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General Manager of Merlin Events London, Michael Aldridge, has taken the controversial step of slashing the list of caterers which service the three venues he runs: Madame Tussauds, SEALIFE London Aquarium and the London Dungeons. In this month’s blog entitled ‘Out with the old, in with the new’ he questions the need for having several mid-market caterers on the list and asks who it benefits.
Aldridge took this radical step having analysed last year’s performance by each caterer and discovering what each had ‘brought to the party.’ Whilst the large majority of caterers had reached Aldridge’s high standards of 99% customer satisfaction through key performance indicators, some were slow to bring business to the venue causing him to re-evaluate the number of caterers on the list. “In times of economic slowdown everyone needs to work hard to secure business, it can’t just be a one way street. Caterers on the list understand what is expected of them. Whilst they benefit from the work they receive from us, I’m not sure what difference the end client gets. A lot of the mid-market brands blur into one with a slight variation on the same offering. We will now offer one caterer per market. It’s very rare for clients to specify a caterer in 2012. With ever increasing short lead times clients want quotes immediately and do not want to have to select from a large panel. What clients also want is to know they are buying at best price that’s why we introduced Price Match promise last season.”
Caterers on the Merlin Events London list are: Rhubarb, Payne & Gunter, Dish, Payal Events and kosher caterer Tony Page.
For a full insight into Michael’s mind, his full blog can be read on blog.merlineventslondon.com.