What is the VisitFootball Best Matchday hospitality criteria?
VisitFootball has been assessing the welcome and overall experience, via mystery shopper visitors, that fans and guests receive at football grounds since August 2010 – all 20 Premier League Clubs are automatically entered – and awards those clubs who deliver outstanding customer service every season. The awards encourage best practice and so Premier League clubs work harder to ensure the fans feel welcome.
The team at VisitFootball asses the whole of the hospitality function – the entire journey – everything from the website and email comms, a first booking phone call to the experience on the day itself. The assessment team consider literally everything; stadium signage, cleanliness, friendliness of staff, the welcome and of course the food, drink and service. The process is rigorous and nothing goes unnoticed.
What made Watford FC’s hospitality stand out?
Watford FC has something unique, the absolute best pitch views, from the majority of its hospitality suites, in the Premier League. The restaurants have stunning panoramic views with floor to ceiling windows. There are numerous restaurant options on site including The Gallery which opened three years ago and follows a format much like a restaurant, boasting an evolving seasonal a ’la carte menu which isn’t the norm at a football stadium.
There are a variety of dining options;
- The Gallery and Carbon offering a five choice a ‘la carte menu
- Grazing style in The View
- A carvery in the Sir Elton John Suite
- Brand new for the 2019/20 season is a steak house in The Grill and Horizons, offering authentic street food
The fans experience is key for Watford FC and so they keep to a very strict team criteria with its hospitality, catering and event offering, specifically around keeping it personal – so many of the larger stadium teams worry firstly about the financials of the bottom line, and not the customer experience.
If this wasn’t enough, the club also boasts a Head Chef who himself has cooked for US presidents and various members of the UN. When the kitchen team is led by a chef of that stature the quality and service was going to be hard to beat.