Overall ranking: 86
Food service ranking: 9
Patrick Harbour and Nathan Jones - Snapshot
Harbour & Jones, the caterer founded in 2004 by Patrick Harbour and Nathan Jones, now has 384 staff and counts St Paul’s Cathedral, the Financial Services Authority, BSkyB, law firm Cameron McKenna, underwriter Catlin and advertising firms JWT and Engine Group among its customers. Turnover is £20.5m, and the company operates at 34 sites and expects to be at 40 by the end of 2010.
Patrick Harbour and Nathan Jones - Career guide
Patrick Harbour was mixing with royalty between 1988 and 1990 as food and beverage director at the palaces of King Hussain in Jordan. He returned to the UK in May 1990 to take up the role of managing director at Leith’s, which was bought by Compass Group during his nine-year tenure.
In November 1999 Harbour took on a new challenge as managing director of Charters, the fine-dining division of Sutcliffe (owned by Granada and later to merge with Compass). From January 2001 Harbour was managing director, London, of Houston & Church, later to become known as Wilson Storey Halliday (WSH) after a merger in 2001 with the company of the same name. It was while here that he met Nathan Jones, who was sales director and with WSH from 1999 to 2003.
Jones had joined WSH after a five-year stint on the consultancy side at Principal Catering Consultants, where, as director of business development, he was responsible for £6m of turnover and 30 contracts in the business and industry, education and concession markets.
Previously, from 1991 to 1994, Jones had been assistant area manager at CCG Services, helping to manage food service standards across 30 client sites.
Patrick Harbour and Nathan Jones - What we think
This is a perfect double act, with Harbour’s boundless enthusiasm and ability to sell balanced by Jones’s organisation and commitment to making the numbers work. Together they have hit on the successful formula of being innovative while adding an impressive number of clients, giving the business enough resources to develop further, retain and offer opportunities to some of its best staff - Harbour & Jones has recruited several former employees of the larger caterers.
Harbour, interviewed when taking part in Caterer’s Adopted Business series in 2006, said of his company: "We see ourselves as a boutique caterer in the mould of Hotel du Vin in as much as every contract is different, but they share the same values." The recipe appears to have proved popular, and the caterer, which has been defined by its relaxed culture since creation, has begun beefing up its senior management team - with the promotion of Gary McKechnie to director of food a recent example. In doing this it is addressing an area where many small businesses come unstuck after growing quickly and should ensure the caterer can maintain its own high standards during its next phase of expansion.
Patrick Harbour and Nathan Jones - Further information