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updated: 11/13/2012 7:14 PM

Hoffman Estates extends agreement with Sears Centre food provider

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Food and beverage offerings at the Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates will be provided for at least another three years by the same company that currently provides food service.

Last week, the village board approved a three-year agreement -- with a two-year extension beyond that solely at the village's option -- with Levy Foodservice that increases the amount of money the village will receive from sales through a commission fee. That change alone could result in nearly $100,000 more in annual revenue for the village, officials said.

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Under the new deal, the village will receive 35 percent of the gross receipts of concessions sales valued under $1 million, for example. The specified percentages for other services like catering vary, depending on the service and the sales level.

Levy included a $50,000 unrestricted contribution to the village in the agreement, along with an extra $10,000 they agreed to give the board for making an early decision, as the current agreement doesn't end until April 30, 2013.

Earlier this year, the village sent out a request for qualifications and received proposals from major food service companies Levy, Sodexo and Ovations. Levy was the only company that agreed to match the commission fee percentages requested by the village.

Levy will spend $30,000 per year for capital improvements to upgrade food and beverage service, through the purchase of new chef tables, concession stands, portable food and drink carts, and other items.

Board member Gary Pilafas said he thought the extension of the agreement is a good deal.

"I think we get some new investment on behalf of Levy as well as the village and the building, and I think Levy's been a good partner," he said.

Trustee Raymond Kincaid was the only person to vote against the agreement. He said he liked what Ovations presented, which included experience working with nonprofit volunteers who could serve food at events.

He also questioned some of Levy's pricing and said he was disappointed with the way Levy handled some situations, citing long lines on $1 beer nights during the Chicago Express hockey team's season.

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