Our year, Group Genuine

Sitting down to write this blog, it is amazing to think just how far we have come since 2010. The Genuine Dining Co. has grown to include Signature Dining and Feng Sushi that have now fully integrated into the group and we continue to add sites to our expanding family.

2018 was saw Group Genuine take another huge leap forward and I wanted to review the year by breaking it down into what we deliver everyday:

‘the best people, serving the best food, having the most fun’



Being a people business, it is fantastic to see how our people have progressed in line with our growth. 2018 has been a brilliant year for succession planning and we go into 2019 with passionate foodies filling positions created through some exciting new contract wins.

Our Genuine Awards are always a highlight of the year, 2018 no exception! Held at Penyard House, 80 Managers from across the group descended in Peaky Blinders attire for a fun evening where we celebrated achievements across the year. Personal highlight of the evening, our Operations Director Ben Wilson being awarded with the Special Award.

Looking forward to 2019, I’m excited by the opportunities we have to further our people with succession plans kicking into action with exciting new openings across London.

To help manage our growth, we continue to push our people forward, listening to their ambitions and understanding how we can help them achieve them. Our success is down to our people, and the future of Group Genuine lies with how we support development and career progression.



We are extremely excited to welcome Adam Thomason, our new Executive Head Chef. Adam Thomason MCA, winner of Chef of the Year, Private Site at the 2018 Foodservice Cateys and two-time runner-up in the Craft Guild’s National Chef of the Year competition, is a passionate and driven cook with a brilliant skill set in the kitchen and a motivation for leadership and development. Adam will take our food to the next level while instilling his passion to develop others. Getting to know Adam over the past couple of months, I am so excited to see how our food grows and develops under his guidance. He truly is a Genuine Foodie.


Our Procurement Team continue to do an incredible job with our suppliers. An important value of ours, ‘to buy the best British food’, remains central to our operations as we continue to grow.

To serve the best food we need to look at how we are presenting it. 2018 was a year where we saw a huge public outcry over Single Use Plastics, something we welcomed with open arms as we continue to work innovatively to reduce our footprint.

In November we went another step further with the redevelopment of our sandwich boxes. We have always used 100% recyclable containers; our new boxes maintain this trend and we continue to work with our suppliers to find the best solution to this question.

Our General Production Kitchen, at the beginning of the year, was awarded with the accreditation, ‘zero landfill site’. Something we are extremely proud of and our dedicated team at the kitchen continue to develop our production to ensure we’re always pushing to improve our waste streams.



As we grow it is extremely important that we continue to have as much fun as possible, I truly believe this is where our success has come from.

To this end, we’ve been working hard to ensure that we never lose sight of this unique attribute.

The Genuine Audit App – as a bit of a tech nerd, I am so excited by the innovative bit of technology we launched in September. Migrating our audit system from paper to an online system, our management team can now audit sites quickly and easily with a real-time leaderboard generated so we can have a snapshot of all sites and their performance across the month. The app digs down into what is really important to us, people, food and fun – ensuring we never lose track of our roots.

Team Velo – Since we came up with the idea to cycle to Paris to raise some money for charity, Team Velo is now in its 6th year with The Springboard Charity proudly taking over the organisation to support the work they do throughout hospitality. Our adventurous team from the Support Office took part this year and helped run a BBQ for everyone taking part on the 2nd night. We continue to support Springboard with their fundraising, and we are proud to have helped raise over £30,000 in 2018.

The Felix Project – Our teams have been enjoying working with The Felix Project, a charity that supports vulnerable people across London on a daily basis with the supply of raw ingredients that would have gone to waste if not utilised. We are proud to develop this new partnership and will continue to support the charity with our Genuine Foodies regularly volunteering their time to assist those less fortunate.



So, how would I summarise 2018 as a year for The Genuine Dining Co.?  Through the many contracts won across the year? Through new partnerships developed? Through the recognitions and awards received?

  • Foodservice Caterer Award at The Cateys
  • Voted into the top 1000 companies to inspire Britain by London Stock Exchange
  • Bee Armstrong shortlisted as Manager of the Year, Foodservice Cateys
  • Bee, Florence and Ben being shortlisted at the ACE Robyn Awards
  • Team GDC appearing on the front cover of The Caterer

To me, these are all indicators to our successes, but when I think back over the year, this isn’t what springs to mind. To me, and to the rest of the management team at Group Genuine, it is the day to day experiences we have at our sites.

‘the best people, serving the best food, having the most fun’

This is what is important, 2018 has been a success because we have managed to retain how we operate across our existing sites, and I am delighted to see the same mantra being rolled out across our new ones.

2019 will be another big year for The Genuine Dining Co., and I am excited to continue this journey with the best people in the industry, having fun every day!

Thank you,

Chris Mitchell, Managing Director