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Owners of Desert Catering, Sharmine and Colin Livingstone. (Photograph by Yvonne Amukwaya)

Owners of Desert Catering, Sharmine and Colin Livingstone. (Photograph by Yvonne Amukwaya)

With tourists as well as locals seeking different scenary other than the norm, mobility becomes a necessity for catering companies.
Recently the Economist visited Desert Catering, a mobile kitchen and décor company that is based in Walvis Bay but provides services to all parts of the country.
According to the Manager of the Company, Sharmine Livingstone they have grown since inception in 1995 and are looking towards expanding even more in the near future.Livingstone said, “we have grown a lot and have even extended our storaging facilities as well as the services that we render all under one roof from event planning to décor.”
She said that expansion is not only about physical growth but on the company’s ability to keep up with latest trends within its sector of operations.“When you are into the décor and catering, you need to keep up with the market otherwise you will be outdated and clients dont want that.”
Livingstone said they can cater up to two events per day, and with the season at peak at this time of the year as tourists are coming into the country, they are at their busiest.
She said that mobile catering is no different for any company that also caters for tourists and the fact that they are based at the harbour town is not an advantage to them even though a lot of tourists come to visit the town.
“The market flactuates according to demand from both locals and tourists. We have low and high seasons depending on the people that want our services.” The Company employs eleven permanent workers and takes in casual workers when catering for bigger events.
Livingstone said that they try to support and enhance the local community as much as possible by supporting locally made products as well as opting to employ high school kids for weekends or holidays if there are bigger events to cater for as the already existing employees are not sufficient. “This little money that they earn helps them be more responsible and they can buy basic stationery for school with it.”
She said although the Company has grown significantly, they try to keep it small as they want to   maintain close interaction with clients which they will not be able to deliver if they were to grow too big. “When you grow too big, it doesnt become so personal anymore and you lose touch with the clients therefore although we aim to grow, we do not want to lose touch with our clients, it is absolutely important for us to keep the contact.”
Desert Catering is looking into expanding operations to the heart of the country, Windhoek in order to make their services even more accessible to people.

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