Michael Mercer – Catering Manager at Sodexo


Putting my ideas directly into practice allowed me to critique my own performance and put me on the path to becoming a great leader.”

Why an apprenticeship?

Working as a Chef allows me to be creative while learning valuable life skills along the way in an exciting environment. Ever since I began a career in catering, I’ve wanted to learn and progress in order to establish myself as a leader.

My leadership journey started with Sodexo in 2019, where I was promoted from Head Chef to Catering Manager at Bulford Army Camp. After six years of working in various chef roles, this was the perfect opportunity to make a positive difference to people’s lives and work towards my career aspirations.

Managing a large team was all the motivation I needed to enrich my skills as much as possible, as I wanted to be in a position where I can fully support the lives and careers of my team. To help develop these skills I enrolled on the Level 3 Facilities Management Supervisor apprenticeship with HIT Training in February 2021.

Michael Mercer – Catering Manager at Sodexo

Michael Mercer, Catering Manager at Sodexo.


Benefitting my business

As well as the development of leadership skills, it was important for me to improve my understanding of the commercial and financial aspects of my business. With guidance from my HIT Training consultant, Tomas, I learnt how to effectively control at budget. This enabled me to bring our food percentage margin from 10% up to 16%, which established us as a financially healthy business.

As a leader, it’s my responsibility to motivate our chefs to consistently improve their skills and our food standards as a business. To gain engagement from my team, I regularly organise in-house culinary competitions where staff compete to achieve, maintain and even exceed standards. These activities have proven to be a great success with supporting and developing the skills of our chefs. In addition, we’re able to demonstrate how we evolve and innovate our dishes, as well as surpass our client’s expectations.

As part of my training, I work hard to maintain and improve our working relationship with the Military Core Catering Manpower. In addition to meeting more regularly, I’ve also delivered training sessions to many military teams, helping to support their development and improve their catering.

By delivering training in my work and undertaking my own training, I understand the value of good man management. With this in mind, I’ve encouraged our chefs to have a rotation schedule throughout the many locations within our business. This has helped our chefs to bolster their skills, flexibility and add variety to their weekly schedules.

The HIT Training difference

My learning journey with HIT Training has taken my confidence to new heights! Putting my ideas directly into practice allowed me to critique my own performance and put me on the path to becoming a great leader. Tomas not only helped me to improve my technical skills, but also forge strong partnerships and inspire a collaborative approach in my business.

Through the success of my learning journey, I’ve developed a passion for helping those reporting to me by engaging with their career development to become the best version of themselves. This has helped to engage, support and nurture the talented individuals I work with. More importantly, my training has impacted how I build and maintain excellent service standards before, during and after service.

So far, my apprenticeship has given me the good fortune of improving myself, my business and the careers of those I work with. I’m both excited to continue my learning journey, with the prospect of creating an even brighter future for myself!


Rebekah Manley – Customer Advisor at JoJo Maman Bébé

Yorebridge House

Sodexo staff are hungry for success

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