Bolton Whites Hotel cuts ties with catering partners Heathcote & Co
BOLTON Wanderers have severed ties with catering partners Heathcote & Co after six years.
Notice was given on Monday night that The Bolton Whites Hotel intend to bring catering services in-house as part of a cost-saving exercise.
Twenty-five full and 175 part-time staff based are employed by Heathcote & Co to service hospitality boxes at the stadium, many of which are brought in only for match-days or special events.
The company, who became Wanderers’ official catering partners in 2013, expect that contracts will be picked up by the hotel and that changes will not result in a net loss of jobs.
The 125-bedroom four-star hotel is currently in administration but reopened on May 14 with all previous hotel employees back in situ.
Andrew Hosking, Sean Bucknall and Michael Kiely, partners at business advisory firm Quantuma, were appointed joint administrators of the hotel, and are currently acting independently of Rubin and Partners, who are administrators of the football club.
Partner, Andrew Hosking, said: “The priority of the administrators is to ensure the best outcome for stakeholders.
“We will be working with the management team to assist the hotel to return to short term profitability.
“To assist with this exercise the administrators have scrutinised the existing financial commitments of the hotel. It has become apparent that the existing contract for the provision of catering is not aligned to the objectives of the administrators and as such, the decision has been made to bring the provision of high-quality catering in house in the interest of the hotel and the creditors.”
Paul Heathcote, co-owner of Heathcote & Co, says he is currently seeking legal advice on his position after being told late on Monday that the deal had been ended.
“Late yesterday we were issued with a withdrawal of services notice from Walker Morris solicitors and because it was so late in the day it gave us little time to react,” he told The Bolton News.
“As a consequence we unfortunately were unable to communicate with our people successfully because of the lack of information which was available at the time.
“We believe our staff are being transferred over via TUPE (Transfer of Undertakings Protection of Employment) to Quantuma who appear to be taking the catering services in-house as far as we can assess.
"Given the national publicity and public gaze the aim of the administrator now must be to make sure that people who have been gainfully employed looking after the business and hotel contract for the last six years have their rights protected. It is unfortunate that no consultation took place. Again, a lack of communication has been sorely evident."
It is understood that the hotel is confident future events and conferences, including the upcoming Rod Stewart concert, can be adequately staffed and catered despite the ongoing issues. [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]