Contract caterer Company of Cooks has signed a deal worth £52m with London's Royal Opera House to oversee the iconic venue's food and beverage operation.
The caterer has won the contract, previously held by Searcy's for ten years, following a tender process led by Royal Opera House Enterprises director of operations John Seekings and managing director Stephen Michael.
The contract is to run for seven years and five months to coincide with the events calendar at the Royal Opera House and an annual turnover of £7m is expected.
Under the deal, which will start in April next year, Company of Cooks will manage the Covent Garden-based Opera House's numerous restaurants and bars and provide the catering for the large numbers of events held at the historic building.
The caterer will take over the 180 members of the Searcy's team currently working at the Royal Opera House.
Tony Hall, chief executive of the Royal Opera House, said: "We have had an excellent and fruitful relationship with Searcy's for the last ten years, but we felt that as we enter a new decade it was time to look around and see who else was out there with whom we can explore our hospitality offering.
"Company of Cooks has shown us an unbeatable combination of contemporary ideas and a refreshing approach to food, plus an acute understanding of the importance of the world class standards we offer our audiences."
Mike Lucy, founder and chief executive of Company of Cooks, added: "A partnership with such a world class venue and management team underlines our intent to become the best in our own class.
"We have invested heavily in our people and management processes in recent years, adding new talent in both operational and specialist areas which include the addition of first class London dining and drinking talent to our senior management."
Company of Cooks recently appointed former Gordon Ramsay Holdings operations director Gillian Thomson as managing director.
Founded in 1996, Company of Cooks runs the catering operations at a number of London visitor attractions including the Royal Parks, Kenwood House, the Imperial War Museum and the South Bank Centre.
By Kerstin Kuhn
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