Upmarket caterer Searcys is celebrating £150m of new business as well as the sponsorship of Olympic hopeful Dai Greene, one year on from the management buyout that saw the firm put back in private hands.
The four contracts - Blenheim Palace; the Royal College of General Practitioners; the Army and Navy Club and London Southend Airport - will all be operational in 2012.
Searcys chief executive Doug Tetley (pictured, left, with Greene) said the wins demonstrated how a "small and perfectly formed business can take on the big boys".
Searcys will run the visitor catering as well as conference and events at Blenheim Palace as part of the 10-year agreement from the opening day next year, taking over from long-term incumbent Sodexo Prestige, which had held the contract since 1994.
The Royal College of Practitioners deal will commence when the 40,000-member organisation moves into its new headquarters at 30 Euston Square, following a £24m investment in the building's facilities. Once complete, the venue will be marketed as an exhibition, conference and banqueting venue.
The Army and Navy Club, on Pall Mall in St James's, has 5,000 members and the five-year contract award represents the first time in its history that the catering has been outsourced. According to Tetley: "They realised that they could offer much more by turning to a partnership with Searcys. This is a common trend we are seeing with many of the companies that we are currently in conversations with."
The final contract marks a new direction for Searcys as it moves into the airport concessions business. London Southend Airport, which is expected to open a new £10m passenger terminal next February in time for the 2012 Olympics, has signed up Searcys to operate both a landside and airside coffee shop with grab-and-go catering on offer.
Searcys has also continued its roll-out of Champagne Bars, with the latest opening today at new Westfield Stratford City shopping centre development, as it looks to maximise the commercial potential of the Olympic Games.
With 65-70% of Olympic footfall expected to pass through the centre, as well as Searcys venues at St Pancras, the Gherkin and the Commonwealth Club, the company estimates the revenue bounce-back from London 2012 to be worth up to £4m.
This includes contracts to cater for the Belgian Olympic team at Inner Temple, and hosting the Romanian Olympic officials at its townhouse at 30 Pavillion Road, Knightsbridge.
In order to celebrate the anticipated success and support British sporting hopefuls, Searcys has sponsored Dai Greene, 400m hurdles gold medallist at the 2011 World Championships in Athletic in Daegu, South Korea, last week.
Tetley also announced plans to develop the Champagne Bar concept further and said the company was in the process of finding a location for its first Champagne Brasserie.
The Searcys senior team, led by chairman Richard Tear alongside Tetley, brought the business back into private ownership in an £8m deal following three years as part of the Alternative Hotels Group.
By Janie Stamford
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