Excel London recently committed to a 10-year partnership with the sports, leisure and hospitality sector of Compass Group UK & Ireland. Together, the two parties will share the burden of a £15m investment that will see its foodservice operations transformed over the next few years.
Plans are yet to be finalised, but initial construction work is set to begin in early summer. The centre’s central boulevard will be the focus of the expansion with a mixture of Compass Group, high street and independent brands transforming the existing space. Plans for a fully functioning showcase bakery in the centre of the main boulevard, which will support the existing pastry kitchen in supplying all the baked goods for the centres. This, it said, would help bring foodservice to the heart of ExCel’s plan to improve customer experience.
Working with the Russell Partnership, a corporate catering and events consultancy, ExCel and Compass Group have identified food trends, including a focus on provenance, authenticity and personalisation. It has modelled its proposition not on its immediate events and conference competition but on retail, leisure and airport spaces, including the Westfield shopping centres and Gatwick Airport in London.
A visitor to ExCel London will spend, on average, six hours per-day in the centre. By transforming its catering and hospitality experience, ExCel hopes it will allow event organisers to boost attendance and increase dwell time, with increased variety, all day options, and crucially an enhanced breakfast offer.
David Pegler, CEO of ExCeL London said, “We have an ambitious plan to transform our retail and hospitality environments to help our organisers boost attendance, increase dwell time, create a great event experience, optimise opportunities to network and make new business contacts and inspire visitors to return to ExCeL London.
“Compass is an integral part of our plan; our partnership will set a benchmark for catering standards for the events industry to deliver the most positive event outcomes for visitors, delegates and exhibitors.”
Colin Bailey, Managing Director, Levy Restaurants UK, sport, leisure and hospitality sector of Compass Group UK & Ireland said, “We’re thrilled to be extending our partnership with ExCel.
“We have a fantastic relationship with the ExCeL team and we are really looking forward to building on this, creating a unique proposition for our market, reflecting ExCeL’s ambitious plansand delivering legendary experiences for our guests.”