This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
Business


More online www.thecaterer.com


people is also likely to be more relatable. But how big is the demand for such a programme? “Huge. There’s such a huge focus on


apprenticeships and as caterers we know there are fewer skills coming out of college and uni- versity and into the market. This is a different way to attract people,” he says. “I spoke to someone at B&Q about it. They said the people they employ have experience, they’re loyal and they turn up on time, even if they have a sniffly cold. It’s a completely different work ethic.”


Start-up costs


There was a time when starting up in contract catering came with relatively few barriers to entry. With tenacity and experience, you could kickstart your enterprise from your spare bedroom and still build up a sizeable empire. Creativevents’ Adrian Willson and the late, great Robyn Jones both did just that. But get- ting off the ground now is a different story. Subsidised contracts have fallen away, with prospective clients demanding hefty invest- ment in facilities from caterers. Then there is the added cost of compliance to ever-more intense legislation, such as the regulations around allergens that were introduced in 2014. “I wouldn’t have been able to do it without the support of Genuine Dining,” says Robot- tom. “I would have had to remortgage the house – and probably end up divorced!” But as challenging as legislation can be, it has also created more opportunities. Clients that might once have thought they could do the catering both better and cheaper are increasingly leaving it to the experts.


26 | The Caterer | 28 April 2017


“There’s such a huge focus on apprenticeships now and as caterers we know there are fewer skills coming out of college and university and into the market. This is a different way to attract people”


“The allergens legislation was a big turning point. Lots more tenders hit the market and all parties had to concentrate on their core skills: care and care catering,” he says. “That’s only likely to continue.” Robottom says he plans to grow the busi- ness to £9m over the next four to five years, an ambition he describes as “fairly doable”, based on the ratios he was winning at Caterplus. No doubt an uptick in outsourcing will help, as


will the back of house infrastructure that being part of Genuine Dining brings.


“I think there will also be a fallout over the next two years from the merging of companies. People won’t want to be in bed with the big boys because they want that personal service,” he says. “I know there’s a niche in the market.” It is a niche that Robottom is determined to fill, and all the signs suggest that Signature Dining is on track to do just that.


www.thecaterer.com





Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84  |  Page 85  |  Page 86  |  Page 87  |  Page 88  |  Page 89  |  Page 90  |  Page 91  |  Page 92