Saturday 4th July marked the end of the lockdown for much of the hospitality sector and Sodexo is ready to support its clients as they welcome back guests and fans.

Sodexo is supporting sports and leisure sites across the UK with plans to ensure the safety and security of guests, visitors and delegates whilst still delivering a great live experience. Plans are in place to support sports fans in stadia, day visitors at museums and for conference and event attendees in venues.

A recent study from Harris Interactive commissioned by Sodexo found that 62% of consumers would feel at least somewhat comfortable attending a sports event in a stadium as soon as they become available again. The survey also found that 59% of consumers would feel at least somewhat comfortable visiting a cultural destination as soon as they open again.

The survey revealed the important role that sports events and trips to attractions play in consumers lives. Three quarters of those questioned said they use sports events as a way of socialising and 70% said attendance at sports events supported their mental health. Respondents said that social distancing, availability of hand sanitizer and staff handling food and drink wearing masks and gloves would make them feel safer. 

Chris Bray, CEO Sports & Leisure, Sodexo UK & Ireland said:

As we emerge from lockdown we have been making plans with our venue clients in order to be able to host meetings and events once again safely, securely and with a great event experience for those attending. 

The Harris research confirms that a majority of people are feeling that visiting a cultural venue or attending a match is still an essential part of their life, so it is key that we support our clients to allow their guests and fans back in to create memorable event experiences.

Consumers are continuing to embrace new technologies and will expect to have frictionless experiences at venues. We see this digital transformation at the heart of enriching the guest experience at events whist providing us with an opportunity to gather consumer insight and use it to improve and adapt our offers moving forwards.

As a global organisation with a presence across multiple public and private sectors, Sodexo has been supporting clients during the pandemic with specialist expertise in disinfection cleaning, social distancing and revised food services. 

Sodexo’s “Rise with Sodexo” programme provides solutions to help clients reopen safely, efficiently and successfully. As part of the Rise programme in its Sports & Leisure business, Sodexo will deliver: 

  • Training procedures for all staff on site to ensure that safety in service is their utmost priority and that they are fully equipped with the tools and knowledge to provide our Prestige Venue & Events experience safely
  • Deep cleaning procedures which meet national public health guidelines
  • Restricting capacities in all venue spaces in accordance with guidelines to allow for social distancing, as well as social distancing guidance and signage throughout 
  • Implementing new procedures for arrival, registration, break periods, PPE and social gatherings that allow these to happen safely but whilst still creating an enjoyable experience for those attending
  • New detailed protocols for safe food service, catering and hospitality covering menus, service and merchandising 
  • Practical tools to support new ways of working:
    • For retail and concessions this includes click-and-collect technologies
    • For meetings and events this includes hybrid event and virtual teambuilding technology which allow delegates to be connected across multiple rooms, venues or to attend virtually.
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