Catering, hospitality and event management specialist Sodexo has strengthened its senior operations team at The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park in Belfast, Ireland, with a number of hospitality-focused appointments.

Fritz Machala will take on the role of head chef at the venue, while Chris Black is to become sales manager, according to Hospitality & Catering News.

Machala boasts over 25 years’ experience working in the catering and hospitality industry, spending time working to Michelin Star and 3 AA Rosette standards, as well as establishing his own restaurant in the form of Strudel Bistro.

Speaking about his new role, Machala said: “With my extensive experience for producing first-class modern cuisine using local produce, this is a perfect fit for me and I’m very much looking forward to using the best of Belfast’s fresh and responsibly sourced local produce to create innovative new menus at the stadium.”

Meanwhile, Black takes on his new role at Windsor Park having worked both in business and residential field sales, as well as a series of management roles. He will be tasked with securing new business opportunities for the Belfast venue.

Black said: “I have gained a great deal of practical experience and industry insight in my previous positions and this new role will allow me to combine this knowledge and channel it into supporting the venue and its growth plans over the coming years.”

The double appointment comes on the back of major redevelopment work at the venue, which, completed last year, resulted in more seating, four main function suites, 10 executive boxes, a museum, event spaces in the changing rooms, press room and a players’ lounge.

David Trotter, divisional director at Sodexo Sports & Leisure, said: “We have ambitious plans to drive new business to The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park, and these two new appointments will go a long way towards securing its status as a must-see venue.”

Image: Citizen69