The Lex factor!



The Lex factor!
With our preview of the
forthcoming event
How Sodexo created its Knead St
Deli concept
Vacherin’s recent trip to the NRA
Show in Chicago
Full of beans!
We dissect the legislation’s
The Lex factor!
Lexington’s Danny Leung on
winning an FSM Award
Editor’s letter /
Welcome / 03
Welcome to B&I Catering!
Welcome to the latest B&I magazine! This may only be our third issue, but we’re already
taking a break from the usual routine in the form of Jane Renton’s feature. Instead of
her usual Big interview, this month she goes back to her roots as a financial journalist to
take a look at the Living Wage, asking: what will the implications be and why will they
be more keenly felt in the north than in the south? Turn to page 26 to find out.
This isn’t to say, however, that we haven’t been speaking to the biggest names
in the industry this month – quite the opposite. Family matters kicks things off
with Jane speaking to Carolyne Vale, co-founder of Wilson Vale, and her daughter
Becky, who also works in the family-owned business. Turn to page 12 to find out
how they manage their working relationship, and Becky’s thoughts on following in
her mother’s footsteps.
On the chef front, Jason Trotman, who is executive chef for Eurest, completes
our Desert island dishes on page 17, while Danny Leung of Lexington Catering is
one of the most recognisable faces in the industry. Turn to page 22 to hear about
his surprise at winning Unit Chef of the Year at last year’s FSM Awards.
Talking of the Awards, they are fast approaching and will be held in London
once again on Monday 23rd November. With this in mind, I wanted to finish by
telling you that the deadline for entries has been extended to 28th August. Get your
nominations in now and one of your colleagues could be emulating Danny come
the big night – just go to for all the info!
Henry Norman
Page 26
The Living Wage
With our preview of the
forthcoming event
How Sodexo created its Knead St
Deli concept
Vacherin’s recent trip to the NRA
Show in Chicago
Full of beans!
We dissect the legislation’s
The Lex factor!
Lexington’s Danny Leung on
winning an FSM Award
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Contents /
Contents / 05
Family matters
Carolyne Vale and Becky Wilson
Site visit
Olive Catering Services
British food and drink
Best of British
Regulars /
The latest from the industry
In-house expertise
Movers & shakers
The latest appointments
The Living Wage
Full of beans!
Desert island dishes
Jason Trotman, Eurest
ACE Sustains
Contract caterers’ corner
FSM Awards interview
Danny Leung, Lexington
Your food pictures
Consultants’ column
Jonathan Doughty
Incumbent issues
Hot on the high st reet
Reader offers
lunch! show
Technomic trends
Southern food
New products
The latest products
Combi ovens
Foodservice forum
Add-on services
The Badger
The perfect package
A day in the life
Jenny Livermore, Aramark
News /
6 / News
WSH continues growth
WSH, the company behind six trading brands operating in the food and hospitality sectors, created over
1,250 new jobs in 2014 following continued growth
and investment in its businesses. For the year ending
26 th December 2014, the holding company also saw
turnover increase by more than 10% to £590.7m from
£534.8m in 2013.
BaxterStorey, as well as Holroyd Howe, Caterlink,
Benugo, Portico and the newly-acquired Searcys, saw
significant increases in training and development initiatives over the reporting period, alongside investment
in new back-office IT and people management systems.
Across the brands, WSH now employs over 16,650
people in the UK, Ireland and Europe.
Alastair Storey, chairman and founder of WSH, said:
“We are pleased to see that our commercial success
has allowed us to continue to invest in our systems and
processes and, most importantly, in our people. As a
business that is constantly innovating, it is hugely important that we continue to invest in our infrastructure
to enable us to grow sustainably.
“We have had another brilliant year, and I’m delighted to see that an increasing number of customers
and clients are putting their trust in us. Growth and
job creation can only be sustainable if supported by
continued investment. This is why it is vitally important
to us to continue to innovate to ensure that we remain
at the forefront of our industry.”
Sodexo up for employee award
Sodexo has been shortlisted in the Employer of the Year
category of the 2015 Lloyds Bank National Business
Awards. The winner will be revealed at a gala dinner held
on 10 th November at Park Lane’s Grosvenor House Hotel
in London.
Andy Rogers, Sodexo’s organisational development
and change director, said: “People are at the heart of
our business and our success. Our mission is to improve
quality of life for clients, customers and employees,
so getting shortlisted for this award is both an honour
and testament to our commitment to be an employer
of choice.”
Tom Broughton, programme director of the National
Business Awards, added: “The quality and range of this
year’s entries exceed even those of last year, which is no
mean feat. We are now looking forward to the next step
in the judging process and meeting some of the finalists
Jones and Toner
confirmed for Arena
It has been announced that the Arena Face2Face Interview & Lunch will return on 30th
September to delve into what is arguably the
biggest story in contract catering this year. ITN
anchorman Alastair Stewart OBE will interview
the personalities behind the formation of the new catering business
CH&Co Group, chairman Tim Jones and group CEO Bill Toner.
Foodservice and hospitality professionals will enjoy a new Arena
Face2Face experience as the event moves to Lambeth Palace. Starting at 10.30am, the event will include an optional tour of the Palace,
a drinks reception with canapés, the interview and, of course, lunch.
Tickets cost £145 + VAT for Arena members and £195 + VAT for
non-members. Tables of eight, meanwhile, are £1,160 + VAT for Arena
members and £1,560 + VAT for non-members. For further information and tickets, visit
News / 7
Vacherin celebrates success
Olmedo takes Aramark
Joaquin Perez Olmedo recently won a close
final to become Aramark’s Chef of the Year 2015.
Olmedo, a sous chef for Aramark at a large financial
institution in London, won after what he described
as a “pressured but enjoyable” final against six
fellow competitors in the development kitchens at
Unilever Food Solutions, Aramark’s Chef of the Year
event partner.
He impressed a judging panel of Aramark and
Unilever experts with his mouth-watering roast
breast of guinea fowl, crispy leg, braised leeks,
soubise purée, pickled carrots, and carrot and
star anise dressing. For dessert, he showcased a
sumptuous passion fruit cheesecake with braised
pineapple, candied walnuts, and rum and lime ice
cream. Contestants could cook any main course and
dessert, but had to choose from a list of ingredients
to prepare their creations.
Olmedo, originally from Spain, said: “I’m so
pleased to be Aramark’s new Chef of the Year. It’s
a relief that my preparation and planning has paid
off, particularly when the standard among my fellow
finalists seemed so high.
“When I first came to London five years ago I was
so keen to know more about English cuisine. The
food and the techniques were so different from what
I knew and I fell in love with them. Since then I’ve
wanted to show what I can do, and I think this competition has really allowed me to keep learning and
improving, and get the most from English cuisine.”
Gerard O’Sullivan, culinary director for Aramark
in the UK, who led the competition, added: “The
standard this year really was the highest yet and
every competitor should feel extremely proud of
themselves. Huge congratulations go to Joaquin,
who not only has this prestigious title, but also wins
£1,000 and will become one of our technical judges
in next year’s competition.”
Vacherin recently held its Annual Hot Shots Awards, which aim to
celebrate the company’s successes over the past year. Nearly 50 members of the Vacherin team were singled out for special praise for their
high achievements and long service at the VIP reception held at the
ORTUS Centre in Denmark Hill, London.
Vacherin’s Employee of the Year was announced. The event’s flagship
award went to Andrew Lane, a recently promoted catering supervisor at
Bain & Company.
Mark Philpott, Vacherin’s managing director, said: “Andrew has done
an incredible job at Bain and has recently been promoted from café assistant. He knows and understands what our clients want there and he
works seamlessly with the café, kitchen and our hospitality service.
He is a fantastic team player, liked by colleagues and customers alike, and he’s a credit to Bain and Vacherin.”
The event also involved the announcement of the
winners of Hot Nosh, Vacherin’s culinary cook-off
competition. After a highly competitive battle,
the Prix D’Or trophy was presented to the Urbaneers team, comprising chefs, managers and
front of house staff from Vacherin’s teams at
Imagination, The Building Centre, Mercers
and Cushman & Wakefield.
Manchester is the
cheapest city in the UK
for lunch, with Mancunians spending just
£5.50 on average, a
whopping 25% less
than in London,
Over 100 apprentices celebrated their graduation
according to
with Compass Group UK & Ireland at an event held rea
new repor t
cently at Thorpe Park. The age ranges of this year’s Comfrom iZet tle.
pass Apprentice graduates started at 16 and went up to 65.
Compass uncovers
future talent
The courses they have completed include professional cookery,
management, security, facilities management and leadership.
The ceremony saw each graduate presented with a certificate.
They will now have the opportunity to continue their career with Compass.
Last year, a total of 502 apprentices completed their apprenticeship with the caterer,
and within the next 12 months a further 568 will graduate.
Fiona Ryland, HR director for Compass
Group UK & Ireland, said: “Giving our
colleagues opportunities to expand
their experience and skills means we’re
developing our people, creating business
leaders of the future and starting them
on an exciting career path – something
we’re really passionate about. I wish
all our graduates luck and I’m looking
forward to seeing what the future holds
for them.”
8 / News
H&J Awards winners revealed
More than 350
Harbour & Jones
(H&J) staff gathered
at The O2 recently
for the annual H&J
Awards. The caterer
launched the awards
last year to celebrate 10 years since
the company was
created, and some
230 nominations
passed through
the judges’ hands
this time.
One of the biggest
winners was Pawel
Taras, chef de partie
– pastry at The
Royal Institute of
British Architects,
who was named
young chef of the
year, as well as
claiming dish of
the year 2015.
Joint owner
Patrick Harbour
said: “We really
have to extend a
huge thank you to
everyone involved in
making our awards
such a success,
from sponsors and
judges to everyone
who joined us on
the night. We’re so
incredibly proud of
our teams for nominating each other
and supporting the
awards with such
positivity and infectious excitement.”
Olive staff get greenfingered
Volunteers from Olive Catering Services recently
lent their support to a local conservation programme aimed at protecting nearby woodland.
The group of eight spent a full day at The Outwoods
– a Site of Special Scientific Interest woodland
on the outskirts of Loughborough – working with
grounds maintenance specialist Quadron and
Leicestershire Cares, a volunteer opportunity provider, as part of Olive’s ongoing CSR initiative.
Damon Brown, co-founder of Olive Catering
Services, said: “The day was a huge success and it
was great to see some of our staff spend time out
of their comfort zone and working together for the
benefit of such a valuable area of local interest.
Giving back to the local community is a big part of
working at Olive and has been since the business
was first formed in 2004.
Average Briton skips 260 meals each year
A new survey has revealed that the average Briton
skips as many as 260 meals per year. Breakfast was the
most likely meal to be skipped (156 per year), in spite of
it being arguably the most important meal of the day.
The most common reasons were ‘I don’t have time to
eat’ (82%); ‘I forget to eat meals’ (73%); and ‘I can’t be
bothered to cook/prepare food’ (68%).
When asked if they had suffered any adverse effects from
skipping meals, more than two-thirds of respondents (68%)
confessed they had. The majority of these felt they had
‘gained weight’ due to overcompensating after missing meals
(57%), while some also felt ‘short-tempered and/or irritable’
(43%) and ‘generally less healthy’ (35%).
Julian Hearn, founder of Huel, who conducted the research,
said: “On a typical weekday, it’s not unusual to just grab a
coffee while dashing out the door or work through lunch
without even realising. Our busy lifestyles, however, are not
good for us. If we skip meals we often end up overcompensating with sugary foods later as our energy levels sag.”
Some 2,829 British adults took part in the survey, all of
whom were 18 or older. All the participants were in full-time
employment at the time of the survey.
News / 9
Casual Dining wins Best Tradeshow
Diversified Communications UK’s Casual Dining show has won
Best Tradeshow Exhibition under 2,000sq.m at the AEO Awards for a
second time in its first two years of business. The Association of Event
Organisers’ Excellence Awards (AEO) recently hosted over 1,000
event industry professionals at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London.
The AEO judges were impressed by the show’s “excellent content
programme and exhibition design and layout”, commenting that Diversified UK “identified a clear gap in the market for the fast emerging
casual dining sector, a sector focused on innovation and brand”.
Group event director Chris Brazier said: “The fact that Casual Dining
has won again is a fantastic achievement for the show. A big thank you
must go to the whole industry, including our exhibitors, visitors, media
and association partners for supporting the show from the very beginning and helping to make Casual Dining the show that this important
sector truly deserves.
“A special mention must go to the amazing team here at
Diversified UK, who have worked so hard to deliver a much respected, sector defining event in such a short space of time.”
Casual Dining will return to the Business Design Centre
in Islington, London, on 24th and 25th February.
You can follow us
We have just extended the deadline for
entries to the #FSMAwards to Friday 28 th
August. Please get your nominations
in ASAP!
We are loving the new @BandICatering
magazine – the design looks fantastic!
Cutting back on sugary drinks? As part
of our #Health and #Wellbeing 2020
strategy, we pledge to reduce added
sugar drinks from our shelves.
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ˆ•‹GŒŸ‰›–•G‹ŒšŽ•Gˆ•‹G“ˆ –œ›˅
The winner of the People’s Award at
#ACESustains is @cateringbm!
Great evening @acegborg #ACEsustains, always a pleasure to judge such
innovative #sustainability initiatives!
10 / Moves
Movers & shakers/
As we touched on in last month’s
Family matters, Wendy Bartlett,
chief executive and owner of bartlett mitchell and event catering
business Inn or Out Events, recently received the MBE she was
awarded for services to the hospitality industry in the Queen’s
New Year’s Honours List. Bartlett
was presented with the award at
Windsor Castle from HRH The
Princess Royal.
Bartlett said: “Meeting Princess Anne at Windsor Castle was
an incredible moment and I was
fortunate to have my brother and
sisters with me too.
“These awards aren’t just recognition for me, it’s actually recognition for the amazing team
I work with who have worked
tirelessly over the past 15 years
helping build up our successful
company. I’ve been really lucky to
work with some amazing people
in my career.”
Rycroft in at FDF
The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) has appointed Tim Rycroft as its new corporate affairs director.
Rycroft has worked in UK and international corporate and public affairs roles for three FTSE 100 companies: Boots, Diageo and InterContinental Hotels
Group. He was also a special adviser to UK government in the 1990s.
FDF director general Ian Wright said: “It has
never been more important for government to understand the substantial contribution food and drink
makes to the UK economy. Tim’s breadth of experience and knowledge of public affairs and relations,
developed while working at leading UK brands, will be invaluable.”
Rycroft added: “I am delighted to be joining the FDF at a time when people have never
been more passionate about food and drink. The national debate is important and urgent,
which is why I am so excited to be joining the voice of the industry at this time.”
Hurren is new
ACE chair
Jeni Edwards handed over the role of
chair of the Association of Catering
E xcellence (ACE ) to Paul Hurren, MD of
Lusso, at the recent ACE Summer Par t y
(see page 19). Hurren has been at tending
ACE events since the 19 9 0s and joined
the ACE Council in 2012, becoming vice chair t wo years ago.
Hurren said: “Jeni has really worked
hard at making some great changes. She
was instrumental in introducing the ACE
Sustains competition, but her main focus
has been to update and modernise our
ACE website.”
He will be suppor ted by newly appointed vice - chair, Gaye Bullard of Sodexo.
She has been a commit tee member for
five years.
“I’m ver y much looking for ward to
working with Paul, who I think will add
another dimension of creativit y to ACE,”
said Bullard. “Our joint aim for the nex t t wo
years will be to re - engage with the younger
catering professionals.”
joins Manitowoc
The Manitowoc Company, Inc. recently announced
the appointment of Hubertus M. Muehlhaeuser
as chief executive officer of Manitowoc Foodservice, Inc. In his most recent corporate position, Muehlhaeuser was senior vice president
and general manager for Europe, Africa, and the
Middle East for AGCO Corporation, a global farm
equipment producer.
Manitowoc Company board member Kenneth
Krueger said: “Hubertus is a dynamic leader with a
demonstrated ability to drive strategic transformation throughout an organisation. He has also established a proven track record of building and empowering teams to achieve enhanced performance.”
12 / Work/life
Carolyne Vale, co-founder
of Wilson Vale, and her
daughter Becky, who
works with her in the
family-owned business
ecky was born in 1991. I was working for Sutcliffe as
its general manager at the time and had a seat on
the board. I loved my job and never seriously considered giving it up, but I also found out I loved being a
mother too. Babies are sent to change you in all sorts of ways
you cannot readily imagine beforehand – the unconditional
love just bowls you over.
At some stage during my maternity leave my job changed.
Sutcliffe was being restructured and I was offered a more regional job, and one that wasn’t as senior as the one I had been
doing. I didn’t go back. I took the opportunity presented to me
to work as an area manager for Nelson Hind, which had just
recently been established. My partner, Andrew Wilson, was
already working there. I did that on a part-time basis for the first
two years of Becky’s life, which did work well.
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I think Becky is a combination of both Andrew and me: she
has his kindness and consideration and my determination and
drive, and apart from her reluctance as a baby to sleep in her
own room, she has been an absolute angel. We had to work
very long hours in our jobs, even before we set up our own
business, but I was lucky in that my friend Liz, who had worked
with me at Sutcliffe, had two children, the younger of whom was
only nine months older than Becky. We helped each other out
with the childcare as much as we could and Becky has grown
up regarding Liz’s two children, Amy and Joe, as the siblings
she never had.
I can remember Becky winning a prize for her kindness and
thoughtfulness at the local village school when she was about
six. I was delighted as I had always tried to impress upon her
that while academic attainment was important, being a decent
human being was even more so. At the age of seven we sent
her to a nearby school in Derbyshire and my niece came to live
with us to help look after her after school until we got home.
When Becky was 11 we set up Wilson Vale and our first consideration was to make sure that whatever happened her education didn’t suffer. Two years later we sent her to Repton, a
very traditional boarding school, but Becky remained a day
girl. Andrew and I wanted her to remain at home with us – she
was a total home bird and very much appreciated my cooking.
Work/life / 13
14 / Work/life
Fortunately her school allowed occasional flexi-boarding,
which was a godsend when things were hectic on the business front.
Becky initially wanted to become a teacher, but I persuaded
her to keep her options open by doing a degree that would
present her with a wider choice of career paths – she could
always come back to it later on. She did a business degree at
Lancaster University and went there armed with the recipes our
chefs gave her, so food has always been on her agenda. She
did an internship with Hewlett-Packard, which involved lots of
foreign travel working for their international strategy team. She
loved it but decided office life wasn’t for her. We knew she was
interested in catering; we used to take her with us sometimes
as a child to our various functions and events and she grew up
accustomed to seeing our teams hard at work. She suggested
she come and work for us. Andrew and I wondered whether
she might be better off working for someone else in the industry. We considered approaching Robyn and Tim Jones to see
if they might find a place for her at Charlton House, but she
wanted to work for us.
She now manages one of our law firm client sites, a job
which she was singled out for by the managing partner who
didn’t know she was our daughter. We are very careful about
how we treat her, and we make sure she is not given any preferential treatment over any other employee. If anything I’m
probably tougher on her than I am with anyone else. I think I
just always want her to be her very best. I’m also aware that at
some stage she might have to leave us in order to advance.
Our company is very chef-based, all our area managers are
chefs, and, while Becky loves cooking, she is not professionally
trained and there is a big difference, so the next step up for her
would be difficult.
I always felt we were a little bit different from other families, even
before we became Wilson Vale. My parents worked incredibly
long hours: they both held senior positions at Nelson Hind,
which meant I would often go to friends’ houses after school or
would be looked after by an older cousin. I finished school at
6pm and would then go to friends’ and dad would pick me up
afterwards. He once forgot to pick me up from school and I sat
outside the gates just waiting for him.
I think their absences made me more resilient and social.
As an only child I loved being able to see my friends and stay
over at their houses. I just accepted my that mum worked. My
mother worked with my best friend’s mother and they would
help each other out with the childcare, so there was definitely
a positive side to it all. In the summer holidays I would go a lot
to my grandparents’ and cousins’, so I can’t say I felt left out. I
remember going to the Maldives with one of my friends and her
family and to Portugal with my relatives.
I particularly remember the weekends at home when I
was growing up – they were all about family. Mum was always
cooking and baking. I would sit on one of the kitchen units and
watch. It was my job to stir. The three of us were incredibly close
and we still are. I go home at least once a week to see them
outside work.
Even before my parents set up Wilson Vale they were with
Nelson Hind in senior positions. I would sometimes go over
to help them at various outside events. I got to really know the
chefs and the one thing that always struck me was the tremendous sense of fun they all shared. It never seemed like hard
work, though obviously it was. It also impressed on me from a
very early age that you have to work tremendously hard, especially in this industry, to get anywhere. You also need passion.
At university I was attracted to the idea of working in retail. I
applied to places such as John Lewis and Aldi, but my parents
encouraged me to try something different. There was an internship going at Hewlett-Packard, which I got and, though I
spent the placement working in an incredibly high-powered
team with lots of foreign travel, I knew I didn’t want to spend
my life sitting in an office. I was used to working for the family
business during the holidays; I worked in the accounts team at
zŒG™Œˆ““ GšG
head office and always felt like the daughter with little clue as
to what I was supposed to be doing. I did, however, get to go
out sometimes to the various units and I learned more about
the business doing that than anything else. I liked working with
the chefs and, even though my day might involve getting up
at 5am and working 12 or even 13 hours straight, it never felt
like work. It was one of my parents’ clients at College Court in
Leicester who made me realise that what I really wanted to do
was come and work for Wilson Vale. The risk was that if I’d gone
and worked for someone else and their culture didn’t match up,
I would have become very disillusioned.
In some ways I’d love to run the family company, but I could
never follow in mum’s footsteps. She really is Superwoman! At
some stage I might start my own business.
16 / Food
What have you been
eating this month?
Now that’s a salad
protein bar!
Tweet your food porn pics with the hashtag #BandIFoodPorn and send the
high res images to [email protected] for inclusion here!
Luscious Murgh Pasanda
Makhani & Tadka Dhal
– a perfect lunch at
@MrTodiwala Pop Up
Some tasty
weekend treats
Something summery for
the weekend? Luscious
strawberries & cream
Food / 17
In this series, we ask the great and
the good of the B&I world: if you
were to be cast away alone on a
desert island, which favourite eight
dishes would you choose to have with
you – assuming of course that you had a
kitchen and an inexhaustible supply
of ingredients?
Executive chef, Eurest
I discovered these a few months ago in London
and fell in love with them. They take time to make
fresh, but the result is fantastic filled with sweet
chilli chicken, pickled cucumber, coriander and
spring onion. Superb!
The pork is coated in panko breadcrumbs,
deep fried until golden and then placed on top
of a mixture of sautéed onions and a sweet soya
sauce mixture. Eggs are poured over the top and
it is then baked in the oven until the eggs are set.
It creates a great mixture of flavours and textures.
I love cooking this fish as well as eating it. You can
grill it, pan fry it, bake it and it goes with a variety
of ingredients. My personal favourite is grilled
mackerel and roasted beetroot with a honey and
white wine vinegar dressing, which balances the
oiliness of the fish.
Comfort food! I remember going to my nan’s on
Sundays for lunch and she would always cook a
crumble – rhubarb when it was in season from
her garden with apple and local blackberries – all
served with homemade custard.
I recently organised a chefs meeting for my team
in London visiting food markets and street food
venues. To finish off the day we had a fantastic
meal at the Social Eating House, which is part
of Jason Atherton’s restaurant group. I had
smoked Shetland salmon with BBQ cucumber,
followed by saltmarsh lamb rump and confit
neck with miso and pale aubergine, finished with
chocolate and salted caramel ice-cream and
caramelised bananas.
I was told early on in my career that a good jus
is the final piece of the jigsaw that completes a
great dish. It needs a lot of work and looking after
during the process of skimming and reducing; it
is a real labour of love but the end result is worth
the effort.
What luxury item would you take
with you?
My golf clubs. With all that sand, my bunker
shots would surely improve!
What one book would you take
with you?
Marco Pierre White’s White Heat. Reading
it for the first time and seeing those classic
black and white pictures – what an inspiration
to a young chef.
Finally, if you were allowed one
dish which would it be?
The steamed buns. They are my favourite
dish at the moment. A supply of these with
various fillings would keep me going!
A real classic. It’s easy to make and after a long
day in the kitchen it hits the right spot, especially
after cooking and tasting lots of dishes with many
flavour combinations. I think chefs just want a
simple dish to eat that’s filling and tasty, but with
the option to take it to a different level if they
choose to.
18 / The competition
Hot on the
high street
Henry Norman speaks to one of the most
exciting outlets currently operating in
‘enemy territory’!
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It may not be a household name over here – yet – but
the Potbelly Sandwich Shop is one of the leading fastcasual brands in the US. And the Chicago-based
company recently opened its first UK outlet in the
Westfield Stratford Shopping Centre in East London.
Potbelly is a fast-growing gourmet sandwich
concept that started in 1977 as a small antique store
in Chicago. It reached 288 company-owned shops
in 2013, following which Potbelly went international
to the Middle East, now boasting almost 400 stores
worldwide. The brand launches 48 to 55 new units
per year in the States and is aiming to replicate this
impressive expansion internationally.
“There has been a recent surge of demand for
international brands, particularly from the US, which
has contributed to the growth of the burger market
in the UK,” explains Akbar Sheikh, director of Sheikh
Holdings, when I ask him why they have decided to
bring the brand over here now. “Equally, we see huge
potential for the sandwich market here in the UK, and
feel this market is the next to take off.”
Potbelly specialises in hot, toasted sandwiches with
classic American combinations, as well as authentic
soups and bespoke salads, with all the ingredients
being sourced locally. “The most popular sandwich
in the US is the Wreck, which features spicy salami,
black angus beef, turkey ham and breast, and Swiss
cheese,” explains Akbar.
The UK incarnation will be open from breakfast until
evening, and will also have local musicians performing
live during the day, which has been a defining part of
Potbelly since it first opened. “Potbelly is a place like
no other in the UK, it’s frankly just a really cool place
to be,” says Akbar. “The UK market has some great
offerings, everyone has their own take on food, but we
think there is a real gap in the market.”
And you should be in no doubt that Akbar sees a
real future for the chain over here. Following the first
outlet, the plan is to roll the concept out to at least
10 London stores over the next five years. “Potbelly
is prominent in key cities across the east coast of
America, from locations such as the Rockefeller Center
in New York to Union Station in Washington DC,” says
Akbar. “Likewise, we will be targeting prime sites across
London in the next few years. We’ll spend the next five
years building the brand in London before we take on
the rest of the UK.”
Networking / 19
bartlett mitchell
triumphs at
ACE Sustains
The caterer
triumphed in the
People Award,
with nods for
Sodexo Defence
and Lusso too
The Association of Catering Excellence (ACE)
recently announced the winners of ACE
Sustains at its annual summer networking
event, which was held in the tranquil gardens
at Stationers’ Hall. The event is now in its third
year and celebrates those in the foodservice
sector that champion sustainability and
corporate social responsibility. There were
two awards – one for an organisation, the
other for an individual within an organisation.
The People Award went to Lin Dickens and
the Green Bee team at bartlett mitchell for
their Read Your Wrap initiative. Team member
Hannah Carmichael came up with the bright
idea of using sandwich wrappers to get green
messages across. They now use biodegradable
greaseproof paper, printed with vegetable
inks for communicating with customers, rather
than relying on the traditional table talkers and
printed leaflets.
Each wrap has a selection of stories and
news snippets about the eco-friendly initiatives
that are taking place around the business. They
are updated quarterly and the team are often
asked when the next one is coming out.
Carmichael said: “People are bombarded
with notices, messages and signs everywhere
and it’s hard to make information available
without it being overwhelming. We needed a
smart way to bring it all together. It’s amazing to
have people coming up to us and saying things
like, ‘I didn’t realise we used free range eggs in
all our cooking’. These are things that they have
noticed because they read it on their wrap while
eating their lunchtime sandwich.”
Judge Brendan Hunter added: “We really liked
the sandwich wrappers, what a great vehicle
for getting messages across subtly without
œšG›šG Œˆ™GšG›ŒG
š š›Œ”ˆ›ŠGˆ——™–ˆŠG
appearing to preach. The fact that people are
waiting for the next edition speaks volumes.”
The runners-up in the People category were
Lorna Burns, brand manager for Restaurant
Associates at KPMG, and Gary Vaughan,
catering manager for Sodexo Defence.
The Corporate Award, sponsored by Douwe
Egberts, meanwhile, was presented to West
Horsley Dairy. Lusso and The London Linen
Group were named as the runners-up.
Catherine Colton, founder of West Horsley
Dairy, said: “Our aim was to produce the most
realistically affordable, environmentally-friendly
foodservice lorry for London. The combined
effect of the electric hybrid drive train and the
eutectic refrigeration system is allowing us to
achieve a 7mpg saving, week in, week out. We
are hoping Boris Johnson notices the green
credentials of these new vehicles and grants us
exemption from the London Congestion Charge!”
Judge Hunter concluded: “It’s not just about
innovation. It’s easy to have ideas, but they’re not
always practical. What impressed us this year is
the systematic approach that companies have
taken. We’ve seen organisations measuring,
analysing and putting proper processes in place
to ensure that these green initiatives can really
make an impact.
“West Horsley Dairy’s truck has the potential
to really make a difference and have an effect
on the whole industry. Their determination and
collaboration with other businesses made it
work, and is particularly impressive for a small
family business.”
ACE’s next event will be the annual ACE Ready
Steady Cook Competition on 24th September
22 / FSM Awards interview
for entries
The deadline
ards has
to the FSM Aw
d to
been extende
28th August!
Go to the webfo
for m
The Lex
This month we talk to Danny Leung
of Lexington Catering, who won Unit
Chef of the Year in 2014
FSM Awards interview / 23
Danny Leung is living proof of the fact that you
really can rise right to the top with a career in
catering. He started out as a kitchen porter
15 years ago for Lexington Catering at HSBC
under the guidance of Rob Kirby. From the
very beginning he was so keen to engage
with and learn from the rest of the team
that he quickly progressed and was made
commis chef.
“Rob really inspired me to become a chef,” says
a typically modest Danny. “His belief in me gave
me the confidence and drive to pursue my dream.
He invested a great deal of time in developing my
skills, knowledge and confidence. He instilled
values in me that I now pass onto my team today.”
His ‘team today’ is the Lexington one at the
head office for the leading London estate agent
and global property consultancy Knight Frank.
Now in the role of head chef (which he has held
for over 10 years), Danny leads a team of 17,
while he has also managed the food at numerous
events for clients, ranging from intimate fine dining
through to catering for conferences for over a
thousand people.
“I manage the food operations at Knight Frank,
ensuring our daily menus in the staff restaurant,
the Terrace Café, are innovative, seasonal and,
above all, tasty!” he explains. “An important part
of my role – and a part that I love – is managing
the training and development of my kitchen team
of seven; it’s hugely rewarding to see young talent
flourish under your guidance. Invest in your people
and you’ll be rewarded with a far more loyal,
motivated and engaged team.
“In addition to my day-to-day responsibilities,
I also support the wider Lexington team during the
sales process with site visits and presentations.”
Coming to the Awards themselves, Danny
says that he was delighted to be in the running.
“It was such an honour just to be nominated.
What was really humbling was to be short-listed
in the same category as my former head chef,
the talented Jason Taws, with whom I worked at
Lloyd’s of London many years ago. I certainly
didn’t expect to win because there was some
very stiff competition from the other chefs in
my category.”
The ceremony itself was a big night for Danny,
who certainly had a lot on his plate. “It was a crazy
evening as I was in charge of a course at the dinner
too. I think I was more worried about getting the
salmon terrine out than about the awards! I needn’t
have worried, though, as I had an all-female team
of Lex School Apprentices [Lexington’s apprentice
chef programme] helping me. They prepared and
executed the dish to perfection.”
And it would appear that Danny was indeed
suitably distracted, as he says he was in “total
p›GžˆšGˆGŠ™ˆ¡ G
shock” when his name was read out. “I had to be
told by Rob Kirby to go up and collect the award!
To be honest, I was pretty anxious on stage
and keen to get back into the kitchen, as it was
Lexington’s course going out straight after my
award category!”
And there you see the attitude and
professionalism that is required to become an
FSM Award winner! Despite his somewhat busy
night, though, Danny is adamant about the
benefits of attending in any capacity. “Our industry
can be tough and it takes a lot of hard work and
dedication, so it’s great that there are awards
like this that recognise and reward us for what
we do,” he says. “It’s also a great opportunity
to get out, celebrate and network with others in
the industry.”
24 / Technomic trends
by Southern concepts
Patrick Noone, managing director of Technomic’s UK
division, looks at the ongoing appeal of Southern fare
Southern-style fare can be found all over
the US, with concepts turning out this type
of cuisine from Los Angeles to New York.
While other concepts are under pressure
to offer healthier options, Southern-style
restaurants are attracting customers for
their indulgent homestyle fare.
The popularity of Southern fare is
fuelled by such trendy concepts as Yardbird Southern Table & Bar, a James Beard
Foundation Award-winning concept in
Miami and Las Vegas known for its signature fried chicken; Roscoe’s House
of Chicken and Waffles, a California
pop-culture icon visited by the likes of
Barack Obama and David Beckham for
its namesake soul-food dish; and Blue
Smoke, a New York City concept from
the same people behind Shake Shack
that specialises in smoked meats. Here’s
why customers are flocking to Southern
-style concepts:
a variety of down-home fare such
as fried chicken, mac and cheese
and biscuits
rity chefs or today’s restaurant trends,
these concepts turn to family recipes
for inspiration on producing authentic, Southern-style fare. Restaurants
employ traditional cooking methods
(such as using cast-iron skillets instead
of deep fryers) and make dishes from
scratch with proprietary recipes often
passed down by family members
a welcoming atmosphere with elements ranging from thick wood tables
to shelves lined with classic board
games, and concept names incorporate words like ‘house’ and ‘Southern
table’ to make customers feel right
at home
themselves as ideal spots for groups
through characteristics such as spacious booths, communal tables and
hearty portions, sometimes served
The appeal of indulgent Southern-style
concepts doesn’t just exist in the US. With
a number of trendy fried chicken concepts from Chooks to the Mother Clucker
food truck, the UK seems to have mastered one of the South’s signature dishes.
But while fried chicken has been trending
in London for several years, menu ocDVSSFODF PG PUIFS 4PVUIFSO TUBQMFT o JO
cluding mac and cheese and barbecue
the UK. In fact, the term ‘Southern’ is up
nearly 10% on UK menus over the last
two years.
Now, operators can expand their
focus to other Southern-style fare to give
customers a more well-rounded homestyle meal. Restaurants and pubs can
offer Southern-style adult beverages
like mint juleps, Manhattans and smallbatch Kentucky bourbons to complete
the down-home experience. Operators
can also promote health-halo versions of
from-scratch biscuits, all-natural ribs
better-for-you options. Even if they’re not
specialising in Southern-style fare, UK
of the above bulleted characteristics to
give their restaurants a more hospitable,
homey atmosphere.
Technomic trends / 25
Trending Southern
foods and ingredients
26 / Finance
Finance / 27
and the north-south divide
The chancellor’s plans to make a new minimum
wage of £7.20 mandatory next year have aroused
differing opinion within the foodservice industry,
as Jane Renton discovers
eorge Osborne won the election but appears, ironically,
to have lost the goodwill of
many of his traditional business supporters, particularly
within the broader hospitality industry, the sector that
employs many of the 6m people who the
new minimum wage is designed to help.
A clutch of pub and restaurant groups,
including J.D. Wetherspoon, Harvester
and All Bar One, have rushed to condemn
the move, along with the British Hospitality
Association (BHA), which represents over
40,000 hotels, restaurants and contract
caterers. “We were very surprised the
chancellor made this announcement
without consultation,” said Ufi Ibrahim,
the BHA’s director general.
However, the response from the
contract catering sector appears to
have been less voluble. In fact, in some
quarters outsourced contractors appear
largely underwhelmed by the recent
development, providing of course you
are based in the more affluent south
east. If you work in B&I in prime London
locations, then the view is that this is very
much business as normal. Many are
accustomed to paying a minimum of at
least £7.50, so Osborne’s surprise move
hardly registers. Also, in theory at least,
it is generally held that it is the client’s
responsibility – not the contractor’s - to
absorb this new statutory obligation.
Nevertheless, there has been speculation that those who will be hit hardest
are the bigger contract caterers employing large swathes of people on minimum
wage. But if they’re feeling the pinch as
a result of the chancellor’s move, neither
Sodexo, which already pledged to pay the
Living Wage on contracts in which it was
the lead contractor, nor Compass, which
says it welcomes the move, are letting on.
However, not everyone is thrilled.
Those working across a wider of array of
catering sectors that include schools and
care homes are bracing themselves for
a potentially tough challenge. In a worst
case scenario, the Living Wage could
mean in excess of £1m of additional costs
for Warrington-based Waterfall Catering,
the holding company behind Taylor Shaw,
which covers both the B&I and school
catering sectors, and Caterplus covering
care and welfare catering. “Contractually it
is almost always the client’s responsibility
and, while they may seek to pass cost on
to their customers, the degree to which
the consumer is willing and able to pick
up the final tab is debatable,” explains
Vince Pearson, chairman of Waterfall
Catering, whose operating companies
have combined turnover of £70m.
But like many in the industry, Pearson
is the first to admit that he is conflicted
about the move: the introduction of
the Living Wage could in many ways
be positive for an industry so often
castigated for its low pay. “I have always
found it unfair that our industry does
not always recognise and reward the
importance of good food and service
staff, such as the people who have to
interface with schoolchildren and those in
residential care,” he says. “They should
be better rewarded for what they do.”
It’s a view echoed by others in the
industry. “We see the introduction of
the national Living Wage as a very positive development,” says Nick Thomas,
finance director for Harbour & Jones.
“Anything that encourages people to take
up a career in the hospitality industry can
only be a good thing. The Living Wage,
along with the increase in the basic tax
threshold, will make a real difference to
people starting out in our industry and
should help in recruitment and retention.”
An industry that employs lots of
relatively low paid workers faces the
challenge of having to perpetually recruit,
train and motivate an often transient
workforce. As the rating agency Moody’s
has said, the recent summer budget
was pretty negative for retailers, hotels
and restaurant groups that face high
employee costs.
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28 / Finance
‰œ‹ŽŒ›ˆ™ GŠœ›š
But the fact remains that the minimum
wage has long failed to be a Living Wage,
as nearly everyone on it has to have their
wages topped up by the state in the form of
tax credits. This has enabled many of the
biggest firms in corporate Britain to boost
profits to record levels at the taxpayer’s
expense. This has not necessarily been
good for the economy as a whole. Britain
may have grown faster than any other G7
country in 2014, but it was described by
The Economist in an article in April as
being “an island of spectacularly cheap,
if not terribly efficient, workers”.
Demand and growth have returned
to the UK economy, but output per hour
worked is 2% below the pre-financial
crisis peak, whereas in the rest of the
G7 countries it is 5% higher. As The
Economist points out, the French could
take every Friday off and still produce
more than Britons do in a week. And while
a British employee produces a fifth less
than a French one, they are also a third
cheaper to hire. In fact, their wages are
so low that only in Portugal or Greece are
people cheaper to hire. In other words,
there are too many low-skilled British
workers doing too many ineffectual things
for too little money.
In contract catering, however, there is
ample requirement for both cheap labour
and also a workforce with culinary and
strong interpersonal service skills. As yet
no-one has come up with a clever idea
to replace catering staff with technology,
though from now on, many companies
might increasingly be expected to recruit
more staff under the age of 25.
The minimum wage is set to rise to
more than £9 by 2019, but should it rise
more sharply than projected, especially
were inflation to take off as some experts
are predicting, there could be job losses
within the industry. Not all clients, even
those in the more affluent territory of B&I,
are necessarily prepared to allow their costs
to soar, and that could mean that contract
caterers’ margins, which are already under
pressure, could suffer.
The chancellor has already conceded
that higher wages could cost around
60,000 jobs in Britain. Swapping tax
credits for higher minimum pay will
encourage many employers to swap
workers for technology. It will also
encourage some clients of foodservice
companies to consider whether or not
they want to continue providing in-house
staff restaurants, especially if the high
street is nearby.
Small businesses are likely to be
hardest hit. John Allan, national chairman
of the Federation of Small Businesses,
has said: “The introduction of a new
national Living Wage will pose significant
challenges for many small firms,
particularly those in the hospitality, retail
and social care sectors.”
The real issue, however, is how the public
sector will respond to wage increases at a
time of deep budgetary cuts. Taylor Shaw
and Caterplus have a combined workforce
of over 3,000, with a significant proportion
of their work being with clients reliant on
extra government funding to meet the
extra wage costs. While many of its clients
have said they will absorb the higher costs
involved in lifting the minimum wage, others
have asked the company to come up with
various options to help offset the extra
expense. There are, as Pearson says, only
a limited amount of options for productivity
gains. The alternative is a reduction in
service, something that few clients really
want to see happen.
The UK Homecare Association
believes the new minimum wage will
require councils to pay at least £16.70
an hour for services, covering staff
wages, running costs and around 50
pence profit, compared to about £13.66
currently. “The government obviously has
a commitment to reduce welfare costs,
and one assumes they have considered
extra funding for the Living Wage for the
significant number of people working in
government funded areas,” says Pearson.
“The net saving will still be significant, but
if there is an expectation that areas like
schools and care homes have to find the
extra wages themselves, this will create
major challenges for everyone.”
Raising the minimum wage also
has wider ramifications, in that it will
inevitably push up wages for those on
higher levels of pay who want to see pay
differentials preserved. For smaller niche
hospitality providers, such as Anthony
Bennett, owner of bespoke hospitality
services company Bennett Hay, the
introduction of the new minimum wage
will have relatively small implications.
His company, which provides fine dining
and facilities management services to a
number of city clients, already pays 70%
of its teams the current Living Wage. The
company currently only has 10 staff on
the minimum wage from a TUPE transfer,
and that’s only because the client
doesn’t want to increase costs. “The
cost implications are marginal for our
business, as most of our teams are paid
at or near this level,” he says.
What’s clear, however, is that industry
views about the new minimum wage
tend to be divided along regional lines.
In London and the south east, it is not
generally seen as that big a deal. But in
the north or in Wales, opinions are likely
to differ as many of the low paid who
will be affected could find themselves
priced out of the market, and that will be
a challenge for the entire industry.
šŽ•͌Šˆ•›GŠˆ““Œ•ŽŒšG–™G”ˆ• G
Every month, our panel of experts
discuss the biggest issues in B&I.
This issue we ask…
How important are
add-on services to
a B&I offer?
€ŒšSGš–”Œ›”ŒšGTG‰œ›G•–›Gˆ“žˆ š
Managing director, 14forty (part of
Compass Group UK & Ireland)
As a service provider, it is imperative that
the customer remains at the forefront of
everything we do – a philosophy we live
by at 14forty. Back in the ‘good old days’,
a service provider would have traditionally
been awarded a single service line. That’s
no longer the case and, as the guardians
of our clients’ spend, we need to look at
how we leverage better value for them and
their customers. There is now a greater
emphasis on collaborative working and
for the service provider to perform a
consultative role.
The B&I marketplace is growing ever more
challenging and competitive, and to ensure
that we are delivering best value, adding
services to an existing proposition makes
sense for both the buyer, end user and,
of course, the service provider.
Additional services allow the provider to
maximise the existing resources on contract
or site, which are directed via a single
management team. Adding cleaning and,
potentially, security services to a catering
proposition, for example, will support
team development opportunities, helping
colleagues become multi-skilled – a benefit
to colleagues as well as employers. This
allows team members to work across service
disciplines, which has a huge benefit to
the customers, as the service provider has
adequate numbers of trained staff that can be
deployed when and where needed most.
It also offers colleagues the opportunity to
diversify their skills and grow with the business.
The opportunity to develop colleagues
provides greater employee satisfaction, an
increase in their skill base and a reduction in
staff turnover. Our people are at the heart of
everything we do, and we have some great
examples of retention of talent within 14forty
that are testament to our approach.
Good examples of this would be
housekeeping operatives being trained to
man point of sale retail areas during peak
times. This would help us to run things
smoothly, adding value to the client, while
also diversifying roles and responsibilities.
Catering operatives could potentially be
security trained and licensed for manned
guarding. This gives sites greater resilience,
while allowing our people to up-skill. This
diversification for colleagues also means that
they are familiar with the location, protocols
and, of course, clients and customers,
so standards remain consistently high.
So, how important are add-on services?
The answer is simple: very! Outsourcing
to a multi-service, multi-skilled model can
generate on average between 5% and 15%
cost efficiencies. A multi-service contract
is advantageous to all stakeholders. The
economic buyer benefits from the economies
of scale and the customer benefits from
service excellence delivered by multi-skilled
teams. Finally, the service provider increases
their client portfolio with multi-layered
relationships within the client organisation.
Foodservice forum / 31
Director of catering,
A catering offer is often seen as a separate
part of a facilities management (FM)
service, and there are good reasons for
this. It’s the one service that customers
pay for with their own money, so there’s
a direct relationship between the supplier
and the customer. Get it wrong and
the customer loses out. It is also the
service where production takes place.
Raw materials are turned into a finished
product and served to customers.
In addition, it is the service that varies
the most every day. Products go in and out
of season; there are different celebrations
depending on the time of year, from chocolate
themes at Easter to summer barbecues and
Halloween specials. Demand fluctuates
and different services are requested. It’s not
simply about managing labour. Customers
also have a direct, emotional relationship
with food.
So should catering be a standalone
service? Yes, sometimes, but not always. It
makes good business sense to maximise the
operational and management costs of FM
services by bundling the catering with other
FM services. It is becoming increasingly
common for this to happen, with cleaning,
security and building services being brought
together as a single supplier offer.
There are a number of benefits to this
approach: clients have one point of contact
reducing their management time; team
members can be multi-skilled, bringing
greater flexibility to tasks; costs can be
reduced; and added value is brought with
a single team approach to the services. The
whole team is managed from one point, and
consequently everyone works together for
the benefit of the customer and the location
(for example, the cleaning team will ensure
vending machines are operational; security
guards can monitor pest control; and
hospitality and meeting rooms have a single
contact requirement for set-up, food and
beverage, and cleaning).
So the importance of add-on services
is always led by the client, and more clients
want to streamline their service and reduce
supplier complexity. A company that offers
a range of directly delivered services is able
to bundle those which most benefit the client
and their business, and have the opportunity
to further add value as the service develops.
{ŒGˆ•šžŒ™GšGš”—“ŒaGŒ™ H
While the market for integrated facilities
management remains strong, there are still
many organisations looking to outsource
single services as part of their overarching
facilities management strategy.
In those contracts where we provide only
catering, it’s important that we work closely
with the client to understand what exactly they
want to achieve from outsourcing. We can
absolutely make a difference to the quality of
life of their employees by providing catering
as a single service, but are clients always
aware of just how much more of a positive
impact we can make if we deliver more than
this? Sometimes the answer is ‘no’ and we
have to work with clients to ensure they end
up with the best model for their business.
Traditionally, cost has been a key factor
in the decision to outsource. If providers can
demonstrate their expertise in other fields,
like security, front of house and cleaning, and
demonstrate how these additional services
will lead to operating efficiencies, they will
stay competitive.
By addressing the opportunity to sell
additional services as it arises, you can
influence another advantage for the client:
reducing their supplier base. This will mean
that a client spends less time managing all its
different providers and more time focusing on
its strategy.
With the integrated facilities management
model, providers can better support clients
by having a broader impact across their
business. When it comes to employees, this
model can provide great benefits.
If a client’s employee is greeted each
morning by a well-trained, motivated facilities
management team – from receptionists to
cleaners to chefs to security guards – the
provider of those additional services has a
huge opportunity to make a positive impact
on their productivity.
Health and wellbeing, ease and efficiency,
and physical environment are just some of
the dimensions we can influence to improve
an employee’s quality of life. If the client’s
workforce feels safe, has a clean workplace
that meets their requirements, and has ready
access to healthy nutritious food, they will in
turn be more motivated and engaged, and
business performance will improve as a result.
Of course, for all these additional services
to have an effect, the provider must be
focused on the training and engagement of
their own employees. Service is a people
business, and its failure or success relies on
them and their expertise.
Additional services can have a fantastic
impact on client businesses. The most crucial
part of the process, however, is spending
time to develop the right strategy – whether
this is a single service or a fully integrated
facilities management solution.
Strateg y and marketing director,
Sodexo Corporate Services
32 / Jonathan Doughty
The incum
This month, Jonathan Doughty discusses
the problems involved replacing incumbent
foodservice operators
Tendering foodservice contracts isn’t
cheap for either the client or contractors
– indeed, the only party certain to win in a
tender process is the consultant, assuming one is involved and they know what
they are doing! For the client and wannabe
operators the costs can run into thousands
of pounds.
Deciding to go to tender is not something
to be entered into lightly and, in my view,
there are generally, therefore, few reasons
why tenders take place. Either the client is
obliged to tender the contract because they
haven’t for a while and want to test the market,
or there are ‘issues’ and clients want to make
a fresh start.
Coverpoint manages tenders from both
scenarios and increasingly finds the issue of
the incumbent to be an extremely hot potato,
if not managed correctly. Food puns aside,
this month we thought it would be interesting
to look at the many and varied issues surrounding incumbent foodservice operators
and their implications.
First up, the tender scenario where the
client is very happy with their foodservice provision, but they are obliged to go to the market
to satisfy their business or to ensure they are
getting best value. Invariably the client simply
wants to know if they are getting value, but
feels the need to run a full tender process.
We like to be upfront and honest with
clients and are very happy to run tender processes if the client is open to the possibility of
changing operator at the end of the process.
In most cases they are, and on several occasions clients have been genuinely surprised
at the variety and choice out there. We like
to think that this is the result of our open and
dialogue rich approach to tendering, but more
on that later.
We are inevitably quizzed by tenderers to
determine if the process is simply a ‘beauty
parade’, or a genuine opportunity to win the
business from the incumbent. Even with
genuine assurances, we find some contractors remain suspicious of the strength of relationship between client and incumbent. Some
even withdraw, on the basis that they feel the
odds are stacked against them.
On the flipside, where the client wants to
go to tender as a result of ‘underperformance’
or another issue, should the incumbent be
invited to participate in the process or not?
With our upfront honesty approach, we always
seek to determine the nature of the issues
that have led to the decision to tender and if
the relationship is beyond repair. Feeling like
Relate councillors, our advice is focused on
the potential for reconciliation. If the trust is
gone and there is no hope, then incumbents
should not be invited, but if there is a glimmer
of hope, they should be included.
The logic often put to us by clients is that
incumbents should be included in the process
regardless, as if they are excluded the standards of service and delivery will deteriorate
until a new contractor is engaged. For some
FM teams, the fall-out from deteriorating services can be too much and incumbents are
strung along through the process.
Our preference would be not to include incumbents where there is no hope. All of the
operators that we know and work with are
professional and, while they might be disappointed initially, ultimately thank us for not
wasting their time and resources on bidding
for something that is already lost.
So to the tender process itself, as we firmly
believe that the approach taken can alleviate a lot of the issues identified in our two
scenarios. As a business we are not fans
of online ‘arms length’ tender processes,
and much prefer to engage all parties face
to face as early in the process as possible
and as often in the process as possible.
After all we are a people business, where
relationships count.
We like to eliminate any elephants in the
room as early as possible in the process.
We don’t like secrecy and love transparency, and where we can invite all tenderers, the incumbent and the client to an
initial show round. These sessions can be
quite awkward and need a few ice-breakers, but they immediately stop the ‘who
else is bidding?’-type questions and crucially give the client the chance to meet the
operators, rather than just seeing a logo on a
tender document.
Our process also includes additional
client/contractor dialogue, over and above
the final tender presentations and site visits.
These are typically held mid-process, before
tenders have been submitted, and give the
opportunity for relationships to form and
for ideas and concepts to be sounded out
before committing to them in the tender submission. We encourage honesty from both
sides during these sessions – far better as
a contractor to know that your staff restaurant proposals are way off the mark before
committing them to the bid and expending
costs in design. These sessions genuinely
do deliver more focused tender submissions
and allow both parties to get to know
each other.
The approach breaks down barriers and
preconceptions, and we have seen tender
scenarios where the incumbent was seen by
all as a shoe-in being challenged all the way.
We have also sat in shortlisting meetings with
clients where initially perceived no-hope incumbents are elevated to genuine contenders. Restricting communication to shortlisted tender presentations and reference
site visits is always a little contrived in our
view. While presentations do bring tender
proposals to life, the sessions are usually
structured, timed and scored, and operators
are performing rather than communicating.
Our mid-tender dialogue sessions are
exactly the opposite. They are informal, unstructured – in that the tenderer can bring to
the table whatever they want – and are not
included as part of the evaluation process.
We find that this environment lends itself to
genuine relationship building.
We firmly believe that honesty and openness is the best policy in any circumstance.
The business of tendering is speculative
by definition, so why not shorten the odds
by telling it how it is and letting the parties
communicate? However, if the key decision maker is wedded to keeping their
incumbent, but is still obliged to test the
market, surely a more simple, honest
and cost effective route for all parties
would be to run a scaled back market test,
taking the time and cost out of the equation
to deliver an answer that the client can then
use to develop with the incumbent operator?
If the client is hell-bent on change, then
they should be honest with their incumbent
and tell them their chances of success if
they were to participate. They should not be
afraid of lame duck incumbents. We have
successfully worked closely with outgoing
incumbents, maintaining performance and
managing seamless handovers.
For all concerned, we genuinely believe
honesty pays. We will never fully resolve the
incumbent issue – but if we are all upfront
and honest, we can help save time and
money at least for the client and contractors.
Jonathan Doughty / 33
bent issue
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36 / Site visit
Park life
Charles Campion lunches with Olive
Catering Services at Veolia
Think of Cannock and a couple of images
spring to mind: on the one hand there is
the ancient royal forest where the monarch
would have come to hunt deer, on the
other there is a large yellow sign beside
the road prohibiting ‘cruising’. It turns out
that a lurid newspaper article published in
2004 established Cannock Chase as the
country’s top spot for casual liaisons.
Veolia is a French company that specialises in those areas that were once the
preserve of the public authorities – water
supply and management, waste management, energy, and transport services. The
large and imposing building on Cannock
Business Park is home to 300 Veolia staff
and was made to measure. The result is
an ergonomic building with a sophisticated approach to waste management.
Olive Catering Services has had the Veolia
contract in Cannock since the building
came on stream five years ago, and now
it provides breakfast from 7.30am until
10.30am; lunch from noon until 2pm;
then coffee and cake until 4pm, five days
a week.
Jacqui Mee is Olive’s area manager
responsible for the site and she is proud
of the very low levels of staff turnover.
“Among the staff, the most important
attribute we are looking for is the right
attitude,” she says. “We can teach
them necessary skills but you cannot
teach attitude.”
When watching a lunch service in
the dining area, the good relationship
between the caterers and the Veolia
workforce stands out. This place has a
friendly vibe and it is encouraging to see
the banter between feeders and fed. Olive
staff are encouraged to take ownership of
the section they are covering and it’s good
to see the effort that goes into preparing a
fresh looking salad bar.
Of the 300 Veolia staff, approximately
65% eat in at lunchtime, and while the
office is surrounded by wide open spaces
and other office blocks, the only competition within walking distance is a nearby
branch of Sainsbury’s. The contract at
Veolia is subsidised and there is a sophisticated cashless system in place. Every
morning, each employee gets £2.50 credited to their account, but if it is not spent it
is wiped off at the end of the day. This has
the effect of driving business to the dining
room throughout the day – and the ‘use it
or lose it’ rule means that even when staff
are not breaking for lunch they can still
enjoy coffee and cake in the afternoon.
The 80-seater dining room is light and
airy, with comfortable modern chairs and
a tight focus on the server, which does
seems a little on the small side. Sally-Ann
Bradley is one of the owners of Olive and
she recognises the importance of a pragmatic approach to the menu items. “All too
often the workers stopping for lunch know
exactly what they want – whether that’s fish
and chips on Friday; curry on Wednesday;
or an all-day breakfast on Thursday. Our
job is to give them the best ever fish and
chips, or a well-made, authentic curry.”
Among the must-have dishes there are
two soups on offer every day – a pea and
mint soup is very good, not blitzed until
mush, but with a good texture and an excellent balance between the sweetness of
the peas and the seasoning. The Spiced
lamb and chickpea soup option is robust
and filling. Both are served with a large
hunk of bread (£1.10 for a small portion,
£1.30 large). Behind the counter, the head
chef, Helen Baily, heads a kitchen team
of six and stands over a mighty gammon
ham, which she carves to order. From the
Honey roast gammon ham served with
pineapple salsa, roast potatoes and fresh
vegetables (£3.80), the ham is perfectly
cooked and elegantly presented. Purists
might say that the roast potatoes could
have been crunchier, but they are part of
a great plateful.
Another dish worthy of note is Baked
smoked salmon Florentine served on
an English muffin (£3.30). In essence,
this is a variation on oeufs Florentine –
good spinach, a tranche of hot, smoked
salmon (home smoked in the kitchen),
poached egg, and a decent enough Hol-
lŒ™ G”–™••ŽSGŒˆŠGŒ”—“– ŒŒG
šGž—Œ‹G–Gˆ›G›ŒGŒ•‹G–G›ŒG‹ˆ landaise sauce. This dish works really well.
Or there’s a baked potato with a filling
that’s Moroccan-style pumpkin and butter
bean casserole, cooked in a tagine dish
(£2.25). Should you stray from the main
menu there are two ‘live’ food stations –
Build yourself an omelette, which offers
a three egg omelette with your choice of
fillings (£3.30) – or there’s a Hot mackerel
salad (£3.80).
Facing the main servery is the salad
bar, which looks the part – not only is
everything very fresh, there are also
some more ambitious dishes. How does
Spicy carrot and a cashew nut scotch
egg sound? There is also a busy deli
counter and a bustling grab and go, offering good home-made dessert pots such
as Layered nectarine, low fat yogurt and
honey. The baking is all done on site
and with your coffee the choice is a lemon
coconut cake, an indulgent fudge cake,
and a classic Eccles cake – all at 85p.
The Eccles cake is particularly good,
with the right balance of dried fruit to some
admirably flaky pastry.
There is a very good relationship between the Olive team and their
customers, as Sally-Ann confirms: “We
have a good group of customers and they
are willing to try new dishes. They trust
us and know that if they don’t like something they can always bring it back.” This
reinforces the age-old wisdom that there
is little more valuable than honest and
fearless feedback.
Site visit / 37
o–žG‹–ŒšGz—Š GŠˆ™™–›Gˆ•‹GˆG
In order to keep the personnel fresh,
Olive runs a Food Innovation Team.
Ten chefs working across a number
of Olive contracts concentrate on
a different brief each month. These
could be as varied as ‘new soups’
or ‘curries’. At the end of each cycle
there is a tasting, with all the chefs
involved presenting their dishes
to their colleagues and the Olive
management. Finally, best practice
is shared and the better dishes find
their way onto future menus. As well
as addressing the continual demand
for new dishes, the Food Innovation
Team helps inspire and motivate the
company’s chefs.
38 / In-house expertise
Kneads must
In this series, we discover how B&I caterers are
competing with the high street. This month,
we take a look at Sodexo’s Knead St Deli
The development of Sodexo’s Knead
St Deli concept began with the corporate market in mind. The caterer’s team
looked at the profile of its typical customers within this market, which identified that the majority actively seek
out new trends, expect good quality,
are culturally aware, and have a
social conscience.
This was combined with global consumer trends, which found that more and
more people want to know where their
food comes from and that it is ethically
sourced. It found that today people are
striving to live more healthily and lead
very busy lives, both in work and out.
“We identified that for our customers at our corporate services sites,
quality is key but also the fact that they
are culturally aware and CSR [corporate
social responsibility] plays a factor in
their decision making when making their
lunch choices,” explains marketing offer
manager James Sharkey. “We therefore
needed to develop a concept that met
those needs but also was situated in their
workplace and was efficient and easy
to use.”
The result was Knead St Deli – a fully
branded commercial retail offer, which
attempts to deliver an on-trend food
offer that Sodexo’s customers expect in
today’s working environment.
As previously mentioned, there is little
point in developing a new brand without
understanding your customer. This is the
reason why consumer insight is of the
utmost importance, and it is the first step
Sodexo takes when developing a new
branded concept.
“At Sodexo we use the Personix research tool to identify the attitudes and
behaviours of our customers,” a spokesperson explains. “This, combined with
looking at national and global trends,
enables us to create an offer that appeals
to the population we are serving.”
And this isn’t where the use of upto-the-minute technology ends. Knead
St Deli includes a broad choice of food
options reflective of high street brands
and trends. Hand-in-hand with this,
Sodexo also invested in wave and pay
technology, which means customers
avoid queuing at till points and can get
back to their desk quicker.
“Technology is a key driver within the
Knead St Deli brand,” confirms Sharkey.
“We introduced wave and pay technology and have self-select and payment
points for grab and go items, including retail products, meal deals, salads,
soups, and stews. This enables the customer to spend less time queuing to pay
for their lunch and more time enjoying
their freshly crafted sandwich, salad or
homemade stew.”
The food range consists of made to
order and grab and go bread products, including deli, sandwiches, wraps, bagels,
and paninis, and this is supported by the
caterer’s own Aspretto coffee. The brand
promise for Knead St Deli is ‘Food as it
should be’. “It’s all about providing great
tasting, freshly prepared food, made with
In-house expertise / 39
seasonal produce, served in a modern,
relaxed environment,” the spokesperson
says. “It is not an over-engineered brand;
it lets the food and people do the talking.”
“We want to provide customers with
a quality artisanal deli solution, with the
quickest and easiest payment solutions,”
adds Sharkey. “It’s all about giving customers their lunch hour back.”
But it’s not just about the environment
and the food – according to Sodexo,
people are just as an important part of the
mix. The Sodexo team says it is equally
passionate about the food it is preparing
and the service it is providing to its customers. And this includes communicating with them too, whether via the intranet
or through customer feedback surveys.
However, modern communications isn’t
just about technology.
“We are introducing customer experience managers, who are the first
point of contact with our customer,”
the spokesperson says. “Their job is to
provide a welcome with a smile and be
the voice or our customers, listening and
feeding back.”
The first contract to benefit from the in-
troduction of Knead St Deli was a global
healthcare company. As a global business, the client’s UK-based employees
work alongside their State-side counterparts on a daily basis, and this has an
impact on the catering service provided.
Owing to the time difference between
the UK and the States, many of the UK
employees opt for an early lunch so they
are available for conference calls and
virtual meetings with their US colleagues
›ŒG“ˆš›G Œˆ™Gˆ•‹Gˆ•G–Œ™ˆ““G
when they start work at around 8am US
time (which is 1pm in the UK). Because
of this, there is a natural peak in lunch
traffic at around midday, and it was not
unusual to see queues 80 people deep.
That was until Sodexo introduced Knead
St Deli.
Over a single weekend, the existing
high street brand floor plate and signage
was stripped out and in its place new
and fresh bespoke Knead St Deli branding was introduced. The space was
also reorganised to allow for a more efficient customer journey. And the results
have spoken for themselves. “It’s been
really positive in terms of sales, profit,
increase in transactions, and feedback,”
says Sharkey. “We are really pleased
with the feedback from customers and
clients, as it has been excellent, and we
have had lots of customers asking when
they can expect to see one open on the
high street.”
Indeed, since it opened Knead St Deli
outlets at three locations for its global
healthcare client, Sodexo has seen a 12%
increase in coffee sales over the last year
and an overall 7% increase in the number
of transactions at the outlets.
So, to the all-important question: how
does it fare when it comes to keeping
customers in-house? “Really well,” says
Sharkey. “The brand reflects the latest
high street trends and also has a seasonal promotional programme to ensure that
the best seasonal produce is available to
choose from, which is popular with customers. We are absolutely delighted that
so many customers would like to see the
brand located on the high street.”
This success has meant that Sodexo
is expanding the number of Knead St
Deli outlets within its corporate services
business, and it has already opened two
new ones with another in development.
When asked for the secret to competing
with the high street, Sharkey’s response
is as straightforward as it is honest. “It’s
simple,” he says, “you have to provide
customers with a better option on site that
meets their needs.”
Events / 41
lunch! 2015
lunch! – the multi-award winning
trade event for the UK’s multibillion food-to-go market – is back
at the end of September with its
biggest edition yet. We take a look
at what’s new for 2015
Thanks to its pivotal focus on new innovations – from the
latest food and drink to packaging and foodservice equipment – lunch! is renowned for attracting a who’s who of
buyers from across the food-to-go sector. With competition
within the lucrative lunch market at an all-time high, it’s no
surprise that representatives from leading workplace caterers like Elior, BaxterStorey, Compass Group UK & Ireland,
Sodexo, Lusso Catering, Aramark, ISS Food and Hospitality,
and bartlett mitchell have already pre-registered to attend
again this year. They’re among thousands of buying teams
from across the UK looking to source the next wave of foodto-go bestsellers, and appeal to that growing number of their
customers who crave convenience and prefer to eat on the
move, or lunch at their desk.
Exciting, innovative, excellent, and enjoyable – those are just
some of the words attendees have used to describe the show,
which welcomed over 6,200 key buyers and decision makers last
year. “lunch! is a really great event,” says Don Seller, purchasing director for bartlett mitchell, following his visit in 2014. “It’s
extremely relevant and much more focused on food than many
other shows.”
“With food-to-go going from strength to strength as a breakfast
and lunch occasion, it is great to be able to come to a show with
this at its core,” agrees Red Kitching, category buying manager
for Aramark. “I would recommend that anyone involved in this
sector makes a date with lunch! 2015.”
Martin Hambleton, head of procurement and innovation for
En Route International, who has held senior buying positions at
Elior UK, EAT and DO&CO, has been an “avid supporter of lunch!
since its conception”, calling it “the best trade show a buyer
can attend”.
Thanks to glowing testimonials like these, and a significant
44% increase in attendees in the last two years, the 2015 edition
will be lunch!’s biggest edition yet. To accommodate growing
demand from a raft of new food, drink, packaging, technology,
and equipment suppliers looking to reach buyers in this important
market, the show has announced a 25% increase in stands. This
has expanded the show into an additional new area on its Upper
Feature Level and taken exhibitor numbers to an unprecedented
350 companies.
Exciting exhibitors
From big brand names to emerging start-ups, this 350-strong exhibitor line-up is as comprehensively eclectic as ever. The show’s
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42 / Events
new 60-stand area on the Upper Feature Level boasts some of
the food industry’s newest suppliers and offers a good vantage
point for operators looking to discover future food-to-go trends.
Alongside returning names like ELLER foodPackaging, Heavenly Cakes, Farsan, Equinox Kombucha, and Ginger Bakers, new
exhibitors include New York Bakery Company, Euro Food Brands,
Meatsnacks Group, Bedford Continental Wholesale (UK-based
coffee roaster and importer of Italian fine foods), GB Drinks Co,
James White Drinks, George Skoulikas, Les Delices Des 7 Vallees
(French frozen pastries and cakes), Gino Gelato, IdrinQ – Brain
Nutrition Drink, Mr T.G Pullin’s Bakery, Pizza Cones, Sibberi Birch
Water, TM Electronics, The High Speed Oven Company, Bristec
Hospitality and Retail Solutions, and Bradshaw (showcasing
high performance units by Menumaster and the new range of EsiClene interiors for both microwaves and high speed ovens).
New packaging options will be available from Sabert Europe,
Tri-Star Packaging, PacknWood UK, Kavis, The Printed Cup
Company, Jenpak, Butterfly Cup, Coveris, and Anson Packaging;
while Fretwell-Downing Hospitality, pointOne EPOS, Wedderburn
EPOS Systems, Croust’wich, Foster Refrigerator & Gamko, TM
Electronics (UK), Comark Instruments, Rancilio Group, Rational,
rexmartins, and WMF United Kingdom will focus on technology.
The show’s new area is also home to the popular Innovation
Challenge Showcase (offering a preview of all the latest new
product launches), VIP Lounge, new Artisan Ingredients Village,
and new Menu Innovation Theatre (sponsored by Magrini).
”ˆ™’Œ›G“Œˆ‹•ŽG–œ™G•‹œš›™ Gš
from Trade in London’s Commercial Street; Mark Jankel, founder
of The Street Kitchen; and Jay Morjaria, founder and exec chef at
The Sutra Kitchen.
Big name keynotes
The new theatre will host the live finals of the annual British
Smoothie Championships (also sponsored by Magrini), the Café
Life Awards heats, and an exciting new series of masterclasses.
Covering everything from coffee, tea, juicing, sandwich bar and
street food to meat-free options, these practical lunch! sessions
will be led by industry experts like The Gentleman Baristas (Henry
C.A.W Ayres and Edward T.G.E Parkes); Sebastian Michaëlis, tea
buyer and blender for Tata Global Beverages; Chris Fung, managing director of Crussh Juice Bars; Frank Boltman and Alex Stone
The Working lunch! Theatre boasts a new setting for 2015.
Although still on the Upper Feature Level, its new position enables
it to cater for a significantly bigger audience (with plenty of capacity for this year’s big name draws). Running throughout the
two-day show, the free business seminars are renowned for attracting a host of high profile brands and industry leaders, and
2015 is certainly no exception.
Helen Higgins, food ambassador for EAT; Mark Palmer, group
marketing director for Pret A Manger; Paul Ettinger, development
44 / Events
director for Caffè Nero; Richard Morris, managing director of Tortilla; and Roger Whiteside, CEO of food-to-go giant Greggs (in
an exclusive interview with Peter Martin, vice president of CGA
Peach) have all been recently announced.
Guy Meakin, trading manager – food on the move for Marks &
Spencer, will also be adding lunch! speaker duties to his impressive resumé (he started his professional buying career with six
years at Sainsbury’s). For him, and his fellow buyers, lunch! “is
the must attend event each year”. As a speaker, his Buying Masterclass (11am on opening day), including top tips for food-to-go
buyers, looks set to prove just as essential. “Each time I visit, I’m
reminded and energised about how exciting and market leading
our industry is,” says Meakin. “Food-to-go is one of the fastest
moving categories in the food industry, so pulling innovative and
inspirational suppliers together each year for lunch! is a great way
for us to keep up-to-date with developments and ensure we are
at the forefront of improving our proposition for our customers.”
Many workplace caterers, particularly those based in Britain’s
biggest towns and cities, are facing increasing competition from
prolific high street operators like M&S, Pret, Greggs and EAT,
so there is much to be learnt from their operational blueprints.
To keep customers interested, caterers have to identify key trends
and keep their menus ahead of the curve. Innovative sourcing,
according to Elior UK’s senior buyer (food) Sandy Anderson,
is one proven way to do just that.
–G›ŒG‰Œš›Gš–žšG–G›ŒG Œˆ™GG
‰ GŠ–•ŠŒ•›™ˆ›•ŽG–•G––‹GG
In his lunch! session ‘It’s not just the spreadsheet that matters’
(12.30pm on the show’s second day), he’ll be outlining Elior’s
strategy of engaging with small foodie businesses, run by young
entrepreneurs, to source “quirky products that grab the attention of their guests”. “The big three course lunch seems to be a
thing of the past,” says Anderson. “It is now all about the product,
specification, provenance, sustainability, allergens, salt, sugar,
colours, fat, natural ingredients, and, of course, trends.”
He believes that “lunch! has developed into one of the best
shows of the year by concentrating on food and drink innovation”.
lunch! 2015
Business Design
Centre, Islington,
Thurs 24th and Fri
25th September
More info:
To register for a free ticket to lunch! 2015, visit and quote priority code
Events / 45
Industry trends and insights
As in previous years, market updates (from foodservice
analyst Horizons and The NPD Group) kick off the Working
lunch! Theatre programme on both days of the show. Cyril Lavenant, director of foodservice UK and France for The NPD Group,
will discuss food-to-go trends around Europe from a consumer
perspective. Comparing the UK with France, Germany, Spain,
and Italy, he’ll highlight the most promising growth areas in onthe-go consumption.
Emma Read, Horizon’s director of marketing and business
development, will, meanwhile, be reviewing both the supply
and the demand factors that are helping to drive the lunchtime market forwards. “The lunchtime market still has plenty of
growth potential,” says Read, who will draw on the latest data
from Horizons’ database of operators’ menus, and from new
branded operator openings, to explain developments on the
supply side, as well as using insight from the latest consumer
panel to explain exactly what consumers are looking for.
New products
The following are just a taste of some of the
latest innovations on offer this year…
Dessert specialist Marston Foods is launching a new afternoon
tea range, including Gooey pots, moist cakes and tarts, in flavours like Raspberry and Rose, Victoria Sponge, and Billionaires.
Cakesmiths is launching a new Artisan Loaf Range (including
Smashing Pumpkin, Banana and Chocolate Bread, Poached Pear
and Ginger, and Lemon and Courgette) this autumn.
Proper Pudding is launching five premium chilled sugar-free
puddings, including Lemon Jelly with Lime and Coconut Pudding,
Strawberries and Cream, and Orange and Honey Posset.
NIX&KIX is launching a new range of natural, no fizz, cayenneinfused soft drinks. Flavours include Cucumber and Mint, Mango
and Ginger, and Peach and Vanilla.
Perkier Foods is showcasing its new gluten-, wheat- and dairyfree Quinoa bars and Sprouted Grain Oat bars (which are rich in
antioxidants and omega 3).
Pietercil Group – Beliès is promoting its new on-the-go Greek
olives snack pack, alongside fresh Mediterranean delicacies like
antipasti and tapenades.
Scott Farms Chip Company is presenting Orange, Purple and
White Sweet Potato Chips – a market first to have three varieties
of sweet potato in one bag.
Tanpopo Japanese Food is introducing its new Onigiri rice balls
and tofu snacking pots. Flavours include Curried Salmon and
Hijiki Seaweed (Onigiri), and Sweet Chilli and Yuzu (Tofu).
Planglow is exclusively unveiling its new 11-piece compostable
packaging and labelling range.
The IMC Group is launching a new, affordable solution to 24/7
temperature monitoring – the Notion Lite system (for smaller
monitoring requirements).
Glen Dimplex Professional Appliances is offering lunch! visitors
an exclusive first look at its new Burco Convection Oven and new
heavy duty LEC Commercial Platinum range.
Combi ovens / 49
Combination ovens are
extremely capable pieces of
kit, so it’s vital operators know
just how to maximise their
Today operators can choose from an array of combination ovens: from compact counter top models
to large units that take wheeled racks, there’s something to suit every business.
Models vary in complexity: from very simple units
right through to intelligent programmable ovens with
touch screen technology that can be linked directly
to computers using wireless technology and swipe
cards. This difference in spec means that caterers
can serve just 30 or thousands of people at banquets depending on the business, and they are
available in either gas or electric models.
“A combi oven can cook many foods much
quicker than conventional appliances with an improved result too,” explains Lee Norton, managing
director of Rational UK. “As a result there can be
significant energy and labour savings over using tra-
ditional kitchen equipment for basic cooking, while
also giving the customer a better dining experience.”
Combination ovens are ideal for contract caterers
as they are able to carry out a wide range of tasks all
in one unit. This also means that they are more easily
able to adapt to food trends. “They provide caterers with a great deal of flexibility and so are ideal
for busy kitchens offering a comprehensive menu
across a variety of food styles,” says Paul Godfrey,
product manager for Hobart Cooking Solutions.
Using combination ovens can help with shrinkage issues during the cooking process, resulting
in larger or more portions per joint. Their versatility
when it comes to number of covers is also a great
advantage, as they allow caterers to broaden their
menus as their business expands. “Combi ovens
can increase speed of service, and speed, without
compromising on quality, is the ideal solution,” says
Tina Carter, marketing manager for Brakes Catering
Speed is always important in commercial
50 / Combi
ens as many people don’t have a great deal of time
to eat during their working day. Combi ovens enable
operators to offer hot food cooked in advance, but
kept at the right temperature in a hot hold facility.
Although the price tag of imported items may seem
appealing, it’s important that operators choose a
recognised and trusted brand with years of experience and expertise. Not only are they more likely to
last longer than their cheaper counterparts, but they
will have the most up-to-date machines with intelligent features that will save time, labour and energy
too. “To help make the right choice, caterers must be
clear on the intended use – the volume of throughput;
the types of dishes or menu available; variations in
service time; staffing skills – and find out about the
latest features and operational functions before they
invest,” warns Ray Hall, managing director of RH Hall.
Ensuring that ovens can adapt to the changing
needs of a business is vital to ensure that productivity
is always at the optimum level. For larger outlets it’s
advisable to have two ovens that can be used depending on demand. This will not only offer greater
flexibility, but it also allows operators to maximise
their capacity to cook, and therefore add to profits.
One common issue with combi ovens is damage
caused by limescale, therefore water treatment
should be a serious consideration. Combination
ovens often blow their steam elements due to a buildup of limescale in the pump, which feeds the water
into the steam generator. “If there is evidence of a
powdery substance in the oven cavity, or the fan and
elements are cream coloured when hot or grey when
cold, there is limescale on them and consequently
too much calcium from the incoming water,” explains
Steve Elliott, managing director of Serviceline. “Check
that your water treatment, such as a water filter or
calcium treatment unit, is working properly.”
Although most modern water filters are fitted with
meters or displays to indicate water usage, it’s important operators remember that cartridges need
to be changed regularly. Some models even have a
cleaning and de-scale cycle for the steam boiler, so
operators should ensure that this is carried out when
required. “With regard to features when choosing a
microwave or combi microwave, variable power is
very important,” says Hall, “as this will allow more
dense food products to be reheated or cooked more
evenly. Working in the same way as a hob, it gives you
exact control for a quality cooked or reheat result.”
In order to get the most from combi ovens, ensuring all
staff are correctly trained on how to operate and maintain them is vital. Staff need to understand and learn
the right techniques for all the different types of food
that the machine can cook. “Combis can be as easy
or as complex as a contract caterer wishes them to be,
and to get the most out of them they need to understand what they can do,” says Stuart Long, UK sales
and marketing director for MKN. “Do not use it just as
either a convection oven or steamer, for example.”
Today, many suppliers offer free training for all staff
members; some even cover the life of the equipment,
which means all employees are being taught the best
and most effective ways to operate the machinery. This
ongoing training means that any new staff will be just
as adept at handling the cookers as more seasoned
members of the team. “We recommend that all outlets
invest in a sound service plan in order to help safeguard the longevity of their equipment,” says Godfrey.
Combination ovens are a must-have item for any
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commercial kitchen, as they can carry out a multitude of tasks all on one modest footprint. From baking
and grilling to steaming and poaching, these modern
marvels can do it all with astounding results. As long as
caterers know exactly what their machines are capable
of and exactly how to use them properly, there is no
doubt that they will be an asset to any foodservice
Brakes Catering Equipment
RH Hall
52 / Combi ovens
Pantheon has launched its first range of steam combination ovens. The ovens all feature their own internal
water heaters, which help ensure a very reliable and
consistent steam source without the potential problem
of rapid scale build-up. The ovens provide 67 fully automated programmes, with temperatures ranging between
20°C and 270°C for steam convection and convection
cooking, and between 20°C and 100°C for steam only.
With the latest innovation in intelligent cooking control,
the Opus SelfCooking Center 5 Senses provides users
with an intuitive and interactive system. With its easy
to use touch screens with on screen guidance and the
intelligent features packed within the unit, operating it,
the company says, “couldn’t be easier”.
The Bonnet Precijet Combi Oven incorporates JetControl advanced injection technology, which offers users
advantages over the conventional method of injection
and optimum control of water and energy. The volume
of water is automatically adjusted depending on the
temperature and quantity of food required. This guarantees vegetables are cooked in ideal conditions, saving
up to 15% of water and energy, a further saving to the
The Convotherm 4 easyTouch combination steamer from
Manitowoc Foodservice is the ideal solution for larger
establishments, enabling a variety of different cooking
processes. It also features an overnight cooking option,
which allows the oven to be used during quieter service
times, saving energy and maximising full potential. For
much busier periods, extra shelving can also be added.
The Maestrowave Combi Chef 7 has the latest Menu
Creator 2.0™ software package, which allows chefs to
create their own menu and programme up to 99 menus
using any method of oven, microwave, grill or combination, and with or without the turbo fan. This model sits
on a counter and operates from a single 13-amp supply.
54 / British food and drink
With a reputation for quality
comfort food, Britain’s cuisine is
the perfect choice for autumn
With British Food Fortnight just around the corner (19 th September to 4 th October), now is the perfect time for caterers to
celebrate our national cuisine. From homegrown ingredients
to beloved national dishes, Britain’s cuisine is far richer than it is
often credited for.
As ethnic flavours and global street food dominate our eating
habits, British food can feel more traditional – dare we admit less
exciting? – than the zingy repertoire of dishes in most modern
caterers’ arsenal. But tradition is no bad thing, especially when
it’s backed up by the provenance and quality of UK produce. Our
apples, for example, are world class – and Scotch beef and Welsh
lamb put our producers among the best the world has to offer.
The UK’s agri-food industry is huge. It employs 3.6m people
and contributed £96.9bn to the economy in 2012. And despite the
amount of food we eat from overseas, much of the UK’s homegrown produce ends up being eaten by UK consumers. According to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
(Defra), three countries accounted for 90% of the UK’s meat
British food and drink / 55
UK exclusives
Jersey Royal potatoes
Grown using traditional methods, Jersey Royal potatoes offer a
unique, sweet flavour that apparently comes from the island’s light
soil and warm climate. Many farmers also use seaweed as a natural
fertiliser, which may contribute to the flavour.
Orkney Islands Scottish cheddar
This has to be produced in the Orkney Isles, using milk from locally
grazed cows. With less oil released when melting compared to other
cheddars, Orkney is an extremely practical and versatile cheese for
use in a multitude of dishes. The distinctive mellow, creamy taste with
a sharp savoury twist makes it ideal for cooking. Find out more at
Melton Mowbray pork pie
This national favourite has to be made to a traditional recipe in or
around Melton Mowbray, a rural town near Leicester and Nottingham.
A self-styled culinary capital, Melton Mowbray is also one of the
homes of UK stilton.
West country beef
This term can only be applied to beef from the west country that has
been raised to specific criteria – perhaps most importantly it has to be
70% forage fed.
supply in 2013, and of this the UK supplied 84%. When it comes
to fruit and vegetables, we’re a little more esoteric. Some 90% of
our fruit and veg comes from 24 countries – but even here, 22%
of this is UK-supplied. We’re not quite self-sufficient, but we
clearly like what we grow.
Top quality
Peter Millen, managing director of Speciality Breads, believes the
popularity of British ingredients is at least partially down to
the perception of quality. He says the UK is “blessed with some
of the best raw ingredients in the world”, and praises the “incredibly skilled” food production and manufacturing sectors. “These
things combined help British products to compete with the best in
the world, especially when it comes to quality,” he says.
Speciality Breads offers more than 100 lines of freshly-frozen
artisan breads of varying styles from around the world, but it only
uses Red Tractor certified flour, putting quality assured British
produce at the heart of its products. “Not only does it provide
us with the best and most consistent final product, but the pubs,
restaurants and foodservice outlets we supply can see the benefit
and added value,” says Millen.
Of course, passing this quality message on to customers is
key – and the Red Tractor logo is a successful way to share messages about provenance, quality and ethics. Trisha Rasor, director of marketing for Crown Foods Ltd, explains why the logo is
so important to the company’s Simply British Range. She says:
“Being able to pass these logos on instantly communicates
and guarantees that high welfare and quality standards have
been met.”
And it’s not just quality that makes British food so appealing.
Increased interest in provenance, ethics and reducing food miles
means buying British sends even more positive messages to
56 / British food and drink
customers. Jacqui Mee, director of food for Olive Catering Services, says: “Customers are certainly more interested in the
provenance of their food nowadays and caterers can undoubtedly help to promote British dishes by knowing and emphasising
where their ingredients come from.” Olive works closely with fruit
and veg supplier Oliver Kay Produce, so Mee knows where all of
her salad, fruit and vegetables are grown. This information can be
passed through to customers who want to see that level of detail.
Giving customers more information is vital. Sometimes this
will be possible with a logo, but more complex messages may
need to be highlighted using table talkers, menus or even staff.
“Promotion is the key. There’s no point paying a premium for a
quality British product and then telling no one about it,” emphasises Millen. “Consumers are so much more adventurous now
when it comes to food and constantly searching for info about
ingredients, dishes and recipes. Make it easy for them and sales
will come easily.”
like traditional British cuisine,” she says. “A major selling point of
British food is that people know what they’re getting. In simple
terms, they know what they will get with a pie, a roast dinner and
fish and chips, and don’t have to worry about something being
too spicy or not liking it.” She says that in contract catering, fish
and chips is a regular Friday treat and a consistently popular
choice with customers, despite the regularity of its appearance.
The story of fish and chips shows that British food is a reliable performer, offering caterers huge commercial benefits. The
quality offered by UK ingredients is widely recognised by customers – and the ethical benefits of local sourcing also make it a
smart choice for caterers looking to tap into modern food values.
Best of all, British food itself is hearty, nostalgic and comfortable.
If our cuisine is not currently on your menu, British Food Fortnight
is the ideal opportunity to experiment and take pride in some
old favourites.
Traditional favourites
Provenance and quality are key messages, but this is not to deny
the appetising appeal of UK recipes. As autumn begins to
bite, the heartier side of UK cooking starts to look incredibly appealing. Fish and chips, roast dinners and sausage and mash can
proudly sit atop menus, and are sure to attract hungry customers.
Mee emphasises that hearty British meals always perform
well at manufacturing sites, where customers are seeking filling
lunches – but she stresses that British food is just as appealing
in any workplace. “I think there are a lot of people out there who
Crown Foods
Lactalis Foodservice
Olive Catering Services
Speciality Breads
58 / British food and drink
McCain chips are made from British potatoes, starting life in Scotland where the cooler climate and soil
conditions are perfect for growing seed potatoes.
The seed is then harvested and dispatched to a network
of more than 300 Red Tractor approved growers across
Britain, making them perfect to celebrate British
Food Fortnight.
Bump up your bread business with some artisan British
baking. Speciality Breads bakes more than 100 mouthwatering breads, freshly frozen and ready to thaw.
All products are made using British flour, so whether
you’re eating a sourdough slider or a ciabatta, you’re
enjoying the best of British.
Traditionally associated with France, Lubborn Somerset Brie offers a truly British alternative that can give
caterers a point of difference when creating their menu.
Mild and fresh with a soft edible white rind, Lubborn
Somerset Brie is traditionally ripened using locally
sourced milk.
Crown Foods’ Simply British range of chicken,
beef, lamb, and pork is accredited with Organic or
Red Tractor certification. This means that they are
produced to high quality standards by UK producers,
so they will taste great and carry the positive message of
UK sourcing.
What could be more British than a cup of tea? How
about a cup of tea in one of these Green Britain cups
from Vegware? Completely compostable and made in
the British Isles from EU materials, these disposables
make a bold environmental statement, perfect for
British Food Fortnight.
Coffee / 63
Coffee continues to grow,
attracting new customers and taking
on new shapes – but how can
caterers get the best from this
high performing beverage?
The UK coffee market is buoyant! Since
the arrival of Starbucks and Costa on our
high streets in the late ‘90s, coffee culture
has gradually edged into the mainstream,
dominating our routines. As our confi dence has increased, previously obscure
orders, from lattes to long blacks, have
become part of our lexicon, and the
bearded hipster barista has become a
ubiquitous presence across the UK.
For caterers, this love affair with coffee
can be highly profitable. Our unquenchable thirst means that despite constant
growth the bubble has not yet burst.
According to Allegra there were 18,832
cafés in the UK in 2014 and they had a
combined turnover of £7.2bn, a 10.7%
growth on the previous year – a rate that
outperforms most other retail markets.
The reasons for this success are
complex, but fundamentally coffee is
extremely versatile. On a basic level, the
roster of serving suggestions (flat white,
Americano and cappuccino, etc) give
customers a choice of preference, while
an expansive variety of flavour profiles
gives speciality coffee enough complexity to keep even the most ardent connoisseur happy for a lifetime.
While coffee remains perennially popular,
the way we drink it constantly evolves.
Teresa Suter, sales director for Vegware,
states that one recent move has been
a decrease in preferred serving sizes.
This is caused by “a huge increase in the
popularity of drinks like flat whites and
long blacks”. While the latte remains the
UK’s favourite way to enjoy coffee, Allegra
64 / Coffee
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ˆG—ˆ™›G–GŒŒ™ ‹ˆ G“Œ
reports that flat white sales are growing
13% year on year as there is a general
shift towards less milky, less frothy coffee.
And this is just one change affecting our drinking habits. There has also
been a shift in the attitudes of customers to coffee. Steve Brecher, head of
business excellence for Peros, the UK’s
leading independent distributor of Fairtrade beverages and snacks to the foodservice sector, urges caterers to think
about quality, provenance and variety if
they wish to engage with modern coffee
drinkers. He believes the market is being
driven by increasing sophistication.
“Savvy caterers are now tapping into this
fourth wave of artisan coffee by satisfying demand through a careful choice of
coffees, supplied in branded outlets by
skilled baristas, using traditional espresso machines,” he says.
In this market, Brecher says that it is
important for caterers to keep their coffee
offer interesting. “Customers are drawn
to new choices and are keen to try different hot beverages,” he says. To engage
with this enthusiasm, he suggests
caterers bring in guest coffees to refresh
their menus.
For operators who choose to make high
quality speciality coffee, it’s important to
do it properly. Coffee starts with quality
beans – sourced from a reputable supplier – but the flavour can be ruined by
unfiltered water, sub-standard equipment
and untrained baristas.
Getting every detail right is crucial to
making the perfect espresso. Rob Dunne,
a specialist barista, has teamed up with
Brita to offer advice on perfecting water
for coffee brewing. It’s an oft-overlooked
detail, but it’s a crucial ingredient. “It is up
to 98% of espresso,” says Dunne, “so the
impact it can have on your coffee’s taste,
aroma and flavour is phenomenal.”
Different areas will have different water
hardness, so before setting a coffee
recipe or installing a new filter, it’s important to understand the water in your area.
Brita technicians can perform a drop test
to ascertain the hardness of your water
and then advise on what sort of filter
will work best in those conditions. This
simple step will result in better coffee and
happier customers.
“What makes a really great cup of
coffee – filter or instant – is high quality
filtered water,” adds Paul Hickman, development chef for Lincat. “Water that is free
from contaminants really does make all
the difference, so the very best advice we
can provide is to invest in a high quality
water boiler with built-in filtration.
“Water that is heated to the right
temperature also makes an impact. The
recommended temperature for brewing
coffee is between 90 and 96 0C, so you
need a boiler that can change the temperature of the water, such as a model
from Lincat’s FilterFlow range.”
Quality is key for consumers, but this is
only the start for caterers looking to cash
in on coffee. One key area for profitability
is the growing market for breakfast. According to Mintel, the first meal of the day
continues to have vast growth potential,
with 29% of people currently eating out for
breakfast at least once a month. Breakfast is one of the fastest growing sales
opportunities for caterers and Andrew
Jack, head of marketing for Matthew
Algie, believes that caterers should start
opening earlier to make the most of the
opportunity. He says: “It isn’t hard to see
Coffee / 67
why there has been an increase in establishments taking advantage of their premises and opening earlier in order to get as
much turnover as possible.”
manager for Lantmännen Unibake, also
thinks that this represents a great opportunity. Coffee is a remarkably powerful tool for cross-selling and can lend
weight to all sorts of meal deals, particularly morning goods. She says: “Investing in bakery accompaniments, such as
French and Danish pastries, tea cakes
and sweet treats to enhance hot beverage offerings, is a key tactic to tap into
the trend and help boost revenues.”
As an indication of the popularity of
morning goods, Shoosmith explains that
breakfast represents 77% of croissant
consumption occasions.
“Serving a good cup of coffee alone is
no longer enough,” says Frances Booth,
category marketing manager for Lotus
Bakeries. “B&I operators now need to
offer more value for customers’ money
to ensure they are not tempted by high
street alternatives.
“Doing just that couldn’t be simpler.
Why not add value to your coffee offering
by serving a complimentary biscuit with
each cup, such as the world famous ‘little
red biscuit’ from Lotus Bakeries, which
has been created to complement the
taste of coffee? In doing so, B&I operators can capitalise on the ethos of continental coffee shops, where European
outlets present customers with a complimentary biscuit which is included in the
overall price of the coffee.”
“The great thing about coffee is that
it is a popular choice whatever time of
day,” adds Heather Beattie, product
brand manager for Canteen Coffee from
Nisbets. “Whether it is during the breakfast rush or as a much needed pick-meup at both the morning and afternoon
coffee break, it’s important for B&I outlets
to make sure they are able to meet the
level of demand while maintaining
the quality of coffee served.
“This is why choosing the right coffee
beans is really important. Different
coffee beans are better suited to different types of coffee, and the importance
of getting this right can’t be overstated.”
Another key way to boost sales is to
be prepared for takeaway opportunities.
Recently commissioned research by
Huhtamaki found that coffee-to-go has
become an expected part of everyday
life for British consumers. According to
Linda Young, UK foodservice marketing
manager for Huhtamaki UK Ltd, the research reveals that almost everyone over
the age of 18 buys a takeaway hot drink
and that coffee accounts for 77% of takeaway hot beverage consumption. She
adds: “A takeaway beverage has very
much become a part of everyday life.”
Takeaway presents another opportunity for caterers. Disposable cups are
a good opportunity to boost branding –
even in an office or commercial environment a strong brand can boost business.
Young advises caterers to think carefully about their brand and choose disposables that support and promote the
style and presentation of their outlet. To
go further, caterers can even customise
the design of their disposables. Young
explains the benefits: “Customisation also
means that you can convey specific messages about ethical sourcing, so if you’re
using Fairtrade ingredients or sourcing
disposables which are made using paperboard from sustainably managed forests,
tell people about it!”
Coffee is the ultimate modern food trend.
It taps into the desire for quality, complexity
and provenance, and provides a constantly
changing range of products and flavour
profiles. To get it right, however, requires an
investment in expertise – as well as a quality
product. But with the growing popularity of
eating breakfast out of home, coupled with
coffee’s position as the most popular takeaway hot beverage, an investment in coffee
will pay dividends to savvy caterers.
Lantmännen Unibake
Lotus Bakeries
Matthew Algie
68 / Coffee
Developed to deliver a higher level of consistent good coffee
quality while protecting the health and life of espresso machines and coffee making equipment, the new European
WaterCare (EWC) Prima range of calcium treatment units
are made in the UK and are 100% recyclable. These units
will not only ensure the production of better tasting and
fuller flavour coffee, but protect machines from the harmful
effects of limescale and ensure cup after cup drink consistency too, which is vital to the discerning customer.
By avoiding potentially serious malfunction of boilers,
steam wands and dispense heads to eliminate the major
expense and business loss of machine downtime, servicing and repair, the Prima units have been specially formulated for espresso and coffee machines, and designed
to provide the ideal target blend of water to maximise the
quality of the coffee produced.
EQC offers a full monitoring and exchange service that includes a scale-free guarantee. As the leading independent UK manufacturers of
water treatment equipment for the food industry, EWC can work closely with users
to ensure that the right product and service is supplied at a competitive price.
Paper cups are no longer just a way of serving takeaway
drinks, they are a great marketing tool too! Whether it’s a soya
latte, skinny cappuccino or Americano, takeaway beverages
served in disposable paper cups allow you to offer a premium
service with a quality printed product, which is great if you
want to provide your customers with a branded takeaway
service. Branded paper cups can be used to communicate
product information and promotional opportunities, as well as
to enhance your overall branded presence.
All Huhtamaki UK paper cups are made with 100% PEFC
paperboard and are fully compliant with the EU Timber Regulation No. 995/2010, so you can rest assured that you are
buying with confidence from the industry’s leading supplier of
disposable paper products to the UK high street.
Coffeelings, from German manufacturer Tafelstern, is a comprehensive and dedicated collection of tableware that aims to enhance and harmonise the serving of
beverages in your establishment.
With its rounded, angular forms and clean, simple lines, Coffeelings offers you
the opportunity to personalise your tea and coffee service. It is a mix and match
collection of tableware, comprising a choice of cups, saucers and matching plates
in different sizes. In addition there are mugs, milk and cream jugs, coffee pots,
teapots, and even matching cake stands!
In all, the collection comprises 37 individual pieces, with list price examples
that include the tall mug at £5.49, the coffee pot at £13.77 and the flat oval plate at
£4.85. Tafelstern products are exclusively distributed in the UK by Artis.
Nisbets’ new Canteen range offers a variety of choices for coffee lovers. From
Medium Dark Arabica, with its mild and aromatic flavour, which is perfectly suited
to premium espressos and shorter cups of coffee, to mixed Arabica and Robusta
blend, which is ideal for those serving larger cups of milk-based coffee drinks such
as cappuccinos or lattes, both are available in 1kg packs or in 6 x 1kg packs.
For outlets using cafetieres, especially in conference facilities, meanwhile,
there is a full range to choose from, from the rich, full-bodied Canteen Cafetiere
Java Coffee, to the medium- to light-bodied Canteen Cafetiere Ground Colombian
Coffee (CK942). Both can be purchased in packs of 100 x 18g individually sealed
sachets designed to keep the coffee as fresh as possible.
70 / Wholesale
Today’s wholesalers are far more than just a convenient place
to buy cheap food in bulk – the new generation of outlets offer
customers advice, marketing material and support too
Wholesalers have been supplying the foodservice industry
for some years, but today they offer contract caterers a
much wider range of products, making the advantages of
using them far greater than ever before.
There are several advantages of purchasing food and non-food
products in bulk – from honing the supply side of an operation,
to reducing the need for frequent and time consuming
deliveries, with the obvious benefit of keen prices. “Using a
single wholesaler with a full category offering can help caterers
to streamline their operation by reducing the administration
time taken up ordering and accepting deliveries from various
suppliers and enabling them to source their entire product
requirements via a one stop shop,” says Andrew Stedman,
sales and marketing director for Creed Foodservice.
Being environmentally friendly is a key consideration for most
caterers, so it should be important to suppliers too. Changing
from several deliveries a week to just one not only makes the
supply chain far easier for operators to organise, but cuts down
on food miles too. “Delivered wholesale can offer caterers a far
more diverse range of products, which can all be conveniently
found in one place,” explains Chris Beckley, managing director
of KFF. “The vast range of products available gives caterers a
better chance of appealing to their customer base by offering
dishes that match their brand and values.
Buying in bulk can, of course, significantly reduce costs for
businesses, and these can then be passed on to the consumers,
allowing operators to offer great value menus. However,
it’s important for operators to forge good relationships with
suppliers and ensure they can always consistently deliver the
goods. “By working closely with their wholesaler, caterers can
get advice on how to make the most of the products available
to them, as well as information on product innovation,
industry legislation support, seasonality updates
and trends,” says Stedman.
The internet has made ordering a far more
simple process too, as operators now have the
Wholesale / 71
option of ordering online via their phone, laptop or other device,
as well as over the phone at a time that suits them. “Buying in
bulk leads to price stability advantages, which we pass on to our
customers,” explains Mahesh Patel, director of buying, group
commercial for Bidvest Foodservice. “We can negotiate with
suppliers due to the vast volumes that we purchase and can
offer multi-buy promotions that benefit customers who need to
stock up.”
Although buying in bulk offers caterers a great deal, they
need to think about minimising waste and storage issues too.
By opting to purchase from a wholesaler, operators can take
advantage of consistent pricing without having to worry about
fluctuating costs.
When choosing a supplier operators should opt for a company
that truly understands the needs of their business. From
ensuring that there will always be access to a range of top quality
products to offering the tools and knowledge to run a successful
operation, a good wholesaler can prove invaluable. “Operators
should look for suppliers who understand chefs’ needs and
deliver the products chefs want,” says Becky Hover, food
marketing manager for Brakes. “Traceability and responsibly
sourced ingredients are also important.”
Most suppliers now offer certified food and drink, whether
it’s Red Tractor, MSC approved or Fairtrade products. This
makes it far easier for foodservice operators to ensure they are
working with conscientious suppliers. “Caterers should look
at wholesalers as less of a supplier and more of a partner in
catering,” says Beckley. “A strong relationship not only helps to
maintain a high level of quality food served to customers, but
also helps to grow the business.”
As well as checking the quality of products, caterers also
need to think about how the products are going to be delivered
to them and how the journey may affect them. Therefore, it’s
important that operators choose suppliers who regularly
undertake quality control assessments. “We recognise that it’s
vital to deliver products in the right condition to customers,” says
Patel. “Our warehouses and lorries are multi-temperature, to
guarantee that chilled, frozen and ambient products are stored
and delivered to customers in the right condition from start
to finish.”
Provenance and traceability remain important to consumers,
so aside from using MSC certified fish or Red Tractor approved
produce, caterers need to know where other items they are
purchasing originate. These days this is not a big issue as
many wholesalers source their produce locally where possible,
reducing the amount of food miles that are clocked up.
All caterers can benefit from the regular deliveries, competitive
prices and diverse range of products that wholesalers can offer,
ensuring that they have a ready supply of food and non-food
products. The quality of products on offer has greatly improved
over the last decade as have the financial gains, so everyone’s
a winner.
Bidvest Foodservice
Creed Foodservice
72 / Contract caterers’ corner
American innovation
In the middle of May, a small team from specialist London caterer
Vacherin made the transatlantic trip to Chicago to experience the
world’s largest hospitality trade show – The NRA Show 2015.
We found out how the visit went
The NRA Show, the annual trade fair run by
the US-based National Restaurant Association, is the most comprehensive event for the
foodservice industry in the USA, and the 2015
Show brought a diverse range of industry segments together under one roof. In addition to
thousands of independent and chain restaurateurs, NRA Show attendance included 100% of
the top 50 restaurant and caterer brands in the
world and 98 of the top 100 brands. Total exhibit
space, at upwards of 60,000 square metres, was
the highest since 2000 and more than 63,000
registrants hailed from over 100 countries.
Four members of Vacherin’s team went to
Chicago, including managing director Mark Philpott, director of food Dan Kelly, executive chef Doug
Condor, and chef manager Sylviana Driscoll. Their
aim was to search out the new trends, equipment
‹Œ™Œ•›Gš› “ŒšG–G
and products that could have an impact on their
business back in London. As well as seeing the
Show, which was spread over four days, the team
also wanted to explore the food scene in Chicago,
including a visit to one of the world’s leading
restaurants, Alinea.
Their plan was to visit the Show every day and try a
different restaurant or food style every night. They
wanted to get as much out of the experience as
possible and, with several thousand exhibitors, all
four set their own itineraries for what each wanted
to find out, though these inevitably converged in
some areas.
The exhibit floors were a great place to spot new
trends and to identify several old trends that are still
going strong. According to Kelly, their constant drive
Contract caterers’ corner / 73
for innovation was the core rationale for attending.
“We wanted to check out what new trends and concepts may be hitting us in the coming months and
years, and also find and experience different styles
of food offerings that we may be able to take back
and use in the business.”
The one factor that struck the Vacherin team was
the scale of the Show. “It’s probably three times the
size of the biggest show I’ve seen in the UK and
there were so many people there,” said Condor.
“It seemed like almost anything you could hope
to find was there somewhere, but the scale of it
meant that it was also difficult to take it all in from
a multi-sensory perspective. Passing hundreds of
exhibition stands displaying hundreds of products
per supplier is almost too much to take in and remember as you are going round. You have to ask
the questions while you’re there, or make constant
notes of what you want to go back and look at.”
For Philpott, the technology on show was one
of the factors that impressed him the most. He
said: “Technology was a big focus. It seemed like
wherever you looked technology was taking over
something. From the way ovens are now more than
just a switchable oven or steamer and could griddle
or poach or sous-vide, to the way technology was
helping with allergens and healthy eating.
“For us, we gathered some great ideas about
using technology to make the operation of a catering business innovative, slicker and more efficient
– from 3D edible printing, interactive allergen-based
menus and the potential use of robots, to back of
house management and clever apps that link your
customers with social media.”
One concept that impressed Kelly was the wide
range of indoor hydroponic cabinets for growing
herbs and micro-cresses, enabling chefs who don’t
have the luxury of outside space to cultivate their
own leaves and herbs. But the concept of making
jam out of everything and anything really got his
attention. “Is jamming maybe the next trend like
fermenting was? Suppliers seemed to be jamming
everything in sight, but bacon jam was absolutely
amazing. We were told the process to make it was
very difficult and takes too long for people to do
themselves. Thankfully that didn’t put me off! I have
some lovely jars of bacon jam to go on my burgers
and toasted sour dough bread at home now.”
For Driscoll, one of the biggest impressions was
that the UK was not behind the US as she had perceived beforehand. She explained: “I took away the
realisation that America and its food concepts and
ideas are not actually way ahead of ours, which is
contrary to the perception that many people have.
They certainly have some different ideals, foods
and tastes to us, and some probably do ultimately
hit us at a later date, but I think it seems, now more
than ever, it’s also the other way round. We spoke
to a few Americans who were actually heading to
London to investigate our food scene on the basis
that it was so creative and far more diverse.”
ˆŠ›œˆ““ GŒˆ‹•ŽG›–G
Alinea – one of the world’s
leading restaurants
A trip to Chicago for a group of selfconfessed foodies wouldn’t be complete
without a visit to Alinea, the worldrenowned restaurant of chef Grant Achatz
– providing you can actually get a table
there of course. Being well connected, the
Vacherin team managed to do just that,
and set off with sky-high expectations
that were completely exceeded. Kelly
described it as “without a doubt, the
best place any of us has eaten at, ever!
I’ve been waiting years to sample Grant
Achatz’s food and we were so excited to
get a table and the best one in the house
at that.”
It was this exceeding of their
expectations that really impressed
Philpott. “We are fortunate in this
business to experience some wonderful
events and food so our expectations
are higher than most, but to have
those totally blown away by a dining
experience like Alinea was remarkable.
We had amazing food, fantastic service,
fun, excitement, and being served by
the chef himself truly made this a night
we won’t forget. The only downside was
that it’s so far away, we can’t just book
and go again.”
Vacherin’s top 10 trends from the NRA Show
Gluten-free was everywhere!
Gluten-free product or service suppliers were probably the largest single category at the Show,
demonstrating that this has become a huge business catering for both true allergy sufferers and
those who prefer to adopt a gluten-free diet.
There was a clear movement towards smaller and independent offers against large-scale
chains. It’s certainly something we are already starting to see in the UK as well.
The next trend in street food?
It has to be everything on a stick! From pretzels to sausages and even desserts on a stick, we
think we will see lots more of this in the UK soon.
Smoking and barbecuing options were everywhere
Of course, this is not a new trend, but so much can be learned from the Americans on how to do
this the right way.
No reduction in consumption of animal protein
In contrast to what seems to be happening in the UK, there was no evidence that people were
wanting to or trying to reduce their animal protein consumption. Meat and meat products
were most definitely the main focal points of menus.
German cuisine, especially pretzels
The Americans seem to be selling these in all sorts of variations. Small/large, sweet/savoury,
traditional and all other possible variations in between.
Bacon variants
What can you do when you have tried everything with bacon? Start making ‘bacon’ out of other
ingredients such as beef, turkey or even vegetarian bacon!
This is a type of sweet hot sauce or chilli sauce of Thai origin made from a paste of chilli
peppers, distilled vinegar, garlic, sugar, and salt. This was very prevalent and was used as a
dressing, a sauce, a mayonnaise, a ketchup, a dry rub, and everything in between! Product heat
or spiciness seemed to be a big topic in Chicago, and many people were boasting about how
spicy or hot their products were.
Pimped up chips
After the success of Poutine, the next step with chips seems to be adding flavourings once
cooked rather than just salt. Alternatives we saw were as simple as a garlic salt through to a
Bloody Mary flavouring (which seemed to be the drink of the show, including alcohol-free and
in many different heats from utilising more or spicier versions of horseradish).
Uniforms – or rather, the lack of
With a more relaxed feel very much in evidence, uniforms have seen a change with very few
establishments having their staff in the same stuffy outfits, preferring similar style outfits or very
relaxed styles instead.
74 / Reynolds Recipe
Baked cauliflower
0845 310 6200
½ white cauliflower
½ purple cauliflower
80ml double cream
1 onion, julienne
1 tsp cumin seeds
2g Sea salt
1g course black pepper
2 sprigs of spring onion
XUGPre-heat the oven to 160°C (fan-assisted).
YU Cut the cauliflower into small florets.
ZU Cut the onion into long julienne strips, removing
the root from the onion.
[U Pour the double cream into a large bowl.
\U Add the cauliflower florets and onion to the double
cream and mix well.
5 whole Medjool dates
]U Add the sea salt, pepper and cumin seeds to the
cream mixture and mix once again.
Place the mixture onto a large baking tray which
has been lined with greaseproof paper.
The cauliflower is a member of the brassica
family alongside broccoli, kale and cabbage – in
fact, cauliflower originates from the Latin term,
‘cabbage flower’.
References to the cauliflower are thought to
date back to the 6th century B.C. and whilst the
white cabbage is by far the most recognised,
in recent years the purple and orange variants
have gained increasing popularity, alongside the
Cauliflower is low in fat and carbohydrates, but
high in dietary fibre, folate, and vitamin C, as
well as health benefiting phytochemicals and
carotenoids. However, as with other brassicas,
boiling will seriously deplete any nutritional
compounds, so steaming, roasting or microwaving are much better methods of cooking.
Cauliflower is also delicious eaten raw with dips,
or in salads. Alternatively, raw cauliflower makes
an excellent couscous or tabouleh substitute –
simply pulse in a food processor.
Whilst cauliflower leaves are generally discarded, they can be used in cooking. As well
as making a great addition to soups or stews,
treated as a cabbage substitute, they will make
a tasty side dish.
Look for white or cream-colored heads that feel
heavy for their size, with fresh looking leaves.
Keep cauliflower loosely wrapped in plastic in
the fridge, ideally positioned with the stem-side
down to prevent any moisture from collecting in
the florets, which can cause deterioration.
_U Bake the cauliflower for about 15 – 20 minutes or
until the caulifl ower is cooked.
While the caulifl ower is cooking, remove the stones
from the Madjool dates and cut into smaller pieces.
XWU Cut the spring onions into 2mm roundels.
Once the caulifl ower is cooked, sprinkle over the
dates and spring onions.
XYU Serve.
Consultants’ column / 75
Two new pieces of
legislation announced
by the government are
set to affect the industry.
In the latest column,
FCSI consultant Radford
Chancellor, director of
Radford Chancellor Ltd,
gives us his views on how
the National Living Wage
and transparency on
salaries for companies with
over 250 employees will
impact our industry
While most contract caterers want to improve
wages for their staff and they broadly welcome
the introduction of the new Living Wage, it is likely to have an impact on caterers and their clients.
Contract caterers will have already set their
own budgets for the next 12 months and this is not
something they would have considered and they will
now have to address. Moreover, a large number of
contracts are on a fixed fee basis, so the caterers
will have to either negotiate with their clients or look
for savings in other areas. My worry is that some caterers will cut their food budgets or marketing budgets and this will impact on the quality of the service.
As over 30% of the catering industry’s costs are
spent on wages, the new Living Wage will have an
impact. This will not only be at the lower income
levels, but people in slightly more senior roles
(i.e. chef or supervisor) will likely want to see their
wages increase as a proportion of the lower wage
earners’ increase. Contract caterers could start
to look to employ more workers under the age of
25 to avoid additional overheads, which would be
have a positive effect for younger people. There is
also a possibility that some lower paid workers will
lose their jobs and caterers will increase the hours
slightly of other team members and aim to run the
service with fewer staff and fewer man hours.
Given that on some contracts margins are tight,
it will be a challenge to put the new Living Wage
in place. However, contract caterers are adept at
managing costs and generating sales. I do believe
they have the skills and tools to introduce this over
the timescale planned. In the short term (18 to 24
months) contract caterers will feel the pain, but over
the longer term it will just become normal and part
of their business model.
We’ve just come through one of the most challenging economic periods ever, and the contract
catering market, while competitive, is thriving, and
this initiative will ultimately help them reward
and retain great people.
The second piece of legislation affecting our
industry is that companies with more than 250
employees will have to publish data on how they
pay men and women, to address gender equal-
Œ˜œˆ“› G–G
—ˆ GŠˆ•GˆŒG
ˆ• ›•ŽG‰œ›G
For more info on
FCSI, go to,
or follow them on
Twitter @FCSIUK
ity issues. As part of my work I speak to contract
caterers on a weekly basis and none of the leading
companies I have spoken to are concerned about
this – well not openly at least.
Women working in the catering sector were paid
on average 18% less than their male co-workers in
2014, according to research in the public domain
and our insight into the market. The gender pay gap
is less of an issue with the lower paid workers within
contract catering. However, it can still be an issue
as you move up to regional and area managers and
directors. Too often employers try to use female
career breaks for raising families as a reason to
negotiate salaries down. With large companies
required to publish aggregate numbers, women will
at least have a reference point to begin such conversations with their managers – and the company
should have the data to give clear answers too.
The evidence is clear: a diverse workforce makes
better decisions and delivers better results. Clearer
employee data, improved recruitment and a reinvigorated focus on business culture will all pay
dividends. This change should be a benefit for all
employees, not just women – and good for the contract catering market too. I cannot see how equality of pay can have anything but a positive impact
on contract caterers. This is a great leap forward in
achieving equality at work.
Reader offers /
76 /
The Smeg ALFA43UK fan oven is capable
of baking and reheating a wide range of
goods – pizzas, pastries, cakes, bread,
and more! With a temperature range of
50°C to 250°C and a 0-60-minute timer,
it offers huge versatility. Four trays, with
a size of 435 x 320mm, provide ample
cooking space in the enamelled cavity,
and a stainless steel door makes the unit
attractive, while remaining durable and
easy to clean.
The oven operates on a 13-amp plug,
with a total loading of just 2.75kW, so it
is energy efficient with low running costs,
and it can also be easily and quickly set
up for first use. The compact countertop
dimensions of 602W x 584D x 537H
(mm) also mean the unit can be moved
if needed.
You can now order your Smeg ALFA43UK
fan oven for the exclusive price of
just £399 + VAT. This is a limited offer
on one of the UK’s bestselling ovens
– order yours now! Simply e-mail
[email protected],
the deadline is 31st October.
Offers from the sponsors of Zest Quest Asia
As a proud sponsor of Zest Quest Asia,
promoted by the Master Chefs of Great Britain
and the brainchild of Cyrus Todiwala OBE,
McCormick is offering three lucky readers
the chance to win a case of Noël’s Topping
Sauces, in each of three flavours – Chocolate,
Strawberry and Caramel – along with a case of
Noël’s Chocolate Vermicelli and Noël’s Sugar
Strands. That’s an amazing £70 worth of
dessert toppings to add a flavourful and
colourful finishing touch to your desserts
and cakes!
To be in with a chance of winning, e-mail
[email protected] before 31st
October, stating your name, business name
and address, daytime phone number, ‘B&I
magazine’ and quoting ‘Zest Quest Asia’ in
the subject line. To find out more about McCormick, visit,
or go to
for more on Zest Quest Asia.
Offers / 77
As a supporter of Zest Quest Asia, Oliver Harvey
is pleased to offer one of its stylish butcher’s
stripe bib aprons to the first 10 readers to apply.
With branded, non-tangle ties, adjustable neck
strap and cloth loop made of 100% cotton, these
aprons are worn by some of the very best chefs
in the industry.
Oliver Harvey is a manufacturer of quintessentially British chefs’ wear. With over 20 years’
collective textile design experience within the
chefs’ clothing field, Oliver Harvey has taken the
step to introduce a range of British manufactured
tailored chefs’ clothing to market. From its factory in east Manchester, Oliver Harvey designs,
manufactures and distributes an exclusive range
of jackets, trousers and aprons with the discerning chef in mind.
To be in with a chance of winning, e-mail
[email protected] before 30th November, stating your name, business name
and address, daytime phone number, ‘B&I
magazine’ and quoting ‘Zest Quest Asia’ in
the subject line. To find out more about the
Oliver Harvey range, visit www.oliverharvey., or go to for
more on Zest Quest Asia.
Cobra is delighted to be supporting Zest
Quest Asia as a Silver sponsor this year,
adding the weight of its award-winning
brand to the cause. The initiative, which
promotes the multi-facets of Asian cuisine, is the brainchild of Cyrus Todiwala
and is run in association with the Master
Chefs of Great Britain. It reflects many of
the core values that Cobra places on its
beer: a harmonious blend of traditional ingredients, fused with modern techniques,
to create a complementary beverage for
all manner of spiced dishes.
So you can savour the flavours of this
deliciously smooth beer, Cobra is giving
away a case of 24 x 330ml bottles (RRP
£75) to the first three readers to apply.
To be in with a chance of winning, all you have to do is e-mail
[email protected] before 30 th
November, stating your name, business
name and address, daytime phone number, ‘B&I magazine’, and quoting ‘Zest
Quest Asia’ in the subject line. To find out
more about Cobra, visit www.cobrabeer.
com, or go to for
more on Zest Quest Asia.
The Good Deli Company has debuted its new artisan Italian
range with the launch of seven speciality flours. The collection
includes four organic flours – Einkorn, Montana, Kamut and
Kronos – a gluten-free, and two speciality pulse products –
Chickpea and Borlotti.
The organic range hails from Molino Grassi in Parma, Italy, one
of Europe’s leading organic farmers. It has been handpicked
by Good Deli Company for its combination of both new and
ancient grains, and the ability to deliver “nutritional value, quality,
provenance, and superior flavour at a cost-effective price”.
The aim is to offer an easy solution to help operators
create authentic artisan products in-house.
Product s / 79
Dining outlets can now offer perfectly
shaped fresh waffle cones in superquick time, thanks to Nisbets’ new
Waring Double Waffle Cone Maker.
It is specifically designed for the
commercial environment and
can bake up to 120 fresh waffle
cones per hour, making it ideal
for busy outlets.
Dawn Foods has introduced new
natural colour source Red Velvet
Crème Cake Base. It has been
created to enable bakers and
caterers to produce sweet bakery
products featuring the distinctive and
on-trend vibrant red hue.
The Phat Pasty Co has unveiled a
fresh new look. Its updated point of
sale materials and concept support
packages reinforce Phat’s roots
and the authenticity of its pasties.
Handmade in Newquay, they offer
flavours from the traditional Cornish
pasty to unique flavours with a twist.
Sweetbird has launched its Seasonal
Syrup Boxes. They are designed to
make staying on top of trends easier,
helping to mix up the staple items on
your menu with new drinks.
When used front of house it will add
to the visual appeal and, due to the
smell and theatre, is likely to increase
the number of orders.
Easy to use with just the addition
of egg, oil and water, it produces
a deep dark red-coloured sponge
with a soft, moist eating texture and
a well-rounded vanilla flavour. It is
available in 3.5kg bags.
Caterers can also use them to
promote Phat’s premium pie range,
which includes a Steak and Cornish
Ale pie, and a Sweet Potato, Spinach
and Goats’ Cheese option.
The box contains Salted Caramel,
English Toffee and Coconut flavoured
syrups. It also comes with tons of
limited edition point of sale; a recipe
card, so that staff can make the
drinks perfectly; and syrup pumps for
easier use, which also keep portion
sizes consistent.
01908 217 257
0117 953 3522
Chifafa has launched a new breakfast kebab,
six months after opening to great fanfare
in Clerkenwell, London. Using the gourmet
kebab specialist’s trademark fluffy souvlaki
bread, it boasts dry cured bacon, free-range
egg, tomatoes, feta, parsley, coriander,
and spicy tomato chilli sauce.
Available from 8am until 10.30am, Monday to
Friday, the kebab was created by Chifafa
executive chef and MasterChef: The
Professionals runner-up Sven-Hanson Britt.
It aims to provide hungry workers
with “something a little different on
their way into work”.
80 / People
Catering manager, Aramark
The early bird catches the worm and I’m definitely a morning
person. The alarm goes off at 5.30am and I’m at work by 7am.
I’m used to the early starts and so is my Dalmatian, Jake, who
also likes his morning walks!
There are elements of the role which mean that you have to have
routine to a degree. We offer a breakfast, lunch and tea service
all at fixed points throughout the day and you largely have to
plan around that. It helps keep you focused and ensures you
deliver a great experience for your customers, day in, day out.
As catering manager for Home Retail Group in Stafford, it’s a
real mix. There’s a fair bit of office-based work – finances, food
orders, forward planning – but I’m chef trained so I’ll be there
in the kitchen, getting stuck in too. I started at the site as head
chef 10 years ago, moved on to other Aramark contracts and
then came back. Now I’ve worked my way up the ladder it’s
good that I can still put my cooking skills to great use. Another
responsibility is to make sure we keep our menus fresh and
exciting, offering a wide range of food and, in really simple
terms, keeping our customers happy.
That’s a big yes at both senior level and with my team on site.
My management and training colleagues have supported me
through an 18-month training course that finished earlier this
year, which means I now have a Higher Level 4 Apprenticeship
in Hospitality Management. It’s both an NVQ and a
BTEC qualification in one and, while it’s been really demanding,
it has also been great fun. It’s fantastic that Aramark has
invested in me as an individual to improve my skills and also
further my career.
On site we very much have a team ethos, we pull together
and help each other out. It’s a great group of people and we’ve
got real team spirit.
We do get a chance as a team to sit down and eat together. My
shift has usually finished by 4pm, so I often then cook at home
too. Mexican is my favourite – I’ve been to Mexico a few times
and you can’t beat a fantastic fajita or mouth-watering burrito.
We cook some great Mexican dishes for our customers too!
–G” G
ˆžˆ G
‹ˆ G‘–‰
Being able to get creative! Setting up the deli bar, focusing
on our specials, bringing new ideas to the menu and keeping
things fresh, whether full meals or a new selection of breads. It’s
about variety – everything from providing healthy options to tasty
familiar foods like fish and chip Fridays.
We’re always about providing fantastic customer service and a
large part of that is staffing and people. If someone in the team
is off sick you’ve got to turn your mind to how you cover their
role for the day, making sure you keep those levels of customer
service up. As I said, we’re a real team here, everyone pitches in
and we get around it.
Food remains one of my interests away from the day job.
I love going out for a meal and cooking at home. And, Jake,
my Dalmatian, keeps me grounded. He’s six and a half years old
now and a real part of the family!
B&I catering index /
/ 81
call the sales team on
01474 520 266
Welcome to the new B&I Catering Index, the industry’s essential quick reference guide available to key decision makers across this
multi-billion pound sector. Any company that is serious about keeping on top of potential new business should be listed!
Speciality Breads Ltd
Unit J2 Channel Road
Westwood Industrial Estate
Margate, Kent,
T: 01843 209442
F: 01843 231378
E: [email protected]
C&C Catering Equipment Ltd
Speciality Breads are artisan bakers of
fine breads to the foodservice industry.
Operating from our purpose built bakery
in East Kent, our wholesale speciality
bread products are available throughout
the UK and Channel Islands via a network
of frozen food distributors.
1 Smithy Farm, Chapel Lane
Chester, CH3 6EW
T: 01244 625170
W: [email protected]
McFarlane Telfer
B5, Westacott Business Centre,
West Berkshire, SL6 3RT
RH Hall
T: 01628 822598
E: [email protected]
McFarlane Telfer is an independent
Commercial Catering & Refrigeration
maintenance company. We offer highly
skilled, directly employed engineers
Verde Coffee
Unit D2,Atlantic Gate
Atlantic Trading Estate
Barry, CF63 3RF
T: 0800 980 6009
E: [email protected]
T: 0845 206 8665
E: [email protected]
T: 01296 663400
E: [email protected]
Verde Coffee stock everything a successful
coffee business needs; freshly-roasted
coffee blends, espresso machines, grinders,
water filters, blenders and a full range
of consumables. We offer a nationwide
installation and maintenance service, Barista
training and next-day delivery.
Rational UK Ltd
Unit 4, Titan Court,
Laporte Way, Luton LU4 8EP
T: 01582 480388
E: [email protected]
‘Consolis, the specialists in integrated EPOS
and payment processing. Join the growing
band of Contract Caterers, B&I clients and
pop up event companies already benefitting
from Consolis’ flexible, efficient, and cost
effective solutions for point of sale’
Regale Microwave Ovens Ltd
140 Ordnance Business Park,
Aerodrome Road, Gosport,
PO13 0FG
T: +44 (0)1329 285518
E: [email protected]
Essential Cuisine Ltd
TRUEfoods Ltd
Barker Business Park
North Yorkshire
Browning Way, Woodford Park
Industrial Estate, Winsford,
Cheshire CW7 2RH
E: [email protected]
RATIONAL, the market leading
combi steamer manufacturer, offers
the unrivalled SelfCookingCenter 5
Senses. Contact us today to book a
T: 01606 541490 F: 01606 541499
RH Hall has been established 37
years and is the leading independent ‘one
stop’ foodservice equipment supplier
providing over 10,000 products from stock
from over 100 leading foodservice brands.
Crystal Gate
28 – 30 Worship Street
London, EC2A 2AH
Hallco House, Beacon Court,
Pitstone Green Business Park,
Pitstone, Bedfordshire , LU7 9GY
C&C Catering Equipment Ltd are one of the
UK’s leading specialist kitchen contractors.
Multi-award winning, we create and equip
professional catering environments for clients
around the UK.
Here at Essential Cuisine, we’re proud to
provide you and your hard-working team with
the best quality stocks, jus, glaces, demiglaces and gravies.
T: +44 (0)1765 640 927
E: [email protected]
Regale, the only independent commercial
microwave oven specialist, have been
supplying Commercial Catering companies
now for over 33 years and are proud of our
reputation for giving excellent trade prices and
extremely high standard of service within a
friendly atmosphere.
Quality, clarity and consistency are words that
resonate for TRUEfoods stocks. A perfect veg
and aromatic to meat ratio, creates perfectly
infused stocks with great depth of flavour.
Using simple methods and utilising our
‘culinary principles’ keep our stock and vision
clear, in order achieve the perfect consistency,
time and time again and because we
specialise in stocks, we can deliver a truly cost
effective solution to your kitchen.
82 / The Badger
off switch?
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Many of us will have taken a wellearned break over the summer months,
but these days how many of us really
switch off from work and how much
are we encouraged to do that by
our employers?
Most people today work pretty hard
and often work outside of regular office
hours. I know I do bits and bobs of work
in the evening, get up extra early to catch
up sometimes, and do ad hoc jobs at the
weekend too. Our work has become a
much bigger part of our lives than it ever
used to be and the main reason for that
is technology.
I remember, and it’s really not that long
ago, when I didn’t have e-mails constantly
coming through and could only really
access them via my laptop when I was
connected somewhere. Now, of course,
with the advent of the smartphone, tablet,
Wi-Fi and data packages, we’re pretty
much wired for contact wherever we are
in the world.
Many people now, me included, will
regularly take a look at their e-mails when
they are away on holiday and clear out the
rubbish. I wish I didn’t in some ways, but
the thought of coming back after a couple
of weeks away to 1,000 to 1,500 e-mails in
my inbox is horrifying! But what is the true
impact of this activity?
On holiday recently I conducted a little
of my own research. Looking round several
restaurants, bars and cafés, people were
often glued to their smartphones, usually
totally ignoring the people they were sat
with – and before you think I’m having a go
at ‘young people’, you need to know that
my observations were of all age groups.
It doesn’t bode well for communications
and interpersonal skill development! They
wouldn’t have all been doing work of
course – social media would be playing a
prominent role too, keeping in touch with
friends back home, but do people ever
now get the chance to switch off mentally
and recharge their batteries, or even have
a good conversation?
According to a recent article in People
Management magazine, one of the UK’s
leading business psychologists, Sir Cary
Cooper, said that British people already
work the longest regular hours in the developed world and are a more substantial user of technology than almost any
other country. His view is that a culture of
always-on communications is causing UK
workers to burn out quickly and become
significantly less productive.
Is this preoccupation with smartphones and technology actually changing the way we behave as human beings?
Professor Conrad Earnest, who has led
a study by the A&M University in Texas,
suggests that humans have evolved a
’protective shuffle’ to cope with walking
and texting. He said in a recent BBC interview: “The shuffle looks like a normal
walk with a shortened stride and a tendency to raise the foot a little higher when
going up curbs or steps.” People texting
on the move also slow their pace and tend
to “deviate” from their course “a bit more”
than when walking normally. We’ll clearly
have to start building that into our health
and safety risk assessments!
I think holidays are important and we
should all be encouraged to take our entitlement in full, get away and recharge
our batteries in the process. It’s a good
time to spend with family and friends. How
much of the ‘stuff’ that we do in our jobs
is so absolutely business critical that we
can’t hand over to someone else or allow
it to wait until our return?
I tried to turn over a new leaf on my
recent holiday. I did access e-mail every
day but only to clear out the rubbish stuff
and see what was happening. I didn’t
reply to very many of them though and,
guess what, the world continued.
Some companies are introducing a
more forward thinking policy that dictates
that no e-mails should be sent to people
on holiday and instead they should be sent
everything the day before they get back.
That sounds like a good idea, although I
still have a panic about 1,000-plus e-mails
hitting my inbox on the day I return!
As managers, we have a responsibility to consider the wellbeing of our teams
and encourage all individuals to make
the most of their breaks, and that surely
involves persuading them to avoid being
glued to their smartphone or laptop for
work-related content. We need to think
before we send e-mails and texts to colleagues on holiday. Better still, get them
to leave the smartphone, tablet or laptop
in the office or at home!