Leading caterer Wendy Bartlett says that the sale of her business to Westbury Street Holdings – the company which owns BaxterStorey, Searcys and Benugo – comes ahead of a “pivotal moment” for the workplace catering sector.
Yesterday it was revealed that WSH would be bringing Bartlett Mitchell into its burgeoning stable, although it will continue to operate as its own entity.
Elaborating further on the deal today, Ms Bartlett admitted that selling the business was “not a decision I have made lightly” and said she felt “emotional” but excited for the opportunities it would bring.
“As you know the restrictions enforced due to the Covid pandemic have had a significant impact on workplace catering. Bartlett Mitchell is not immune from this. We have made the decision to join with WSH because I want make sure that we are in a strong position once the market recovers,” she explained.
“Our two businesses’ values are aligned and we are built on solid foundations. We have both been successful in our own right. We now want to create a robust new proposition which celebrates the best of both companies and gives us a sustainable model for the long-term that will explicitly address the issues and challenges post-Covid.”
Ms Bartlett said that by combining resources, agility and entrepreneurialism, the business will be stronger in the long-run and provide more prospects for staff.
“Our BM family team members will benefit from greater career opportunities within BaxterStorey’s market-leading training and development, increased financial security from a diverse portfolio of sectors and their growing presence across Europe.”
She said 2021 was likely to be a defining year for workplace catering given the events of the last eight months.
“With the workplace changing, we believe next year will be a pivotal moment for our sector and we are committed to seizing the opportunity. We are finalising the development of a compelling and unique food offer and model that supports and complements our clients as they create and reimagine their offices and workspaces.”
Ms Bartlett will continue to run the business under its own independent operational structure, while being able to access additional resources such as training and other back-office support through its new sister brands.
“Nothing will change on a day to day basis,” she insisted. “Alongside Ian M and Ian T, we will continue to run the company and will be highly visible on site, as and when Covid allows. Our team will be remaining in their roles and will continue to have access to the same suppliers. Provenance of ingredients and supply chain integrity will remain the same.”