Creating The Experience: A day in the life of Royal Ascot

By poppy millett -


There’s a lot that goes into a single day at Royal Ascot…

From planning, to staffing, to the hundreds amazing of food and drink suppliers we work with, it takes a superior level of organisation and expertise to create the luxurious experience that all of our Royal Ascot guests enjoy. It’s an exciting experience to be part of - as the racecourse’s official hospitality providers - and believe us there’s just as much action as there is admin! So, we’ve broken down a day in the life of Royal Ascot, step by step, to give you taste of what goes on behind the scenes. 


05:00 AM

The night-porters finish their shifts after a hard day’s night. They’ve been working since 11pm the previous evening clearing, cleaning, moving furniture, resetting and compacting re-cycling.

Plus, at some point in the wee hours we get a few visits from our suppliers and stock is distributed around the site: fresh fruit, veg and meat are delivered to kitchens and 100+ kegs are rolled under the main stand (The Royal Enclosure) to supply the bars in the building with premium beer, cider and more.


04:00 – 11:00AM

Rise and shine Royal! Our hospitality staff arrive on site between these hours. From cleaners to chefs, to waitresses to managers, over 3000 staff are checked in with fingerprint recognition technology that scans the individual’s fingertips and uses the veins in their fingers as ID.



Surprise! Flash-mob time! This is, of course, an approximate time (we can’t be giving all our secrets away) but every year Sodexo staff learn a song to spring on an unsuspecting crowd. What’s work without a little play, eh?


10:30 AM

Doors open and from this point onwards food service is up and running. So whether a customer wants a coffee to start that day or a bottle of Bollinger and some mac ‘n’ cheese (that sounds amazing right), we’re here to accommodate.

There are just under 100 restaurants, cafes, bars and pop-ups across Royal Ascot, run by staff on 3303 intersecting shifts! From opulent, fine-dining menus designed by celebrated chefs, to a delicious and melted-to-perfection Charmer’s cheese on toast stand, there’s something for everyone at Royal Ascot.


14:30 PM

Place your bets and find a good spot* – the racing begins!  

*A few good spots, with awe-inspiring views of the racetrack, are The Rose Terrace, The Rose Bar The Panoramic and The Furlong Club.


17:35 PM

Sorry everyone, it’s time for the last race.


18:00 – 20:00 PM

Royal Ascot slowly draws to a close during this time. Cafes and retail outlets close at 6pm and guests with boxes must vacate them by 8pm.

During this time Sodexo staff will begin clearing up, breaking down and relaying their restaurants. A stock take is taken of the entire site so Sodexo can be reactive in their purchasing, see if there are any trends forming and predict the demands for the next day, basing their decisions on factors such as weather and last minute ticket sales too.



Once the day is done the Sales Team and Managers head off down the road to sleep in hotels and B&Bs nearby (cushy), ready to wake-up in few hours and do it all over again tomorrow.  


For more information about Sodexo’s involvement with Royal Ascot, click here
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