Members’ News

December 2016

Unilever Food Solutions releases guide to help pubs ensure Christmas is a cracker #

Unilever Food Solutions (UFS) released a new and improved Christmas guide to help pubs make sure they end up on their customers’ nice lists this Christmas.

Created with the help of pub food expert Chris Barber, the new guide is stuffed with juicy consumer insight and fresh tips on everything from pricing to pudding. Giving pubs tips and ideas to help make Christmas a profitable endeavour.

Chris Barber, UFS’ pub expert, said: “Christmas is the most important event in a pub’s calendar. The trade generated over this period can make the difference between profit and loss for the entire year.

“Getting it right is crucial, and from preparation and planning to presentation and promotion, the new Christmas guide has everything pubs need to know. So download the guide today at and make sure this Christmas is a cracker for your pub.”

The new Christmas guide can be downloaded free of charge at

UCC Coffee UK & Ireland wins Café Quality Food Award #

UCC Coffee’s Grand Café Fairtrade blend has won the coffee category in this year’s Café Quality Food Awards. Its Grand Café Triple Certification and ThreeSixty˚ Blend No.1 coffees were also Highly Commended.

The Café Quality Food Awards reward excellence in food and drink product development within the café sector.

Nicole Hartnell, brand manager, UCC Coffee UK & Ireland comments: “We’re thrilled that not only has our Grand Café Fairtrade coffee won, but that our Grand Café and ThreeSixty˚ products have also been Highly Commended. Our Grand Café coffees are particularly impressive as they’re all fully certified. It’s great to see coffee with a conscience, like our Fairtrade blend, being recognised at such a high level.”

With the demand for coffee shops to serve coffee that is traceable and sustainable[1], the Grand Café range is the ideal brand for any ethically-conscious business. The range includes four coffees, each with their own accreditations, including the Rainforest Alliance, Fairtrade and the Soil Association.


Quick on the Drawer, Adande’s Magnificent Seven Ride High in the EU Top Ten! #

Adande was elated to hear that seven core products in its range of patented ‘Hold the Cold’ technology Drawers have made the grade to be listed on the prestigious TopTen.Eu Best Products of Europe portal.

The products shown on are the best products on the European market. This evidence on the Best Available Technology (BAT) supports policy makers, experts and researchers in their work regarding European product policy, most notably Energy Labels and Ecodesign requirements. Since 2009 Topten’s work in favour of effective policy measures is supported by the European Climate Foundation (ECF).

ProCold is an EU-project aiming to improve energy efficiency in plug-in cabinets and speed up the switch to climate-friendly refrigerants.  There is an energy saving potential of around 50%.

Objectives of the project:
- Showcasing best products
- Supporting green procurement
- Helping to implement effective policies

Topten is a consumer-oriented online search tool, which presents the best models in various product categories. Topten’s key selection criteria are energy efficiency and consumption, while other quality aspects like resource efficiency and health are also considered.

Topten sites exist in 15 European countries, China, Chile and Argentina. All Topten teams search, select and present the best products of their national markets.  'Topten ACT', 'ProCold' and 'Best products of Europe' are the main current Topten projects in Europe.

These selected products may now carry the prestigious logo:

For Storage Counter Freezers
Adande VCS R2 Drawer Side Engine
Adande VCR R2 Drawer Rear Engine
Adande VCM R2 Matchbox
Adande VLS R2 Shallow Drawer
Adande VCC R2 Compact

Storage Counter Refrigerators
Adande HCS R2 Side Engine A+ Fridge
Adande HCR R2 Rear Engine A+ Fridge

Registration now open for IFE 2017! #

The countdown to the UK’s biggest food and drink exhibition has officially begun! Buyers from across the industry can now register to attend the four day extravaganza to explore the very best innovation from pioneering global food and drink brands. The International Food & Drink Event will be held at London’s ExCeL between 19 - 22 March 2017.

Visit the brand new website to explore the extensive exhibitor list across nine easy to navigate sections. During the exhibition, more than 1,350 suppliers will showcase their latest product innovations and the website is the go to resource to stay up to date with the latest industry trends, speaker and chef demos, as well as providing a sneak peak before the show launches on the 19th March. The event will attract an estimated 29,000 professionals from across the retail, wholesale, foodservice, hospitality and manufacturing markets.

Register online now for your free entrance badge and sign up to our e-newsletter to stay informed about all the latest show news, product launch information, and trend reports.

To find out more visit the new look website and follow the action on Twitter @IFEexhibition using #IFE17 and #IFEintro

Frima's heavenly help at the Angel Inn #

Wiltshire pub installs new compact tabletop VarioCooking Center

The Angel Inn at Upton Scudamore is a hotel and restaurant based in the beautiful countryside of Wiltshire. It was recently refurbished in a blend of contemporary and traditional styles, with the same ideals informing the food served there. Head chef Adam Clayton uses local and seasonal produce to create a menu that combines modern cuisine and classic pub fare. As much as possible is made in house, including bread and mayonnaise, so the kitchen equipment needs to be reliable.

The kitchen was also redesigned and fitted with a suite of modern equipment including Frima's compact VarioCooking Center 112T. The first tabletop model of its type, the 112T combines the functionality of a wide range of conventional appliances while its size allows it to be used in smaller kitchens than larger multifunctional models.

"I will admit, at first I was a bit sceptical that it could do everything it was supposed to," says Adam, "But now we've had it for a while we're really happy with it".
Despite measuring just 962mm wide by 800mm deep and 400mm high, the 112T has two 14 litre pans, giving it the same capacity as its larger sibling, the VCC 112. It can replace kettles, tilting pans, bratt pans, fryers and griddles, and its clever technology it contains means it's up to four times faster and saves up to 40% in energy consumption compared to conventional appliances.

"It's very versatile," explains Adam. "I can use one pan to make stocks and sauces, while the other side cooks meat." The cooking processes are automatic and fully monitored by the built-in VarioCooking Control system with notifications for when user input is required, allowing even delicate ingredients to be cooked easily.

"The temperature control is great," says Adam. "If you want your meat and fish to be seared and browned to a certain colour, it comes out the same every time."

Adam and his staff are also enjoying the incidental benefits of their new equipment. "We now have an all-electric kitchen, no gas at all," he says. "The 112T heats up so quickly, so there's no need to have the burners on all the time. The kitchen is much cooler now, plus it saves energy and money."

It's also simple to clean and maintain. "It's got the built-in water hose, so you can clean it as soon as it's finished," says Adam, "Plus it's mounted on wheels, so we can easily move it to clean around it."

With an average of 60-70 covers a day during the week and as many as 120 at the weekends, the 112T has become an invaluable addition. "It saves us a lot of time – it now takes just an hour to prepare a batch of soup, for example, and there's no need to keep an eye on it.
Just start it off, and once the program is complete the food is ready to go."

Deborah Rowland joins Sodexo as director of public sector affairs #

Sodexo has appointed Deborah Rowland as director of public sector affairs to enhance its relationship within the UK and Ireland public sector.

Sodexo operates in both central and local government delivering services that increase employee engagement, wellbeing, and productivity in the public sector to help support government to deliver on its promised outcomes while reducing costs.

With around half of its UK and Ireland business serving the public sector this is a key area of growth for Sodexo. In her new role Deborah will also chair the organisation’s public sector board and work closely with Sodexo’s global justice services team to develop its strategy.

Deborah joins Sodexo from the Ministry of Justice where she was responsible for facilities management for the justice, home office and crown prosecution services estates.  She has previously worked for the Cabinet Office where she was responsible for delivering the FM strategy for £3.2bn spend per annum, across the entire central government estate and aligning construction and facilities operations through the development of the government soft landings policy.

Sean Haley, regional chairman, Sodexo UK & Ireland says: “As we look to grow our business, it’s critical we understand the challenges our clients face, Deborah has significant experience in facilities management in the public sector and with this experience and her expertise, I am confident that Deborah will be a great asset to our senior management team and will help us strengthen our relationship with government and the public sector.”

Deborah commented, “I am delighted to have joined Sodexo which is a great FM brand. I am looking forward to utilising my public sector knowledge in helping the organisation develop its strategy and offering in this area.”

Cooking doesn’t get any more multifunctional than this… #

Frima cooks live at The Great Hospitality Show 2017
NEC Birmingham, January 23-25 Stand 320

Expert chefs will be test driving the latest hi-tech multifunctional cooking technology at Hospitality 2017. Frima’s VarioCooking Center can boil, fry, deep fry and confit, replacing griddles, kettles, bratt pans, large pots and fryers. Alongside all its cooking processes it can also slow cook overnight and fast cook under pressure. It takes the concept of multifunctionality to a new level, says the company – as visitors to the Show will be able to see for themselves.

There will be three models on the Frima stand. The two-pan, tabletop VarioCooking Center 112T is the most compact unit in the range and brings the benefits of space saving multifunctional cooking to even the smallest kitchen. The 211 is one of the largest VarioCooking Centers, its 100 litre pan can sear 12kg of meat in four minutes and pressure cook up to 40kg of meat per hour. The 112L is the newest VarioCooking Center. Another tabletop model, it has two 25 litre pans and bridges the gap between the smaller Frima models and the largest ones – the 50 litre capacity provides sufficient frying surface and boiling capacity even at peak times.

Visitors will be able to watch as chefs fry, sear and boil a variety of different meals – and then they will be able to try the results for themselves. The chefs will also show how fast the Frima can be cleaned, in just a couple of minutes, so it’s ready for the next cooking process.

Frima is exhibiting alongside sister company Rational. Visitors will be able to see how a kitchen with a Frima and a combi steamer can cook everything that a modern foodservice operation requires – from a minimal footprint, using less energy than conventional appliances.  

Essential Cuisine receives AA rating from British Retail Consortium #

Essential Cuisine, the British manufacturer of class-leading stocks, jus and gravies, is celebrating having gained a coveted AA-grade accreditation from the British Retail Consortium (BRC).

The BRC Global Standard for food safety ensures a company is meeting the highest standards of quality and safety in the manufacture of food products.

The accreditation means chefs can rest assured that they are not only using the finest stock products on the market, but they can also trust that this quality will be passed on to their customers every single time.

Nigel Crane, managing director for Essential Cuisine, said: “I am so proud that we have gained an AA-grade accreditation from the BRC. This is testament to the fantastic team we have here at Essential Cuisine headquarters who work hard day in, day out to ensure we consistently produce the very best quality products.

“Having achieved an AA-grade rating from the BRC in 2015, it is excellent to know we have maintained our own high standards. We take great care in producing our stocks; every batch we make is tasted twice by trained quality technicians. Yet more evidence that professional kitchens across the UK are receiving the very best products to take their menus to a new level.”

UCC Coffee UK & Ireland and friends offer unique coffee experiences at European Coffee Symposium #

UCC Coffee UK & Ireland combined expert knowledge from across the food and drink industry to provide a comprehensive coffee experience at the European Coffee Symposium 2017 (21-23 November).

UCC Coffee worked with brand ambassadors, Ronan Sayburn and Sarah Hartnett, to bring delegates two premium coffee flights, featuring the new Grand Crü Composition No.2, as an exclusive preview ahead of its 2017 launch. This extraordinary coffee was served with baked ‘shorts’, paired wine and single origin chocolate.

Ronan Sayburn, one of only 230 master sommeliers in the world, once again collaborated with Gayan Munaweera, Q grader and head of coffee quality at UCC Coffee UK & Ireland, to develop its seasonal Grand Crü Composition No.2. Gayan’s wealth of coffee experience has combined with Ronan’s unparalleled ability to identify flavours to create an extraordinary coffee of truly unique composition. The latest addition to the premium range is a blend of four specialty  coffees, comprising of Ethiopian Wanego, Ethiopian Konjo-Limu, Guatemalan Hacienda Carmona and Sumatran Mandheling Tingkem. For the PM coffee flight, Ronan handpicked a Hungarian Egri Bikavér red wine to accompany the new Grand Crü, served as a black chemex filter, alongside a Rabot Estate 175 single origin chocolate specially selected by David Demaison, Cacao Cuisine Development Chef at Hotel Chocolat.

Sarah Hartnett, who created a series of workshops with UCC Coffee to get chefs thinking differently about coffee, worked with Andreas Brok-Hartvig, global concept manager and chef at Danish bakery Easy Food A/S, to select and hand-make signature baked goods to accompany the coffee served at the symposium. On the AM coffee flight, Grand Crü Composition No.2 was served with chilled Bolivian cascara with nitro foam and a bespoke snack with a sprinkling of toasted hazelnut sablage and gold flakes.

UCC Coffee UK & Ireland served its coffee to delegates throughout the symposium. It also hosted chocolatier Hotel Chocolat for a ‘residency’, who served a range of beverages through the Eversys machine, including the popular ‘Coffee Chocolat Latte’. The menu comprised of its exclusive blend by UCC Coffee and shots of 100% real chocolate.

UCC Coffee brew bars served the popular Grand Crü Composition No.1, Grand Café Triple Certified, and the new ThreeSixty° Cuban Cumanayagua through the all-new Thermoplan Black&White4c, Appia II, Black Eagle and Siphon equipment. 

Bigger and better than before: ScotHot is Back 15–16 March 2017 #

ScotHot, Scotland’s leading trade event for the food, drink, hospitality and tourism industries, is returning to Glasgow in collaboration with Scottish Tourism Week.  

Taking place on March 15th and 16th 2017, at Glasgow’s SECC, it promises to be the sector’s trade event of the year, with exhibitor numbers already up on previous years. 

Toby Wand, managing director of Fresh Montgomery, said: ‘’The industry’s appetite for ScotHot just continues to grow year on year. As a place where businesses can trade and head hunt, and a platform for chefs to showcase their skills and experts to trade knowledge, it’s a beneficial experience for all. We are delighted that ScotHot will once again be the centrepiece of the opening of ‘Scottish Tourism Week’ and expect to welcome over 100 brand new exhibitors that haven’t been at the show before. We are looking forward to a packed two days of activity, bigger and better than ever before.”

New features for 2017 include Staff Canteen Live, which will showcase the culinary skills of some of the UK’s leading chefs, and Liquid Academy Live which will host a number of inspiring speakers demonstrating innovation in Scotland’s drinks industry.

The Scottish Culinary Championships, sponsored by Compass Group, is back for its 32nd year, highlighting the skills of Scotland’s next generation of top chefs. Scottish Chef of the Year and Scottish Junior Chef of the Year are just two of the accolades that will be awarded.

The Spotlight Stage, sponsored by Scottish Tourism Alliance, will feature expert speakers from hospitality and tourism businesses, who will share their experiences and insight on some of the hot topics of the moment.

Marc Crothall, chief executive of Scottish Tourism Alliance, said: “We are delighted once again to be bringing ScotHot under the umbrella of the national Scottish Tourism Week (STW) programme, co-ordinated by the STA, placing the 2017 spotlight firmly on tourism, food, drink and great hospitality.

“This important trade show, one of five STW Signature events, is the perfect complement to our own National Tourism Conference. We look forward to building on the success of our 2015 partnership with ScotHot and in 2017 we are delighted to have been given the lead to develop a Spotlight Stage programme that will add to the show’s offering and form part of the our own Signature Conference agenda.  This will be a great way to kick off the annual tourism week programme. The food and drink experience is such a fundamental part of our tourism offer and one which thousands of visitors travel to Scotland to enjoy every year.

“Our 2017 partnership with ScotHot will provide the anticipated 8,000 colleagues from industry with a ‘one stop shop’ conference and exhibition experience, offering further value for those travelling afar who have come to hear national and international guest speakers, giving them the opportunity to meet suppliers, network and of course take back knowledge and inspiration to their tourism businesses.”

ScotHot brings together suppliers of food and drink; catering equipment; décor and design; tableware and technology products with chefs and buyers from hotels, restaurants, bars, catering outlets and tourism destinations.

With a heritage dating back over 40 years, ScotHot runs every two years and now takes place as part of the Scottish Tourism Week’s ‘Signature Events’ programme. This includes the Scottish Tourism Industry Conference; Scottish Tourism Week Dinner with a Difference and the ‘Oscars’ of the Scottish tourism industry, the Scottish Thistle Awards.

For the latest show news, exhibitor information and to register for the show please visit:

Sodexo UK & Ireland marks another successful year #

Sodexo has announced its full year results for the fiscal year ending 31 August 2016. The company has achieved another successful year of growth and record trading in the UK and Ireland.

For the year ending 31 August 2016, Sodexo revenues amounted to €20.2bn, up 2.2% on Fiscal 2105 and organic growth of 2.5% (for full group results click here). 

Revenues in the UK and Ireland increased 9.6% to €2bn. Organic growth of 11.3% was in part due to the signficant contribution of the Rugby World Cup contract in the first quarter of the year. However even without the Rugby World Cup effect, the organic growth trend was a solid 5.3% due to the ramp up of many new contracts won in Fiscal 2015 and strong retention during the year.

In the past year, Sodexo has grown its business in the UK and Ireland and has won several private and public sector contracts.

In the defence sector, Sodexo was awarded the Hestia South Regional contract which includes 31 Army and RAF units across southern England and was awarded the contract for the North of England region multi-activity contract. In the the corporate and sports & leisure sectors Sodexo won contracts with Covance, Shell, Scottish Public Pensions Agency, National Trust for Scotland, and the Northern Ireland National Football Stadium at Windsor Park.

In the university and schools sectors, Sodexo was awarded contracts with National Univeristy of Ireland, Galway,  Northumbria University, Stoneygate School, Rathmore Grammar School, Brentwood School and University of Nottingham.

In addition to new business successes, Sodexo has achieved a retention rate of over 96% - the fourth year that the company has achieved a rate above 95%. The company has retained or increased business with some key clients such as Dundas and Blair Castles, Oasis Academy schools, Queen’s Hospital in Romford, Royal Botanical Garden Edinburgh, Everton Football Club, Hampden Park stadium, Honda and Virgin Atlantic lounges.

Commenting on the last year, Sean Haley, regional chairman for Sodexo UK & Ireland, said:"We are delighted that over the past year we have won some significant new business while at the same time growing our existing accounts and achieving an excellent retention rate. At the heart of our strategy is our mission to improve the quality of life for our clients, customers and employees and this is key to how we do business.”

Since the start of the 2016/2017 financial year, Sodexo has made two acqusitions – five public catering contracts in London from Peyton & Byrne and the acquisition of PSL, a leading procurement provider to the UK hospitality industry.

Compass Group UK & Ireland celebrate exceptional colleagues at annual Be A Star Awards #

Compass Group UK & Ireland recognised the outstanding talent and services of its employees at its annual Be A Star Awards.

The annual event was held on Thursday November 17, at the Natural History Museum in London and celebrated colleagues who have gone the extra mile to deliver an exceptional service to clients and customers.

As an employer of 60,000 people, being shortlisted for a Be A Star Award is quite an achievement. Throughout the year, colleagues and clients are able to nominate those who they believe have gone above and beyond and shortlisted candidates are then entered into a final judging process before the winners are announced.

Out of 200 shortlisted nominees, nine winners were announced during the evening across seven categories which reflect the key values of the business, including: Responsibility, Teamwork, Passion, Can-do, Integrity, Health & Safety and Compass Group UK & Ireland’s framework to deliver operational excellence across its sites - ROAR.

Fiona Ryland, HR director at Compass Group UK & Ireland, said: “Be A Star is one of my favourite events of the year. Our winners are truly inspirational and this awards ceremony is such a great opportunity to celebrate our people and thank them for all that they do.

“As a business that operates across a number of different sectors, whether it be security, catering or front of house, it is essential that we always aim deliver the best service to our clients and customers. This event reflects the dedication that our colleagues put into their work on a daily basis and I would like to congratulate every person who was shortlisted.”

Rosemary Boulter, from Compass Group Ireland, who picked up the Teamwork award on behalf of her colleagues at Lagan College, said: “We’re so happy we have won this award this evening. Our boss put us forward for it and we are so pleased to take this home for all the team.” 

Sodexo strikes five-year deal at the National Football Stadium at Windsor Park #

Sodexo has won a five-year contract with the National Football Stadium at Windsor Park.

The £6m deal sees Sodexo provide food and beverage retail and hospitality services for all matchday and non-matchday events at the Belfast venue, as well as selling conference and event facilities through Sodexo Prestige Venues & Events.

Following redevelopment last year, the National Football Stadium has been enlarged to more than 18,000 seats and now has four main function suites overlooking the pitch, 10 executive boxes, a museum for events and unique event spaces in the changing rooms, press room and players’ lounge, all of which Sodexo is operating.

The home of the Northern Ireland football team, the stadium is hosting the team’s 2018 World Cup qualification fixtures.

Earlier this year, Sodexo extended its partnership with the Scottish national stadium Hampden Park to 2020.

Chris Bray, CEO Sports & Leisure Sodexo UK &
Ireland, said: “We are delighted to announce this partnership with the Irish Football Association at Windsor Park. The new stadium development gives us an opportunity to deliver a fantastic experience for match goers, and host a wide range of conferences and events on non-matchdays.

“At our other stadiums we have strong relationships with the local community, and the National Football Stadium at Windsor Park is no exception. We are already working with three Belfast suppliers: Keenan Seafood, Arnotts Fruit and the French Village Bakery.
We look forward to bringing fresh, innovative, responsibly-sourced local produce to stadium visitors.”

Louise Doyle, stadium director, said: “We are very pleased to be working in partnership with Sodexo Sports & Leisure to provide excellent standards of service and catering to the National Football Stadium at Windsor Park.

“Sodexo will allow the venue not only to offer a high standard of food, refreshments and a variety options in our public concourses but also the superb and innovative hospitality in our outstanding and unique corporate areas, all with a view of the iconic pitch. 

“Sodexo are world leaders in their field, offering innovative ideas and offerings to Belfast both in terms of catering at the football matches held within the stadium but also promoting our new conference and hospitality business. There are exciting times ahead with this partnership and we look forward to a successful relationship over the next few years.”

Jason Atherton and The Social Company launch Temple and Sons restaurant in the City #

On 21 November, The Social Company opened the doors to Temple and Sons, a new City grill restaurant and bar. Situated adjacent to the iconic Tower 42, Temple & Sons is a second partnership for Jason Atherton with Restaurant Associates.

With a more casual approach, it contrasts the high-rise fine dining at neighbouring sister restaurant, City Social.

The venue is set across two floors, each offering a different dining experience: a 66-cover grill restaurant and a 30-cover all-day deli and bar serving snacks and small plates, championing British produce throughout. Executive chef, Paul Walsh, who also heads up City Social, is overseeing the kitchen, working closely with Jason to create the restaurant’s more relaxed but equally innovative menu.

The name Temple and Sons is a nod to the history of Tower 42; Palmerston House was previously built on the site, named after British statesmen Henry John Temple, Third Viscount Palmerston, who was twice Prime Minister in the mid-nineteenth century.

On the ground floor deli and bar, the menu and interiors are inspired by a traditional British grocery store, complete with artisan snacks and sandwiches including game sausage roll, creamy mash & HP gravy and Old Spot spiced pork belly sandwich on brioche, spicy slaw & butter lettuce, alongside a range of British cured meats from Cannon & Cannon.

At night the deli transforms into a cocktail bar, with carbonated cocktails canned on site, including Strawberry Can Can (Monkey Shoulder whisky, Chamberyzette strawberry wine, Chambord, Campari) and Peach Tea Pop (Monkey Shoulder whisky, Rinquinquin peach liqueur, Earl Grey tea, sweet & sour). Cocktails served in card milk cartons and cans again take inspiration from traditional British provisions, such as Yellow Paint (Sailor Jerry spiced rum, Colmans mustard, elderflower, lemon) and Martinny (Ford’s gin, Lea & Perrins distillate, fino sherry, olive). Also available for the first time at Temple and Sons is The Social Company’s own signature bottled English lager, The Subtle Fox.

Upstairs, the restaurant kitchen operates entirely from a custom-built grill using varying types of wood, charcoal and hay. Continuing the theme of British heritage, many dishes are designed for family-style dining, with grilled fish and meat served whole or in large cuts, with a selection of sides to share. Comforting and nostalgic but with the group’s characteristic focus on innovation and flavour, dishes include wood-fired pork chop, collar & crackling with sage & pine nut crumb and Maldon oysters Rockefeller, baby fennel & confit lemon salad, tartar sauce & crispy potatoes. For dessert, the menu plays on Britain’s great repertoire of puddings with the likes of trifle, gingerbread, poached rhubarb & crystallised ginger and caramelised vanilla rice pudding with pistachio & homemade jams.

Overseen by Russell Sage Studio, the interiors have been designed to evoke a Victorian grocery, with stacked timber shelves brimming with a variety of goods. A palette of rich, caramel tones with flashes of orange and teal create a warm and inviting space, with timber panelling embellished with antique brogue detailing and brass ironmongery. Feature lighting includes Victorian angle-poise lamps and a custom-made feature light suspended over the staircase between the two floors.

James Boyle, managing director of Restaurant Associates, comments, “We are delighted to be partnering with Jason and his team again. The work we have done together at City Social has been outstanding and we hope to mirror some of this success at Temple and Sons. There is an appetite for a more casual style of dining in the City of London, and we are thrilled to be part of its growing food scene.”

Commenting on the launch of Temple and Sons, Jason notes, “Temple and Sons is my tribute to our great British produce and dining traditions. Following the success of our partnership with Restaurant Associates on City Social, I’m very happy to be working with them again.” 

ThreeSixty° Guatemala Antigua awarded Gold Q in the Quality Food Awards 2016 #

UCC Coffee UK & Ireland’s ThreeSixty° Guatemala Antigua  won gold in the 37th Quality Food Awards (QFA) – the biggest night in the UK grocery retailing calendar – held at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel.

Guatemala Antigua is part of the ThreeSixty˚ range, which takes consumers’ interest in provenance to a new level. Each unique coffee displays the map coordinates of the coffee beans’ origin on its packaging. Coffee lovers can then enter these in to Google Earth to find out where the coffee originates from. 

Nicole Hartnell, brand manager, UCC Coffee UK & Ireland comments: “We are delighted to have won gold in the Quality Food Awards. This is recognition of our commitment to buying, roasting and blending premium quality coffee from around the world. Our Guatemala Antigua is a perfect example of this. It’s a truly elegant, well balanced coffee with sugar syrup sweetness and hints of citrus fruits.”

Organised by Metropolis Business Media, group publisher Helen Lyons comments: “Now in its 37th year, these prestigious awards are perfect for small and large producers alike.  What sets us apart is the impartiality and rigour of the judging process, which rightly sits at the heart of everything we do - it means people buying products with the Q Mark know they are choosing the best in the market.”

The ThreeSixty˚ range includes six 250g coffees: Thailand Doi Chaang, Ethiopia Yirgacheffe, Guatemala Antigua, Italian Espresso, Peru Lima Province and Tanzania Kilimanjaro. They are available to buy at Waitrose and Ocado.

Full details are available at

Sodexo leads the charge in pay gap reporting #

Audit of over 38,500 employees reveals current gender pay gap is over 50% lower than ONS figure of 18.1%

Five months ahead of the launch of new government legislation for transparency into gender pay equality, Sodexo, a leading services company, has revealed an overall gender pay gap of 7.65%.

The gender pay gap is a measure designed to show the difference between the gross hourly earnings for all men in an organisation and the gross hourly earnings for all women.

Currently the national gender pay gap in the UK – released by ONS - stands at 18.1%, while Sodexo has found a 7.65% difference between male and female gross hourly earnings.

Under new laws, employers in the UK with 250 or more employees will have to calculate their gender pay gap from April 2017 and publish the details by April 2018.

Publishing these initial findings is the first step in Sodexo’s plan to address pay gaps for different employee groups and follows a major audit into the salaries of Sodexo’s entire UK workforce of 38,500 people (which includes casual employees). The audit and resultant project will not only look into gender, but other characteristics such as ethnicity, age and disability.

This work is part of Sodexo’s global, long-term commitment to promoting equality, diversity and inclusion through comprehensive strategies, communication, training and monitoring programmes.

Last year Sodexo carried out its own internal global research which demonstrates the positive benefits gender balance has on business outcomes. Sodexo, globally and locally, remains committed to pursuing initiatives to improve gender balance and reduce its gender pay gap even further.

Initiatives include:
- Aspirational targets for the representation of women in leadership positions
- Initiatives designed to support women’s development and progression
- Opportunities for open discussion and dialogue, with both men and women, about how the organisation can collectively support gender balance and overcome any barriers which may exist

Sean Haley, regional chairman of Sodexo UK & Ireland said: “We believe that to address gender equality it is critical for businesses to be transparent about any pay gap that exists. We are proud that Sodexo is one of the first companies of its size to announce its gender pay gap.

“Whilst our gender pay gap is significantly smaller than the national figure, we are confident in our ability, through pro-active initiatives  to reduce it even further.”

Minister for Women and Equalities, Caroline Dinenage said: “It’s fantastic to see that Sodexo has published its gender pay gap data today and importantly, the steps it is taking to close it. The gender pay gap is at a record low but we have to push further to eliminate it completely – shining a light on where the gaps are means employers can take action to tackle it in their organisation. That’s why we are introducing requirements for all large employers to publish their gender pay and bonus data from April 2017.”

Sodexo UK and Ireland’s regional Diversity & Inclusion strategy includes six work streams; Culture and Origins, Disability, Gender, Generations, Inclusion and Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity, each with their own supporting structures, measures and strategies.

Frima expands sales team to cope with rapidly increasing demand #

Frima UK has expanded its sales team with the appointments of Paul Burrows as regional sales manager for Scotland and Scott Hayward as regional sales manager for North East England and the Borders. 

Both men have extensive experience of the catering market, having worked on both sides of the industry – as foodservice operators as well as in sales, with catering supplies companies.  They also have considerable knowledge of their respective sales areas and are tasked with building close relations with Frima’s dealer network while establishing new ‘Cooking Live’ sites for the company’s demonstration programme. 

“Scottish chefs have always been at the cutting edge in the UK culinary scene and they are already bringing Frima units into their kitchens to support their creativity,” says Paul.  “This technology delivers genuine flexibility for everyone, from Michelin Star chefs to canteen catering managers.  It’s a huge market opportunity and I look forward to working with Scottish dealers to deliver Frima solutions for their clients.” 

“I’m really excited to be joining Frima at a time when the brand is expanding so quickly in the UK,” says Scott.  “It’s a product line that’s easy to get enthusiastic about – I’m looking forward to sharing that passion with existing and new customers, and creating strong partnerships with existing and new dealers.” 

Frima UK managing director Graham Kille says, “Paul and Scott are great ‘catches’ for us – they both have a high level of expertise and a real understanding of the task ahead.  Their appointments reflect the growth in sales for the VarioCooking Center in the UK – our business has increased by over 50%, year on year, for the past 2 years.  More and more foodservice operators are looking at Frima to deliver the speed, multifunctionality, space saving, energy saving and quality results they need from modern catering equipment.  Having more regional sales managers will help our dealers maximise the opportunity.”   

Levy Restaurants UK launch new partnership with Northampton Saints Rugby Club #

Levy Restaurants UK, the UK’s leading sports, leisure, catering and hospitality company and Northampton Saints Rugby Club have announced an exciting new partnership.

Levy Restaurants UK will provide the catering and hospitality, including a range of outstanding hot and cold food options, within the bars and suites at

Franklin’s Gardens, both on match days and for non-match day conferencing, events and dinners.
Franklin’s Gardens joins some of the country’s most prestigious venues, including Twickenham, The Kia Oval, The O2, Principality Stadium, Premier League champions Leicester City FC and numerous other outstanding sporting, conference, heritage and cultural venues within the Levy Restaurants UK portfolio.

Saints chief executive Allan Robson believes that the catering at Franklin’s Gardens will be taken to a new level of excellence because of Levy Restaurants UK being part of Compass Group UK & Ireland, the UK’s largest food and support services firm.

He said: “Levy Restaurants UK has an unparalleled level of expertise and experience in delivering outstanding catering and hospitality at some of the country’s biggest and best venues, and we’re confident that they will have a positive impact here at Franklin’s Gardens, too.

“Our supporters, guests and customers deserve the very best, both on match days and during the week, and Levy Restaurants UK will help us provide the standards of service and quality which we want everyone to experience and enjoy.”

Colin Bailey, managing director of Levy Restaurants UK, added: “We’re excited to partner with the Saints at Franklin’s Gardens. It is a well-known and prestigious venue with a wealth of history associated with it.  We will work hard to develop a varied and high quality food offer which we hope the supporters and players will enjoy.”

The new partnership between the Saints and Levy Restaurants UK comes into effect immediately.

Compass serve up double shot with expo-resso and apprenticeship programme #

Compass Group UK & Ireland continues to focus on its delivery of an exceptional tea and coffee offer across its business.

Already one of the top five coffee providers in the UK, Compass yesterday held its first Hot Beverage Expo for its suppliers and employees as well as launching for the first time a “Barista Apprenticeship Pathway”.

These initiatives follow hot on the heels of announcing its recent partnership with the Tolley Brothers, of Taylor Street Baristas, which will see the development of a comprehensive coffee strategy for the food services company. 

Taking place at the Madjeski Stadium in Reading, the Hot Beverage Expo had 12 suppliers, including the likes of Costa, Nestle Professional and Twinings, showcasing their product and equipment solutions to over 300 attendees. Through selecting the best suppliers on show, Compass can ensure their offer is always of the highest quality. 

Colleagues from the Central Marketing and Foodbuy teams spoke at the event on topics such as choosing the right coffee for different demographics, the size of opportunity offered by hot beverages and tips on increasing transactions through customisation and the addition of seasonal beverages. 

The “first-of-its-kind” Barista Apprenticeship Pathway, launched at the Expo, will offer unparalleled barista training in the industry, due to the breadth of training available. The apprentices will work towards the Speciality Coffee Association of Europe (SCAE) coffee diploma system (CDS) and accredited tea training with the London School of Tea, in addition to the hospitality service skills training offered as part of the Compass’ apprenticeship programme. 

Louise Pilkington, marketing director at Compass Group UK & Ireland said: “As one of the leading hot beverage providers in the UK, we are always looking at how we can develop and improve our training for staff and ensure that we have a hot beverage offer that competes with the high street. The hot beverage market is expected to double by 2025, and we want to ensure our clients and customers receive the best service and hot beverage, resulting in a positive experience. 

“In a highly competitive market place it is imperative we can offer an excellent alternative to the high-street, which can be done by either working with the major brands or continuing to improve our offer through events like the expo.”

Steve Lovegrove, head of business excellence – Central Marketing commented: “Launching both our Hot Beverage Expo and dedicated Barista Apprenticeship Pathway demonstrates our ongoing commitment to the hot beverage sector. We are working with some of the biggest brands and hot beverage suppliers in the industry and by offering unparalleled barista training  for our staff, we can provide our customers with consistent quality hot beverages that exceed expectations every time.”

In March 2016, at the start of National Apprenticeship Week, Compass Group announced their commitment to delivering 1500 new apprenticeships by 2017.

Big name speakers confirmed for Casual Dining 2017 #

Leading casual dining operators – including TGI Friday’s, Mitchells & Butler, Casual Dining Group, Bill’s, Wahaca, and Côte Restaurants, are preparing to host Keynotes at Casual Dining 2017.

Returning to the Business Design Centre in London next year, on 22-23 February, the multi-award winning event for the casual dining sector (including multiple and independent pubs, bars, restaurants, hotels, and contract caterers) has lined-up exclusive, free Keynotes and interviews with some of the biggest names in the business.

Among them are Martin Robinson, non-executive chairman of CDG, Karen Forrester, CEO of TGI Friday’s, Mark Fox, CEO of Bill’s Restaurants, Jo Fleet, MD of Wahaca, and Andrew Gallagher, group marketing director at Côte Restaurants.  Plus Bob Ivell, non-executive chairman of Mitchells & Butler, and Neil Rankin, executive chef at Noble Inns (and owner of Temper) in conversation with Paul Charity, MD of Propel, and Peter Martin, VP of CGA Peach respectively.

“Casual Dining is an amazing event for industry people to come together to learn and share ideas,” says Jo Fleet.

“Attending Casual Dining is a fantastic way to keep up with emerging trends and explore new product innovations and ideas that could shape the industry’s future.  I’m really looking forward to it,” says Andrew Gallagher.

James Douglas, co-founder of Red’s True Barbecue, will also be making his Casual Dining speaker debut.  For him, as for thousands of fellow operators, Casual Dining is “the one event we just don't miss”.

“Casual Dining offers a fantastic few days to rub shoulders with the best in the industry, swap stories and ideas on what’s hot and what’s not, as well as gleaning some real-time insight from those who share the same daily issues as yourself,” he explains.

Shaping the future of casual dining
“It’s very important to bring all the key players, operators and suppliers together to spark innovation and to collectively address some of the macro changes that will mould the way consumers eat,” says Bill’s CEO Mark Fox.  He’ll be sharing insights into the challenges of business growth in his opening day session: ‘Studying your past to better shape your future’.

“In a time of unprecedented political and economic uncertainty, Casual Dining gives us an opportunity to figure things out with our fellow professionals and to focus our minds on what’s important in our world.

“In my Keynote session, I intend to highlight how many of the changes that we are seeing in the casual dining sector are not really new – they just haven’t happened for a while.  And that, by looking backwards into the history of your business, you can find answers to many of the questions that the current trading environment presents.

“I will seek to demonstrate that, whilst customer habits are changing, they have, in many ways, not changed at all.  As operators, we have to ask ourselves how we have changed over the past ten years and whether it’s time to undo some of those changes,” he says.

As in previous years, market updates and insights will be provided by Peter Backman, managing director of Horizons, Simon Stenning, executive director of MCA, and Kate Nicholls, CEO of The Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR).

The implications of Brexit, and its effect on food inflation, consumer confidence and the economy, is just one of the hot topics Nicholls is set to address in her opening day session.  She’ll also be giving a comprehensive overview on the new regulatory costs of the national living wage (NLW), Apprenticeship Levy and Business Rates coming into force in April 2017.

Visitor registration now open
Casual Dining 2016 attracted over 4,400 attendees (up 22% on 2015), and was called an “essential forum for sharing new ideas, innovations and insights” by Carluccio’s co-founder Simon Kossoff.

“Casual Dining is a great opportunity to see what's new and innovative, in what is a very competitive market,” says Simon Xavier, ‎executive chef leisure division at The Restaurant Group.

Thanks to glowing testimonials, like these, from across the sector, significant year-on-year growth in attendance, and another 20% increase in floor space (to expand the show into a new area on its Upper Feature Level), Casual Dining 2017 will be its biggest edition yet.

Over 200 leading industry suppliers – showcasing an innovative choice of food and drink, equipment, table top, POS technology and services – are preparing to exhibit.

“Everything that casual dining operators need to run their businesses successfully – from the food and drink they serve to how it’s paid for, the kitchen equipment to the front of house – it’s all here,” explains Chris Brazier, the show’s group event director.

“Casual Dining showcases the best choice of the latest innovations completely dedicated to the casual dining pub and restaurant sector, which is why so many buyers recommend it and, after only three years, call it their favourite show of the year,” he says.

Casual Dining will return to the Business Design Centre, in Islington, London, on 22-23 February 2017.  For more information and to register for a free trade ticket, please visit and use priority code CD30 

BaxterStorey invites customers to ‘join its society’ #

Coffee Society, a new coffee brand, was launched by BaxterStorey. Developed by its in-house team of dedicated baristas, the new identity represents BaxterStorey's passion for delicious coffee and excellent service.

The coffee market is one that evolves faster than many others and consumer demand for quality coffee has never been higher. In order to continue delighting its customers, BaxterStorey’s Barista Academy have been working with a prominent UK coffee roaster to create Coffee Society's unique blend.

Tim Sturk, head of coffee development at BaxterStorey, said: “To find the perfect combination of flavours, we tasted and roasted a number of coffees from several origins including Africa, Central America, South America and Asia.

“The winning blend uses coffee from Sumatra, Uganda and Peru. Each bean brings its own unique characteristic to the blend - rich dark chocolate notes from Sumatra are offset with bright berry fruits from Uganda, while Peruvian beans add body and balance.”

Alongside the launch of Coffee Society, BaxterStorey has refreshed one of its current in-house coffee brands – Down To Earth. This delicious coffee represents both great quality and value for money. Designed to be enjoyed throughout the day, Down To Earth is a blend of three beans from Brazil, Colombia and Vietnam – producing a great tasting, medium bodied, Triple Certified cup.

For every cup of Coffee Society and Down To Earth sold at BaxterStorey locations, 1p is donated to the WSH Foundation. A registered charity, the Foundation supports charitable causes in local communities, from award winning hospitality scholarships to school kitchen garden projects. To date, this initiative has raised over £300,000 – a figure BaxterStorey hopes to grow with the introduction of these new and refreshed coffee brands.

BaxterStorey secures Thomas Cook contract with healthy eating initiatives #

BaxterStorey has been awarded a prestigious contract with Thomas Cook, creating fresh, seasonal and sustainably sourced food for up to 1,200 staff at the newly refurbished Peterborough head office, as well as 350 staff in the Falkirk office. The travel specialist selected BaxterStorey due to their ability to offer a vast array of meal options, including healthy alternatives.

John Bennett, co-chiefe executive at BaxterStorey, said: “Providing staff with the option to make healthier choices in the workplace is becoming increasingly important to our clients. Working with our in-house nutritionist, we developed a unique programme to ensure healthy eating in the workplace is both convenient and appetising.”

‘Healthy Me’ allows staff to substitute unhealthy snacks with wholesome alternatives. A popular example is beetroot brownies – a nutritionally balanced treat made with naturally sweet beetroot, which also provides an excellent source of folic acid and fibre.

Sam Warden, director of property & procurement at Thomas Cook, said: “We were delighted to appoint BaxterStorey as our catering and hospitality partner.  Staff told us they wanted more variety, as well as healthier choices, and so far the feedback has been fantastic.“

BaxterStorey has helped Thomas Cook celebrate the opening of their new facility in Peterborough by providing a number of pop-up eateries serving baked treats from Butter Wouldn’t Melt and The Modern Baker, two unique recipe books created by the company’s Food Development Team.  The team have also provided an improved service in the Falkirk office, which is currently undergoing refurbishment.  

UCC Coffee UK & Ireland Q Grader wins industry award European Coffee Awards #

Gayan Munaweera, head of coffee quality and Q grader, UCC Coffee UK & Ireland, won the Employer’s Choice Award at the European Coffee Awards.

The European Coffee Awards is the most prestigious awards in European coffee, recognising and celebrating excellence on an individual and company basis across the sector. The Employer’s Choice Award recognises an individual that has gone above and beyond to contribute to the coffee industry.

Gayan's career in coffee started at Costa in 2006. He also worked at Harris + Hoole before joining UCC Coffee UK & Ireland in November 2013. At UCC Coffee he oversees coffee at its state-of-the-art Dartford roastery, ensuring the business delivers consistent quality in every cup. He is also the 2016 SCAE UK Cup Tasting Champion.

Elaine Higginson, managing director, UCC Coffee UK & Ireland, comments: “Our team is the best in the industry, and they are at the very heart of our total coffee solution’s success. Gayan has become instrumental in helping us push the boundaries of coffee, and ensuring our customers receive nothing but the very best.”

Gayan Munaweera, head of coffee quality and Q grader, UCC Coffee UK & Ireland, comments: “Coffee has been a passion of mine since I first started behind the bar at Costa. The industry is full of people who have personally influenced me, in particular World Barista Champions including James Hoffmann, Stephen Morrissey, Gwilym Davies and Michael Phillips. A special thanks has to go to both Elaine Higginson and Andrew Tolley, for opening two different doors at two different stages for me in my career, which have allowed me to enter and explore this wonderful industry.”

Premier Foods strikes gold at the FWD Awards #

Premier Foods' foodservice team scooped the prestigious gold medal for Service to Caterers at the recent Federation of Wholesale Distributors (FWD) awards. The team was also shortlisted for the ‘Foodservice Brand’ gold medal for Bisto Gluten Free which launched in 2015.

Voted for by FWD Wholesale members, this award recognises the Premier Foods foodservice team’s contribution to wholesale channel caterers.

Sarah Robb, channel marketing manager at Premier Foods comments: “We were thrilled to receive this award which is testament to the ongoing hard work and commitment shown by the Premier Foods foodservice team. We are focused on continuing our collaborations with the wholesale channel through our creative campaigns, such as the McDougalls Young Baking Team of the Year Competition, and ongoing work with customers to deliver fresh channel insight and trusted menu solutions.

“To win this accolade, as voted for by our customers, is a fantastic achievement. We have some really exciting plans in the pipeline for the wholesale channel in 2017 and we are looking forward to building on this success.”

Education caterer, Brookwood, celebrates 20th Anniversary #

The Brookwood Partnership, specialist education caterer of CH&Co Group, recently celebrated 20 years in the industry with 170 managers at its annual conference. Every year, Brookwood brings together its managers for a day of communication, development and recognition.  Following the caterer’s recent merger with CH&Co Group, Managing partners, Kate Martin and Sue Parfett were also joined by colleagues from their new sister companies to celebrate two decades.

Founded in 1996, by Kate Martin, Sue Parfett and the late Graham Sibthorp, Brookwood quickly became a leading education caterer.  The trio made their mark in the industry by offering pupils exciting, freshly cooked, healthy meals that they wanted to eat. This made Brookwood a successful and unique business long before TV chefs started delivering the same message. 20 years on, Brookwood provides the catering services at over 150 schools and employs around 1,100 people.

Celebrating two decades in the sector, managing partner, Sue said, “In the beginning, it was just the three of us. We opened our first contract at short notice and just after Christmas.  We didn’t have any employees. So we did all the work between us and had one of the best, most enjoyable days we have ever had.  It wasn’t long before our approach was noticed and soon our assumptions were right as we won more and more business - it was then that we became employers – although even now, we can’t resist the kitchen, an oven or even a mop!”

Fellow managing partner, Kate, added, “Originally our focus was solely within the independent school sector. But for some time we had always thought our experiences would equally benefit the publicly funded sector.  So in 2013, we expanded into this sector by acquiring the education contracts from another catering company; and ABsolutely Catering was born.”

The pair went on to say, “In the year we celebrate 20 years of Brookwood, we are also delighted to have become part of the CH&Co Group opening a new chapter for Brookwood.”

In celebration of 20 years, twenty of Brookwood’s Chefs have shared their favourite recipes from over the last two decades in a celebratory recipe book. 

HCA appoints Dewberry Redpoint as its events agency #

The national trade body of hospital caterers, Hospital Caterers Association (HCA), has appointed Dewberry Redpoint as its events agency following a competitive tender process.

The contract will run for three of the HCA’s annual leadership and development forums, commencing in 2018 at Celtic Manor, Wales.

HCA national chairman, Phil Shelley, said: “The HCA is delighted to set up a new partnership with Dewberry Redpoint to help run promote and enhance our annual leadership and development forum. Their expertise and commercial successes across other sectors will help support our goals of delivering a first-class event.”

Dewberry Redpoint will also support the HCA through its foodservice media portfolio, which includes Cost Sector Catering, the PS100 Group and Practical Patient Care magazine.

Andrew Archer, managing director of Dewberry Redpoint, said: “Dewberry Redpoint has vast experience in running events for major industry organisations and associations, including LACA and the Craft Guild of Chefs.

“We will bring the knowledge we have gained, along with a creative and client-focused approach, to help grow and develop the HCA Leadership and Development Forum over the duration of the contract.”

The contract includes the forum event, administration support and the marketing and organisation of the supplier’s trade exhibition. Lansdowne Publishing will continue to run the 2017 HCA forum.