Foodservice Cateys 2016: Retail and Leisure Caterer of the Year

20 October 2016
Foodservice Cateys 2016: Retail and Leisure Caterer of the Year

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The business has also celebrated a year of significant growth by delivering a 7% increase in revenue for 2015-16 and a growth in profit of 26%. Having won £16m of new business in 2015-2016, Amadeus - which has experience across all areas of the sports and leisure industry, including fine-dining menus for some of the UK's biggest venues such as the NEC, ICC, Vox and Genting Arena in Birmingham - now has more than 1,300 employees, including 100 chefs, and has won more than 650 awards for quality and innovation in catering.

At the Genting Arena, Amadeus works in partnership with the venue, which can host intimate academy events for 5,300 people, or almost triple that number with superstar shows reaching audience numbers of 15,700.

Led by catering general manager Annie Monnox, the Amadeus team attributes its success to meticulous planning. Each event is analysed and the team focuses on "what the customer actually wants", according to the judges.

At the Genting Arena, three levels of hospitality are offered through Amplify, the premium hospitality provider delivered by Amadeus's chef brigade.

Meanwhile, a complete overhaul of the Lakeside Lounge from a hospitality area into a restaurant has seen impressive returns on a £429,000 investment and Amadeus taking the decision to offer a three-three-three set menu to provide a greater choice of dishes and menus throughout the year.

In 2015-16 Amadeus achieved £1.1m above its £15.6m target revenue for Service that Sells (a training programme that encourages staff to sell rather than just serve) with the Genting Arena responsible for £3m, the largest increase of revenue across all venues.

Indeed, at Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds concert at the end of April, Amadeus exceeded its £140,000 till revenue target by 14%, making it a record-breaking evening, despite the fact that the team had only reached £30,000 by 7pm. In total, the team sold 35,368 products to 11,293 people. As well as the emphasis on the target, the team had planned for a demanding event by keeping stock levels high and stationing the senior team in key areas to tighten up processes and speed up transaction times.

Managing director Kevin Watson said: "We made a concerted effort in 2015 to change the culture of Amadeus from serving to selling with the customer experience being at the heart of all decisions. We implemented a new training programme to encourage staff to make appropriate recommendations to reduce the effort and time of decision-making for the customer. This results in customers receiving faster service and ensures they get exactly what they want."

What the judges said

"Amadeus is a team that has had significant managerial challenges within a sector of real business pinch points. Within this it has seen significant year-on-year sales growth, and I was particularly impressed with its change in culture from service to selling."

Bill Toner, CEO, CH&Co Group

Past winners

  • 2015 Levy Restaurants UK
  • 2014 Benugo
  • 2013 Green & Fortune

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