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Footballers enter hospitality business

04 | 07 | 13

Two of the most recognisable faces in English football have entered the hospitality industry. 

Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville have founded a new company that aims to run both cafes and hotels across the UK from late 2013 onwards, Caterer and Hotelkeeper reports.

Named GG Hospitality, the business will oversee the launch of Cafe Football in London in November and Hotel Football, which will open in Manchester in 2014. It is also planning to work with major hotel operators to run their properties on a management or franchise basis. 

The football stars, who are widely regarded as two of the best players in the history of Manchester United and the English Premier League, said they first came up with the idea for the business several years ago and plan to be directly involved with its management. 

"We have left nothing to chance and are working with some of the best people in the business to achieve our vision," Neville commented. 

Managing director of GG Hospitality will be Stuart Procter, who formerly ran the Stafford Hotel in London. Michael Wignall, head chef of the Michelin-starred Latymer restaurant in Surrey, will be in charge of food and drink across the company. 

This development will certainly be watched with interest by catering equipment firms, who will compete for contracts should the venture prove and success and open more venues across the country. 

Mr Proctor commented: "We believe we are bringing something new to the market which is young, creative, innovative and fun. In Cafe Football this will mean a casual dining experience with good service and some great, sharing dishes."

The venue will provide indoor seating for 120 people, with space for an additional 40 outside. A two course meal will cost somewhere in the region of £16. 

Both the cafe and hotel brand could be expanded at home and abroad if they prove a success. Cities with a strong football culture, such as Birmingham and Liverpool, are seen as prime locations, while Asia - where English football is highly popular - is also a specific target.ADNFCR-16001031-ID-801608084-ADNFCR

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