Case Study: Entier

“It was 2008, so right at the start of the financial crisis. It was a nerve-racking time but we believed in what we were doing.”

4 August 2020

Based in Aberdeenshire, but operating on an international scale, Entier provides catering, maintenance and hospitality services for a number of business sectors. Read the case study below to find out we supported the company’s growth journey.

Nerve-racking start

Peter Bruce was in his favourite restaurant in Aberdeen when he decided to start his own business. Having spent 11 years as managing director at catering giant Compass, the time was right for a new direction.

“At Compass, I had always been encouraged to be entrepreneurial,” explains Peter. “I mentioned my plan to start my own company to the restaurant owner, a friend of mine, and he said he’d be interested in joining me. A few days later we took the plunge and Entier was born.”

Peter saw a gap in the market for a catering business with a laser focus on quality. The founders decided to start by supplying the oil and gas industry – offshore and onshore.

“It was 2008 so right at the start of the financial crisis,” explains Peter. “We had to put a lot of our own cash into the business because the deals we had lined up with the banks fell through as they started to reduce lending. It was a nerve-racking time but we believed in what we were doing.”

Global expansion

Three years into the business, BGF Aberdeen’s Mike Sibson paid Peter a visit – the start of a long “courtship” which resulted in BGF’s £6.5 million investment seven years later. “We weren’t even making money at that point, but Mike and the team saw something they liked and we stayed in touch,” says Peter. “When the deal came about we had just completed the acquisition of events company Wild Thyme and we were seeking further growth.”

Investment from BGF enabled Entier to expand internationally – it now has offices in Perth (Australia), Houston, Trinidad and Saudi Arabia. “We won the Queen’s Award for International Trade in 2016. Meeting the Queen was one of the greatest honours of my life,” he says.

“International growth requires a lot of cash because you have different banking arrangements to the UK so BGF’s investment was a huge help.” The funding enabled Entier to weather the downturn in the oil and gas industry, and to prepare for future growth.

BGF also introduced the team to Martin Gammon, ex-chief executive of outsourcing firm OCS Group, who was appointed to Entier’s board as a non-executive director.

Entier team in one of the company's industrial kitchens

Through thick and thin

The company now has four different brands within it: RSG, which delivers quality catering to remote places such as offshore platforms; Fresh, which looks after the catering needs of onshore companies; Wild Thyme, an events catering arm; and Entier Technical Services, which looks after equipment maintenance. Peter sees growth opportunities across all of these branches.

“After a number of rocky years we’re seeing an upturn in the oil and gas industry and we’re gearing up for growth once again,” he says. “BGF has been supportive throughout. It says it backs people through good times and challenging times – we have certainly seen this. It offers support through thick and thin, not for a limited time.”

“BGF offers support through thick and thin, not for a limited time.”
Peter Bruce
Founder of Entier

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