The Legoland theme parks in California and Florida will be outsourcing their food operations to Aramark, parent company Merlin Entertainments announced today.
The multi-year contract also will include food and beverage operations at Alton Towers Resort, Chessington World of Adventures Resort, Thorpe Park Resort, Warwick Castle, and Legoland Windsor Resort in the United Kingdom, in addition to the two U.S. theme parks.
"At Merlin Entertainments' resorts and hotels across the seven locations, Aramark will be introducing food and beverage programmes that offer family and guest favourites, fresh concepts, fun themes and engaging events, coupled with industry-leading technology solutions to make it easy and convenient for visitors to navigate the varied choices," the company said in its press release. "Each resort and hotel will have its own unique portfolio of food and beverage offerings based on the personality of the location."
Aramark provides food service operations and hospitality management at colleges, sports stadiums, hospitals, and attractions around the world. The switch to Aramark operation will happen by this March at the UK parks and by the end of March 2023 in California and Florida. The move will mean that food and beverage employees at those theme parks no longer will work for Merlin but for Aramark.
"Merlin Entertainments and Aramark will work closely to ensure that food and beverage employees are supported as they transition to employment with Aramark," the press release said. I have reached out to a Legoland representative for more information on the employment situation. (Update below.)
"Building an innovative and high-quality food and beverage offering for our guests is part of our continued business strategy to deliver the very best guest days out and short breaks," Merlin CEO Nick Varney said. "Aramark's accomplishments in driving world-class hospitality programmes at many of the most prestigious sporting events, iconic locations, and leading destinations in the world makes them a great partner to elevate our food offering as part of the magic and memorable experiences we offer our guests."
Update: A Merlin spokesperson forwarded this comment from Aramark in response to my question:
"Aramark values the experience of Merlin's food service staff and is excited to offer them the opportunity to join the company in comparative roles and with comparative compensation packages. Aramark is working side by side with Merlin and are committed to a seamless transition for our employees. Moving over to Aramark, a global food service provider, will offer increased professional development and career pathing for the Merlin team."
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