London event venue Excel London and the UK's leading sport and entertainment caterer, Levy UK + Ireland, have announced a new long-term partnership “centred around burgeoning industry trends for greater sustainable food & drink choices”.
Levy UK+I, part of Compass Group UK & Ireland, has been Excel’s F&B partner since the Royal Docks venue first opened in 2000, and has been putting food and drink at the heart of its 400 events and four million annual visitors ever since.
According to a press release, the new collaboration will continue that success, but with a far greater emphasis on sustainability, technology and innovation as part of the pairs’ roadmap to net zero, with Levy UK+I targeting an early adoption of 2027.
With food an ever-increasing part of the guest experience and visitors and organisers becoming increasing conscious of its footprint, Excel and Levy UK+I have already implemented a range of sustainable F&B initiatives including reducing the use of plastic drinks bottles and a 100% seasonal sourcing for menus.
Future initiatives will see the introduction of consumer facing carbon labelling, a minimum of 50% of menus to be plant-based, sourcing of 100% recyclable or reusable packing, to get food waste under 25% by 2024, and a new technological advanced store designed to improve the visitor experience and speed up service times (further details to be revealed in the spring).
The contract extension will also see the development of four apprenticeships as part of a continued initiative to attract the next generation to the hospitality market.
Excel’s Chief Commercial Officer Simon Mills said: “Food is now an essential part of any event experience, and often the element guests remember the most. We have seen a notable shift in consumer trends of late, with visitors now expecting a diverse range of exciting, tasty, high-quality, contemporary, and sustainably sourced food and beverage offerings. Thanks to our long-standing partnership with Levy UK + Ireland, that’s exactly what they get when visiting Excel.”
Jon Davies, MD, Levy UK + Ireland said: “Levy UK + Ireland is delighted to continue this journey with Excel, one of our longest standing clients. We have achieved a huge amount over the past 22 years, but there is more work to do and as a business we thrive on keeping up with the continually changing environmental landscape.”