Top Caterers Highlights of 2019
2019 was a great year for the Payne & Gunter team with major outdoor events such as Wimbledon, catering for Pride, alfresco dining at Nevill Holt Opera, conference catering at Old Billingsgate and partnering with our wonderful portfolio of venue partners.
Bethan James, Director of Payne & Gunter, summarises her highlights from last year and looks forward to the year ahead.
A satisfying year filled with substantial catering opportunities
2019 was a busy year and this brought about lots of opportunities including expanding our team and bringing Rebecca on board. You can find out more about Rebecca’s role in our blog here https://www.payneandgunter.co.uk/our-blog/event-planning-and-management-tips-from-top-caterers/. This has been a great opportunity to expand our operations team.
We’re still a tight team though and continue to add value on a personal level to our clients by keeping close by and active at our events with our familiar faces. In fact, my own daughter joined us this year on work experience and gained a lot of experience and respect for what her mother has been doing for all of these years!
We catered for a variety of small and large scale events last year and there was real diversity in the types of events from the Nevill Holt opera series with al fresco picnics and marquee catering to sporting events such as golf and tennis spanning a number of days and creating high-end hospitality experiences that were unique and special each and every day for guests.
Unique events that hit a high note
I did have a ‘pinch me’ moment last year when catering for a corporate event at Abbey Roads Studios where their employees recorded their own songs. Such a historic and iconic venue synonymous with the Beatles is quintessentially British and makes me proud to be a part of London’s originals.
A top bill of corporate events
Partnering with Old Billingsgate for their conference package brought about some great events that we’ve catered for such as MIPIM (https://www.payneandgunter.co.uk/case-studies/mipim-uk-conference-catering/).
Conference and exhibition catering is something we are really keen to expand upon and focus on in 2020 and beyond. You can find out more about our approach to conference and exhibition catering here: https://www.payneandgunter.co.uk/events/conference-exhibition-catering/
All season top caterers
It’s been a year of extremes in terms of the elements. Nevill Holt was the wettest event we’ve catered for, a challenge with the outdoor catering format, but we kept spirits and standards high so that guests’ experiences weren’t dampened.
Wimbledon, in contrast, was the hottest event of the year, but as temperatures soared so did our pride as a result of delivering excellent service and mouth-watering menus to the guests day in, day out. The key was a team that could keep cool under pressure.
Sweet & special partnerships
A big stand out moment of 2019 was launching our ‘Be more pineapple’ programme for our partners. The pineapple is synonymous with great British hospitality and core to our brand - something special that sets your event apart.
Therefore getting our partners together to socialise and celebrate throughout the year has been a great highlight, and one we look forward to continuing year on year.
Praise for Payne & Gunter
It’s always nice to get good feedback, especially from your colleagues within the Compass Group. Andy from Keith Prowse had this to say about Payne & Gunter’s catering at Wimbledon 2019.
‘Your part in making this the amazing success it was cannot be overemphasised.
We at KP have always known your skills and professionalism having worked with you and your team over such a long period of time.
Now, more people got to experience your dedication, hard work, professionalism and skill whilst all I kept hearing was how well the facility worked on every level.
Thank you doesn’t seem to do it all, or you, justice.
However, it is heartfelt and I am truly bowled over by all that you have done.’
This year's ambition for London’s originals
As we look forward to this year’s events and opportunities we also look forward to delivering exceptional catering experiences that are quintessentially British for both our existing clients and partners and for the new clients that will come our way.
We are embracing sustainable catering with regards to food wastage, reflecting our sister company, Levy’s, care programme. This requires more careful menu planning and engineering whereby we work smarter to ensure guests are satisfied but that waste is kept to a minimum and avoiding overproduction. This means more quality and less quantity, but also adding variety and nutritionally balanced options to appeal to all.
Continuing to partner with our celebrity chefs, who you can find out more about here: https://www.payneandgunter.co.uk/our-blog/celebrity-chefs-for-the-perfect-event-pairing/, is key to keeping variety the spice of life and ensuring we have the best talent keeping our catering diverse and delicious.
As such we look forward to partnering with Dirty Vegan, Matthew Pritchard, to expand and improve our vegan catering options in line with this growing dietary preference amongst guests at modern events.
We are thrilled to be catering for a range of events again this year from Farnborough International Air Show to the BRITs and like many years before we look forward to growing, learning, and of course, delivering top-class catering for events.