A large proportion of our customers have been with us for years, and have evolved their operations with our help, something we are extremely proud of as testament to our supportive and collaborative approach. 
 
One such is Swift Group, based at Cottingham on the outskirts of Hull. 
 
Our relationship with the UK’s largest leisure vehicle manufacturer began in 2002, when they called us in to review their existing catering service as they wanted a local business to take it forward. 
Our business is founded on really understanding our ‘audience’ and catering for their requirements. When we are called in to work with any new client, we always start by doing our research, asking questions like ‘who are the potential customers?’, ‘what kinds of jobs do they do?’, ‘what are their tastes and preferences?’, ‘what size of portions do they need?’ We need to fully understand the client’s individual requirements so that we can tailor a catering solution to suit. 
 
We do this exercise because we know from years of experience that there is just no point in second-guessing what a particular organisation’s needs are – we need to ask them in order to know for sure, otherwise any catering operation is bound to fail. Our menus can often evolve over the first few months as we find out exactly what people like and dislike at different sites. 
 
“The Swift collaboration is a shining example of the power of our individual approach,” said our Managing Director Erika Harman
Creating something special 
So much so, in fact, that we are now working with Swift on an exciting new joint venture – the creation of a brand new, high quality café and breakout area. 
 
Swift MD James Turner explained what he hopes this will achieve: “We’ve been dealing with Harman’s for around 16 years now and they’ve been providing a catering service within our facility which they’ve tailored to the needs of our workforce, and up to now its focus has been on providing basic, good quality food at a reasonable price. 
 
“We’re now looking to redevelop that catering facility into a new café area, and I am pleased to say that Erika and Grant are making that journey with us. 
 
“Harman’s have contributed their ideas towards the new designs to ensure the kitchen set up and layout of the servery areas offer the best possible service for our staff to enjoy their meal times in the new area. 
 
“They are creating new menus to include many more healthy eating options and we are wanting to create an environment where our people can enjoy their break times.” 
 
What James values most about Harman’s input is our ability to take ownership and work both collaboratively and independently to make any facilities project work. 
 
“Harman’s have made a success of the catering service which has allowed us to focus on our priority job of running our business,” James added 
 
“We know they will deliver a service that is appropriate for our employees, and do so with value, efficiency and quality. We can trust them to just get on with it and make it happen. 
 
“I think what has worked so well for us is the way that Harman’s have tailored the menu choices to our people. Making the effort to understand what our staff want is a key factor. 
 
“Together, we are applying the same principles, of seeking to understand our customers, to the development of our new café. 
 
“We’re finding that some of our younger workers and office based staff don’t currently use our catering facility, so we are going to meet the needs of all our employees through our new offering. We now employ around 1,250 people on a shift system and we’re working closely with Harman’s to make sure we’re catering for as many of them as possible by providing the right mix of food offered in the new menus. 
 
“It’ll be a really nice facility which meets our employee wellbeing aspirations, and provides good, healthy food. It will feature a ‘time out zone’ and relaxation area as well as a café, and will have facilities for people who want to bring in a pack up, microwave their own food or make themselves a brew as well.” 
 
To find out more about the Swift Group, visit www.swiftgroup.co.uk
If your business is looking for specialist catering, cleaning or other facilities management support, get in touch with Harman’s Facilities Management via (01430) 421177 or 07764 455900
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