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Harvester Restaurants is a family-pub restaurant chain with more than 160 outlets in the United Kingdom. The chain specialises in flame-grilled food and help-yourself salad carts.[1]

Harvester was acquired from Trust House Forte by Bass Retail Leisure, which owns more than 2,000 public houses and entertainment establishments.[2] Bass Retail Leisure was later re-branded as Six Continents Retail in 2001, before splitting into two separate companies (one devoted to the Hotel Division) and the other, Mitchells & Butlers in 2002 which contained all the bars and restaurants.

The first Harvester was the George Morden, which opened in 1983, in Surrey.

The brand has recently grown far larger after the purchase of a large number of Brewers Fayres and Beefeaters from Whitbread.

An attempt to raise the profile of the chain considered removing peas as standard issue with the meals, as they were the vegetable customers most often neglected.[3] However, the decision was eventually made for the peas to remain, after a hotline was set up for customers to help decide their fate.[4] Research commissioned by Harvester in Buckinghamshire said carrots were the children's favourite.[5]

When clubs were trying to persuade David Beckham to remain in the UK, Giles Smith of the Daily Telegraph jokingly claimed that Tottenham Hotspur were offering Beckham 100% ownership of the chain in an attempt to keep him in the country, along with other incentives.[6] Although this was merely a parody of the country's keenness to keep him, Victoria and David Beckham did meet at the start of their first date at the Castle pub, popular at the time with footballers and their partners, which later became a Harvester.[7]

Some branches of the Harvester chain featured in the programme Rogue Restaurants shown on BBC One on 31 July 2008 at 20:00. The chain was highlighted due to poor cleaning practices which included a member of the kitchen staff dropping a chicken on the floor, picking it up and putting it in the oven. They were also highlighted for employing staff who were not properly trained.


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