Philippe and Rachel, founded Phil’s Cuisine in 2012.
The business started as a lunch services where the client would order their lunch with us, that we would prepare and deliver to their desk. The concept started in February 2012 and we managed to acquire our first contract with Confine Spaces Training Services (CSTS) and clients from The Delta Group. Our first breakthrough in December 2012 when one of our clients (Delta Group) were let down by the venue, they had book for their Christmas party, and they had only 2 weeks left until the date. The P.A to the Board of Directors called us and we took on the challenge and delivered the planning including a new venue within a week and delivered the party on the date that the client wanted.
We struggled a lot with financing the business and required me, Philippe, to keep my full-time job as Operations Director of a small chain of hotels in the Cotswold and Oxfordshire while Rachel looked after the day to day of Phil’s Cuisine. This meant that the business couldn’t grow at a steady rate as we were at full capacity catering only for CSTS and Delta Group.
It is in February 2016 that we took the leap of faith when we manage to get the contract for the Corporate canteens at the Delta Group and we incorporated Phil’s Cuisine Ltd and we started working full time in the company.
Within the Delta Group, they cater for the board of directors, and their clients such as: Tesco, Asda, Paramount pictures, Miramax, Disney, Activision, Sainsbury’s, Argos, Games
With a very good reputation for our services within the corporate world and word of mouth abounding, we managed to cater for big names in the country such as Santander bank, Heathrow holdings Limited, Amazon UK, WeWork London.
Best Way to Grow
Looking for businesses alike wanting to grow and wanting to learn from each other’s mistake to build a better business, we joined the University of Hertfordshire Business Incubator in May 2018. This has been the best decision that we could have made as it helped us to be part of the program Innovate to Succeed from Examplas, we showcased our business to HRH The Duke of York Pitch at Palace 11.0, we were finalist of The Lord Lieutenant of Hertfordshire Entrepreneurship Challenge (LLHC)and mostly, the incubator helped us in identifying at the best way to grow and that is how we started producing our own line of sauces that we showcased at the LLHC. With the help and precious advice of the Incubator, we went from just us working in the company to now 6 full-time employees and we have managed to diversify the company in a way that from only catering, we now also do Soft Facilities management solutions, Event planning, Catering at festivals, Production of our own line of products.
Within less than a year and full support of the Incubator, we are looking at a turnover of nearly £300,000 in 2018/19 (compared to £125 000 in 2016/17) and looking forward to a projected turnover of £1 000 000 by 2022.
Within the cohort meetings with other entrepreneurs and business minds alike, we have been able to better manage our business in terms of daily challenges.
Phil’s Business Tip
Businesses out there faces a lot of challenges daily and there is no shame in asking for help and advice as this is the only way that a business become successful. We have been lucky enough to find the HU Business Incubator.
Founders: Philippe and Rachel