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Big operators vie for slice of games action

14 July 2005
Big operators vie for slice of games action

London's successful Olympic bid has been wholeheartedly welcomed by the food service sector, with large operators already vying for a piece of the action.

"It's brilliant news," said Compass Group UK and Ireland chief executive Don Davenport. "There are phenomenal possibilities for both our leisure division and our facilities management operation."

US caterer Aramark, which has won the Olympic village catering contract for every Olympic Games since 1968, is seeking new deals.

K managing director Simon Titchener said: "We'll have to tender again, but we've got a great track record. It was exciting to watch Athens grow from a wasteland into a huge catering operation."

French-owned caterers Sodexho and Avenance are also looking for a slice of the London action. Mike Audis, chief executive of Avenance parent company Elior UK, said: "There are plenty of opportunities for us across the board."

Phil Hooper, corporate affairs director at Sodexho UK, said: "In addition to corporate hospitality, public catering and athlete village contracts, we will bid for sales, marketing and ticketing operations."

While medium-sized caterers, including Holroyd Howe and OCS, have said they are too small to run the large Olympic contracts, concession caterers are rubbing their hands with glee.

As one City analyst said: "It's a four-week period in 2012, so it won't be life-changing for the big guys. It's much better news for the small concession operators."

Zahid Kasim, who owns four Lazeez Express concession sites, said: "We'll definitely bid for contracts. London is the culinary capital of the world - despite what Chirac said."

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