Notts County FC – acknowledged as the oldest established Football League club in the world – has appointed Lindley Venue Catering to provide high quality match day and non-match day catering services and to bring a fresh, new and dynamic approach to managing the sales and marketing for events, conference and banqueting business at the club’s Meadow Lane stadium.
The appointment of the specialist sports stadia catering division of The Lindley Group comes as Notts County FC celebrates the 150th anniversary of the formation of the club in 1862, and marks a new departure for the npower League 1 club which has been managing its own catering services in-house.
Lindley Venue Catering has struck a five year deal with Notts County FC to maximise the revenue potential of the newly refurbished conference and banqueting facilities at Meadow Lane, which has been the club’s home ground since 1910, and to develop the food retail, bar and hospitality catering services at the 20,000-seat capacity stadium which also hosts home matches for Championship league team Nottingham Rugby.
A re-development programme at the ground over the past two years has seen the upgrading of the reception area, hospitality lounges, and executive boxes, plus the installation of the new Meadow Lane Sports Bar, which serves food as well as drinks on match days and match day evenings. The Lindley Group is also contributing £65,000 towards the refurbishment of Notts County FC’s most prestigious function room – the 1862 Suite – which will take place over the summer months in readiness for the new season.
James Rodwell, Notts County FC’s CEO, says: “As we approach the completion of the extensive refurbishment programme at Meadow Lane, we want to ensure that we are in a position to capitalise on the investment we have made in the facilities at the stadium, and re-considering our catering requirements has formed a natural part of that review.
“The Lindley name is well-respected in sports stadia catering – their knowledge and expertise in delivering high quality food and efficient service on the public concourse is second to none – and they also have experience of catering for stadia which host both rugby and football matches, so their match day experience certainly got them onto the tender list.
“Another key criterion was that the selected catering partner not only had to have the culinary skills to raise the bar in terms of developing our hospitality menus, but they also needed to demonstrate sales and marketing expertise in bringing in private and corporate events business.
“We were extremely impressed with the menu development work that Lindley’s Creative Director and Development Chefs have done, and the results that the new Lindley team has achieved in building non-match day business through their proactive approach at other sports stadia. Furthermore, they have also shown their commitment to developing sales by guaranteeing a healthy minimum income for the club, and through the contribution they are making towards the refurbishment costs of the 1862 suite.”
Jonathan Davies, The Lindley Group’s Head of Sales & Marketing, says: “The facilities now available at Notts County FC really are exceptional. A lot of thought and planning has gone into ensuring that they are equipped to the very highest standards, and we will be working with the club to develop and promote a comprehensive portfolio of non match-day hospitality packages which will make the venue extremely attractive for both private and corporate hire.
“Just as importantly, we’ll be providing match goers with good value, quality food – including our award winning pies – and we will be creating and introducing new match day hospitality menus featuring locally sourced, seasonal produce.”