published Saturday, August 18th, 2012

Piccadilly growing food service operation in Chattanooga

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AT A GLANCE

Piccadilly has about 90 restaurants and 70 food service operations. It operates in 11 states, mostly in the Southeast.

One of the biggest cafeteria-style restaurant chains in the Southeast is growing its food service business and plans to ramp up operations in Chattanooga.

Jhane Wilcox, marketing manager for Baton Rouge, La.-based Piccadilly Restaurants, said the company is slated to kick off the local expansion Aug. 28.

"A lot of companies don't know we do it," she said about the food service business.

The company plans to use its existing facilities in the city to service entities such as schools, government buildings, emergency responders and senior centers, Wilcox said. The company has restaurants at Hamilton Place mall and Northgate Mall.

Wilcox said the food can be cooked locally at its restaurants and transported, or the business can run a cafeteria on-site and provide services.

Morgan Beck, the company's regional manager, said the business already has two local customers, Berean Academy and Strategies For Life, a community mental health center.

Beck said the company also can service manufacturing facilities, noting it has a couple such clients in Columbus, Ga.

"We're looking for every opportunity to partner," he said. "We tailor to the need of the client."

Beck said he foresees adding new employees in Chattanooga, though how many is dependent on the amount of business the company garners.

"If it's a standalone with kitchen facilities, that would add more employment," he said.

Wilcox said the company has already taken steps to expand its food service operations in Memphis and Nashville. In September, Piccadilly plans to undertake a similar effort in Kingsport, Tenn.

In the late 1990s, Piccadilly bought out Morrison's cafeteria chain.

about Mike Pare...

Mike Pare, the deputy Business editor at the Chattanooga Times Free Press, has worked at the paper for 27 years. In addition to editing, Mike also writes Business stories and covers Volkswagen, economic development and manufacturing in Chattanooga and the surrounding area. In the past he also has covered higher education. Mike, a native of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., received a bachelor’s degree in communications from Florida Atlantic University. he worked at the Rome News-Tribune before ...

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