When the Ryder Cup headed to the Marco Simone Golf and Country Club just outside Rome this September, catering and hospitality specialist GIG swung into action to deliver more than 56,000 meals during the course of the prestigious golfing tournament.
Only appointed in April of this year, the team at GIG had a tight window to plan and deliver a project of this scale which included catering for staff, broadcasters and media, along with a hospitality offering for two newly created areas, The Vista and The Garden.
The Vista was a lively area designed for guests to experience the thrill of Ryder Cup week with prime views of the 12th green and 13th tee. Featuring 20 private boxes, a dining space for 600 guests and a Fan Zone for a further 2000 with DJs and live performances from the likes of Eddie Jordan and his band the Robbers. Whilst The Garden was a more relaxed space offering guests access to an exclusive bar area and street food stalls, with GIG partnering with KERB to deliver the food offering here.
As you would expect menus were Italian influenced with all ingredients and shopping sourced and carried out locally. The culinary experience was elevated with the incorporation of sponsors’ products, including Moet & Chandon and Perroni. Not to be missed were the signature cocktails, showcasing the new sponsor Elijah Craig’s Bourbon. The Marco Simone Sour and Roma Old-Fashioned quickly became guest favourites.
GIG’s 127-strong team, comprising chefs, front of house experts, back of house staff, bar professionals, and event managers, were handpicked from GIG’s international pool of highly experienced personnel. Given the nature and level of the hospitality 11% of the team were Italian speakers to mirror the audience demographic. Whilst all elements of the contract, including flights, transport and accommodation for its staff were seamlessly mobilised by GIG’s in-house project management team despite the tight timescales involved. In addition, five artic trucks of kit were shipped from the UK which came with its own set of challenges in a post-Brexit world.
Bonnie May, GIG’s CEO comments: “Our team has once again proven that no matter what the challenge they can deliver fantastic hospitality and inclusive dining spaces for guests, broadcasters, media and staff alike. A project of this scale would normally be two years in the planning, by hitting the ground running and working closely with the Ryder Cup team we were able to make it work.
“The event days themselves also weren’t easy, with temperatures topping 30 degrees, it’s a huge site that wasn’t easy to get around. Add to that the hours worked and the sheer volume of guests, it was definitely hard work. Our team really does excel in prestigious and pressurised environments. Despite this, the feedback we’ve received from the Ryder Cup team, broadcasters and media alike has been excellent. We created a culinary and hospitality experience at the Ryder Cup that will be savoured in memory and flavour for many years to come.”