The 10-year contract - the value is not being disclosed - has been awarded to Centerplate following a competitive tender which required caterers bidding for the contract to demonstrate their commitment to supporting the lasting legacy of the 2012 London Olympics and their adherence to the LLDC’s Food Legacy Pledge; the Healthier Catering Commitment; and LLDC’s Priority Theme Initiatives.1
Centerplate’s UK division has been managing the catering at the 7,500 seat Copper Box Arena since July 2013, and the 10-year remit includes providing catering services for: the London Lions Basketball Team now based at Copper Box Arena; all sporting events, including the series of world-class boxing matches staged by leading boxing promoter Frank Warren; concerts, conferences and dinners; together with a café. Centerplate will also manage the sales and marketing for conferences, dinners and events.
The Copper Box Café is the central hub of the day-to-day catering operations and Centerplate will provide a flexible, family-friendly catering offering that will appeal to a wide demographic of customers ranging from the local community, gym members and local employees as well as visitors to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
At the Copper Box Café, which has 40 covers plus seating outside, Centerplate will offer ‘great food that satisfies all price points’. Menus will focus on wholesome, freshly cooked dishes featuring seasonal and local produce. A choice of healthy options and children’s menus will be offered alongside a selection of home-made cakes and pastries, baguettes, paninis, and weekly changing ‘specials’.
For large scale sporting and other events, Centerplate will install mobile catering units, pop-up bars and restaurants to enhance the visitor’s experience.
Centerplate is employing and training local people, and has pledged to work with local boroughs to introduce an apprenticeship scheme. The scheme will take on apprentices who will study for a degree in Hospitality and gain real job experience whilst they develop their skills. The apprenticeship is open to people in the local area and is an initiative which has proved to be very successful at Tottenham.
Robert Jamieson; Procurement Manager from GLL, says: “We had a very rigorous process when selecting our catering partners for the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and they needed to demonstrate that their approach and business is fully aligned with the GLL and LLDC’s commitment to deliver a lasting legacy which benefits both the local community and the whole of Britain and British sport.
“There are very specific requirements to serve healthier food, and to buy and promote British and seasonal food, Farm Assured produce, free-range eggs, Fairtrade certified products, demonstrably sustainable fish and a growing proportion of food produced to verifiably higher standards of animal welfare and environmental protection. Having a food waste reduction strategy and promoting good food training, covering health and sustainability, for all relevant staff are also essential pre-requisites.
“What impressed us about Centerplate is that they have fully embraced the legacy commitment in all areas from employing and training staff from the surrounding neighbourhood and proactively suggesting a number of creative initiatives and community-based projects which will benefit and enhance the lives of people in the local area through to their environmental and sustainability policies. And we also have the reassurance that they have demonstrable experience and expertise in delivering high quality food and service in high volume sports and events environments.”
Adam Elliott, President of Centerplate’s UK division, says: “It really is a tremendous privilege to be part of the lasting legacy of the 2012 London Olympics. We will meet the varied visitor demand through attention to detail and the creation of a food and beverage offer that is synonymous with the GLL’s strategic objective; to make community services and spaces better for everyone”.
Jason Richards, Centerplate’s Business Development Manager in the UK, adds: “This impressive unique venue is now well and truly open for business. In addition to providing the catering, Centerplate will also manage the sales and marketing process for conferences, dinners and events. To enquire about events at the Copper Box Arena, please contact Natalie Haake on 07767 118140 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
“The Queen Elizabeth Park is expected to attract nine million visitors annually, so this partnership will also provide us with an excellent opportunity to showcase the quality of our catering and event management services to a wide and eclectic audience.”
Centerplate’s UK division’s 51 client sites include The Studio Tour Café at the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter which attracts one million visitors a year.
Centerplate reinforced its environmental credentials when The Lindley Group became one of the first operators to sign up to the Sustainable Restaurant Association’s (SRA) new model membership scheme, and last year it was awarded One Star Sustainability Champion status under the SRA’s Sustainability Rating for hospitality businesses. Last summer Centerplate, which is the catering partner at Bristol City FC, achieved the Silver Food for Life Catering Mark for the League 1 club’s hospitality and event menus, making Ashton Gate the first sports stadium in England to receive the accreditation awarded by the Soil Association. The caterer has also been awarded the Soil Association’s Silver Food for Life Catering Mark for its catering at the Malvern Theatres’ Scene Bistro and the Theatre Royal Bath.