What a year it has been, I never could have dreamed of ending the year with the “Foodservice Cateys General Manager of the Year” award on my desk. The competition was strong and somehow you never see yourself winning a national industry award like the Cateys.
I have taken a moment to reflect on the past year and think about all the great things I have achieved with my team during the pandemic and since coming back into the office.
I’m the General Manager at an international law firm in the City of London. When the first lockdown was announced in March 2020, we quickly created a plan to ensure we would keep in touch with the team. It was important for me to know that every staff member was regularly contacted by myself or one of my managers, besides our weekly team meeting. I wanted to ensure nobody slipped under the radar. I know from experience that London can be a lonely city and quite often colleagues have become family away from home. Another positive from the regular conversations with the team is that we have grown to know each other even better and created stronger relations.
While we were keeping in touch with the team, we also had to come up with a way to stay engaged with our customers and clients. A weekly recipe newsletter was the solution, and with the support from the #bmFamily💜💚 marketing team, the first edition was ready to send out within a week. We hit the right spot and have inspired many of our customers to cook and bake dishes they normally wouldn’t have tried, e.g. Huevos Rancheros, sourdough bread. We also included series on school lunches, bbq tips and harvesting herbs. The newsletter is now shared with many of our clients and customers at several sites and is still going strong, issue 85 has just come out!
Being active with running and cycling is one of my passions. I always try to encourage others to do so too, it keeps you physically fit and has great benefits to mental fitness. Together with Angus Brydon and Milda Burn, we have launched the #bmFamilyGetFit strava group. This has enabled us to connect and encourage the #bmFamily💜💚 to live a healthy lifestyle. As part of this, I have cycled twice from London to Brighton with a few of my team members. Great fun! For January ’22 we have launched a positivity challenge to raise money for “hospitality action”. Teams and clients join forces and pledge to cover the distance of 40,075 km, which is the circumference of the world, across the month. That’s what is called carbon free travelling!
Support You Can Trust
The highlight of the year, for me, was the support we have given, as a team, to feed hungry Londoners. We produced over 45,000 portions of food for the Felix Project in our kitchen. Helped sorting food parcels in their warehouses and supported with deliveries to community centres across London. We also helped out at Food For All, a foodbank in the city of London, with meal packaging and handing out meals on the street to the most vulnerable. Our support has contributed to Food for All being awarded a Queens Award for Voluntary Services, handed out by the Lord Mayor of London. I am very proud to be part of this great achievement. In total we have volunteered an impressive amount of 10,000 hours. Besides the feel-good factor and sense of purpose it has given the team, it has also strengthened the team while we returned to the office and given them the determination to deliver consistent outstanding service for the months and years to come.
Of course, as every winner does, I would like to thank my clients and bartlett mitchell for all the support that they have given but most importantly my team, who have put a lot of work into all the ideas and changes that have been implemented. I have the privilege of working with a large talented and diverse group of people and it makes every day an enjoyable and exciting day!