Sheffield Wednesday: Owls chief Joe Palmer calls on fans to stay patient following catering change

Chief operating officer Joe Palmer is convinced Sheffield Wednesday will reap long-term benefits from bringing their catering operation back in-house.
Joe PalmerJoe Palmer
Joe Palmer

After listening to widespread feedback, particularly at the club’s Steering Group meetings, the Championship club opted to make the change last month.

The move saw them end their five-year association with catering partners Centerplate, formerly Lindley Venue Catering.

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Palmer, appointed the Owls’ new CEO at the start of July, described the change as a “no-brainer”.

“We feel it will make a big difference in terms of optimising our revenue,” he told The Star. “We are not giving money out to a third party anymore.

“It was a no-brainer to bring the catering in-house.

“If you are producing a better product, you can have more control over the margins. You can have more control over the quality which should, in turn, see better revenues.

“We are not tied to anything so we can try different things. We should be able to respond a lot better to fans needs and requests because we are now totally 100 per cent in control and engaging with them.

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“Hopefully we will see dividends in terms of the amount people are spending.”

Wednesday provided their new in-house service for the first time against Leeds United and Palmer felt it “went really well”.

He said: “It went fantastic and the feedback we received was very positive.

“We were prepared from a service point of view as we have brought a lot of the same people in house so they know what they are doing.

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“The early kick-off games are more difficult to do with breakfast and aren’t always easy ones to know how to play but it went really well.”

Palmer admits it has been “quite intense” over the last few weeks and is appealing to supporters to remain patient.

He said: “We have a lot of ideas on what we want to do both in quality and service. It is not going to happen overnight.

“We know we need to be serving more people and quicker. We need to do it with the right amount of hospitality. It’s got to be a service with a smile.

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“The staff have quite a big role to play in regards to keeping a positive atmosphere in the stadium. Ultimately, we think we are going to see big benefits with what we can provide for fans.”

Pick up tomorrow’s Star for a special feature on Joe Palmer.