VRC welcomes Crown as its new hospitality services partner

13 April 2022 Written by VRC

In a partnership that is set to strengthen Melbourne’s position as the events capital of Australia, two of the nation’s biggest hospitality brands have today announced a three year premium hospitality agreement that will see Crown oversee hospitality venues for the Victoria Racing Club (VRC) at its home of the Lexus Melbourne Cup, Flemington Racecourse.

Following an extensive tender process, the three-year partnership commences this week and sees Crown Melbourne managing hospitality offerings across the VRC’s Flemington Racecourse complex including restaurants, bars, retail and function venues for all race days, as well as the club’s non-race day events business.

The partnership will ensure Australia’s premier racecourse grows as a leading venue for weddings, events and conferences, with Crown set to market Flemington’s unique precinct and facilities  – extending to 30 venues, including The Club Stand, and deliver food services to the VRC’s 400,000 race day customers each year.

The revamped culinary program will include some of Crown’s most highly regarded chefs, a revitalised retail offering for VRC members, corporate and general admission customers and additional pop-ups by some of Crown’s culinary stars during the Melbourne Cup Carnival, beginning with Penfolds Victoria Derby Day on Saturday 29 October.

VRC Chief Executive Officer, Steve Rosich, says it is a partnership to celebrate.

“The VRC and Crown are world leaders in creating exceptional experiences for customers and this new partnership will have a transformative effect on the VRC’s food and service offering,” Mr Rosich said.

“From a full degustation experience in The Byerley to a simple snack on the famous Flemington front lawn, we are thrilled to usher in a new era of culinary excellence at Headquarters. This is a partnership to savour for everyone who frequents Flemington.”

This move by Crown is consistent with a recent diversification strategy that has seen the largest single site hospitality employer in Melbourne expand into off-property and at-home services – a business evolution that began with COVID-19.

Crown Resorts Chief Executive Officer, Steve McCann, says the partnership of two of Melbourne’s institutions will strengthen both brands and help further cement Melbourne as the home of racing and events, with a significant flow-on effect across Victoria’s tourism, hospitality and events industries.

“Crown Melbourne’s partnership with the VRC marks an exciting next chapter for what has already been a 20 year strong relationship between two quintessential Melbourne brands. Alignments like this not only signal that Victoria is back open for business, they also help to future-proof Melbourne’s position as the country’s home of major events,” Mr McCann said.

“Today is a good day for Victoria. Not only will this partnership support over 1,500 jobs on-site, Crown and the VRC have a strong commitment to local suppliers as part of this deal. Between $15-$20 million in goods and services will be procured each year, with over 90 per cent of those products coming from local Victorian businesses and suppliers.”

“Partnering our unparalleled food experience with one of Melbourne’s finest institutions and experiences at Flemington Racecourse is a natural alignment for us and an extension of many years of partnership. Together we will help to continue the great reputation that Melbourne has as the food and events capital of Australia.”