Founded by MasterChef Champion Simon Wood, WoodKraft has certainly made an impact on Cheltenham’s food scene since it opened in December 2018. The restaurant is renowned for its brunch, lunch and Sunday roast menus delivered in its relaxed and informal setting on Regent Street.
Adapting quickly to each change in restrictions, WoodKraft has evolved to offer a takeaway service and At Home meal boxes, the latter of which can be delivered nationwide. BID Communications Assistant Alex Boulton spoke to James Kocerhan, WoodKraft’s General Manager, about why the Wood Restaurant Group chose Cheltenham, the pandemic and the importance of social media.
Why did the Wood Restaurant Group decide to open in Cheltenham? How it is being based on Regent Street, known for its many great restaurants and cafes?
We opened our first restaurant in Manchester as that made sense with Simon being from Oldham. However, Wood is co-owned by Simon and Anna, who is from Gloucestershire, and we had always had aspirations to have another restaurant close to Anna’s roots. Cheltenham has always been a hub for independent and good quality restaurants, and we felt Regent Street was a perfect location for the type of food we wanted to create for WoodKraft. With its busy day time shopping, leisure and cultural scene, the town was a logical choice for us and Regent Street has been nothing short of a joy to operate from. Customers, neighbours and visitors are so friendly and have really welcomed our style of food and service.
How have you adapted your services during the pandemic and how is it all going?
We adapted quickly and set about a home delivery service and reduced menu take out service in the first lockdown and that worked well for us. Re-opening in July with less covers and a different approach to service was a little more challenging, but we were thrilled at the support we received from our customers.
This time around we have developed our Home Delivery offer even further and are pleased to be getting a great response. We are working closely with our Manchester restaurant to put together some exciting options for at-home dining, keeping it fresh and interesting mixing up our Wood fine dining and less formal WoodKraft menus to offer some real foodie weekend packages. We are also able to offer Nationwide delivery in partnership with DPD, which has been a major part of this being viable for us.
How important is social media to you as a business?
Social media is really important to us and is the main platform for us communicating to customers. Instagram, Facebook and Twitter all play their part, albeit to different audiences. We have probably seen it play an even more important role during the pandemic as it’s the main way people can connect at the moment.
WoodKraft is open for takeaway on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, 9am-3pm. Call 01242 580585 to order by phone.
WoodKraft At Home meal boxes are available to order at https://appless.app/HGXXE6/DO8NUK