Founded in July 1992, Capitol Caterers is now one of the leading industrial catering companies in South Africa. “Welcome to the Family” is the company’s motto; a truism endorsed by staff and clients’ alike.
Capitol Caterers services more than 100 customised catering contracts in the education, healthcare, commercial and retirement sectors within South Africa and Eswatini. The company specialises in providing high quality, nutritious and well-balanced meals to meet divergent dietary requirements, tastes and group sizes.
CEO Merrill King heads up the operation, supported by joint managing directors, Russell Nzimande and Laura Morton. All bring a unique skill set to the company; King as an award-winning executive chef and Nzimande and Morton as industry specialists in operations and contract catering.
The Capitol Workers Trust
Capitol Caterers currently employs in excess of 1400 personnel. Much of the company’s success can be attributed to a stable workforce evidenced by the large number of staff who have been with the company for over fifteen years. These trends stem from a strong empowerment ethic and a business philosophy deeply rooted in staff wellness.
Founder, Giles King, with a vision of empowering loyal staff for their long service, instituted a significant change in 2002 by transferring 21% of the company’s ownership to the Capitol Workers Trust. This percentage has now ballooned to 49% and beneficiaries (after five years of service) all receive a proportionate imbursement from regular dividend declarations.
A dedicated department manages all procurement for the group. Capitol Caterers supply chain agreements ensure best price practice, quality compliance, field to fork traceability and adherence to the company’s Sustainability Plan. A strength is in the company’s
flexibility to source products from smaller and entrepreneurial suppliers to service the specific needs of their contracts.
Quality Management Systems
All contracts adhere to QMS (Quality Management Systems) together with a customised in-house quality control system, CHESS (Capitol Health, Environment & Safety Standards). Operations are governed by the Occupational Health & Safety Act, ISO 9001 and HACCP standards. A dedicated OHS Officer conducts regular internal audits and ensures training on food safety, hygiene and industrial kitchen standards.
The Dietetics Department offers nutritional support and contributes to the wellness needs of the company’s clients. Their functions include menu analysis, menu design, education on special diets and allergy considerations. The dieticians also prepare educational material and regularly conduct talks on the importance of healthy nutrition and balanced lifestyle practices.
Midlands Hospitality Academy
Capitol Caterers believes in upskilling their staff and to continuously develop their expertise. One of the tools to enable this goal has been the establishment of the Midlands Hospitality Academy (MHA), which is accredited by QCTO and CATHSSETA. Learnership opportunities are offered to both employed and unemployed external applicants, which are conducted in-house or through on-line training programmes. The academy has partnered with various training providers who educate the students in the latest trends in the hospitality environment.
Capitol Caterers support the development and employment of disabled individuals. Four employees are currently participating in a registered learnership with ICAN (PMI Group). Additionally, a partnership with the Department of Social Development and Mental Health has, over the past year, enabled a further four people living with disabilities to be integrated into the workforce.
Capitol Caterers is committed to reducing its carbon footprint and imposes their Environmental Policy and strict recycling regimes at all client sites. A current initiative is the zero usage of polystyrene containers; substituted with eco-friendly and recyclable packaging. Endorsing the company’s job creation philosophy, it has various contracts with entrepreneurial entities for the removal of waste to approved recycling facilities.
EDUCATION: As a market leader in the education sector, the company strives to create a home away from home experience by providing nutritious, balanced and tasty food. Providing a creative flair with functions, innovative meal plans and on-going student education on the nutritional value of the food served provides a comforting assurance to both parents and clients.
HEALTHCARE: The company holds a solid footprint in the public and private healthcare sector. Capitol Caterers understands that nutrition is a vital part of patient care and their rehabilitation.
COMMERCIAL: Cost effective catering solutions for canteens are provided within the corporate and industrial sectors. The emphasis is on employee wellness and in providing healthy and hearty meals served within the defined time frames and operating requirements of each organisation.
RETIREMENT: The residents at retirement facilities look forward to the serving of balanced meals, personalised dietary considerations, fantastic functions and excellent service from compassionate staff.
Recognition and Reward
Following a rigorous independent assessment of the company’s good governance and ethics, commitment to staff development and social responsibility practices, Capitol Caterers was recipient of the Standard Bank KZN Top Business Award in the Business Services Sector in 2019. The company also received the Nedbank Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Business Top Business Award consecutively in 2018 and 2019.
Full Name of Company: Itakane Trading 47 (Pty) Ltd T/A Capitol Caterers
Nature of Business: Business Services
Services / Products: Industrial catering and add-on services including procurement, recipe and menu planning, kitchen management, dietetics, kitchen design and consulting
Date Established: July 1992
Subsidiaries: Midlands Hospitality Academy; Capitol Caterers Eswatini; Falini Food Services
Customer Base: Education, healthcare, retirement and commercial sectors
No. of Employees: 1434 (as at 30 June 2020)
B-BBEE Status: Level 1
Chairman: Giles King
CEO: Merrill King
Managing Directors: Russell Nzimande & Laura Morton
Human Resources Director: Janet Mill
Procurement Director: Vaughan Robinson
Financial Manager: Russell Tredway
Group Marketing and Sales Manager: Melanie Wester
Physical Address: 121 Jabu Ndlovu Street, Pietermaritzburg, 3200
Postal Address: P.O. Box 3572, Pietermaritzburg, 3201
Tel: +27 (0)33 394 0310