• leisure

Sodexo and Chicago Town

A football match may be 90 minutes long, but it’s the 15 minutes at half time that matter the most to our food sales. With Chicago Town we can offer a pizza that is able to withstand these pressures” explains Chris Reed, Retail Catering Manager, Sodexo at St James Park stadium.

Home to Newcastle United Football Club (NUFC), Chris is responsible for ensuring the smooth service of up to 45,000 customers across 12 bars and 37 kiosks – all within the strict time restrictions. As one of the only city centre stadiums in the UK, the biggest challenge is competing with the high street as Chris explains: “Being a city centre stadium puts us in a unique position, putting us in direct competition against restaurants and bars, often leading to a late walk up to football matches. This puts even more strain on those all important minutes at half time and it’s integral that we get our offering right.” “Out of the NUFC fan insight survey we learnt that our customers really wanted to see pizza added to our menus. You only have to look at the high street to see how popular pizza is and when Dr. Oetker Professional approached us, I was keen to see how we could benefit from Chicago Town’s ‘Takeaway’ Pizza and how it would fare against our time restraints.”

“We’ve been working with Dr. Oetker Professional for a full season now and the results have been very impressive. The Takeaway Pizza has given a new lease of life to these “ four kiosks” Chris Reed, Retail Catering Manager, Sodexo at St James Park stadium

Through partnering with Dr. Oetker Professional, two fully branded kiosks were created and after a successful trial showing how simple it was to manage, cook and serve the pizzas, a further two stands were implemented. The roll out also included the Chicago Town ‘Takeaway’ Pizzas in seven additional kiosks as the vegetarian option. Chris adds; “We’ve been working with Dr. Oetker Professional for a full season now and the results have been very impressive. The Takeaway Pizza has given a new lease of life to these four kiosks and I’ve seen a considerable profit growth in these areas. The pizza performs extremely well under pressure, its biggest advantage being the holding time, allowing us to fully prepare for half time. This is down to the raw dough base which cooks in the oven for the first time and means we can offer a great quality pizza in the middle of a football match.”

Made with a unique rising dough base that’s not precooked, the Chicago Town ‘Takeaway’ Pizzas deliver a fresh baked taste and consistent results. With a good holding time, the pizzas can be pre-prepared and with no need for special skills or equipment. Reflecting the latest flavour and food trends, the newest arrival to the Takeaway Range is the ‘Manhattan Meaty’ which includes the signature tomato sauce stuffed-crust, topped with BBQ sauce, mozzarella, mushrooms, streaky bacon and smoked ham. Chris explains what they have planned for the pizzas: “After seeing how successful the pizza has been, we are now looking at extending the offering beyond football and incorporating the pizza during concerts and special events, I am confident that it will be a very welcomed addition.” Dr. Oetker Professional is a leading family pizza and bakery business, founded in 1891 its dedicated professional range works to provide quality solutions that add excitement to menus with total ease and reassurance.

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