As the Greek philosopher Plato once said, “necessity is the mother of invention”, and in the fast-moving world of foodservice, there is never a truer word said. Customers want to be served quicker than ever before, and they want to have a modern and interactive experience. There is the necessity and the technology boffins have the invention. Contactless payments, tailored digital offers and queue-destroying smartphone applications are adhering to Plato’s musing and long may it continue. We talk to contract caterer Elior about its time-saving online menu system that allows people to look at the dishes they could have well before arriving at any sport and leisure venue (page 26). But invention does not lie solely in the creation of gadgets, it could be a new way of doing things or a new element to an existing service. Ronan O’Shea visits Fulham FC to experience short queues and river views at its exclusive new gin experience (page 12). Having launched a new Caribbean menu, the Rum & Sugar destination restaurant and bar welcomes us to sample the delights of the West Indies at the Museum of London Docklands (page 16). Meanwhile, Cadbury World in Birmingham reveals the innovative chocolate-infused menu that is bringing customers to its recently extended Cadbury Café (page 22). Finally, we visit the historic Marlowe theatre in Canterbury, which has continued to go from strength to strength since its £25m rebuild in 2011 with F&B a major part of its success (page 29). The team at Sports & Leisure Catering love hearing new ideas to take the industry forward, so let’s get innovating!
We visit Cadbury World in Birmingham to find out how caterer Amadeus injects some chocolatey innovation into the menu
The Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury reveals the importance of supporting, and being supported by, the local economy, writes Joe Bill
Ronan O’Shea samples the small queues and river views from Fulham Football Club’s new gin bar concept