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Indianapolis Museum of Art Names Sodexo as New Foodservice Provider for On-site Restaurant

INDIANAPOLIS, IN.- The Indianapolis Museum of Art has selected Sodexo, Inc., as the new foodservice provider for its on-site restaurant. Additionally, Sodexo and Indianapolis-based Kahn’s Catering will become the Museum’s preferred caterers for events at the IMA. In the coming weeks, Sodexo will work with the Museum to develop an original restaurant concept and an innovative menu that reflect the IMA’s rich cultural offerings and deep commitment to sustainability.

Sodexo, Inc. brings to the IMA the strong capabilities and vast resources of a global foodservice provider with demonstrated experience in customer-focused restaurant operations and event catering at some of the world’s most recognized institutions and events. Additionally, Sodexo is an industry leader in sustainability and will establish a network of local vendors and maintain environmentally conscious operations. The company will commence full-service restaurant operations and catering at the IMA within the next three months. Foodservice will continue uninterrupted during the transition.

Kahn’s Catering, an established premium caterer based in Indianapolis, has provided catering services for a variety of internal and external events at the IMA since 1999. Kahn’s Catering will remain a preferred caterer at the IMA, in addition to Sodexo.

“We are pleased to partner with Sodexo and Kahn’s Catering to create a unique dining experience for IMA visitors and event guests to enjoy in the near future,” said Jack Leicht, chief operating officer at the IMA. “Both companies are committed to the same values as the Museum, and we are confident that they will offer a high level of quality and service at the IMA.”

The selection of Sodexo, Inc., as restaurant operator at the IMA is the culmination of a sixmonth-long process that included a cross-departmental committee. In September 2008, the IMA began an RFP process in order to restructure its foodservice operations by moving from a management fee arrangement to a profit-and-loss arrangement.

“We were impressed with Sodexo’s high culinary standards, comprehensive sustainability plan and outstanding customer service,” said Tracie Kowalczyk, IMA event and foodservice director. “Sodexo truly understands the IMA visitor.”

Other factors that drove the selection of Sodexo include its strong business performance, proactive plan for cultivating the Museum’s event-catering services, adaptability to the IMA’s varied catering needs, a Museum sponsorship and food and beverage discounts for IMA members.

“We are also pleased to strengthen our existing relationship with Kahn’s Catering, which has delighted event guests with its innovative cuisine and professional service since 1999,” said Kowalczyk.

The IMA will work with Sodexo to consolidate the Museum’s existing restaurant and café concepts into a single casual-dining restaurant with an adjacent venue to be used for special events. The space will include a new design concept incorporating a combination of table seating and lounge furnishings. The IMA will continue to offer free Wi-Fi service in the renovated café space and throughout the Museum.

The menu will include a variety of fresh, healthy and seasonal options sourced from local vendors whenever possible, including hot and cold entrees, snacks, to-go items, children’s options and a barista service offering gourmet coffee and other hot beverages. Menu selections will take advantage of local and seasonal produce and will include grass-fed beef, free-range chicken, organic products and shade-grown coffee. Price points will range from $1 to $11.

Restaurant hours will be similar to the Museum’s gallery hours and will include a Sunday brunch. Sodexo is currently conducting interviews to fill the position of head chef, and additional restaurant and event staff will be recruited in the coming weeks.

Events and Catering
The newly repurposed event facility that formerly housed Puck’s will be available for a variety of special events, such as corporate luncheons and wedding receptions. The venue offers visitors a spectacular view of the Sutphin Fountain and its surrounding gardens and a dramatic 800-ft. tree-lined allée. The space has a seating capacity of 80.

Additionally, Sodexo will organize special events within the scope of the restaurant’s original concept and will work with IMA event staff to further develop the Museum’s catering business and its popular after-hours events: Happy Hour, held every Thursday night from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. and AMP (Art, Music, People), held every Friday night from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Sodexo, Inc. and Kahn’s Catering will serve as the IMA’s two preferred catering vendors. An established Indianapolis-based caterer, Kahn’s Catering has provided custom catering services at the IMA since 1999, for private events such as weddings and corporate functions and for IMA events including opening parties for the exhibitions Gifts to the Tsars and Three Hundred Years of Japanese Painting: New Treasures for Indianapolis. Kahn’s Catering has provided services for more than 50 events held at the IMA in the last two years alone.

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