Dunbarnie case study

Fairy Tale Wedding & Event Venue

Dunbarnie Castle is a stunning venue situated in the Kingdom of Fife. The original tower dates back to 1397 and over the past 700 years has seen many families reside. Mary Queen of Scots, King James IV and Rob Roy McGregor have all passed through the Castle. The present owners purchased the castle back in the 80’s and have played host to over 1000 weddings, but time passed, expectations changed and enquiries slowed down.

Victus Catering Consultancy was appointed to conduct a comprehensive review; look at the challenges facing the Castle, instil policies, introduce systems and procedures and make recommendations to drive sales and convert a healthier profit to the bottom line as a result.

The challenges facing Dunbarnie

  • The Castle is both a family home and a business
  • Not enough enquiries
  • Not enough bookings
  • Not enough sales
  • Reduced profit
  • Increased operating costs
  • Higher customer expectation

The solution

Time was spent conducting a thorough review of the offering, looking at competition, pricing, unnecessary costs and catering packages. Victus contacted clients who had visited the castle but had decided to book elsewhere for genuine honest feedback. Sometimes feedback is the strongest means to solve underlying issues.

  • Introduced all-inclusive packages to give clients have a clearer understanding of cost
  • Appointed a part-time chef and waiting staff for consistency and service execution
  •  The castle got more involved in the community playing host to schools and church groups
  • Began being used for corporate events and film locations (Game of Thrones and Outlander visited for inspiration, two movies used the castle for scenes)
  • Started accepting marquee weddings in the grounds

The Results

Victus Catering Consultancy worked hand-in-hand with the castle’s owners and implemented key policies and procedures to adhere to. As a direct result, the castle saw a marked increase in the number of enquiries, conversions and bookings. There was a great demand for the all inclusive packages and sales stabilised and grew throughout 2014. Dunbarnie Castle and Victus Catering Consultancy were both delighted at the results and have agreed to meet twice yearly for additional consultancy work and to assess the bookings, sales and projections.

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