Amadeus 'loses £16m catering contract at Belfast Waterfront after review'

Belfast Waterfront, where Amadeus has the £16.3 million catering

BRITISH catering giant Amadeus is to have its £16 million contract with the Belfast Waterfront and Ulster Hall terminated, the Irish News has learnt.

Part of the NEC Group in Birmingham, Amadeus was awarded the tender in May 2016 for the exclusive supply of catering for all conferences and events at the two top Belfast venues for a period of five years.

But it has emerged that, following a performance review, the catering partnership will end with immediate effect.

Last night a spokesman for Belfast Waterfront and Ulster Hall Ltd (BWUH) told the Irish News: “The management team is not in a position to comment on individual contractual relationships.

"But we can confirm that a tender process will be engaged to support the catering offering at Belfast Waterfront and Ulster Hall in due course.”

Amadeus - which has more than 900 staff including 90 chefs - has 40 years' experience catering for the NEC Group's four million visitors at more than 900 events a year across scores of venue.

It beat off a clutch of rivals, including incumbent Mount Charles, to secure the catering contract when the Waterfront Hall reopened two years ago after a £29.5 million expansion to position itself as a world-leading conference venue.

At the time the board of BWUH said it was "impressed with the vision presented by Amadeus along with the outstanding food they produce and their innovative approach to catering.”

They added: “Amadeus have a wealth of experience in conference and events, backed up by a talented management team. Their commitment to local suppliers and staff was critical in our selection process and we are pleased with the initial arrangements Amadeus have put in place for this.

"In addition, their technological approach, including in seat and pre-ordering services, fits well with our own focus on technology within the venues.”

Amadeus said it was "aware" of issues in Belfast but did not comment further on the matter.

In November 2016 Amadeus followed up its Waterfront/Ulster Hall success by landing a £12 million contract to operate the catering function at four other major visitor attractions in the city - Belfast Castle, Malone House, Belfast Zoo and the Stables coffee shop in Sir Thomas and Lady Dixon Park.

These Belfast City Council-overseen venues have not been impacted.

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