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BA - Why Use Gate Gourmet?  
User currently offline777236ER From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (9 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 3613 times:

I find it hard to believe there isn't another catering firm at Heathrow able to meet BA's requirements. With the trouble at Gate Gourmet, not only industrial but also financial, why isn't BA putting their contract up for tender? Indeed, the TGWU won't even talk to GG until BA 'improve their contract with GG'.

21 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineStar_world From Ireland, joined Jun 2001, 1234 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (9 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 3574 times:

I'm sure there are plenty of others who would be interested, but the scale of the BA ops at LHR would make it a huge project and consequently there are probably only a handful of companies that could actually do it. I think you could pretty much guarantee that BA are in fact doing something about it, why wouldn't they be? They're unlikely to announce too many details of this publicly...!

User currently offlineBCAL From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2004, 3384 posts, RR: 16
Reply 2, posted (9 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 3568 times:

From what I have read about Gate Gourmet in the press, it was previously BA's own catering division. BA, in an effort to cut costs, sold the entire catering division to an American consortium so that they could outsource their catering at an agreed cost target, which is something that is difficult to achieve when the service is in-house. Obviously when the catering division was sold, it must have been stipulated they continue catering for BA for a minimum period, otherwise nobody would have brought it.

It seems that the minimum period expires this year as Rod Eddington has been quoted as saying that they might not be renewing their contract with Gate Gourmet, and certainly would not again rely on one supplier.

Gate Gourmet has been losing money for the past few years. I recall reading that they also recently lost their contact with VS and this might have triggered the recent events.

Before members criticise BA for relying on one supplier, you must consider that many major firms outsource work to single companies. For example, much of the electricity in southern England is supplied by the French. No guessing who will be first to suffer if there is an energy crisis.



MOL on SRB's latest attack at BA: "It's like a little Chihuahua barking at a dying Labrador. Nobody cares."
User currently offlineEKGOLD From Australia, joined May 2005, 207 posts, RR: 6
Reply 3, posted (9 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 3552 times:

It seems that catering issues are not isolated to BA at LHR. I flew LHR - DXB, Saturday evening on EK 006 and they had shipped their meals for that flight from Dubai that afternoon (operated as 005).

User currently offlineGeoffm From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2004, 2111 posts, RR: 6
Reply 4, posted (9 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 3521 times:

Firstly, you can't exactly cater for hundreds of BA flights at the stroke of a pen. Yes, other companies COULD do it, but not overnight.

Secondly, I doubt BA could cancel their contract overnight. They would either have to use GG for the period of the contract before changing, or lose (even more) money by switching to another supplier while still paying GG the duration of the contract. However, there might be a get-out clause...

Geoff M.


User currently offlineBeany From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2005, 181 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (9 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 3450 times:

The contract is due to expire in 2006 and is worth £130 million.

User currently offlineLH423 From Canada, joined Jul 1999, 6501 posts, RR: 54
Reply 6, posted (9 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 3303 times:

Quoting BCAL (Reply 2):
From what I have read about Gate Gourmet in the press, it was previously BA's own catering division. BA, in an effort to cut costs, sold the entire catering division to an American consortium so that they could outsource their catering at an agreed cost target

I thought GG used to be part of the SAir Group.

LH423



« On ne voit bien qu'avec le cœur. L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux » Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
User currently offlineBCAL From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2004, 3384 posts, RR: 16
Reply 7, posted (9 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 3278 times:

Quoting LH423 (Reply 6):
I thought GG used to be part of the SAir Group

Quite possibly, but then it was they who acquired BA's catering division and brought it under the GC umbrella?



MOL on SRB's latest attack at BA: "It's like a little Chihuahua barking at a dying Labrador. Nobody cares."
User currently offlineN328KF From United States of America, joined May 2004, 6489 posts, RR: 3
Reply 8, posted (9 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 3253 times:

http://www.hoovers.com/gate-gourmet/...__109956--/free-co-factsheet.xhtml


When they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether to answer 'Present' or 'Not guilty.' T.Roosevelt
User currently offlineLACA773 From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 4027 posts, RR: 2
Reply 9, posted (9 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 3241 times:
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If I remember correctly DL had a huge problem with Gate Gourmet over $$$$$$ and they stopped catering their flights even though DL was paying them. If I'm incorrect, will someone correct me? I hope BA gets rid of them.

Does Gate Gourmet, Sky Chefs, etc. have websites?

LACA773


User currently offlineBCAL From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2004, 3384 posts, RR: 16
Reply 10, posted (9 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 3221 times:

Quoting LACA773 (Reply 9):
Does Gate Gourmet, Sky Chefs, etc. have websites?

http://www.gategourmet.com



MOL on SRB's latest attack at BA: "It's like a little Chihuahua barking at a dying Labrador. Nobody cares."
User currently offlineGlom From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2005, 2818 posts, RR: 10
Reply 11, posted (9 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 3144 times:

I driving round the perimeter road today and passed by the Gate Gourmet workers on strike on the embankment. They have a large Asian workforce.

User currently offlineSquirrel83 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (9 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 3145 times:

Quoting LACA773 (Reply 9):
Does Gate Gourmet, Sky Chefs, etc. have websites?

Speaking of which anyone read the letter on Gate Gourmets website? Here is a clip. . http://www.gategourmet.com/2966.asp

Those BA workers, represented by the Transport and General Workers Union (TGWU), reportedly walked off the job in sympathy with TGWU-represented workers at Gate Gourmet who were regrettably dismissed on Wednesday due to an un-balloted work stoppage at the Heathrow South catering facility. This action was taken reluctantly and only after repeated requests for the employees to return to work and a number of warnings that continued disruption would lead to dismissals.

We must emphasize that the disruptions in British Airways’ flight schedules are due to actions by BA’s workforce. The decision to curtail service was a decision made by British Airways management.

Despite the unfortunate worker dismissals, hundreds of other Gate Gourmet UK employees are on the job and ready to provide a level of service that would keep BA’s airplanes flying.



To top it off, this morning the banks were considering demanding immediate payment of all outstanding debt from Gate Gourmet.

The loss-making firm's cost-cutting program triggered wildcat strikes at London's Heathrow Airport last Thursday when British Airways staff walked out in support of workers sacked by the supplier of in-flight meals.

Now senior creditors are considering demanding immediate repayment of a CHF400 million Swiss franc (USD$319.3 million) loan, after junior creditors called in a CHF270 million (USD$215.5 million) loan last week, piling pressure on the company while it is in embroiled in union talks.




as for the competition - - http://www.lsg-skychefs.com/lsg/home/en/jsp/index.jsp

I have never been able to figure out which has better food. . anyone know? Or who serves the most airlines?

[Edited 2005-08-15 17:37:44]

User currently offlineCarduelis From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2001, 1586 posts, RR: 10
Reply 13, posted (9 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days ago) and read 3133 times:

Yes, BA's QCS, Catering Centre South, was sold to Gate Gourmet, which was then a Swiss based company. GG is now part of Texas Pacific Group which was founded by David Bonderman, who has a fortune estimated at £6 billion. He and a chap called Siegal, who is also a multi-millionaire, have a long history of labour relations conflicts, including involvement in various airlines.

Trying to find another caterer at LHR who could handle BA's very large requirements would be very difficult, when you consider that the GG catering unit is located on over 11 acres of land on the edge of the peritrack at LHR! There's not much more land in the limited area of LHR, let alone anyone willing to invest in another monster catering unit.

GG do actually run another ex BA unit called QCW, Catering Centre West, located not far from QCS, but nearer to the cargo areas of LHR. They generally cater for BA's T1 operation, and I believe is currently not affected by the dispute, but things may have changed!

BTW - David Bonderman is also Chairman of Ryanair . . . !



[Edited 2005-08-15 17:41:32]


Per Ardua ad Astra! ........ Honi Soit Qui Mal y Pense!
User currently offlineCornish From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2005, 8187 posts, RR: 54
Reply 14, posted (9 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days ago) and read 3118 times:

Quoting Carduelis (Reply 13):
He and a chap called Siegal, who is also a multi-millionaire, have a long history of labour relations conflicts, including involvement in various airlines.

David Siegel - ex-US Airways I think you'll find.



Just when I thought I could see light at the end of the tunnel, it was some B*****d with a torch bringing me more work
User currently offlineCarduelis From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2001, 1586 posts, RR: 10
Reply 15, posted (9 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days ago) and read 3098 times:

Yes, David Siegel was with Northwest Airlines, Avis Rent-a-Car and Continental Airlines. apparently he was awarded a £2.5 million package by US Airways last year after directors cried for his resignation as CEO, after clashing with unions demanding a huge round of cost reductions.

The plot goes on, and it would make an excellent TV programme of investigative journalism if some producer decided to take some closer looks!



Per Ardua ad Astra! ........ Honi Soit Qui Mal y Pense!
User currently offlineBCAL From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2004, 3384 posts, RR: 16
Reply 16, posted (9 years 1 month 2 weeks 4 days ago) and read 3034 times:

Quoting Squirrel83 (Reply 12):
To top it off, this morning the banks were considering demanding immediate payment of all outstanding debt from Gate Gourmet

Obviously the banks are getting worried as it looks like the management at GG have shot their own feet by their bad handling of the problems, as it looks like BA will be seriously considering not renewing their contract or at least seeking other caterers so that they are not dependent on one supplier in future. If this happens, GG will lose a significant amount of their business and with losses over the last few years the company might go under but no doubt David Seigel & Co will probably walk away with million dollar settlements.



MOL on SRB's latest attack at BA: "It's like a little Chihuahua barking at a dying Labrador. Nobody cares."
User currently offlineCarduelis From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2001, 1586 posts, RR: 10
Reply 17, posted (9 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 2947 times:

Just a little bit more info on part of the background of the dispute . . .

http://www.sky.com/skynews/article/0,,30000-13411808,00.html



Per Ardua ad Astra! ........ Honi Soit Qui Mal y Pense!
User currently offlineVC-10 From United Kingdom, joined Oct 1999, 3701 posts, RR: 34
Reply 18, posted (9 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 2885 times:
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Quoting 777236ER (Thread starter):
With the trouble at Gate Gourmet, not only industrial but also financial, why isn't BA putting their contract up for tender?

Not withstanding the logistics of finding another supplier that could cope with BA's requirements at short notice, there is the union problem. I am sure that if BA could find another supplier the union would black BA as the contract would weaken their striking brothers case.


User currently offlineLeonB1985 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (9 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 2839 times:

Based on experience today, BA passengers are not happy - and I can't say I blame them. I know of a first class passenger who arrived on BA56 from JNB today (which arrived over an hour late), which had no catering onboard. The passenger in question was transferring to BA117 to JFK, which too would have no catering onboard. Although catering vouchers were provided, due to the tight connection the passenger had no time to purchase any food (enormous queues in all food outlets wouldn't have helped). So - 19 hours onboard BA aircraft with no food. One rather unimpressed BA First passenger - I can't imagine he's the only one either.

User currently offlineScotron11 From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2004, 1178 posts, RR: 3
Reply 20, posted (9 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 2552 times:

Of all GG's operations around the world, LHR is the most expensive. Why should this be so? So what if the operation was once part of BA? I guess I can provide my own answer: outdated work practices.

The action of the ground workers for BA reminds me of the corrupt practices of the waterfront unions in NY years ago!

Bonderman is no fool and TexasPacific do deals for the long-haul (no pun). They kept their CO stake for 10 years before making 11 times their original investment.

I cannot believe these idiots shut down a major international airline (not to mention others affected) for two days and there are no repercussions. Someone has to be accountable, either collectively or individually. In fact, they should all be arrested under the anti-terrorism laws because what they did was terrorism, economically!


User currently offlineJmc757 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2000, 1298 posts, RR: 7
Reply 21, posted (9 years 1 month 2 weeks 3 days ago) and read 2407 times:

A couple of newspapers at the weekend were reporting that Gate Gourmet won't get their contract renewed when it comes up next year. BA have also said they will not reply on a single catering supplier in the future.

I think this is it for GG. I guess BA could pull the contract now (I would imagine GG have breached it), but no-one could take it on, so BA have to sit tight for a while. I do imagine however over the coming months BA will be talking to the other caterers, and the other caterers be preparign for potentially taking BA's contract.

BA is the vast majority of GG's work. Without BA, I think GG is doomed at LHR. Picture it, BA pull the contract, GG cannot continue so close down. Que BA's new caterers to swoop in, acquire the GG premises and staff and off we go. Either that, or someone else buys out GG before the tender.

Just my 2p!


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