Catering excellence in Angolan oil and gas TEY_post_Francois-TACK

In 2023 we started a major catering contract with Chevron in Cabinda for their Block 0 operations.

François TACK General Manager NEWREST ANGOLA

Catering excellence in Angolan oil and gas

May 16, 2024

François Tack, general manager of Newrest Angola, talks to The Energy Year about how the company’s portfolio of clients evolved in 2023, key growth opportunities coming up in oil and gas and how the company is remaining competitive as new players enter the market. Newrest is a catering and food service provider.

How did Newrest Angola’s portfolio of clients evolve in 2023?
Newrest Angola started 15 years ago in the country, mainly working with major oil and gas businesses. This sector represents 75% of our revenue in Angola. We slowly managed over the years to expand a bit more to many other industries as well.
Going back to oil and gas, we slowly managed to obtain more clients. We started with TotalEnergies, and then new clients gained confidence in us. Now we have worked with various oil and gas partners, and in 2023 we started a major catering contract with Chevron in Cabinda for their Block 0 operations.

What are some of the key growth opportunities that you see coming up in oil and gas?
Oil and gas is always doing maintenance work, such as shutdowns. When they’re doing this work, many vessels come along. This is always a good opportunity because it’s a very interesting business. It’s short term but very interesting because there are many POB – people on board. There can be up to 500 POB, for example. We are currently running some “flotels” (floating hotels) in Block 15.
It’s always an interesting business, and more drillers are coming. We listen to the market, we know who is coming, and of course, we deal with them or do the tenders. It’s a tough market with many players, so there are many tenders.


How does Newrest Angola remain competitive as more players enter the market?
First, we believe that we do everything we can in terms of operational excellence to retain our clients. We try to meet the expectations of our clients every day, every minute. We build a strong relationship with them, scheduling many meetings to ensure that we meet their expectations.
We are also bringing new digital solutions to our clients. We already started this year with TotalEnergies, and we’ll have to do more next year. Whether our clients are offshore, in Luanda or anywhere we work, the client can have, for example, the menu and the safety information through our Newrest digital app.
Furthermore, when you come onto your vessel, it will calculate how many people are inside at any given time. You then have this graphic on the app which shows you more or less when many people are going to the canteen. If you want to go when it is less crowded, the app will show you when that is. We do the same for the flotel gyms. We digitise everything.
Another way in which we remain competitive is by continuously improving our supply chain and logistics. Logistically, offshore is quite complex. We must keep food frozen from our warehouse to the base. We changed the supply chain by hiring an expert in supply chain and logistics. This was a real improvement for us in terms of food safety because we can better guarantee the cold chain.

What are some examples of new scopes of services being provided by Newrest Angola?
We actually increased new activities in 2023. We continued to do catering, laundry and housekeeping while we began new activities: kitchen equipment maintenance and assembly. We listen to our client to really build the kitchen for them. Moreover, we started doing pest control.
These activities are related to our main activity, which is catering. Our clients expect this from us, and now we are able to provide it. For example, we are doing the maintenance of kitchen equipment in Angola for Castel Group. We are also maintaining kitchen equipment for offshore companies, such as SBM Offshore. It’s light maintenance. We are handymen on their site.
There are an increasing number of companies that want to work with us, mainly onshore in the oil and gas industry, but they don’t have kitchens. Now we are able to provide them with a full kitchen. If they have the space in their facility, we provide them with kitchen equipment. If they don’t have the space, we provide them a full solution with a kitchen built from containers. In Malanje, for Castel Group, we built a full kitchen with four containers.

What are the key highlights of Newrest Angola’s social and environmental impact efforts?
If we speak about people, more than 90% of our payroll is Angolan staff. In November 2023, we started a huge catering contract in Cabinda for Chevron, where we hired over 300 staff from Cabinda, so it’s a very localised footprint. We prefer to have people from Cabinda. Over 400 staff were recruited in November. When we go to Lubango and Malanje, we also hire people from there to have a good footprint where we work. This is often a challenge, but we prefer to be this way.
Then, in terms of environmental footprint, we are buying more and more locally. Even though in Angola a lot of merchandise comes from abroad, we at least try to buy locally rather than importing. We import very little now, typically specific products requested by certain clients, but these imports do not even make up 5% of our purchases.
95% is from Angola, which doesn’t mean 95% of our purchases are Angolan products, but at least that much is bought in Angola. We also have an increasing number of suppliers that provide us with Angolan-made products.
We are moreover looking to partner with egg producers in Angola. We are looking for partners, and we already have a few potential ones. We already buy local eggs, but we want a partner that is able to provide us with free-range eggs. A huge target for the group is to have 100% free-range eggs by 2025.
Finally, something we started doing last year and are doing more now is bringing local communities help – as we can, at our level – with a partner called Química Verde. Together, we bring our used oil to local communities so they can produce their own soap.

What are your key priorities for 2024?
We have an internal growth objective to reach, so we must find new partners. This is why the business development team is in the field. It’s always a challenge because it takes time, but there are tenders, so we are on it.
We also want to follow up on our digital solutions. We started strong, but we have to implement them everywhere where we work, for our clients and for our team.

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