Delivering exceptional customer experience – Our highlights from the SLC Awards

Delivering exceptional customer experience – Our highlights from the SLC Awards

The SLC Awards hosted by H20 Publishing returned for the 3rd year running, last month, to highlight and reward the UK’s best sports and leisure venues. Big Al’s joined the guest list this year to meet operators and check out the latest innovations within the hospitality market.

To kick off proceedings, host Marc Durden-Smith presented a Q&A with Neil Worcester, Managing Director of sports venue caterer Fabulous Fan Fayre (F3) as he discussed his inspiration behind the prestigious Tunnel Club at Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium. This elite experience gives guests an intimate back stage access into the players tunnel, post-match interviews and enables them to watch the game in the dug-out for an exclusive ‘managers’ eye view. To complete the 5 star experience the hospitality includes a luxury bar, restaurant and networking space all of which led it to be awarded with this year’s Innovation Award.

This inspirational tunnel highlights the importance of caterers understanding the needs of their customers and demonstrates that creating a unique experience is trucial to success and customer retention. This applies to all outlets, no matter whether you are catering for the elite or grab & go sector, you need to reinvent every season to stay on top of the game, especially within stadia.

The market is changing and so are customers needs, therefore operators need to be equipped to adapt to a diverse variety of values and dietary requirements, whilst also appealing to a younger demographic of customer by staying up to date with the market. To offer an engaging experience for your customers, Big Al’s has a variety of concepts to suit your outlet and adaptable to all channels within hospitality. The branded concepts include; Big Al’s Diner, Big Al’s Foodies, Big Al’s Burger Bar, Big Al’s Pub Grub and Big Al’s Hot Dog Shack. The product portfolio is designed to help tackle menu fatigue with flexible food solutions that keep up with the latest high street food trends including a range of versatile hand-held offerings.

This year’s awards also demonstrated that employees are just as important as customers for your business model. Employee passion and experience, as well as the implementation of employee retention schemes are all key to delivering the best possible customer experience. Great ideas that work well, include staff loyalty programmes that can be designed to suite your business model.

The overall SLC Caterer of the Year Award was presented to Keith Prowse at The Fever-Tree Championships, The Queen’s Club. Judges selected Keith Prowse for the two-fold approach that allows guests to preview their experience before booking and follows up with a customer satisfaction programme that ensures the club stays up to date with customers’ requirements and needs.

Congratulations to all the winners, including:

  • CORPORATE HOSPITALITY EXPERIENCE OF THE YEAR – Keith Prowse at The Fever-Tree Championships, The Queen’s Club
  • EVENT CATERER OF THE YEAR – Tapenade at The Royal International Air Tattoo
  • HERITAGE & ARTS ESTABLISHMENT OF THE YEAR – Bryn Williams at Somerset House
  • THE INNOVATION AWARD – F3 at The Etihad Stadium – The Tunnel Club
  • MENU OF THE YEAR – Galvin at Centurion Club
  • STADIA & ARENA OF THE YEAR – Ascot Racecourse
  • CHEF OF THE YEAR – Karl Pearce, Head Chef, Lord’s Cricket Ground
  • SLC CATERER OF THE YEAR – Keith Prowse at The Fever-Tree Championships, The Queen’s Club