Footballers Jack Rodwell and Adam Johnson with Steve Welch
Jamie Hardesty

Sunderland AFC to diversify hospitality with new recruit

Sunderland Football Club are continuing to diversify hospitality catering, appointing internationally experienced chef, Steve Welch, as business development and executive head chef.

SAFC are enhancing their hospitality experience, catering beyond matchday crowds and reaching new audiences.

Whilst Steve will be heavily involved in large-scale matchday catering, 43,217 attended Sunderland’s previous home game against Manchester United, he will also contribute to SAFC’s new ventures.

The recently opened Beach House restaurant at Roker Beach and SAFC’s growing external catering arm, 1879 Event Management, will both benefit from his experience.

SAFC’s hospitality extends to concerts, conference events, weddings, graduations and proms, as well as being the sole caterer for the National Glass Centre.

The club also catered for the recent Newcastle Pride event of 75, 000 attendees.

Steve is already familiar with large scale North East catering, working on the catering operation for the Tall Ships Race 2010, as well as working for another major North East sporting venue, Newcastle Falcons Rugby Club.

He will be working closely with senior development chef, Patrick Lesca, plus the existing team at the stadium along with developing the on-going relationship with Sunderland College to support the next generation of young chefs.

Steve said: “This is a very exciting opportunity for me.

“SAFC and 1879 Event Management already have an excellent reputation operating in a very competitive industry and part of my role will be to ensure we’re already ahead of the game.

“I’ll be looking at menu development and will be ensuring that we are innovative and looking at what’s on trend, so we are always ahead of the competition.”

Commercial director at SAFC, Gary Hutchinson, said: “We are delighted to have Steve as part of our team.”

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