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 exclusive dining experiences for Amex cardmembers – 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.
Client: Amex Experiences
Our agency founded London Restaurant Festival in 2009. The event takes place throughout October across the city, with our first Summer Edition of the festival beginning in 2021 in addition to our flagship. It involves over 65 ticketed events and hundreds of festival menus across 450 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 ticket inventory is sold: 85% of LRF event tickets are bought by Amex cardmembers.
Following the success of London Restaurant Festival 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.
Few areas of dining out can claim to have captured that zeitgeist more powerfully than ‘Street Food’. So, in 2018, we developed a large-scale 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.
For Amex Platinum cardmembers, we created a super-premium gastro-tourism experience which allows guests to experience two European cities in one weekend and enjoy the very best gastronomy in those cities, staying in 5* hotels.
The first itineraries were three-day experiences in London and Paris where guests purchased all-inclusive tickets.
This included: 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 riverboat dining experience.
We also host a number of events specifically for Platinum Cardmembers throughout the year. This year, as part of our Dining and art series, we arranged a specially curated tasting menu at the Royal Academy of Arts, hosted by José Pizarro. Guests enjoyed a 10 course tapas menu including drinks, tickets to Francis Bacon’s exhibition and an exclusive talk from the curator.
We also put on exclusive events during our Chef’s Table series, London Restaurant Festival Summer and Autumn Edition and London in Luxury, specifically for Platinum Cardmembers. This summer, we look forward to hosting Cardmembers at Wilderness Festival, guests can enjoy a curated experience with access to world-class music, luxury glamping and lakeside tranquility. As well as two all-inclusive weekends exploring the hidden gastronomic gems of Somerset and Kent.
For Centurion Members, we curate exclusive events during existing event programmes and series such as London Restaurant Festival Summer and Autumn Edition and Chef’s Table which they have exclusive access to. For example in London Restaurant Festival, we created a Tasting Menu series for Centurion Members showcasing premium ingredients such as white truffle, and a bespoke range of chef experiences called ‘In The Kitchen’.
We also create events throughout the year for Centurion Members that explore dining in combination with art, travel and culture. We have hosted exclusive small-scale events featuring the best Michelin-starred chefs across the country, including Sat Bains and Glynn Purnell. Already this year we have curated a weekend-long experience where guests test drive Ferraris and Lamborghinis and explore the thrills of Silverstone, together with fine dining and Oxfordshire’s finest five-star hotel, Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons. This event was so popular we created a second experience that will take place later this year, to meet demand.
This summer, we will be hosting mini-break trips to vineyards in France and a celebrity chef-hosted tour in the gastronomic capital of Spain, San Sebastian, for wine and food lovers looking for a luxury travel experience. We will also be taking Centurion Members to Royal Ascot, the highlight of the British summer season with dining in a private box, and invite-only Royal Enclosure badges.
With a love of food at its heart, Eat Life is an ongoing programme of events exclusively for Gold Cardmembers. These memorable experiences celebrate a real passion for dining and are designed to be shared with others.
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.
Eat Life is now at the core of the Amex Gold benefits, hosting five-six series of events a year.