Tim West 1977

Course studied:
HCM Hotel and Catering Management

Chairman of Lexington Catering Company.

Tim West

Tim's early career commenced in banking before he determined to follow a course in Hotel Management. After placements and various roles in hotels and restaurants he progressed in catering management at major London teaching hospitals. This proved a rich environment for all areas of management development. Within 5 years he was acting as District Catering Manager for Guys and its group of hospitals. 

In 1989 Tim joined High Table a privately owned caterer in the City of London with a £10m turnover as Operations Director. Four years later, and following its acquisition by French group Elior he became Managing Director. His success with the company was recognised in 1998 when Tim was awarded the prestigious Catey Award for Food Service Manager of the Year – a definite career highlight.

Tim is currently Chairman of Lexington Catering, which he joined in 2006. The company caters to the directors and staff of blue chip companies in and around London. Turnover has risen to £25m with some 500 employees and 35 clients including banks, law firms, the London Business School, and even a major brewing group. Lexington is regarded as a ‘quality operator’ – and has received accolades such as the Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to work with (11th), Investors in People -  Gold Award, Gold Medal at the parade of Chefs at Hotelympia.

How are you working with Brookes currently?

I retains close links with Oxford Brookes where I am a visiting Fellow now mainly in an ambassadorial role. I was also a founder member of the Mentoring Scheme for all final year students through chairing the Alumni association of the hotel school.

What success stories have you had?

I have grown three businesses to become market leaders, won our industry equivalent of an Oscar. In relation to Brookes – helped with the creation and delivery of the Mentoring scheme for the Hotel School.

What’s the benefit personally or commercially to working with Brookes?

It's very rewarding to re-engage in terms of giving something back, understanding the department and university at a high level,  influencing elements of strategy, meeting some great people along the way both existing students and peers in the department and on the mentoring scheme. Also ensuring that our sector of the industry is not forgotten!

How would you like the partnership between Oxford Brookes and yourself to develop?

It is pretty well developed already. I believe it is essential to keep contacts with alumni of all eras – not just the old and visible or the just left – but also those from 10 to 20 years ago.

What do you recommend to others who would like to help the university?

Check with your old department how you can re-engage, let the alumni office know, don’t leave it to others!