Caterers' Recipe for Success; BUSINESS LIFE

Article excerpt

Warwickshire firm Catermasters, a runner-up in last year's Evening Telegraph Business Awards, has made great strides forwards in the decade it has been trading. Business Editor ALISON WILLIAMS talked to the firm to discover its recipe for success

FORMER chefs Nigel Johnson and Richard Moody are keeping their fingers crossed for more mergers and acquisitions in the contract catering industry.

Their firm, Leamington-based Catermasters, has managed to pick up several new contracts in the wake of a frenzy of buy-out activity in the sector.

Many clients have become "unsettled" by the link-ups and have sought out smaller operators like Catermasters and other independent firms.

The pair started Catermasters 10 years ago, with just themselves as staff. They had given up jobs as chefs in other contract catering firms. Even today, they still roll their sleeves up from time to time and get stuck in in the kitchens when they are short-handed at a particular site.

Today, the head office in Clarendon Place has about 20 staff, with another handful in a sales office in Maidenhead, Berkshire. About 280 staff are also on site at the firms of the 43 contracts currently operated by the firm.

Turnover was pounds 6.5 million this year and is set to reach pounds 8 million next year. …