catering, cafe, museum, heritage and art

Imperial War Museum

A Challenging Combination of Catering Contracts

The Client

Imperial War Museums (IWM) is a family of five museums: IWM London; IWM North in Trafford, Greater Manchester, IWM Duxford near Cambridge; the Churchill War Rooms in Whitehall, London; and the historic ship HMS Belfast, moored in the pool of London on the River Thames.

The Project

Although each site sits under a strong corporate brand, Boyd-Thorpe Associates (BTA) recognised the need to understand the individual characteristics of each site. BTA was initially asked to consider a combined catering contract for the sites. However, with two regional sites in Manchester and Cambridgeshire and three highly individual sites in London (all with differing ratios of conference vs visitor catering), it was clear that a tailored approach was required. The team's specific knowledge of the catering markets and of the turnover: investment: concession ratios operating within this sector were vital to achieving the optimum combination of catering contracts.

Results Delivered

Re-engaged twice by IWM, in 2000/01 and 2007/08, the BTA team secured significant capital investment for the Museums together with appropriate and competitive terms for catering on each site. This involved grouping HMS Belfast and the Churchill War Rooms together, whilst approaching the other three sites according to their unique characteristics. In the six months following refurbishment, the café at IWM London received outstanding reviews in the national press. In 2013 our input was sought once more on the retender of the IWM London catering contract. Again we were able to provide guidance and advice to the Museum's management based on our expert analysis of the bids received. The repeated appointment of BTA by the Imperial War Museum is, we believe, a clear indication of the standard of consultancy we provide and reflects our ability to match our service to the needs of individual sites.

Delivery Model

  • Strategic relationship management across five separate sites, five managers and five local teams
  • Extensive pre-qualification process
  • Preparation of individual tender documentation for each site: invitation to tender, service specifications, tender acceptance & tender submissions
  • Bid analysis: operational, technical and financial analysis of the bids, comparative analysis of the submissions and executive reporting
  • Post-tender interviews
  • Negotiation of final financial offer and contract terms with the preferred bidder for each contract

“Boyd-Thorpe Associates has a depth of experience in catering contracts and contract negotiation which we urgently required to support our weakness in this crucial area of commercial negotiation. The agreed contract with the appointed company is one from which we derive a much-needed, guaranteed income stream and its success is wholly attributable to the skills, intelligence and preparation of BTA.” Director, Churchill War Rooms

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