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The Caterer

Digby Trout reigns at Hampton Court

20 August 2004 by
Digby Trout reigns at Hampton Court

Avenance subsidiary Digby Trout Restaurants has won the contract to cater at Hampton Court Palace from rival food service company Sodexho.

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Kensington Palace's Orangery restaurant is run by Digby Trout
Digby Trout Restaurants was also re-awarded contracts with the Tower of London, Kensington Palace and the Wharf at the Tower by owner Historic Royal Palaces (HRP). The five-year contracts, which start on 1 October, have a combined annual turnover of £5m, of which Hampton Court in Surrey accounts for £1.8m a year. Chairman Digby Trout described the tendering process as "anxious" as he had to terminate the Tower of London and Kensington Palace accounts early because HRP wanted to offer all the contracts at the same time. The company has catered at Kensington Palace for 11 years, the Tower of London since December 2000 and the Wharf since December 2002. Sodexho had held the Hampton Court account for 10 years. About 30 of its 35 staff are expected to transfer to Digby Trout Restaurants. Digby Trout will take over the 120-seat Garden Room, an events venue, and the Privy Kitchen Caf‚ within the palace, which will be completely revamped for an Easter relaunch. It will be a happy return to Hampton Court for Trout, who was based there 20 years ago when it was run by Trusthouse Forte. The company will also spend £150,000 overhauling the palace's 200-seat Tiltyard serviced restaurant, which Trout said was not coping well with busy periods of up to 10,000 people a day. Till numbers will be doubled to four and the food display area enlarged. Trout also plans to add a premium table-service restaurant for daytime diners during the summer. He also wants to transform the Tower Caf‚ at the Wharf into a destination restaurant. *Source: Caterer & Hotelkeeper magazine, 19 August 2004*
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