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Goddard Catering Group Celebrates 60 Years in Business

09 Feb 2015
Red Carpet welcome for guests at GCG's 60th celebration at Concorde Experience

Goddard Catering Group celebrated its 60th anniversary on November 28th, 2014 and paused to consider just how successful the company has become, and how extensively it has expanded as a truly international business. The Chairman of Goddard Enterprises Ltd, Mr. Charles Herbert welcomed invited guests and told them that "GCG is a Jewel in the Goddard’s Crown". He went on to say that "GCG is proof that a Barbadian business can successfully expand into 23 countries". He thanked all management and staff, current and those who have gone before, for building the business and taking it to a higher level.


 Invited guests at the 60th celebration

In addition, he thanked the partners who assisted and supported GCG over the years which included LSG Sky Chefs – the joint venture 50/50 partner in GCG; the customer airlines for their business, commitment and loyalty and indicated that they are the reason that GCG exists. Representatives of LSG Sky Chefs were present at the function and were presented with a plaque. They in turn, presented GCG with an Award.

Mr. Stewart Massiah, Divisional General Manager of the Goddard Catering Group said at the celebration which was held at the Barbados Concorde Experience, and which was also catered by GCG Events: “It is hard to imagine that it all began back in 1954 in a relatively small kitchen at the Crane Hotel in Barbados when Trans Canada Airlines, the forerunner of Air Canada requested cold sandwiches and meals from the Crane Hotel for their flights at Seawell Airport some seven miles away. The Crane was at the time a part of a Group of hotels owned by the Goddard family and run by Fred and Flo Goddard, who in the true spirit of the “can do” attitude that continues in the Group today, were only too happy to oblige, and the rest is history”.

The team at the Crane Hotel, led by Mr Fred, was loyal, dedicated and committed to quality, customer service and on time performance, traits which have stood the test of time and remain the foundation upon which the business has been built. Between 1954 and 1967, the meals to the airlines were provided from the Crane Hotel until the increase in volume through a contract with British Airways and the growing tourism market which led to the decision in 1967 to build a modern inflight catering unit (Barbados Flight Kitchen Ltd) at the Airport.

The Airport based operation supported the growth of tourism in Barbados by meeting the ever growing needs of a host of airlines servicing Barbados which in addition to Air Canada included British Airways, Pan American World Airways and various charter flights; and the operation earned an enviable reputation for quality and service. In 1974, it was decided to expand overseas and an inflight catering unit was purchased in Antigua from Pan American.

Today the company employs a dedicated team of approximately 3,500 employees, and together with its joint venture partners LSG Sky Chefs, has operations in some twenty three [23] countries across the Caribbean and Latin America and quite incredibly, produce in excess of 13 million meals a year for over 75 of the world's leading commercial airlines and corporate jet operators. GCG branded trucks can be seen at airports from Barbados to Montevideo in Uruguay.

On top of that, GCG also produces over six (6) million meals per year in its institutional restaurants and Airport Terminal Catering Business, successfully meeting the needs of a wide spectrum of customers including offshore oil and gas installations, service stations, airports, prisons, factories, offices, schools, universities and government feeding programmes.

Goddard Catering Group [GCG] is, today, not only a leading provider of Airline, Industrial and Event Catering but also operates Airport Terminal Concessions and Restaurants in the Caribbean and Latin America. The company is also the primary supplier of catering for corporate jets in the Caribbean.

The Goddard Group generally has a "can-do" type spirit and approach to new business opportunities. That was something the company's founders instigated from day one, almost a century ago.  But it was through the vision of Mr. Philip Goddard that a joint venture was originally established with Marriott Corporation.  Perhaps that is why GCG now finds itself providing catering services to an industrial plant in Uruguay that is so far away from any city that its employees have to live there; or providing thousands of meals per day to prisons and schools in Latin America and throughout the Caribbean.

It is an absolute necessity for GCG to operate at a truly world-class standard on a daily basis, simply because its clients are world leaders in their fields. This positive pressure has made GCG a much better outfit, since they have to be able to compete successfully with the very best from all around the world. That is the experience that its clients are accustomed to getting wherever they go - London, New York, Dubai or wherever.

Mr. Massiah said: "We would rather lose a deal than compromise our principles or sacrice our values. That is the Goddard way. Those ethics were firmly laid down by the original company's founders and we continue to carry them from generation to generation. The Goddard Catering Group has real substance".

Mr. Anthony Ali, CEO of GEL was tasked with giving the Vote of Thanks at the end of the evening's celebrations. He thanked the Minister of Tourism and International Transport, Mr. Richard Sealy and all those present as well as all who had contributed to the success of the GCG Group over the years.  Mr. Philip Goddard then presented Long Service Awards to Mr. Stewart Massiah for 40 years of service and to Mr. Peter Cox for 50 years of service.