Richard Duursema is head of catering at 4Service. His background and experience are from the hotel world, and he started in Gastro Catering in 2016. In 2019, he joined 4Service when Gastro Catering was acquired and integrated into the Group.
“The best part is being able to work with growth and quality improvement. Development and motivation are key drivers for everyone who works here. When the mood in the kitchen is high, we deliver the best,” explains Richard Duursema.
As head of catering in Oslo and Bergen, he holds day-to-day responsibility for the performance of 50 employees.
“Without close cooperation and good teamwork, we can never achieve our potential. From supervisors to kitchen managers and deputy managers, chefs, dishwashers, transporters and sellers – everyone does their bit to ensure that every day we have the opportunity to live up to our good reputation.”
But even a good reputation couldn’t stop what hit the catering industry in December 2021.
A day after the government announced that alcohol at the year’s Christmas parties was not permitted, Richard Duursema and his colleagues had received cancellations of bookings worth millions of kroner.
“We survived on a good sense of humour and a strong culture,” he explains.
2021 not only concerned the pandemic. Duursema and the other managers had to focus on ensuring the right basic staffing levels.
“To make sure that we make the most of the new opportunities going forward, we’ve brought a very experienced team together. I’ve tremendous respect for their motivation and determination. Even when times have been tough, the quality of the food we deliver has never disappointed,” he says proudly.
A new strategy for further growth has been developed, Gastro Oslo has a new profile, ISO certification is in place, and the Meeting Food Portal, a new food ordering system, has been launched.
“As a whole, the year 2021 has been both positive and productive. We’re united, prepared for the years to come, and ready to impress our guests, whether it’s the King or Joe Bloggs who pays us a visit!”
Julie Pan is responsible for events at 4Service. She is affiliated with the Facility Services division and has extensive experience as a project manager of large and small events.
“My position is completely new. I’m lucky enough to work across all our divisions, to support the design and execution of events,” she says.
Julie Pan is one of the key people appointed by 4Service to strengthen its capacity for large and small events and functions.
“My everyday work consists of a lot of phones and at least as many possibilities,” Julie Pan laughs before continuing:
“The initiative got off the ground in 2021, and the plans will be implemented in 2022. The ambition is to deliver turnkey packages to our customers, so they get everything in one place. We can arrange everything from catered Christmas parties to larger events, including location, entertainment and technology.”
Despite the considerable uncertainty at the end of last year, the future looks bright for Julie Pan and her colleagues.
“We know where we’re going and have the resources available to get us there. With us, you get what you want, and can rest assured that everything is in order and followed up as agreed,” she says.
Yes, the King did actually come. At the World Wrestling Championships at Jordal, His Majesty the King attended the event. Behind the scenes, Richard Duursema and Julie Pan worked hard to make sure everything went according to plan.
“We’ve cooperated well in the past, and when we had the opportunity to host a world championship, it was natural to ask Julie to take on the project manager role,” says Richard Duursema.
“Richard and I know each other from our time at Gastro Catering and know how to do everything from A to Z,” Julie Pan adds.
The World Wrestling Championships were held in October 2021, lasted nine days, included wrestlers from over 100 nations and had around 10,000 visitors.
“We decided to establish a food court outside the stadium and create a party for all the visitors. We also served two meals a day in the VIP area,” says Richard Duursema.
The event took more than a month to plan. Julie Pan was responsible for making sure everything went well.
“We worked closely with the event agency and divided the tasks between us. My team numbered 35 people, which requires well-functioning communication all along the line, from hour to hour,” she says.
With skilled employees, a good organisation and professional subcontractors, the World Wrestling Championships were a great success. The feedback from the customer was very positive, and other providers were impressed with how 4Service handled the task.
“It certainly gave us an appetite to host a major sporting event, and we would like to take up more opportunities of this type in the future,” Julie Pan says eagerly.
“Definitely! We have the capacity and the ambition to hold even more great events. Although we can’t guarantee a royal seal of approval every time,” Richard Duursema chuckles.