Café Lazeez to spice up events at the Natural History Museum

10 October 2003 by
Café Lazeez to spice up events at the Natural History Museum

Café Lazeez, the award-winning Indian restaurant group, has agreed a ground-breaking deal with specialist events caterer Payne & Gunter and the Natural History Museum.

The group has been involved with Payne & Gunter before, but this is the first time they have been linked at one of the event caterer's biggest venues.

Chief executive Zahid Kasim and operations director Samar Hamid believe it could be a lucrative tie-up. As yet, there is no formal structure, timetable of events or details of how much the deal could be worth, but where functions want a touch of spice on their menu, the Lazeez group will provide it.

Kasim said it made sense: "Indian food represents 20% of the market, so why shouldn't it represent 20% of the offering at events?"

He explained that the restaurant group-cum-caterer, which has three eateries in central London and one in Birmingham, had been moving towards event and contract catering, but its plans were accelerated.

"What happened was a downturn in tourism in the capital, due to 11 September and foot-and-mouth, and this expedited our plans. We were planning to open more restaurants but the market conditions were not right, so we looked at other avenues."

This was when attention turned to the events and catering sector. But before jumping into the market the group said it was determined to build a brand around quality Indian cuisine.

Kasim reckoned this helped Lazeez secure the tie-up with a big event specialist such as Payne & Gunter. "We have to compliment their leadership and that of the Natural History Museum for recognising a gap in the market that exists, not just for Indian fare, but also for quality," he said.

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