Watford FC has selected Lindley Venue Catering - the specialist sports stadia catering division of The Lindley Group as its partner to develop all aspects of the catering, hospitality and events business at the club’s 19,900 capacity Vicarage Road ground.
The £5.6 million, four-year Watford FC deal is the latest in a series of stadia contract wins, extensions and renewals for Lindley Venue Catering in the lead-up to the new season.*
Watford FC’s decision to appoint Lindley Venue Catering comes as the npower Championship club embarks on a new era in the club’s history. With new owners - the Pozzo family, a new manager – Gianfranco Zola, and a new CEO – Scott Duxbury, Watford FC is setting its sights on a place in the Premiership and is now building the foundations for the future growth of the Club.
Catering at Vicarage Road has been managed in-house, and new CEO Scott Duxbury believes that bringing on board a specialist stadia and events caterer will boost catering resources, bring more focus to this area of the Club’s business and help develop another revenue stream.
Lindley Venue Catering has a full service remit including responsibility for match-day public and hospitality catering, as well as providing a sales and marketing function to increase use of the facilities for non-match day events.
Scott Duxbury, Watford FC’s CEO, says: “We have been looking at all aspects of the club and felt that catering and hospitality was an area where we could benefit from the expertise and experience of a specialist. I’ve worked with contract caterers in the past, so I knew what I was looking for – a business with a fresh approach and new ideas, one which could really engage with us and help us to make a major step change in terms of enhancing the match-day experience and proactively bringing non-match day business to the Club.
“In speaking to other people in the business, Lindley’s name constantly came to the fore and I was aware of their reputation and had seen the results they were achieving at premiership and other npower Championship clubs.
“I invited Lindley Venue Catering to put forward their ideas for how they could work with us on developing the match-day catering and events business at Vicarage Road over the next four seasons, and we were impressed with their professionalism and their vision for how we can maximise the revenue potential from catering to invest back into the club.”
Jonathan Davies, The Lindley Group’s Sales & Marketing Director, adds: “The fact that we were approached by Watford FC because they were looking for a caterer with a point of difference speaks volumes for how Lindley is now perceived.
“As a business with a new management team Lindley has also undergone something of an evolution over the past two years and with the creation of the Lindley Venue Catering division we have honed our skills in the professional stadia catering sector. Lindley has always had an unrivalled reputation for setting the standard in stadia public concourse catering, and we have taken that onto a new level with the branded retail concepts we launched last season. But more importantly, most of the contracts which we are now being awarded are looking beyond our reputation on the public concourse and are equally focused on our expertise in hospitality, event management and venue sales and marketing.”
* In April Rotherham FC became the first new stadia client this year to sign up Lindley to manage the catering and events business at its new £20 million New York Stadium. Notts County FC followed suit in early summer, awarding Lindley a five-year catering contract at its Meadow Lane Stadium. Millwall FC has also appointed Lindley as its public concourse caterer at The Den for a further five years through to the 2016-17 season, and most recently Lindley struck a five-year deal to become the exclusive catering partner at Tottenham Hotspur FC’s White Hart Lane.