The RP Funding Center has a new concessionaire. Levy Premium Foodservice has taken over, replacing Spectra, which provided food service to the center since 2009.
This will add to Chicago-based Levy’s Central Florida lineup, which includes two larger venues: Amway Center in Orlando and Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg.
After city commissioners approved the contract on Feb. 1, Levy was catering the bare-knuckle boxing event that weekend. “They knocked it out of the park with a great start to the partnership,” said Tony Camarillo, director of the RP Funding Center, prepping for this week’s state high school girls basketball tournament and next week’s boys basketball tournament.
The pandemic has hampered the entertainment industry, meaning fewer events and fewer food and beverage sales. To ensure profitability during a pandemic, the city’s agreement with Levy allows Levy to withhold commissions paid to the city if profits are below a threshold. These commissions are around $500,000 annually for a non-pandemic year.
The city and Spectra did not come to an agreement to extend the now-expired contract and Spectra did not submit a proposal to the center’s request for proposals in February 2020. The agreement had been extended twice previously. When the agreement lapsed in June of that year, local caterers were used to bridge the gap.
Part of what differentiated Levy’s proposal in the RFP processe is their data-driven sales approach, which would be shared with the center, aimed at increasing revenues and in turn commissions. Examples of this could include strategically upselling from chicken to steak, or adjusting prices on market factors.
The five-year agreement will lapse in February 2026 but can be renewed. Five-year agreements for concessionaires are typical.
“We’re excited. It’s a quality company. They’ve got quality people,” said Camarillo. “We’re excited. We’re very excited.”