It has been quite a year for the Grazing team. Not only has the business started to disrupt the conventional workplace catering market through its offsite production, onsite service model, but it has also launched a bespoke online ordering system and recruited some of the industry’s most talented individuals to help grow the business.
The development of the business hasn’t gone unnoticed as, last month, the business was recognised by ‘FSM’ – a leading business magazine. Grazing scooped both an ‘Innovation’ award and Robbie Lorraine, the company’s executive chef, picked up the coveted ‘Executive Chef of the Year’ award.
We caught up with our CEO, Sam Hurst, to tell us all about it…
Congratulations on picking up the two most sought-after awards at FSM. How do you feel?
It felt great! If I’m honest, we weren’t expecting to win an award so soon into our journey.
We’ve always said that we will only look at awards when we felt ready to win; I think it’s safe to say that this has happened a lot sooner than we expected! It was a really fantastic evening and a suitably fitting way to celebrate our achievements this year!
Why was this important for you?
Both awards are fantastic recognition for the work we put in to create our unique model and the efforts we have gone to in order to develop our teams.
We know our clients love what we do but it is always nice to have external recognition from industry peers for the business model and our people.
Robbie’s award was testament to hard work he has put in to developing a chef team which is going from strength to strength.
The judges were made up of a very distinguished panel of experts who know the industry inside out. We are very proud that they have recognised our work as an important and emerging new offer, in a sector which has such a large number of big established players.
What does it mean for the business in real terms?
Awards are always great to help raise the profile of a brand. The additional awareness we have is going to help people understand that we have something new and innovative in the market.
The good and the great of the catering world were at the event so it’s fantastic for our profile.
Hopefully it will lead to more people discovering how the market for staff dining is evolving and now more accessible to companies of all sizes than ever, to more companies embracing the productivity gains achieved by keeping their teams well fuelled and ultimately to more people being able to enjoy our fantastic food.
You have had quite a year, what have been your highlights?
I think the biggest highlight has been settling into our new home. We put a lot of time and thought into getting our kitchens spot on, so we are pleased that we’ve been able to finally get in and settle in.
Another big highlight has been the fun we have had with our food. Robbie and the team are creating so many fantastic menus every day and we are really enjoying sharing these with our clients.
So what’s next for the business?
We naturally want to keep growing and sharing our food and service with more people.
As a relatively new business in this space, we are only touching a tiny percentage of the market so there is a lot more fun to be had.
We know that next year is going to be a tough year for business so our flexible product, which doesn’t tie people in, means we are hopefully going to get a lot of enquires and traction for our model.
Rents are likely to go up and as space gets more limited we can help more and more companies look after their staff in a more cost-effective and hassle-free way.