Founders join exodus from Catering Alliance

01 September 2004
Founders join exodus from Catering Alliance

The three founders of Catering Alliance are to leave the Midlands-based contract cater. Russell Scandrett, Sean Hagan and Michael Scott are leaving just eight months after the company was taken over by industry giant Aramark for an estimated £20m.

Aramark said they were leaving "in accordance with the terms of our contractual agreement".

The news follows the departure of three other senior staff. Regional directors Sally Ann Bradley and Louise Hayward - two out of five of the Catering Alliance's regional directors - and sales manager Damien Brown have left to set up the Olive Catering Company, which will have its head office in Ratcliffe Culey, Warwickshire.

Aramark declined to comment specifically on the departures. "It is not unusual that when a change of company ownership occurs, some employees will use that opportunity to rethink their own careers and make plans accordingly," the company stated.

It claimed it had retained "the majority" of the workforce, which numbered 2,200 at the time of takeover.

But inside sources complained of unrest among both staff - with "a constant loss of key people such as area and contract managers" - and clients, who were said to be missing the personal service and local purchasing they were used to.

One said Catering Alliance had lost its team ethos and was now the same as many large companies - only interested in "looking after number one".

The firm has also seen the closure of its accounts office in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, in June and its regional office in Lichfield, Staffordshire, in August.

Aramark said: "We have always planned to review the synergies between the two companies… and merge some of the functions and resources to provide the best possible service to our combined clients."

It denied suggestions that Catering Alliance's Hampton office in London would close next.

Source: Caterer & Hotelkeeper magazine, 2 September 2004

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