East Yorkshire family business Harman’s Facilities Management are flying high after winning a new catering contract at the same time as garnering a prestigious industry accreditation.
The North Cave-based company has built up a reputation for providing high quality catering and cleaning services for organisations across the UK, and has now added a new client to its growing list. Premdor, one of the country’s leading manufacturers of timber doors, chose Harman’s following a rigorous tender process to provide a full canteen catering service for the 400 staff based at its headquarters in Barnsley, South Yorkshire.
Harman’s Manging Director Erika Harman said: “It has been such an exciting project. The new canteen looks beautiful, it’s modern and comfortable with a fabulous green and lime colour scheme. It’s a lovely, light environment for our catering staff to work in, and it’s clear that Premdor employees really appreciate it.”
Nothing Harman’s do is off the shelf, everything is tailored to each individual client and their needs. Erika added: “We always put plenty of thought into ensuring everything is bespoke to suit our customers, right down to the minor details – it’s important to understand whether they want baps, breadcakes, buns or rolls, and if they tend to prefer the floured or plain variety!”
It’s this personalised, hands-on approach that has helped Harman’s beat major rivals to secure contracts including the Highways England A14 improvement scheme; caravan manufacturer Swift Group; and sweet-makers Tangerine Confectionery.
Plus, the Harman’s team’s efforts to pull out all the stops to achieve a suite of industry-recognised accreditations really set them apart from the competition. They’ve recently added the ConstructOnline certification to their collection, which comprises:
- SAFE Contractor
- Considerate Constructors Scheme
- British Institute for Cleaning Science (BICS)
Erika said: “Possessing the right health and safety accreditations is essential for any supplier working on construction or hazardous sites, and it’s something we consider a top priority here at Harman’s.
“These accreditations mean our working practices and insurances are fully appropriate for working in the most challenging industrial and construction environments, and recognises our world-class levels of compliance.”
The certificates provide evidence that Harman’s services and staff meet all health and safety criteria for working on construction and other high-risk sites. The Highways England A14 improvement scheme is classed as an ‘ultra site’ which means it exceeds world-class standards for the Considerate Constructors scheme – which in turn means Harman’s has to meet these very same standards.
Erika added: “The team regularly work in environments such as power stations, chemical plants and major construction sites and this proves to clients that they have the ability to meet every required standard.
“Ultimately, all our staff are working to a much higher level of safety than you would usually find in a catering and cleaning company.”
Erika and her husband Grant Harman run the business. They started out almost two decades ago with a mobile catering van called ‘Hungry Henry’s’ and are now turning over in excess of £2million a year providing world-class catering and cleaning services for some of the country’s biggest organisations and projects. They have 80 employees on their payroll and believe the key to their success is the fact they’ve never lost touch with their ethos – which is based on providing a friendly, approachable and personal service to their clients.
Like many of the best developments in life, the creation of Hungry Henry’s was forced by a set of circumstances. After having her first son Henry, Erika was made redundant from her job as a commercial mortgage adviser and had to make a living somehow.
A friend told Erika someone they knew was selling a catering trailer, and although the purchase fell through, she became captivated by the idea and found another one for sale. Hungry Henry’s was sited at Brough and Erika started out making just £8 a day, which rapidly increased. Grant was then made redundant from his job, so he joined Erika and they launched a second van at North Ferriby. Soon, they employed staff to assist them, and before long leading construction company Carillion invited them to run a canteen on a construction site catering for 500 workers.
The family has never looked back since, carving out a highly successful niche providing in-house catering and facilities management solutions for all manner of major companies and developments. Despite their business growing to several times its original size, the couple continue to take a hands-on approach to looking after their clients.
Erika said: “Grant and I oversee every contract. Customers can contact us directly whenever they have a question or issue and know it will be dealt with immediately. We treat every business we work with as if it was our own and care deeply about delivering an outstanding quality of service to each one.”