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Team Profile

Learn more about the individuals whose creativity, passion and energy drives the Russell Partnership.


David Russell

Professor David Russell

David is the Chairman of The Russell Partnership Collection – a group of two Consulting Businesses (Russell Partnership and RP Global.UK) and two Technology Businesses (STEMS By RP and RP Technology).

The Russell Partnership is now recognised as the UK's leading Strategic Food and Technology Consultancy with over 400 global clients and a team of 50. At the outset the Partnership vision was the creation and effective delivery of bespoke commercially viable food and technology solutions. Twenty-five years later that passion and vision remains intact.

David has pioneered and driven food and technology solutions within organisations as diverse as Accenture, ADNEC, ExCeL London, BAA, The BBC, Chandon Estates, The Eden Project, English Heritage, House of Commons, InterContinental Hotel Group, Arsenal Football Club, Wembley Stadium, Twickenham, MCC at Lord's, The NEC, The International Olympic Committee, Wimbledon and the United Nations.

David led the creation and delivery of the Food Strategy for the London Olympic Games in 2012 with a passion to deliver the 'greenest Games ever' and delivered the same role for Sochi 2014. He chairs the Food Legacy Board on behalf of the City of London.

In his former corporate career he was Group Managing Director of Europe's largest private catering company, holder of three royal warrants and operating in three sectors of the industry, corporate, stadia and events.

Prior to this appointment he was Food and Beverage Director for the 240 Forte (UK) hotels; successfully introducing food modelling and developing and implementing the group's branded restaurant strategy.

David read Hospitality Management at Leeds, is a Freeman of the City of London, a Professor of Tourism, Hospitality and Leisure, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and is a qualified nutritionist. He is regularly named in the list of most influential individuals in the UK Food and Leisure Sector and has presented over 500 global keynote addresses and has had published in excess of 200 articles.

Notable Board roles include: Chairmanships of The Royal Society of Medicine, London Food Legacy Board, The Total Simulator Company, The Brian Bio Centre and Board appointments for Food For The Brain and New Covent Garden Market Advisory Board.


Laurence McCarthy

Laurence McCarthy

Laurence leads the Partnerships strategic, operational and design project teams, as Managing Director. These teams assist clients in the re-engineering and implementation of key hospitality and retail service improvements. This includes mentoring of key operational teams and operational development planning from supply chain through to customer delivery.

He has worked extensively with a variety of clients including Goldman Sachs, The Hurlingham Club, Hoare's Bank, Newbury Racecourse, Arena Leisure and English Heritage. Laurence has also supported the majority of our University clients including Warwick, Leicester, Lancaster and Loughborough implementing their catering strategy and change management programmes.

Laurence has also undertaken a number of secondments over recent years, firstly as Interim Head of Catering for LOCOG incorporating the integration of the Games Services team and the establishment of the operational requirements for all food operations. In addition Laurence took the lead for LOCOG to procure the Catering, Cleaning and Waste contracts across all venues for the Games. Laurence supported the strategic development and technical planning aspects for the Winter Olympics in Sochi 2014.

Laurence was educated at St Mary's College and The North East Wales Institute. He originally trained in the kitchen with a background in hotels, restaurants, corporate hospitality and high quality business and conference venues. After attaining additional qualifications through the HCIMA Laurence moved on to Food and Beverage Management at Ashridge, where he led the team that won the Booker prize for Best Specialist Caterer. He is also a fellow of the Institute of Hospitality and affiliated to the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply.

Laurence joined the partnership over a decade ago supporting the operational aspects of the strategic business. He has been involved in delivering a wide range of client solutions from procurement, menu engineering, concept development, cultural change initiatives, mentoring and leadership development, commercial modelling and overarching strategic planning.


David Barry

David Barry

David Barry has spent his career in the conference, events and food and beverage industries with many years' experience in large residential training venues.

More recently David worked as part of the Catering, Cleaning and Waste (CCW) delivery team for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games where he held overall responsibility for the recruitment and training of 110 staff and 250 Volunteers to the Catering programme, together with responsibility for developing the contingency planning system. He was the Deputy Manager at the International Press and Broadcast Centre for London 2012 and in this role he was responsible for devising the project and programme management for this venue.

Since the Olympics, he was the programme manager for the mobilisation of new catering contractors within BA lounges mobilisation, ensuring all the due diligence and control systems were in place and utilised and spent a number of years working with Rugby World Cup Organising Committee to ensure a clear brief on deliverables was provided to the caterers, during planning and delivery.

David graduated from Oxford Brookes University with a BA Honours Degree in Business Studies.


James Nichols

James Nichols

Prior to joining the Partnership James started his career with the Hotel du Vin Group where he worked in the capacity of General Manager within three of their boutique properties. James' leadership style and tenacity to build on customer service levels and company performance, won him several in-house accolades for highest mystery customer and best hotel.

James went on to develop his family-owned food, beverage and retail family business - Caracoli. Working as Operations Director, he took the business from a single site into five successful locations, including production kitchens with a Head Office. As owner and Operations Director, he was fully responsible for site acquisition, design and project management of each of the locations. James retains his position on their advisory board. Caracoli, was voted The Telegraph Magazine Best Small Shop in Britain ‘for food’ award in 2012.

Becoming a General Manager at Hotel du Vin at the age of twenty-six, James went on to win a personal Acorn Award in 2006, which recognises the top managers under the age of thirty in the hospitality industry. In the early phase of his career, James led several members of his team to achieve success: including two sommeliers who won the Ruinart UK Sommelier of the Year title and his Head Barista who won the UK Latte Art Championship for two consecutive years.

James graduated with a BA Honours degree in Hotel Business Management from Birmingham College of Food, Tourism and Creative Studies, which included a year internship at the Chicago Downtown Marriott, USA, working within both Food and Beverage and Front Office management positions.


Michelle Harbour

Michelle Harbour

Michelle Harbour holds high level, contemporary client liaison coordination capability.

Michelle leads The Russell Partnership’s co-ordination and professional services providing, through her team, strategic business support to the Chairman and major projects.

Michelle also has responsibility for facilitating client facing activities from new client engagement to long term relationship management with the existing client portfolio.

Michelle has pioneered a contemporary style of client engagement, respected across the UK and acknowledged by client testimonials and delivers "the glue" for the RP engagement process, having been instrumental in commissions including Sochi 2014, London 2012, Rugby World Cup 2015, Ascot Racecourse, Expo 2020 Dubai and the Armed Forces Officers Club (Abu Dhabi) to name a few.


Peter Russell

Peter Russell

Peter heads partner alignment for the Russell Partnership Technology team, which includes the industry leading simulation programs HOTS, Simr and Tour@sim. These three simulations focus on the hotel, restaurant and tourism industries and are utilised by hotel and business schools worldwide to teach students about the complexities of managing businesses in the real world.

Peter leads the RP Technology delivery team for industry training worldwide utilising these simulations for clients including Marriott, Hilton, IHG, Accor, Deloitte and Expedia. Peter speaks at hospitality conferences worldwide on the use of simulations for learning and has recently been awarded the MIH designation form the Institute Hospitality. He has also completed the Cornell Certificate in Hotel Revenue Management.

Further to these simulations, Peter also works to create bespoke simulations, which model environments and test scenarios. These models allow for multiple scenarios to be tested and validated before deciding on the best route forward. Peter has delivered multiple projects utilising this methodology to examine issues like hotel feasibility.

Peter also delivers technology reviews and consultancy to clients looking to drive their usage of technology and move to more efficient ways of working. Implementing new technology can provide real world return on investment, which is something Peter is passionate about. He also manages the RP Orientation program, which is a bespoke and personalised online portal for the orientation of new staff starting work. This program drives operational efficiency and provides a seamless approach for new starters coming into a business.

Peter started his career in hospitality working for Marriott Hotels within the Front Office, before moving on to become the event manager for a large international conference. After this he worked for Sheffield Hallam University in a variety of roles, all of which involved marketing, education, technology and student engagement.


Charlotte Harbour

Charlotte Harbour

Charlotte has been part of the Russell Partnership since 2012, and is currently working within the Innovations and Design Team. Charlotte is responsible for report design, strategic and creative writing, global food research, marketing management and programme management.

Charlotte is studying a BSc Nutritional Therapy degree at the University of West London and utilises her practical knowledge to support nutritional based projects and audits. Charlotte also has qualifcations in Adobe InDesign, Marketing (Fundamentals and Customer Experience), Psychology and English Language. As such, Charlotte undertakes digital marketing reviews, co-writes articles and leads psychographic profiling projects in areas as diverse as Twickenham Stadium, Ascot Racecourse and the University of Leeds.

Charlotte was appointed Programme Manager for Catering during the Rugby World Cup 2015. Her role was integral to the efficiency and productivity of the Catering Team, as she utilised her organisation skills to supervise team deadlines and support communication between Regional Coordinators and Catering Managers. Charlotte's role also included administration tasks such as updating the master Catering budget, communicating with sponsors such as Coca Cola and managing obligatory Catering documentation. During the operational phase of the Rugby World Cup 2015, Charlotte supported the Catering Team on venue for the six-week duration of the tournament. Her job roles included: managing Catering volunteers and ensuring concessions were operating effectively throughout the match. The knowledge and experience gained during the Rugby World Cup 2015 has enabled Charlotte to internally programme manage projects such as Expo 2020 Dubai.


Chris Royle

Chris Royle

Chris is the newest member of the Partnership, joining in February 2016. Previously he has worked in a variety of different roles within the Public Sector and retail. Chris graduated with an MA in French & German, and is also able to communicate with conversational Spanish.

Chris' main roles within the Partnership include administrative coordination for Russell Partnership Technology (RPT) and office management for RP.

In addition to his administrative duties with RPT & RP, Chris is transitioning into a more assistant-based capacity, and shall soon be working very closely with the Managing Director, enabling him to manage clients and projects with ease. Chris is also responsible for quality assurance for projects.


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