We catch up with the founder of Catering HQ, Steve Sidd, to discuss with him the nitty gritty of operating in the modern catering industry. With so many catering and hospitality companies offering similar – if not the same – menu items and services, Catering HQ sets itself apart by being truly bespoke and working to expertly exceed a client’s expectations. Furthermore, it does not just create food, it creates atmosphere, allowing clients to partake in a dining experience like no other.
Ultimately, Catering HQ is a business that provides a range of commercial consultation and function catering services to the leisure, hospitality, and food services sectors in Australia. But while that proves an apt descriptor, it fails to fully embody what makes this company so special within what is – by all regards – an extremely competitive industry. No, what makes Catering HQ so unique is its client-centric approach, and its firm, grounding ethos in producing innovative, transcendent experiences.
Moreover, working with diligence, tenacity, and a true dedication to customer service, this familial-minded company is defined by a generationally spanning commitment to the industry, starting with Steve’s father’s catering business before his. The culinary arts is in Steve’s blood. Following the calling that had been an integral part of his upbringing, he established Catering HQ in 1996, and embraced the feeling of fulfilling a destiny, of sorts. With decades of experience in hospitality management by the time Catering HQ was set up, Steve can be considered a highly adept retail and food services specialist, which certainly helped in the setup of the company and in navigating those first few potential pitfalls.
Furthermore, he has used his vast experience and well-earned reputation to become a respected voice in the wider industry all while bringing the core principles of an ethical, people-first, respectful catering business to the forefront of Catering HQ to ensure that his 300 strong team are happy and supported. This considerable effort has allowed Catering HQ to develop a workforce management profile that is second to none.
Being an innovator and trendsetter within the greater hospitality industry, Steve has been able to keep a finger on the pulse of trends and long-term paradigms in order to ensure that Catering HQ could flourish into the leading company it is today. Since the very beginning, he has wished to create the newest and latest next best thing, contributing to keeping the sector thriving and alive by way of pioneering exemplary logistics, systems, and the ability to operate and manage excellence across a wide variety of different sites. This has cultivated an exemplary, best in class reputation for Catering HQ, which has consistently been lauded for its award-winning service and its ability to deliver the “wow factor”.
Recognised both nationally and internationally, the project management, human resource management, industrial relations, staff training, budget establishment, concept development, performance measurement, quality control, and new product launches that Steve has overseen help Catering HQ to manage today’s risks and maximise tomorrow’s profits. Experience, after all, is the best teacher, and Steve’s experiences help in the company’s greater pursuit towards perfection. With Steve, in turn, becoming a true devotee to creating the best client experience. With over 25 dining concepts and 32 event spaces across Sydney and Greater Sydney, the company offers beautiful spaces, including indoor and alfresco areas and stunning views and backdrops. The company also recently expanded into three new venues during the pandemic taking the company to 11 amazing venues, with Steve personally overseeing the redevelopment of the dining spaces that were launched.
Catering HQ, in tandem with keeping at the fore of trends within the industry, finds it incredibly important to pay attention to international trends outside of it. While this has long put the company in good stead which it comes to weathering potential challenges, it proved essential when faced with the unprecedented nature of COVID-19. As a result of this, Catering HQ was able to adapt quickly and efficiently to overcome the tumult and is excited to see the world beginning to enter the post-lockdown phase – the dust finally starting to settle as the greater industry picks itself up again. Thus, Catering HQ is once again turning its attention inward towards new developments and products, looking forward to introducing many more things that will help it get ahead of the game in the years to come.
Having already fully embraced plant-based products to cater to its growing segment of vegetarian and vegan clientele, the company regularly changes its menu in order to keep food items fresh and seasonal, doing an excellent job of ‘show don’t tell’ when it comes to meeting and exceeding client expectations. ‘People want an experience,’ Steve tells us, going on to explain how this forms an integral part of what Catering HQ do. It doesn’t just create the menus and foodstuffs that will set an event or dinner apart, it also provides the atmosphere, the feeling, and the additional magic that is just not able to be found anywhere else, all of which is empowered by that tailor-made Catering HQ dedication to every client’s individual goals.
Crucially, Steve understands that people know what they like and what they want. More importantly, they know what they want to pay for. The Greek-Egyptian background of the founder, as well as his recent switch to a pescatarian diet, has allowed him to further keep abreast of this, as well as to provide foodstuffs and menu items that are more specific to each of these factors and serve that niche of the market segment. After all, Steve believes in serving the food that he’s passionate about, forever excited to continue to innovate and create in an industry that has largely ‘over promised and underdelivered’. Yet, Steve through Catering HQ has looked to establish a new standard for excellence, acting as a renowned pacesetter for an industry driven by leaders and innovators. No small feat, but one that Steve has handled with aplomb, with a future defined by further growth and innumerable achievements to come.
For further information, please contact Steve Sidd or visit cateringhq.com.au