Bestway Cash & Carry is planning to bolster its foodservice operations this year following its acquisition of Martex Cash & Carry.

Last year, the C&C giant laid out plans to set up a dedicated foodservice division on the back of trial deliveries to independent restaurants, takeaways and pubs from some depots.

The wholesaler said these plans had been given fresh impetus after snapping up Martex Cash & Carry in November last year.

The former subsidiary of Spar wholesaler CJ Lang has a significant foodservice business in Scotland, including local authority and private enterprise contracts. "Our pilots in 2010 clearly demonstrated we could win business in this sector," said Bestway Wholesale Group MD Younus Sheikh.

"Martex's experience in foodservice is invaluable to Bestway as it plans its entry into foodservice south of the border. We are drawing from the expertise of our new colleagues to formulate plans."

Bestway was "taking catering very seriously" and was increasing its sales force, widening its delivered service and expanding its online coverage, he added. It is currently expanding its butchery departments, with a new unit due to open in its Luton depot imminently.

"Butchery is a key part of the offering to caterers and we are very encouraged by sales in this department, which is showing strong double-digit year on year growth," said Sheikh.