In 2004, The Front of House Organisation was formed on the back of 12 years of experience that we had gained managing the public side of concerts at the nations most beautiful stately homes. We recognised a lack of quality, service and choice that were on offer to the concert audience. With this in mind; a Brian Wilson and a colleague set up FOHO as a “one stop shop” for promoters to select from a list of services that we offered. These services included bar management, food concessions, brand awareness, site management and artist merchandise retail.
Within a matter of weeks, we had been awarded the contracts to manage all aspects for companies such as Live Nation, Stately Homes Tours and other smaller promoters. We supplied a selection of bespoke caterers, negotiated brewery supply deals, attracted brands such as Honda, Cointreau and Appletiser to market their products, managed the bar retail and sold over £750,000 worth of band merchandise in the first summer season of 8 weeks.
Since those early days the company has grown alongside the promoters but our direction changed with market forces and we are now recognised as the pioneers of high end “owner operator” catering and bespoke bar management.
From conception to delivery, we work with promoters to tailor the front of house operation to suit the site, the audience numbers, the audience profile, the food and drink offering, the management, staffing even down to cash collection and accounting package.
After many years of experience both within the company and through our associates, we have the experience to analyse a site to maximise the revenue by placing bars and caterers in the most suitable positions for structures, service vehicles, footfall and pedestrian movement. By understanding these elements; all aspects of a festival will flow properly and take the maximum revenue.
We are happy to attend Council and SAG meetings to contribute to the smooth running of the event.
Over the past 10 years we have built up a core of knowledge, brewery and wine brand partnerships, logistics and a warehouse of dedicated equipment and structures. We can build anything from a bespoke cocktail bar or real ale and craft beer tent, up to a 100 metre volume bar for the festival market and all from our stock of equipment.
Within our team we have a number of personal licence holders for both England, Wales and Scotland.
Over the many years we have built supply relationships with Carlsberg, Coors, Aspall, Adnams, Gaymers, Kopparberg, Black Tower and SH Jones wines and Otter Brewery to name but a few. All of these suppliers work on a sale or return basis, supplying in chiller trucks for the duration of the festival / events. We are happy to negotiate a unique supply deal if a promoter wishes to keep the bar operation and profit in house.
A decade ago, catering on music festivals was very much an ancillary service with a poor but necessary offer widely centred on the “burger and chips” market. As festival goers became more discerning, promoters realised that it was not just about selling tickets but more about the overall experience and profit centre. With this in mind, we endeavoured to attract owner operators to attend festivals. We now have over 120 caterers on our books covering all styles of international food, different approaches and feel of the retail units but with one overriding condition, “you must serve a quality product and not a cardiac arrest in a bun”. As the festival audience became more sophisticated and worldly, they required a food offering to match, the result being that a burger is no longer the default setting.
From an administrative point of view, we market the festivals and events on our website. Caterers apply, and we select the caterers that “fit” the feel of each event. In consultation with the promoter we’ll set the desired fee / percentage. Caterers can upload their EHO documents to our website that are then available for inspection by Council Environmental Officers.
Finally, we will manage the catering area from arrival and throughout the festival.
Over the past 20 years we have actively courted brands to attend our events where they have the opportunity to market and promote their brand and products to a captive audience. We have worked with many companies both experiential and brand owners such as Diageo, Ernst Julio and Gallo, Black Tower, Gran Marnia, Cointreau, Beringer, Crabbies and Honda to name but a few.
All of the brands and their agents will match their target demographic to that of the event. In certain cases they wish to promote at the same time as retail their products, such as Fevertree who very successfully attended the three Rewind Festivals in 2015.