New contract for 2023
Contract catering partnerships take time to develop, each party needs to take and carry out the correct due diligence needed to ensure each party is right for the other. We first met Hickstead Showground in March last year, attending their 2022 show. After various meetings, inviting them to other contracts to showcase our operation as well as conducting tastings, to ensure we were their perfect catering partner, we are delighted to announce that for 2023 we have been awarded the hospitality catering for Hickstead Showground, managing the Laurent Perrier Terrace, and VIP boxes as well as catering for the champagne bar.
Being a local supplier definitely has its advantages. Hickstead were able to meet with us on a regular basis to discuss any requirements and iron out the finer details of the contract. It also enabled them to see us in operation, attending some of our other events and getting a real flavour for how we work. With a growing desire and an increased demand from the public to operate in a more socially responsible manner it is important to use local suppliers and locally sourced ingredients. We have existing relationships with all local suppliers and the catering did not need to travel far from our central production kitchen to site. We were able to source the freshest local ingredients, which not only helps with social responsibility, it also ensures a good quality food.
Our experience from Plumpton racecourse where we run a similar setup has been invaluable in working with Hickstead and we used our knowledge and resources gained from our Plumpton partnership to help create our offering for Hickstead showground.
The Laurent Perrier terrace is designed to seat up to 250 guests, with the brief to raise the standards previously offered, approaching this in a continental style offering table service, a range of summer cocktails, summer salads and light bites.
The VIP boxes, accommodate a range of guests from 10 – 50 people overlooking the grounds from a beautiful vantage point. Guests were welcomed from 8.30am with a glass of champagne and arrival nibbles. For lunch, we served a summer spread of cold meat & fish platters followed by a choice of desserts and a Sussex cheese board with the afternoon rounded off with afternoon tea.
The two shows were intense events with a high footfall over a short time frame. As ever, all food preparation was overseen in our central production kitchen, using the limited kitchen facilities onsite to finish and serve. Drinks menus were curated using ties with existing suppliers and staff sourced from our extensive pool of casuals local to the area.
We have so far completed two showjumping events at Hickstead. The Al Shira’AA Hickstead Derby and the Longines International Horse Show. Feedback is always important to us and we are continually looking to improve. After each event, we have a debrief where we discuss what went well, what could be improved and what we suggest could be done differently for the next event. We will continue to develop the offering and service over the course of our relationship with Hickstead, as we learn more about their target audience and venue. We look forward to a long-term relationship with them over the years to come.