By Communications Department
The New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center (NOENMCC) hosted an anniversary event with their hospitality solutions partner, Centerplate. The event commemorated the ten-year anniversary of a groundbreaking relationship between a venue and a food and beverage provider, which was constructed to be about the food and experience before any financial terms were negotiated. Commemorating the anniversary, Convention Center leaders also celebrated Centerplate’s commitment to the local hospitality industry in New Orleans, having engaged with local small businesses and the New Orleans community at large.
“Our partnership with our exclusive catering and concessions provider, Centerplate, aligns with our delivering unrivaled results for our customers, and has reached far beyond our mission by supporting our community and local small businesses. Additionally, together we have made significant progress with our numerous sustainability initiatives, which are vital to New Orleans,” said Michael J. Sawaya, Convention Center President. “We look forward to continuing this fundamental relationship and furthering the positive affect we are having on our local community.”
Beginning in 2011, NOENMCC selected Centerplate as its hospitality solutions partner based on the company’s ability to create and feature New Orleans cuisine. The contract also offered a unique evergreen component that annually added a year to the agreement based upon Centerplate reaching certain measurable thresholds. Throughout the partnership, Centerplate reimagined the dining experience for visitors to the Center with menus and atmosphere that reflected the culture of local New Orleans culinary experience. The partnership and the collaboration goes far beyond food and beverage; together they built relationships with small businesses to showcase local brands and made significant food donations to local non-profits.
In 2020, Centerplate and the Convention Center were awarded a Food Recovery Certification from the Food Recovery Network, a national nonprofit that works with large event centers across the country to fight hunger by donating excessive food items to those in need. The partnership was recognized for their food donation commitments to local organizations including Bethel Colony and Second Harvest Food Bank. As well, in 2019, with combined efforts between the two organizations, the Convention Center launched a new composting initiative to save thousands of pounds of compostable items with an interactive employee education event.
“The success of our partnership with the Convention Center stems from a mutual goal of providing world class customer service and a drive to deliver locally-inspired menus to give our visitors the full New Orleans experience,” said Steve Pangburn, Chief Executive Officer, Centerplate/ Sodexo Sports & Leisure. “We look forward to many more years of providing true New Orleans style hospitality and creating exceptional moments for the visitors of the Convention Center.”
Convention Center President Michael J. Sawaya and Steve Pangburn, Chief Executive Officer, Centerplate/ Sodexo Sports & Leisure, share a toast to 10 years of partnership between Centerplate and the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.