Fazackerley, cabinet member for tourism and leisure at Fylde Council.
“We tried to add extra interest with new features but several of them had to be cancelled.
“For example, we scheduled a cake decorating competition for schools across Fylde but only five took part. It looks as though the event has run its course. It could be looked at again in future years but I feel it would need a complete rethink to maximise interest.”
Oliver Sinclair, whose Oliver’s Restaurant, in St Albans Road, St Annes, was voted Restaurant of the Year in last year’s Festival, said he was sorry to hear that the event would not be taking place this year.
“We were proud and delighted to win the award but it worked well for us beside that,” he said.
“The set price menu we had on offer brought in some customers who have since become regulars and some of the dishes we included on it became regular features on our standard menu. The news about us winning the award was also a massive boost to us. We were booked solid for weeks afterwards.”