Sponsored by Premier Foods
MATT WOOD, RESTAURANT ASSOCIATES
Matt Wood is Restaurant Associates' director of operations for KPMG, the company's largest national contract, with 23 sites across the UK. He oversees six distinct services: employee dining, hospitality, fine dining, venue and events management, client support services and vending.
Wood and his 250-strong team average over 6,200 covers daily nationwide. His largest site, the flagship KPMG building in Canary Wharf, London, serves 4,000 staff lunch covers every day and more than 2,000 hot beverages from its coffee shops.
With so much on his plate, it's particularly impressive that Wood has found the time to consistently demonstrate entrepreneurial prowess and long-term strategic thinking. This was by no means lost on our judges, who praised Wood for his flair and innovative approach to driving revenue for both his employer and his client.
In the last year, he has helped to grow the contract's annual turnover from £11m to £18m, thanks in no small part to a flurry of new business wins. Wood and his team won a £6.5m deal to provide facilities management to a new client site in London's Mayfair and a £220,000 deal to provide a central reservation team for all internal and external meeting and events spaces in London. In addition, he picked up and mobilised a national vending contract worth around £1m.
The number of hospitality covers was up 64.2% year on year, which in turn pushed cost per cover down by 21.3%, while employee dining saw a 20% surge in cash sales. This growth was driven by active national marketing through daily and weekly promotions.
It's not just about the numbers, though. Team development is crucial to Wood, who holds talent mapping sessions with all team members twice a year and drives team engagement through super Friday and Saturday events along with the KPMG Big Buzz, a national event that brings all client managers and chefs together.
It's also hard to ignore Wood's corporate social responsibility efforts, which include helping provide clean drinking water in developing countries by working with charity Lifewater. KPMG has funded a clean water well for a community of 2,700 people in Andhra Pradesh, India.
What the judges said
"Matt's financial results are impressive, with exceptional growth in turnover from organic growth and extra services. But what made him really stand out was the way he and the team integrated with the client's business, helping it to win its own new contracts. The client testimonial was one of the strongest I've seen and clearly showed how highly Matt is valued."
Phil Roker, Vacherin
"This was a really tightly contested category, with outstanding candidates that represent different aspects of our business. Matt's drive shone through, alongside innovation and the ability to work in partnership with the client. His development of people was clear from the implementation of succession planning, alongside the regional support network."
Michele Ribaudo, BaxterStorey
"Matt has an incredible track record of solid financial achievements, with many examples of flair and innovation that make him stand out, operating in a complex business and managing the relationships, including supporting KPMG in winning potential business for key accounts."
Charles Manners, Turpin Smale
James Nottage, Sodexo
Peter Wilson, ISS Facility Services
Matt Wood, Restaurant Associates
2014 Michele Ribaudo, BaxterStorey
2013 Chloe Smith, Lexington Catering