Mobilisation covers the period between the award of a new catering contract to the commencement of the contract and service. This is a critical period which is fundamental to the successful implementation of the new catering service and sets the tone for an effective, long term relationship. We interviewed a client following a recent mobilisation and asked them how we brought to life the service we proposed in our tender bid. 

When the team works, the dream works

Good working relationships were fundamental. There were two leaders, Anthony Prentice (operations director) and Andrew Petford (area business manager). David Steel (development chef), Lin Dickens (marketing director) and Ian Thomas (CEO) were also on the core team. Team members had a clear role, area of responsibility and workstream. It was apparent during the weekly mobilisation conference call that each person was confident to discuss their actions. Whilst bartlett mitchell didn’t formally outline specific duties, their behaviour conveyed their roles and responsibilities and I felt that their “actions spoke louder than words”.

David took charge of developing the restaurant and hospitality menus. He also chose the suppliers and recommended the service-ware and light equipment.  He was also responsible for the practical perspective of delivering the menu and maintaining high food quality standards.

Lin led the marketing; from the start she was responsible for communicating bartlett mitchell to customers. This included setting up a pop-up pancake day in our previous building. This gave customers a ‘taste of things to come’ and got them excited in advance of the opening. Through her marketing initiatives, Lin showed customers what bartlett mitchell was going to offer and she was responsible for creating an identity for the restaurant and delivering all the customer communications.

Andrew recruited the catering team and was responsible for the induction and training.

Ian was the guiding hand in the background and let the team get on with it. Ian was also responsible for contractual negotiations.

The team were happy to accept challenge and were able to manage and resolve conflict. The catering manager and I are on the same wavelength. The atmosphere was one of sharing, where ideas kept flowing and everything was discussed.

Communication and engagement

Communication was brilliant, timely and appropriate. All stakeholders were updated regularly using the right channels. Project meetings took place every week, they were never cancelled, however small the agenda. In addition, monthly face to face meetings took place on site. Everyone was empowered to deliver, no one ever said “let me go and speak to someone else to resolve that”. Effective decision making took place because senior decision makers were at the meetings.

A comprehensive project plan was created at the outset which was used to steer the project. The ‘Risk and Issues’ log was always kept up-to-date, bartlett mitchell had the right people at the right meetings. As a result, bartlett mitchell got the quality and service delivery completely right for us from day one including achieving SLAs and KPIs.

Team communication was open and honest. The right people were engaged in the development and delivery of the mobilisation plan, and the wheels kept turning, even if individuals were unable to attend the meetings due to holiday commitments.

I felt comfortable to raise any concerns, though there were very few. bartlett mitchell had passion, drive and proactivity even when I knew they were tired. The team were all very positive and enthusiastic, I would describe them as a ‘finely tuned machine’. The relationship with bartlett mitchell was based on cooperation, all barriers were removed for sharing honest feedback. The mobilisation project team meetings had a positive atmosphere where success was celebrated and mistakes learned from.

Smooth transition to a new service

On day one everyone made an effort to make sure the restaurant was the best it could be. The restaurant has been open for six months, the bartlett mitchell team live and breathe their FOODIES values and their tender promise. bartlett mitchell is always proactive and recognises what could be better with suggestions for improvements.

It was refreshing during the tender process that bartlett mitchell didn’t bring salespeople to the presentation. The team presenting to us were operational and they were the people that were going to deliver. And that has turned out to be the reality.

When we started I didn’t know exactly what we wanted in the end. But by working together in a collaborative way bartlett mitchell has delivered a vision that I didn’t even know I had! It was definitely promises made and promises kept.

Marketing Director

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