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All posts tagged sports hospitality

Levy Restaurants UK and RFU renew hospitality and catering contract at Twickenham Stadium

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The Rugby Football Union (RFU) and Levy Restaurants UK – the sports, leisure and hospitality sector of Compass Group UK & Ireland – have announced the renewal of contracts to continue their joint venture, Twickenham Experience Ltd (TEL). The partnership provides all match day catering, hospitality and bar services, as well as non-match day catering, conference and event management at Twickenham Stadium and has been in existence since 2000. 


The ten-year contract extension is worth over GBP£30m in annual revenues to the RFU Group; the profits from which facilitates investment back into the game at all levels. The renewed venture will deliver all match day retail and hospitality food and beverage operations for the 82,000-capacity stadium, as well as continuing to grow the non match day conference and events business at the venue.


The operational functions of TEL will continue to be supported by Levy Restaurants UK’s sales specialists, Lime Venue Portfolio, the UK’s largest collection of unique, unusual, cultural and sporting venues. Lime Venue will work with the partnership to deliver non match day events and Keith Prowse will continue to promote the match day hospitality sales function.


As part of the RFU’s GBP£76m commitment into creating a state-of-the-art, connected stadium, there has been significant investment in the delivery of catering and hospitality services at Twickenham. In the past year, 17 public bars at the stadium have been upgraded, there has been continued investment into the West Car Park Fan Village facilities, as well as the latest technologies being incorporated, to ultimately enhance customer experience.


Stephen Brown, Chief Financial Officer, RFU and Chairman of TEL said:

We are not only committed to delivering a unique and inspiring experience for fans attending Twickenham Stadium on match day, but also creating the same quality of experience for customers attending the many other non-match day events and conferences that occur throughout the year at our venue.  There has been a long and successful partnership over the past 14 years with Compass Group UK & Ireland, who have extensive experience in delivering the very best in catering, hospitality and retail services. This strong relationship has instilled a great deal of confidence in our joint venture and has facilitated the bringing forward of the contract renewal process 12 months to this year. The new ten-year contract will allow us to continue to develop and innovate our match day and conference and events offering as well as to set an ambitious, standard setting long term strategy for the Twickenham Experience Limited business.


Colin Bailey, Managing Director, sports, leisure and hospitality, Compass Group UK & Ireland said:

As a partnership we have made a considerable investment to the development of facilities and staff at Twickenham. The contract renewal is testament to the partnership we have with the RFU and the commitment we share to delivering an exceptional experience for visitors to the stadium.


Last year, TEL’s public bars and catering units served in excess of 1 million event day guests, at 19 events and over 49,000 hospitality covers catered for on match days. TEL’s non-match day Conference and Events business achieved revenues of GBP£4.5m, with the world-class conferencing facilities being utilised for a range of events from small lunch meetings to international conferences, product launches, weddings and awards dinners for over 800 people.


Etihad in Manchester at front of new season’s food development

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Jamie Oliver’s Fabulous Feasts is joining forces at the Etihad Stadium with Legends Hospitality to form Fabulous Fan Fayre.

It is a table-topping combination and Manchester City report that Oliver has thrown himself wholeheartedly into the partnership. The new team kicked off the collaboration by hosting a tasting session for fans and staff ahead of the new soccer season.

The award winning chef was joined at a table for twelve in the Etihad Stadium by City fans, the Club’s CEO Ferran Soriano (pictured left)  and Dave Checketts, Chairman and CEO of Legends Hospitality.

The informal gathering marked the first course in the working partnership between Legends Hospitality and Jamie Oliver’s Fabulous Feasts. The aim of the alliance is to concentrate on sourcing the best food from great producers and adding Jamie’s creative twist in the environment of well-established kitchens.

Casual dining development by Watford FC and Lindley

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02 Watford FC Vicarage Road South-West Corner dev

The development of the south west corner facilities at Vicarage Road stadium is at the heart of a ten-year, £18 million deal between Watford FC and Lindley Venue Catering. The creation of two flexible hospitality areas, at a cost of £1 million by the middle of next season, will kick-start Watford FC’s long-term plans to undertake a complete refurbishment of the whole stadium which currently has a match day capacity of 17,500.

Lindley Venue Catering will be responsible for overseeing the design and installation of new kitchens and two floors of new hospitality facilities. The top floor, which will provide great pitch-side viewing, will feature a casual, informal dining area equipped with LCD screens giving it the ambience of a premium sports bar. A match-day hospitality ‘bar & grill’ menu will offer a selection of quality hand-held food such as gourmet burgers and sharing platters. The area has also been designed with the dual objective of attracting revenue from non-match day private hire business as well as enhancing the hospitality facilities for match-goers. Lindley Venue Catering will be proactively marketing the suite as ideal for parties, anniversaries and discos, and it also has plans to create an entry point Christmas party carvery/disco/cash bar offering.

A flexible, open plan hospitality suite will be established on the first floor. Lindley Venue Catering is ringing the changes by moving away from the traditional match day three/four-course hospitality fine-dining experience offered by most UK stadiums, and will be introducing a high-quality authentic Italian restaurant concept.

The hospitality suite has been designed so that on non-match days it can be converted into an exhibition or conference space, or, alternatively, it can provide a 150 cover dining area for formal banquets, weddings and balls. It will also host club award nights and to maximise usage of the suite, Lindley plans to develop a programme of events such as sportsman dinners and offer premium, all-inclusive Christmas packages.

Scott Duxbury, Watford FC’s CEO, said:

We appointed Lindley Venue Catering at the start of the season to bring a professional approach to developing all aspects of the catering, hospitality and events business at Vicarage Road. From day one, they have worked with us to step change the way the club manages its catering and event business and after just the first season, Lindley has demonstrated the positive impact partnering with a specialist caterer can have on enhancing our fans’ match day experience, and their vast experience in the UK sports stadia environment has enabled them to identify further revenue-generating opportunities for the club.

It is this joint approach and the common goal of establishing Vicarage Road as a stadium appropriate to meet the needs of the club which has led to us mutually agreeing to extend the initial four-year contract into a 10-year partnership with both parties benefiting from the arrangement.

Jonathan Davies, The Lindley Group’s Sales & Marketing Director, added:

Watford FC had made clear that its ambition is to completely refurbish the stadium and whilst Vicarage Road has some very good public concourse facilities, including a large public bar and modern kiosks, we felt that the hospitality areas needed to be developed if they are to realise their full potential and match the standard offered at other Premiership and Championship grounds.

We could see a number of opportunities for the club to create a unique offering and, with the financial backing and support of our new American owners Centerplate, we were prepared to invest in the infrastructure of the stadium as part of a long-term partnership. We also strongly believe the type of mid-market casual dining experience we are proposing for the top floor of the new hospitality facilities will be the future of sports hospitality – a view which has been reinforced by seeing the results of similar concepts developed by Centerplate in other stadia around the globe, most notably the US and Canada.

We shared our vision with the management team at Watford FC who are forward-thinking and fully bought into the proposition as they are keen to take a ground-breaking approach to bringing in new ideas which will ultimately benefit both the club and its followers.

Silverstone Circuits awards trackside hospitality facilities contract

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Following a competitive tender, Silverstone Circuits has appointed Detail for three years to design, manage and construct the circuit’s official trackside hospitality facilities.

Detail was commissioned to design a vibrant yet relaxed environment for over 7,000 covers at Lakeside Terrace, Silverstone Six and Club Silverstone. The latest designs for 2013 build on the success of previous events and incorporate a new look and feel to the settings using Detail’s unique walling and continuous length graphic systems.

Richard Phillips, Managing Director of Silverstone Circuits said:

In the recent tender process Detail demonstrated their ability to produce strong creative designs that are cost effective and meet our objectives. Silverstone have enjoyed a long and healthy working relationship with Detail and I look forward to continuing with this to 2015.

James Mason, Managing Director of Detail Ltd added:

I know our team see this as a natural progression of our working relationship that spans many previous Grand Prix at Silverstone. At Detail we care passionately about the design, attention to finish and the overall guest experience whilst being ever conscious of tight timescales and dependable delivery.

The sole supply agreement for 2013 – 2015 formalises the former separate arrangements for management of Silverstone’s technical implementation by Detail and the hospitality design and construction work.

Silverstone has chosen Detail to create its trackside hospitality spaces.

Silverstone has chosen Detail to create its trackside hospitality spaces.


Bailey is Compass Sports new MD

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Colin Bailey_low res

Colin Bailey, Managing Director for Sports, Leisure and Hospitality at Compass

Colin Bailey will take up the role of Managing Director for Sports, Leisure and Hospitality at Compass at the beginning of May. He is replacing Matthew Thompson, who is moving to a new role as Director of Group Sports and Leisure, Compass Group PLC. Bailey said:

As market leaders, we work in many of the country’s most popular and prestigious sporting and leisure venues. This is an amazing privilege and I look forward to working closely with this diverse client base, maintaining the success of these venues and events and supporting our teams to ensure we continue to provide all our guests with an amazing experience.

Having joined Compass in 2010 as Managing Director of Jockey Club Catering within Sports, Leisure and Hospitality, Bailey’s role was enhanced when he was subsequently made Business Director of its Leisure Division, and responsible for its specialist events venue business, Lime Venue Portfolio. Prior to Compass, Colin has held many senior positions including finance director and managing director roles in the hotel and leisure industry, with the majority of his career spent working with the Greenalls Group and De Vere Group PLC.

Ian Sarson Group Managing Director of Compass Group UK & Ireland said:

The success of Compass’ Sports, Leisure and Hospitality business is built on our unparalleled knowledge of this sector and our passion for delivering an outstanding guest experience. Colin brings both of these vital qualities to this role and I’m extremely pleased to announce his appointment and welcome him to the UK & Ireland Executive team. I would also like to thank Matthew Thompson for his outstanding contribution to our business and wish him every success in his new role within our global team.

Chef brothers who fuel the Hampden Roar

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Brothers John and David Buskie cater for fans at Hampden Park.

Brothers John and David Buskie cater for fans at Hampden Park.

An aspiring footballer whose career was ended by injury has still found a role at the home of the Scottish game – as head chef at the National Stadium. John Buskie, 32, from East Renfrewshire had boyhood dreams of turning professional and turning out for Rangers, but his playing career was cut short at just 16 when he ripped his calf muscle.

Yet after following an alternative career path he still made a proud debut at Ibrox, when he was appointed sous chef at the stadium, before going on to win the prestigious job of head chef at Hampden Park.

John persuaded younger brother David, 30, to also pursue a culinary career and they have been a successful partnership ever since. For the past year the brothers have worked with Sodexo Prestige, which provides all catering and hospitality services at Hampden. John said:

As a football fan it is a real privilege to be working at the home of the Scottish game. Hampden really is a fantastic venue and to be involved in the hospitality for an international is a proud experience.

As a chef it is also a tremendous professional challenge. We do everything from providing an a la carte dining experience in the hospitality boxes, to catering for fans at major concerts, or helping feed delegates at corporate events.

Brother David, sous chef at the stadium, added:

Not everyone would enjoy working with their older brother, but we make a great team. Hampden is definitely the best place we’ve worked. It is incredibly varied and the buzz about the place is tremendous.

Since arriving at Hampden a year ago the pair have already catered for a number of dignitaries at Cup finals, a number of 2012 Olympic football matches, and several other major events – totalling more than 18,000 covers.

Most recently they fed fans who turned out for Gordon Strachan’s Hampden debut as Scotland manager at the FIFA World Cup Qualifier against Wales. The menu featured a perfect match of traditional Scottish and Welsh dishes including cawl cennin – a Welsh leek and potato soup with Lothian potatoes and Ayrshire ham; succulent daube of beef sourced from Buccleach Farms in the Borders with haggis bon bon from Macsween served in a wild pepper cream sauce and a platter of Arran cheese.

From East Renfrewshire, the Buskie brothers credit their mother for their success after she instilled in them the importance of being self-sufficient. The brothers keep each other on their toes with a healthy rivalry as they work together to create adventurous menus using locally sourced produce to give customers and clients fresh, seasonal food.

The year ahead brings much excitement for the pair with the Sodexo Prestige team catering for a star studded calendar at Hampden including Robbie Williams, Bruce Springstein and Bon Jovi.