Soon we’ll all be having a Giraffe

New restaurant Giraffe is opening at Tesco in Ocotal way. Pictured, left to right, are Beth Mansfield, Chris Ody, Emily Robins and general manager Georgina Earp

New restaurant Giraffe is opening at Tesco in Ocotal way. Pictured, left to right, are Beth Mansfield, Chris Ody, Emily Robins and general manager Georgina Earp

First published in News Swindon Advertiser: Photograph of the Author by , @BerenCross

GIRAFFE stood tall on its launch day at Tesco Extra in Ocotal Way yesterday, with restaurant manager Georgina Earp underlining a future independent of the supermarket.

In March 2013, Tesco bought the restaurant chain in a £48.6m deal and since then, Giraffe branches have begun to pop up inside or near superstores across the country.

Swindon’s own Giraffe opened its doors yesterday, and manager Georgina was keen to make it clear the businesses are different, with the restaurant focused on bringing a more youthful edge to the retail outlet.

“We have a separate identity,” she said. “All the things we have here are for Giraffe, not Tesco. The staff are different, people will be served by Giraffe staff, not Tesco’s.

“It’s going to be good, it’s going to be a lot more lively than the old Tesco cafe. This is going to inject a lot of life into the supermarket, it’s going to change the way people see it.

“It’s a bit younger, not to isolate the older customers, but it’s going to cater for a wide range of people.

“Whether it’s dates, cocktails before a night-out, or a bite to eat before you go shopping, we will be able to cater for them.”

Georgina, 26, has worked with the restaurant chain for more than three years, with experience at branches in Bristol, Bath, Reading and Cirencester, where she also tried out the supermarket restaurant model.

There she said the challenges centred on convincing those people who don’t like change that it was a restaurant for all.

“It was difficult, especially for the older ones, who just wanted to come in for a cup of tea,” she said. “We had a friendly team in Cirencester and have a very friendly team here, who work to change people’s minds about the place. We are all prepared to have a chat with people, and if the odd free coffee here and there helps, then so be it.”

The Swindon restaurant will seat 170 diners at capacity, with 40 staff all recruited and trained for action.

The majority of staff are from Swindon and the immediate surrounding area and Georgina said it took some time to whittle down the enormous list of applicants she faced.

The new eatery is open from 7am until 11pm, Monday to Saturday, and 9am to 10pm on Sundays and Bank Holidays.

Comments (13)

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6:26am Tue 19 Aug 14

Jockinswindon says...

I've had a look at the menu and the prices are extortionate. Good luck to you!
I've had a look at the menu and the prices are extortionate. Good luck to you! Jockinswindon
  • Score: 2

9:09am Tue 19 Aug 14

Sandor Clegane says...

Food at Giraffe is usually quite good, but I'm not sure their prices will impress the Tesco's general customer base at Octotal Way.

Also, 'cocktails before a night out'? The store is in the middle of nowhere.
Food at Giraffe is usually quite good, but I'm not sure their prices will impress the Tesco's general customer base at Octotal Way. Also, 'cocktails before a night out'? The store is in the middle of nowhere. Sandor Clegane
  • Score: 13

10:21am Tue 19 Aug 14

lolilovegolf says...

Oh Joy!! Another RUBBISH restaurant in Swindon! Very expensive too!
Oh Joy!! Another RUBBISH restaurant in Swindon! Very expensive too! lolilovegolf
  • Score: -9

12:58pm Tue 19 Aug 14

EmmBee says...

Only ever seen a Giraffe in an airport, and the prices were high there. I just thought it was because it was in an airport, but from the comments above perhaps not.
Only ever seen a Giraffe in an airport, and the prices were high there. I just thought it was because it was in an airport, but from the comments above perhaps not. EmmBee
  • Score: 1

1:50pm Tue 19 Aug 14

house on the hill says...

Wont see too many "necking" back the drinks at their prices. And how did they a giraffe get through customs at the airport then, it would never go through the scanner?
Wont see too many "necking" back the drinks at their prices. And how did they a giraffe get through customs at the airport then, it would never go through the scanner? house on the hill
  • Score: -6

4:27pm Tue 19 Aug 14

Tonyblairisthedevil says...

lolilovegolf wrote:
Oh Joy!! Another RUBBISH restaurant in Swindon! Very expensive too!
You do realised you dont have to eat there? its not compulsory... Tescos owns the Giraffe chain so thats why its in the store.
[quote][p][bold]lolilovegolf[/bold] wrote: Oh Joy!! Another RUBBISH restaurant in Swindon! Very expensive too![/p][/quote]You do realised you dont have to eat there? its not compulsory... Tescos owns the Giraffe chain so thats why its in the store. Tonyblairisthedevil
  • Score: 9

6:13pm Tue 19 Aug 14

sn5 says...

What do some people want price wise, giraffe is hardly at the top priced end of the restaurant market? Only thing is the location, can't see a large number of covers later on, but then again their market is families so can see the lunch / early evening service being busy.

Good luck to them
What do some people want price wise, giraffe is hardly at the top priced end of the restaurant market? Only thing is the location, can't see a large number of covers later on, but then again their market is families so can see the lunch / early evening service being busy. Good luck to them sn5
  • Score: 9

6:22pm Tue 19 Aug 14

Phantom Poster says...

Tonyblairisthedevil wrote:
lolilovegolf wrote:
Oh Joy!! Another RUBBISH restaurant in Swindon! Very expensive too!
You do realised you dont have to eat there? its not compulsory... Tescos owns the Giraffe chain so thats why its in the store.
But presumably they will close down the existing restaurant.

I would guess that most people just want something cheap and cheerful as a quick snack when they are out shopping, Certainly that's what all the other supermarkets aim for. How many people would want to pay over £10 for a burger?
[quote][p][bold]Tonyblairisthedevil[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]lolilovegolf[/bold] wrote: Oh Joy!! Another RUBBISH restaurant in Swindon! Very expensive too![/p][/quote]You do realised you dont have to eat there? its not compulsory... Tescos owns the Giraffe chain so thats why its in the store.[/p][/quote]But presumably they will close down the existing restaurant. I would guess that most people just want something cheap and cheerful as a quick snack when they are out shopping, Certainly that's what all the other supermarkets aim for. How many people would want to pay over £10 for a burger? Phantom Poster
  • Score: 0

6:58pm Tue 19 Aug 14

Sandor Clegane says...

lolilovegolf wrote:
Oh Joy!! Another RUBBISH restaurant in Swindon! Very expensive too!
It's not 'rubbish', at all. In fact, it's much better than most of the dross you'll find on sale to eat in the town centre.

Giraffe may have worked in Old Town, I just don't see how it'll work at a supermarket that most have to drive to and which generally is now barely one step up from Asda.

Most of the people in there seem to go towards the end of the night in an effort to pick up food that's been marked down due to going past it's display date and who squabble over which gone off stuff's the best bargain in languages not entirely rooted in English.

Not quite Giraffe's target market...
[quote][p][bold]lolilovegolf[/bold] wrote: Oh Joy!! Another RUBBISH restaurant in Swindon! Very expensive too![/p][/quote]It's not 'rubbish', at all. In fact, it's much better than most of the dross you'll find on sale to eat in the town centre. Giraffe may have worked in Old Town, I just don't see how it'll work at a supermarket that most have to drive to and which generally is now barely one step up from Asda. Most of the people in there seem to go towards the end of the night in an effort to pick up food that's been marked down due to going past it's display date and who squabble over which gone off stuff's the best bargain in languages not entirely rooted in English. Not quite Giraffe's target market... Sandor Clegane
  • Score: 10

6:59pm Tue 19 Aug 14

Eastcott says...

lolilovegolf wrote:
Oh Joy!! Another RUBBISH restaurant in Swindon! Very expensive too!
Typical Swindon small-mindedness. As to be expected. I'm glad people like you find it too expensive cos then we won't see you in there! We will however see you coming out of Greggs after feeding your five kids with bacon rolls and crisps and doughnuts with the benefit money us taxpayers are obliged to provide you with.
[quote][p][bold]lolilovegolf[/bold] wrote: Oh Joy!! Another RUBBISH restaurant in Swindon! Very expensive too![/p][/quote]Typical Swindon small-mindedness. As to be expected. I'm glad people like you find it too expensive cos then we won't see you in there! We will however see you coming out of Greggs after feeding your five kids with bacon rolls and crisps and doughnuts with the benefit money us taxpayers are obliged to provide you with. Eastcott
  • Score: 14

8:59pm Tue 19 Aug 14

roberto5 says...

Eastcott wrote:
lolilovegolf wrote:
Oh Joy!! Another RUBBISH restaurant in Swindon! Very expensive too!
Typical Swindon small-mindedness. As to be expected. I'm glad people like you find it too expensive cos then we won't see you in there! We will however see you coming out of Greggs after feeding your five kids with bacon rolls and crisps and doughnuts with the benefit money us taxpayers are obliged to provide you with.
LOL!
[quote][p][bold]Eastcott[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]lolilovegolf[/bold] wrote: Oh Joy!! Another RUBBISH restaurant in Swindon! Very expensive too![/p][/quote]Typical Swindon small-mindedness. As to be expected. I'm glad people like you find it too expensive cos then we won't see you in there! We will however see you coming out of Greggs after feeding your five kids with bacon rolls and crisps and doughnuts with the benefit money us taxpayers are obliged to provide you with.[/p][/quote]LOL! roberto5
  • Score: 5

9:50pm Tue 19 Aug 14

timt1964 says...

Eastcott wrote:
lolilovegolf wrote:
Oh Joy!! Another RUBBISH restaurant in Swindon! Very expensive too!
Typical Swindon small-mindedness. As to be expected. I'm glad people like you find it too expensive cos then we won't see you in there! We will however see you coming out of Greggs after feeding your five kids with bacon rolls and crisps and doughnuts with the benefit money us taxpayers are obliged to provide you with.
if youre fool enough to be ripped off by these glorified greasy spoons then who has the small mind?? bet you shop at waitrose and turn your nose up at charity shops.tesco must have more money than sense buying a cafe chain for £46m.
[quote][p][bold]Eastcott[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]lolilovegolf[/bold] wrote: Oh Joy!! Another RUBBISH restaurant in Swindon! Very expensive too![/p][/quote]Typical Swindon small-mindedness. As to be expected. I'm glad people like you find it too expensive cos then we won't see you in there! We will however see you coming out of Greggs after feeding your five kids with bacon rolls and crisps and doughnuts with the benefit money us taxpayers are obliged to provide you with.[/p][/quote]if youre fool enough to be ripped off by these glorified greasy spoons then who has the small mind?? bet you shop at waitrose and turn your nose up at charity shops.tesco must have more money than sense buying a cafe chain for £46m. timt1964
  • Score: -7

7:56am Wed 20 Aug 14

Sandor Clegane says...

timt1964 wrote:
Eastcott wrote:
lolilovegolf wrote:
Oh Joy!! Another RUBBISH restaurant in Swindon! Very expensive too!
Typical Swindon small-mindedness. As to be expected. I'm glad people like you find it too expensive cos then we won't see you in there! We will however see you coming out of Greggs after feeding your five kids with bacon rolls and crisps and doughnuts with the benefit money us taxpayers are obliged to provide you with.
if youre fool enough to be ripped off by these glorified greasy spoons then who has the small mind?? bet you shop at waitrose and turn your nose up at charity shops.tesco must have more money than sense buying a cafe chain for £46m.
Actually, it was a very astute business move. Giraffe has 46 locations and is expanding rapidly. Their last business year saw them turnover £40m.

Still, it's interesting that you believe your business acumen to trump that of the CEO of the second-largest retailer in the world. I presume you're on a similar kind of £1.25m per year salary?
[quote][p][bold]timt1964[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Eastcott[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]lolilovegolf[/bold] wrote: Oh Joy!! Another RUBBISH restaurant in Swindon! Very expensive too![/p][/quote]Typical Swindon small-mindedness. As to be expected. I'm glad people like you find it too expensive cos then we won't see you in there! We will however see you coming out of Greggs after feeding your five kids with bacon rolls and crisps and doughnuts with the benefit money us taxpayers are obliged to provide you with.[/p][/quote]if youre fool enough to be ripped off by these glorified greasy spoons then who has the small mind?? bet you shop at waitrose and turn your nose up at charity shops.tesco must have more money than sense buying a cafe chain for £46m.[/p][/quote]Actually, it was a very astute business move. Giraffe has 46 locations and is expanding rapidly. Their last business year saw them turnover £40m. Still, it's interesting that you believe your business acumen to trump that of the CEO of the second-largest retailer in the world. I presume you're on a similar kind of £1.25m per year salary? Sandor Clegane
  • Score: 9

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