The foodservice contract for Chicago’s McCormick Place convention and exhibition facility will be scrapped and replaced with a contract that lowers prices for catering and concessions customers, reports the Chicago Tribune. The Metropolitan Pier & Exposition Authority, which owns and operates McCormick Place, has notified the current contract holder, Chicago Restaurant Partners, that it is scrapping the current 10-year deal after less than three years because it is hampering efforts to win business.
According to the Tribune, McCormick Place recently lost two major trade shows in part because of concerns over the high cost of exhibiting, including foodservice costs.
Chicago Restaurant Partners, a joint venture that includes Levy Restaurants and Phil Stefani Signature Restaurants Co., along with a minority-owned minority partner, currently operates on a P&L, with the Metropolitan Authority receiving a percentage of gross sales that totaled around $6 million last year. The new deal sought by the Authority would replace that with some type of management fee arrangement, one that would also give the Authority greater say in end-user pricing. It is also exploring the possibility of bidding the catering and concessions ends of the business separately.
Chicago Restaurant Partners currently operates both services under a single contract. The firm, which will continue to operate McCormick Place’s food services during the transition, says it plans to bid on the business under the revised conditions when they are put forth, probably in about a year.