The National Exhibition Centre (NEC) has boosted its selection of on-site food and drink by adding premium pizza brand, Barrel & Stone, to its growing list of retail F&B outlets.
The new store – located on the Piazza side of the NEC – will be operated by in-house caterers Amadeus as a franchise operation.
Launched to visitors to the NEC in March, Barrel & Stone is known for its handcrafted, freshly prepared stone baked pizza, using the freshest Italian ingredients. Also offering craft beer, gelato and artisan coffee, the 50-cover restaurant will offer visitors yet another place to dine at the NEC which continues to grow its retail F&B offering year on year.
In an exciting move for Barrel & Stone this is the first time they have launched a standalone retail unit, with the brand usually seen within pubs and hotels around the UK within its network of Barrel & Stone ‘pizza premises’, operated by pizza ambassadors.
Russell Hardiman, Managing Director of Barrel & Stone, said: “We’re really pleased to be working with Amadeus and to have launched our first standalone retail unit at the NEC. People visiting the venue can enjoy a quality, authentic Italian offering, either by sitting and relaxing in the restaurant or using the grab and go takeaway offering.”
Amadeus continues to develop the F&B offering available at the NEC to cope with the growing number of visitors attending events and exhibitions year on year. Barrel & Stone has been introduced to the venue as part of wider development plans which will see Amadeus launch a range of of exciting street food options in the months to come.
Kane Bridgman, General Manager for Amadeus at the NEC, said:
“We are constantly looking to refresh our F&B offering for visitors to the NEC based on the latest trends in the food industry at large. With a venue like the NEC – which sees over 500 events every year – visitors want something quick, easy and delicious to sustain them throughout the day.
“With all of our brands and retail units now we are looking to bring the convenience and theatre of street food into the venue and our events. Barrel & Stone really appealed to us as a concept as it boasts premium pizzas with a street food feel.
“The introduction of Barrel & Stone is just the beginning of our ambitious development plans to bring a wider range of authentic street food to the NEC in the coming months.”
The new franchise adds clout to Amadeus’ retail arm of the business which already sees it run highly profitable franchise operations for Starbucks at the NEC and the International Convention Centre (ICC), and Subway at the ICC, alongside its growing portfolio of venues and events.