As a sports fan myself, I have been to many stadia around the world over the years and, until recent years, the common theme was terrible food from on-site kiosks. Hockey puck burgers with cold, limp chips was usually the order of the day from a menu of one item. Now, I’m not saying that this has disappeared, far from it, but I am happy to say that customers are no longer standing for it. If you serve terrible food from a kiosk, people will remember, and you won’t be seeing their custom again. Why should they come back when there are so many amazing options now? The pathways of theme parks and concourses of stadia are now teeming with ideas. Wood-burning pizza ovens, industrial-sized fruit juicers and flame grills creating burgers to die for have arrived, and there is no need to go back. In the main, customers are used to paying a premium for food in a sports and leisure venue, but now there is no reason for it to be of poor quality. The street food phenomenon has meant that Asian fusion flavours, Mexicana or even Caribbean flavours are in the mind of the public, with spice, innovation and variety needing to take centre stage. In this issue we head around the country to find out how a number of different venues are reinventing their kiosk, concession and retail outlets. On page 25, we visit Elior UK to hear about its Urban Rajah concept, while we also talk to Newbury Racecourse, the Genting Arena, the NEC Birmingham and Levy restaurants. We also talk to Absolute Taste (page 16) about its hospitality offer at this year’s Silverstone Grand Prix and its catering for McLaren Honda F1 team. Raymond Blanc continues to work with Royal Ascot, now introducing training for chefs at the famous racecourse (page 34), while we also head to New York to see what’s on the menu at the Whitney Museum of American Art (page 12). If you have a new kiosk, concession or retail innovation, please do let us know at email@example.com.
Raymond Blanc continues work with Royal Ascot in 2017, including a new chef apprenticeship programme
We visit Silverstone with Absolute Taste to find out what the caterer will be offering in its hospitality suites, while we also get the inside track on catering for the McLaren Honda F1 team