Genuine Dining Company managing director Chris Mitchell has insisted the independent caterer is not for sale.
In a post on LinkedIn the 2018 Foodservice Caterer Award winner acknowledged the impact the Covid-19 crisis has had on the business and said it had taken its toll on its people, contracts and clients.
Mitchell (pictured) said: "Over the last couple of months I have been constantly asked if we are for sale, or I have heard that we are going to merge or sell to another caterer. For the record, we are not for sale, about to sell or in the process of selling and we are under no pressure to look at doing any of these."
He added: "We have lost contracts, we have lost great people, and we have at times felt bruised and battered. Our mission is to now make sure that we create new opportunities across Group Genuine so that we can reach out and offer reemployment to as many of our great people as possible… We will continue to carve our position as a proudly independent company, flying the flag for our handpicked local suppliers, and to continue to innovate our way through the current climate."
Mitchell said the last nine months have been the most challenging for the company since its inception in 1999, but insisted the Genuine Dining Company "will rebuild and become stronger because of this".
It was revealed last week that BaxterStorey's parent company Westbury Street Holdings (WSH) had acquired caterer Bartlett Mitchell.
Genuine Dining Company caters for 47 sites with a mix of clients ranging from legal firms to fast-moving consumer goods head offices. It launched a food delivery service earlier this year called Genuine Delivers, for businesses with employees that are returning to work but without in-house catering facilities.
Food is delivered from the company's central production kitchen in Camberwell to businesses in London and beyond that want staff to minimise contact outside the office. The company said it hoped the initiative would protect the jobs of chefs and front of staff house that would be at risk if an increase in homeworking reduced the need for traditional B&I catering.