catering, cafe, museum, heritage and art

Old Royal Naval College

Development of Catering Strategy & Business Plan, Management of Competitive Tender  

The Client

Designed by Sir Christopher Wren, The Old Royal Naval College (ORNC) is one of the most important groups of historic buildings in London and the centrepiece of the Maritime Greenwich World Heritage Site.  The Painted Hall, with its elaborate wall and ceiling decorations by Sir James Thornhill, is described as the ’finest dining hall in Europe’.   The ORNC received 1.7 million visits in 2011, making it eleventh in the list of most visited attractions in the UK.

The Project

Boyd-Thorpe Associates (BTA) were appointed to undertake a full review of the ORNC’s catering strategy for banqueting and hospitality services ahead of a catering contract tender.  As part of the process lengthy consultations were held with both internal and external stakeholders, including the Board of Trustees, the senior management team, existing catering partners, potential catering partners and the other museums and attractions within the Greenwich Museums portfolio.  The use and occupancy of the hospitality spaces (five in total) were scrutinised and a thorough benchmarking exercise was conducted to understand the ONRC’s position in the marketplace and the potential areas for growth.  The results were presented in a five year catering strategy report supported by a five year business plan and identified investment requirements. The options for the future management of the sales and marketing of the site and the delivery of catering services were also explored resulting in a recommendation to continue to outsource the catering services. The competitive tender was managed by Boyd-Thorpe Associates.   

Results Delivered

The resulting catering strategy report gave clarity to the available options, some of which the Foundation had been discussing for some time.  It provided clear recommendations around market positioning, management and contract options, investment opportunities and a full financial forecasting which was used to benchmark the catering bids.  The competitive tender secured an enthusiastic and committed catering partner with strong marketing ideas and sales experience to ensure continued sales growth.

Delivery Model

  • Full consultation with the Greenwich Foundation and other stakeholders
  • Detailed competitor survey for Conferencing and Banqueting as well as Visitor Catering
  • Analysis of all potentially suitable locations for provision of C&B and Visitor Catering
  • Prepared drawings and budget cost estimates for the kitchen design options
  • Financial forecasting of all options, over the contract term
  • Evaluation of in house/contract out catering delivery routes
  • Robust cost/benefit analysis
  • Development of five-year business plan
  • Management of the competitive tender, including development of the catering contract and service specification
  • Management of the demobilisation of the outgoing caterer and the mobilisation of the incoming caterer.

“Fiona supported me during a year-long catering re-tender project for the Old Royal Naval College. Throughout the whole process I was impressed by Fiona’s expertise, her analytical skills and her integrity, she is certainly not a consultant that borrows your watch to give you the time! Fiona provided me with valuable insights on the current market and industry, suggested the appropriate commercial model for the venue and its operations and provided me with guidance throughout the re-tender. As a result, I believe that the ORNC has found the most suitable partner to grow its business. Finally, Fiona has been a real pleasure to work with, she is generous with her knowledge and her time, and her influencing skills have been most precious when liaising with the Board of Trustees. I would have no hesitation in recommending Fiona to other cultural venues.” Karine Lepeuple, Commercial Director

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