In 45 years, we’ve reached more than a few famous milestones. Here are just a few of our proudest achievements.
NEC construction start
NEC Group Catering
The ICC and NIA
NEC Group Catering
Olympic and Paralympic Games
Vox Conference Centre
Meet Kevin Watson
Under Kevin’s expert guidance Amadeus has become one of the UK’s fastest growing venue and event caterers. Since becoming Managing Director in 2012 profits have doubled, portfolios have expanded and countless awards for quality and innovation have resulted in new trophy cabinets being installed.
As the driving force behind the business Kevin was also integral in successfully delivering Amadeus’ greatest challenge to date – delivering the biggest peacetime catering operation in history at the Olympic and Paralympic Games in London 2012.
Before joining Amadeus, Kevin had over 20 years’ experience in retail catering, including high street retail, contract catering and brand building with businesses including The Natural Retail Company, AEG and Compass Group PLC.
"Our business revolves around the key levers – food and people."
Meet Marc Frankl
Inspired by his mum’s love of cooking and baking, Marc has worked within the food industry for over 15 years. Following ten successful years within the buying sector, Marc made the move to Amadeus in 2012 where his expertise quickly benefitted colleagues and clients alike.
Responsible for procurement and sourcing across the business, Marc’s passion for unearthing fresh, healthy products with local provenance has attracted applause and awards in equal measure. As a conscientious caterer Marc has also recently launched a scheme to reduce the amount of sugar in Amadeus’ food chain by 50% by 2020. This amounts to a whopping 30 million calories.
"I wanted to work at a company where I felt I would be given the opportunity to make a real difference. When I met Kevin, it was clear to me that I would have a role that I could make my own."
Meet Paul Bate
A commercially minded leader with years of senior-level venue experience, Paul has recently been promoted to oversee our home venues. Forever pushing for innovation and bespoke catering solutions, Paul played an integral role in the £5.5m refurbishment of the NEC’s existing food halls and introduced The Edge concept bringing together four unique food offerings within a single restaurant.
Paul’s numbers speak for themselves. The Edge is currently delivering growth of £0.5m profit per annum and will be rolled out across all exhibition halls by 2020. Not one to rest on his laurels, Paul has also recently developed a range of mobile catering units to handle massive spikes in exhibition attendance. These include grab and go favourites, Mexican inspired burritos and the finest choice of grilled cheese sandwiches this side of the Atlantic.
"As we continue to improve the experience I see the NEC Group home venues constantly developing in numbers and style of events. It’s an exciting time and I can only see positive growth in the live events sector."
Meet Miles Jones
An accomplished leader, Miles’ enviable level of strategic thinking led to him joining the Amadeus Board as Divisional Finance Director in 2011 after previously being Head of Finance for both the ICC and the CCD in Dublin.
Alongside his highly experienced team, Miles is instrumental in strategically driving the direction of the business and making sure our creative vision remains profitable by overseeing all budgets and resources. As you’d expect, he’s also responsible for ensuring Amadeus’ financial performance is accurately reported at all times.
"Investments in new technology to improve the customer service across our venues and extensive staff training and development has played a key role in the company’s growing success."
Meet Claire Hawker
Claire and the wider HR team act as the conduit for all HR issues and provides support to the team in relation to all staffing matters, payroll, holiday requests, diversity issues, training and succession planning.
General Manager, NEC
Meet Kane Bridgman
Kane Bridgman has recently joined the Amadeus team – he brings with him over 40 years’ experience within the foodservice industry, having previously worked in the contract catering, corporate hospitality and education catering sectors among others. A specialist in retail catering, Kane has acted as a catering consultant to a wide range of household brands including Merlin Entertainments, Premier League football clubs and Sainsbury’s. He joins Amadeus from Crystal Palace Football Club where he was the Head of Catering for two years overseeing retail and corporate hospitality.
He will be responsible for delivering catering operations at the NEC – with ever climbing visitor numbers, the venue currently hosts over 500 events every year and welcomes 2.4million visitors annually.
"Over the last few years the Amadeus team have taken Amadeus’ catering offer to new heights at the NEC – I hope to develop this further by enhancing the venue’s artisan food offer, including its street food offer."
General Manager, ICC
Meet Craig Hancox
Since becoming General Manager over five years ago, Craig has spearheaded several changes for Amadeus at the ICC in the last financial year. Forever open to change, Craig’s business acumen and entrepreneurial mind has resulted in a number of new initiatives at the ICC, each designed to reflect the ever-changing tastes of diners.
For starters, old-fashioned white china has been abandoned in favour of contemporary tableware befitting the modern dishes coming out the kitchen. However, Craig’s proudest achievement has been achieving the Food for the Brain accreditation, which promotes the importance of nutrition in mental health and well-being. The ICC is the first conference centre in the UK to achieve this award.
"My personal view for the future is a large focus on healthy eating and maximizing energy levels and mental ability through eating the correct foods."
General Manager, Resorts World Arena
Meet Annie Monnox
From event planning and reporting, to rolling out ‘beer bugs’ and new payment methods, Annie interrogates every event to ensure no opportunity to enhance the customer experience is missed. And with up to 15,700 visitors at a single event, keeping revellers smiling all night is no small feat.
Fortunately for us, Annie’s level-headed approach and endless energy ensures every new initiative improves the show, while always delivering concrete results for Amadeus too. For example, the introduction of 16 beer bugs at the arena saw profits increase by £200,000 with only minimal staff costs, while the launch of a new contactless bar resulted in double the amount of drinks being poured. The result? Happier punters and healthier profits.
"Amadeus has grown in confidence and belief. We are now competing with larger catering companies and winning contracts. We have the right people in place to ensure we can drive the business forward."
General Manager, Regional Venues
Meet Cathy Schofield
Cathy is responsible for managing marketing and business development across our ever-expanding portfolio of venues. Highly experienced in generating sales, shaping business strategies and effectively leading others, Cathy’s proven track record has resulted in a number of high profile successes at venues across the country including Dudley Zoo and Compton Verney Art Gallery.
Cathy was also directly involved in the delivery of the ‘factory in the garden’ concept restaurant at Cadbury World, which along with several other chocolaty initiatives has seen food and beverage profits at the attraction increase by 33% since Amadeus won the contract.
"Clients are increasingly choosing Amadeus due to our bespoke approach, our sustainable sourcing policies and our ability to capture a venue’s personality through food and beverage."
Meet Sam Bates
Marquee weddings, foreign tradeshows, Olympic games. Sam’s overseen catering at them all during her time at Amadeus. Her pragmatism and positivity have been invaluable to the events side of the business since 2012, when she made the permanent switch to this challenging, exciting and ever-expanding part of the business.
Whether helping to set up catering facilities from scratch, organising secret one-off events or immersing herself in foreign food trends, Sam has consistently delivered outstanding events that jump out from the pack. More importantly her methods delivers results too, with revenue doubling in the last twelve months alone.
"Whether we’re catering for the general public at a live event or for a fine dining banquet for Heads of State, we ensure a tailored, quality solution is provided for each and every client."
Awards recognise the talent and facilities of our business. They set us apart from the rest and place us at the forefront of the live events industry. Here are some of our most recent awards.
Foodservice Cateys 2023
General Manager of the Year
Craig Hancox, Amadeus General Manager, ICC Birmingham
Craig continues to utilise his experience in new concepts and innovation to drive a successful financial performance for Amadeus.
The team hit revenue records like no other at the 2022 Conservative Party Conference, catering for over 12,000 delegates and 456 fringe meetings over three days with a unique catering order at each event. He led the team to achieve the highest catering revenue recorded at any Amadeus venue ever in one week.
Foodservice Cateys 2023
Valentine Rey, Catering Manager, NEC
Valentine was one of Amadeus’ University College Birmingham hospitality students taken on initially for a 12-month placement between years two and three of her university course. It was evident from the start, that Valentine would soon be team-leading, thanks to her calm, confident manner in dealing with colleagues and customers.
She was hungry to be developed to support all the Amadeus management functions and processes. She quickly became a very reliable and flexible team member, displaying accountability and control of her areas of responsibility.
Foodservice Cateys 2023
Trainee Chef of the Year
John Rushton-Jones, Commis Chef
At only 25, John is still at the beginning stages of his career and enjoys working closely with his team, absorbing skills and learning from Executive Chef at The Vox Aaron Johnson-Waters, and Head Chef Michael Jeyes.
John has succeeded in key achievements on his apprentice journey this year, including mastering his basic culinary skills, including ingredient preparation and cooking techniques. This has led to an increase in responsibilities in the kitchen, such as food preparation and expert plating.
Given his progress, it’s no surprise John is keen to maximise on his ambition, already assessing his career path to his next step of chef de partie, senior chef, then Head Chef.
MIDAS Awards 2023
Street Food Inspired
The Amadeus' food development team picked up the award in the ‘Street Food Inspired’ category at the MIDAS Awards. Focused on menu innovation and development, winners are treated to a place on an Insight Tour of Miami in May.
Foodservice Cateys 2022
Jess Savva, Retail Manager at Resorts World Arena, scooped the Rising Star Award at the Foodservice Cateys awards, which celebrates the individuals, teams and businesses shaping the foodservice industry.
Judges said Jess showed 'significant promise' early on in her career, praising Mystery Shopper scores that jump off the page, as well as an increased spend-per-head and her lead role in solving staffing concerns at her venue post-COVID.
MIDAS Awards 2020
Amadeus was recognised for a second consecutive year, for its work around local sourcing and developing menus with local provenance across its venue portfolio.
Institute of Directors 2020
Midland Director of the Year
Kevin Watson was awarded IoD Midland Director of the Year – Social Value and Sustainability Impact for leading Amadeus’s commitment to reducing food waste. This has saved more than 50,000 meals going to landfill through using innovative technology and giving surplus food to local families in need.
The Cateys 2020
Foodservice Caterer of the Year
Kevin Watson was commended by judges for his determination, drive and passion, with an ‘unwavering focus’ on sustainability, technology and a first-class customer experience at the venues Amadeus caters for.
Foodservice Cateys 2018
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. The focus of this winning submission was the leadership Amadeus have shown in retail and leisure F&B space.