Sodexo Live! crowned Retail & Leisure Caterer of the Year

Sodexo Live has been awarded the Retail and Leisure Caterer of the Year at the 2022 Foodservice Cateys, which was held at the Royal Lancaster London hotel.

The Foodservice Cateys celebrate and recognise individuals and businesses in the foodservice industry who produce outstanding work throughout the year.

The panel of judges rewarded Sodexo Live! for its efforts to maximise its potential in catering for football fans at St James’ Park, home of Newcastle United.

The takeover of Newcastle United has resulted in monumental changes for the team at St James Park over the past year. Demand for matchday hospitality, as well as meetings and events, has increased significantly.

Over the course of the season, Sodexo Live! welcomed over 1 million matchday guests to the stadium, with over 50,000 of these guests enjoying hospitality packages that included a la carte fine dining, globally inspired themed dishes, bistro offerings, and more.

The team has also spent the past year concentrating on creativity, innovation and evolving in line with changing consumer behaviour.

They firstly implemented an order and pay option for guests, recognising a new reliance on technology. They launched the W8R app for meetings and events in November 2021 in time for the festive season and experienced an increase in revenue as a result of allowing guests at Christmas parties to place orders from their tables.

The Sodexo Live! team also focused on including fresh, sustainable products sourced from local businesses. They started establishing relationships with top local suppliers, including Geordie Bangers, Ringtons, and Warren Butterworths butchers. This allowed the team to incorporate their products in its packages and offer guests unique offerings not available elsewhere.

Additionally, it gave the team the chance to establish connections with local businesses and the community, which they hope will continue to flourish in the years to come.

Gemma Nugent, Sodexo's meetings and events operations manager at Newcastle United’s St. James Park, (pictured right with is Gail Henderson, Front of House Supervisor at St James Park), said, “Words cannot express how thrilled we are to accept this prestigious award on behalf of our very hard-working staff at NUFC.

'We are incredibly proud of what we have accomplished to get to where we are after a rollercoaster of a year.”

David Trotter, divisional managing director of Sodexo Live! UK & Ireland, added, 'We are absolutely delighted to receive this award. This is testament to the hard work and dedication of our talented team at St James’ Park, who consistently go above and beyond to create memorable experiences for our matchday guests.'