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Top 100: Tim Jones, CH&Co Group

19 April 2018 by
Top 100: Tim Jones, CH&Co Group

Overall ranking: 37 (30, with late wife Robyn Jones in 2012)

Foodservice ranking: 4 (5, with late wife Robyn Jones in 2012)

Snapshot

Tim Jones is chairman of CH&Co Group. He co-founded the foodservice firm (as Charlton House) in 1991 with his tenacious and inspirational wife, the late Robyn Jones.

What we think

Jones trained as an accountant and was financial controller of Marvel Comics between 1986 and 1990. By the time Charlton House was launched, he was financial director of RWS, one of Europe's largest technical translation companies. Throughout his time at RWS, Jones guided CH&Co's finances before relinquishing the role in 2000 to concentrate full-time on the catering company.

As a business partnership Jones and his wife were a force to be reckoned with, offering a combination of business acumen, vision and drive. They cultivated a strong, food-focused, family business culture that impressed clients and competitors alike and won tremendous loyalty.

Just three years after launch, Charlton House scooped a contract at tech giant Sony's UK headquarters, seeing off bigger and longer established rivals. The caterer still holds that contract today. And Caroline Fry, who became the company's first operations manager when she joined Charlton House in 1994, remains at the business, having risen through the ranks to her current role as deputy chief executive of business and industry at CH&Co.

When the company underwent a major rebranding in 2010 to become CH&Co, an umbrella company for five distinct businesses, it prompted a fresh round of speculation that the Joneses were gearing up for a sale amid rumours of Robyn's declining health.

But the couple remained and CH&Co maintained a growth trajectory that saw annual turnover rise from £74.5m to £111m over the next five years. When in 2015 they did agree to a merger with HCM boss Bill Toner, it was as much to fuel growth as to protect the legacy they had worked hard to build.

It has been two years since Robyn sadly passed away after a long illness and Tim's work continues. He is an ambassador for the business and a champion of industry charities Hospitality Action, Springboard and the PM Trust, thus ensuring that his late wife's legacy lives on in many guises.

Further information

CH&Co Group merges with Concerto Group, taking its turnover to £300m >>

CH&Co Group has won £58m in new and retained contracts so far in 2017 >>

CH&Co Group unveils partnership with chef Mark Sargeant >>

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