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All posts tagged stadium catering

Levy Restaurants UK announces new 15-year partnership with Wasps

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Levy Restaurants UK – the sports, leisure and hospitality division of Compass Group UK & Ireland – and Wasps, owner of the Ricoh Arena, have announced a 15-year extension to their existing partnership in a deal expected to generate GBP£195m in total turnover.

The Ricoh Arena is one of the leading sports, exhibition, conferencing and events arenas in the UK, and the deal will see Levy Restaurants UK provide all catering services for match day, conferencing and events until 2030.

Levy Restaurants UK has worked with Arena Coventry Ltd (ACL), Wasps’ subsidiary company, since 2007.

Colin Bailey, Managing Director, Levy Restaurants UK said:

We are pleased to have extended this partnership and to be part of an exciting new chapter with Wasps at the Ricoh Arena. Wasps’ arrival at the Arena has generated huge excitement among the local and sporting community.

We pride ourselves on our powerful partnerships that create legendary experiences and this is a great example of how we’ll be bringing this ethos to life – working to put the guest first at the Ricoh Arena to ensure they have a unique experience every time.

David Armstrong, Group Chief Executive Officer of Wasps said:

The increased length and investment of this new contract reflects the upward curve Wasps and ACL have followed since Wasps acquired the Ricoh Arena and aligned the brands. It also indicates a firm belief in what we can achieve off the field at our new home, through the powerful combination of sport, business and entertainment.

Alongside the tripling of match day attendances, hospitality has increased by over 500% in comparison to Wasps’ offering last season and the Ricoh Arena’s Conference & Exhibition business turnover has increased in the first six months since Wasps’ acquisition of the venue. We are confident both businesses will continue to grow as we aim to establish the Ricoh Arena as the UK’s leading venue for sport, business and entertainment.

Wasps recently announced a series of planned improvements for the Ricoh Arena. When all upgrades have been completed by the end of 2015, the Arena will offer visitors a total of five bars, three restaurants on-site and over 20 food and beverage outlets.

Levy Restaurants UK and Welsh Rugby Union Group announce Millennium Stadium Experience Ltd

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Levy Restaurants UK, the sports, leisure and hospitality division of Compass Group UK & Ireland, and the Welsh Rugby Union Group (WRU Group) has announced a new company that will provide high-quality catering, conferencing and hospitality services for visitors to the Millennium Stadium.

The new venture, known as Millennium Stadium Experience Limited (MSEL), combines the expertise of WRU Official Hospitality and Compass Group UK & Ireland’s Levy Restaurants UK. MSEL is owned 83.5% by the WRU Group and 16.5% by Compass Group UK & Ireland, and is based at the revamped hospitality headquarters inside the Millennium Stadium.

On the Board of MSEL, the WRU Group is represented by Group Finance Director, Steve Phillips; Head of Sales and Marketing, Craig Maxwell; Millennium Stadium Manager, Mark Williams; and from Compass Group UK & Ireland, Finance Director, Paul Galvin.

Colin Bailey, Managing Director, Levy Restaurants UK, the sports, leisure and hospitality sector of Compass Group UK & Ireland said:

The creation of the Millennium Stadium Experience Limited is testament to the success of our partnership with the Millennium Stadium team to date. This will be taking the best of our expertise to further enhance the guests’ experience when they visit the stadium.

Steve Phillips, Chairman of MSEL said:

I am delighted that we were able to conclude the MSEL deal with Compass Group UK and Ireland with a view to further enhance both the hospitality and the catering offering at the Millennium Stadium. This is an exciting venture for all involved as we work together to deliver an exceptional service for our guests while establishing a sound business strategy for the future.

At the heart of MSEL is the shared ethos of good quality and sustainable food and excellent customer service and a wealth of experience of organising the logistics and catering for all Millennium Stadium events. MSEL is also expected to open up a host of new opportunities for future business growth in the hospitality, conferencing and catering market.

A’s expand Ovations partnership to include newly renovated Hohokam Stadium

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The Oakland Athletics (A’s) will return to Mesa, Arizona, USA, to the newly renovated Hohokam Stadium for their 2015 spring training and will partner with the facility’s current catering and concessions provider, Ovations Food Services. Ovations will also serve as the A’s retail merchandising partner at their new spring home.


Ovations currently serves A’s fans at the Coliseum and announced last month the addition of retail merchandise operations as well. A subsidiary of the sports and entertainment firm Comcast-Spectacor, Ovations has provided food and beverage services at Hohokam Stadium since 2006.


Jim Leahey, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for the A’s said:

We are pleased to be expanding our partnership with Ovations to Hohokam Stadium in Mesa. Ovations will be a key ingredient to making the spring training experience special for our fans.


Jay Satenspiel, Ovations’ Regional Vice President, added:

Oakland Athletics fans can expect a whole new ballgame in the areas of concessions and catering. We are going back into the ballpark with our Everything’s Fresh™ philosophy front-of-mind, which means new equipment, new concepts and new flavors for fans and guests.


The A’s open the 2015 spring training slate Tuesday, March 3, against the San Francisco Giants at Hohokam Stadium.

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Images courtesy: Ivan Martinez.


Call Systems Technology scores contract with Manchester City FC through partner Verteda

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The 48,000 visitors of Premier League champions, Manchester City FC, will reap the benefits of a smart kitchen automation solution this season, which will see a dramatic improvement in service delivery times across its hospitality areas at Etihad Stadium.

Call Systems Technology (CST), the UK’s leading supplier of on-site wireless communications systems, has installed its ConnectSmart Kitchen® (CSK) system across the six hospitality areas to ensure quick and efficient service levels for all visitors to the club.

CST worked alongside hospitality technology solutions provider, Verteda, to provide a flexible kitchen automation solution, replacing the stadium’s existing manual and printer paper operation. The application of CSK® took place as part of a major renovation of the front and back of house facilities at the Etihad Stadium, managed by Verteda. The project included the installation of the award-winning InfoGenesis POS solution and mobile ordering devices, with the aim of incorporating technology to streamline back of house processes, such as supplier orders, inventory control, cash management and Business Intelligence reporting.

CST was tasked with improving the following: service delivery times, communication between front and back of house, and order delivery in the kitchen. The system also had to deal with reducing labour by eliminating the need for staff to go to the kitchen to request orders. The ConnectSmart Kitchen® (CSK) system provides operational data to help the stadium’s business managers learn about the kitchen operation so that they can continue to improve service delivery for every fan visiting the stadium in the future.

CST installed a 16 screen CSK® system across the six different hospitality areas at the stadium, allowing the separate kitchens to work seamlessly together without the need for manual communication, leaving staff able to focus on service. The CSK® system helps the stadium’s chefs to determine which food items to focus on, taking into consideration preparation times of each so all items for the order complete at the same time. Screens at each chef’s station present staff with all the information they need when and where they need it. This ensures that customers receive their meals together, freshly prepared, even when cooking times vary.

Ashley Sheppard, Commercial Director at CST, commented:

What a fantastic result for Manchester City FC. As championship winners, it is more important than ever that the team’s skill on the pitch is complemented by the quality of their stadium hospitality. The potential for 48,000 visitors to be at the stadium on match day creates an incredibly demanding atmosphere for hospitality staff where speed and efficiency of service are paramount.

Our CSK® system was a crucial component of the new hospitality technology implemented at the site. It ensures that all food is prepared quickly and efficiently – especially at half time when the staff are placed under enormous pressure.

Neil Worcester, Venue Director at Fabulous FanFayre, contract caterers at the Etihad Stadium, added:

The catering facilities at the stadium were in real need of modernisation and to be operational efficient. Now, with the help of CST and Verteda, we offer a superior quality service that ensures quick and efficient service levels and in turn, customer satisfaction. The kitchen automation system is ideal for when the team are juggling lots of orders, something which is sure to increase with the recent approval for an extra 14,000 seats at the stadium.

Chelsea Football Club and Levy Restaurants team up to achieve joint goals

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Chelsea Football Club and Levy Restaurants UK announce strategic partnership

Chelsea Football Club and Levy Restaurants UK – the sport, leisure and hospitality business of Compass Group UK & Ireland – have agreed an international partnership, reinforcing the relationship between the two global market leaders.

The continuing collaboration will see Levy Restaurants UK become the club’s official catering partner responsible for the catering across the Chelsea Football Club estate; including Stamford Bridge, the club’s iconic stadium, Chelsea FC’s training facility in Surrey, a private members health club (Chelsea Health Club & Spa), a state of the art music venue (Under the Bridge) and two destination restaurants (Marco Grill and Frankie’s Sports Bar and Diner).

A newly created logo which recognises Levy Restaurants’ role as the club’s official catering partner will be replicated on uniforms, food related promotional materials and customer feedback forms, reflecting the strength of this partnership and underlining both organisations’ shared values of innovation, performance and community.

Chelsea Levy logo

Levy Restaurants has been working on creating match day food and drink experiences for home and away fans, whilst championing new hospitality offerings for the premium seat market. At the squad’s training ground, the company has designed bespoke menus for the team, working in partnership with the players’ nutritionists and performance coaches. Levy Restaurants will also be responsible for servicing the needs of non-match day events including meetings, exhibitions as well as corporate and milestone occasions.

The operation includes feeding an estimated 1.15 million fans annually across the 43 public catering outlets, 58 boxes and 20 suites on match days. Over 1000 corporate and private events are held each year at Stamford Bridge reinforcing the importance of incremental revenues from non-match day events.

Colin Bailey, Managing Director for Levy Restaurants UK commented:

We are excited to be developing our relationship with Chelsea Football Club as they look to further enhance their visitor offering. Our two brands both have huge global exposure, expertise and most significantly shared values.  Our partnership reflects our joint commitment to putting the customer at the heart of our proposition, embracing British and global dining trends and emergent fan engagement technologies to ensure we provide a truly memorable visitor experience.

Ron Gourlay, Chief Executive of Chelsea Football Club, said:

We are delighted to be working closely alongside Levy Restaurants to enhance the experience of the wide array of visitors we welcome to Stamford Bridge throughout the year.

They have developed a reputation for excellence in events at sporting venues and I look forward to a successful partnership.

Levy Restaurants UK is part of Compass Group UK & Ireland and is recognised for creating destination restaurants and bars at many of the UK’s leading sporting and visitor attractions, including Twickenham, Millennium Stadium and many other landmark leisure destinations. Levy Restaurants has long-standing experience in the stadium sector in the USA, with high-profile appointments including The Rio Tinto Stadium, Utah; and The New Atlanta Stadium in Georgia.

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.

St James Park adds 700-capacity bar

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St James’ Park, home of Newcastle United FC, has launched a new Terrace Bar, which is the first new drinks venue to open at St James’ Park in more than a decade. The 700 capacity venue, at the south west corner of the ground was formerly the club’s ticket office and will be run by Sodexo Prestige, which operates the catering and events at Newcastle United.

The £300,000 development – which can be privately hired for parties and other informal social occasions, complementing existing event facilities at the ground – has resulted in the creation of 30 new jobs bringing the number of catering and events staff at NUFC to 700.

Colin Perkins, Sodexo Prestige regional account director, said:

Not only is the Terrace Bar at the heart of St James’ Park, but it’s at the heart of the city of Newcastle. We expect its location, combined with the high standard and choice of food and drinks on offer, will rapidly make it the premier choice, not just for fans on match days, but for anyone looking for a really vibrant, exciting venue in which to hold an event of their own.

Former team captain Bobby Moncur was joined by current first team players as he pulled the inaugural pint in the bar, which will open four hours before kick-off for all home games and remain open for two hours after the final whistle with fans able to watch Premiership action on 33 wall-mounted televisions.

The club’s main Box Office is now located upstairs in the St James’ Park retail store, with a new match day box office in operation beneath the Milburn Stand ahead of every home fixture.

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.

Food service educator honoured

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John Evans Jr., Senior Vice President of Gold Medal, was recently honoured with a Doctorate of Foodservice (DFS) award during ceremonies held at The NAFEM Show. The North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers (NAFEM) programme stated it recognised

elected leaders of major foodservice industry associations for their commitment and dedication to their respective organisations and the industry at-large.

Evans received this award in correlation with his presidency of The National Association of Concessionaires (NAC).

Evans was also named the Person of the Industry at the Tri State Independent Theatre Owners Associations Convention. He was presented the award by Larry Etter, Senior Vice President of Malco Theatres, Inc., and Tri State board member.

John has volunteered his time and energy on multiple levels, engineering a variety of educational classes, not only for buyers, but distributors and manufacturers. He has served diligently for the improvement of the services we offer,” said Etter. “His experience and effectiveness has led to a higher competency level for anyone who has been involved with the food service practice.

John Evans, Gold Medal

John Evans, Gold Medal