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A passion for provenance and entertaining food stories helped Scottish Rugby Hospitality make the most from its investment in local supplier relationships.

BT Murrayfield is the home of Scottish Rugby and is the largest conference and hospitality venue in the east of Scotland. The stadium welcomes around 600,000 supporters per season through its turnstiles for international, professional and club matches.

Scottish Rugby Hospitality delivers the food and drink offer at the stadium, providing food and beverages for conferences, concerts, matches and event-day hospitality. 

Local supplier relationships

Scottish Rugby Hospitality has worked hard to develop local supplier relationships. The management team were keen to review their conferencing and hospitality offer to make sure they were getting the maximum possible impact from their investment in those relationships. So they signed up to receive one-to-one expert advice and business support from Scottish Enterprise. 

James Nicholson, site director, Scottish Rugby Hospitality said, “We consider food, and the stories surrounding it, to be an extremely important part of the whole experience at BT Murrayfield."

We consider food and the stories surrounding it, to be an extremely important part of the whole experience at BT Murrayfield.

James Nicholson, site director, Scottish Rugby Hospitality

How we helped

“The advice and support we received from Scottish Enterprise has provided some fantastic ideas to help us showcase our passion for provenance to corporate guests, from initial enquiry through to the conclusion of their event”.

Scottish Rugby Hospitality has taken a flexible approach to purchasing. Getting the support of key suppliers has allowed them to purchase from named, local farms and other geographical locations.

Food stories and provenance signposting

On the back of this engagement with local and Scottish suppliers, they’ve also made significant efforts to improve provenance signposting in their hospitality and they aim to show an entertaining approach to the food story in their menus. 

For example, the hospitality menu for the viagogo Autumn Tests matches was headed with a message from their executive chef Paul Smith, with his take on the ingredients. They also used quotes from their suppliers to create an engaging menu.

Twists on Scottish food icons, like Tunnock’s Teacakes and Edinburgh Rock, have also been introduced into executive menus, delivering an emphasis on local food in a fun way.

Scottish Rugby Hospitality also provides catering in Edinburgh Rugby’s clubhouse and public bar. Recognising the high standard of the competition elsewhere in the city and near the stadium, they provide a highly accessible and well-priced gastro-pub influenced offer.

The central pillar of the menu is a bold statement on their approach to supporting local and Scottish suppliers. The menu also names a number of food heroes including Roger and Susan Lucey at Gartmorn Farm in Alloa (chicken), Robin Traquair of Dalkeith (pork) and Andrew Milne of Tartraven Farm in Bathgate (beef). 

Provenance signposting is included throughout the menu, from ‘Scottish tapas’ items such as Orkney prawns and Highland lamb stovies, to main pub-style main courses of burgers (on this occasion the ‘Edin burger’), as well as fish and chips with sustainable options of pollock as opposed to haddock.

Future development

We also suggested some options for possible future development, including:

  • Local purchasing and provenance could be promoted in all publicity, including their website
  • Consider developing the website to reflect the food experience at Murrayfield by highlighting local suppliers and food stories
  • Making the chefs into ‘stars’. This already happens with their executive chef, but could be extended to other members of the team
  • Develop a food blog on the website, linked to seasonal recipes and regional food suppliers and possibly wider Scottish Rugby activity
  • Highlight unique selling points to customers, such as craft baking, food from scratch, quirky desserts and healthy options
  • The unique features of the venue could also be linked to the food offer

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