National Gallery of Victoria

Client: National Gallery of Victoria

Excellence in catering helps art come to life at the NGV

The Project

Art comes to life at the National Gallery of Victoria, and the demand is immense: 2.8 million visitors in the year to July 2017, and in early 2018, the NGV Triennial attracting one million visits in its own right.

To connect with this ever-growing audience and share its vision for the arts in Victoria, the NGV runs a program of events, entertainment and educational programming around its world class exhibitions. From the blockbuster NGV Gala to exhibition launch parties, lectures and popular drawcards such as NGV Friday Nights, the catering requirement is complex, demanding and broad in scope.

With the previous catering services contract spanning two premises – the NGV International on St Kilda Road and the NGV Australia (The Ian Potter Gallery) in Federation Square – and delivered via pop-up bars for exhibitions and special events, three cafes, a restaurant and bar and the NGV Members Lounge, a review was needed to identify the best strategy to achieve high quality, financially sustainable catering services.

Our Role

A range of different management models were reviewed to determine the best fit for the NGV’s mix of functions and spaces. Interrogating rent structure, operating costs, and likely returns over leasing, licensing agreements, a partnership model and a management agreement, we evaluated the differing levels of commercial risk, and the ability for the NGV to ensure quality service delivery. While most cultural institutions including the NGV have in the past preferred a single operator delivery model, The Maytrix Group investigated the potential for a multiple operator delivery model to achieve a competitive operating environment and minimise commercial and reputational risk. The capacity to adopt a more nimble contracting model can be constrained by catering infrastructure, a factor The Maytrix Group recommends should be considered in forward planning by all cultural  institutions.

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