Merlin Events London drops three caterers from three top tourist attractions

13 January 2012
Merlin Events London drops three caterers from three top tourist attractions

Merlin Events London has slashed the number of caterers that service three of its venues: Madame Tussauds, Sealife London Aquarium and the London Dungeons.

Three caterers were trimmed from the approved caterers list after general manager Michael Aldridge, who is responsible for the three venues, evaluated last year's performance by each operator.

Those that didn't meet his expectation of 99% customer satisfaction through key performance indicators or were slow to bring business to the venue were given the chop.

Aldridge explained: "In times of economic slowdown everyone needs to work hard to secure business, it can't just be a one-way street. Caterers on the list understand what is expected of them. Whilst they benefit from the work they receive from us, I'm not sure what difference the end client gets. A lot of the mid-market brands blur into one with a slight variation on the same offering.

"We will now offer one caterer per market. It's very rare for clients to specify a caterer in 2012. With ever-increasing short lead times clients want quotes immediately and do not want to have to select from a large panel. What clients also want is to know they are buying at best price - that's why we introduced Price Match promise last season."

The approved caterers list for Merlin Events London now comprises: Rhubarb, Payne & Gunter, Dish, Payal Events and kosher caterer Tony Page.

More information about Aldridge's decision can be found on his latest blog post on

Rhubarb pushes Compass out of the Royal Albert Hall >>

Dish wins catering contract for London Eye Barracuda >>

Visitor attractions: Has the food offering improved? >>

By Janie Stamford

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