Sodexo Reveal Recession Busting Growth for Scotland

by Melissa Clark

Sunday, March 30th, 2014

Sodexo Prestige

The global catering giant responsible for fuelling the heroes of the Tour de France and Formula 1 has revealed record-busting Scottish sales thanks to a return in large party bookings.

Despite the effects of the recession Sodexo Prestige, which provides corporate dining and hospitality at some of the country’s top venues, has announced a £2.7m growth in Scottish sales between 2011 and 2013 thanks to a surge in businesses returning investment back into events for their staff.

The event organisers, chefs and other experts at Sodexo Prestige bring a steady stream of business to venues across the country including Hamilton Park Racecourse, Perth Racecourse, Pittodrie Stadium, Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and Hampden Park.

The firm says the impressive overall 26% growth has been achieved because it has committed to driving its conference and banqueting (C&B) business through dedicated account management alongside Scottish businesses increasing their spend on events throughout the year.

An example is the performance at Hampden Park, which has already secured 115% of its 12 month target – impressive since the venue will be unavailable for conferences, exhibitions and similar events for three months during the summer of 2014.

The conference and events department at the national stadium has seen huge growth. Footfall in 2012 was 47,544, while in 2013 that grew by 19% to 56,503.

To further develop important client relationships across all its venues, Sodexo Prestige has introduced a new offering, Prestige Venues & Events (PV&E) to streamline the process of booking a venue, a move which is expected to help further boost Scottish revenues.

Austin Tilsley, regional director of Sodexo Prestige in Scotland, said: “These latest figures represent extremely positive growth for the team north of the border, especially with the stadia beating their tough financial targets. We’ve spent a lot of time listening and understanding our client’s needs and expectations which you can see reflected clearly in our figures.

A STRONG TEAM IN PLACE ACROSS SCOTLAND

“I am extremely proud to have been part of the team which has grown the overall sales by 26%, especially during one of the hardest recessions in living memory. A lot of it is also down to businesses seeing growth themselves and investing more money in staff parties and events at large venues such as Hampden Park.

“We have a very strong team in place across Scotland following a strategic plan to grow our business across all areas of our operation which the new offering of Prestige Venues & Events will play a significant part of to help achieve the best results.

“Our aim now is to continue building our relationships with clients to gain a better understanding of their business and help by playing a part in plans moving forward to ensure sustained success for all of our Scottish clients.”

The firm’s commitment to exceptional customer service and true value for money has also seen the conference and banqueting (C&B) side of the business grow by £1.5m, a 36% increase in sales, the highest growth seen in 10 years.

Sodexo Prestige is now committed to continuing to advance this side of the business in Scotland with the launch of PV&E, a dedicated offer to increase the growing C&B revenue in Scotland.

Amanda Brown, Sodexo Prestige’s national account director in Scotland, said: “It’s fantastic to see the business grow, especially after what has been a tough few years for everyone in business across the UK as a whole. Seeing the return of parties is also a great boost to our client venues which you can see reflected in these latest figures.

INNOVATIVE MENUS AND CHEFS

“The launch of Prestige Venues & Events is a real chance for us to show what makes our service stand out from other catering and hospitality companies and why our innovative menus and chefs makes us different.

“The launch comes after extensive research and consultation with the venues we work with and the booking agents who are the backbone of the sector. We’ve now got a product which has taken a complex process and instead made it incredibly simple to find and book a venue for any type of event.

“Ultimately this new offer will help continue our drive to increase Scottish sales and help our clients with continued success, cementing our commitment to listening and responding to our client’s needs.”

Prestige Venues & Events is the new premium service offer of Sodexo Prestige, Sodexo Sports, Leisure and Travel Division. It covers more than 50 outstanding venues across the UK from the Churchill War Rooms to Ascot Racecourse.

As part of this offer the company has created a dedicated enquiry hub service which will be the first point of contact for enquiries from UK Conference and Event Agencies and will facilitate enquiries for all 50 high-profile UK venues.

The new service is based at South Queensferry near Edinburgh and during a trial in 2013 it generated an additional £1million revenue for Scottish venues.

As well as sleek new branding, the centrepiece of PV&E is a state-of-the-art,  interactive website with a host of built-in tools which makes it incredibly easy to find a venue, from a secluded castle to an executive box at a Premier League football club. The service also includes a dedicated central team available online or by phone from an enquiry hub to answer queries and provide real-time advice.

Melissa Clark

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