Supplier to Pizza Express and Wagamama targeting £17m sales this year

Tibard chefs’ uniform

Workwear uniform supplier, Tibard, is on course to grow revenues to £16.9m this year, up from £15m in 2016.

Its growth is being driven by major contract wins and increased repeat business with existing clients as the hospitality sector continues to expand.

The family-owned business, based in Dukinfield, Greater Manchester, started in 1979 by chairman John Shonfeld. It supplies uniforms and laundry services to restaurants and hotels across the UK and overseas and currently produces 10,000 items of clothing a week for chefs, front-of-house and kitchen staff.

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Tibard expects to recruit around 20 staff over the next two years to cater for its expanding order book, and is seeking additional space to accommodate its growth.

Its client base includes 1,500 restaurants, among them major chains such as Pizza Express, Wagamama and Yo! Sushi, as well as hotels, nightclubs, cafés and delicatessens.

The founders son, commercial director, Rick Shonfeld, said: “Tibard needs more space for new machinists, cutters, warehouse and sales staff, as well as for storage as it expands its ranges.

“Adding space and staff is essential as we continue to grow the business and reduce order lead times. We currently occupy 22,000sq ft but we need between 30,000 and 40,000 sq ft. We are literally bursting at the seams.”

Tibard currently employs 110 staff in Dukinfield and a further 40 at its laundry in Ashton-under-Lyne, where it cleans chefs’ wear, table linen, napkins and other items for hotels and restaurants.

It also operates through a network of more than 30 independent laundries around the country: “A key focus for the business is to drive online and overseas sales,” said Shonfield.

Internet ordering currently accounts for six per cent of overall revenues and Tibard aims to grow this to 25% by the end of 2018. The company launched online portal ‘Cloud Stores’ in 2016 to simplify the ordering process and increase efficiency.

Tibard has won contracts in the Middle East and Scandinavia for bespoke hospitality uniforms and Shonfield feels that there is a huge potential to further grow exports. The company is currently working with international business management students at Manchester Metropolitan University to identify new overseas markets. He said: “We see lots of scope to expand our overseas presence given the favourable currency climate.”

A team at accountants and business advisers Hurst is assisting Tibard with its growth strategy.

Hurst partner, Simon Brownbill, said: “We are delighted to be working with Tibard’s owners and management team to help develop and implement their plans while also providing a full range of accountancy services.

“Tibard is a well-run, family-owned business which is constantly aiming to innovate and expand, and can look to the future with confidence.”

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Andrew Seymour

The author Andrew Seymour

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