St James’ Park – home to Newcastle United – is one of the region’s foremost conference and event venues, hosting everything from small meetings to large scale conferences and even X-Factor auditions.
Now staff at Sodexo Prestige, which manages conferencing and events at the stadium, are celebrating after being awarded maximum points in an independent customer satisfaction survey.
An inspector from Hospitality GEM, which specialises in mystery shopper-style surveys of catering and leisure companies, visited St James’ Park earlier this month (14 March) on the pretext of enquiring about holding a conference.
Throughout the course of the visit they secretly scored staff on a wide range of aspects, such as the way in which their enquiry was handled, the welcome they were given and their first impressions of the staff and the venue.
Staff were also rated according to their telephone manner when arranging the visit and the way in which the visit was followed up.
Not only did Sodexo Prestige score 100 per cent in every field but the inspector commented, “I was made to feel very welcome, that my requirements were important and that I would receive personal service.”
They added: “This is an excellent city centre venue with free car parking and great buffet options. Experienced staff are also a big advantage to avoid overlooking key things in the arrangements.”
Along with a variety of meeting rooms, conference suites and boxes – many of which overlook the pitch - St James’ Park boasts the largest function room in the North East, The Bamburgh, which can seat up to 1000, making it a popular choice not just for conferences but for weddings and civil ceremonies. “St James’ Park is a premier league venue in more ways than one,” said general manager Frankie Angus “and this independent report is proof that we can score both on and off the pitch. “I am delighted – although not surprised - with the results.”