We have worked with American Express in London for over ten years to help satisfy a variety of objectives ranging from Merchant Acquisition and Perception of Coverage to Sponsorship platforms and Access. The latter requires our delivery of an extensive programme of exclusive dining experiences for Amex card members – both in the UK and, increasingly, those visiting from abroad. The relationship continues to develop as we work closely with Amex to increase the supply of dining experiences whilst maintaining the highest standards of execution.
1) London Restaurant Festival
Our agency founded London Restaurant Festival (LRF) in 2009. The event takes place throughout October across the city. It involves over 65 ticketed events and hundreds of festival menus across 350 restaurants with over 50,000 people participating.
We engaged Amex from the beginning and they are signed as headline partner until 2024. Amex has an exclusive five-day presale window during which a high percentage of all LRF ticket inventory is sold: 85% of LRF event tickets are bought by Amex cardmembers.
2) Chef-Hosted events
Following the success of LRF for Amex, in 2016 we were asked to expand the programme of dining activity across the year, and across the UK, to provide monthly experiences for the Amex Experiences programme.
Previous chefs include Michel Roux Jr, Yotam Ottolenghi, Simon Rogan, Bill Granger, Nuno Mendes, Marcus Wareing, Nieves Barragan, Tom Kitchin, Angela Hartnett and Monica Galetti.
3) Street Food All Stars
Few areas of dining out can claim to have captured that zeitgeist more powerfully than ‘Street Food’. So, in 2018, we developed an large-scale participation event called ‘Street Food All Stars’ and in 2019 the first event took place.
For one night only we took over Dinerama, the street food venue in Shoreditch, and invited the UK’s ten best street food vendors to set up for the night. Assembled and marketed under the new Street Food All Stars branding guests purchased a ticket that included three dishes, a drink – and three of London’s top DJs.
American Express Experiences platform has the exclusive presale on the tickets before they go on general sale and are marketed through other channels.
4) Eat Life
For Amex Gold cardmembers, who love eating out and going out… we developed a new programme of rewards and benefits that we called ‘Eat Life’.
The idea is broad in scope but simple of essence. Marketed directly by American Express, Gold cardmembers can buy tickets to a variety of experiences which include both an element of dining and culture. These events include: Eat Art, Eat Fashion, Eat Theatre, Eat Music, Eat Film, Books, Eat TV and Eat Sport.
In 2019 successful pilots for Eat Film and Eat Wine were held. Eat Life will expand during 2020 with a full programme in 2021.
5) A Tale of Two Cities
For Amex Platinum cardmembers, who love to travel… a super-premium gastro-tourism experience which allows guests to experience two European cities in one weekend: experiencing the very best gastronomy in those cities, and staying in 5* Hyatt hotels.
The first itineraries were three-day experiences in London and Paris where guests purchased all-inclusive tickets. This include: stays at 5* Hyatt Hotels in London and Paris, Business Premier on Eurostar in a private carriage, Michelin-Starred Gourmet Odyssey in London, dinner in London with a celebrated chef, private tour of The Louvre, dinner prepared by Jerome Bocuse, exclusive tour of the Caves du Louvre wine cellars and lunch at Ducasse sur Seine – the legendary chef’s boat.
In 2020 there will be London-Paris; London-Barcelona; London-Amsterdam and London-Budapest. In 2021 itineraries in the USA and Asia – involving longer stays and not always anchored in London – will also come to market.