Q3 2022

May22485 Foodservice MD of the Year 2022: Tracey Fairclough TAF Catering Consultancy is an innovative foodservice business founded by Tracey Fairclough, an experienced caterer and marketer. Her abundance of knowledge and hard work has driven the company to dizzying heights, enabling it to take on projects for several prestigious businesses. Tracey Fairclough set up TAF Catering Consultancy in October 2018, after identifying a gap in the market for a younger, female MD led, alternative foodservice consultancy. At the time, the market presented as a male-dominated space, occupied by only a handful of female-run businesses. Starting out with a business degree from Cardiff University, she plunged head first into the dynamic fast-paced advertising and marketing worlds. However, after spending 16 years in this space, delivering campaigns and winning awards, she decided to transition into foodservices. Joining one of the top corporate caterers, Elior, Tracey began catering for employees in workplaces across the UK. Her career quickly progressed, and after five years, at a peer’s suggestion, she delved into creating her own unique foodservice company. TAF’s mission is simple: to offer the most relevant, reliable, timely foodservice insights to clients. Three features underpin every project – it listens, collaborates, and delivers bespoke foodservice solutions to corporate clients. Moreover, this mission spans across the company’s seven main services: Catering Audits, Catering Mobilisations, Catering Tenders, Foodservice Feasibility Projects, Stakeholder Engagement Initiatives, Catering Design/Rebranding, and Market Research Projects. In its clients’ words, TAF is today’s ‘fresh, forward-thinking, innovative, app-savvy and sustainability focused’ foodservice consultancy. The company’s growth path, in just three and a half years, has seen it employed across 10 sectors, and has enabled it to run seminars at universities. Such seminars have been designed to inspire a new generation of hospitality graduates and are often presented to leading facilities management committees to illuminate the UK’s most established, pioneering, and illustrious foodservice contracts. Further, TAF’s opinions have been sought and published to promote market-leading ‘thought-leadership’ in industry publications. By October 2020, between lockdowns, TAF ran one of a handful of UK face-to-face conferences, creating the first TAFTALKS event, at which half a dozen clients attended, using hot-off-the-market COVID-19 testing kits, to unlock its unique brand of foodservice insight. 2020 morphed into 2021, the country came off furlough, and TAF commenced a journey along a nationwide path, taking it down a collaborative route to provide more reassurance and confidence to both partners and clients. Much of its approach involved sharing critical insights with partners, improving forecasting, avoiding disruption from variables such as rising food prices which, more recently, has been affected by the Ukraine crisis, driving supply chain resiliency, and more. By Q3, TAF had visited over 21 contract caterers, travelled almost 10,000 miles around the UK, and seen workplaces from 20,000 sq. ft. London office spaces to 4,000,000 sq. m. purpose-built destinationsites. 2021 ended with TAF working for a prestigious high street bank, managing, and completing an unprecedented stakeholder engagement initiative. TAF’s journey would not have been possible without the caterers who’ve recommended it, the clients who’ve re-appointed it, and the collaborative partners who’ve worked with it, as they enable it to provide the best specialist expertise, for unique client solutions. ‘This approach keeps me grounded to know I’m only as good as the people around me and I always want to know WHO’s doing WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, HOW WELL, for HOW MUCH and WHY customers love them,’ notes Tracey. The current year has been TAF’s biggest year yet. In January, Tracey judged the 2022 Contract Catering Awards. In February, she was voted one of the 50 Most Influential Women in Foodservice 2022 by the Association of Catering Excellence (ACE), and by May, she had been awarded the SME NEWS Foodservice MD of the Year 2022. In foodservice consultancy terms, TAF has already completed several significant catering projects for global clients with the rest of 2022/2023. Tracey adds, ‘getting to this position wasn’t luck or simply hard graft. I stayed true to my mission, vision, and values, creating a new standard in the industry.’ What does the future look like for TAF? Continued adapting and evolving solutions, with more collaborations with the very best experts (drawn from specialist areas hit hard by the pandemic in contract catering – culinary, branding, production, digital and food safety); launching the TAF Collective 2022. The aim: to problem solve with corporate clients and caterers, driving best practice foodservice into a new world, around the most relevant, reliable, timely, commercial and freshest consultancy advice, pushing innovation to deliver premium foodservices! Contact: Tracey Fairclough Company: TAF Catering Consultancy Ltd Web Address: tafcateringconsultancy.com