Atlanta-based hospitality staff company acquires Charleston food & beverage personnel provider

By Jessica Saunders  – Managing Editor, Atlanta Business Chronicle

Feb 27, 2019, 5:30am EST

Atlanta-based Hospitality Staffing Solutions LLC has acquired a Charleston, S.C., firm that specializes in food and beverage personnel.

HSS CEO Timothy McPherson declined to disclose the terms of the deal with FoodStaff. The acquisition closed Feb. 26.

FoodStaff will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of HSS and retain its brand name.

The Charleston company was founded in 1988 by Bailey Bolen, its CEO. It provides temporary and full-time personnel to sectors within the hospitality industry, specializing in food and beverage staff for educational settings, corporate dining and banquets/events. FoodStaff operates seven offices in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic regions.

HSS deploys about 8,500 employees daily to more than 800 clients, McPherson said. With the merger, it will deploy about 10,000 employees weekly.

FoodStaff has about 1,500 employees working on assignment.

HSS employs about 70 at its corporate office at 100 Glenridge Point Parkway in Atlanta. It has about 300 internal employees across the entire organization — including job titles such as branch managers, sales managers, and recruiters, McPherson said. The FoodStaff corporate headquarters at 1387 Harborview Road in Charleston employs about 10 people, who will be retained, he said.

In addition to banquets and stadium-style events, FoodStaff also provides personnel for the corporate dining rooms at Fortune 500 and 1000 companies, which is an area HSS is looking to expand in, along with educational food and beverage staffing, McPherson said.

FoodStaff clients include Compass Group, Sodexo USA, Sage Dining, and Marriott International.

HSS supports all major hotel brands, including Hilton, Hyatt and Marriott, McPherson said. The company  is growing organically by adding branches, including 12 last year across the U.S. and in Puerto Rico, its first in the territory. It expects to add 6-10 new offices in 2019, generally in the Midwest and Northwest, McPherson said. It will bolt on acquisitions as they are identified and seem to fit with corporate strategy, he added.

In 2017, HSS acquired DEZ Staffing LLC, a provider of hospitality and industrial staffing services in the Denver market.

HSS’ core business is housekeeping and janitorial services for business and vacation hotels and resorts. Its added ability to staff public-facing events like banquets will aid in its penetration of the hotel and resort sector, said McPherson, who joined the company in 2016 from Ohio-based Nesco Resource.

About 25 percent of HSS’ business is outsourcing entire housekeeping or janitorial service departments, providing not just staff but capital equipment as well, he said.

HSS, founded in 1990, is owned by Savannah-based private equity firm Littlejohn Capital LLC, which seeks to make control investments in small- to mid-sized private companies undergoing strategic, operational or generational transitions. Littlejohn recapitalized HSS in 2014, according to a press release.

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