Chartwells Independent recognises outstanding year with new appointment

Chartwells Independent, the independent school catering division of Chartwells, part of Compass Group UK & Ireland, has crowned a fantastic year, which saw it add a record number of schools to its estate, with the appointment of a new Head of Partnerships.

The business, under the guidance of Managing Director, Noelle Jones, has sprung back strongly from lockdown, with a concerted focus on investing in its team, and a laser-focus on creating memorable food experiences though its core food values – Quality, Simple, Delicious – spearheaded by its Culinary Director, Rob Kennedy.

To maintain momentum, Charles Willoughby has been promoted to the newly created role of Head of Partnerships, in recognition of the significant contribution he has made to accelerating the growth and direction of the company, after joining in November 2020.

Willoughby boasts more than a decade’s experience working in education catering, having previously worked in the University sector, before moving to Chartwells Independent.

His farming background and passion for locally sourced produce, complements the sustainably driven sourcing policy of Chartwells Independent, as does his appetite for understanding and meeting the specific needs of each school.

Willoughby said: “It’s a huge privilege to take on this new role during what is an incredibly exciting time for the business. We emerged from the pandemic more united than ever, having served our clients well, nurtured our colleagues, and strengthened our teams.

“This firm foundation allowed us to offer our clients and prospective clients an unrivalled level of support, by enabling our teams to continue to provide memorable and engaging food experiences for pupils up and down the country.

“We’ve successfully delivered the first phase of our plan, but now is the time to build further and welcome more schools into our family, supporting them on their journey to deliver their vision and boost their pastoral care provision. I’m delighted to be working with our team to spearhead this activity.”

Under the guidance of Noelle Jones, the business has focused on doing the simple things with excellence and delivering consistently high-quality food and service across every school in which it operates. Through this approach the business has grown its partnerships to over 110 schools during this academic year, affirming its market-leading position.

Noelle added, “Our success this year has been driven by our incredible people. We’ve really focused on going back to basics and building a culture of togetherness and excellence.

'This focus has seen us extend our partnerships with a record number of schools, which is testament to the hard work and passion of our frontline teams, alongside our amazing internal retention team.

“At the same time, we have been able to expand our market presence through several significant new business wins across a diverse range of schools, all with very different needs, demonstrating our diversity and flexibility.

'It is currently an immensely challenging operating environment for all businesses involved in hospitality, and we have noticed a discernible move towards first time outsourcing, as schools look to experienced businesses to help them manage the widespread and well-documented challenges facing the hospitality industry.'

Noelle concluded, 'We very much look forward to helping more schools overcome these challenges over the coming year.”