One growing concern targeting the corporate dining segment exclusively is Prime Business Dining, a division of a commercial restaurant and catering concern called Mazzone Management. Based in Scotia, NY, Mazzone formally entered the onsite world in 2010 when it launched Prime, but the company had already been operating one small B&I café venue at AYCO, a division of Goldman-Sachs, for five years.
“We are the largest caterer in the Northeast,” says Prime’s president, Amanda Piccolo, who was brought on board to run Prime after a career in onsite foodservice with Chartwells. “Clients have often asked us to manage their dining rather than just providing catering but the company was reluctant because we want to make sure that what we do meets our quality standards.”
Prime was formed when Mazzone decided to bid for a large local contract, a major semiconductor plant to be built by Global Foundries in nearby Malta. Global Foundries was looking for a caterer to operate the temporary foodservices needed by the construction crews that would be building the huge 1.3 billion sq. ft. facility.
Mazzone won that bid in late 2009 and began operating the temporary dining facility, named the Foundry, early the following year. The Foundry is an 8,000-sq.ft. “dining tent” that serves over 2,000 workers engaged in building the plant, all on tight time windows that require them to be served in six minutes or less. The food is prepared in a separate kitchen (safety codes prohibit cooking in the tent) and transported to the serving area. The menu is expansive and diverse to prevent “menu fatigue” and to meet the expectations of a customer base that has come from more than two dozen states and countries.
Mazzone used the Foundry to demonstrate its dining management expertise to Global Foundries, a successful strategy as it turns. The company has since landed the contract to operate dining in the permanent plant when it opens next year.
In addition to Global Semiconductor and AYCO, Prime also manages the cafeteria operation for the headquarters of supermarket chain Golub Corp. in Schenectady, where it serves more than 700 meals a day.
Piccolo says Prime intends to concentrate only on the B&I segment. “Our strategy is to help business catering clients with their dining needs,” she says.