LIMERICK company Masterchefs Hospitality will feed thousands of visitors in the village built to welcome the Volvo Ocean Race to Galway after securing a contract as the main caterer for the high profile event.
The company, who employ 100 people full time and nearly 200 on a part-time basis, will now hire more than 200 extra staff for the event, billed as the biggest catering contract on offer in Ireland this year.
A 17 acre Global Village - boasting conference, exhibition and networking facilities located in South Park - has been built specifically for the event and Masterchefs will manage all the food operations for the arena, as well as executive areas and ‘on-water hospitality’, serving steak, seafood and gourmet burgers to thousands of hungry punters.
Pat O’Sullivan, MD of the company, who provide catering services in the University of Limerick and Thomond Park, said securing the contract was “huge”.
“It is massive, it is the biggest gig that there is in Ireland this year, it is a huge event,” he said, declaring it “twice as big as the Ryder Cup”, which was held in 2006 in the K Club.
“Obviously we are well known, but we are still a relatively small Limerick company, and to be winning a major national contract like this is phenomenal,” added Mr O’Sullivan.
“Every caterer in Ireland went for this contract, so it is a great honour for us to be chosen, for sure.”
Masterchefs will bring up to 40 key personnel from Limerick to Galway for the duration of the ten day event, but will be hiring up to 200 more temporary staff.
“We will hire a considerable amount in Galway because we don’t have the accommodation, but anybody that has accommodation available to them we are certainly hiring at our Limerick office,” explained Mr O’Sullivan.
The Masterchefs boss said the fact that the company have been catering in NUIG for several years aided the successful bid.
“That certainly helped. We have had five restaurants in NUIG for seven years,” he explained.
“We do several large events annually in Galway and would be the main corporate caterer on campus,” he added.
Micheline McNamara, MD of the company set up to manage the village, said that Masterchefs were “a highly skilled professional organisation” who “have a reputation for ensuring food quality”.
“We are certainly very excited to see what gastronomic experiences they create for the many expected visitors to Galway,” she said.