Company of Cooks, the bespoke caterer operating in the visitor attraction and cultural sector, is the latest foodservice business to join the growing CH&Co portfolio.
Founded by Mike Lucy to run catering services at Kenwood House on behalf of English Heritage in 1996, Company of Cooks today has a turnover of £35m and 600 employees across London and the south east of England. Its clients include RHS Wisley, the Royal Opera House and the National Portrait Gallery.
The Company of Cooks is the latest group to be acquired by CH&Co, which last month reported a 19% increase in turnover to £286m for 2018, with profit before tax of £17.2m. In August CH&Co bought Mitie’s catering division Gather & Gather, having added Harbour & Jones and Concerto Group to its portfolio in 2017.
Lucy will continue to manage the business, with the Company of Cooks’ brand, ethos and tailored approach to its clients remaining in place. He will also lead on sharing best practice across the combined portfolio.
Company of Cooks will gain the support from CH&Co’s back office functions, as well as additional learning and development opportunities for staff.
Lucy said: “This merger provides a great opportunity for the loyal and talented members of the Company of Cooks band. It also provides us with a greater ability to compete and, with the benefit of CH&Co and the Company of Cooks credentials and distinct personality, I’m confident that we can make a positive impact both in our own specialist market and to the wider CH&Co group. We’re looking forward to many more years developing our relationships with our existing partners as well as perhaps adding a few more, but for tomorrow it will be business as usual.”
Bill Toner, chief executive of CH&Co, added, “Company of Cooks is a lovely business, well-run with a great team and we’re delighted that they are joining us. This merger gives us a broader foothold in the exciting destinations sector and we can grow further on the back of it. As always, the merger also means more opportunities for our teams and partners.”
CH&Co employs over 10,000 people at nearly 1,100 locations across the UK and Ireland.