Team behind YES and Ox Club to preside over food and bevs at Factory International

The food at Manchester's newest arts venue will also stay committed to sustainability.

By Kelly Bishop | 16 May 2023

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It’s the biggest arts opening for Manchester ever but what will the food and drink at Factory International be like?

It’s just been announced that a newly launched collaborative operation called Super Serve will oversee the food offering at Factory International. The new company brings together two established operators in the region, Solitaire Restaurants and Square One, known for YES in Manchester and Ox Club in Leeds.

Factory’s riverside location will be the setting for Festival Square at this year’s MIF. Image: Factory International

Solitaire Restaurants Ltd has been in the food and beverage game for twenty odd years. It runs the food at one of the best music venues for food in Manchester, YES, and is also behind the seminal Ox Club in Leeds and Nightcrawler Pizza in Liverpool among others. Its collaborative partner Square One is an independent North West operator which runs huge food operations at festivals and festival-like venues. On its foodie CV are Highest Point Festival, Mayfield Depot and Parklife. So it’ll be a dab hand at feeding the huge numbers of people that are likely to flock to arts and culture events at Factory International.

Super Serve is a collab with the team behind Yes. Image: Kelly Bishop

Factory International says the food operator will support its “commitment to sustainability, community engagement, and accessible pricing”. If you’re heading to Manchester International Festival this summer (and why wouldn’t you be?), you’ll get a sneak preview of the kind of food Super Serve has to offer ahead of the venue’s opening this October. Super Serve will be running the food stalls at Festival Square in its new location overlooking the river near the festival’s new permanent home. MIF23 takes place between 29 June and 16 July this year.

Super Serve will manage the food in Factory International’s ground floor foyer cafe and public bar as well as two auditorium bars. Menus are expected to change with the seasons with brunch, grab-and-go, and late night street food style options.

Super Serve will look after food in the foyer cafe and more. Image: Factory International

Super Serve Manchester Managing Director Stevie Mulgrave said, ‘With many of the team starting their hospitality careers right here in Manchester before going on to work with some of the best independent operators throughout the North West, it’s an honour now to be chosen as the food and beverage partner for Factory International.”

Solitaire Director of Operations Gemma Hampton-Stone: “We’ll be taking our inspiration from dining tables across Manchester. We’re interested in working with the local community to deliver a diverse and accessible offer; working alongside suppliers who have the highest regard for sustainability and animal welfare and engaging in non-intensive and traditional techniques to create some of the best tasting and highest quality products around. We’re looking forward to presenting a seasonally changing menu that reflects the vibrancy the area has to offer.”

The other collaborator in Super Serve looks after the food at Parklife. Image: Francis Augusto / Fanatic

Square One Director Charlie Loftman: “A commitment to staff training and development is a core value of our business. We believe that investing in our team not only helps them grow and reach their full potential, but it also enhances the guest experience. We are proud to support our local community by employing local people and providing opportunities for them to flourish within our organisation.”

Sheena Wrigley, Venue Director, Factory International says: “We are thrilled to be working with the newly formed Super Serve as our food and beverage partner. That two companies at the top of their game have come together to collaborate and created something new just for Factory International couldn’t be more fitting.”

We can’t wait to get stuck in.

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