Alastair Storey started his career in 1975 as a trainee manager at P&O’s Sutcliffe Catering Services and rose to become managing director of Sutcliffe Catering South East. After Granada bought Sutcliffe in 1993 and Forte in 1996, Storey became managing director of the newly formed Granada Food Services division.
He went solo in September 2000 when he launched Wilson Storey with his former finance director Keith Wilson and landed a deal with Groupe Le Duff of France to roll out its La Brioche Dorée stores in the UK. In December 2000, Wilson Storey merged with Wokingham-based Halliday Catering Services, which had grown to become the UK’s largest independent contract caterer since its formation in 1985 by Linda and George Halliday. In May 2001, Wilson Storey Halliday merged with Berkshire caterer Houston & Church, which had an annual turnover of £7m.
In 2004, Storey gained a strong foothold in the healthcare and education markets with the acquisition of £10m-turnover Caterlink in Kent, and in November 2004 Wilson Storey Halliday merged with BaxterSmith to become BaxterStorey, with William Baxter assuming the deputy chief executive role (which he has now relinquished for a non-executive role at the company).
In 2007, Storey pulled off his biggest deal to date with the purchase of Holroyd Howe and Benugo in a double deal that cemented the caterer as a viable alternative to the long-established big four of Compass, Sodexo, Elior and Aramark.