Lindley Group, the UK's leading specialist in sports stadia and venue catering, has ushered in the 2009 football season by netting a duo of new stadia catering contracts with a total value of around £3 million.
The two clubs - Crystal Palace (Coca-Cola League Championship) and Darlington FC (Coca-Cola Football League 2) - have both appointed the Lindley Group to manage their match-day public catering over the next five seasons. The new additions bring the number of football stadia catering contracts managed by the Lindley Group to over 40.
Crystal Palace has awarded a £2 million five-year contract to Lindley to manage the public match-day catering at its 26,000-plus capacity Selhurst Park ground in south east London. Further north, Darlington FC has also selected Lindley as its caterer of choice to provide the match-day public concourse catering at the 25,000 capacity Darlington Arena which became the new home of the club in 2003.
Both clubs previously managed their match-day public concourse catering in-house.
Dominic Jordan, Vice Chairman of Crystal Palace Football Club says: "We went through an extensive process in recruiting an external public caterer and for a number of reasons are delighted to have agreed on a long term contract with Lindley.
"The overriding factors in the decision process that set Lindley apart from the others, in our opinion, was their track record specifically in football stadia, coupled with their enthusiasm and willingness in working with us to ensure that the service that is being provided in this area of our business improves for the benefit of our fans. We are looking forward to the relationship going from strength to strength and returning tangible benefits for all parties.”
Paul Biffen, the Lindley Group's Sales & Marketing Director, says: "As clubs are coming under increasing pressure to maximise revenue from their match-day catering, those who manage their catering in-house are increasingly looking to benefit from the experience and expertise that a specialist stadia caterer such as Lindley can offer.
"For more than 40 years we have been working with professional football clubs of all sizes, including many in the Premiership division, so we really are in the best position to assist clubs in developing their catering operation and provide the fast, efficient service needed to cater for thousands of hungry, thirsty fans in very small time frames.”
Biffen adds: "As well as offering the benefits of group purchasing power, we will look at all aspects of a club's catering business from kiosk layouts and implementing systems to reducing wastage, presentation of staff and creating more innovative kiosk menus. And our expertise really comes to the fore in helping them to market their business outside match days.”
Biffen claims that every sports club that the Lindley Group has worked with has, without fail, increased their catering turnover by at least 10% and in some instances as much as 50%.