Ballester - Kitchen & Catering - Pretoria, GP, South Africa

Mario Ballester

Pretoria, GP, South Africa


Due to the unique employment circumstances I have had in the past, it has positioned me in a situation where I have gained a very high level of experience in the Industrial Catering Industry, which led me to interact, simultaneously, with very important clients in their industry fields and this gave me the necessary flexibility to understand their needs in terms of their hospitality and catering requirements.

Owe to the above, I have developed and monitored the necessary systems and controls to constantly oversee the services provided by my employers. This gave me the advantage of forecasting financial and capital budgets based on the data generated by my systems and controls.

The Industrial Catering Industry is a very sophisticated industry due to the implication it could have on the wellbeing of the relationship between management and workforce. Therefore, to encounter a balance between the two parties relies not only on the high standard of catering services provided but also, and most important, on the cost effectiveness of the service rendered.

This made me to concentrate on the creation of the most suitable and reliable systems and controls to achieve the necessary results tailor-made to the circumstances.

I have been entrusted with large catering budgets simultaneously, from entities like the SANDF, motor manufactures, hospitals, government departments and private concerns.

It is personally imperative that a good service is being always provided but it is also that the financial accountability is fully answerable.


Kitchen & Catering

Work History


government tender (up to 5000 people)
15. Automotive Glass (400 people)
16. Reserve Bank of SA (350 people)
17. SAB Rosslyn (850 people)
18. SAB Watloo (120 people)
19. SAB Pietersburg (600 people)
20. SAB Witbank (100 people)
21. FA Poole (150 people)
22. Samcor Ford Motors Co (2500 people)
23. Eugene Marais Coffee Shop (300 people)
24. Nissan SA (3000 people)
25. ABI Midrand (400 people)
26. Willards Foods Rosslyn (350 people)
27. Vinto Minerals Coca Cola Nelspruit (150 people)
28. Tweefontein Timber Company (250 people)
29. Hall and Sons (300 people)
30. Raleigh Fitkin Hospital Swaziland government tender (180 people)
31. Eugene Marais Hospital (370 people)
32. Soshanguwe Technical College government tender (500 people)
33. Robert Bosch SA (350 people)
34. Johnson and Johnson Brits (170 people)
35. Alfa Romeo Brits (1200 people)
36. BMW Rosslyn (1300 people)
37. Metal Box (1300 people)
38. Glencarol (900 people)
39. Letaba Hospital Ka-Ngwane government tender (500 people)
40. Shongwe Hospital Ka-Ngwane government tender (300 people)
41. Eluquatini Hospital Ka-Ngwane government tender (150 people)
42. Bongani Hospital Ka-Ngwane government tender (90 people)
43. Lenmed Hopsital (120 people)
44. Private hospital in Witbank (80 people)
45. Private hospital in Potchefstroom (80 people)
46. Hulets Aluminum (250 people)
47. Corobrik (300 people)
48. Cook Freeze factory Bloomfontein government tender (12000 people)
49. Pelonomi Hospital government tender (1200 people)

Consultancy work in Mozambique

January 2013 - September 2013

• Servco Catering Management
• A & L Enterprises
• ISS Mozambique

Reason for leaving Contract position

Douglas Colliery Recreational Club

(250 people)
15. Douglas Colliery Hlanganani Bar (200 people)
16. Van Dyksdrift Mine mess (1100 people)
17. Van Dyksdrift Mine hostel (600 people)
18. Technical Northern Gauteng College (400 people)

1. Bethal Secondary School Mpumalanga government tender(450 people)
2. 2 x Old Age Homes in Pretoria (190 people)
3. Breei Secondary School government tender (500 people)

1. C N Patudi College Lebowa government tender (1100 people)
2. Modjagi College Lebowa government tender (650 people)
3. Mokopane College Lebowa government tender (600 people)
4. Sekukune College Lebowa government tender (900 people)
5. Gazankulu Nkenzani Hospital government tender (250 people)
6. Gazankulu Nursing College government tender (180 people)
7. Rand Mines 3 Hostels First mining operation in Transvaal (950 people)
8. C M I Single quarters (370 people)
9. Tubatsi Single quarters (90 people)

Cost controller (Consulting)


October 2012 - July 2014

• Company procurement
• Company budgeting
• Operations budgeting
• HR management
• Compilation of job specification and KPA's
• Implementation of policies and procedures
• Implementation of systems and controls to maximize profits

Reason for leaving Contract position


S.A.N.D.F Airmen Mess government tender (300 people)

COOKE 2 Hostel

COOKE 3 Hostel (800 people)


S.A.N.D.F Rooival government tender (120 people)

Project Manager (Consulting)


December 2009 - December 2011

• Managing a team of 70 staff members
• Managing a monthly budget of R1,2m
• Site management to accommodate 5000 people
• Responsible for the identification of problematic areas and training needs
• Creation and implementation of systems and controls to maximize profits i.e.:
• Stock controls:
• Daily revenue controls
• Daily profitability controls
• Identifying training needs of staff on the above areas

Reason for leaving Contract position


September 2008 - August 2009

Project Manager (Consulting)


June 2008 - August 2008

• Managing a team of 90 staff members
• Managing a monthly budget of US $230 000
• Site management to accommodate 3000 people
• Overseeing catering, accommodation, laundry, maintenance, first aid, security and special events services
• Monthly reporting to Head Office in South Africa.

Reason for leaving Contract position

Systems and Controls Advisor (Consulting)


February 2007 - February 2008

• Responsible for the identification of problematic areas and training needs at various operation sites
• Creation and implementation of systems and controls to maximize profits i.e.:
• Stock controls
• Daily revenue controls
• Daily profitability controls
• Identifying training needs of staff an the above areas
• Head of administration department
• HR administration
• Creating and implementation of policies and procedures

Reason for leaving Contract position


August 2005 - January 2007

Universitas Hospital

51. Bethel Secondary School North west government tender (760 people)

Operations Manager (Permanent)


March 1997 - July 2005

• Company procurement
• Company budgeting
• Operations budgeting
• HR management
• Compilation of job specification and KPA's
• Implementation of policies and procedures
• Government tenders (surveys, tender preparations, costing, presentations, lobbying, delivering of tender documentation)
• Assisting the Department of Health of North West Government for the compilation of a tender document of 53 hospitals
• Operational systems and controls for universities (Venda University, Mangosuthu University and Tshwane University of Technology)
• Identification and troubleshooting of underperforming units related to services, profitability and / or HR related issues
• Implementation of systems and controls to maximize profits
• Identification of problematic areas and training needs
• Training of staff (operational administration, training of basic condition of employment)

Reason for leaving Contract position

Area Manager (Permanent)


February 1995 - February 1997

• 70 Staff reporting
• Profitability of area of operation
• On-the-job training
• Budget management of 7 contracts
• Monthly detailed reports to Managing Director and clients

Reason for leaving To pursue own interest

Operations Manager (Permanent)

Compass Group SA

January 1981 - January 1995

(Supervision Food Services) / (Industrial & Commercial Cafeterias)
Job Title Operations Manager (Permanent)
Employment Duration 1/1981 - 1/1995
• ± 440 Staff reporting (3 Area Managers)
• Establish and expand the operation in the area (Started with 14 contracts and expanded to 30), consequently acquiring 5 other contracts
• Negotiating and managing contracts with new clients
• Implementation and developing of new strategies
• Launch and manage the Operations Service Department to provide back-up operations services to all units in the Inland Region offering services of Opening team, Relief team and internal audits
• Profitability analysis
• Budget management of 30 contracts
• Monthly report to Regional Board of Directors
• Sales and contract retention
• Recruiting and training of staff
• Negotiations of the privatisation of the services for SANDF and subsequently opened 3 contracts
• Identifying, implementing and managing new administration systems

• In 1986 increased the number of contracts in the Northern Transvaal area from 14 to 30, consequently acquiring 5 new mining contracts from this initiative
• Acquired the first tender risk contract, which included 7 colleges of education, from the Lebowa Government. As a result of this, acquisition of another contract was awarded to provide services to the Nkenzani Hospital and Gazankulu Nurses College.
• In 1988 signed a contract with the Kangwane Government to provide services to 4 hospitals, consequently leading to acquiring several other contracts
• Responsible for two functions for the inauguration of the new building of the South African Reserve Bank in Pretoria. Namely:
- Sit-down dinner for 680 guests, which included the President: the Cabinet and international guests.
- Two Cocktail parties for 1 800 guests.

Reason for leaving Offered a position by Kingdom...

Flight Supervisor


February 1980 - January 1981


• Supervising the catering services for Lufthansa, Olympic Airways, Zambia Airways, Scandinavian Airlines, Iberia, Alitalia and El-Al, at Johannesburg International Airport.
• Managed a new specially build kitchen to provide for kosher food for El Al Airlines.

Reason for leaving To join ICC (Supervision Food Services - Kagiso Khulani Supervision)

Station Manager


February 1972 - January 1980

• Coordinating the maintenance of aircraft
• Handling of passengers, air cargo, and airmail
• Flight planning
• Quality control, liaising and supervising all catering requirements of all flights
• Dealing with government departments such as Customs, Immigrations, Police, Foreign Affairs, airport authorities and South African Airways, etc.
• Responsible for air cargo sales on Southern Africa
• Stock taking of the company's assets worldwide, including actual counting of fixed assets as well as consumables
• Processing of all information and liaison with central government offices
• Credit accounts for all government departments and intuitions

• Designed and operated the first in-flight kitchen in Cape Town, which catered for Argentine Airlines, Varig and chartered flights for the Dutch airline, KLM
• Attend to all travelling requirements of the company's VIP passengers, including Customs and Immigrations formalities
• Responsible for the bookings of all the VIP's flights, car-hire, hotel accommodation and transfers
• Accompanying VIP's on national and international flights and coordinating their requirements such as secretarial services, conference facilities, etc.
• Due to the nature of my position, I was a guest in the Vatican as well as the guest of various international airlines, private companies and individuals

Reason for leaving The airline stopped operating into South Africa

Below please find a list of industries (with some of my clients -82 in total-) I have been responsible for the day-to-day operations, both in South Africa and Africa. The majority of these contracts were acquired with my direct involvement on the compilation of the prospective budgets presented to clients. Also, the majority of the operations were commenced with my direct supervision.

Mining (Rand Mines; Anvil Mine (DRC);...

Qualifications & Certifications

project management

Instituto Perito Moreno Argentina

Agriculture Sciences

University of La Plata Argentina

San Isidro Labrador Argentina

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