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26th April 2019

A Lifetime Achievement Award for CH&CO’s CEO

Congratulations to our CEO, Bill Toner, who was recognised with the Contract Catering Lifetime Achievement Award at the Cost Sector Catering Awards 2019.

Bill received the prestigious accolade last night at the Hilton London Metropole, which was filled with the industry’s great and good – including many of Bill’s past and present colleagues, competitors, partners and associates.

When introducing the winner of this special award, David Foad, the Group Editor for Dewberry Redpoint that publishes Cost Sector Catering magazine, described a dynamic and successful character and career, driven by ambition, determination, hard work and a smart business mind.

Bill’s first job starting out as a teenager was washing pots in a local hotel and he worked and studied hard to qualify as a chef, including a couple of years working in prestigious hotels in France.  He became a unit manager in Gardner Merchant in his early twenties and meteorically rose to sales director for Scotland in just six years and became a leading figure in hospitality catering when he moved to head up the company’s London division, including the Directors Table brand; he ultimately went on to lead Gardner Merchant’s business & industry sector across the UK and Ireland.  In 2000 he moved to ARAMARK UK as CEO and grew the business from £150m to £400m turnover in just 4 years.  He also pioneered strong culinary links between contract catering and big-name chefs, including Gary Rhodes, Brian Turner, Gordon Ramsay and Giorgio Locatelli, and his reputation for supporting industry organisations and charities is impressive.

With the industry in his DNA, Bill came out of a brief retirement in 2010 having bought into Host Management and becoming its chief executive. Nine years and nine mergers and acquisitions later, he continues to lead as CEO of CH&CO, a £300m turnover business employing nearly 6500 people across 750 sites.

Commenting on his award, Bill said, “I’ve been very fortunate to have an amazing career in hospitality but I’ve achieved it all by working with fantastic teams throughout the years.  We’ve worked hard to create amazing experiences for clients and great career opportunities for our people.  This award recognises all of them as well as me and I’m very grateful to receive it.”

Congratulations also go to Tracey Clarke, Craft Trainer for ABsolutely by CH&CO, who was shortlisted for the Education Award. Tracey is responsible for the catering in 15 primary schools across Liverpool and is dedicated to giving nutritionally-balanced meals to as many children as possible. She achieves results through her unique ability to engage with people on every level; whether that’s encouraging children to try broccoli, teaching parents how to make a basic tomato sauce or giving her team the confidence to impress. Known by many pupils as ‘Aunty Tracey’ this achievement is well deserved.