Hampden nets four prizes at Football Hospitality Awards
Published by Anne Marie Hughes on Sat 09 Jun 12 @ 22:16
(L-R): Former footballer, Ian Taylor; Sodexo Prestige in Scotland staff members David Trotter, Jane Thomson, Scott Matheson and David Tougher and former footballer Michael Johnson.
Hampden Park Stadium has been voted the best in Scotland and one of the top three in the UK for for matchday hospitality.
Hampden took the top prize in the Matchday Hospitality Award in the Scottish Premier and National Stadia category in the Official Football Hospitality Awards. The award was given by professional chef judges who experienced matchday hospitality at 26 UK clubs over a six month period, using a scoring criteria ranging from parking access and signage through to welcome and food quality and service.
In the overall Matchday Hospitality Experience Award, which was open to clubs and football stadia throughout the UK, Hampden came third behind winners Aston Villa, and Newcastle United, which took the silver award.
The national stadium completed a successful night at the awards when two members of staff working for caterers Sodexo Prestige in Scotland picked up personal accolades. In the Star for the Future category, public manager Scott Matheson took the silver prize, while in the Special Achievement Team Player of the Year Award, commercial manager David Tougher won the bronze prize.
David Trotter, catering services director at Hampden for Sodexo Prestige in Scotland, said: "My colleagues have worked hard all year round and it is fantastic that they and the stadium have been recognised by the hospitality trade for their excellence. I am proud that David and Scott have both won personal awards, which are a true reflection of their passion, commitment and drive for Hampden Park and Sodexo Prestige in Scotland."
Now in their eighth year, the Official Football Hospitality Awards recognise the efforts and dedication shown by catering, conference and events teams at every UK football club.
The Salon Culinaire judge assessing Hampden wrote: "The package was well presented (and) staff throughout were to be commended. Everyone knows their role and carried out their duties in an efficient and friendly manner.
"They were attentive to all guests and ensured my wife, who has a requirement to use a walking stick received assistance." Awarding the overall hospitality at Hampden nine points out of 10, the judge concluded: "an excellent experience from start to finish".
The award submission for Matheson for Star for the Future noted he was a "passionate and driven individual" who had successfully increased sales, and held seven positions since joining the company seven years ago at the age of 16. It concluded: "He loves to coach and train all new starts and spends time each match day with individuals to enhance their skills. That is why he has built a very loyal and effective team for Hampden Park."
Tougher, who is in charge of 30 managers for special events, was described as "the unsung hero of Hampden Park" and "the first person people will go to from all departments for advice and help. His consistent approach has driven people to his door on many occasions, knowing that David has Hampden Park's best interests at heart."
Peter Dallas, Managing Director of Hampden Park Limited, said: "We are delighted that Hampden's renowned matchday hospitality has been judged as being the finest in the country by an independent panel of experts. Hampden Park Ltd. works very closely with our long-standing catering partner, Sodexo Prestige in Scotland, to present the best possible experience on matchday.
"It is particularly pleasing that both David and Scott also received awards for their dedication to the business. Overall, this success is sound recognition of the team spirit that is required to successfully deliver a memorable occasion for up to fifteen hundred guests at Hampden in a relatively short space of time."
Stadium Experience chairperson Person Lisette Maas, from Notts County Football Club, said: "The recognition given to those nominated and those who won awards is vital to the morale and continued dedication of the catering and events departments at our football clubs. They work tirelessly behind the scenes on matchdays and non-matchdays, to ensure that in some instances up to 90,000 visitors are catered for."