Sodexo and Aston Villa net top football hospitality awards

Sodexo and Aston Villa net top football hospitality awards

Aston Villa Football Club and the Sodexo team at Scotland's national stadium Hampden Park were the big winners at the Official Football Hospitality Awards 2011, respectively netting five and three awards.

The in-house catering team at Villa Park took home top prizes in three categories: chef team of the year; star for the future, which went to Frances Cash; and the sustainable award.

Aston Villa also won silver for conference and events marketing and the students of its training restaurant VMF, which stands for Villa Midlands Food, won bronze in the special achievement category.

Meanwhile Sodexo's Hampden Park team scored a hat trick at the awards ceremony held at the Molineux Stadium, home to Wolverhampton Wanderers.

Head chef Neil Rawlings won the silver special achievement award for his achievements at Hampden Park in short period of time, which includes his efforts to develop his team as future hospitality stars.

Match day manager Linda Hepburn received bronze in Star for the Future and the team won bronze in the overall match day hospitality experience award.

Sodexo also won two awards for each of its operations at Everton FC‘s Goodison Park and Newcastle United‘s St James Park.

Stadium experience chair Lisette Maas, from Notts County Football Club, said: "The recognition given to those nominated and winning awards is vital to the morale and continued dedication of the catering and events departments at out football clubs.

"They work tirelessly behind the scenes on match days and non-match days to ensure that in some instances up to 90,000 visitors are catered for."

Each club that took part in the awards was independently visited by a professional catering judge from Salon Culinaire over a period of six months and marked on criteria including service efficiency, food quality and venue standards.


Media Choice Award
Manchester City (Winner) - Lindley Group
Arsenal FC (Silver) - Delaware North
Chesterfield FC (Bronze)

Directors Choice Award
Walsall FC - League Division 1
Bradford City FC - League Division 2
Derby County FC - Championship - Delaware North
Dundee United FC - Scottish Premier League
Sunderland AFC - Premier League - Lindley Group

Chef Team of the Year
Aston Villa FC (Winner)
Everton FC (Silver) - Sodexo
Morecambe FC (Bronze)

Conference & Events Marketing Award
West Ham United FC (Winner) - Compass Group
Aston Villa FC (Silver)
Leicester City FC (Bronze) - Compass Group

Special Achievement Award
Gareth Billington, Everton FC (Winner) - Sodexo
Neil Rawlings, Hampden Park (Silver) - Sodexo
Villa Midlands Food, students at Aston Villa FC (Bronze)

Star for the Future Award
Frances Cash, Aston Villa FC (Winner)
Amelia Reeves, Birmingham City FC (Silver)
Linda Hepburn, Hampden Park (Bronze) - Sodexo

Chairman's Award for Innovation
Wolverhampton Wanderers FC (Winner)
Chesterfield FC (Silver)
Brighton & Hove Albion FC (Bronze)

Sustainable Award Category
Aston Villa FC (Winner)
Chelsea FC (Silver) - Compass Group
Leicester City FC (Bronze) - Compass Group

Match Day Hospitality Experience Award
Walsall FC - League 1
Morcambe FC - League 2
Coventry City FC - Championship - Compass Group
Celtic FC - Scotland
Newcastle United FC - Premier League - Sodexo

Overall Match Day Hospitality Experience Award
Celtic FC (Winner)
Newcastle United FC (Silver) - Sodexo
Hampden Park (Bronze) - Sodexo

Elior wins £18m contract at Brighton's new football stadium >>

John Benson-Smith teams up with Peter's Food Service to improve match pies >>

Lindley wins £2m contract extension at Spurs football ground >>

By Janie Stamford

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