Board member Rachel Martin is leading this area of our work, and recently met with David Peskett and Antonio Sellecchia from the catering team to discuss progress. This is a summary of the discussion. It's pretty clear that there’s a lot of ambition around the catering offer.
- Everything, from the high end premium seats, to the general admission, is being designed for excellence and the food in general admission will be of a higher quality than in our old stadium.
- There is a focus on providing a service to mirror the high street with quality products at reasonable prices.
- Healthy and gluten free options will be available at a number of outlets within stadium.
- Variety is key – for example there will be draft and craft beers, more than one variety of red and white wine, a range of fillings for sandwiches. The mainline lager / beer deal has not yet been allocated but it will include an agreement for leeway for other craft beers to be sold. We again highlighted the preference for local brewers to be included.
- There will be an on-site bakery to make at least some of the pies, and to enable more food to be prepared on site. The top quality pies enjoyed last season, are likely to feature in the new stadium. We gave feedback that fans really noticed the improvement in quality last season. We explored the possibility of having a competition for fans to come up with pie fillings and Spurs related names!
- We asked that drinking fountains should be placed around the concourse (as in Wembley) to fulfil the statutory requirement for free, accessible drinking water for all. This is currently being explored – it is high on the list but has not yet been confirmed. We also reiterated the need to have affordable drinking water on sale in the retail outlets.
- There will be a ‘market place’ in the south stand where fans can buy from different outlets but eat together.
- The outside space (as big as Trafalgar Square) will have live fan zones etc to attract fans before the game, and the local community on non-match days.
- The aim is to encourage supporters to stay behind after the game for entertainment / interviews etc and drink / food – though we all know this will be very results driven. We made the point that going to watch Spurs is not like going to the theatre and if we lose, fans are less likely to hang around. We asked whether fans from other stands would be able to go to the South Stand after the game for events and were told that this is an aim but not a certainty.
- The stadium will be using the ‘bottoms up’ method of pouring beers in 75% of the stadium – this involves a technology using magnets to push a disc up from the bottom of the glass, fill the beer ultra quickly, and then release the disk to seal it again. It means that your beer is not being poured out and left to stand during the first half, as in most stadiums.
- The club is investing in cashless payments systems to speed up service within the stadium, with contactless card payments and pre-purchased tokens being planned.
- There will be guest executive chefs who will work with THFC staff to serve gourmet menus for packages of 12 games – the Roux Family were already announced, Chris Galvin (Galvin at Windows, Demoiselle et al) is the latest Michelin star chef to get on board, with more to follow.
- In premium seats there will be a choice of three or four dining options that can be booked prior to game.
- Planned internal ‘cook off’ event to test products and speed of service.
- Test events with staff training, though these have to be off site of course.
- Developing clear career pathways for employees so that staff are trained and have pride in working for the club. They can access a range of opportunities, including working with the blue ribbon chefs, and gain qualifications.
We will be meeting again early in the new year and, as always, we are keen for THST members to give us their feedback and questions so that we can present these to the decision makers.
This meeting indicated there is a very clear vision which is shared by all, lessons being learned from other venues in England and overseas, and a desire to provide a variety of top quality products throughout the stadium. Your views are sought and welcomed and can be shared here.
30 October 2017