Lyndy Redding – chef, founder and head of Absolute Taste, an impressive Formula 1 hospitality company, gives us five tips on how to provide better service than guests can possibly imagine.
Click here to subscribe to our print edition!
- Food is key
Since the very beginning, our food has been the most important thing we do. We really are about absolutely delicious food. Our 70 chefs and taste always come first. Every time we travel, our chefs tailor the menus to the country we are in, carefully sourcing the best ingredients from local markets and producers to create highlights of the local cuisine for VIP, Team and Sponsor menus. Whether it’s charcuterie plates filled with chorizo, aged Iberico and serrano hams for Barcelona Grand Prix, Hung Shao pork in Shanghai, fabulous cherries still warm from the sun and amazing cheeses in Monaco or the best from the markets in Melbourne, we always reflect the tastes of the country. We combine these with some of our favourites, like our Absolute Taste brownie or long cheese straws, which will always be in the paddock – everyone always asks for them!
- Organisational experience
You must try working in the paddock of Formula 1 – until you have done it, it’s nearly impossible to understand. I have been working in Formula 1 for over 20 years, it’s where I started out once I’d gained my Cordon Bleu Diploma at Tante Marie. Motorsport is really the foundation on which the rest of Absolute Taste has been built, doing the near-impossible stands you in great state to do anything else that is put in front of you. Formula 1 certainly pushes you to the edge of the impossible, we never say no and that has its challenges. If there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that you have to be organised – having as much prepared in advance and careful planning of every detail makes a race a much less stressful place.
- Logistical know-how
Away from the fast-paced action of the race, it’s our job to make sure that the team gets fantastic food and service in the paddock. We strive for a consistent look and feel at every Grand Prix along with the highest standards of hospitality. Formula 1 is one of the most logistically challenging environments to work in, so creating this familiar environment in so many cities requires flawless logistical know-how; from shipping the equipment all over the world, strict scheduling and tight turnarounds to how to find specific flowers or ingredients in any of the cities we visit.
- Madly passionate staff
We get as many compliments about our staff as we do for our food. If they’re not passionate about working for Absolute Taste, they simply don’t work for the company. We have nurtured a dedicated team who travel to every race made up of creative, professional and hard-working individuals who are the face of the team for every guest or team member in the paddock. The McLaren ethos continues to influence our staff – to be the best at what we do! Our team is the fun face and they’re here to make everyone happy and content as well as being there for a chat or just a shoulder to lean on.
- Details, details, details!
I think what people love about us is our attention to detail which is the McLaren way. We deliver a bespoke service to the team and work within the McLaren Brand Guidelines. Whether it is a Johnnie Walker whiskey ice cream or a special kind of chocolate to fit in with our corporate partners, it’s always fun and it’s always made in the very best way possible. We know our guests – we know what they love and what they want – so the service is pretty much bespoke for everyone.