Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC has appointed Lindley Group, the UK’s leading sports stadia caterer, to manage the public sector catering at its 7,000 capacity Tulloch Caledonian Stadium.
The £600,000 5½-year contract with the Irn-Bru Scottish Football League Championship First Division team increases Lindley’s presence in Scotland with ICTFC becoming the eighth Scottish club to benefit from the Lindley Group’s expertise in football stadia catering. Lindley also manages the catering for Scottish Premier League teams Celtic, Hibernian, Dundee United, Motherwell and St Johnstone, as well as fellow Irn-Bru Scottish Football League First Division team Dundee FC, and Livingston FC in the Irn-Bru SFL Third Division.
Under the terms of the 5½-year deal, Lindley Group will be responsible for developing the match day catering at the club’s six kiosks and bars at the Stadium. Inverness Caledonian Thistle will continue manage the corporate hospitality separately. Lindley will also provide a part-time manager at the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium who will manage 20 part-time casual staff.
Darren MacKintosh, Commercial Manager of ICTFC, said: "We are very pleased to have negotiated a deal to deliver the same calibre of fans' catering as five Scottish Premier League teams - including the country's biggest club stadium, Celtic Park - as well as leading English Premiership stadia.
"We felt it was important to improve the fans' match-day experience and we're delighted that discussions have had a positive outcome with the club set to benefit from an alliance with the Lindley Group. Their vast experience within football catering has the potential to benefit us significantly, and we look forward to their expertise delivering a high standard of service both on match days and at other events at Tulloch Caledonian Stadium.
“Hopefully, it will be a win-win situation with an enhanced food and beverage facility generating more income which we can reinvest in the club."
Paul Biffen, Lindley Group’s Sales & Marketing Director, says: “We’re delighted to be working with a club which is so enthusiastic about developing and enhancing the catering service it provides for its supporters. We’ll be working in partnership with Inverness Caledonian Thistle to help them make their food and beverage service an enjoyable part of their supporters’ match-day experience and this will, in turn, increase the contribution catering makes to their club’s business.
“With over 55 years' experience specialising in stadia, venue and event catering and management, the Lindley Group has the skills and proven track record to ensure clients maximise their financial returns whilst providing exceptional service. We work with professional football clubs of all sizes, including many in the Premiership division, so we really are in the best position to assist ICTFC in developing their catering operation and provide the fast, efficient service needed to cater for hungry, thirsty fans in very small time frames.”
Biffen adds: “As well as offering the benefits of group purchasing power, we will look at all aspects of the club’s catering business from kiosk layouts and implementing systems to reducing wastage, presentation of staff and creating more innovative kiosk menus. And our expertise really comes to the fore in helping them to market their business outside match days.”
Last season (08/09) the Lindley Group increased revenue returned to clubs by an average of 12.5%, with some clubs achieving increases as high as 21% and 22%.