Norwich-based Bread Hospitality, which offers a range of professional services to the hospitality industry, has launched two eateries in a new city-centre food hall.

The company, founded in 2021 by Tom Ginn, is running two of the nine new businesses in Yalm, the new food hall in Norwich’s Royal Arcade – which opened to the public on Tuesday, November 22.

Bread has recruited a new operations team to run Toast Kitchen, which offers brunch and lunch dishes from 10am–5pm, and MILK Soft Serve, serving artisan soft serve ice cream.

Other traders in the food hall – which has replaced the former Jamie’s Italian restaurant – include Eric’s Pizza, NXXDS Noodles and Folks Coffee Co.

“We were already working with Yalm on recruitment – and the concept really works,” said Tom Ginn. “I think the thing that's been lost in hospitality is that casual dining kind of feel within a relaxed environment.

“You only have to look back eight years ago when casual dining was £10-12 pounds – you’d go twice, three times a week. I went to Pizza Express the other day and paid nearly £17 for a pizza and £6 for a beer – all of a sudden, it's not casual dining anymore, it's a treat night.

“When I looked at the concept of Yalm, I thought this is what the new casual dining should be – you've got nine kitchens all specialising in different things and a price point of £8-12 pounds. With the cost-of-living crisis, it will enable people to go out and enjoy themselves without breaking the bank.”

The Comet: The new Yalm food hall in Norwich opened to the public on Tuesday, November 22 The new Yalm food hall in Norwich opened to the public on Tuesday, November 22 (Image: Andy Pitt)

Tom said Toast Kitchen and MILK were “two offerings that Yalm didn’t have”, explaining that he would eventually like to “use the space to attract young talent into the hospitality sector and set up an in-house training academy throughout all of the kitchens”.

“The hospitality industry has gone through turmoil over the last few years,” he added. “Even prior to the pandemic, we've always struggled to attract people to it – and I think that's to do with perception of work environments.

“To appeal now to 18- to 21-year-olds who are at the stage where they need to choose a career, it needs to be relevant and it needs to be on trend. I think City College Norwich does a good job, but at the same time I think the environment at Yalm is a perfect training opportunity to work in all of those kitchens and learn skill sets in an open and fun environment.

“As a hospitality company, we have a responsibility to promote at grassroots level to get people to join this fantastic industry.”

Tom has spent over 25 years in hospitality, starting as a kitchen porter aged 13 before working as a manager for Adnams and later moving into recruitment.

The pandemic inspired him to launch Bread as a “full-circle support arm” for hospitality businesses – offering recruitment, consultancy, social media management and creative design services.

The Comet: Laura Sides, head chef at Toast KitchenLaura Sides, head chef at Toast Kitchen (Image: Andy Pitt)

The company has quickly grown to a team of 17 and works with almost 200 clients across the East of England and further afield, including fellow Future 50 member The Chestnut Group, The City Pub Company and a selection of one and two Michelin star restaurants in London.

It is also a partner of mental health charity The Burnt Chef Project, while Tom sits on the board of The Feed, which is working to prevent poverty, hunger and homelessness in Norwich.

“We need to be multifaceted, and we need to be giving back to hospitality,” said Tom. “Having traded for nearly two years now, I feel we are in a really strong place to help in many ways.”

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