Foodservice Cateys 2015: Retail & Leisure Caterer of the Year
Sponsored by Admiral Recruitment
The company believes it goes one step further to ensure it is "wowing" and "surprising" its guests, putting their experience at the forefront of what it delivers - creating truly memorable dining experiences that help enhance the enjoyment of visiting a museum, watching an iconic sporting event or having a family day out. Critically, it believes its catering offer has to be aligned with its client's overall vision.
Levy Restaurants UK has more than 25 leisure and retail contracts around the UK. Clients range from Somerset House to Salisbury Cathedral, Glyndebourne Opera Festival and the National Railway Museum through to Leeds Castle and Edinburgh Zoo.
Some of the business's commercial successes in the past year include picnic sales rising by 10% at Glyndebourne Festival, and a 56% events revenue increase at Edinburgh Zoo, which welcomes 890,000 visitors per year.
Meanwhile, the company posted a record year of sales growth with client retention reaching 99% in 2014, with many major contract extensions secured.
New leisure and retail spaces have been launched, including Pennethorne's Café Bar at Somerset House, a new café at the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester and the Countess of York railway carriage at the National Railway Museum. Launches in 2015 will include new tea rooms at Salisbury Cathedral and the Ny-Lon lounge bar at the O2, honouring the New York-London airline route from O2 partners Virgin Atlantic and Delta Air Lines.
Initiatives to help grow revenue have in the past year focused on growing trends among customers, such as a need for value for money. The company says it works hard with its partner clients to communicate the "value message".
Personalisation is key too, says the caterer, which creates bespoke catering offerings for each of its clients to echo the business goals and customers' demands. An example of this is the signature cupcakes at the Museum of Science and Industry created by the winner of its kids' cupcake competition.
Healthy eating and sustainability are also at the centre of consumer requirements, and Levy has introduced varied menus at each of its clients' venues. Its Eat Right retail food concept at Chelsea Football Club lets fans choose grab-and-go dishes that contain less than 500 calories. It is also introducing gluten-free menus and a wider choice for vegetarians.
Other accolades for its work - Operations Team of the Year at the Madejski stadium at the Stadium Experience Awards, Best Football Club Hospitality at Chelsea Football Club at the Football Business Awards, and an Acorn Award in 2014 for Megan Caulkett, general manager at Earls Court and Olympia - would suggest Levy is getting a lot right.
What the judges said
"Extremely customer-focused with a reputation for great food - a clear winner."
"I particularly liked how Levy demonstrated how it put innovation and creativity at the heart of the business."
Bill Toner, CH&Co Group
"Some jolly innovative ideas that seem to work for the staff!"
Robyn Jones, CH&Co Group
2013 Green & Fortune