Catering at Lord's cricket ground, the home of cricket, is to be handled in-house for the first time in more than 50 years from next year.
A new catering and conferencing team will be set up by David Batts, deputy chief executive of the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), which owns Lord's. It will take over when Sodexho Prestige's 10-year contract expires at the end of 2004.
Batts has no shortage of hospitality experience, having worked in the industry for 30 years, including a spell as managing director at Radisson Edwardian Hotels.
He said that the current business was worth about £5m in annual turnover, but he believed that Lord's could use its facilities more often outside match days to host conferences, meetings and exhibitions.
He told Caterer: "We want to be masters of our own destiny and really focus on customer service."
Source: Caterer & Hotelkeeper magazine, 5 August 2004