Merlin Entertainments announced today that it has named Aramark, a global leader in food, facilities management, and uniforms, as its food and beverage partner for five locations in the UK and two in the US.

The locations for the multi-year contract include Alton Towers Resort, Chessington World of Adventures Resort, Thorpe Park Resort, Warwick Castle and LEGOLAND Windsor Resort in the United Kingdom, and LEGOLAND California Resort and LEGOLAND Florida Resort in the United States.

At Merlin Entertainments’ resorts and hotels across the seven locations, Aramark will be introducing food and beverage programmes that offer family and guest favourites, fresh concepts, fun themes and engaging events, coupled with industry-leading technology solutions to make it easy and convenient for visitors to navigate the varied choices. Each resort and hotel will have its own unique portfolio of food and beverage offerings based on the personality of the location.

Nick Varney, Chief Executive of Merlin Entertainments, said:

Building an innovative and high-quality food and beverage offering for our guests is part of our continued business strategy to deliver the very best guest days out and short breaks. Aramark’s accomplishments in driving world-class hospitality programmes at many of the most prestigious sporting events, iconic locations, and leading destinations in the world makes them a great partner to elevate our food offering as part of the magic and memorable experiences we offer our guests.

Aramark and Merlin Entertainments are already collaborating closely to ensure that sustainable practices are core to the operations at all locations. Food and beverage operations at the respective attractions will begin to operate under Aramark from this March (2022) in the UK, with the transfer expected to complete by the end of March 2023 in the US.

John Zillmer, Chief Executive of Aramark, said

We are proud to share our hospitality culture with Merlin Entertainments’ guests and families. We like to say that we’re ‘rooted in service’ and our scale, experience, and expertise as a global leader in food service innovation positions us to deliver world-class dining experiences at Merlin’s resorts and hotels, both in the UK and in the US.

Merlin Entertainments and Aramark will work closely to ensure that food and beverage employees are supported as they transition to employment with Aramark. For the millions of visitors to Merlin’s attractions each year, the new partnership presents an exciting opportunity for future development of the guest experience, more details of which will be released in the coming months.

What do you think about Merlin Entertainments outsourcing the food and beverage operations at the attractions to an external company? Share your thoughts over on the Attraction Source Forum.

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