24/05/2005 - 22:00

Growth is easy as five simple steps

24/05/2005 - 22:00


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Follow five simple business rules and growth will happen according to cook-chill catering enterprise, Total Catering Solutions director John Mitchell.

Growth is easy as five simple steps

Follow five simple business rules and growth will happen according to cook-chill catering enterprise, Total Catering Solutions director John Mitchell.

Mr Mitchell’s comments came after TCS was ranked as one of this year’s Rising Stars.

“Surround yourself with good people, provide good leadership, do your research and a detailed business plan, create key performance indicators and stick to the plan,” he said.

“I have finalised TCS’s business plan for the next five years and we will increase revenue from $5.2 million to $25 million in that time.”

The former in-house catering service already produces 7000 meals a day for a range of clients and in 12 months plans to build a new food manufacturing facility on adjoining land. The new premises will increase its meal output to 60,000 daily.

“Cook-chill meals always had a stigma attached to them and I had the idea to diversify them for the hospitality industry,” Mr Mitchell said. “Nobody was doing ready-to-eat for functions centres or other clients that could make use of it.

“I looked at what the niche was and developed the business accordingly.

“We started in aged care, health and hospitality and extended it to the mining industry with our extended life products.”

Mr Mitchell said as part of the company’s development strategy TCS has come up with a new range of extended life products for the catering industry.

“Extended life meal components offer huge advantages in production costs, variety of food and reduction of wastage,” he said.

“The meal components which are ideal for the contract catering and mining sectors, are chilled and sold in 2kg bags with a shelf life of 28 days,” he said.

“They include soups, sauces and a range of meat-wet dishes.”

However, one barrier for TCS has been the existing facility which was built in 1997. It was built to produce 3000 meals a day and from day one has been producing almost double that.

“We have been exceeding what we were built for,” Mr Mitchell said.

“We have had to keep upgrading the equipment and building.

“In 2000, I bought the adjacent block of land and at the moment it is going through feasibility. We hope to have it up and running in about 12 months and will at least need to double staff to 100.”

Without a doubt, the staff at TCS has been the company’s key to success, says Mr Mitchell.

“The TCS management team have expertise in sales and marketing and food science and all are qualified chefs with an understanding of the industry in every sector,” he said.

“We are constantly developing people and investing time and money in their training.

“We are in a position to offer our chefs a good lifestyle where they do not have to work nights and weekends and as a result can spend more time with their families.

“Another fundamental key to our success is our ability to partner with our clients so as to become an extension of their business.”

For TCS’s growth to continue, it needs to maintain its reputation of providing quality products and quality service.



  • A cook-chill catering enterprise

  • Established in 1999-2000

  • Employs 46 staff

  • An increase of about $20 million in turnover over the next five years



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