Compass Group UK & Ireland has announced the formation of RA Group in a partial merging of its high-end B&I and event hospitality brands.
The group encompasses Levy Leisure – which has been rebranded as RA Venues – and B&I focussed operations Restaurant Associates and Rapport. The group is headed up by Alice Woodwark, who was appointed MD of Restaurant associates last year.
The group will also oversee fine dining and public sites including Roux at Parliament Square, City Social in partnership with Jason Atherton and Bryn Williams at Somerset House.
The move consolidates the business in areas of overlap at home and abroad. Guest services specialist Rapport often works as a combined team with Restaurant Associates, while the firm argues the rebrand of Levy Leisure – acquired by Compass in 2006 – better reflects operations in the US, where visitor attractions including The Met Museum in New York and The Guggenheim are catered to under the RA brand.
Woodwark said: “Joining together these three impressive businesses within one Group brings great benefits to our customers and guests as well as to our clients.
“Restaurant Associates and Rapport clients will gain access to a prestigious range of venues within which to host external events, as well as access to the strong catering and events capabilities of the RA Venues team. Equally, RA Venues clients will benefit from insights and opportunities from Restaurant Associates and Rapport’s leading position in the corporate market.
“As the workplace food landscape becomes ever more consumer-focused, Restaurant Associates will also gain from RA Venues’ retailing expertise in over 50 public-facing cafes and restaurants. Similarly, the recognised leadership that Rapport holds in the field of guest services – as a multi-award-winning business that has been recognised as one of the Top 30 Best Places to Work in Hospitality for the last five years – brings further depth to the great service culture at both Restaurant Associates and RA Venues.”