Contract caterers BaxterStorey, Do & Co, Sodexo and Amadeus are believed to have become the first caterers to secure a series of multimillion-pound contracts at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The world's broadcasters and press at the IBC/MPC centre will be catered for by BaxterStorey in a deal estimated to be worth about £20m, Caterer has learnt. The centre features a 12,000sq m catering village, and the independent caterer will serve about 50,000 meals a day.
Do & Co, which catered at the 2004 summer games in Athens and the winter games in Turin two years later, will serve up to 8,000 VIP guests of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and The Olympic Partner (TOP) sponsorship programme each day, including at the opening and closing ceremonies.
The Austrian caterer was one of about 30 operators vying for the prestigious contract. It was shortlisted alongside a collaborative bid from caterers Create (part of Concerto Group), Smart Hospitality and Michelin-starred chef Angela Hartnett, and beat off the British bid in the final reckoning.
While the move to award such a high-profile contract to a non-British firm has raised a few industry eyebrows, Do & Co's experience at past games is recognised as being the likely deal-clincher.
Chris Stern, Stern Consultancy, said: "A company that has done an Olympic Games before will be perceived to be a low-risk option. The Olympics is so unique that games experience could be more important than getting a local operator."
French caterer Sodexo, which has bought the rights to 70,000 games tickets for its corporate clients in a joint venture with Mike Burton, is at this stage the preferred supplier for the public and workforce catering deal for the Olympic Park South, while Amadeus, the events catering division of the NEC Group, is understood to have won the equivalent contract for the Olympic Park North.
The total value of the catering, cleaning and waste contracts at the 2012 games is estimated to be about £150m in turnover and will employ 22,000 personnel.
The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) has so far declined to confirm any winners of Olympic catering contracts. But an official statement of all tier-one contract winners is expected at the end of February.
Jan Matthews, head of catering for LOCOG, explained the group announcement: "All the suppliers and contractors will work as part of Team London 2012. We absolutely need a consistent approach."
Helping you make the most of the Olympics
This week sees the launch of Caterer and Hotelkeeper's new editorial campaign, Profiting from 2012, which aims to provide a clear route map over the next 18 months to maximise the business benefits offered by the London games.
By Janie Stamford
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