Commercial kitchen cleaning specialist TWO Services has had a lot of mess to clear up over the last three decades – but it’s all been in the name of the business.
The company is celebrating its 30th year in trading this year and for founder Alan Osborn it’s provided a chance to reflect on the factors that have allowed it to grow and prosper from a one-man band into a 120-strong operation.
According to Mr Osborn, family values and high levels of service are still central to the company, while staff turnover is unusually low for this industry.
“We’re proud that many of our staff have been here nearly as long as the company has been going – it’s like a big family,” he says. “My first ever recruit, George Baffoe, was made company director for his loyalty. And there are many others who came on board in the early days that have spent the majority of their careers with us and been promoted as a result. Charlie, Sammy, Gareth -who was our first ever apprentice catering engineer, to name a few.”
Indeed a spate of recent internal promotions illustrates this fact. New general manager, Carl Twaites, was previously chief maintenance engineer for 11 years. Kay Wiskin, who spent 10 years in the office as sales and operations co-ordinator, is now out and about as the face of TWO in the south, in a sales executive role.
TWO Services’ turnover is now £4m a year and Mr Osborn claims the Basildon-based outfit is one of few cleaning and maintenance companies accredited with ISO 9001, ISO 14001 (environmental) and OHSAS 18001(health & safety).
Mr Osborn said he had seen much change over the last 30 years, including new health and safety legislation, improvements in kitchen hygiene inspections and greater emphasis on cleaning regimes.
However, at the same time kitchens have got smaller while economic challenges have led to some operators reducing the amount of annual deep cleans they do.