Birmingham NEC - A Reply To My Complaint/Suggestions

Got this the other day from one of the account managers at the NEC. (See previous post)

"Dear Debra,

Thank you for your feedback on your various dining experiences during your week working at The NEC for Spring Fair and I am sorry that we didn't meet your requirements during your visit.

NEC Group Catering prides itself on its high standards of food and beverage that offer a wide range of options to suit all tastes and special dietary requirements. Our front of house and back of house teams are trained to deal with all dietary requirements, and your enquiry should have been dealt with more professionally. I will be investigating your comments regarding dietary requests, and also the labelling of our salads with the operational management and culinary team, to ensure our normal high standards are maintained. It would be helpful if you could let me know which hall or area you were in where the chef was not able to help with your request, to assist with my enquiries.

Once again, thank you for taking the time to write and tell us about your experience. NEC Group Catering actively seeks, listens and responds to all feedback and your comments will be taken on board, particularly as we are currently planning a new range of menu items for 2010."

I replied saying;

"During my 4 exhibiting experiences at the NEC I have never spoken to any catering staff that showed any knowledge of wheat intolerance. On all 4 occasions, almost for fun, I've asked the people serving hot food what was suitable for my dietary requirements and the answer is always along the lines of "well...can you have chips?"

Me and others like me are pretty used to this sort of response but I figured that (as I mentioned in my previous email) the NEC need to provide for thousands of diners with all different dietary needs."


I admit I was very candid and slightly harsh with them but given the experience I had recently (that I'm only just recovering from) I was simply fed up with people working in the catering industry displaying large gaps in their knowledge of all things food. You wouldn’t sign up to be a priest and neglect to find out how the bread and wine thing worked.

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