James Greetham has been promoted to managing director of http://www.sodexoprestige.co.uk/" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer">Sodexo's Prestige London business. He spoke to Janie Stamford about his plans for his new role.
Tell me about Prestige London.
Directors Table became Prestige London quite recently. The business was working alongside corporate services and we've now affiliated ourselves more with the broader UK Prestige business. It has a £30m turnover in its own right.
What does Prestige London look after?
Very high-end blue-chip organisations as well as some commercial stuff. We also look after places like the Churchill War Rooms, HMS Belfast and Bateaux London. There's an eclectic mix, and I think that is a huge benefit to us as a business model because we're not just dealing with the contract side of things. We also know how to spend our own money, so to speak; how to drive revenue and give quality. It's diverse but effective.
The peak time for our venue business is often the down time for our contract business. It works very well in that we've a huge chef resource that can be very versatile and move around to support the appropriate businesses.
We've got some people in the business who are working to full capacity for the next three or four months with Bateaux London, for example, as this is our peak season. But a lot of our big corporate clients are potentially moving into their summer season, when they're very quiet. It's a great way to move staff around and give them some other skills in the business.
How does it differ from the rest of the Prestige business?
We work together, but Prestige London is very much defined as its own proposition moving forward.
We are all driven by the same focus: absolute quality. But everyone understands that the London clients often - though not always - require something very different: an extremely high-end level of service quality.
What are your plans for the business?
To grow, clearly. The venue business is going to be key, but also retaining our current clients. We've got some really good long-standing clients and we're looking to develop our relationships with them; find other ways in which we can assist them. But mainly it's about developing our food offer by putting some time and effort into our craft skill and supplier base.