CH&Co Group’s specialist venue and visitor attraction catering business, Ampersand has been appointed by Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew to to drive forward its vision of creating the very best catering offer for visitors and customers at the world’s most famous botanic garden, over the next five years.
The contract, which commences on 1 November, is worth approximately £28million in turnover during its term. Ampersand will provide all catering services at venues across the Kew Gardens estate including: the White Peaks café (a family food hall and ice-creamery); Victoria Plaza café (an artisan coffee shop and bakery); the Orangery restaurant (offering all-day seasonal dishes); and the Pavilion restaurant that provides alfresco dining in the warmer months. A new café restaurant to be called The Botanical is also scheduled to open later this year to add further diversity of food experiences for Kew’s 1.5 million annual visitors.
Ampersand was selected following a rigorous competitive tender process where its proposition was critically assessed against Kew Garden’s strict criteria that included: alignment with Kew’s mission and purpose; provision of high quality and differentiated food offers at each venue; match of food offers to Kew’s different visitor segments; support for Kew’s environmental sustainability objectives; and operational capabilities and commercial strength.
Jill McLaughlin, director of corporate services at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew led the tender process and said:
“Appointing a new catering partner is one of the most important changes we’re making this year and we’re delighted to be working with Ampersand. Providing excellent, inspirational, good value-for-money food, with friendly, superior service in attractive surroundings is essential for us to succeed as a world-class visitor destination. We’re very impressed with Ampersand’s professional and creative approach, and it’s clear that they understand our vision and needs and share our values.”
Paul Jackson, Ampersand’s managing director, said the new contract is a great win for the company:
“Kew Gardens is famous and respected worldwide and we’re delighted to have been chosen as the new catering partner to take forward its progressive catering vision. Our bespoke approach and expertise in catering for large numbers at unique visitor destinations has enabled us to create exciting and inspirational catering solutions for each of Kew’s café and restaurant facilities. Customers can look forward to fresh, delicious dishes, supported by distinct, impeccable service. Our menus will enhance the visitor experience, reflecting the celebrated plant life of the gardens and upholding a commitment to seasonality and local suppliers.”
Ampersand already works with the Royal Botanic Gardens at its country gardens in Wakehurst, West Sussesx.