Amadeus Glorious Magazine Issue 05



The adventurous catering solutions magazine | Issue 05


Head Chef Aaron Johnson on what inspires him to go beyond the norm

Win family tickets to

see the magical Peter Pan –

Christmas in Neverland

Take two minutes out of your day to complete our online survey about

Glorious Magazine for the chance to win a family ticket to see Peter Pan –

Christmas in Neverland at the 7pm performance on 21 December 2017

at Arena Birmingham.

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Full terms and conditions can be found via the online survey


As one of the busiest times of year for the exhibition, conference and live events

industries, the Amadeus team have excelled under pressure in recent months,

delivering quality catering and innovative solutions.

With awards season officially underway, the

Amadeus team are celebrating with a number of

industry wins and nominations – read all about

these in Innovation News (P6–9) along with more

bite-sized updates.

Read on to find out why we have pledged to

cut the amount of sugar in our foodservice

operation by 50% by 2020 (P16–18). In an

industry leading move, this commitment

goes much further than the Public Health

England recommendation to reduce sugar

by 20% over the next three years and we

are on track to reach our ambitious targets.

In this issue, we also reveal new pictures

of our fantastic in-hall catering offering

at NEC: The Edge (P20–24). Unlike

other exhibition venues, we

decided to develop an in-hall

F&B offering that would increase

customer dwell time within

the halls themselves, helping

exhibitors to maximise that

all-important face time with

consumers. In August, we

completed the second phase

of this multi-million project

and we’re thrilled that Neil

Ashton, our Executive Chef

and Paul Bate, our General

Manager at the venue, were recognised for this

project at the recent SLC Awards and Foodservice

Cateys respectively.

On pages 28–29 you can find out what our

Events Team has been up to this summer. They have

worked incredibly hard – in total, the team served

9,290 hospitality covers and travelled over 2,693

miles in the three months, catering at events

across the UK from Kingsbarns in Scotland to

Eastbourne in East Sussex!

Find out how Amadeus is inspiring the

next generation of industry talent through

our home-grown Masterclass training

programme (P33–36) while on pages 38–40,

see how the Amadeus team impressed

local businesses with a food-filled fam

trip at the East of England Arena

and Events Centre last month.

We hope you enjoy this

issue, packed full with our

most exciting updates and

industry innovations.





Ellie Rance


0121 767 3329

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Issue 05







Food innovations

All the latest news and awards

from the Amadeus team

Calendar of events

Your guide to what’s taking place

during winter and into 2018




Instilling vibrancy at the Vox

Glorious speaks to Head Chef

Aaron Johnson about what inspires

him to go beyond the norm

Caterers with a conscience

How Amadeus aims to halve the

amount of sugar in its foodservice

operation by 2020










Taking exhibition catering

to ‘The Edge’

Visitors at the NEC have more

choice than ever before thanks

to an innovative catering concept

Amadeus on the road

Celebrating one of the most

successful summers to date


Introducing the Amadeus

Innovation Hub

A platform to showcase

innovation in association with

EP Business in Hospitality

Amadeus Masterclass

The home-grown training

programme making the difference

Amadeus shows its wares

An exciting fam trip for conference

organisers held at the East of

England Arena and Events Centre



Northern Irish favourites

featured in new menu pack

The Amadeus team in Belfast – catering for iconic

venues Belfast Waterfront and Ulster Hall – have

recently launched a brand new menu pack full

of new high quality innovative dishes created by

Executive Head Chef, Leo Small. Leo has designed

the menu pack to focus on:

Provenance – the menu pack is full of local

provenance and boasts many of Northern

Ireland’s favourite dishes. The Amadeus team in

Belfast is proud that 88% of the produce featured

in the menu is local and 53% of its suppliers are

small and medium enterprises. This highlights

Amadeus’ commitment to ‘Farm to Fork’ concepts

and also the importance of fresh, local produce

supporting the numerous high quality suppliers

in Northern Ireland.

Innovation – the pack brings to life Northern

Irish favourites such as the traditional ‘Ulster Fry’,

‘Irish Stew’, ‘Champ’ and many other dishes that are

available in Northern Ireland so that international

and national delegates are able to get a real feel for

what Northern Irish food is about.

Quality Q a y

– the

team are proving that


producing food

od for

conferences nces




does not mean that quality, presentation or

taste has to be compromised in any way, shape

or form.

Amadeus goes gluten free at the NEC


Following customer feedback

regarding the availability of

Gluten Free/NGCI products and

dishes, the Amadeus team at

the NEC has completed a menu

review to see how they could

better highlight their range of

Gluten Free and NGCI products.

This has been done through

highlighting existing dishes that

are suitable for customers with NGCI-related allergies on all menus at ‘The Edge’

Amadeus’ in-hall catering offer at the NEC. The team has also tweaked certain

dishes on the menu in order to make them suitable for this growing audience of

customers, for example by substituting things like breaded chicken to grilled chicken,

as well as introducing some additional menu lines.

As part of this refresh, the team has added a NGCI Section on its EvViva Menu and

produced specific NGCI menus for the Oak Kitchen, Butcher & Grill and Made grab

and go retail concepts.



Amadeus apprentice wins cook off competition

Shafakat Hussain, an Amadeus apprentice

currently working under Executive Chef

Simon Hellier at the ICC, won the apprentice

college cook off held in Mell Square, Solihull

on Saturday 30th September.

The competition was held as part of

Solihull’s first Food and Drink Festival taking

place across the town centre on 29th

September–1st October and featured

more than 60 food stalls and bars, live

music, cocktail and gin masterclasses and a

Kids’ Zone.

Shafakat was tasked to create a healthy

meal in 30 minutes and he beat off

stiff competition to take first place. The

competition was judged by TV star Hairy

Biker Dave Myers who is known for taking

his unique brand of cooking across the UK.

Amadeus widely acclaimed

at industry awards

The Amadeus team are thrilled that so

far this year they have won four industry

awards and have recently been shortlisted

for a raft of further awards.

Earlier this year, Annie Monnox, GM for

Amadeus at the Genting Arena won the

award for best Stadia/Event/Arena at the

Cost Sector Catering Awards 2017, and

this September saw the team scoop two

further awards at the SLC Awards 2017.

The awards celebrate sports and

leisure caterers taking food and beverage

to new heights in this fast-paced and

inventive industry.

The Amadeus team were awarded the

SLC Caterer of the Year title following a

record breaking year for the company.

The award-winning caterer delivered

an impressive year of growth which saw it

secure a record amount of new contracts

totalling over £30m.

Neil Ashton (below, left), Executive Chef

for Amadeus at the National Exhibition

Centre (NEC) also took home the Chef of

the Year Award.

Since joining Amadeus in 1998, Neil has

not been afraid to take on risks to make

Amadeus stand out as a challenger brand.

In the last year, he has pushed his team to

new heights, completely revitalising the inhall

catering offer available at the NEC.

Paul Bate (below, right), General Manager

for Amadeus at the NEC also won the

Catering Manager of the Year Award at the

prestigious Foodservice Cateys 2017.

Now in their fifth year, the Foodservice

Cateys celebrate contract catering employees

across the UK. They recognise and reward

those individuals and teams that work

tirelessly to make sure their business delivers

an exceptional service day in, day out.

Paul’s major success has been the

development of The Edge, boasting four

different restaurant concepts for visitors to

choose from when attending exhibitions.



Mobile concepts

get customer seal

of approval




The NEC hosts over 500 events every year and welcomes 2.4 million visitors annually.

With each show – from the popular public events such as Crufts to the four-day Spring

Fair trade show that takes over every hall in the venue – comes a different profile, which

in turn creates varying demands for what the customer wants to eat.

In order to provide a flexible catering offering, Amadeus General Manager Paul Bate

also developed a range of mobile concepts following extensive research. The mobile

catering units are perfect for catering for massive spikes in exhibition attendance and this

allows the team to be flexible, providing bespoke catering solutions to each individual

show that matches the visitor profile.

The six pop up concepts in operation are:

Puor – healthy eating dishes using “superfoods” that support the body’s ability to

function at its optimum capacity

MADE – grab and go, featuring deli sandwiches and a range of scrumptious

desserts made fresh daily

The Big Cheese – a much loved classic combination of toasted bread and melted

cheese with a modern twist on flavours and cooking methods

Burrito Cantina – authentic flavours of Mexico, served in a Burrito, naked or with

tortilla chips

Carnivore Club – prime joints, marinated for a minimum of 48 hours before being

cooked and glazed ‘slow n’ low’ style

Taco Fusion – An eclectic range of flavours, cooking styles and ingredients served

in a Mexican inspired wrap

These concepts can be seen in operation at shows across the NEC now, and are proving

a bit hit with customers and clients alike.



New management

team for Starbucks

at the NEC



Starbucks at the NEC has recently welcomed

a new management team which together

bring a fresh new attitude towards the

franchise café and what it stands for.

The team is headed by Emma Thomas,

who before starting with Starbucks

managed the Pasty Presto shop at the

NEC, alongside Assistant Retail Manager

Natalie Cope. Emma explains what the new

team hopes to bring to the NEC and why

they love working for the brand:

their daily duties. We have started to grow

our team through our recruitment of

handpicked candidates who live the values

that match the Starbucks brand and that

of Amadeus.

How do you hope to increase sales

and/or customer satisfaction at the

Starbucks store?

We aim to drive the whole team to

make it all about the customer experience,

engage and educate the customer

making every moment right. This will

work in line to grow sales through

average transaction value upselling

with the customer in mind and making

this a genuine connection. We aim to

maintain the efficient speed of service

with a quality beverage with in our

welcoming surroundings.

Electric Ave is the newest bar to the join

the eclectic range of food and drink on

offer at the Genting Arena.

Mark Charlampowicz, Catering

Operations Manager, explains why Electric

Ave was created: “The previous kiosks in

place had become a little outdated and

we were underutilising the space that was

available. So we decided to do the refresh

in order to enhance customer experience

and adapt to how people are moving

with their spending habits by introducing

a 100% cashless unit which will allow

people to be served more efficiently and

during peak times reduce the need for

long queues.

What will the new management

team bring to Starbucks?

Our management style is to create the

family unit by nurturing the team to

success. We have over 10 years of

Starbucks experience between us, having

been developed through the Starbucks

training programme and have gained the

following Starbucks qualifications, Coffee

master trained, Starbucks apprentice

programme level 3 in management and

NVQ in customer service and myself

being a retail manager trainer for training

franchise and license new managers

joining Starbucks. We aim to bring fun and

enjoyment to the team where they can be

recognised for going above and beyond

Why do you work so well as a team?

We have the same values and work

ethic that complement each other. Our

communication is paramount to our

success being open and supportive to

each other allowing us to manage our

business effectively. We enjoy continually

developing people to grow along with our

business and are always on the lookout

for the next potential manager as part of

succession planning.

What do you like most about

working at the NEC?

We like the support network that has

helped us settle in so easy to team NEC and

especially Amadeus, where everyone has

been so welcoming. We love the fact that

every day is different this keeps us engaged

and our energies high. The amount of

experience we have in the store provide

us with a solid base of which to build

upon the £1.4 million pound business that

Starbucks generates for Amadeus that we

are so proud.

“We combined two independent

units into one unit, doubling the counter

service space. We also looked at what

customers were buying and are tailoring

the offer from Electric Ave depending on

visitor profile. We reduced the number

of lines we sell opting for the most

popular products sold within the Arena

and introduced a Hong Kong street

food favourite of Bao Buns, in keeping

with the current trends for street food.

In addition, we reorganised the units

to provide a more positive face to face

experience and increased the number of

tills from four to six. Finally, we took away

the need for cash with this bar as year

on year we have seen a significant shift

telling us our customers want to pay

using contactless technology.”




the Vox

The Vox celebrated its 200th event just before the summer this year and it has been a whirlwind

of excitement since it opened in 2015. The food offer has been crafted by adventurous young

chef Aaron Johnson who allows his personality to flow through the delicious menus. Glorious caught

up with the passionate Head Chef to find out what inspires him to go beyond the norm and how

he always matches the dishes to the cutting edge conference centre.

Aaron started his Amadeus career at the International Convention

Centre (ICC) and studied under Executive Chef Simon Hellier who

has been with the company since the early 1990s. It was obvious in

those early days that Aaron possessed the leadership skills, natural

cooking ability and a creative spark to be running an operation.

Simon’s experience helped unleash this talent and it therefore came as

no surprise to the Amadeus family that Aaron was chosen to head up

the newly created Vox. Aaron explains this powerful journey into the

technologically advanced, cutting edge conference centre in Resorts

World Birmingham, “We mobilised the new site in 2015 and I overcame

various challenges but enjoyed every single bit. We have been building

a reputation since day one and delivering a quality food offer to exceed

customer expectations. We ensure the food is kept fresh and current

and this is enhanced by first class service. The Vox is in many ways

the sister venue for the ICC so when we originally opened we kept

the same menus for around six months. It was important to set a solid

foundation stone on a proven offer and then start to build its own

identity. We brought on new chefs and as the team gelled we received

countless pieces of feedback from happy customers.

“I spent five years working at the ICC and this transition allowed me

to find my feet and it was reassuring to always have my mentor Simon

around in case I needed a helping hand. I grew during this process

and now I’m creating the Vox’s own identity through individual menu

packs and allowing my personality to shine. I will always be grateful

for Simon for his experience and wisdom. He encouraged me to

always improve and pushed me out of my comfortable zone many

times. I feel truly alive with the shackles off and the free movement for

menu creation makes all the hard work worth it.”

Aaron has developed creativity at the Vox by personalising the

menus and developing his own handpicked team. He thanks those

around him who have superb attention to detail and bring new ideas

all the time. Aaron now feels incredibly fortunate to be able to craft

his own food story at the leading venue. He writes all the recipes and

places his own spin on the dishes. Whether he’s selecting a certain cut

of meat, using a different cooking technique or sourcing local produce.



Aaron also helped open Belfast Waterfront after Amadeus secured

a £16 million contract over five years for the Waterfront and Ulster

Hall in Northern Ireland. “I was newly married and doubted my own

abilities at being able to open such a prestigious venue. However

I went for it and I spent six months enjoying every single moment.

Overcoming every challenge that was thrown at me was thrilling.

My personal development was enhanced and I took immense

pride in opening the venue and bringing in a new team to lead

the operation under Amadeus. I have a very strong connection to

that part of the world now and still go over to cover holidays when

needed. It was fascinating to be over there because part of the

brief from the client was a need to support local suppliers – which

we all fully agree with – but also the very small ones. This is very

important but does take a lot more work in terms of sourcing them

and supporting where needed. I was used to larger contacts so it was

a bit of a shock but in a good way. We developed some delicious

enhanced menus working with these suppliers. I have certainly taken

this experience with me into the Vox.”

Aaron has always been around food. His parents owned restaurants

and he was cooking from the very early age of 13. His passions grew

for this world and after tireless efforts he worked at maze in Mayfair,

London. The renowned Gordon Ramsay restaurant was run by a

very inspiring, now household name chef. Aaron remembers his

early days, “Jason Atherton opened many restaurants globally for the

company and was an incredible person to be in the kitchen with.

He’s huge now and I remember cooking alongside him and learning

so much. Never have I seen someone so driven to perfection. He was

the nicest guy who could meet out of service, he’d help out anyone

if they needed it. But when that first check came in he became this

highly disciplined and passionate leader. But if you live and breathe

this world you know it all stems down to a hunger to be the best.

He really set me on a journey on what I wanted to achieve. But I

always strive to perfection in my own style. I always want to be as

close as possible.”



Restaurants and foodservice are different areas of hospitality but

Aaron argues that the buzz and drive is always there in the right

kitchen. No matter if it’s a private dinner for 12 or a banquet for 800,

there is a need to provide the very best.

The Vox is, in many ways, still the new kid on the block. It’s forward

thinking and a highly creative conference centre. Aaron is supported

by knowing that the people around him are driven by the same

hunger. He explains, “We are fortunate to have an incredible Front

of House team at the Vox which is led by General Manager, Emma

Pattie. We both love to keep things fresh and she is just as passionate

as me when it comes to the customer experience. We joined around

the same time and so my achievements are strongly intertwined

with hers. Front and Back of House can at times be divided but we

are always communicating which is essential.” This relationship also

allows Aaron to bring out further creativity, safe in the knowledge that

The Vox team celebrating its 200th event

bespoke menus will be backed by quality service. “Recently we held

a sporting event which was all about table tennis. We created food to

match the sport but also used lots of props and different settings to

really provide an all-consuming experience. We always trying to push

boundaries and today I’m confident the food offer is always the best

so now we need to break into other dimensions.

“This can be as simple as the display equipment which is at times

forgotten about. We hold events which include street food offers

and go beyond the traditional dish. For example we may provide a

Mexican or Japanese station for event attendees. I work closely with

the Front of House team to ensure they know exactly what everything

is and why it’s displayed in a certain way. I then place a chef behind

the station so they can inform the guest and bring more theatre to the

experience. This is important because often chefs in foodservice may

not see what they have created. It’s passed onto the waiting team


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and so they never witness the guests delight in the food. If you’re

heart and soul goes into something, you do need that interaction.

“I’m always researching the latest trends and eat out a lot to taste

and sample what’s in the market. It’s important to read and observe

what other chefs are doing and quite a few post about it online

and on social media. I also have chefs approaching me to ask about

the dishes I’m sending out and the equipment I’m using. That’s always

highly rewarding to know your pushing the boundaries and its

being recognised.”

For the future Aaron wants the Vox to remain as one of the market

leaders and always enhance contemporary food offers with the

latest food trends. “I’m avoiding all restrictions to guarantee a quality

experience for the customers. We always want to be one step in

front of the market and raise the bar. I firmly believe that you also

eat with your eyes and so that’s always important for us – whether

through props, secret twists or the overall dining environment. It has

to be exciting.”




Fillet of Beef

Pair a media-rare fillet of beef with potato dauphinoise, salt baked celeriac,

horseradish cream, coffee, roasted carrots and meat jus for the perfect winter dish

Fillet beef


Place the fillet beef in a hot frying pan. For

medium-rare, about 4 1 /4 mins each side

(cooking times for a 4.5cm thick fillet steak).

Rest at room temperature for at least 10

minutes, before serving.

Potato dauphinoise


• 4 garlic cloves, crushed

• Fresh thyme

• Butter

• 450g/1lb potatoes, thinly sliced

(such as Desirée, or King Edward)

• 300ml/ 1 /2 pint whipping cream salt and

freshly ground black pepper


Preheat the oven to 170˚C/325˚F/Gas 3. Bring

the cream, garlic and thyme to a boil, till the

cream is infused and slightly thickened. Rub

a gratin dish with the garlic and butter. Layer

the potatoes into the dish, making sure each

layer is seasoned. Pour over the infused

cream and cook in the oven for 1 1 /4 hours.

Turn up the heat to 200˚C/400˚F/Gas 6 and

cook for a further 15 minutes until the top

is golden.

Horseradish cream


• 1 /2 cup whipping cream

• 1 /2 cup crème fraiche

• 2 teaspoons of horseradish sauce

• 2 tablespoons chives

• 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

• Salt, to taste

• Freshly ground black pepper, to taste


In a medium bowl, whisk whipping cream

until thickened, but not yet at soft peaks.

Fold in crème fraiche, horseradish, chives,

lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Refrigerate for

30 to 60 minutes before using.

Salt baked celeriac


• 1 large celeriac, 110g/4oz free-range

egg whites

• 700g/1lb 8oz table salt

• 5 sprigs fresh rosemary, finely chopped

• 110ml/4fl oz olive oil

• freshly ground black pepper


Preheat the oven to 190˚C/350˚F/Gas 5.

Peel and cut the celeriac, to the cubes. Place

the celeriac into a roasting tray. Mix the egg

whites, table salt and rosemary together in

a large bowl until the mixture forms a paste.

Cover the celeriac in a thick layer of the salt

paste, ensuring there are no gaps. Bake in

the oven for 45–50 minutes. When the saltbaked

celeriac has cooked, remove it from

the oven, place on a tray and smash the salt

crust, take out the baked celeriac chip away

the salt crust and add a splash of olive oil to

the celeriac, then season, to taste and serve.

Coffee roasted carrots


• 1.5 lbs carrots

• 2–3 sprigs of fresh thyme

• 1 1 /2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

• 1 /2 tsp. salt

• 1 /2 tsp. pepper

• 1 /4 cup brewed coffee beans

• 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

• 1 tablespoon maple syrup


Pre-heat your oven. Trim the greens off

the carrots, leaving about 1-inch at the top

if desired. Peel and wash the carrots. If the

carrots are large, you can cut them in half

lengthwise. On a large rimmed baking sheet,

toss the carrots with the thyme, olive oil, salt

and pepper. Transfer to your pre-heated

oven and roast for 10 minutes. While the

carrots are roasting, prepare the glaze. In a

small saucepan, bring the coffee, balsamic

vinegar and maple syrup to a boil. Cook

until the glaze is reduced to approximately

half, about 5 minutes. Remove the carrots

from the oven and pour the glaze over

the carrots, tossing to coat. Then return the

carrots to your oven for an addition 10-12

minutes, stirring once halfway through the

cooking time. The carrots are done when

they are tender, but not yet completely soft.

Remove from the oven and serve while still

warm. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight

container in the refrigerator for 1–2 days.





Kevin Watson, Managing Director of Amadeus, explains how the caterer aims

to halve the amount of sugar in its foodservice operation by 2020.

Public Health England have recently

challenged businesses to cut sugar by 20%

by 2020.This announcement was made

following a report from the government

body that found children are consuming

three times more sugar every day than they

should, leading to weight gain and obesity.

Currently, one in five children are overweight

or obese when they start primary school and

by the time they start secondary school that

rises to one in three.

It’s clear that not only manufacturers, high

street retailers and school meal providers,

but also commercial foodservice caterers

like ourselves, need to play a part in tackling

the growing health crisis – not only when it

comes to children, but consumers at large.

That’s why Amadeus has pledged to reduce

the amount of sugar in our foodservice

operation not by 20%, but by 50%, by 2020.

This will equate to removing seven tonnes of

sugar, or 30 million calories, from our food

chain in the next three years.

How will we do this? In a range of different

ways – from revising our procurement

policies to looking at our product offering

across our diverse catering portfolio which

includes catering for four million visitors

a year as part of the NEC Group, over 30

external venues and at hundreds of events

every year.

As of June this year, we began a process of

revising all of our menus across the different

venues we cater for, looking at ways in which

sugar could be reduced or substituted in

meals without compromising on flavour. So

for example, we will be using natural sugars

like honey and dried fruit instead of artificial

sugars, but also reducing natural sugars

where we can.

Moving forward, all new menus and

recipes will be devised by our chef teams

to strict sugar reduction guidelines. Some

of the recent catering concepts we’ve

launched such as our Pure brand, can not

only be considered low sugar, but focus

on ‘super foods’ that support the body’s

ability to function at its optimum capacity.

The menu features foods with slow release

energy, which are high in omega 3 and low



“Industry must go further


and faster when it comes

to sugar reduction –

foodservice caterers like

ourselves must share the

responsibility of tackling the

rising obesity crisis

in cholesterol such as noodle soups, salad

snack pots and vegetable smoothies.

Earlier this year, the International

Convention Centre became the first

conference venue to gain ‘Food for the

Brain’ accreditation due to a menu we

developed specifically to support mental

well-being, concentration and performance.

Accreditation from the educational charity is

only given to organisations that also support

employee training and communications to

sustain a culture of nutritional awareness.

Along with reducing sugar in products,

Public Health England also recommended

that businesses should focus on reducing the

portion size, and/or the number of calories

in single-serve products as part of their

report. So with this in mind, we’ve tasked our

chef teams to look at where this might be

possible across our portfolio.

Of course, creating great tasting meals

that achieve our sugar reduction targets

starts with procurement and using suppliers

that we are proud to feature on our menus.

When engaging with manufacturers and

suppliers we first want to know what is their

approach to reducing sugar and we want

to work with companies that share our

dedication to the issue.

Another – and arguably one of the most

integral recommendations to come out of

the Public Health England report – was for

those in the food industry to look at ways in

which they can shift consumer purchasing

patterns towards lower or no added sugar

products. We have approached this task by

testing promoting lower or no added sugar

products over those with a higher sugar

content – in this way, we are not dictating

what customers should consume, but we

are employing tactics that will help to enable

customers to make healthier decisions



Marc Frankl, Food and Beverage Director for Amadeus,

talks to Glorious about devising deliciously healthy menus

when it comes to choosing what to eat

and drink.

For example, we recently ran a trial

at one of the arena venues we provide

catering services for, the Genting Arena in

Birmingham, where we removed soft drinks

with high sugar content from view in our

fridges and on our tariff boards in favour of

lower or no added sugar options. The higher

sugar content versions of the products were

still available to customers who wanted

them, however, customers would have to

specifically request for the product from staff

as it would have been placed out of view.

During the trial, we did not experience

any complaints or negative feedback from

customers and there is no doubt that

removing the visibility of the higher sugar

products led more people to purchase

lower sugar, and therefore healthier, versions

of the same product. Due to the success

of this trial, we will be looking at rolling

the approach out across all our venues

moving forward.

While foodservice caterers do have a part

to play in educating people about healthy

eating and nutrition, I would argue that this

responsibility rightly sits with our educational

intuitions. As large-scale commercial caterers,

I believe our main contribution to help

tackle the issue is by aiding individuals to

make positive food and drink choices that

benefit their health through the catering

offering we provide, whether that be by

reducing portion size, including nutritional

information on products or working with

conscientious suppliers. Our pledge to tackle

sugar consumption head on underlines our

commitment to this. Right now the, industry

needs to go much further and much faster

when it comes to sugar reduction – only

when all sectors of our industry step up

to the plate and make changes will we

start to see a real difference.

“As a team, we are motivated by devising innovative new menus and catering concepts

that are both healthy and delicious. When we design dishes like those showcased

below, we look at ways in which we can reduce sugar without impacting on taste or

the overall customer experience.

“Examples of great tasting, healthy menus we’ve recently launched include our ‘Food

for the Brain’ accredited menu at the ICC, which has been designed to aid conference

delegates by boosting mental well-being, concentration and performance and our

PUOR catering concept at the NEC that focuses on ‘super foods’ that support the body’s

ability to function at its optimum capacity.”

• Steamed salmon fillet, lemon grass

infused broth, shiitake mushrooms,

bok choi

• Thyme roast butternut squash and

pumpkin, sunflower seed salad

• Tender poached chicken, roast tomato

and pepper sauce, fresh basil

• Smooth shots – celery and apple/

beetroot and raspberry/spinach and kiwi

• Mini wholemeal banana and

honey muffins




Stand out from the crowd

with a first class service

Hospitality staff, exhibition staff, event riggers,

event managers, waiting staff




‘The Edge’

Visitors attending events at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) now have more choice than ever when it

comes to choosing where to dine thanks to an innovative catering concept.

The Edge was developed by Amadeus in

a bid to transform the in-hall catering offer

available at exhibitions and sees four new

catering offers bought together under

one umbrella brand. The team undertook

extensive research into current catering

trends and collated visitor feedback on food

preferences to help inspire the new customerdriven

concepts which include the EvViva

Italian restaurant, Made ‘grab and go’ deli,

The Oak Kitchen, serving British classics, and

the man vs. food themed Butcher and Grill.

Launched in three of the NEC’s 20

exhibition halls in 2016 (halls 1,3 and 4), The

Edge is currently delivering 15% growth in

spend per transaction and has contributed

to the caterer’s most successful trading year

in its 40-year history. Due to its phenomenal

success, Amadeus has now launched The

Edge in a further four exhibition halls (halls

17-20), with plans to roll out to a further four

halls in 2018.

Paul Bate, Amadeus’ General Manager

at the NEC, said: “The NEC hosts over 500

events every year – each and every one of

these attracts a different visitor profile. One

of our major challenges was working to

create an in-hall catering solution that would

be popular with a wide range of audiences

and demographics. With the development

of The Edge we have raised the bar for

exhibition catering across the industry –

instead of having a limited range of products

to choose from, visitors are now greeted

with four fantastic catering concepts with

distinctive brand identities that wouldn’t look

out of place on today’s high street.”

The development of The Edge represents

the biggest investment in catering facilities at

the NEC in the venue’s 40-year history, with

£3.5m spent on renovating the amenities

to date. As part of the upgrade, the catering

units were completely redesigned to aid

customer flow and wayfinding while also

maximising speed of service. Following

feedback from customers that there weren’t

enough places to sit and eat saw the team

increase seating capacity by 30%.

Kathryn James, Managing Director, NEC

Group Exhibitions and Conferences, said:

“Over the last 12 months we have invested

significantly in enhancing the customer

experience at the NEC.

“Customer satisfaction is in no small part

down to the food and beverage offer

available at the venue and the development

of The Edge further differentiates our offer in

an increasingly crowded marketplace.

“Seven of our 20 exhibition halls have now

been upgraded to include The Edge and

we are thrilled at the response from visitors.

The investment is part of a venue wide

refurbishment and improvement programme

which has seen spend channelled not only

into improving the catering offer, but a

lighting upgrade and toilet improvements.”



Amadeus has taken exhibition catering

in a completely new direction with the

development of the EvViva concept –

inspired by fresh and healthy ingredients;

this brand sources, prepares and serves a

range of tasty Italian food.

This full-service restaurant brand offers

a range of freshly cooked pasta and pizza

dishes as well as meatballs and ice creams.

The signature dishes include a traditional

Margherita, topped with torn Buffalo

mozzarella, cherry tomatoes and sun

blushed tomatoes as well as the Polpette

Arrabbiata, which is a braised beef and pork

meat balls dish served with spaghetti and a

spicy tomato and red pepper sauce.

The menu is well priced and is constructed

to encourage bundle deals and associated

purchases. This is a down-to-earth Italian

family restaurant that is both welcoming and

accessible to all and is the perfect place for

visitors to take a break and rest their legs

during a busy day!



The Oak Kitchen is an extremely flexible retail

brand that services hearty and ethical British

food with a twist. From breakfast, brunch,

lunch, afternoon tea and dinner, The Oak

Kitchen champions real British ingredients

– dishes on the menu include the British

ale battered deep fried cod, British potato

fries with Maldon sea salt and malt vinegar,

crushed minted peas and homemade tartar

sauce or the Sweet potato and spinach

curry served with steamed rice, a garlic and

coriander naan and crispy poppadum.

As the name suggests at its roots this retail

brand celebrates British food, ingredients

and cooking. It has a strong focus on natural

and ethical ingredients sourced exclusively

from British farms and ensuring that all food

categories are properly accredited. This

approach to food service is summed up in

iconography of the English Oak, representing

heritage, history and the natural countryside.

The Oak Kitchen concept has proved

extremely successful for Amadeus since its

launch. As well as featuring alongside newly

created brands in The Edge, Amadeus utilises

this concept in many of the venues it operates

in, including Dudley Zoological Gardens and

the International Convention Centre.

“We are proud to say all our

beef is 100% British; our

potatoes are all sourced

from British soil and even

our bacon is from a British

supplier. After a series

of blind tasting sessions

our chefs selected award

winning sausage from

a company based in the


When looking at ideas

for our menus we had to

make sure that the food

offering would appeal to

a global audience. Our

customer base is extremely

varied; we not only cater

for the general public

but a large percentage

of our customers are

international, attending

exhibition shows or

conferences at our

home venues

Marc Frankl

Food and Beverage Director, Amadeus



The Butcher and Grill is a wholesome

and value for money grill option which

mirrors many of the modern food concepts

establishing themselves in the market.

Amadeus’ ‘man vs. food’ offering based at

The Edge offers a range of proper burgers,

great British bangers as well as other great

grill options.

The meat-lover’s menu was devised over

several months during which the Amadeus

team tested every possible combination

of burger, brioche bun, relish and garnish

they could think of! Each grilled meat dish is

sourced and cooked with integrity meeting

all of the ethical standards you would expect.

The meats at the heart of this menu are all

Red Tractor approved and hand reared.

With research undertaken by the team

showing that customers wanted greater

choice when purchasing, with food cooked

quickly to order to suit their personal tastes,

Amadeus devised a menu with customisation

at its heart. Visitors can customise their

burger with one of Amadeus’ delicious

toppings including smashed spiced avocado,

smoked cheddar cheese, lollo blonde

lettuce, sliced beefeater tomato or even its

own smokey “Edge” mayo.



The MADE handcrafted café concept lives

and breathes the principles of freshly

made food and quality beverages. It was

developed by the Amadeus team following

research into the grab n’ go sector, currently

one of the fastest growing market segments

in the UK.

The team found there was a growing

demand for healthy and fresh products that

were quick and easy to eat on the go, and

so set about producing a delicious menu of

breakfast ciabattas, freshly baked pastries,

deli sandwiches, warming coffees and

speciality teas.

Everything is made from scratch –

sandwiches are made using freshly baked

bread, the cakes are always handmade and

Amadeus even has its own MADE blend

of coffee beans, which has been specially

selected and is only served freshly ground.

What’s more, everything is made to the

customer’s specification!

The team are passionate about supporting

British farmers and growers and believe

it’s important to minimise negative impacts

on the environment by using 100%

biodegradable packaging.

“ We like to encourage


We don’t like to tell people

what to eat but we like

to look after them by

reducing salt and sugar in

all our food and all of our

snacks will be as healthy

as we can make them.”

younger visitors to eat

more fruit and will give

a piece of fruit free to

children when they eat

with us.

Marc Frankl

Food and Beverage Director, Amadeus








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a summer of success

Amadeus’ Events Team caters for hundreds of events every year from ‘greenfield’ events such as

international sporting tournaments to standalone events including weddings, conferences, receptions,

meetings and banquets for corporate clients. Led by General Manager Sam Bates, the team this year

celebrated one of their most successful summers to date.

Amadeus celebrated a summer of success

earlier this year which saw the Events Team

cater for nearly 40 events in June, July

and August.

The experienced team bought their unique

style of catering to a range of different events

including weddings, banquets, corporate

dinners and five internationally renowned

sporting championships. In total, the team

served 9,290 hospitality covers and travelled

2,693 miles in the three months, catering

at events across the UK from Kingsbarns in

Scotland to Eastbourne in East Sussex.

Highlights for the team included catering

at the Lawn Tennis Association’s Aegon Open

Nottingham (10th–18th June), Aegon Classic

Birmingham (17th–25th June) and Aegon

International Eastbourne (26th June–1st July)

where Amadeus worked with dieticians to

provide menus to help players compete at

their optimum ability. In July, the team catered

for over 50,000 visitors at the Aberdeen

Asset Management Scottish Open (13th–16th

July) at Dundonald Links in Scotland, where

they worked with artisan local suppliers to

create innovative menus of local provenance.

August then saw the team cater for the

IMG Ricoh Women’s Open Golf (3rd–6th

August) for the twelfth consecutive year in

a row, having worked with the tournament

organisers since 2005, and previous

sponsors of the tournament from 1997.

Over the five major sporting tournaments,

the Events Team served 11,240 players

and their entourages, 12,601 marshalls and

volunteers, 4,105 ball boys and girls and 3,375

members of the media.

Sam Bates, General Manager for Amadeus

Events Team (pictured right), who has

worked for the business for 22 years, said:

Amadeus does not believe in a “one size fits

all” mentality, so whether we’re catering for

the public at a live event or for a fine dining

banquet, we look to provide a tailored,

quality solution for each and every client.

“Although we operate all year round, the

summer months are when the team is at

its busiest. We share a long history with the

Lawn Tennis Association, European Tour and

Ricoh Women’s British Open having worked

with them for many years and understand

the audience profiles for each event inside

out. To keep things interesting we always

look to push the boundaries of creativity,

providing bespoke menus and working with

local suppliers to keep our offer authentic.”

Kevin Watson, Managing Director of

Amadeus, said: “Sam and her team deliver

great quality catering on grand scales year after

year. The team takes Amadeus’ passion for

creativity and innovation out of the kitchen and

on the road, delivering catering for standalone

business or greenfield events across the

UK and internationally. They have enjoyed

a record summer and are already working

towards next year’s calendar of events.”

Last year, Sam’s team delivered +135%

revenue above their target set for standalone

events while also providing best of class

catering for a number of major events. Here’s

a taster of the events the team has catered at

over the last year…



Event name: Midland Met Hospital – Topping

Out Ceremony

Event date: 14th July 2017

Event type: Formal opening

Number of people catering for: 100

The brief: To cater for this VIP topping out

ceremony for the new Midland Met hospital, the

client required Amadeus to deliver our catering

service up on the ninth floor of this still active

building site. Catering to include, a drinks reception

with canapes for 30 minutes, followed by a second

drinks reception accompanied with a finger buffet.

Event name: Lawn Tennis Association’s Aegon

Classic Birmingham

Event date: 17th–25th June 2017

Event type: International sporting event

Number of people catering for: over 2,500

people for each day of the eight-day tournament

The brief: provide a food and beverage offering

to a range of different groups including general

admission ticket holders and VIP corporate

hospitality guests alongside tournament staff,

volunteers, media and the players themselves.

Event name: Catering for JCB at Bauma 2016 –

the World’s Leading Trade Fair for Construction,

Building Materials Machines, Mining Machines,

Construction, Vehicles and Equipment.

Event date: 8th–14th April 2016

Event type: International exhibition

Number of people catering for: Approximately 5,000

people across the customer café and hospitality area.

The brief: Provide a customer café and VIP

hospitality offering for those visiting JCB’s exhibition

hall within the Bauma 2016 event, as well as staff

and event catering.

Event name: IMG Ricoh Women’s Open Golf

Event date: 3rd–6th August 2017

Event type: International sporting event

Number of people catering for: over 40,000

visitors over the four days

The brief: To provide a food and beverage

offering to a range of different groups including

general admission ticket holders and VIP

corporate hospitality guests alongside tournament

staff, volunteers, media and the players themselves.




Amadeus Innovation Hub

This year, in association with EP Business in Hospitality, Amadeus created a brand new Innovation Hub to

find and support new concepts and businesses in and around the hospitality sector. The Hub hopes to

provide a boost in confidence for younger companies who are looking for more recognition and acts as a

platform to showcase innovation. In the modern world, there is a great need to find and nurture talented

ideas and Amadeus is putting itself at the forefront.

Entrepreneurs dream of making a difference

to the market and their industry. They bring

a new concept or solution to a pre-existing

problem which can add value and support

a business. Whether through enhancing the

customer experience or simply making life

easier, these concepts and businesses can

provide a dynamic difference.

This winter Amadeus and EP are hosting

a round of pitches for entrepreneurial

companies who have entered the Innovation

Hub. The strong set of finalists will present

their businesses and explain their brand. It is

an important milestone for Amadeus as they

have always supported innovation but now

have a recognised platform to explore new

entrepreneurial ideas that may help their

business. The prestigious accolade for those

entering is the chance to work with Amadeus

in one or a number of their sites around the

country. The whole experience also provides

an opportunity to meet other inspirational

entrepreneurs and receive valuable feedback

from business leaders.

Kevin Watson, Managing Director

at Amadeus said, “At Amadeus, we are

passionate about supporting growing

businesses – large and small, up and down

the country. We want to celebrate individual

success stories that make up Britain’s vibrant

business community and are looking for

entrepreneurs to take part in the Innovation

Hub that can make a difference to our

hospitality business.

“The ultimate aim for this Innovation Hub,

created by EP and backed by Amadeus,

is for it to continuously run each year and

become an established platform to showcase

entrepreneurial successes in the hospitality

industry and beyond.”

Chris Sheppardson, Managing Director

at EP Business in Hospitality said, “The

Innovation Hub is a call to the best and

brightest entrepreneurial talent to enter

and get the recognition they deserve.

EP possess an Entrepreneurs Club and

working with both them and companies,

we can see the need to bridge the gap

between these worlds. We argue that

that this gap between corporates and

entrepreneurs has never been greater. It is

almost like two universes operating next

to each other but gradually growing apart.

Amadeus are the ones approaching this

differently and are proven at investing in new

ideas that improve the customer experience.

We are proud to work with them on this

exciting journey.”

Amadeus isn’t just throwing weight behind

these new ideas to fulfil business ambitions,

it’s also to make a substantial contribution to

the UK economy. The award will hopefully

change perceptions in the industry and

other companies will follow suit. There is a

fantastic calibre of talent on the fringes of

the hospitality industry and more businesses

must take stock of what is happening. If they

don’t, they may get left behind.

Applicants in the Innovation Hub will

be assessed on the basis of the strength

of their business concept, its readiness for

development and, in cases of more established

businesses, the quality of the offer. Those

entering submit their business plan, how they

deliver their concept or product and reasons

why it would work well for Amadeus.

The Innovation Hub is a hotbed of fresh

thinking and initiative, determination and

business savvy. With EP’s experience in the

development of entrepreneurial ideas and

business models, Amadeus hope to embed

the winning idea into their business plan in

order to make real changes. In uncertain

economic and political times, it is essential

to embrace skilled entrepreneurs and work

with them to make the ideas a commercially

minded reality.




All of this activity crystallises the

hard work being done by growing

smaller businesses. Find out how the

entries did in this year’s Innovation

Hub in the next issue of Glorious.







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Amadeus Masterclass:



Glorious meets the makers of the Amadeus Masterclass series and joins a practical session

to find out how the business is approaching training differently

It’s no secret that hospitality leaders have

struggled to retain the talent the sector needs

– that’s why figures indicate over 900,000

workers need to be recruited in the next

five years to sustain the growing industry.

Amadeus – like all other large scale caterers

– is in constant need of new blood, with the

correct work-ready skills, in order to help the

company thrive.

Once staff are recruited, the challenge for

employers becomes how to ensure staff go

on to succeed in the hospitality industry and

enjoy long, rewarding careers. More than

ever, businesses need to take proactive steps

to keep staff within the business – outlining

clear progression strategies for individuals in

order to retain talent and make them

feel valued.

At Amadeus, Mark Charlampowicz,

Catering Operations Manager, and Lorna

Hendey, Live Events Catering Operations

Manager, have created a unique solution to

this issue: the Amadeus Masterclass.

Mark explains, “We find that people

coming out of school and college these days

are often lacking in basic skills such as how to

interact with people effectively. These are vital

skills needed to work in the catering industry,

and many staff are simply expected to learn

what is required of them on the job.

Amadeus works across a wide range

of venues – in the NEC Group home

venues alone, we deliver conferencing

and banqueting catering at the ICC and the

Vox, retail at the NEC and in our two Arena

venues, along with hospitality event catering.

We need individuals who are versatile and

understand the nuances of different types

of catering, so we designed the Amadeus

Masterclass to get our staff to this level

of expertise.

“I hope people will feel out of their

comfort zone when learning about other

areas of the business – that’s why the

Masterclass was created, to learn and support

each other.”

The Amadeus Masterclass aims to enhance

the skills of the workforce with six key

modules covering retail and customer service,

bars and hospitality and conference and

banqueting. Staff get paid for this voluntary

training which provides them with one on

one sessions with industry experts – both

in live environments and in the classroom

– helping them to gain in confidence and

enhance progression opportunities.

During the Retail and Customer Service

session students will learn vital skills such as

dealing with customer complaints, how to

‘wow’ the customer, building professional

relationships and effective upselling.

When it comes to the Bars and Hospitality

Restaurants course students will be taken

through relevant licensing laws, weights and

measures, different categories of alcoholic

products and wines, restaurant layup

and confident service. The final session –

Conference and Banqueting – will teach

students different banqueting lay ups and

service, napkin folds, how to box a table and

how to give an effective brief.

Students are also taught how to use

Voyager, the mobile POS hospitality system,

whereby staff can take orders for customer

on a tablet device. The introduction of

Voyager across the business has significantly

increased spend per head by process

improvement, replacing the traditional

notepad and pen being used for orders.

It also means staff spend less time walking

between the kitchen and the table,

meaning they can spend more time with

their customers.

While these are the core skills students will

take away from the course, Lorna explains

the wider benefits of taking part in the

programme: “This is a unique opportunity for

staff to gain exposure to the wider Amadeus

business and the opportunity to meet

different staff from across the group’s venues

which consequently will increase staff’s

versatility and ability to work across different

parts of the business, helping progression

opportunities. Students will get personal one

to one training with industry experts and will

even get paid their contracted hourly rate

while taking part in the sessions!”





When directing guests to the appropriate tea

or coffee station hold the flat of your hand out

with the thumb tucked in rather than pointing

Always say “have a lovely day”– you may only

have 20 seconds with a guest to make

a lasting impression

Be engaging when providing staff with a

catering brief and make sure the staff know

you are approachable

“New points that I learned

included understanding how

to deal with complaints with

more empathy and learning

more about Amadeus

standards across the core

venues and how health and

safety and laws affect

the business.

Sundas Sheikh

Zero Hour Multi-Skilled Operative/

Trainee Team Leader




“I feel like the Masterclass

benefited me because it took

me out of my comfort zone

and really made me see the

importance of why we do

certain things within our

roles. One of the main ways

it impacted me was helping

me to progress on my skills

of waiting into supervising/

managing part of the


Kia Fitzgerald

Zero Hour Multi-Skilled Operative/

Trainee Team Leader


When serving tea and coffee to a large

amount of guests, make sure all tea bags are

taken out of their packaging to save time

Line up the crease in the table cloth with the

middle of the table so it looks as neat

as possible

There’s always a better word than ‘no’ when it

comes to customer service

If you’re not happy with the standard of the

table at a banquet – don’t accept it!

Customers aren’t as scary as you think they

are – you are a customer at some point also

If you don’t know the answer say you don’t

know – but make sure you find out!

When carrying three plates at the same

time at a banquet make sure you keep

your thumb flat



We speak to the creators behind the Amadeus Masterclass series to find out

what they hope to achieve from the course

Name: Mark Charlampowicz

Job title: Catering Operations Manager

Venue: Genting Arena

Why is the Masterclass series important to Amadeus as a business?

It’s really important to invest in our staff and to get them operating

at the quality that Amadeus expects as a business. As managers, we

have high expectations – but we need to give our staff the skills in

order to perform at the standards that we want them to.

What do you hope students will take away from the sessions?

I hope it breaks down the barriers within our business and shows

that working at the different venues Amadeus operates in isn’t a

scary thing – we find that a lot of our staff get comfortable working

at one venue and they decide to just stick with that type of catering.

The Masterclass series opens up the door to meet with the different

managers and different areas of the business in order to develop staff

and build confidence.

Is this different to how other caterers approach training?

Yes – we can’t consider ourselves like other caterers, we’re very

unique in everything that we do! We’re very forward thinking as a

business so from a training perspective no I don’t think other caterers

do it like us and we are very unique in pushing this training forward.

Why do you love your career in catering?

The people, the energy, the passion and the pace… such a great

environment to work in, such a buzz and where if you love what you

do and want to succeed, you can. I have been very lucky to work

with some amazing people. I started at 16, pot washing in a pub while

doing my GCSEs – and the rest is history!

Name: Lorna Hendey

Job title: Live Events Catering Operations Manager

Venue: NEC

Why is the Masterclass series important to Amadeus as a business?

It’s so important because we’re giving back to our staff. We’re giving

them the training they need to do the job, because nowadays so

many people are coming out of school and college without the right

skill set and then go straight into the industry. Through the Masterclass

series we teach them the basics – not only how to do the basic job

but also how to speak to people and how to change your approach

to the range of different customers we have.

What do you hope students will take away from the sessions?

As long as everybody takes at least one new thing from the session

then we’ve done our job!

Is this different to how other caterers approach training?

I believe we’re one of the only caterers investing in our staff in this

way. The difference between this training course and others is that

it’s made by the operators for the people in the business, rather than

by anybody from a HR or learning and development team. All of the

training team are operators – and we have created the course from

our experience of working in the business.

Why do you love your career in catering?

I began working in catering at 16 in pubs, and it loved it! I love

dealing with different people every day. At the NEC, I love that every

day and every event is different when you work for Amadeus. We

strive to provide bespoke events and can handle our clients’ specialist

needs – whatever they may be. The things we create and the way we

deliver it is really special and unique.


Photo Experiences & Creative Events


Amadeus shows its wares


The 21st September saw the East of England Arena and Events Centre and their catering

partner Amadeus, organise a fam trip for conference organisers.

The purpose of the trip was to showcase the

refurbishments made at the venue and the

new catering opportunities on offer based

upon the partnership with Amadeus. The

East of England Arena and Events Centre has

recently been the subject of over £4.5m of

investment in refurbishing its infrastructure for

exhibitions, conferencing and banqueting. The

partnership with Amadeus now brings its F&B

offering into line with the fabric of the venue.

Over 50 people attended from local and

regional businesses, charities, members of

the city council and a number of local figures

in commerce and industry, clearly intended

to position the venue as the gateway to the

East of England, an economically prosperous

region that has a mix of high tech industries

such as biosciences and a thriving food

production economy.

Having local produce easily to hand is

something that fits the ethos of Amadeus

and allows the venue to deliver low

environmental impact catering to a very

high quality. The trip highlighted that there

was no longer a need to go to London or

Birmingham for such facilities and, when

it comes to exhibitions, conferencing,

banqueting and corporate events, they are

available in an out of town venue that is also

easy to reach from the city.

During the day visitors were able to

review all of the conference and meeting

rooms which included the newly refurbished

Peterborough Suite and Cambridge suite,

400m 2 and 600m 2 respectively.

The event began with a sparkling welcome

reception in the Peterborough Suite, set up

in a banqueting format to show one option

as to how the room could be used. There

was time for guests to network before they

moved on to presentations in the newly

refurbished Cambridge suite starting with

Jason Lunn, general manager of the venue.

His presentation touched upon how the

new name of the venue is reflective of

the extensive changes it has undergone,

repositioning it as an important step for

the business – now the venue’s profile is

increasing and it is attracting new business.

He added that the inward investment into

the Peterborough area allows the venue

to attract a new clientèle that may not have

considered coming to the area before,

enhanced by additional benefits such as the

partnership with Virgin trains and the coach

link to the venue, making it even easier for

people to attend. Partnerships with local



“My favourite aspect of the


day was the food sampling,

the display of the dishes

and different types of food.

I also loved learning about

Amadeus and the provenance

of the food they used within

the dishes.

“It was great being able to

have a taster and try lots

of different food. The waiters

were very attentive which

was great.

“Really enjoyed the food

tasting. Loved how it was

presented and feel Amadeus

showed a lot of different

food types.”

hotels at discounted prices also provide

making the offer more attractive.

Another theme of Jason’s presentation

was the combination of the indoor and

outdoor space and it’s inherent flexibility. The

team can work with organisers to do almost

anything they want: one company wanted to

demonstrate pipe installation in the ground

outside, something not possible with a

traditional exhibition hall. Jason rounded

off the presentation by citing the Amadeus

partnership as a game-changer for the

venue, representing an important part of its

future ambitions.

The next presentation was from Annie

Monnox, Amadeus’ general manager at

the venue, who introduced Amadeus to

the audience, explaining that the company

delivers catering solutions to venues and

event organisers who want to provide

visitors with a unique and memorable food

experience. Annie recounted how Amadeus

differs from its competitors, by being able to

draw on 40 years’ experience operating in

venues, and creating events, as part of the

NEC Group. Amadeus serves around four

million visitors per year at the group’s home

venues (the NEC, ICC, Vox Conference Centre,

et al.), and provides hospitality services to

a growing number of prestigious external

events and venues including Coventry

Cathedral and The Scottish Open.

Annie also mentioned how Amadeus

provides retail catering solutions for a number

of high profile visitor attractions too, including

Cadbury World, Library of Birmingham and

Dudley Zoo. With more than 1,000 staff

and over 100 chefs, the Amadeus team

has won more than 650 awards for quality

and innovation in catering. The catering

services that Amadeus is bringing to its new

partnership with East of England Arena and

Events Centre are backed up by its formidable

experience and expertise.

Annie also spoke about how Amadeus

offers a menu at the ICC in Birmingham

which has been accredited by educational

charity ‘Food for the Brain’, which focuses

on foods to help delegates stay alert and

perform at their optimum ability during a

long day.

After the presentations Amadeus

demonstrated their catering capabilities

with a delicious selection of meals served

as a circulation of hot and cold bowl foods.

Desserts were served from theatre stations

manned by Amadeus chefs serving both

savoury and sweet options.

The day wrapped up with a series of

entertaining networking activities devised

and delivered by Gable Events. And, a final

farewell was made to guests with an awards

ceremony and refreshing drinks served from

the Pimms Bar.



The Menu

Cold tasting table

Lemon and thyme marinated chicken with Caesar salad

Roasted lime and coriander salmon, Fenland asparagus salad, lime crème fraiche

Szechuan pepper breast of duck, Asian herb and noodle salad

Bocconcini with marinated tomatoes and rocket and basil salad (v)

Hot bowls

Theatre station

Slow cooked Bricksworth lamb with smoked paprika, roasted bell peppers and gnocchi

From the kitchen

Coriander, garlic and lemon marinated chicken, tikka masala sauce,

braised basmati rice and mini poppadoms

Mini beer battered cod, twice cooked chips, baby caper and parsley mayonnaise served in fish cone

Roasted thyme and garlic butternut squash, pea and mint risotto, rocket and basil pesto (v)

Onion bhaji, Asian vegetable samosa and spinach pakora with masala raita (v)


British pudding club

Sticky toffee pudding with butterscotch sauce

Steamed jam sponge with vanilla custard

Theatre station

Eton mess with Lutton Farm strawberries, raspberries, meringue and strawberry coulis






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The comprehensive guide to the upcoming shows and events this season


James Blunt


Enter Shikari


Stone Sour




Peter Pan - Christmas

in Neverland






Little Mix


James Arthur


Elvis in Concert live

on screen with the

Royal Philharmonic

Concert Orchestra


Vitality Netball

International Series

– England Roses v

Malawi Queens



Phil Collins


Michael Ball

& Alfie Boe

James Arthur is a British singer and songwriter who won the ninth

series of The X Factor in 2012. His debut single, ‘Impossible’, was

released by Syco Music after the final and debuted at number one.


James Arthur




Harry Potter and

The Chamber of

Secrets in concert

with full live orchestra




I Love Reggae


André Rieu


Let’s Have a

Rock & Roll Party





The Arenacross

Tour 2018

World Class Indoor Motocross Racing & Freestyle Motocross returns

to the Genting Arena for the ultimate, dirt-filled night of craziness!


The Arenacross Tour 2018







Lady Gaga


Kendric Lamar


The Script





The X Factor

Live Tour 2018







Paul Weller




Crufts 2018

and Best in Show


All Time Low


Joe Bonamassa

Stereophonics have released nine studio albums, including six UK number one albums, their latest album being 2015’s ‘Keep the Village Alive’.

Don’t miss the hotly anticipated gig.


40 Years of Disco


Paloma Faith


Flight of

the Conchords


Jason Derulo


Disney on Ice

presents Worlds

of Enchantment





Deep Purple


Royal Blood



Paloma Faith will release her long-awaited fourth album, ‘The Architect’, 17 November. Paloma

will embark on a UK arena tour in support of the album next year, with a stop at the Genting Arena.


Paloma Faith


Flight of the


Grammy Award-winning folk comedy duo Flight of the Conchords (aka Jemaine Clement

and Bret McKenzie) will be headlining their first UK and Irish tour in over seven years.






< ARENA BIRMINGHAM Heavy metal’s Stone Sour have announced a major UK tour this winter, and will be hitting Arena

Birmingham 29 November, with support from The Pretty Reckless.


Depeche Mode


James Blunt




Enter Shikari


The 2017


International Tattoo


Stone Sour


Queen +

Adam Lambert







Heaven on Earth





Animation in Concert


Liam Gallagher


Queen +

Adam Lambert


Five Finger

Death Punch


Peter Pan –

Christmas in



James Blunt


Stone Sour



James Blunt returns with the Afterlove Tour – the first tour for James

following his extensive Moon Landing Tour, which saw him perform

over 140 shows across the world over the course of twelve months.

‘Humanz’, their first new studio album in seven years, has launched to widespread critical acclaim

and the world’s most successful virtual act will be descending on Arena Birmingham this December.




The comprehensive guide to the upcoming shows and events this season



Strictly Come

Dancing Live


Chris Rock


BBL Cup Final 2018


Lady Gaga


Chris Rock




Brian Cox Live




World Indoor






All England

Open Badminton





World Cup




To Mars

Grammy and Emmy Award winning comedian, actor, director, writer and producer, Chris Rock,

has announced The Total Blackout Tour marking the acclaimed comedian’s first U.K. tour in ten years.

Chris Rock is one of our generation’s strongest comedic voices.




The Skills Show


Festive Gift Fair


MCM Birmingham Comic Con


Motorcycle Live 2017(public and trade)


Occupational Therapy Show (trade)


Academies Show Birmingham

2017 (trade)


Therapy Expo (trade)


Antiques for Everyone Winter Fair 2017


National Engineering and Construction



Warley National Model

Railway Exhibition


BBC Good Food Show



World of Duty Free – Airport Sale



The BBC Good Food Show is heading back to the NEC this winter for four days packed

with top UK chefs cooking LIVE, great shopping from a huge range of independent



Performance Car Show


BBC Good Food Show

Leading marques and manufacturers will be on display in the Performance Car Show.

With iconic brands like Lamborghini, Ferrari, McLaren, Aston Martin and Porsche.




Vivid Christmas

parties –



Baby To Toddler


The Beast –

The World’s Biggest

Bouncy Castle


Ladies Kennel



Jewson Live


Toy Collector’s Fair





(11 and 12 Jan Trade)



Car Show

(11 and 12 Jan Trade)


Trophex ‘Live’

2018 (Trade)



Running Show


Beta International

2018 (Trade)




Show (Trade)


MCM Birmingham

Comic Con



Spring Fair 2018


Toy Collector’s Fair


British Shooting

Show (Trade)




CHSI Stitches



The Caravan,

Camping and


Show 2018



MCM Birmingham

Comic Con


The Big Bang Fair



The Photography



British Tourism

and Travel Show


The National

Homebuilding and

Renovating Show


Insomnia62 –

UK’s Biggest

Gaming Festival

There’ll be special guests, sci-fi, comic books, cosplay, anime, games and movies galore when MCM

returns to the NEC for the first Birmingham Comic Con of 2018! Brought to you by the team behind

London Comic Con, the UK’s biggest comic convention, MCM Birmingham Comic Con is a two-day festival.




Kitchen Solutions

Catering Solutions Available to Hire or Purchase








Temporary Kitchens for hire


Food Cubes

Space Station


Contact us to find

about our NEW

Podules - A mix and

match catering solution

T: 01242 663000 E: W:




Glorious speaks to Teresa Gohil, Catering Manager for the Mobile Catering Division at the NEC.


the delicious food prepared by our chefs

was centre stage. Working with various

teams we reorganised the seating, service

points and changed our displays to focus

our customers attention to the great food

choices. The outcome was brilliant with our

average spend per transaction increasing

by 14% and our Mystery Shopper scores up

10% on previous years.

Today, I am delighted to run the Mobile

Catering Division team that involves logistical

movement, set up and operation of modular

catering equipment builds. We operate

our feature café and concept food areas

and at the same time continue to develop

management structure and team leader

groups of supervisory staff.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

The most gratifying part of my role is being

able to mentor and develop my newly

structured young and dynamic team. As

the Operational Catering Manager for the

Mobile Catering Division, I manage all nonfixed

catering units at the NEC. My team are

passionate and hungry to do well and I work

closely with them and development chefs

to create, launch and operate new branded

catering concepts.

What draws customers to the mobile

catering units you operate?

The units are the perfect place for our

customers to meet their clients or friends for

a cup of coffee, breakfast or lunch during an

exhibition. We are located right next to the

exhibitors stands so it’s easy access. Using

our insights, we provide bespoke food and

drink offers depending on each individual

exhibition. Matching the visitor profile is

essential because it’s important to keep the

customers fuelled for their busy days.

How has your journey been with Amadeus?

I joined Amadeus in October 2012 as an

hourly paid multi-skilled operative. I worked

hard and Amadeus saw my potential and I

was quickly selected for team leading duties.

In less than a year I was promoted to the

position of Deputy Catering Manager. It

provided me with many opportunities to

learn from my senior colleagues and I was

able to take these lessons and apply my

own instincts and understanding of the

customer’s needs.

In 2014 I was encouraged to take on a

Catering Manager position in the largest

and busiest hall in Hall 5 at the NEC. I gained

experience working with The Oak Kitchen

restaurant and really enjoyed working with

the culinary team and also the marketing

team. The objective was always making sure

How does the mobile catering support

the fixed catering offer?

The mobile catering team is a part in the

large NEC Amadeus family. We work with

the fixed catering teams to deliver great

customer experiences every day. The

mobile catering units are perfect for large

volume exhibitions because we can cater

for massive spikes in exhibition attendance

which is essential during the busy but short

lunch period.

As a recent finalist of the ACE Robyns

Awards, how was this experience?

It has been an absolute honour being

shortlisted for the 2017 awards. It means a

lot being recognised at such a prestigious

level, considering that my career in this world

only really started only few years ago. It has

motivated me even more to help develop

young talented people using my own




The special


Managing Director of Amadeus, Kevin Watson, recently delivered a keynote

speech to over 200 people at the EP Hospitality Insights Conference.

In November 2017 Kevin presented “The

Special Ingredient” to a full room of people

from across the hospitality industry. Kevin’s

presentation focused on how it may be one

thing to recruit good people but how do

hospitality businesses keep them engaged?

How do they build long careers with their

companies and how can businesses make

their people thrive?

Kevin explained, “It’s not fancy marketing,

big budgets or new-fangled technology,

the truth is foodservice is all about people.

It always has been and always will be”. The

Hospitality Insights Conference included

discussion and debate on balancing

commerciality with value, cutting down on

red tape, promoting healthy lifestyles and

much more. Kevin argued that none of that

matters and none of it will help you succeed if

you haven’t got the right people around you.

Kevin presented a slide with the results

of a recent British Social Attitude Survey by

National Centre of Social Research. It found

the top three things that matter most to

employees are; job security, having a job

they consider interesting and have good

opportunities for advancement. The bottom

three were working independently, high

income, deciding own days and times of

work. Kevin explained that it is therefore

essential that businesses create a motivated

workforce which is less about monetary

rewards and more to do with management

style – building cultures of trust, openness

and security.

There are a few great examples of

companies doing people engagement well, in

a style that works for them. Kevin showcased

the likes of Sir Garry Hawkes, “who rewarded

1,000 of his top leaders when his company

Gardner Merchant was sold to Sodexo in

1995, giving them a sense of security in a

period of change” and also mentioned Ben

and Jerry’s motto “If it’s not fun, why do it?”.

These examples showcase that all of these

businesses wanted to invest time in people

engagement and when they did staff satisfaction,

happiness and productivity went up.

Kevin shared his experiences on how

Amadeus have just experienced its most

successful year to date. “After a lot of trial and

error we seem to have hit upon a recipe that

is working. As people engagement takes

time and commitment to really work, we

have been building comradery and resilience

which helps us to pull together when the

going gets tough. We celebrate success and

create an environment where people feel

able to take on risks, innovation and aren’t

afraid to fail.”

Amadeus inspires and engages its

workforce in a number of ways. It’s ‘Service

that Sells’ initiative recognises and rewards

positive staff behaviour on the spot by

awarding employees with shopping vouchers.

In addition, the company promotes a culture

of saying thank you through it’s ‘Brilliance’

platform whereby employees can be

awarded points that can be redeemed for a

range of benefits. Long service anniversaries

are also recognised with awards and special

dinners held for people that have been with

the business for many years.

Kevin talked about how he places a lot

of emphasis on training and development

and every staff member has a progression

plan that empowers them to gain the skills

they need to broaden experience. The team

has also recently launched the ‘Amadeus

Masterclass’ – a real industry first. Amadeus

found staff often became comfortable in one

style of catering and they were reluctant to

move around the varied portfolio of venues

the business caters for, and so designed a sixmodule

course to upskill the workforce. Team

building and communication is also a key part

of Amadeus’ people engagement strategy,

with the board also keen to listen to feedback.

Kevin’s lasting comment was, “We’re united

by our hunger to deliver results and of course

have fun. Work life balance is important and

more than ever – with the recruitment and

retention issues we face as an industry – we

have a collection responsibility to nurture that

special ingredient.”


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