Sodexo closes fourth chapter at Edinburgh International Book Festival with its most successful year
Sodexo Prestige Venues & Events says it has experienced its highest performing year to date at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, after serving more than 230,000 people over 18 days.
The South Queensferry-based events caterer says the packed programme of events welcomed writers, illustrators, poets, philosophers and politicians to the city’s Charlotte Square Gardens, with festival ticket sales up by 3.5% this year, making 2016 the busiest to date.
The firm, which is celebrating its fourth year in charge of the event’s catering operation, teamed up with some of the region’s top suppliers to provide food and drink to the public in the Spiegeltent, Signing Tent and Bookshop Cafe, as well as providing hospitality to authors and special guests in the Party Pavilion and Writer’s Retreat.
More than 7,500 freshly prepared sandwiches, wraps and baguettes, 11,000 hand baked slices of cake, 12,000 glasses of wine and 36,000 speciality teas and coffees, were sold during the festival.
Edinburgh based Joldo Patisserie provided freshly baked bread, Danish pastries, traditional cakes and scones, while local businesses Stewart Brewing, Eden Mill gin and Vino wines supplied a range of beverages to stock the busy bars.
Sodexo staff also made and served 300 afternoon teas for guests attending a series of new, ticketed events featuring acclaimed foodies such as Sue Lawrence and Sumayya Usamani.
Linzi McLaren, general manager at Sodexo Prestige Venues & Events, said: “We partnered the Edinburgh International Book Festival four years ago and have seen 8% growth in sales over that period.
“We’re proud to support Scottish food and putting fresh and seasonal produce at the heart of our menu has led us to forge some fantastic relationships with local suppliers.
“This year we introduced a range of hot and cold bowls for hospitality guests, which featured the likes of slow cooked Buccleuch beef and Ayrshire potato stovies, while in our retail areas, Chocolate and Guinness loaf and gluten-free Orange Marmalade Polenta cake, provided a twist alongside a selection of more traditional home baking and sweet-treats.”
Sophie Moxon, operations & finance director at Edinburgh International Book Festival, said: “With around 230,000 visits this August, Edinburgh International Book Festival was the busiest it’s ever been.
“Working with Prestige to set up and run the on-site cafes and bars has been a pleasure – the staff do their best to adapt to the needs of the Book Festival, offering an efficient and friendly service and a wide range of food and drink for our audiences.”
Sodexo brought close to 50 staff on site for this year’s event, with its four retail outlets operating from 9.30am to 1am everyday throughout the event.