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Hot 100 2012 – 14: Waterfall

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The basics

Company name: Waterfall
What they do: Home of catering brands
Headquarters: Warrington
The boss: Jim Lovett

The financials

Latest turnover (£,000): 43,261
Four-year compound sales growth (%): 58
Latest Ebitda (£,000): 2,251

The details

The Jamie Oliver effect has been wonderful for Waterfall, owner of catering brands Taylor Shaw (school dinners) and Caterplus (food for the care industry). 

“You won’t find any Turkey Twizzlers on our menus,” says boss Jim Lovett. “The key to our growth is that we focus on craft, on training and development. More than 85 per cent of the food we serve is made on site that day. We teach our chefs how to make a stock, how to make roux.” 

This is different approach in an industry where people have been deskilled over time, where there is a reliance on frozen products. He admits there is a small cost premium, but not enough to dissuade a huge number of new clients to sign up to get their grub from Taylor Shaw and Caterplus, which together employ more than 3,000. 

“Our retention rates and referral rates knock the spots off everyone else” says Lovett. Waterfall’s position in the Hot 100 is the proof.

The Hot 100 2012 is brought to you by Investec, Jordans, Cass Business School and Your Business Your Future.

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