Debbie Loxley recently joined London caterer Vacherin from Compass Group's Restaurant Asscoiates. She spoke to Janie Stamford about making the move away from big business.
What prompted the move to a boutique caterer?
I wanted to experience a different side of the industry. I think that working for a boutique catering company with fewer staff makes you feel more like part of a team and gives you a greater sense of achievement.
It gives you more responsibility as well as the opportunity to become involved in all aspects of a growing business, which is very exciting.
Do you face different challenges in a smaller business?
The main principles are still very much the same. As an operations manager I still have my own clients, staff and service deliveries. The main difference is that I am able to be much more proactive, get involved in different areas of the business and make a real, personal difference to my clients.
What are you looking to achieve at Vacherin?
Personally, a feeling of contribution. If I make a positive impact on the company during my time here, I will be very happy. Professionally, I am looking to help develop a strong team of managers who are motivated and well adapted to change alongside the growth of the business.
I am also looking forward to being part of a successful team, aiding business growth and client retention. Being part of a growing business is very exciting and I hope to play an active role in developing new business and client relationships in the future.
What do you love about the industry?
Life in this industry is never boring and I love the fact that no day is ever the same. The reason I started a career in catering and hospitality was because of the fantastic food and fantastic people - and that hasn't changed.
What's the plan for the next year?
Vacherin has really grown up over the past few years but the aim is to continue to stick to the company's key values of quality food, quality people and quality service.
The company recently launched its "Tastier, Brighter, Stronger" initiative and I am looking forward to working with the rest of the team to put this into practice.