Allied Caterers

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Transcript of Allied Caterers



    Allied CaterersAn Army Marches On Its Stomach

  • Understanding that, especially in the offshore industry, the physical and indeed psychological wellbeing of any staff member begins with a suitably well balanced diet there is one company in Trinidad and Tobago that has garnered this niche industry and provided a peerless level of quality and service. Jack Slater of Endeavour Magazine had the chance to speak with General Manager of Allied Caterers Trinidad, Gillian Huggins.



    ALLIED CATERERS001 868 669 0329



    Our company is well known for high quality and full service catering, Gillian tells us, We pride ourselves on providing, to our clients, a culinary experience that is

    second to none.Gillian Huggins, General Manager of Trinidad comes with

    23 years of experience in progressively challenging positions

    from administration through to organisational and business

    development and finance and accounting in commercial, industrial

    and state enterprises. Her specific areas of expertise include

    operations review and analysis, review and analysis of work flows

    and procedures and development of business and strategic plans.

    Approaching her work with a keen strategic mindset, she has experience in three main areas of the food industry; flavour

    manufacturing, snack manufacturing and catering services.I have a passion for catering and event management, she

    reveals, Over the years Ive been blessed to be able to work in

    varied and diverse scenarios and have learned a great deal.Holding a BSC (Hons) in Industrial Management from the

    university of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Gillian, who is also a

    member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants

    (ACCA) is a woman with a great deal of determination and set to

    lead by example.

    In India she underwent intensive training at the Entrepreneurship Development Institute, both on a macro and micro scale, before

    joining Allied Caterers TT in 2008 as Financial Controller. Promoted to General manager in 2011, she is recognised as a valuable asset

    with a reputation for getting results that not only meet the high

    standards of the company, but surpasses them.

    I have a passion for giving back, Gillian reveals, If youre going

    to succeed you have to exceed the expectations.

    THE STATE OF THE INDUSTRYThe industry is competitive at the moment, Gillian tells us,

    But we do have the edge. It takes a great deal of coordination,

    planning and logistical activity. We ensure a high quality of service

    by adhering to our strict policies and standards that permeate all

    sectors of our business, including the airlines and the offshore


    Two primary examples, if we were to look at the airline industry is how the menu is cycled every three months, with food needing to be of a high standard, while still falling within the load (weight/

    specification) required for the aircraft. United Airlines audits us

    every month to ensure strict adherence to every step of the food preparation, through to delivery on board the aircraft.

    Offshore is a completely different scenario, as were not

    catering for passengers but for people who live there. Their needs

    are completely different. They need healthy, well-balanced meals,

    so we consistently provide them with a menu, submitted a month

    in advance to be approved by the offshore installation managers.

    Allied Caterers also offer hospitality services to the offshore

    industry. Keeping the rooms, bed sheets and furnishings clean for


    With over 35 years in business, Allied Caterers Ltd, Trinidads premier industrial and events caterer, has grown with their industry working at a pace to keep ahead of the competition and make full use of their experienced and well trained staff. Services on offer range from supplying airlines, as well as the offshore industry.


    those living there. Offshore work has a reputation for involving long

    grueling hours in, often, unsavoury conditions, so a price cannot be

    put on the psychological impact of coming back to a clean room

    with fresh bed linen.

    The continuous push to establish footholds in applicable areas

    of their industry, ie. catering, hospitality and event management has benefitted Allied Caterers greatly. They have an established

    monopoly on the flights coming in to Trinidad and are the preferred

    service provider for offshore oil production platforms in their region.

    With clients including BPTT, Repsol YPF, BHP Billiton, British Gas

    Trinidad and the National Gas Company.

    STAFFThe impressive and flawless reputation of Allied Caterers, and

    the strength of their name, would not be possible if not for their staff.

    Of the 400 plus employees who work with Gillian, either at their plant in Trinidad or in the kitchens on the offshore rigs, each one is provided

    with all the tools they need to develop themselves professionally.We see employees as our most valuable asset, Gillian explains,

    I work with people. Ive seen how so many people, be they

    entrepreneurs or our staff, possess the diligence, the drive and

    ambition to succeed but lack the guidance. I wanted to ensure we

    provided them that.

    A training matrix has been put in place to keep the staff up

    to scratch and as Allied Caterers is part of the Goddard Catering Group and, by extension, Goddard Enterprises Ltd., employees

    benefit from promotion, career development and mobility not only

    within Allied Caterers LTD but also within the group.

    We place a high value on experience, Gillian Huggins.

    ACCOUNTABILITY.Everything that Allied Caterers Ltd does is audited and

    thoroughly checked over and unlike many companies, they are entirely focused on the quality and standard of their products,

    preferring to have a reputation for that than one of market

    dominance. Nothing is perfect, Gillian reminds us, But if even little

    accidents are allowed then they can quickly accumulate into major issues if youre not accountable enough to fix it at the

    start. Our quality and safety managers work closely not only with our customers but also with our staff, to see how things can be

    improved and if accidents have happened how best to safeguard

    against them.


  • NEW DEVELOPMENTS 2013Customers demand high quality at the best rates and Allied

    Caterers plans to further meet this conundrum through business

    expansion and strategic alliances that will increase not only their footprint in the market but also their service abilities.

    Business expansion is priority for 2015, Gillian affirms, We

    have a good position in the offshore oil production industry but we

    are aiming to get into drilling because it would be a plug and play

    scenario. We believe we can offer a farther reach for this industry

    and would like to have a solid hold on it, as we have on the airlines.Innovations within the food business are also a focus for Gillian

    this year, as one of the mechanisms for expansion.Whenever there is a shutdown at a platform, for maintenance,

    we fly food in on a daily basis, she explains, This is refrigerated

    to keep it fresh and we have a particular brand of oven that we

    utilise to reheat the food on the platform. This is all in aid of serving

    safe meals. Development in this area will be a major factor in the

    upcoming year.At the core of everything are our quality and standards, Gillian


    We see employees as our most valuable asset.

    I work with people. Ive seen how so many people, be they entrepreneurs or our staff, possess the diligence, the drive and ambition to succeed but lack the guidance. I wanted to ensure we provided them that.


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