Thirlestane Castle International Group
1,400 lunch guests plus 220 crew
Working with Spectra, the leading UK destination management company, for the biggest incentive event to come to Edinburgh in the summer of 2018. The brief involved catering for 1,400 lunch guests within a two hour window in the beautiful, serene grounds of Thirlestane Castle.
Due to the large number of attendees, this was the only day that the entire group of 1,400 American executives came together. Spectra planned everything to the last detail and the group were treated to Highland games and other fun activities from event creators Maximillion, as well as a craft market and whisky and beer tastings over a sprawling site. There had to be a wet weather plan of course and so the activities were spread over five marquees provided by Best Intent. Each marquee was equipped with a fully stocked bar, staffed by Appetite Direct and supplied by Bar Nomadics.
The first challenge was to feed all 1,400 guests informally in a two hour window whilst ensuring lots of choice and covering all dietary requirements. We worked very closely with Spectra and the end client to develop a food offering that would showcase the best Scottish produce but also be familiar, tasty and fresh for the group.
To ensure that the guests could be served as efficiently as possible without queues we opted for a food court style set up comprising four distinct food offerings over eight stalls, including roast Scottish beef, tacos, chicken and award-winning Scottish sausages from Crombie’s of Edinburgh, a 40-foot long double sided salad bar, a best of Scottish produce stall and an iconic Scottish dessert and sweetie stall. The food court was separated from the dining area to ensure that there were no bottlenecks. Guests arrived via 80 coaches from Edinburgh and food service started at 12 noon. By 2pm all the guests had been fed and had a chance to grab a second helping.
A huge thank you to you all (and your teams) for your help and support at Chorus yesterday. We’ve had lots of great comments about all aspects of the event; some people said it was the best one yet! You all work really hard and do an amazing job and it’s very much appreciated!
Appetite Direct fielded an 80 strong team to ensure that guests had the best service possible and in total, the outmess fed all 220 staff that were on site delivering the activities, food and service.
Planning for this event took six months and involved overcoming numerous logistical and organisational challenges and the success of the event very much depended on the professionalism, cooperation and flexibility of all involved. It was an amazing experience to be involved with such a complex event and we were delighted that the event was a great success.