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Big moves announced in London catering industry

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The catering facilities at Twickenham Stadium and the University of London's school of oriental and African studies (SOAS) have both made decisions on their future in recent days, marking a period of major change in the food services industry and potentially driving up demand for wholesale catering equipment in London.

Twickenham Stadium has awarded Express Cafes a three-year extension on its current deal.

Elsewhere, SOAS will now be serviced by Elior following a £600,000 refurbishment aimed at making the existing site a more comfortable and consumer-focused place while also improving the establishment's food offering.

New features include a coffee bar with Fairtrade and eco-friendly coffee, a Wi-Fi workstation for customers and five new serving areas that will provide a range of affordable and healthy options for students and other people visiting the university department.

Paul Fisher, director of education for Elior, described the food offer as one that will encourage students to stay on-site rather than leave the facilities to get lunch or dinner.

"The new Purple Pepper counter offers vegetarian and vegan only food, while Love Smoothies provides fresh, healthy juices and smoothies that are made right in front of the customers," he explained.

Other concepts to launch at the site are &Cake, Heavenly Burger, Pizza Foundry, deli concept Go Sasa, Umami, and street food-focused ChU, ensuring that there are a broad range of options for anyone looking for a meal.

Mike Haddon, head of facilities management at the University of London, added: "We awarded Elior the five-year deal to provide our catering last year and we are delighted to see the results. Our students can now enjoy a fresh, varied menu which rivals that offered on the high street."

At Twickenham, meanwhile, the £5 million extension awarded to Express Cafes will see will see the firm provide up to 35 mobile catering units exclusively for the stadium's rugby matches and concerts.

The company is to work alongside Twickenham Experience, the ground's hospitality and public bar services provider, to ensure customers are given the best possible service when attending the ground.

Known as the home of the English rugby, the 82,000-seater stadium has hosted numerous pop concerts and is set to provide a venue for American pop star Rihanna when she comes to London in June 2013 as part of her Diamonds tour.

It will also be called into action for the Six Nations rugby union competition early next year as England take on France, Scotland and Italy on home soil.

Chris Morris, managing director of Twickenham Experience, noted that his company has been working alongside Express Cafes for almost a decade and is confident the two groups can collaborate well with each other to offer a good hospitality experience.

"We look forward to seeing the new systems for credit card payments in place. It is all part of giving our many guests the best possible experience when they visit our stadium," he added.

Food trailers at Twickenham Stadium will include numerous different brands, including FGF Burgers, FGF Fish & Chips and Costa Coffee.ADNFCR-16001031-ID-801508163-ADNFCR

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