The knowledge: Catermasters

27 October 2008 by
The knowledge: Catermasters

Catermasters - The Knowledge

Our guide to the hospitlaity companies behind the headlines.

Joint Catermasters managing director Nigel Johnson

On walking away from the Tesco contract

It wasn't easy as it was our largest single contract at 13 distribution sites and £6m of annual turnover. Sadly the individuals involved changed and catering was passed to corporate purchasing, whose motivation is always cost. That's not how we operate.

On the economic slowdown

It makes you focus as an operator. In fact at these times there's more opportunity for business that are proactive in helping clients manage their costs all year round.

On changes in the marketplace over the past two decades

Food quality, marketing and presentation has all improved. Clients also see catering space as premium so it's about making the most of it with all-day opening.

Catermasters - what is it?

Catermasters, based in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, is a business and industry caterer, founded in 1989 by Nigel Johnson and Richard Moody. The duo had been with ABM Catering in Coventry, which was subsequently acquired by Lindley Catering. Catermasters won its first deal - with BP - in 1990.

Vital statistics

87 contracts, 550 staff and annual turnover of £21m. Operates as far north as Yorkshire but is predominately active from Warwickshire to the South Coast, including London.

Key clients include

Oxford University Press, Williams F1, Oxfam, Toshiba, the RSPCA and Costain (pictured)

Main rivals

Generally invited to tender as an independent option against the large players in the sector, such as Compass Group and Aramark. Also comes up against Olive, Harbour & Jones, Charlton House and Holroyd Howe (now part of BaxterStorey).

Executive team

Nigel Johnson and Richard Moody, joint managing directors

Tony Carr, operations director

Melanie Edghill, marketing director

Sara Senior, sales director

Mike Robins, business development manager

Tony Bobath, finance director

Clive Jones, executive chef

Future plans

Johnson and Moody are exploring broadening the ownership of the company (the equity is currently shared between them) among the senior team and are currently in the final stages of an extensive image overhaul for the firm, which will see the creation of a new logo. The caterer, which had no contracts in London two years ago, now has five and is seeing growth in the Thames corridor and within the M25.

Catermasters poaches Elior director to fill sales role>>

Row breaks out between Catermasters and Tesco>>

By Chris Druce

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