Register Now for Arena Futures ‘Develop: Understanding the Cost Sector - Focus on Hospital Catering’

By Berenice, Tuesday 20 April 2021

We are delighted to confirm a new Arena Futures event under our virtual series ‘Develop’, titled ‘Develop: Understanding The Cost Sector- Focus on Hospital Catering’. This is the second event in the series following our previous event on School Food last month – and this hospital focus will take place on Thursday 13 May 2021 from 2.00pm to 3.00pm.


What is Arena Futures?

Arena Futures’ is a sub-group of Arena – the hospitality networking association open to everyone working within our industry. The difference with ‘Arena Futures’ is that we aim to bring together and support those in the early stages of their career within the industry to Connect, Develop and Grow within the sector. Our events are aimed at providing entry-level knowledge and to bring together people at a similar career stage. 

We are excited that through our ‘Develop’ event series, we can support people who might be completely new to the cost sector, to develop their understanding of this pinnacle section of food and hospitality which has continued throughout the pandemic. Whilst most of us have experienced the ‘profit’ sector – pubs, bars, restaurants and hotels as a consumer – many are less familiar with the catering aspects of the ‘cost sector’. 

Our Speakers

We are delighted to welcome three speakers for this event – all working in the health sector at ISS and at various stages in their careers - to share their knowledge and experience on the sector, the challenges faced over this past year and what the future holds.

Who are Craig, Lauren and May?

Craig Smith
Craig Smith, FIH, MRIPH, is the Immediate Past National Chair of the Hospital Caterers Association and has more than 40 years’ experience working with the NHS, having progressed from an Assistant Manager, to District Catering Advisor for North Hertfordshire Health Authority before joining ISS Mediclean as their first catering manager.

Over 35 years, Craig helped develop ISS Healthcare into being a market leading provider. Craig is now Head of Corporate Affairs at ISS and retains a strong interest in hospital catering, having sat on the NHS Hospital Food Review panel and the NHS National Food Standards and Strategy working group as well as holding his position as HCA Chair.

Lauren Bowen
Lauren is a member of the HCA and Chair of the Food Services Specialist Group of the BDA. She has co-authored various industry guidelines including “The Nutrition and Hydration Digest” and was a panel member on the “Independent Review of NHS Hospital Food”. 

Lauren joined ISS Mediclean in 2001 as the Catering Dietitian based at St. Mary’s Hospital. In 2005 she became Head of Nutrition and Dietetics and was further promoted to Head of Patient Catering in 2013. Lauren is now responsible for the development of the patient catering service delivered by ISS Facility Services to over 45 NHS hospitals. 

Lauren holds a BSc Degree and Postgraduate Diploma in Dietetics (PGDipDiet) and her experience in operational catering includes product and service development, menu planning, nutritional analysis software, training and projects focused on improving nutrition and hydration by access to appropriate and safe food and beverages.  

May Banienuba 
May Banienuba joined the ISS UK Graduate programme in 2018 and spent 18 months in various roles across Finance, Retail, working with P&C and then on the government Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy contract. 

In March 2019, just as the pandemic struck, May joined the Clatterbridge Cancer Centre on The Wirral as Operations Manager, to help mobilise the centre three-months before it opened. Working across recruitment, rotas and work scheduling, May’s role was pinnacle to the launch of the centre, and May developed a diverse range of skills which lead to her role now as part of a team of five zonal managers overseeing 110 staff to provide catering, clearing, portering and security services at the centre.

Who should join?

Whilst anyone can attend this event, it is primarily aimed at those newly embarking on their career within foodservice and hospitality. This ensures we are pitching to the right knowledge level and Arena Futures will help young people to develop and practise their networking skills with peers when physical events resume. Please do pass this on to anyone you think may be interested.