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#SBS24 Preview: Enhancing the experience at Lord’s

Eating at Lord’s current food and drink outlets with food and drink visionaries James de Groot of Lord’s (pictured left), and Simon Hanna of Freemans Event Partners (pictured right).

Eating at Lord’s current food and drink outlets with food and drink visionaries James de Groot of Lord’s (pictured left), and Simon Hanna of Freemans Event Partners (pictured right).

Following the news that Freemans Event Partners, the UK based global multi-service event partner, is set to launch a brand-new food and drink retail concept at Lord’s in 2024, #SBS24 is delighted to welcome James De Groot, Chief Food & Beverages Officer, Lord’s Cricket Ground together with Simon Hanna, Chief Operating Officer, Freemans Event Partners.

James and Simon will be speaking about this new collaboration and how working with partners and suppliers to offer the best in-ground experience for spectators at the home of cricket is a key strategic focus for both of their talented teams.

They will also explore how the new two-floor structure will bring a wide variety of food and drink options together under one roof, giving spectators increased choice and, through the implementation of self-checkout kiosks, a significantly quicker service experience and less queuing.

James de Groot (left) joined Sodexo as a student placement back in 2004 and formed part of the team at Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) that in-sourced the Food & Beverage Operation. James now oversees the delivery and strategic direction of Food & Beverage at MCC.  

James and the Operations team ensure that the quality and range of food and beverage enhances the event and matchday experience, with a specific focus around the Member experience. Innovating is a key part of the role, exemplified by The Home of Food Festival which took place at Lord’s last September, and was the first non-cricket related food event to take place in the Club’s 210-year history.

James helped launch Lord’s Dining Club (2018), an award-winning series of exclusive dinners that operate inside the Grade-II listed Pavilion, combining cricket and Michelin-starred chefs. 

Simon Hanna (right) joined Freemans Event Partners as Chief Operating Officer in 2023 to oversee the operational delivery of a five-year strategic plan and the implementation of a sustainability roadmap, further enhancing the customer experience through innovative hospitality, food, beverage, brand activations and payment solutions at events and venues both in the UK and overseas.

Simon’s extensive operational experience spans across 25 years, leading teams in large-scale food and beverage event environments and developing multi restaurant, bar and hospitality concepts; earlier forging his career within the independent, branded, country house and corporate hotels. Most recently, Simon was Regional Operations Director of Food & Beverage with The Jockey Club Cheltenham and Southwest and oversaw the operations across four racecourses as well as the Henley Royal Regatta and the Blenheim Palace International Horse Trials. Simon is passionate about sustainability.

Join James, Simon and hundreds of venue owners, operators and executives only at #SBS24 on 18-19 June at Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester…