Merlin Entertainments contracts out retail catering for the first time

Merlin Entertainments, the leisure operator behind attractions such as Alton Towers and Legoland, has struck a new foodservice partnership that marks a step-change in the way it has traditionally managed catering.

The company has inked a three-year commercial deal with Levy Leisure at Madame Tussauds London – a first for the business as it has never before contracted out its retail catering in any of its 20 UK venues.

The agreement has seen Levy Leisure UK create and implement an innovative and immersive ‘foodie’ guest experience, called Royal Tea.

The distinctive space offers guests visiting the world-famous attraction the opportunity to enjoy afternoon tea alongside a life-like figure of Queen Elizabeth II.

Set in the iconic Buckingham Palace Garden, guests can snap a selfie with The Queen and catch a glimpse of her corgis as they enjoy delicious homemade scones, freshly baked pastries and the best of British finger sandwiches.

Martyn Brett-Lee, commercial director at Merlin Entertainments, said: “In order for our guests to truly feel they are stepping into the spotlight, it’s important that we create a completely immersive space that transports them away from Baker Street and into the world of celebrity. Working with Levy, we’ve created a dining delight in Royal Tea that brings our incredible figure of The Queen to life and offers guests an unmissable – and delicious – experience.”

Levy Leisure is the official catering partner for a number of the UK’s renowned cultural, historical and visitor attractions, but the deal with Merlin is particularly significant given it is a ‘first’ for the theme park and tourist attraction operator.

Jon Davies, managing director at Levy Leisure UK, said: “This is a fantastic new partnership with Merlin Entertainments and the new concept at Madame Tussauds London offers guests a really fun and interactive experience that didn’t exist at the attraction before. Our business thrives on developing and implementing new catering and retail concepts, which we hope will be well received at this iconic venue.”

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