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Sunderland AFC and the Lindley Group have entered into a multi-million pound, five-year catering partnership which sees the UK's leading sports stadia caterer reinforce its 13 year association with the Barclays Premier League Club after a three-way tender for the provision of catering services at the Stadium of Light.
Lindley Group has managed all aspects of public and hospitality catering at the Stadium of Light since Sunderland AFC moved from Roker Park to its new home in 1997. During that time the Club and Lindley have worked together to establish the Stadium of Light as one of the country's leading hospitality venues, and in 2009, during one of the toughest years the hospitality industry has experienced, turnover from non-match day events doubled and the venue celebrated a record year for its events business.
The Stadium of Light has also scooped a number of awards in recent years. Last year the venue received the Business Tourism of the Year Award in the 2009 North East England Tourism Awards along with up a number of other regional honours at the Durham and Wearside Business Awards and Portfolio Business Awards. The Club has just added to its accolades by gaining national recognition for excellence as a business and events facility in the Enjoy England Awards for Excellence.
In Sunderland AFC's quest to ensure that it continues to forge ahead in developing the full potential of its hospitality business, a full strategic review of its catering services has been undertaken, which included exploring a number of alternative options including managing the catering services in-house.
Gary Hutchinson, Group General Manager- Catering & Events at Sunderland AFC, says: "We have worked with Lindley since awarding them the full-service catering contract when we moved to the Stadium of Light in 1997, and under their tenure our hospitality and events business has flourished.
"However, after 13 years we felt it was appropriate to review the options available in the open marketplace. We considered large national caterers, smaller regional players along with the opportunity to bring the catering in-house as we have a lot of catering expertise within the business. After initial research we drew up formal tender process for a shortlist of three potential candidates which included the Lindley Group."
Hutchinson adds: "We have very ambitious plans to grow and develop our conference, banqueting and major events business which is really taking off since our inaugural Oasis and Take That concerts staged here last year, and we wanted a catering company which we could work in partnership with us towards a common goal.
"As part of the selection process we benchmarked every aspect of service and found Lindley to be the strongest contender. Lindley provides a good strategic fit with our business; they offered the greatest flexibility in terms of operational support; and their structure and approach combines the benefits you get from the scale of a national operator with the focus and attention you get from a local caterer."
Paul Biffen, Sales & Marketing Director of Lindley Group, adds: "We're immensely proud of the results we have achieved with Sunderland AFC at the Stadium of Light. Over the past six years the revenue generated from non-match day events has grown by 90%, and we are delighted to be given the opportunity to work in partnership with the Club to continue raising the bar and the profile of this award-winning venue."
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