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Wimbledon Fortnight 3rd to 16th July

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Wimbledon Fortnight 3rd to 16th July

Since it’s the time of year when our thoughts are of strawberries and cream and tennis, we’ve been delving into what goes on at Wimbledon and uncovered a few facts we’d like to share.

Would you believe the Wimbledon Championships are widely regarded as the most prestigious tennis tournament in the world and since they have been held for 140 years, they’re the oldest?

The inaugural event took place on 9th July 1877. Only a gentlemen’s singles contest was held, in which 22 players competed. The final, watched by 200 spectators who’d paid a shilling each to be there, was won by Spencer Gore.

Astonishingly no major prize money was awarded until as recently as 1968, when the tournament allowed professional tennis players to take part. Rod Laver won the men’s singles and received £2,000. American Billie-Jean King was women’s champion and received £750.

Over the next 50 years Wimbledon grew in popularity and expanded in dimension. Now the Centre Court can hold up to 15,000 spectators, each paying £190 to watch the men’s final, with prize money for the singles’ winners (men and women) £2.2m each (out of a total prize pot of £31.6m).

OK, so what’s that got to do with foodservice?

Well, during popular and prestigious events such as Wimbledon it’s up to the caterers to make sure everyone’s well-fed and watered. And contrary to what anyone might believe, it doesn’t mean just selling pots of strawberries and cream and cups of tea.

At Wimbledon there are 3-course lunch picnics (standard, vegetarian and gluten-free) to prepare, afternoon tea picnics to pack, corporate hospitality events to organise, staff to feed, players to look after …

Its catering company estimates that over the fortnight it will serve:

  • 190,000 sandwiches
  • 130,000 lunches
  • 150,000 bath buns, scones, pasties and doughnuts
  • 135,000 ice creams
  • 30,000 portions of fish and chips
  • 22,000 slices of pizza

And visitors will drink:

  • 300,000 cups of tea and coffee
  • 150,000 glasses of Pimm's
  • 100,000 pints of draught beer and lager
  • 17,000 bottles of champagne
  • 250,000 bottles of water

But what about the strawberries and cream?

Well this year the caterers have ordered 7,000 litres of dairy cream to pour over 28 tonnes of strawberries, currently ripening in the fields of Kent. That’s about 2.5 million berries, which if laid end to end would stretch about 75 km – about the same distance from Clitheroe to Huddersfield!  

But there’s more to making event catering a success than sheer volume of ingredients.

Wimbledon’s caterers’ recipe for success involves selecting the best products from the British Isles where possible, using high quality ingredients and providing excellent service.

We’ll drink to that!

If you need help with your event catering menu planning and supplies – whether it’s for weddings, corporate, sports, private parties – just chat to a member of the friendly sales team at Total Foodservice on 01484 536 688 (Huddersfield) or 01254 828 330 (Clitheroe)

 

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