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Foodservice Cateys 2018: Salesperson of the Year – Eddie Fairish, Aramark

19 October 2018 by

Sponsored by Wilcox Burchmore

Eddie Fairish had been Aramark's UK sales lead for eight years when he was asked to take on the role of solutions director for the company's Project Hestia bid submission.

Project Hestia was the name given to a tender run by the Defence Infrastructure Organisation on behalf of the Ministry of Defence, which would see hundreds of existing soft contracts aligned and streamlined into seven regional tri-service contracts. The result was the largest soft services tender ever to be launched in the UK with a value in excess of £2b.

Fairish was responsible for creating a team to bring together the best of the two companies services, cultures and people to develop the bid.

Leading a diverse team across the two companies with a "side by side" ethos, Fairish created a soft facilities management strategy and proposition for catering, retail, leisure, waste management, cleaning, mess and hotel services as well as subcontracted activities and tier-two military services (such as administration, reprographics and lifeguarding).

He built the team to promote innovation, with all ideas welcomed, discussed and considered before being subjected to a rigorous, multi-level governance and sign-off process. This included establishing the critical winning price point for each bid, resulting in a "three region win" strategy.

Some members of Fairish's team were seconded for a fixed term, with others brought in from outside of the parent companies. This required clear direction and for him to keep people united during a long, demanding process. Together the team developed a range of brands, franchises and products that matched the customer's needs, assembling them as a mix-and-match offer that could change for each site. Technology was also key to the pitch, with the team developing data and social media capabilities akin to those seen in universities.

The resulting bids scored an average of 98% for technical solution and, during the final bids, achieved 99.2%. The company won three Hestia regions - London and the south east, Scotland and Northern Ireland and the north. The win was worth £125m in annual turnover, and more than £700m over the five years of the contract.

It also elevated Aramark to become one of the top two companies in the defence sector, having previously sat in fifth position.

The team was awarded the Sales Team of the Year award at Carillion's annual Work Winning awards and Fairish has since been promoted to UK head of sales for Aramark UK. In the role he has improved the company's UK conversion rate from one in six bids to one in two.

What the judges said

"An excellent application, showing good examples of achievements and credible actions."

Patrick Harbour, director, Harbour & Jones

"An outstanding achievement that was brought to life in an excellent submission. This recognition is the culmination of over three years of incredible hard work."

Greg Mace, managing director, Rapport

"The scale of the Hestia project is mindblowing and the way Eddie went about it, recruiting and developing his team and bringing innovation to the solution, made him a clear winner."

Phil Roker, commercial director, Vacherin


Eddie Fairish Aramark

Sarah Prentice Blue Apple Contract Catering

Past winners

2017 Duncan Kendall, Restaurant Associates

2016 Simon Houston, Bartlett Mitchell

2015 Chris Chidley, Eurest

2014 Lucy Wright, Kings Place Events

2013 Jonathan Davies, Centreplate UK (formerly Lindley Group)

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Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. Read more.


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