Celtic Catering Partnership

Origins

Stephen Williams had been employed by the largest contract caterer in the region for ten years when the directors decided to sell the company to an Irish firm. This left a gap within the market within South Wales and, given his background and contacts with existing clients, Stephen decided to form his own company to gives Wales its own identity in this market-place. There were no major challenges within the first year and, as a company, CCP was able to achieve its goals within the business plan.

Success Factor

The company has grown exponentially in the first four years of trading, due primarily to the director’s excellent knowledge of the food industry and good management practices. To sustain this growth pattern requires strategic marketing to align the company in a position to penetrate further the market of its main competitors. In addition, limited Welsh competition within the market sector and a number of former clients looking for a welsh company to manage their services has also helped the fortunes of Celtic Catering

The Future

Having enjoyed considerable success over the initial four years, the firm has recognised the need to achieve I.I.P. status and ISO9000 standards as the lack of these accreditations could be prohibitive in gaining contracts in some of its market sectors. The Human Resource department is currently developing and implementing the documented policies and procedures necessary to take the company forward in these critical areas. The imminent recruitment of a dedicated telesales operative will also enable the sales department to focus on their targeted areas i.e. expansion of operations outside of Wales and the recent launch into catering for education. In addition, the Marketing department is identifying, via the creation of an electronic database, the target areas for Celtic Events (a proposed outside catering division), which it is anticipated will operate from The Eastern Valley Business Park, the most recently gained managed facility. In September 2003, Celtic Catering launched its’ NVQ training program in conjunction with Swansea Business College the program has had a greater uptake than at first expected and as a result further training is being developed in-house by the operations team with support from H.R. It is the company’s aim to have 100% of employees in formal training, both on and off the job by January 2005.