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The outstanding menu development work undertaken by Lindley Venue Catering to improve the quality of food available on sports stadia concourses has been acknowledged with a trio of awards being presented to the specialist sports stadia catering division of The Lindley Group.
Gary Bates, The Lindley Group’s Creative Director, and Lindley’s Development Chef team have been presented with The MIDAS (Menu Innovation Network’s Menu Innovation and Development)* 2012 Sports and Leisure Category Award; and two of Lindley’s new premium pie recipes have also achieved gold and silver award standard in the Football Pie Category of this year’s British Pie Awards organised by the Melton Mowbray Pork Pie Association.
The MIDAS Awards, which recognise and reward the creative talents of menu development managers and group executive chefs, acknowledged the Lindley team’s work and holistic approach in continually evolving and improving the foodservice offer across the business from fine dining menus right through to the packaging for ‘grab and go’ food.
In particular, MIDAS’s team of mystery diners and judges praised Lindley Venue Catering’s new portfolio of public concourse branded retail concepts which include Frank’s Original New York Streetdogs®, Flaming Good Burger® and Henry’s Chicken® kiosks all serving premium quality products developed by the team. The judging panel was also impressed with the development of new match-day products, such as hot pork torn sandwiches, home made hot pots and curries, and pizzas in the shape of a football pitch (rather than a slice); and with the caterer’s use of the latest retail packaging - fibre pulp trays made of 100% renewable resource, and which are compostable and cool to the touch when taken from a microwave or oven.
In a separate competition – the British Pie Awards, which attracted over 900 entries – the bespoke quality pies sold by The Pie Factory® (one of the other new trademarked retail concepts launched by Lindley) collected two awards. The Lindley Bombay Vegetable Pie, seasonal vegetables in a spicy curry sauce, picked up a gold award and the Lindley Chicken Balti Pie received a silver award in the Football Pie category.
Developed in partnership with an artisan baker, all of the pies sold by The Pie Factory® are free from artificial flavours and preservatives, and they have a leaner, higher-quality meat content.
As part of the MIDAS Award prize, Gary Bates will join the Menu Innovation Network’s five day insight tour to Chicago this month (May). The trip will include entry to the NRA Show – the world’s largest foodservice event; behind the scenes visits to leading Chicago restaurants; and a tour of the latest quick service/fast casual chains.
Gary Bates, The Lindley Group’s Creative Director, says: “We’re delighted that the menu development work we have been undertaking has been recognised with these prestigious industry awards, and it’s a great privilege to be given the opportunity to visit Chicago to see the latest trends in the US.
“Stadia public catering has long been Lindley’s core business and, with our substantial experience in this marketplace, we believe that we are in the best position to lead the field when it comes to enhancing the food experience of sports fans around the country.
“The quality and innovation that we have seen in branded retail food outlets on the high street, in mainstream visitor attractions and within other leisure venues hasn’t, until now, been evident in sports stadia, and the aim of our new foodservice retail brands is to raise the bar in terms of quality, customer service and, ultimately, spend per head in stadia market.”
The branded concepts were launched at Tottenham Hotspur’s White Hart Lane in the autumn and, as well as receiving very positive feedback from fans, have produced an 18% increase in total cash takings; a 28% increase in hot dog sales; and 19% increase in pie sales.
The branded retail concepts have subsequently been rolled out to Stoke City FC’s Britannia Stadium, Warrington Wolves RUFC’s Halliwell Jones and Manchester City FC’s Etihad stadia, and are being made available to all of Lindley Venue Catering’s 30-plus football and rugby stadia clients.
Weston Homes Community Stadium provides a limited number of Community Events and activities on an at-cost
basis to not-for-profit groups in the Colchester community. These events number a minimum of 24 in a calendar year.
Room hire is provided free of charge and Lindley provide all catering at cost price.
In addition to Community Events Lindley provide a reduced priced event for local pensioners at Christmas time attracting 250-300 local elderly people for a get together for a celebratory Christmas lunch.
Lindley is working in partnership with Bristol City Community Trust at BCFC on their Healthy Schools Project. This project involves teaching school children about healthy lifestyles; the importance of linking food and being active through sports. Lindley has developed a cook book for kids that focus on healthy, affordable recipes that taste great. Lindley will demonstrate recipes to the school children when they visit the stadium and they can take away the cook books to continue the cooking experience at home with their families. This type of initiative brings to life what the children have been learning in their healthy eating sessions and will hopefully give them a taste for freshly prepared and healthy food.
During summer 2012 Lindley hosted a cook and eat session with young cricketers where the Head Chef bought 6 ingredients and showed different ways with pasta, noodles and rice and spoke about food hygiene. This was met with great enthusiasm and will be continued into next year.
Lindley is involved in HM Prison Thorn Cross young offenders work experience scheme. This is where young
offenders get let out on day release to complete some work experience to increase confidence, skills and
help with future job prospects. Lindley has had people working in kitchens, front of house and The
Warrington Wolves Club are also involved.
In October, Lindley became a Business Patron of Warrington Wolves Community Foundation. Recently established to engage local businesses with a passion for making a difference in the Warrington Community, The Warrington Wolves Charitable Foundation aims to help young people of Warrington reach and fulfil their potential through a wide variety of initiatives. As part of Lindley’s contribution to the Foundation we will cover the room hire costs and provide first class catering for all of the Patron Club’s events held at the Stadium throughout the year, including an annual celebration held to recognise Patrons’ support and provide an opportunity for young people to showcase their talents.
The Droglites Bar that Lindley runs in the Stadium uses four trained volunteer staff each game. The equivalent cost of the wages gets donated to two of the Clubs chosen charities.
Lindley is investing in a project with Tottenham Hotspur Foundation that will teach children in local schools how to make raised vegetable beds and grow seasonal produce. The schools will also receive healthy lifestyle classes and coaching sessions from the Foundation. The school children will visit our kitchens in the stadium and be shown how to prepare great healthy, seasonal meals from their produce. The end of term will finish with a farmers style market with the schools shoeing off their produce and our chefs getting involved in some theatre cooking. Teaching children about fresh produce; what it is, where it comes from, how to grow and cook it are all valuable lessons that will help improve their welfare long term and of course we will have some fun on the way!
Lindley is working together with Kirklees College on a local education and training programme. The provides students in Kirklees College’s Catering, Travel and Tourism departments with an opportunity to gain hands-on experience working as part of the Lindley Catering team in match-day, conference, banqueting and event hospitality environments at Stadium. The scheme envisages both work experience placements and paid temporary employment. Selected students are offered personal development training programmes leading to potential offers of full-time permanent employment with Lindley. Kirklees College provide Lindley employees working at the Stadium the opportunity to study for formal qualifications and also develop apprenticeship schemes.
In early November Lindley held an event in conjunction with Huddersfield Police and Kirklees neighbourhood council. The general manager Anthony Hegney conducted a full stadium tour for Kirklees council residents based on talking about employment in the catering industry and the benefits of healthy eating. Martin the head chef did a short cookery demo in the kitchen he made a very basic pea & mint soup to show people how simple and cost effective it was to feed a family on a budget and they all got the opportunity to watch and taste at the end. The event was really well received and the Police have asked Lindley to host another one in April 2013.
As sole caterers at the community centre to be built in 2013, Lindley will be using this as a showcase of our CSR initiatives. Lindley will integrate with the other partners at the community centre, such as the GP surgery and sports coaches to provide community workshops like teaching families how to cook affordable and healthy meals. Links between the Centre, Club and Lindley will be supported through the use of charity kiosks.
Lindley work with the local Bath University to employ staff for the catering operations at the racecourse. Lindley has developed an excellent relationship with the career advisor and throughout the last 3 years over 60 students has worked for Lindley at Bath Racecourse. This creates a sustainable workforce where students come back year after year and supports the local economy.
Lindley and Notts County Football Club are proud to say that they are sponsoring the RSPCA with a summer ball hosted at Meadow Lane. The Ball's fundraising will go towards animals at RSPCA Nottingham and the Notts Branch.
Lindley have worked alongside Sheffield Young Carers, a registered charity that supports young carers between the ages of 8 and 21, who provide a substantial amount of unpaid care to someone at home with a physical illness and disabilities. By supplying branded aprons for a Young Carers Eat & Greet Event, Lindley aims to help provide young carers with the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn valuable cooking skills.
- Being polite and courteous
- Treating others how you would like to be treated
- Being respectful
- Listening, not hearing
- Asking, not telling
- Giving people the time to think
- Delivering a polished performance
- Being an ambassador for Lindley
- Having pride in what you do
- Doing things differently
- Offering suggestions
- Being an individual
- Being yourself
- Being open and honest
- Being fair
- Being genuine
- Acting with integrity
- Sharing and celebrating success
Is how we express the values that are important to the Lindley Group, it is a guide for how we should
conduct ourselves at work and distinguishes our people from the Crowd.
The Lindley Group believes that our people are precious. You are the most valued part of our business and you will help ‘Challenge the staus quo of hospitality and retail concession catering at your venue’ through the Hallmark of People Excellence.
- Enjoying Work
- Giving a warm and friendly welcome
- Being proud of the service you deliver
- Understanding your customers’ needs
- Going the extra mile to help
- Providing a fantastic customer experience each and every time.
- Encouraging new ideas
- Being passionate
- Showing flair
- Embracing change
- Being motivated and motivating others
- Welcoming feedbacks
- Taking ownership
- Finding solutions
- Treating every pound as your own
- Developing yourself and others
- Exceeding your goals
- Striving to be better than our competitors