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The Caterer

Andrew Main

12 May 2005
Andrew Main

Overall ranking: 41

Contract caterers ranking: 8

Snapshot

Andrew Main is the newly-appointed chief executive of Aramark UK, which is the third largest contract caterer in the country with more than 1,000 contracts and in excess of 14,000 staff. The group provides food and facilities management services to a range of sectors including business and industry, prisons, the Ministry of Defence, healthcare, education, offshore, hotels and leisure. Main has worked for the group for the past 11 years and has spent the past two years with US parent, Aramark Corporation.

Career guide

Main, who was born in Scotland, has held management positions with Grand Metropolitan (which became Compass), Scottish and Newcastle Breweries and Universal Ogden Services, which was acquired by Sodexho in 1997.

He joined Aramark UK in 1994 as divisional director for Scotland and offshore operations, moving in 2000 to the role of managing director of specialist markets. Two years later, he relocated to the USA as executive vice-president of the parent company's business services division and was promoted to president in 2003.

He took over from Bill Toner as chief executive of Aramark in the UK in February 2005.

What we think

Main has inherited a much stronger group than his predecessor, Bill Toner, who turned around what was regarded as an under-achieving subsidiary after joining in 1999. Under Toner, turnover soared from £186m to more than £300m in 2003.

Toner's legacy has provided Main with a restructured top team of five managing directors overseeing different sectors or regions; an expanded clientele from the 2004 acquisition of Midlands-based Catering Alliance, which added 200 contracts; and a new hotels and leisure division, Parallel, which focuses on quality food.

Parallel has teamed up with Brian Turner to run two restaurants in hotels in Birmingham and London, and with Giorgio Locatelli to operate Refettorio at the new Crowne Plaza in the City of London.

The pressure will be on Main to continue building up the UK subsidiary of a $10.2b corporation with more than 240,000 employees in 18 countries.

During Main's two-year stint in the States, he achieved historically high levels of contract retention within the business services division by building up a strong leadership team, focusing on retail-led solutions and introducing customer oriented brands.

Main is a Fellow of the Hotel & Catering International Association.

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