Skip to main content

As Sodexo’s Presence at WNY Grows, So Does Its Sports and Events Hospitality Business | Business premises

By August 18, 2022September 18th, 2022Sports events





Sodexo live! seeks to expand site presence as Cheektowaga office becomes largest in US

At the height of the pandemic, when the sports hospitality market came to a standstill, Sodexo doubled down on its efforts in the event catering sector.

The company has rebranded its sports and leisure business as Sodexo Live! in September 2021, approximately four years after the purchase of major hospitality provider Centerplate. Even though the company’s hotel business fell by 90% about a year into the pandemic, Sodexo Live! was still hiring.

It was enough to convince Matthew Wagner to leave his position at competitor Delaware North during the pandemic in 2020 to lead Sodexo Live! as Senior Vice President of Business Development for North America.







Growth of Sadexo in Buffalo

Matthew Wagner, Senior Vice President of Business Development for North America, at the Sodexo offices in Cheektowaga on Tuesday, August 16, 2022.


Mark Mulville/Buffalo News


“What intrigued me was that Sodexo, at the height of the pandemic – when most people were draining their resources and laying off because of the weather – was looking to hire and had a strategic growth mindset” , said Wagner, an East Aurora. resident who started his career in financial services.

People also read…

It is in the Buffalo Niagara region that Sodexo has grown considerably. Buried in the back of an office park on Airborne Parkway in Cheektawaga is where the company has its largest North American presence.

Sodexo, a Fortune 100 company headquartered in Paris, had sales of more than $22 billion in the last fiscal year. It employs nearly 1,000 people in the Buffalo Niagara area, including 450 full-time employees in technology, accounting, finance and administration at the nearby Buffalo Niagara International Airport office. The company’s North America headquarters is outside of the Washington, DC area, but it’s only a fraction of the size of the Cheektowaga office.

Founded in 1966, Sodexo is a family business with founder Pierre Bellon’s daughter, Sophie, who now leads the company as global CEO and his other daughter Nathalie who takes the reins as global CEO of Sodexo Live!

About 60-65%, or $12 billion, of the company’s revenue in the last fiscal year came from North America, which is its biggest growth market. Sodexo live! is worth more than a billion dollars and is now in 250 theaters in North America.

Other parts of Sodexo’s hospitality business in universities, K-12 schools and in corporate services remained strong during the pandemic, helping to soften the blow to Sodexo Live!, Wagner said.

“Any growth aspirations we had have been abandoned because of the global situation,” he said. “But without a doubt, our business has come back strong. People want to come out and be part of the live entertainment and interact again.

Sodexo live! also serves convention and conference centers, airport lounges, cultural destinations and global events, such as the Super Bowl, WrestleMania, Formula 1 races and the Rugby World Cup. The company will also provide much of the athlete nutrition for the 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris.

The company has a long-standing relationship with M&T Bank, which dates back more than five decades. It is also the foodservice provider for the University at Buffalo, Seneca One Tower, Rich Products and Holiday Valley. Wagner sees growth opportunities with sports teams in Buffalo, Canalside, Outer Harbor and Niagara Falls.

Concessions to be won at the Bills’ new stadium

Delaware North has partnered with the Bills on their concession services since 1992, but the team has made it clear there will be a competitive process to select the food and beverage supplier for the new stadium, which is scheduled to open in the 2026 season.

As Delaware North plans to submit a proposal and “highly hopes to continue” its partnership with the Bills, according to a company spokesperson, the team’s desire for a taste of the scenery should spur sports hospitality providers and events to lick their chops.

Sodexo live! is one of the companies that has already said it plans to bid for concessions at the new Bills Stadium, which will be built opposite the current one on Abbott Road in Orchard Park.

Delaware North has also been a franchise partner of the Sabers since the team’s first year as a franchise in 1970.

Sodexo live! has managed franchises for 15 Super Bowls and is in a number of stadiums across North America, including Tim Hortons Field in southern Ontario, where the Legacy Classic between the Sabers and Maple Leafs took place. been played this year.

It’s also likely that Legends, which is already working with the Bills on marketing and data analytics for the new stadium, and other big hospitality players like Aramark, will bid for the new stadium concessions.

Want to know more? Three stories to catch up with you:

• The new Seneca One dining room offers fast and varied service to the public

Pandemic-hit Delaware North cuts 14% of full-time jobs in Buffalo area

Bills announces Legends will handle planning and sales at new stadium

Welcome to Buffalo Next. This newsletter from The Buffalo News will bring you the latest coverage on the changing economy of Buffalo Niagara – from real estate to healthcare to startups. Learn more at BuffaloNext.com.

Was this email forwarded to you? Sign up to get the latest news delivered to your inbox five days a week.

THE LAST

Keep up to date with the latest news from Buffalo Next:

Amazon takes a step back from its plan to seek more tax relief for its competing – but unoccupied – warehouse in Hamburg.

Two affordable housing projects for seniors in Niagara County have a new owner with major renovation projects.

A partnership between SUNY-Erie Community College and Erie County Medical Center should alleviate the nursing crisis and secure jobs for dozens of students.

An investor in one of the disputed ownership groups for the former AM&A building downtown won a legal victory.

A third warehouse is under construction for the former Bethlehem Steel site in Lackawanna.

Environmental clean-up costs drive up prices of an apartment project in North Tonawanda.

The developer of a residential complex for the elderly in Hamburg asks for tax breaks for the next phase of the project.

Mindy Rich says she’s ready to take over as president of Rich Products Corp.

ACV Auctions hit a speed bump, but despite slowing growth, the company’s CEO is optimistic about the long term.

The Frontier House renovation project in Lewiston and the new Trek facility in Niagara County receive tax relief.

A struggling pharmaceutical company Athenex raises $30 million by selling more shares of its stock.

Buffalo Mechanical Engineering Company Stark Tech acquired two Lancaster companies who manufacture equipment for the renewable energy industry.

Eight small businesses in Niagara County have received Covid relief grants.

Amazon gets $124 million in tax breaks for its large Niagara County distribution facility, but when will work start?

Ellicottville food company expands to grow more fresh greens — and seeking tax breaks to help pay.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is hold hearing in Buffalo on racial and economic justice issues later this month.

Mindy Rich takes over as president of Rich Products Corp. Her husband, Robert Rich Jr., moved into the role of senior chairman.

A retirement home in the city of Tonawanda was fined $53,000 by federal regulators after a resident died from a third story window earlier this year.

Plans for a large pot-growing business along the Lake Erie shoreline advance again.

More improvements are coming to the area around the Bell Slip at Buffalo’s outer harbor.

ICYMI

Five reads from Buffalo Next:

1. Why are car washes popping up all over the Buffalo Niagara area? There is a source of money from deep-pocketed investors that is helping regional and national chains expand into new markets, while family operators are also trying to cash in.

2. The local real estate market is still as dynamicalthough it has started to show signs of cooling down from its scorching state last year.

3. At Moog, a homegrown business takes off: With high-paying jobs, strong customer relationships, and technical expertise, Moog’s operations are the type of manufacturing business recruiters in the region are looking for more.

4. With the decline of Covid-19, tourists return to Niagara Falls. But international travelers have still not returned in numbers, leaving a big hole in the local tourism market. Inflation and fears of a slowing economy aren’t helping either.

5. Rich Products relies on innovation and new products to drive business growth — and a good portion of those efforts are based in Buffalo.

Buffalo Next reporters Jonathan D. Epstein, Jon Harris, Natalie Brophy, Matt Glynn, Samantha Christmann, Janet Gramza and Mike Petro contributed to this roundup.

The Buffalo Next team gives you insight into the economic revitalization of the region. Email advice to restaurant and retail industries and sports companies at buffalonext@buffnews.com or contact reporter Michael Petro at mjpetro@buffnews.com.