Host goes up a league with two new contract wins worth £30m

Host goes up a league with two new contract wins worth £30m

Host Management has broken new ground by recording two new business wins with a combined value of £30m.

It scooped its biggest ever contract with a £20m five-year deal with energy company SSE. Covering 14 sites in total, most of which are in the UK, the contract also takes Host into Ireland for the first time.

It mobilised the contract, which is believed to have been previously managed for a number of years by catering giant Aramark, earlier this week.

But chief executive Bill Toner, who was previously at the helm of Aramark, would not confirm the name of the previous operator and instead said that SSE's challenge was "moving from a large caterer to a small one". But the offer of a personal touch proved to be a key factor in the client's decision-making process.

"We persuaded them to change because of our management credentials, our focus on food, the people at the front end, and the way we would interact and manage them," he said. "More importantly, we came up with a number of initiatives that rocked their boat."

The second piece of new business is a £10m partnership with Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust to manage the visitor and staff dining, hospitality and vending at the hospital, which marks Host's first foray into retail catering.

The five-year deal, which Toner described as more retail and B&I in nature than a typical healthcare contract, will see the caterer developing an improved service for the 6,000 hospital staff as well as visitors.

This will include a 60-seat public restaurant and a new coffee shop, a new staff restaurant and the development of a central production kitchen.

The trust's hospitality and client entertaining will also be rebranded under Host's Couture brand, which the company acquired last year.

Host recently delivered its 2012 annual results, showing turnover up 35% to nearly £21m, and the company said it is on target to achieve a £30m turnover by the end of 2013.

Toner told Caterer and Hotelkeeper that the company's organic growth is testament to "sticking to your knitting", which he explained meant "keeping the team motivated and on side, delivering on the promises, and selling from your core business of happy clients".

The acquisition of concession catering business Couture in July 2012 was closely followed in September by the purchase of Juice for Life (trading as OJ's), an operator of retail catering contracts in the leisure sector.

The new wins come following the recently announced £5m catering deal with NHS Blood and Transplant as well as four leisure contract wins worth a total of £4.5m.

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