Catering Insight Awards 2021: Distributor of the Year – Business Development shortlist

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The Catering Insight Distributor of the Year – Business Development accolade, sponsored by Jestic Foodservice Solutions, celebrates those distributors which have significantly moved their business forwards over the last 12 months, whether by financially weathering the Covid impact well, investing in facilities, equipment or staff, or putting into place company-wide action plans which have brought hugely positive results.

So the shortlist is:


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Alliance National

This year, Crewe-based online dealer Alliance National became employee owned, which it believes is the first move of its kind in the hospitality and public sector supply chain. The company, which employs approximately 600 people between its headquarters and 12 depots around the UK and Ireland, was founded in 1999, and was previously majority owned by its founder directors. These directors are continuing to run the business and a trustee board has been established to provide a corporate governance framework which will ensure that the Employee Ownership Trust acts in the best interest of the employees.

General Catering Solutions

Doncaster-based distributor General Catering Solutions moved its offer forward in 2021 by launching a logistics brand and welcoming a new commercial director. The new Specialist Project Logistics division is now the home for the logistics and delivery work that General Catering has previously carried out. The brand was created due to the ever increasing demand for the firm’s logistics and delivery work in the catering equipment industry, carrying out deliveries and installs to site for high value items that need specific care and attention, as well as removal and recycling of redundant items.

HB Catering & Refrigeration

South Wales dealer HB Catering has shaken up its provision in the last 12 months, adding both an equipment hire offering to complement its existing services and launching a range of bar and janitorial products. The hire service is aimed at helping operators in the short term while they get back on their feet, as well as outside service and pop-up venues. While the HB Catering bar and janitorial brand moves the company towards becoming a one-stop-shop for clients, serving all of their catering equipment and supply needs.

Inox Equip

Buckingham-based distributor Inox Equip is back in private hands after sales director Chris Hay led a management buyout. While the firm had been bought out in 2017, it had subsequently been merged with another of the parent company’s brands. But the synergies were not as beneficial as first thought and now that Inox Equip has owner operator status once again it is ever stronger, ensuring its focus on kitchens and laundries. The business has been there to support its operator customers and work more closely with its supply chain.


Catering equipment giant Nisbets has revolutionised its offering with a first of its kind Argos-style trade counter store concept to serve the hospitality sector. The trade counter is aimed at offering a fast and easy order and collect system that ensures when time is of the essence, end users are able to get the products they need, whenever they need them, 7 days a week. The first four locations for the new format stores spanned the country, in Swansea, Plymouth, Coventry and Northampton.

The winner will be announced at the gala ceremony on Thursday 18 November at London’s 8 Northumberland Avenue. Buy tickets to the event HERE.

Tags : awardCatering InsightCatering Insight Awardsdistributor of the year - business development
Clare Nicholls

The author Clare Nicholls

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