Compass Group has replaced long term incumbent rival Elior at London's Barbican centre on a catering contract estimated to be worth in excess of £14m.
The seven-year deal, which began on 1 June, sees Compass Leisure take over the food service provision at the Barbican's Foodhall and Barbican Lounge, as well as a the Green Lounge staff restaurant. It is thought to be worth in the region of £2.1m a year, according to the original invitation to tender information.
The ground-floor Barbican Foodhall will be a seven-day operation when it launches on 14 September following a refurbishment programme. Incorporating a 200-seat restaurant with a new menu daily, it will also include a street food market selling products to eat in or take away, and a book bank to buy, borrow and bring back books.
Former Maze operations manager Nikki Woods will take on the role of general manager for the venues. The space, also due to reopen on 14 September, was designed to have a "Prisoner meets Mad Men" feel and will feature small-plate dining and a Dine and Dash menu that guarantees guests will be out of the door in 50 minutes - or their money back.
The Barbican Lounge bar will also include a Macaroon Mixologist who will pair cocktails with the traditional French delicacy.
Sarah Miller, business director for Compass's Leisure division, said: "For us, this provides an unmissable opportunity to showcase the significant work we have been undertaking to understand what our customers want and capitalise on current trends.
"With the new Barbican Foodhall and Barbican Lounge, I believe we have created a fantastic new offer, providing visitors with the ultimate foodie experience in a wonderful venue."
Elior chief executive Michael Audis said Digby Trout had enjoyed a good relationship with the Barbican over the past 15 years and helped to ensure a smooth handover of the contract.
Upmarket caterer Searcys remains the second hospitality partner at the Barbican, since 1991. The current contract, which began two years ago, sees the caterer continue to take sole responsibility for the banqueting and events, bars and exhibition halls, and provide onsite catering for both internal and external clients. In addition, Searcys continues to operate its eponymous fine-dining restaurant on level two.
By Janie Stamford
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