Written on the 22 November 2012


AN EAGLEBY catering company is attracting prominent businesses and venues to its client base through well-targeted marketing

Sally (pictured) and Adam Gleaves can cook-up a storm.

The husband-and-wife directors of catering company Chef Express have grown staff numbers from 10 to 17 and increased turnover by 15 per cent to $459,000 in the past two years.

The couple have experienced such rapid growth that they appointed an additional contract chef to meet growing demand.

Suncorp Stadium, the Hyatt and Brisbane Golf Club are some of the many prestigious golf clubs, sporting clubs, nursing homes and dining venues that Chef Express services.

Sally Gleaves credits her aggressive marketing strategy for the company’s success.

“Chef Express has promoted its features and benefits through regular mail-outs to potential clients and ongoing communication with existing clients,” she says.

“We have been very careful with how we have utilised our funds. We did not just go out and purchase all the technology we would have liked … [and] used the occasional dinner out as an opportunity to have a business meeting without children.”

She reveals that she and her husband decided to go into business while working as a contracted chef.

“With the company he was working with we saw clients being serviced, but staff were disgruntled, [using] poor communication with clients and staff, slow to pay bills and sloppy with accounting procedures,” she says.

“We saw an opportunity to provide this same service but do everything they did not by building relationships, communicating well with clients and staff and making all stakeholders feel involved in the business.”

Gleaves plans to grow company revenue by 20 per cent this fiscal year to $550,800, client venues by 10, hours worked by 100 per week and full-time chefs by three.

“Chef Express has been able to make the most of the economic uncertainty by ensuring clients are able to get the necessary staffing for any function or event they take on,” she says.

“This means clients are able to employ based on their lowest level of patronage and uses Chef Express’ contract services when they are busy, assisting clients with maintaining lower overheads in the [challenging] economic climate.”






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