There is absolutely no doubt that catering within large venues needed to change. As an experienced stadium and arena attendee, both at home and on the Continent, it is fair to say that the chilled concrete concourse and hole-in-the-wall F&B offer is not as rare as you might hope. In fact, on a recent visit to one stadium – and a well-known one at that – characterless concessions of metal and breezeblock still served up a menu that is described best by the name on the front of the kiosk, simply ‘Food’. When so many others are pushing for a new era of stadium catering, I’m not sure how some venues still get away with it. The answer is, they don’t. Customers, fans and attendees moan. They dislike the style, the service, the food and the prices. And, consequently, spend as little time within the venue as possible; as a result, F&B revenue suffers. In this issue, we speak to those focused on changing the way large-venue catering is executed. First up, SLC Awards 2017 guest interviewee Roy Westwood tells us of Levy UK’s plans to transform general admission F&B at Tottenham Hotspur’s new ground (page 14). Westwood is the strategic, creative and innovation director at Levy UK and has been responsible for heading up projects like The O2’s spectacular Level One transformation. We also head to the Genting Arena in Birmingham (page 20). Under NEC Group caterer Amadeus, the arena has redesigned its retail offer and general manager Annie Mannox explains why. For our innovation focus, we head to the US to hear how Delaware North is trialling pick-up-and-go F&B lockers at NFL and MLB stadia (page 26), while we also head to Twickenham to get the first peek at the future of England Rugby Hospitality (page 24). The level of thought and innovation going into changing general admission F&B in modern stadia should be enough to inspire those falling behind. Make it happen.
Roy Westwood, strategic, creative and innovation director at Levy UK, talks about matching modern diner expectations with contemporary F&B concepts in top sports and leisure venues
The Genting Arena in Birmingham has been fine-tuning
its F&B offer – from giving concessions a personality to
As Twickenham remodels the future of its match-day experience we talk to Ansell Henry, sales director at England Rugby Hospitality, to find out more