Foodservice Cateys 2016: Chef Manager of the Year

20 October 2016
Foodservice Cateys 2016: Chef Manager of the Year

Sponsored by Kerry

Henry Maasdorp, Blue Apple

Henry Maasdorp joined Blue Apple two years ago as the chef manager at a new site and headquarters for a finance company in Kings Hill, Kent, which looks after about 400 employees. Having won the contract, Blue Apple brought in Maasdorp to head up a daily catering service, which provides breakfast, lunch, a barista coffee bar and a hospitality service. But it has been the work that Maasdorp has done since, "transforming a struggling contract and building a first-class team", as Blue Apple founder Ruston Toms puts it, for which the chef manager should be credited.

Maasdorp began his career in the catering industry, working in hotel kitchens, before moving across to the foodservice sector. He worked for Compass and Marks & Spencer for six years, initially as a unit manager, then became a general manager and worked across multiple sites. In his current role, he is seen as a natural leader who takes time to understand the individual strengths and weaknesses of his small team. "He's not afraid to rotate roles within his unit to ensure that each member of staff has a complete knowledge of their colleagues' roles," adds Toms.

One of his main accomplishments has been the development of his front of house supervisor, Magda Wasag who, following a promotion, relocated from Berkshire to Kent in order to work at Maasdorp's unit. Over the past year, she has gained confidence and grown into her new role as a direct consequence of Maasdorp's training and development. She also now deputises in his absence and takes the lead in event planning and delivery.

In addition, Maasdorp has delivered key customer focus and customer journey training sessions to drive other members of the team to deliver a high standard of customer service, one that has been reflected in the unit sales. The team works hard to get to know the customers and their likes and dislikes, and a series of targeted promotions has encouraged customers to spend more or buy products that yield a higher gross profit for the company.

Revenue has increased by 100% compared with the previous caterer, and average transactions have seen an increase from 452 per day to 667, a rise of more than 24% compared with 2015. Meanwhile, savvy purchasing and good use of seasonal commodities has also played its part, as have efforts to keep waste to a minimum.

Maasdorp's positive influence on the financial results of his unit, and his belief in his team and commitment to developing their skills, make him a chef manager that Blue Apple is extremely proud of.

What the judges said

"With some impressive figures, his drive, passion and desire to improve comes across in his nomination. But what decided it for me was his ongoing enthusiasm to pass on knowledge."

Toby Stuart, Boutique Cuisine

"Henry is a chef manager who leads from the front and takes opportunities to further his career. I like the fact that he develops his team by continually switching roles within the unit."

Nigel Simmonds, Connect Catering

"Since taking over in 2014, Henry has achieved a significant increase in turnover which has enabled him to increase his GP. He shows good management of his team and has clearly built up a excellent team spirit. He is keen to develop his skills further in order to develop his role."

Fred Ockwell, retired, formerly Brookwood Partnership


  • Henry Maasdorp Blue Apple
  • Matt Simon Lusso
  • Alan Simpson Sunrise Senior Living

Past winners

  • 2015 Nigel Simmonds Connect Catering
  • 2014 Steve Deacon Sodexo
  • 2013 Fred Ockwell Brookwood Partnership

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