Lindley Heritage has picked up a six-year deal to deliver catering services at Derby Theatre.
Worth £3m in total, the new contract at the 649-seat arts venue will see the retail and leisure division of Lindley Group take over from Autograph, which previously managed the operation.
As well as re-launching the existing Bistro Deli Café and operating the first floor Lounge Bar, Lindley Heritage has created a new 50-cover dining area called the Bistro, which will be cross marketed and promoted by the theatre through the booking office.
The menus created by Lindley Heritage's executive development chefs for the Bistro Restaurant will focus on seasonal ingredients sourced from local suppliers, while the Lounge Bar will serve beers by local family-owned brewery Derby Brewing Co. The Bistro Deli and Café will serve its own special house blend of coffee selected especially for the theatre.
Gary Johnson, general manager at the Derby Theatre, said: "The theatre is very much rooted in the local community while being international in its outlook. We are in the process of transforming from a traditional producing house to an organisation for training, mentorship and artistic excellence.
"We aim to be an exemplar of a new way of looking at the role and responsibility of a theatre to its community and Lindley Heritage's approach to developing our catering facilities and services is very supportive of this philosophy.
Jonathan Davies, Lindley Group's sales & marketing director, added: "Gary and the team at the Derby Theatre have a very clear vision of how they want to develop the theatre and open up the facilities so that they are more widely used throughout the local community and we are delighted to have been selected as their catering partners.
"This appointment also consolidates our presence in Derby. We know the area well as Lindley established and operates the highly successful Starbucks store located at the Pride Park Stadium."
Derby Theatre is located within the Westfield shopping complex, Davies said, meaning that the Bistro Deli & Café and Lounge Bar are ideally situated to attract passing trade. But the biggest opportunity is in the opening of the new Bistro Restaurant within the theatre.
"There aren't currently any restaurants close by," he explained. "So establishing an area within the theatre to meet customer demand for good quality, affordable pre-theatre dining has been one of our first priorities."