ORLANDO, Fla. (FNS) -- A major food-service contract was snatched away from Gooding's Hospitality Services, a division of Gooding's Supermarkets here, after one of the retailer's partners in the venture ended up on the selling block.
Negotiations to handle concessions and related food services at three sports and entertainment venues here were called off by the Orlando City Council when Ogden Entertainment -- Gooding's principal partner in the plan -- was put up for sale by its parent company.
"The [Orlando City Council] was concerned with a company that they don't know what's going to change," said Bill Becker, director of the Orlando Arena, one of the three facilities, home to the National Basketball Association's Orlando Magic. "It was nothing about Gooding's. They are very well respected in this market."
Ogden and Gooding's, along with Malik Ali, a minority employee recruiter in Orlando, would have headed up food service for the Arena, the Florida Citrus Bowl and the Bob Carr Performing Arts Center, all located here [see "Sports Arena Food-Service Team Formed By Gooding's," SN, Oct. 4, 1999].
Gooding's had proposed sweeping changes in food service for the arena's skyboxes, private club and concessions, including the addition of upscale items such as sushi. Now, the three-year contract (with an option of another two years) for the Arena belongs to Orlando Foodservice Partners, with Levy Restaurants, Chicago, as the majority owner and Arthur Lee as the minority owner.