Compass lands £500m Jockey Club catering deal in two-horse finish with with Sodexo

Jockey Club Racecourses, which operates 14 racecourses, including Cheltenham, Epsom and Aintree, has appointed Compass UK & Ireland as its catering partner in a deal worth a projected £500m in revenue over a ten-year period.

Compass Group’s Chris King tells “The deal will bring a more integrated approach to events catering” and explains: “It was won in a two-horse race with Sodexo”.

Compass already caters at Aintree, Cheltenham, Newmarket and Warwick, but will now also take the reins at Carlisle, Epsom Downs, Exeter, Haydock Park, Huntingdon, Kempton Park, Market Rasen, Nottingham, Sandown Park and Wincanton.

Chairman of Jockey Club Racecourses, Simon Bazalgette, says: “We are very excited at the prospect of working in partnership with Compass. This deal represents a fantastic opportunity for both parties to invest in the future and to provide improved standards of service across all aspects of our catering output.”

Bazalgette explains the announcement is the culmination of a long-term strategic objective of Jockey Club Racecourses to bring together its assets in order to optimise their leverage in negotiating an improved catering deal.

“In order to do so we needed to bring our various existing contracts to a co-terminus conclusion before embarking on what, unsurprisingly, was a very competitive tender process.

“One of the group’s great strengths is its diversity and we have been careful to ensure all of our courses, both the larger and smaller ones, retain their individuality.”

It is understood that a commitment from Compass to work with regional suppliers is built into the deal.

MD of Compass Group UK & Ireland’s Sports and Leisure business Matthew Thompson, hails what he calls “a prestigious win for the team”.

The deal is under starters orders and gets underway on 1 July 2009.

It will be subject to review at various stages and Lord Daresbury, chairman of Aintree Racecourse, will chair a Jockey Club catering board to monitor progress.

“Our objective,” he says, “is to create Jockey Club Catering as the quality flagship against which all outdoor events and sports catering is measured.”

Paul Colston


Paul Colston

Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World.

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