Phil Howard has plenty of reason to pop the champagne corks this year as 2015 marks the 25th anniversary since he realised his ambition of running his own business. Having spotted a gap in the catering equipment market for a company that could provide a turnkey design and build service, Phil set up Catering Design Group and he has steered the Daventry-based outfit to year-on-year growth ever since.
The distributor currently remains on course to improve sales by 20% over the next 12 months and recent large-scale project successes demonstrate why. CDG has just completed the most significant scheme in its history – a £1.2m transformation of the catering facilities at the prestigious Millfield independent school in Somerset. As a result, the institution’s kitchens are fully equipped to serve up to 1,500 meals every breakfast and lunchtime.
Colleagues of Phil credit him with establishing a business unique in its service offer and culture. He clearly has a genuine desire to achieve success for his own and clients’ businesses, as evidenced by the number of referrals and repeat business, which account for more than 90% of CDG’s turnover.
His commitment to the industry is also underscored by his elevation to the CEDA board, having earlier represented the association in a regional capacity. Under Phil’s leadership, CDG has evolved into a more rounded hospitality services provider, with the introduction of a full interiors element to the business, establishing it as a ‘niche’ specialist within existing markets. This move has also facilitated its expansion into the casual dining, retail and leisure markets. Staff development continues to be the bedrock of CDG’s success, with the company collecting the Investors in People Gold Award and attaining ISO 9001.
“Phil has a genuine desire to achieve success for his own and clients’ businesses, as evidenced by the number of referrals and repeat business, which account for more than 90% of CDG’s turnover”