CH&Co strengthens kitchen operations team after £7.5m worth of new catering contracts

Colin Wills, operations director for secondary schools and Verity Butcher, operations manager for London primary schools, Principals by CH&CO

Catering firm Principals by CH&CO has made two key kitchen-focused appointments to its operations team as it looks to build on the strong growth it has experienced in the education sector over the past year.

Colin Wills and Verity Butcher have joined the company in the roles of operations director for secondary schools and operations manager for London primary schools, respectively, with the company winning 16 new school catering contracts to its portfolio for the 2018/19 school year.

Mr Wills is a qualified chef who brings extensive culinary and operational experience spanning more than 30 years, with the past 12 years of his career focused on the education sector.

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The company said his intrinsic understanding of the challenges of everyday kitchen life combined with his management and operational expertise enables him to create excellent relationships with catering teams and clients, and to deliver outstanding food and service experiences focused on innovative solutions.

He formerly served as regional business manager at Pabulum Catering.

Mrs Butcher, meanwhile, knows the Principals by CH&CO business inside out. An organised and efficient operator, with a background in food retail management, she has been with the business for the past 12 years, working her way up through the ranks from general assistant within a school kitchen.

A qualified Chartered Institute of Environmental Health and ISO auditor, she is responsible for monitoring the performance of Principals’ London schools and is their main day-to-day contact.

Peter McKenna, sales director for Principals by CH&CO, said: “Their excellent operational, management and customer skills will benefit our catering teams, our clients and, most importantly, the children we feed. Principals by CH&CO is in a period of continued growth that is seeing us expand and move into new geographical areas; Colin and Verity are the perfect candidates to support this and help maximise the opportunities.”

The 16 new shool partnerships that the company has bagged this year have a total value in turnover of £7.5m for the duration of the contracts and have seen the specialist state school caterer strengthen its foothold in its homestay of Kent and break into London and Surrey.

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Andrew Seymour

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