A food and beverage business opportunity

Established in 1813, the Institution’s founding aim was to promote “the general diffusion of Science, Literature and the Arts; and for illustrating the Natural and Civil History of the County of Devon, and the History of the City of Exeter”.

The DEI is open Tuesdays -Fridays 10am -5pm and Saturdays 10am -4pm with evening events throughout the year.

Since the pandemic, we have had the opportunity to review the operation and are now seeking an external partner to provide catering on site, using our facilities.  Our aim is to ensure a catering offer remains available to the members, but we are open to what this looks like and how a new catering contractor could develop this to be financially successful for themselves.

The 12 cover “restaurant” was previously run by a live-in housekeeper offering traditional lunches in the Courtenay Room, which is situated at the rear of the building and accessed through the libraries. The Courtenay Room is seen by many, as the heart of the Institution and members are keen to see an offer returned.

We understand that going back to daily lunch offer, as was previously available, is not likely to be an efficient model for the contractor or ourselves, so we remain open to how the space is utilised.    The ideal model for the institution will be 2-3 weekday lunches, evening event catering (typically a buffet for 30-40 people) and catering for venue hire (typically sandwiches, salads, cakes, teas and coffees) and possibly daily cakes for purchase in the Courtenay Room.

There is limited parking on site and parking at any time will be by prior arrangement with the staff team only.

We have approximately 640 members and around 400 university members, but visitors to the Institution in any one day varies from 20-60.

For full details of the business contract offered, please read the following document Catering contract terms and conditions

Please complete the tender document here Catering contract Informal Tender Document

Please note that the closing date has past but we are still keen to hear from you.

Contact [email protected] to express an interest