There are many interesting facts I can share about bm of the past year, it’s hard to know where to start. Facts including our excellent H&S results (no stay with it – it is interesting and great news!). The best one is that we kept our team safe and had not one Riddor (phew). Our average audit score has increased and three quarters of our teams have been awarded purple stars for great results, exceeding their score. As we have all discovered in the past two years that, without health, nothing else matters.

An important role for contract catering

We have excellent news on business growth, with 17 new wins, including our new initiative, Mosaic that gave clients greater flexibility and support.

Most rewarding were the six clients who, having terminated contracts 2 years ago, bravely recognised that catering is an important part of employee engagement. They asked us to come back and reinstate their catering, bigger and better.

Signalling their commitment to workplace catering staying, there have been many catering refurbishments. Catering areas have created social hubs for people returning to the office. It reinforces the belief that catering is at the heart of a building and sends a strong cultural ‘we care’ statement. Personally I think this has been missed in the rush to WFH. Cultures are made and reinforced when people are together, it’s very hard to achieve this when people are separated physically.

As a side note, I have always loved that in the Google story, there is one whole chapter on catering. The founders wanted to create something fresh, new and binding. Great catering was essential to their team and culture. It reinforces their values and was an integral part of their success.

#bmFamily💜💚 – stronger than ever

The #bmFamily💜💚 team are our source of success and the reason we exist. This year we have had only 11% team turnover. But best of all, of our new recruits, nearly half where returning #bmFamily💜💚 members!

In the past two years, mental health has been a big issue and making sure we support our team has been vital. I don’t think we ever underestimated how important communication was and set out to be the best in the industry. 91% of our team are signed up to Yapster (our internal communication tool) and we have 80% engagement, so we know we are hitting the spot.

We have also worked really hard on mental health support. bm now has 10 mental health first aiders trained. And we have countless other initiatives, from simple phone calls to company-wide initiatives. 25% of our team signed up to our Strava Get fit group and completed 30,000 kilometres exercising in the #bmFamily💜💚 club. We are very proud that we had 3,000 activities this year, with 2,500 hours of exercise undertaken.

And our teams have undertaken so many charity initiatives it’s impossible to list them here. Although through individual efforts, the #bmFamily💜💚 have raised nearly £4k in charity donations for the NHS.

We have many heroes in this area but in particular Sunil, George and Simon have been sterling stars – or in Simon’s case a running Christmas Tree with a star on top!

Pioneers in ED&I

Talking of heros, we also have the marvellous Gregory Hall. Despite his own health challenges – we are all in awe of his strength and determination – he has been particularly impactful. Supported by Murray Soper, our HR guru, both are making a huge difference with our ED & I. I love the fact that in bm anyone can be supported to make a difference. Gregory and Murray are driving initiatives that will create an amazing legacy.

A few highlights are;

  • Zero harassment, discrimination or bullying claims over the last year.
  • 83% compliance for Equality & Diversity training.
  • 90% compliance for LGBT Awareness training.
  • 95% compliance for Disability training.
  • 19 blogs published under the over-arching D&I programme during the past 12 months resulting in a readership of just under 5,000 visits to these pages.
  • Plus signing up for countless policies and initiatives out in the community meaning that without doubt the #bmFamily💜💚 are really living the values, rather than just playing lip service to the initiatives.

Best of all we have increased the number of women and non-UK workers in managerial roles.

We have created a culture of acceptance and support evidenced by Jameson Alves’ blog during Pride Month about his passion for dressing in drag. It broke all bm’s social media records for engagement.

Team work makes the dream work

It’s again been a challenging year of uncertainty and ups and downs that really has been hard on the hospitality industry, But what has been very clear is that, ‘once a family you stay a family’, Looking after each other first and foremost is what matters most.

For me, when we move from saying ‘I to We’ we know we have a great team. bm has an incredibly talented team who produce brilliant food and exceptional service, that is delivered from the heart. And importantly it’s sustainable – in all senses of the word.

Shiny new wrapper, same delicious ingredients

Next year we are going to relaunch a refreshed identity. We can never be accused of sitting back! I’m delighted to say, that a personal ambition of mine has been realised. We have shortened the name of bartlett mitchell, to ‘bm catering’ and with a new updated logo. This means;

  • I don’t have so much to type – ( bm is shorter by 14 letters and doesn’t involve having to say double ‘t’ and a double ‘t’ in mitchell again with double ‘l’)
  • The name we are are usually referred to – bm is now officially recognised
  • We are most definitely here to stay. Our independently minded team members are looking forward to what the future holds.

A very big thank you from Ian Mitchell and me for helping to make bm even stronger in 2022. We are poised ready for the next opportunities to create magic moments.


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My earliest food memories are of my mum’s baking; coconut pyramid cakes were my favourite.

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