'Nothing but lovely feedback' - The Botanist to increase capacity after great start

General Manager of The Botanist, Emily Palmer.

General Manager of The Botanist, Emily Palmer. - Credit: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The Botanist bar and restaurant on the Cornhill in Ipswich says it has got off to a great start, and will be increasing capacity in the weeks ahead.

The eagerly anticipated new venue opened its doors in the old post office building on April 25.

And general manager Emily Palmer said she and the staff had received "nothing but lovely feedback".

"We've had to turn away quite a lot of people as we've been controlling the numbers to make sure we can deliver the right level of service and experience while our team is still learning.

"So, unfortunately, we have disappointed some people on that front, but as the team grows and their knowledge and experience grows, we will let more and more people in."

Ms Palmer said The Botanist had exceeded the number of customers it expected after opening and hoped to be up to full capacity within three weeks.

She said: "As we go forward, we'll add more and more into the business.

"We'll look at doing food and drink service in the outside area and nibbles in the bar. Our offerings for private hire will grow and we'll start adding events.

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"We've got so much left up our sleeves, but we're just we're taking it steady with the capabilities of our team. We just want to look after them."

It comes at a time when business experts at the Suffolk Chamber of Commerce say launching new ventures is proving very difficult.

Andy Walker, head of policy and research, said: “Initial access to finance can be a massive barrier for businesses when first starting with tight restrictions on loans and payback periods.

"The costs of doing business continue to increase, the price of raw materials and goods is rising with inflation, alongside higher rates for renting premises.

"On top of this, businesses are now finding it difficult to attract and retain talent, compiled with the economic conditions, it is very difficult to start a business”