William Baxter (YG 1978)
17 June 2024
Old Scholars will be saddened to hear of the death of William Baxter CBE (YG 1978). William was born in Inverness in August 1960 and died on 16th October 2023. He was a pupil at Friends' between 1971 and 1976.

After leaving Friends' William established himself as a leading British foodservice and hospitality entrepreneur. William spent his early life in Scotland and Mid-Wales, until he was eight, when his family moved to Harrow-on-the-Hill, Middlesex. Although he was dyslexic, William obtained sufficient A Levels and was offered places at university to study architecture, but instead decided to choose a career in hospitality, saying “seven years looked like a long time. I bottled out". Between 1979 and 1982, William achieved a Higher National Diploma Hotel and Catering Industry Institutional Management at City of Westminster College. William met his wife whilst studying at Westminster College and they have 3 sons and 1 daughter.

He began his career in 1978, working at the Selfridge Hotel. In 1982, William joined Sutcliffe Catering, rising to become one of their youngest ever Area Managers. He left in 1987 to set up his first contract catering operation, Baxter and Platts which he co-founded with Rob Platts. He sold this business to Granada in 1997, staying with the company until 1999 as Executive Chairman. In 2000 William launched his next contract catering venture, BaxterSmith, with Mike Smith which he merged with the then WSH to become BaxterStorey, taking on the role of Deputy Chief Executive until his retirement in 2011. He retired from commercial life in 2011.

William remained actively involved with the industry in which he played a leading figure for over 30 years and served the sector as Chairman of Hospitality Action from 2010. William was also Chairman of the Scannappeal, a charity which raises funds to purchase life saving medical equipment for hospitals in Buckinghamshire.

There are longer obituaries available here and here.
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