Cook-chill specialist Robert Croft of RC Associates has died aged 78. His wife Lettie was with him when he passed away peacefully at home on Sunday 25 October.
He had been involved in foodservice management and design consultancy since 1980 and operated his own company of specialist catering consultants, RC Associates, from 1985, with emphasis on the introduction of systems catering and new technology to the hotel and catering industry. He was a world-renowned consultant for systems implementation such as cook-chill/freeze systems.
With more than 55 years' experience in the hotel and catering industry, including 10 years as a professional chef, mainly with companies like Mövenpick in Germany and Switzerland, he provided management, design and operational training consultancy to many major national and international clients. Due to his German mother, he was fluent in the language, which enabled him to converse easily when dealing with clients and carrying out kitchen training.
Blue chip clients included the Volkswagen Group, Mars Group Catering Europe, the BASF Group, and the Good Earth Group, as well as universities, colleges and city corporations.
He was a former chairman of the Midlands branch of the Institute of Hospitality and unflinchingly gave his time to others and was especially interested in supporting the career paths of catering students.
Andrew and Elaine Powis of Sterling Foodservice Consultancy, who worked with Croft, said he would be greatly missed by them as well as a vast number in the industry, "for not only his professionalism and knowledge, but also a wry sense of humour".
Funeral plans are yet to be advised.