Meals, Deals and Quangos
The life of Sir Garry Hawkes CBE

As one of the most influential figures in hospitality over the last forty years, Sir Garry Hawkes played a pivotal role in the building of the contract caterer, Gardner Merchant. This story tells the tale of a post-war Britain and Europe, complexities of business cultures, the challenges of working across the globe all before taking you through the battles of leading an MBO.

Sir Garry Hawkes was knighted for his service to the education sector, after receiving a CBE commending and recognising his work throughout his tenure at Gardner Merchant. But what was it that stood him apart from other leaders?

Sir Garry had a deep understanding of people; he knew how to make people feel empowered, supported, and cared for. Gender or skin colour were never seen by Sir Garry as a barrier; naturally, he was progressive in the way he led his business. He also understood the need to possess a ‘growth mindset’ decades before it was a renowned concept. 

This is an empowering story that can help guide current and future leaders by inspiring people and bringing the best out in others.

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