Maarten van der Velde
Maarten van der Velde has traded in snow for the sea, to open up a Jasper’s Catering franchise in Brighton; previously he managed luxury ski chalets in the French and Swiss Alps.
Maarten has been in the hospitality industry for his whole career. After studying Hotel Management in Maastricht in his native Netherlands, he moved to the UK and has enjoyed a varied career, working in London and Brussels for Conrad Hotels, in Chester at Michael Caines’s Abode hotels, as well as with luxury chalet and hotel operators in the Alps and Saint Tropez.
But Brighton is where Maarten’s heart is and he was keen to open his own business in the place where he lives. Franchising seemed to be the perfect compromise for Maarten between striking out on his own and the support of an established business.
Maarten said: “Having spent my whole career in hospitality, I knew I wanted to set up a business in this industry, but with support from a franchisor. While researching online, Jasper’s really appealed to me - I like the ethos of the business and the approach to customer service. I have spent more than 20 years working at excelling in customer service and I am very passionate about it. I believe this sets Jasper’s apart as a business – it’s something they believe in and is evident in everything from their customer guarantee, to their online ordering system and the training they provide their staff.
“I signed up to Jasper’s before I even tasted their products! This goes to show how impressed I was by the franchisors, their Business Management System and their whole approach to doing business. Luckily when I did get round to seeing and tasting Jasper’s food, I wasn’t disappointed! Jasper’s standards are exceptionally high, the food is always freshly prepared and beautifully presented. They have also recruited a head of food development who is driving the food offer forwards with new house-made products and new menus.”
Prior to launching Jasper’s, Maarten has been engaged in an intensive training programme which has included production, sales and systems training.
He commented: “Every step of the way, my confidence in Jasper’s has been confirmed. They have been franchising since 2007 and have honed their systems and processes over the years. It’s reassuring to have a proven business model behind me and a network of peers I will be meeting with in the franchise network throughout the year.
“Now I am looking forward to running my business, in my town, offering great solutions to office catering for local businesses and making a real success of it.”