Merivale’s trademark magic set to transform the SCG and SFS

Merivale will bring its trademark food and beverage offering to the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) in time for the summer of cricket and be the first in-house hospitality partner at the new Sydney Football Stadium (SFS) when it opens in 2022.

Following an extensive competitive tender process, Merivale has been named as the exclusive hospitality experience partner of the SCG and SFS precinct. From December 2021, Merivale will provide all catering and beverage services at both venues for an initial term of nearly six years until September 2027.

Ground Control Global was responsible for running the successful global RFP, which resulted in an industry first, with the best in class, high street operator being appointed for a 7 year exclusive contract.

Merivale operates some of Australia’s most iconic dining and entertainment venues and will bring its expertise to the Sydney Cricket Ground for the start of the BBL in December and then in time for Sydney’s New Year’s Test.

The partnership will see Merivale’s celebrated executive chefs Danielle Alvarez (Fred’s), Jordan Toft (mimi’s, Bert’s Bar & Brasserie), Dan Hong (Ms.G’s, Mr. Wong), Mike Eggert (Totti’s), Ben Greeno (The Paddington, Hotel Centennial) and Vincenzo Biondini (Vinnie’s Pizza) bring their expertise into a stadium setting under the leadership of CEO Justin Hemmes, Group Operations Manager (Events) Debbie Higgins and senior talent across the business including Franck Moreau MS and Sam Egerton.

CEO Justin Hemmes said Merivale will bring Sydney’s most popular bar and restaurant brands to the city’s most celebrated sporting venues:

In partnering with Venues NSW, we will strive to provide the most enjoyable and exciting experience to the people of NSW and to all guests of the SCG and the new SFS; food and beverage forms an integral part of the overall experience, and we look forward to delivering on all occasions.

This is an incredible and truly unique opportunity for Merivale; we are humbled to be a part of Sydney’s sporting and entertainment history. I want to sincerely thank Venues NSW for sharing our vision. This new partnership will see us bring together Merivale’s wonderful talent pool, diverse restaurant brands, quality service and inherent love of Sydney to help deliver a world-class experience to every person who steps into the stadium.

Merivale will employ over 1,000 staff across both venues. Service professionals will deliver the same standard of excellence which is synonymous with the brand that has reinvigorated Sydney culture for the past 65 years.

Major milestone

Hemmes added:

This is a major milestone in our company’s history and builds on our commitment to the city of Sydney, its culture, economy and job creation.

SCG and Venues NSW Chief Executive Officer Kerrie Mather said preparations are in full swing for The Ashes New Year’s Test match in January 2022, the largest annual sporting event on the NSW calendar:

This is a transformational moment for our precinct and I am so excited about this new partnership with Merivale. I know they will offer our customers, members, sporting and entertainment partners the highest quality food and drink this city has to offer.

When Merivale brings the best from its amazing collection of venues, we will set a new benchmark in live experiences.

The SCG’s summer menus are currently being refined by the Merivale executive chef team and the partnership will deliver an offering focused on quality, variety, value for money and ease and speed of service.

Merivale Group Operations Manager Debbie Higgins will lead the hospitality giant’s preparation for the summer of cricket, as she advised:

We like to think that every day is match day at Merivale venues; we endeavour to create the kinds of experiences our guests won’t ever forget.

We’re excited to build our 1,000-strong Merivale team over the coming months to bring our vision to life.

Our sole focus will be on elevating the overall experience at iconic sporting moments and concerts, as well as transforming the full-service stadium event offering on non-match days throughout the year.

Our passion and our commitment to delivering excellence will mean a great game day experience for the fans and, importantly, more time watching the on-field action and less time waiting in line.

About the SCG and SFS

The Sydney Cricket Ground was established in 1851 and is a foundational site in world sport and home to NSW’s biggest teams and sports. The NSW Government is redeveloping the Sydney Football Stadium as a new world-class venue to host rugby league, rugby union and football. It will be open in late 2022 and is the third venue in that location, following the Sydney Sports Ground (1903-1986) and original SFS (1988-2018).

About Merivale

Owned and run by the Hemmes family for over 65 years, Merivale began as an iconic fashion house started by John and Merivale Hemmes. Merivale’s fashionable beginnings were soon followed by a venture into hospitality, opening a Thai tea café within their Sydney CBD fashion building in 1970. From here, Merivale’s hospitality roots were firmly planted.

Merivale is now led by CEO Justin Hemmes, whose creativity and knack for pushing the boundaries has made Merivale what it is today. Hemmes has become a pioneer within the Australian hospitality industry, growing the ever-expanding Merivale portfolio to over 80 brands and venues.

Main image: Merivale, led by CEO Justin Hemmes ahead of the announcement of a new partnership with the Sydney Cricket Ground and the Sydney Football Stadium. Images of Justin and his team captured at the SCG. L-R Franck Moreau – Group GM Beverage, Ben Greeno – Executive Chef, Debbie Higgins – Group Operations Manager, Dan Hong – Executive Chef, Jordan Toft – Executive Chef, Kerrie Mather – CEO – SCG, Justin Hemmes – CEO, Danielle Alvarez – Executive Chef, Tessa Bruce – Head of Sales, Vincenzo Biondini – Executive Chef, Sam Egerton – GM New Projects and Oliver Stuart – Group Bars Manager. Photo: ©Phil Hillyard. 

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The 2021 hybrid edition was hosted by Liverpool Football Club and featured a high-level conference, an exhibition showcasing industry-leading products & services, as well as networking events at Everton’s Goodison Park and M&S Bank Arena. The 2022 event will be announced in the coming weeks!

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