‘Goodbye’ seems to be the theme of the moment. The biggest of them all was a cheery au’ revoir to our european cousins (how mad was that?!) Then we kissed goodbye to the European Cup when we were thrashed by Iceland, a country with a population the size of Leicester.

Closer to home and we said goodbye to our first two catering Managers Jill and Gary and it was more of a tearjerker than you’d think. After 15 years busy cooking they both decided to hang up their chef’s hats and enjoy a retired lifestyle and pursue a few projects of their own. It was one of our founding principles that we would win great contracts so we could give jobs to those hard working and talented people we knew in the industry. bartlett mitchell recognised the importance of using great ingredients, and provided the scope for chefs and managers to be creative and entrepreneurial with them.

Our people make the difference

When people ask what makes you different from all the other caterers I know instantly my answer. It’s our people and more importantly our people who take up the challenge to be entrepreneurs.  Our business model is different to others in that we are not driven by procurement deals (the tail wagging the dog) but by our customers.

Natural entrepreneurs

The next question I am usually asked is ‘what’s an entrepreneur?’  This leads me into this definition in the form of a true story: On a trip to New York, some years back now, I remember going into Bloomingdales department store.  On each street corner surrounding the store there were hawkers selling sunglasses to passers by.  One hour later, we stepped out of the store and the heavens opened. Within seconds the vendors had covered the sunglasses with a role of heavy duty plastic and from nowhere umbrellas for sale, appeared!   And that’s an entrepreneur! Someone who identifies a gap in the market and finds a solution.  Jill and Gary were both innovative and entrepreneurial and treated our clients’ money as if it were their own.  Their ‘buy-in’ and commitment to our values won us many a contract and their enthusiasm created truly loyal clients.  If only the other goodbyes of this week were with as much gratitude as we have for Jill and Gary. Perhaps we’d all be a little less hesitant about the future.  Sure foundations are a wonderful thing.

David James
Director of Food Services