Host Contract Management has announced £8m of new and retained business across the UK, in line with growth targets set by chief executive Bill Toner.
The independent caterer has picked up new business from a number of its competitors including Aramark, of which Toner was previously chief executive.
Toner, who took over the helm of Host last June, told Caterer and Hotelkeeper that the company had been busy pulling together the team and credentials that would allow it to compete effectively.
"We brought in two very experienced sales directors for the North and South, who will report into our UK sales director, Andrew Scott, and they were tasked with getting new business where we were strategically positioned," he explained.
"We went after business that's going to add value to the current portfolio, be it schools, B&I or healthcare. These contracts came from a portfolio of clients that are happy with what we're delivering in terms of both quality and price."
Toner credits his motivated team for Host's success, adding that it translated into a happier more focused service for the client.
He said: "When you get that part right, then client reference sites become easier to attain. You can't buy it. You've got to work at it, facilitate it and earn it."
Host's Glasgow-based units will cater for around 1,000 employees at call-centre specialist Response in a three-year, three-site deal won from incumbent operator Elior.
Alan McDonald, regional director - Scotland, described the win as a massive boost for Host and part of its ongoing focus on growth in the region.
He is now assisted by former BaxterStorey chef Jim Williams, as project chef manager in Scotland, who will work closely with all Host's Scottish units in the development of menus, dishes and offers.
In West Yorkshire Host has won the catering contract for two food suppliers, beef production company Dovecote Park, and fruit and vegetable distributor IPL, both based near Pontefract. The contracts were awarded to Host on a rolling basis.
Dovecote Park has 400 employees with a five-day week catering facility, moving to seven days from July. A new restaurant will be built at the site by early next year, offering a coffee lounge, vending facilities and a revamped restaurant focusing on freshly cooked food.
The IPL contract will see Host catering for up to 600 people, seven days a week, 18 hours a day, offering breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and a night service until 10.30pm.
In Cheshire Host has been awarded the catering and cleaning contract at three healthcare sites for Cheshire Nursing Homes. The contract offers 24/7 catering that will be revamped to focus on freshly cooked, locally sourced food and good service.
Host has also boosted its portfolio of school contracts with the addition of Greenacres School in Banstead, Surrey, and the Anglo-Continental Language School in Bournemouth.
In addition it has announced the retention of the £500,000 catering contract for Imperial Tobacco in Nottingham for a further three years, having run the catering at the 700-employee site for five years. The catering facility at Imperial will now become one of Host's Centres of Excellence.
Toner concluded: "We are delighted to announce these contract wins, most of which have been taken from much larger operators. The market is now demanding a much more personal, flexible service from catering contractors and Host is well-placed to offer this."
By Janie Manzoori-Stamford
E-mail your comments to Janie Manzoori-Stamford here.
Looking for a new job? Find your next job here with Catererandhotelkeeper.com jobs