Shield’s owners cater to Community Center

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published May 18, 2011


A Troy-based caterer and restaurateur known in metro Detroit for making a mean deep-dish pizza will cater events at the Troy Community Center.

The Troy City Council unanimously approved a three-year contract for catering at the center, with a three-year option to renew, to Encore Catering, owned and operated by Peter and Paul Andoni, principal owners of Shield’s Franchise Restaurants, which originated in Detroit in 1937.

The contract is contingent upon Encore’s ability to qualify as holder of the liquor license at the center.

Last May, the council asked city staff to explore allowing alcohol sales at the Community Center for social events and to seek a well-known caterer as a way to boost revenue and eliminate any city subsidy to fund the center.

There is no subsidy for the Community Center in the city’s 2011-2012 budget.

Last month, John Lamerato, assistant city manager, told the council during budget study sessions that the Community Center is a break-even operation and will remain open.

Under the contract, Encore is the single, preferred caterer and has exclusive use of the kitchen.

This means that other caterers may be hired for events at the center, but only Encore can serve alcohol or use the kitchen.

Municipal parks and recreation facilities in Dearborn, Canton and Farmington also allow alcohol to be sold and consumed onsite.

The city requested bids, and three caterers — Encore, Kosch and Crank’s — responded, although Crank’s later withdrew.

Recreation Supervisor Scott Mercer, Economic and Community Development Director Mark Miller and Recreation Director Stuart Alderman rated the companies based on proposals submitted, menus, interviews and food samples.

Encore, which earned the highest score, guaranteed a return of $12,000 a year, or 15 percent of sales receipts, whichever is more.

But there will be more than pizza on the menu.

Alderman explained that part of the selection process was choosing a caterer that could provide breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and various ethnic entrees, and could institute a good marketing plan.

“We hope this will be a great partnership, and increase our revenues and their (Encore’s) visibility,” Alderman said. He noted that Shield’s restaurants can’t handle parties of up to 350 people, as the Community Center can.

“They’ve done a great job with the restaurants. Hopefully, that will continue for booking events at the Community Center,” Alderman said. He said they’ve already received a good number of phone calls asking when the new caterer and liquor service will be available at the center.

The contract for the previous caterer at the center, A & S Catering, expired in March and has been renewed on a monthly basis.

Food service from Encore should be available at the Community Center in about two weeks, and liquor service as soon as the Michigan Liquor Commission approves it, Alderman said, noting that the Shield’s franchise has held liquor licenses successfully for a number of years.

For information on booking events at the Community Center, call Mercer at (248) 524-3484.