Members’ News

July 2018

Delivering something new: Fresh Montgomery launches The Professional Kitchen Show Birmingham #

The Professional Kitchen Show is bringing immersive features and a first-of-its-kind buyers’ club to NEC Birmingham on 22-23 January 2019. With over 8,000 key senior buyers, 250 exhibitors and unmatched support pre, during and post show, this is a must-visit for every professional across the supply chain.
The show for the entire supply chain
The Professional Kitchen Show is where kitchens and technology meet, resulting in a show dedicated to the entire supply chain; manufacturers, dealers, distributers, designers, owners and the all-important end users of professional kitchen equipment. To maximise ROI for everyone that attends, the show sees an unrivalled level of investment in experiential features and technology. This guarantees exhibitors and visitors leave the show with the information, relationships and products they need to drive their business forward.
Exhibitors will receive a superior stand build that moves away from old-fashioned shell schemes; a dedicated pre-event communications platform to connect directly with visitors; and badge-scanning data capture software at no extra charge. They will also receive education sessions pre and post show, discussing how best to capture data across the two days, and how to use it effectively.
Meanwhile visitors will experience a unique range of immersive features, centred on an interactive ‘smart kitchen’, with more details to be announced soon.
Introducing the HRC 200 Birmingham Buyers Club
A leading feature of the inaugural show is the 200-strong buyers’ club – the HRC 200 Birmingham. The programme is officially launching later in the summer, and founding members already include Sodexo, Amadeus, Vision, Spirit and Bartlett Mitchell.
Ross Carter, portfolio director at event organiser Fresh Montgomery, says: “The HRC Buyers Club is the first of its kind, and brings over 200+ of the country’s most influential buyers together to discuss the future of the market. It’s a fantastic opportunity to get face-to-face with key decision makers and build relationships that matter to your business.”
Members that join The Professional Kitchen Show’s dedicated buyers’ club will receive the complete VIP experience, with local accommodation, fast-track entry, dedicated meeting spaces, and an exclusive evening networking party and unmissable morning seminar.
Ross Carter adds: “The HRC Buyers Club is truly one-of-a-kind, and we’re excited to announce more details about its features, and the wider show, over the coming weeks.
“The Professional Kitchen Show is built around return on investment, for exhibitors and visitors alike. The result is a show that’s not just market leading, but market defining.”
Book your place today
The Professional Kitchen Show is running alongside The Foodservice Show (to be officially launched shortly). Both shows are taking place at NEC Birmingham for one incredible event on 22-23 January 2019. With the most innovative equipment and the finest food combining under one roof, this is the must-visit event on the industry calendar.

Fresh Montgomery enlists William Murray to promote two new Birmingham shows #

William Murray will provide PR and communications support for Fresh Montgomery’s two new shows: The Professional Kitchen Show and The Foodservice Show. Both shows are running alongside each other for one unmissable event at the NEC Birmingham on 22-23 January 2019.
Ross Carter, portfolio director at Fresh Montgomery, says: “The Foodservice Show is putting incredible ingredients front-and-centre, while The Professional Kitchen Show is where kitchens and technology meet. Together, the shows combine to create one innovative and inspiring event dedicated to the entire supply chain.
“To support the event, we needed a PR agency that could bring its own innovative ideas to the table, with a stronger understanding of our industry than anyone else. That’s why we’re looking forward to working with William Murray, and we trust the team to get the word out there.”
Anita Murray, William Murray CEO, said: “Fresh Montgomery is the industry’s leading name in events, and it’s putting together something special with these shows. We’re thrilled to be on-board and to help them achieve the ambitious and exciting plans they have.”

Elior wins record-breaking education contract with University of Sunderland #

Food and drink at the University of Sunderland is set for a total regeneration after the University awarded a 10-year contract to Elior UK in a record-breaking education sector win for the leading contract caterer.

As part of the deal, Elior is making substantial investment to transform facilities at the University’s two Sunderland campuses – where it will cater for more than 12,000 students across nine food and drink outlets.

The offer will include several newly built coffee shops, including a Starbucks and several artisan coffee shops owned, operated, and trademarked by Elior, like Barista & Baker, Fontanella, and Green Parrot.

Each campus will also benefit from a brand new food court, where students and staff will be able to tuck into a constant rotation of sizzling dishes from around the globe as well as all of Elior’s latest branded street food concepts – including the award-winning Urban Rajah Indian Street Kitchen concept.

Connor Hickman, business development director for education at Elior UK, said: “From artisan coffee shops to global flavours, the offer has been designed to appeal to the tastes of students today. To help future proof the offer, we’ve made all the new spaces as multifunctional as possible. But equally, we want to respect the heritage of the University. We’ve been careful not to make changes for the sake of it, and we’ve kept lots of the original outlet names.”

The record-breaking win marks yet another significant contract for Elior in the university sector – following its recent successes with Roehampton University and Kingston University.

Elior and Urban Rajah unleash knockout ‘Indi-Cue’ summer menu #

Elior UK and Ivor Peters (the TV chef and spice expert better known as the Urban Rajah) have unleashed a sizzling Indian BBQ & Grill menu across the Elior estate this summer in the latest seasonal refresh of the Urban Rajah Indian Street Kitchen concept.
The new menu is accompanied by the launch of the Urban Rajah’s Indian Frescas – sparkling water infused with fruit juice and Eastern culinary botanicals. The range is a UK first and launches exclusively with Elior UK.
The Urban Rajah said: “In true Rajah style – the new menu is born in Britain, but spiced by India. From Aloo Skins delicately dusted with Chaat Masala to Mango Paneer Kebabs, each dish in the Indi-Cue menu captures the enduring British BBQ spirit, but adds a whole new layer of joy with an injection of vibrant and uncompromising spices.”
The Indi-Cue summer menu:
- Aloo Skins – potatoes reincarnated with a dusting of Chaat Masala before being crisped to precision
- Haldi Slaw – a deliciously fresh combination of crunchy cabbage, vibrant carrots, and plump raisins dressed in a turmeric and yoghurt frock
- Sticky Tamarind Ribs – sprinkled with chilli powder, this meltingly moreish dish is inspired by Goa’s Portuguese heritage, and subsequent knack for producing divine pork dishes
- Murgh Malai Kebabs - silky, tender pieces of chicken steeped in yoghurt, cardamom, and ginger then grilled to mouth-watering perfection
- Mango Paneer Kebabs – zesty caramelized chunks of Paneer coated in a jammy Mango Chutney and marinated in a flurry of spices
- Tandoori Cauliflower Steaks – brushed with a silky tandoori paste and grilled to produce a finish that’s all at once crispy, crunchy, smooth and juicy!
- Chilli Lime Sweetcorn – sweet and citrusy corn on the cobs marinated in chili and lime then blistered over flames before being tamed with a honey caress
- Mustard Charred Broccoli – planks of broccoli drenched in a mustard, yoghurt, and Chaat Masala blend then charred ‘til sweet surrender
- Kala Til Fried Onions – black sesame onion rings that are all at once crunchy, sweet, and savoury
- Plus three unique handmade sauces: a tangy, sharp, and spicy Tamarind BBQ Sauce; a juicy, sweet, and hot Chili Tomato Catsup – India’s answer to ketchup; a smooth, toasty and cooling Curry Leaf Raita – the perfect foil to chili-spiked dishes
- And a sweet and refreshing Strawberry & Mint Lassi drink – a blend of yoghurt, milk, spices, and fruit. Anglo-Indian fusion at its finest! 

Sparkling Indian Frescas
The summer menu also features the first three flavours of the brand new Sparkling Indian Frescas, exclusive to Elior UK:
- Juicy Mango & Papaya with a twist of savoury turmeric
- Crisp Lime & Cucumber with a hint of cardamom
- Fiery Mint & Ginger with a touch of cinnamon 

The Urban Rajah added: “The level of sugar in drinks is right under the spotlight. At the same time, consumers are increasingly demanding more natural, healthy options. Enter the Sparkling Indian Fresca – an electrifying range of healthier soft drinks that use culinary botanicals like cardamom, turmeric, cinnamon, fennel, and cumin to add a new layer of flavour to fresh fruit juice and sparkling water… with knockout results.”
The CQUIN compliant drinks have no added sugar or artificial sweeteners, are less than 80 calories per can, and are carefully layered with the sorts of botanicals people have been using in tonics and remedies for thousands of years.

Record number graduate from Elior’s Chef School #

18 aspiring chefs have graduated from Elior’s award-winning Chef School; the nine-month training programme which gives people in non-culinary roles the skills and confidence they need to start their careers as chefs.
The 2018 class were awarded their certificates after catering for 50 guests attending the graduation lunch at Coventry College, Henley Campus. The lunch – which students ran with a telling maturity – saw them showcase several of their newly found skills, including making fresh pasta for the mushroom, spinach and mascarpone tortellini and filleting the seared chalk steam trout for the main.
Stuart Nisbet, who led the design and delivery of Chef School, said: “Chef School continues to go from strength to strength and attracts more and more talent each year. Not only because of the skills students learn, but the experiences it affords them. Seeing so many students graduate this year is incredible. It’s great news for the future of Elior, for the industry as a whole, and for our 2018 graduates. For them, this is just the beginning.”
As part of their training, past students have worked alongside some of the industry’s biggest players, including Jason Atherton, Anton Edelmann, and master chocolatier William Curley. And earlier this year, graduates from the 2017 class worked alongside the likes of Tom Kerridge, John Williams MBE, and Claire Clark MBE to serve hundreds of guests at the Elior’s ‘Inspirational Dinner’.
Leeann McFaddan, Poppy Court, said: “Chef School has been eye opening for me. It’s given me the confidence and skills to take on a chef apprenticeship and made me feel really positive about staying in the industry.”
Now in its fourth successive year, Chef School has delivered 163% return on investment and seen a total of 75% of graduates start their dream jobs as chefs – with many of this year’s intake expected to follow suit soon.
2018 Chef School Graduates:
Evelyn Woods (BT Greenock), Joy Hammel (Barnaby House), Jessica May Gardiner (Micromass), Tiffany Nicholls (Manor Hospital Walsall), Anton Webb (St Rumbolds Court), Adele Bray (Glenhills Court), Leeann McFaddan (Poppy Court), Andrea Antili (Polygon), Mohammed Hajjar Kouay (Schroders), Liam Fraser (Capula Investment), Diana Covelli Cuellar (Lloyds of London), Emanuel Forbs (Savills), Mohamed Bouchia (Support Team, Lexington), Ramesh Joshi Kumar (Schroders), Paulo Figuereido (Linklaters), Jowita Zylka (BT Hatfield), Carlos Quintero (ICBC Standard Bank), Isaac Jepson (Omnicom)

Elior care home chef scoops mentor award after setting new standard for texture modified food #

Kelly Gavriliuc, chef manager for Four Seasons Aspen Lodge, has scooped the trophy for Best Care Home Chef Mentor at the Chef Mentor Awards after setting a new standard for the training and development of staff. 

Kelly impressed judges with her willingness to share skills, knowledge and expertise, her ability to act as a role model and also her mastery of texture modified food. She quickly developed her skills to the same level as even Elior’s most senior development chefs. Armed with this superior knowledge, Kelly gave up her time to roll out TMF training at Four Seasons Health Care homes all over the East of England. Elior was so impressed with her high standard of cooking and teaching ability that she was honoured with their Chef Award 2017.

Sarah Wass, Elior operations director for healthcare, said: “Kelly leaves chefs inspired, confident and producing texture modified food that looks and tastes great. I can’t stress enough what a phenomenal difference she’s made to the lives of hundreds of residents. And it’s been noticed at the very top – FSHC senior management now want Kelly in the rest of the business.”

Beverley and Andrew Oldbury, whose mother is one of the residents at Four Seasons Aspen Lodge, said: “We were blown away by the dedication and care that goes into our mum’s food. Mealtimes are one of her few pleasures now. To be able to eat like she does is all down to Kelly.”

Cyrus Todiwala OBE and chair of the judging panel said: “There are so many chefs who, sometimes behind the scenes, work tirelessly to train and develop people in our industry. The Mentor Awards are unique in recognising these brilliant people, who are crucial to the growth and development of our industry.”
To win the award, mentors had to excel in their willingness to share skills, knowledge and expertise, act as a role model, be held in high regard by colleagues and take a personal interest in the mentoring relationship. Enthusiasm, valuing learning and giving constructive criticism were also key requirements.

Kelly was honoured along with the other category winners – including Albert Roux OBE for the Peter Hazzard award – at Celtic Manor as part of the H&C EXPO on 17th July.

Bidfood leads the way with 20% sugar reduction in ice cream #

Bidfood has reduced the sugar content of its Everyday Favourites ice cream range by 23% on average, achieving Public Health England’s (PHE) 2020 target in year one.

The initiative comes in support of The Childhood Obesity Plan and the government’s fight against childhood sugar consumption, initially targeting the nine categories that make the largest contributions, including ice creams, cakes and biscuits.

In addition to its range of four ice creams (chocolate, vanilla, strawberry and white vanilla), Bidfood has made significant strides in reducing sugar in its baked goods. The recipes for four of its Everyday Favourites tray cakes – Victoria Sponge, Carrot Cake, Lemon Drizzle, and Coffee & Walnut – have been reformulated to achieve a sugar reduction of an average 19% across the board. As a result, the foodservice provider’s cakes now also boast refreshed flavours and an increase in fruit content.

Holly Marrero Easson, brand controller at Bidfood, said: “At Bidfood, we support the work being undertaken by the government to reduce the consumption of sugar, and we are continually working towards PHE’s sugar reduction targets across our own brand products.

“We are reformulating a number of products to reduce the amount of sugar, without compromising on quality or taste. As part of our ‘quality you can trust’ proposition, we’ve carried out extensive benchmarking and tasting – along with working closely with our supplier partners – to ensure we get our recipes just right. Our Everyday Favourites ice cream reformulation is a fantastic example of this responsible work, achieving a substantial reduction in sugar while ensuring a high quality is maintained.

“As part of the reformulation we have also focused on ‘smart swaps’, which cut sugar but maintain a great, if not even better, flavour. For example, in our lemon drizzle tray cake we now use Sicilian lemon drizzle instead of syrup and the Victoria Sponge now contains strawberry filling with a higher fruit content.”

Bidfood has more products in the pipeline, including gateaux, which will be reformulated and introduced to the market later this year.

Bidfood gives back to local communities across the UK for Volunteers’ Week #

Bidfood launched a nation-wide campaign in line with this year's Volunteers’ Week (1-7 June 2018). The initiative saw over of 150 employees across the UK involved in different projects on behalf of the business, including widespread litter picks, a large beach clean in Manchester, volunteering at local schools and with the elderly, as well as helping out at various foodbanks.

Seven of Bidfood’s 16 depots, including Basingstoke, Wakefield and Salisbury, collaborated with FareShare, the UK's largest charity fighting hunger and food waste, and one of Bidfood’s UK partners. Volunteering activities included assisting their drivers with deliveries, sorting products, organising the depot and picking food orders to aid the process and help even more people in need.

The Bidfood Own Brand team also supported one of the volunteering initiatives in Slough (where the company is headquartered) at ‘Recycled Teenagers’, a local community lunchtime group for over 60’s. The team donated, prepared and served a full lunch with food and drink from Bidfood’s Own Brand range.

Speaking about the initiative, Norman Wemyss, COO at Bidfood said: “We are consistently working on ways to continue to give our national company a truly local feel, which is why giving back to each of our sites’ local communities is so important.  

“Our depots take part in worthy local causes throughout the year and we are delighted to be running a campaign in line with Volunteers’ Week, encouraging all of our teams across the UK to reach out to local businesses, charities and councils to spend a few hours offering a helping hand. This is a fantastic initiative and it’s great to see our employees embedding themselves within their community.”

Lindsay Boswell, chief executive of FareShare said: “Thank you to every Bidfood employee who volunteered their time at our Regional Centres across the UK this Volunteers’ Week.

“Volunteers are the lifeblood of FareShare, and make it possible for us to get good food out to charities supporting people in need. It’s always an eye-opening and rewarding experience to be a part of redistributing surplus food on the ground and we hope it has brought our partnership with Bidfood to life for their colleagues.”

The campaign has been a great success, engaging all of Bidfood’s depots across the UK in a bid to give back to the local community. There has also been an extremely positive response from team members, including many who are keen to take part in volunteering activities in the future.

Bidfood goes for gold with an impressive series of award wins #

This year so far, Bidfood has achieved an impressive series of award wins, culminating in the Grocer Gold Awards, where the foodservice provider picked up the esteemed ‘Wholesaler of the Year’ accolade. The judges said that Bidfood has a great “care, share and dare culture” as well as a “strong and improving customer satisfaction”, and it was this commitment to its customers that clinched the win. The event saw over 400 top industry leaders come together to celebrate the highlights of what has been another amazing year for the UK’s vast, diverse and fast-changing grocery sector.

The Grocer Gold Award is the latest in a series of wins for Bidfood, with recognition across the business from IT to employee engagement. At the BFFF Product Awards earlier this month, Bidfood took home five awards in total, including winning Gold in the ‘Best New Dessert’ category for its Premium Selection Individual Truffle Torte, and the ‘Best New Starter’ product for its Somerset Brie & Blueberry Chutney Tart.

Other recent awards have included winning ‘Technology Team of the Year’ at The Real IT Awards, along with three awards at the UK Employee Experience Awards (including the coveted Overall Winner title). Bidfood also won the Corporate Social Responsibility Award for the ‘To Bee or Not to Bee’ Campaign at the FPA Awards, plus three categories at the Chefs Choice Awards.

Andrew Selley, CEO at Bidfood said, “The awards we have achieved this year are testament to the hard work and dedication of our fantastic team. To win ‘Wholesaler of the Year’ at the Grocer Gold Awards after such a successful year, is an honour and I am glad to see our team rewarded for their ongoing efforts. 2018 is set to be a really exciting year, and awards like these continue to motivate us.”

Have a Very Vegan Christmas: Bidfood Launches 2018 Festive Range #

The Christmas from Bidfood 2018 range has been unveiled, showcasing innovative food and drink products inspired by this year’s hottest food trends. The range includes the first festive selection of vegan dishes and desserts, in response to latest statistics suggesting there are now around 3.5million vegans in the UK alone[1].
This year’s offering has been designed with operators in mind, acknowledging the increasing pressure they are under to meet demand for vegan variety. Bidfood has focussed on providing a wealth of plant-based buffet nibbles and mains, but the real stars of the show are the desserts. Decadent festive options include, Premium Selection Belgian Chocolate and Raspberry Torte, Honeybuns Mincemeat Crumble Citrus Traybake and Lemon Swirl Cheesecake, as well as a delicious selection of non-dairy ice creams, with flavours ranging from blueberry to Swedish glace.
It’s not just vegan diners that will be having all the fun. This year’s Festive Flavours dessert range is set to dazzle with a new collection of cheesecakes, featuring tempting flavours such as Espresso Martini, Buck’s Fizz, Mandarin & Cranberry, Banoffee Salted Caramel Crunch and Christmas Pudding, perfect for serving with indulgent Yarde Farm ice cream.
Furthermore, Bidfood’s Farmstead meat range has this year launched Farmstead Frozen, offering customers a number of raw, butchery-style frozen products including turkey, just in time for Christmas.
The chilled Farmstead range also features new single serve festive joints such as turkey roulades filled with cranberry and apple stuffing and wrapped in Prosciutto, and individual turkey cushions with pomegranate and orange stuffing bursting with evocative flavours of the season.

Laura Mason, campaign manager at Bidfood commented: “We’re really excited to reveal this year’s Christmas range. We’ve worked hard to expand the variety of foods we offer to meet the demand we’ve seen from our customers for more than just the traditional Christmas fare.

“Whilst the holiday season will always be about indulgence and fun festive flavours, there’s more of a call than ever for products that reflect wider market trends. From world flavour influences, to vegan and free-from options, this year’s collection is about catering for everyone.

“With the significant jump in the UK vegan population[2] we are keen to ensure we have strong choices for this area of the market, particularly when it comes to desserts.

“Christmas is all about everyone being able to come together and enjoy, without the need for restrictions and limitations!

“We have also expanded our on-the-go range in line with insight that the convenience sector continues to grow[3]  –  from Proper Cornish Pasties with turkey and cranberry to individually wrapped We Love Cake Stollen Slices, there’s a little something for everyone on the move at the busiest time of the year.

[1] Compare The Market (2018)
[2] Compare The Market (2018)
[3] Global Data, Convenience Retailing In The UK (2017)

Costa Coffee releases rainbow cups to celebrate Pride #

Costa Coffee proudly launched the first ever limited-edition rainbow coffee cups to celebrate Pride across the UK.
With Costa Coffee a founding partner of GLOW (Gay Lesbian Out at Whitbread) the activity had strong support from staff, with many Costa team members taking part in Pride parades across the country.
GLOW is a group that champions equality and inclusion in the workplace, ensuring all employees feel strong and supported in the company, no matter their background or personal preferences. This reflects Costa Coffee’s commitment as an employer that provides equal opportunities and inclusivity to give colleagues courage and pride in who they are.
The limited-edition Pride cups were available in selected stores across the UK* in Edinburgh, Essex, London, Glasgow, Brighton, Leeds, Manchester and Cardiff. The cups are fully recyclable and ordered in place of the red for each store to reduce waste. They are manufactured in the UK by Huhtamaki.
Jason Cotta, Costa Coffee’s managing director UK & Ireland commented: “Our all new rainbow cups are a fun way to celebrate Pride and reflect Costa Coffee’s values of equality, and diversity. We are passionate about championing team members rights to work in an inclusive, supportive environment. We’re so proud of the achievements of the GLOW team and look forward to seeing them marching at the many of the Pride Parades across the UK.”
In previous years, Costa Coffee has shown its support of Pride with the launch of limited edition Rainbow Lattes as well as changing its iconic red sign at key stores to rainbow.

CH&CO’s management systems declared ‘first class’ as it retains its IMS accreditations #

CH&CO has successfully retained its business certifications in quality management, environmental standards, energy management and health and safety.

The independent catering business holds ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 certifications.

The auditor was very impressed with how CH&CO’s operational practices comply with its management systems.  His report confirmed that the audit objectives were fully satisfied, and that CH&CO’s integrated management system is robust and effective for the size, nature and complexity of the organisation. He also praised the leadership team’s mature understanding of the standard concepts and requirements, and the fact that employees are engaged and aware of policy objectives.

The report stated: “This is a first-class Management system and a first-class organisation. I appreciate the efforts made by all engaged and recommend continued certification.”

In addition, CH&CO continues to hold ‘Safe Systems in Procurement’ (SSIP) status.  This umbrella organisation facilitates mutual recognition between health and safety pre-qualification schemes and allows buyers to verify that a contractor holds valid safety certification.

Emma Hill, CH&CO’s head of food, health, safety and environment said: “We’re thrilled to have retained all our business certifications and to have the positive attitude of our teams towards QHSE matters recognised. As the auditor’s report highlights, we recognise the importance of having robust management systems in place that are fit for the business’ size, purpose and needs.  We’ve worked hard to make compliance part of CH&CO’s culture, and it’s great that the auditor praised the understanding of both the leadership team and our employees. This shows that we’ve been successful in our goal. We will maintain this strong focus and ensure continued excellence operationally, environmentally and from a health and safety perspective, to benefit our business, our clients and our employees.”

CH&CO awarded top mark of Three Stars from the SRA #

CH&CO has become the largest and most diverse contract caterer to be awarded the top-level Three Star rating by the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA).
The SRA rating, which is regarded as the Michelin Stars of sustainability, encompasses the whole CH&CO business, including workplaces, destinations, venues, events, education, livery and healthcare.
Sustainability is an important long-term focus for the caterer, with CH&CO Planet embedded in the company culture and an active team of Green Ambassadors made up of people from across the business championing sustainability at every opportunity. Its chefs also regularly attend supplier visits to farms and fisheries, for example, helping them to build an understanding of sustainable techniques and giving them the knowledge to inform customers where their food comes from.
CH&CO and the SRA have worked in partnership for the past 12 months to analyse and monitor the business’ sustainability credentials across ten areas under the three key pillars of sourcing, environment and society.  The in-depth process harnessed the ongoing commitment and enthusiasm at all levels of the business – from the board to on-site teams.  By sharing best practices across sites and sectors and acting on the advice of the SRA, the top rating was secured.
To achieve Three Stars, CH&CO’s overall scores for sourcing, environment and society were strong.  However, it scored particularly well compared to the SRA average or similar businesses in the areas of ‘celebrate local and seasonal’, ‘source better fish’, ‘support the community’, ‘feeding people well’, and ‘value natural resources’.
Terry Waldron, CH&CO’s chief operating officer, said: “We’re very proud to have been awarded Three Stars by the SRA across the entire company.  This is an incredible achievement, particularly for a company of our size and scope. A lot of people across the business have made this happen and I thank everyone for their commitment and contribution. Sustainability has always been an important part of our culture, so we started from a good place, but working with the SRA challenged us and helped us focus on embedding consistent sustainability practices across the business, regardless of sector or site. It’s been an inspiring process and a pleasure to work with the SRA team.
“Of course, this is not a case of job done! It’s just the beginning of a long-term commitment. We must maintain focus to improve on our scores across the board. Sustainability is a complex, ever-changing area and there will always be things that we can do better.  By working in partnership with the SRA we’ll continue to shape our policies in line with the latest developments and challenge ourselves, as well as the industry, to make positive change. There’s not a quick fix when it comes to sustainability, but it’s something we’re committed to for the sake of our planet and future generations.”

Andrew Stephen, chief executive of the Sustainable Restaurant Association, said: “CH&CO approached us with an ambitious challenge: How could we help them to embed consistent, high levels of sustainability across their hugely diverse range of over 700 sites? A year on, and as a result of an unswerving commitment from the top of the business down to the kitchen floor, the business has achieved Three Stars in the SRA’s Sustainability Rating. A fantastic achievement. Lessons learned in school dining rooms have been transferred to workplace restaurants and vice versa, whether that’s healthy eating programmes, food waste reduction initiatives or volunteering schemes for staff. As a result, all CH&CO customers can now enjoy food that does good as well as tasting good.”

CH&CO and The Prince’s Trust help young people ‘Get into Hospitality’ #

CH&CO joined forces with The Prince’s Trust to give eight young people a helping hand towards a career in hospitality through the Get into Hospitality with CH&CO programme.
The programme provides unemployed young people, aged 16-30, with the opportunity to gain skills and experience in the hospitality sector, and support to secure further training and employment.
The eight candidates that took part in the three-week programme had the privilege of working at some of CH&CO’s most prestigious and unique venues, including ZSL London Zoo, 28 Portland Place, Gray’s Inn, the British Medical Association, the Law Society and with Historic Royal Palaces at Kensington Palace.
Working with CH&CO’s talented chefs and front-of-house teams, they were given valuable training and work placements that covered all areas of working in hospitality; from barista training, knife skills and nutrition and health, to customer service and health and safety. They also received guidance in important life skills, such as managing finances and employability.
The programme culminated in a special event held at ZSL London Zoo that saw all eight young people graduate with flying colours.  They all showed a genuine hunger to pursue a hospitality career, having benefitted from excellent training and mentoring that instilled the confidence and self-belief, as well as skills and experience, to help them enter employment.
CH&CO has committed to provide ongoing support to all of the graduates through further training and employment opportunities. For example, placements have already made with CH&CO’s teams at the Law Society, ZSL London Zoo and Gray’s Inn.
Andrew Merrett, marketing & communications director, CH&CO, said: “It’s been amazing to work with the Prince’s Trust on the Get into Hospitality with CH&CO programme. People are at the heart of a successful hospitality business and we have a duty to invest in the development of future generations of talented hospitality professionals.  The eight young people that took part in the programme are a great example of what people can achieve given the right opportunities, guidance, mentoring and encouragement.  Every single one of them made the most of the experience with fantastic results. The new-found confidence we saw as they spoke at the graduation event was inspiring. They clearly gained so much from the programme and it’s been an absolute privilege to watch them grow both as professionals and people in such a short time. We’re more than happy to welcome them into our team and we look forward to watching them and their careers continue to grow.”
Olivia Jeffery, corporate partnerships executive at The Prince’s Trust, said: “What the young people had learned during the programme had not only motivated them to pursue their careers in this exciting industry, but also increased their confidence and life skills which is so incredibly important. We are so grateful to partner with CH&CO to give young people the chance to live, learn and earn and we look forward to seeing what opportunities the future may bring.”
Alec, a programme graduate who now works as a hospitality assistant with CH&CO at the 113 restaurant at the Law Society, said: “I can’t believe how much I learned in just three weeks on the Get into Hospitality programme. Before, I wouldn’t have believed that I could prepare food correctly or make a proper cappuccino! I also learned some really useful life skills that will help me, like managing my finances. I now know that I want a career in hospitality and I’m so excited to have been given a role at 113. I’m grateful to the Prince’s Trust and CH&CO for giving me the opportunity and confidence to go for it.”

Emerging high street brands are offering something different to consumers, according to the latest ‘Ones to Watch’ report #

In the latest ‘Ones to Watch’ report, which tracks fast-growing brands in the UK, Peter Backman reports that small scale operations are in growth whilst the rest of the casual dining market is effectively going backwards.
He explains; “The numbers in Ones to Watch have grown significantly year after year until May 2017 and then they went into reverse.  The number of emerging brands has fallen by a huge 38% over the last 18 months and unsurprisingly, is continuing to fall, echoing the closures we’ve seen in recent months amongst larger restaurant chains.
“But, there are still growth trends in the market.  Coffee shops continue to grow and we are seeing sweet snack offers re-emerge.  They’re small scale operations with a small footprint and limited fit-out costs.  Coupled with a franchise based growth model they are as attractive to investors as small scale startups.”
Ones to watch
US brands such as Tim Horton’s, Taco Bell and Shake Shack all feature in the report as does the graduation of Dunkin’ Donuts.  German brand Doner Kebab, started in Berlin is also starting to make inroads.  Like the other 135 Ones To Watch brands, these brands offer consumers something different as they shift their preferences  from restaurants that don’t stand out.
And, the big one to watch is Simit Sarayi, the big Turkish chain that is rapidly expanding in the UK and is likely to make some major acquisitions over the next year.
For more information about Ones To Watch or Simit Sarayi, please contact Peter Backman on 07785 242 809 

Speed wins big at PRCA DARE Awards #

Speed has won three awards at this year’s PRCA DARE ceremony, including Large Consultancy of the Year, Integrated Campaign of the Year for Bidfood and Trade & B2B Campaign of the Year for Nestlé Professional, marking the largest haul to date at the industry awards.

Speed was selected by the judges based on its client work, culture and best practice initiatives, citing the following as particularly impressive:
- Speed’s ability to demonstrate excellent internally branded initiatives making the agency a fantastic organisation with a top-down commitment to work life balance
- Investment in content with the launch of an in-house production unit, ’Studio Speed’, to explore ways to strategically connect clients with audiences in new, multi-channel, story-led ways
- The launch of a proprietary, web-based measurement tool called PACETM (Performance, Assessment, Commerciality, Evolution), designed to demonstrate to clients the correlation between effective comms and business impact

Speed’s client work was also singled out for being clear, concise and demonstrating excellent concepts.

“To win Large Consultancy of the Year for the second consecutive year is an incredible achievement,” commented Kelly Pepworth, MD at Speed.

“It’s recognition that we are outperforming the competition but more importantly, excelling in all aspects of what makes a good agency great both from a client and team perspective.

“It is also down to bold campaigns such as Bidfood’s Christmas Gift and Nestlé Professional BuzzBites that deliver for our clients and challenge what has gone before. Couple this with our continual investment in supporting the team with their career development and providing an engaging and rewarding place to work and we seem to have ticked the right boxes with the judges.”

Sold out lunch! show confirms record 370 exhibitors for 2018 #

A record 370 exhibitors – from the biggest to the newest names in food-to-go, are preparing to showcase 1000s of innovations at lunch! 2018, when it returns to London ExCeL on 20-21 September.
The premier trade event for the sector, lunch! has been serving the nation’s food-to-go operators and retailers for over a decade.  Having sold out of all available space three months in advance, its 6,300+ attendees will be able to see and sample more new food and drink products, packaging, equipment and catering technology than ever before.
“The support from the industry as always has been phenomenal,” says group event director Chris Brazier.  “Not only have we sold 10% more stand space this year – providing even more quality, innovation and differentiation to our visitors – but demand has been such that there’s already a waiting list for companies interested in exhibiting in 2019.
“It really does demonstrate just how important lunch! has become to suppliers looking to do business with coffee shops, cafés, food-to-go multiples, supermarkets, contract caterers, wholesalers and distributors.  While for food-to-go buyers, lunch! has proved itself year after year to be an essential visit to see what’s new and compare the latest products from leading and emerging brands.
“lunch! 2018 is not just our biggest event.  It also boasts our most eclectic line-up yet.  Every new product innovation that food-to-go buyers need to know about – from ingredients to kitchen equipment and counter displays, from food and drink to packaging, payment solutions and business services – will be on show this September,” he says.
“lunch! is a key date in the diary for the food-to-go and the coffee shop sector.  It is great to see so much innovation from such passionate people under one roof,” says Hannah McKay, head of food & beverage at Caffè Nero.
Exhibitor list goes live
The full exhibitor list – featuring the 370 companies that will be helping to shape the future of the food-to-go sector over the next twelve months – is now available online at
Eat Natural, Wholegood Supply, The berry company, Schur Star Systems, Sabert Europe, Kepak, Impress Sandwiches, HIPPEAS, Bord Bia, Raynor Foods, Natural Balance Foods, Magrini, Around Noon, The Alan Nuttall Partnership, UFit Drinks, NutriPot, Go2Grocery, Pip & Nut, RAP, Europastry, Menter a Busnes, Country Choice, Norseland, Karma Cola, Breckland Orchard, Tea Pigs, Doughlicious, Spare Fruit, POPS: Premium Popsicles, Bounce Energy Balls, Spikomat, Propercorn, Tom Chandley Ovens, Colour Heroes, Roller Grill UK, Welbilt UK, and Brands Unlimited are just some of the returning exhibitors listed.
First time exhibitors – there are 144 to choose from this year– include Panasonic UK, Mother, LBP Bakeries, Brazilian coconut water brand Obrigado, Yoyo Wallet, Simply Lunch, Remedy Kombuch, Fresh Marketing, Döhler, Curators of Flavour (100% natural British beef jerky), Rushdi Food Enterprises (Mighty Sesame Co), Bravura Foods, Creeds Direct, Daelmans Group, Honesty Group, Upbeat Drinks, No1 Rosemary Water, Pots & Co, Popcorn Shed, BEPPS Snacks, Huel, Luv Sum, Infinity Foods, Jude’s Ice Cream, Avery Dennison, Pactiv (the world's largest foodservice packaging company), and Fine Cheese Company / Artisan Biscuits.
While over in the Start-up Zone, 28 emerging brands will be introducing their launch innovations to the market.  Among them are: Boundless (activated nuts and seeds), Green Sisters (vegan samosas), The Healthy Protein Co (vieve protein water), Modern Contradiction (Something & Nothing – low calorie, lightly carbonated seltzer), Push Chocolate (high protein, dairy free chocolate), Roqberry (tea blends and infusions), and Wallaroo Foods (children’s fruit snacks).
Buyers looking to refresh their coffee menus will also find plenty of choice for 2018.  From specialist Cold Brew companies – Sandows, Farside Coffee, Cool Cold Brew, Fitch Brew, Point Blank, Califia Farms, and Land & Tide, to big name artisan roasters and equipment suppliers, such as UCC Coffee UK & Ireland, Rombouts Coffee, Douwe Egberts, Union Hand-Roasted Coffee, CoffeeBAY, Modern Standard Coffee, Tudor Tea & Coffee, Beanies Flavour Coffee, Single Source, Wessenan UK, My Coffee Station and Melitta UK.
For eco-friendly coffee cups, check out Pockito, Ecoffeecup, Huskup, Benders Paper Cups, ButterflyCup, and Biopac UK.
Free visitor registration
“lunch! is the only show dedicated to the best sector in food and moving to ExCeL makes it even better.  Don’t miss it!,” says Guy Meakin, head of buying at Pret A Manger.
“ExCeL it is the perfect space for this on trend, innovative and brilliant event.  lunch! is definitely not one to miss,” says Sandy Anderson, senior buyer at Elior.
“lunch! is definitely the essential trade show if you’re in food-to-go,” says Patrick Crease, product development manager – food to go at Sainsbury's Supermarkets.
lunch! will return to ExCeL London on 20-21 September 2018.  For further information and to register for a free trade ticket, visit and quote priority code LU26.

itsu and Pret founder Julian Metcalfe confirmed for exclusive Keynote at lunch! 2018 #

Julian Metcalfe OBE, founder of Asian-inspired, healthy food outlet itsu and co-founder of high street stalwart Pret A Manger, is confirmed for a headline Keynote interview at lunch! 2018 on 20 September at London ExCeL.
One of Britain's most successful food-to-go entrepreneurs, Metcalfe says he’s delighted to be speaking at the show for the first time.  In his opening day Keynote, he’ll be sharing his specialist knowledge and insights drawn from over thirty years at the forefront of the industry – from the launch of Pret in 1986 to the continued expansion of the itsu brand across the UK (and, more recently, the US).
“I feel passionately about delicious, fresh, fast-food, so I’m delighted to be speaking at the only trade show devoted to the food-to-go sector.  See you at ExCeL for lunch!” says Metcalfe.
Commenting on the announcement, lunch!’s group event director Chris Brazier, says: “lunch! has already well-established itself as the destination show for the food-to-go sector and having Julian Metcalfe part of this year’s line-up just makes it even more unmissable.  This is really big news for the show and a huge opportunity for our visitors to hear insights from an industry legend.
“We are thrilled to be able to offer our visitors such an incredible free Keynote line-up for 2018 – and we’ve still got so many more great names to announce!” he says.
Metcalfe is the latest exclusive speaker addition for lunch! 2018, which – since its launch in 2008 – has become known for attracting the biggest names in food-to-go (many, notably, who rarely appear at other trade shows).  The 2018 line-up already includes directors and senior execs from Pret, Caffè Nero, LEON, EAT, Tortilla, and Tossed. Plus, 370 exhibitors showcasing a host of new products, equipment, packaging and services.
ExCeL-lent turnout expected
itsu, Pret, Greggs, Starbucks, Subway, EAT., Crussh, Tortilla, Caffè Nero, LEON, Waitrose, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Co-op Food, Aldi, SPAR, WHSmith, BP, FCB Coffee, Krispy Kreme, Small Batch Coffee Co, Welcome Break, Roadchef, Network Rail, Merlin Entertainments, Center Parcs, Bourne Leisure, apetito, Searcys, Aramark, Sodexo, Compass Group, BaxterStorey, Brakes, Caterleisure Group, En Route International, Gate Retail, British Airways, Condor Ferries and Eurostar International are just some of the big name repeat visitors who have already pre-registered to attend again this year.  They’re among thousands of buying teams from across the UK looking to source the next wave of food-to-go bestsellers.  And, as the biggest food-to-go showcase of the year, lunch! offers choice aplenty.
“Each time I visit lunch! I’m reminded and energised about how exciting and market leading our industry is,” comments Guy Meakin, Pret’s head of buying.
“Food-to-go is one of the fastest moving categories in the food industry, so pulling innovative and inspirational suppliers together each year for lunch! is a great way for us to keep up-to-date with developments and ensure we are at the forefront of improving our proposition for our customers,” he says.
“lunch! offers an excellent opportunity to meet other business professionals from across the food-to-go industry and see first-hand some of the new and innovative ideas emerging in our sector,” says Roger Whiteside, CEO of Greggs.
“ExCeL it is the perfect space for this on trend, innovative and brilliant event.  lunch! is definitely not one to miss,” says Sandy Anderson, senior buyer – food at Elior.

Free trade registration
To register for a free trade ticket, visit and quote priority code LU26

The Hub celebrates a summer of new business success #

The Hub is delighted to announce that it has been appointed by four leading brands across the UK foodservice channel; Nisbets, Leathams, Love Taste Co and Drink me Chai.
Rebecca Riches, founder and MD of The Hub commented, “As The Hub celebrated its 14th anniversary in May this year, our specialist sector knowledge and experience gained across every individual channel of the foodservice marketplace, justly positions us as industry leaders.  We work relentlessly to successfully retain our existing clients over many years; testament to the service and results we deliver, but it is always incredibly exciting to have such a diverse range of new brands come on board. Industry-wide market conditions remain uncertain, so seeing such high calibre clients invest in not just us but the wider foodservice sector, is very encouraging for an optimistic period ahead.”
The UK’s largest professional equipment supplier Nisbets, has chosen to partner with The Hub to lead its PR programme to communicate the scope and scale of its unrivalled portfolio of brands and product solutions – as well as ensuring that its customers benefit from the added value support Nisbets has to offer. The brief will see The Hub focus on a range of activities that will highlight Nisbet’s depth of experience and specialist sector knowledge.
Lynn King, Nisbets plc marketing & customer experience director said “We are very much looking forward to working with The Hub to drive awareness of our overall business offering. Nisbets sells the widest possible range of kitchen and catering equipment, but we also have a great deal of specialist knowledge. Whether you work in fine dining, street food or contract catering, Nisbets can offer your business specific solutions to enable efficiencies, whilst meeting ever more discerning consumer expectations.
“We feel that The Hub brings a diversity and quality of both contacts and experience across the industry which matches ours. The two businesses are very much in alignment and we are excited at the prospect of how our communications strategy is going to evolve to help deliver our vision for future growth and excellence.”
Leathams has appointed The Hub to support the company as it continues to extend and innovate its range of specialist branded ingredients.  The Hub will  work with Leathams on a series of strategic marketing projects to drive awareness and boost sales of individual brands including SunBlush® and Roquito® across a range of core sales channels.
Morgane Thouvenel, trade marketing manager, Leathams explains: “The Hub demonstrated a great understanding of our market, and the complexity of communicating to a varied audience, by both pushing through to our customers while pulling through demand from our end users. We are confident that The Hub will make a difference for us by delivering exciting branded campaigns, thanks to their industry knowledge, creative approach and understanding of our brands and positioning.”
Additionally, Love Taste Co has selected The Hub as its retained trade communications agency, working together to support the brand as it continues to extend its range of 100% fruit and vegetable smoothies, shakes and bone broths.
Phil Plowman, managing director, Love Taste Co adds, “We’re delighted to start working with The Hub to raise the profile of Love Taste Co and our frozen smoothie range within the UK foodservice industry. Their channel focused approach allows us to really hone our message, delivering tactical, and targeted customer communications, which work hand-in-hand with our sales strategy, ultimately unlocking profit potential across our portfolio for our customers.’’ 
Rounding off a month of big wins, The Hub will be working with Drink me Chai, a family run British business, producing a range of instant Chai Lattes, made with natural & authentic spices imported from India. The Hub will act as Drink me Chai’s first ever retained foodservice PR agency.
Amanda Hamilton adds; “We are really excited to be working with The Hub to raise our profile within the UK foodservice sector. We’re launching some really exciting NPD and initiatives this year, and we’ve already seen some really strong results from the team at The Hub despite our relationship being in its infancy. I’m really excited to see where they will take the brand over the coming months.”

Head to head with Deborah Hodson - RSPCA Assured #

A great example of the beneficial relationships an Arena event can ignite, a meeting between the team from The Hub and Deborah Hodson from RSPCA Assured at the Arena Savoy Lecture in April inspired an 'Ask the Experts' interview that highlights the work of RSPCA Assured on The Hub's website. Here's the interview for you to read:

Tell us a little about yourself and how you came about to work for the RSPCA Assured.
I was working for myself in an unrelated field. My circumstances changed and I looked for a new challenge.

I have always loved animals, having had pets all through my life including ducks, chickens and dogs. The opportunity came up for me to test the waters at RSPCA Assured where I work with great people, passionate about their aim and achievements.

I’ve learnt a great deal about farm animals and their welfare and I get to talk to some really interesting people in retail, wholesale and catering service and explain how we can all make a difference to farm animal welfare. It’s contagious and I haven’t looked back. I’m just lucky I guess.

If you had to pitch the RSPCA Assured accreditation to an alien, how would you sum it up?
RSPCA Assured checks that the animals we eat have been well looked after; because animals are capable of feelings and have the right to be treated with compassion and respect.

How can operators leverage the accreditation to the consumer through the hospitality and foodservice sectors?
Consumers are increasingly concerned about the welfare of farm animals and ensuring that what they eat comes from animals that have had a good life. The traceability and provenance of their food is also important to them. People are willing to support the ethics promoted by brands that commit to supporting higher standards of animal welfare and are even willing to pay a little more for products that carry this assurance. And when it comes to animal welfare, no one is more well recognised and trusted than the RSPCA.

What’s the most rewarding aspect of your role?
That’s easy – spreading the word about what we do and why we do it. I love being part of a team that is helping to lead the way and make a difference in the lives of farm animals, for the better, both in the future and right now.

What are the greatest barriers to achieving the RSPCA Assured objectives in both retail and foodservice?
The RSPCA welfare standards are deliberately set at the stretching end of achievable, as we want to be leaders and a catalyst for positive change. This means it can cost a little bit more; but not always as much as you might think, as the standards cover both indoor and outdoor systems - as long as they can ensure a good standard of welfare. We don’t for example allow cages. Consumers increasingly accept this and are willing to pay a little bit more and back brands that support good welfare. Carcass utilisation can also be a challenge. People are used to having certain cuts of meat. For example, people who eat chicken usually only want breasts, thighs and legs which means the bird isn’t fully utilised and there can be wastage.

In your opinion what is the single biggest issue those in the food standards sector are battling with today?
The single biggest challenge we face is chicken. Chickens account for 90% of all farmed animals in the UK – that’s without including the millions of egg laying hens – and face some important welfare challenges; not least fast growth rates, which can cause a number of significant health issues.

We’ll see chicken welfare become a major focus of animal advocacy groups across Europe over the next few years. This could present significant threats or opportunities for those in the retail and food service sector as consumers shift toward even higher expectations around the ethical treatment of animals.

For interest take a look at and for more information about joining us check out and (consumer)

Being so close to the issues and practices of animal husbandry, what would your perfect meal comprise of and why?
It would be something really simple but tasty – like an RSPCA Assured ham and cheese omelette, in the knowledge the pork and eggs had come from animals that have lived a good life farmed to strict RSPCA welfare standards.

HGEM launches new guest experience platform that combines guest insight with team performance #

Guest Experience Management experts HGEM has launched ‘The Hub’. A new Guest Experience Management (GEM) platform aimed at rapidly equipping managers with all the insights necessary to monitor not just the guest experience but also its relationship with the team’s performance on core standards.
Recognising the important part teams play in the delivery of an exceptional guest experience, for the first time, The Hub by HGEM combines detailed operational assessments with modern guest surveys and social reviews from Google, TripAdvisor and Facebook.
The fast and easy-to-use platform offers a wide range of interactive reports, including KPIs, NPS analysis, guest journey tracking, survey and audit results, social reviews, menu performance and leaderboards.
By combining information from multiple sources, managers can quickly identify strengths and weaknesses, align service standards with guest perceptions, and make informed business decisions to drive continuous improvement.
For busy managers with multiple sites, the GEM App’ is designed to provide access to key results quickly and to facilitate instant discussions.
HGEM managing director, Steven Pike, said: “We have been measuring and assessing experiences in various ways for many years. But really effective Guest Experience Management always starts with your team. Engaging team members at an early stage, helping them to buy into the unique culture of the brand and to understand what is expected from them is vital to ensure you deliver an exceptional guest experience.
Our new offering will help managers to monitor their social reputation, listen to their guests and review team performance in detail, all in the same place. The net result is better managed guest experiences and a greater likelihood of returns and recommendations.”
The Hub which previewed at The Propel Summer Conference is available now, so for more information about The Hub’s initial key features or to book a demo visit or contact HGEM on 01225 470 999.

Sodexo wins seven Stadium Experience and Hospitality Awards #

Sodexo won seven accolades at the Stadium Experience and Hospitality Awards.

Catering and hospitality teams from top rugby and football stadia across the UK and Ireland gathered for the prestigious annual awards, this year held at the American Express Community Stadium (‘the Amex’), home of Brighton & Hove Albion FC.

On their home turf, the Sodexo team at the Amex won two of the awards, Best Digital Enquiry and Best Stadium Events Venue.

The Sodexo team from Everton FC won Best Match Day Hospitality – Medium Stadium, silver in the Chef Team of the Year category and bronze for Overall Match Day Hospitality.

The Sodexo teams at Newcastle United FC and Hampden Park won silver and bronze respectively in the Best Match Day Hospitality – Large Stadium category.

Sodexo provides catering and hospitality to stadia across the UK and Ireland, as well as a host of cultural destinations. Sodexo Prestige Venues & Events provides sales and marketing support to venues to maximise conference and events revenue.

Chris Bray, CEO sports & leisure, Sodexo UK & Ireland, said: “Congratulations to all our teams who won at the Stadium Experience and Hospitality Awards. This is recognition for the hard work and excellent level of service they provide to clients and customers in the stadia market.

“A special mention goes to the team at the American Express Community Stadium who demonstrated why they won the Best Stadium Events Venue category by putting on a fantastic evening for their industry peers.”

Sodexo defines its environmental commitments on World Environment Day #

Sodexo celebrated World Environment Day with the publication of its environmental commitments.

Environmental protection is one of the key issues which Sodexo focuses from a global and regional perspective. It acknowledges that action is critical to ensure that it, as responsible corporate citizen, do as much as it can to improve the quality of life of future generations and reduce the impact its business operations has on the environment.

Environmental management is not just a tick box exercise for Sodexo, it commits to long term aspirations, objectives and positive environmental change. It does this through the continual improvement of its ISO accredited management systems to ensure its environmental performance and compliance is in line with current and future statutory and regulatory requirements.

Rachael Mason, environmental manager for Sodexo UK & Ireland, “It has become very clear to us that our clients want a better understanding of the environmental elements of our corporate responsibility strategy, so we set out to create one document that explained our approach, commitments, targets and actions taken in a clear and simple way. 

"Not only is the management of our environmental impact important but it was also clear that we needed to clarify the relevant targets and commitments within our Better Tomorrow 2025 roadmap for them to have relevance to our clients, to support their own corporate responsibility goals.”

Through its Better Tomorrow 2025 roadmap Sodexo sets out the following environmental commitments:

- As an employer it will foster a sense of environmental responsibility within its workforce and workspaces
- As a service provider it will source responsibly and provide management services that reduce carbon emissions
- As a corporate citizen it will champion sustainable resource usage

This year the theme for World Environment Day is #BeatPlasticPollution, Edwina Hughes, Corporate Responsibility Director, Sodexo UK & Ireland explains Sodexo’s approach, “Prevention is a key step in addressing the waste issue and we will always endeavour to prevent waste where we can.  Last month we banned the purchase of plastic straws and stirrers and made the commitment to phase out single use plastic bags and polystyrene items such as cups, lids and food containers by 2020, this move will go some way in preventing unnecessary plastic pollution."

More information on plastic pollution can be found on the World Environment Day website:

Sodexo partners with Adam Handling for second year #

Adam will continue to support Sodexo’s corporate services culinary teams, inspiring its chefs through masterclasses and providing Sodexo’s clients with exquisite hospitality at special events and functions. Adam will also help develop a signature hospitality menu to complement Sodexo’s workplace dining offer.
David Bailey, CEO corporate services, Sodexo UK & Ireland said, “We are thrilled to have Adam join us again for another year.  Adam’s professionalism has earned him the reputation as one of London’s leading chef restauranteurs. He will help our chefs develop their skills and his position as a consultant chef will undoubtedly demonstrate to our clients and customers our absolute commitment to delivering the very best in food services. 
Sodexo’s corporate services business delivers integrated services to leading organisations around the world. In the UK & Ireland, the segment employs over 10,000 people working in a range of corporate environments including prestigious head office locations, research and design centres, manufacturing sites and laboratories.
David Mulcahy, culinary director, Sodexo UK & Ireland, adds “In addition to his work with our corporate services team, Adam will also continue to support our National Craft Forum with bespoke training initiatives and judging at the annual Sodexo chef of the year competition and salon culinaire event later this year. In collaboration with Adam, we share a drive to encourage young people to look at the hospitality industry as a career choice, both working with and supporting professional bodies such as The Craft Guild of Chefs and Springboard’s FutureChef programme.”
Adam Handling added, “I am extremely pleased to continue my relationship with Sodexo.  The company has a real drive for excellence in the food it delivers and its chefs are highly skilled.  Last year I thoroughly enjoyed judging the company’s internal culinary competition and its chef of the year competition.  I am looking forward to working with the team again and meeting more of their talented chefs.”
Adam’s culinary journey started at Gleneagles where he was the first ever trainee chef. His career from there includes winning Scottish Young Chef of the Year 2011, Scottish Chef of the Year 2015 and Newcomer Restaurant of the Year in the Food and Travel Reader Awards 2015. Adam was also awarded the British Culinary Federation’s Chef of the Year in 2014, and was the youngest person to be tipped by the Caterer magazine as one of the ’30 under 30 to watch’ in the 2013 Acorn Awards.
The Adam Handling Restaurant Group now includes two restaurants, a deli and cocktail bar. Adam has just announced his largest venture yet, a brand new site in Hoxton, which will be the new location for his first restaurant, as well as another bar and deli opening in July. Adam was recently appointed as Executive Chef at the new Belmond Cadogan Hotel, which is due to open at the end of the year.

Sodexo chef awarded Freedom of the City of London #

A top Sodexo chef has been awarded the Freedom of the City of London.

Food innovation director David Mulcahy received the historic honour for his contribution to culinary excellence in the hospitality industry.

David is responsible for menu creation and the culinary development of some 2,500 chefs working across the UK and Ireland in workplaces, schools, universities, army barracks and providing hospitality at major events such as The Open, Henley Royal Regatta, RHS Chelsea Flower Show and Royal Ascot.

In his voluntary role as vice-president of the Craft Guild of Chefs, David organises the National Chef of the Year competition, considered the most prestigious culinary accolade in the UK.

Previous National Chef of the Year winners include Michelin-starred chefs Gordon Ramsay, David Everitt Matthias, Alyn Williams and Russell Bateman. David also co-ordinates the FutureChef competition which this year saw almost 10,500 12-16 year olds across the UK compete for the FutureChef title.

As well as organising and driving many national competitions, David has won International Culinary Olympic and World Cup Gold awards and is involved in a number of charities, particularly Stop Hunger the charity of the Sodexo Foundation.

One of the oldest surviving traditional ceremonies still in existence today, the Freedom of the City of London was first presented in 1237. Notable recipients of the honour include internet inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee, Dame Judi Dench and Florence Nightingale.

David’s fellow Craft Guild of Chefs vice-president Steve Munkley also received the award.

David Mulcahy said: “I was delighted to receive this prestigious honour in recognition of my involvement within the hospitality industry. I have long been motivated by supporting and developing others, particularly young chef talent of which there is so much across the UK and Ireland. I am very proud of our industry and the good that it does and very proud of this recognition.”

Quality comes naturally as Essential Cuisine extends signature range #

Essential Cuisine, is updating its chef-favourite Signature Range with a sleek new look and new Shellfish Stock Reduction made with all natural ingredients. Joining an established line-up featuring natural Chicken Stock, Beef Jus, Red Wine Jus and Hollandaise sauce, the brand is confident its new look, five-strong range of stocks, sauces and jus will inspire chefs across the nation.

Made from the finest natural ingredients, the new Shellfish Stock tastes and perform like kitchen-made with no quality compromise. Ready-to-use and primed for versatility, the premium flavour offers freeze-thaw stability whilst withstanding re-heating, further increasing the convenience for chefs.
Delivering a truly authentic taste thanks to the first-class natural ingredients chosen by Essential Cuisine’s brigade of development chefs, Signature Shellfish is gluten-free and can be used directly from the pack. For those that want to take things further, the base can carry any number of additional ingredients, enhancing its sheer versatility. 

To celebrate the launch, the Essential Cuisine chefs have created an inspirational recipe book – The Signature Collection – packed with recommendations for use. Download it now at:
Jonathan Harvey-Barnes, senior business development chef, Essential Cuisine, comments: “Our Signature Range has established itself amongst chefs as the go-to premium, ready-to-use stock, sauces and jus range and so we’re excited to introduce this all-natural stock to the family, extending the wealth of options we afford chefs. Versatility is always top of mind when we’re developing new products, which is why we have included a dedicated recipe book to help inspire outlets into creating flavour-packed menus that work that much harder. The inclusion of only natural ingredients is a no-brainer when appealing to the sensibilities of chefs.”
Signature Shellfish Stock Reduction
A 1.5x reduced natural stock, ideal for seafood risottos and paellas whilst also being a great base for chef’s own shellfish sauce. The stock reduction can be combined with Essential’s Lobster Glace for a stronger flavour or mixed with the Asian Aromatic Base for a tasty alternative Asian seafood ramen.

BaxterStorey celebrates achievements of 2018’s graduates #

At an event held at the Blue Fin Building, London on Tuesday 5 June, BaxterStorey celebrated the success of the graduates of both its Graduate Programme and Advanced Management Programme. The programmes represent two of many schemes run by BaxterStorey that are designed to develop the individuals and teams that make up the company. They demonstrate the business’ exceptional commitment to its employees’ career progression. 
The Graduate Programme 
The programme was first introduced in 2011 and provides support and guidance to exceptional young people who are starting their careers in hospitality. This year, 20 talented individuals participated in and graduated from the Graduate Programme. The graduates completed 9 months of training in departments including health and safety, HR, creative thinking, kitchen management and finance. They went on to work across a number of businesses that BaxterStorey works with as well as supporting sales and new business mobilisations. Participants have graduated into a range of hospitality-focused roles within BaxterStorey. 
Since its inception in 2011, BaxterStorey has taken over 90 graduates through the programme. The Graduate Programme receives over 500 applications each year, demonstrating the business’ attractiveness as a positive career provider and graduates’ recognition of BaxterStorey as an aspirational employer.   
The Advanced Management Programme 
12 employees across BaxterStorey, Holroyd Howe and Searcys took part in this year’s Advanced Management Programme, which aims to develop current management colleagues who aspire to progress to senior roles within the business. The programme focuses on solid leadership and management development skills and allows participants to benefit from implementing relevant projects across the WSH businesses.  
At the heart of the programme are the business development projects that participants are encouraged to support. This year a number of these projects have been successful, demonstrating the ongoing importance of each of the programme’s graduates in driving business success.  

Commenting on the graduates’ success, BaxterStorey chairman Alastair Storey said: “I am incredibly proud of all of those employees who have achieved success through this year's two programmes. I know that future business growth depends on the development and progression of all of our teams.    “For those that have completed the Graduates Programme, their success demonstrates their enthusiasm and dedication to this industry. I look forward to welcoming them to the BaxterStorey family and to watching them grow further. 

“I have been extremely impressed by all those participants on the Advanced Management Programme this year. Their achievements remind me of the many exceptionally talented employees we have, that make this business what it is. I look forward to working with them more, and to continue to watch their careers develop further.” 

BaxterStorey celebrates achievements of Chef Academy’s 2018 graduates #

On 25 June at 30 Euston Square, BaxterStorey celebrated the success and achievements of its 2018 Chef Academy graduates. This year, 34 talented chefs from BaxterStorey, Searcys and Holroyd Howe completed the Chef Academy, which represents one of many programmes run by BaxterStorey that demonstrates its commitment to furthering employees’ careers within the hospitality sector.  
The Chef Academy was originally set up in 2003 with the aim of enabling students to progress to more senior positions within BaxterStorey. This year, over 50% of graduates have been promoted since they started the programme. It gives chefs the opportunity to train on recognised courses to secure qualifications such as NVQ 2, NVQ 3 and a BSC in culinary arts. Each course offers a wide array of opportunities including a variety of excursions, such as visiting parts of the supply chain through to teaching financial and leadership skills.  
It was a wonderful evening which celebrated the progression of the chefs including the HIT MasterChef (an industry, chef apprentice competition which works with BaxterStorey) winner, Adam Leyland-Simpson and finalist, James Shaw. Chef Academy mentor, and worldfamous chef, John Campbell (who made his name – and acquired two stars – at the Vineyard and now runs the Woodspeen in Wiltshire), attended and spoke at the event. Having mentored five students through the BaxterStorey Food EQ programme, which teaches chefs about the field to fork supply chain, environmental impacts of food and their responsibilities as chefs to fuel their customers as sustainably as possible, John Campbell commented: “Our current Food EQ team are an amazing group of people – what they have produced and how they have progressed is absolutely sensational” 
John Williams MBE, executive chef at The Ritz was guest speaker at the event, and commented: “The Chef Academy is a pure reflection of what this industry is all about: encouraging young people to join the industry and stay in the industry by nurturing them and developing them through training and ensuring that we offer them the best career opportunities. The Chef Academy is proof that education and training is key to any successful business.” 
The Chef Academy graduation comes following 2018 Institute of Hospitality Awards, in which BaxterStorey was crowned Talent Development Team of the Year. Up against six other businesses, including contract caterers CH&Co, BaxterStorey were praised for their innovative approach to training and development through their award-winning academies and broad range of bespoke training programmes including the Service Academy and the Barista Academy.   

BaxterStorey chairman Alastair Storey commented: “There has been an incredible spirit among the graduates tonight – the graduate chefs all represent the spirit of BaxterStorey and I truly appreciate them for that. It’s so important that we care about our business, our colleagues, our customers, our clients, our supply chain, everybody who comes in contact with us. A business grows through pursuing excellence and through taking care of others. A way to push business forward is to strive, to push yourself and to take care of others along the way. The chef academy for 15 years now has been an absolute exemplar of what is good about this business and the chef graduates are great ambassadors for the business.” 

11 talented individuals and teams have been honoured at the third annual BaxterStorey Awards at a ceremony at the Institute of Directors, London #

Created in 2016 to recognise exceptional talent within the UK’s largest independent hospitality organisation, the prestigious event acknowledged individuals across the business, from outstanding chefs and extraordinary front of house teams to dedicated kitchen porters and rising stars. 

Award categories included Chef of the Year, Rising Star Award and Kitchen Porter of the Year. The Chef Academy ‘Equilibrium Team’ was thrilled to take home the Innovation Award for its new project looking at meat protein alternatives. Addressing the heart of how we cook, Food EQ aims to change reliance on meat and fish as a sole source of protein, introducing alternatives such as grains and pulses to become the stars of the plate. 
There was also the introduction of the Community Award, as testament to the generous spirit of so many individuals who donate their time to community or charitable causes. Chef trainer Leon Seraphin of Beyond Food was announced the winner, for his dedication in training more than 1200 homeless people in the local community with basic culinary skills to support them back into employment.   
In tandem with the Community Award, fundraising for Beyond Food Foundation took place throughout the evening, with guests donating an incredible £2400 to the charity which supports people who are at risk of, or have experienced, homelessness to gain meaningful employment within hospitality. 
The winner of the prestigious BaxterStorey Award was announced as Adam Nossek, chef director of retail development. The award recognises an outstanding personality who has demonstrated exceptional commitment to improving the business and wider industry. During his 18 years with the company Adam has been instrumental in introducing several food concepts to give customers healthier choices including ‘Food with Soul’ – a deli range which includes flatbreads, salads and protein pots. As well as Healthy Me, 60 recipes of hot food, smoothies and treats that uses evidenced based research to avoid processed ingredients such as high levels of saturated fat, sugar or salt.  
Noel Mahony,co-chief executive of BaxterStorey said: “Adam is a very worthy winner of this Award. He is someone who many look to as a mentor and has supported the development of hundreds of individuals in his career with us. His enthusiasm for food development is infectious and he has encouraged many chefs to put their idea forward, which has culminated in the creation of some of our best loved food concepts”.   
Alastair Storey, chairman at BaxterStorey, said: “BaxterStorey is founded on a deep commitment to training and development. We are passionate about encouraging individuals to progress through quality training and qualifications. The Awards showcase the growing talent in our business, and we welcome the opportunity to celebrate the achievements of our outstanding people over the past year; who all give so much to the daily satisfaction of our customers.  
"I’m incredibly proud of our BaxterStorey family across the UK, Ireland and Northern Europe, and for the dedication they all give in delivering the high standards our clients and customers expect”. 
To mark the momentous occasion, John Campbell, chef patron at The Woodspeen, Berkshire, created a special menu celebrating the very best in seasonal British produce. Guests enjoyed corn fed chicken, sweetcorn and tarragon stuffing, courgette, rosemary and tomato sauce. Dessert included strawberry brulé, black olive, basil ice cream, watercress and olive oil.  
2018 Winners 
• Health and Safety Champion of the Year – Cheryl Edwards, General Manager  • Chef Manager of the Year – Aurelija Slikate, Catering manager • Front of House Star of the Year – Kish Benjamin, Front of House Manager • Kitchen Porter of the Year – David Gadsby, Kitchen Porter • Chef of the Year – Steven Wren, Executive Chef • Manager of the Year – Prisca Marchal, General Manager • Rising Star of the Year – Mitchell Webb, Learning and Development Coordinator • Innovation of the Year –  Equilibrium ‘EQ’ Business Impact Project • Team of the Year – Louise Herridge, Operations Manager • Community Award - Leon Seraphin, Beyond Food • The BaxterStorey Award – Adam Nossek, Chef Director 

Inspirational chef mentor work recognised at UK industry Awards #

Hackney born chef trainer Leon Seraphin has been awarded the Community Award at a prestigious black-tie Awards evening by foodservice provider BaxterStorey.  
Working for social enterprise Beyond Food, which operates out of Brigade restaurant, owned by PwC and managed by BaxterStorey, Leon has trained over 1200 homeless people in the local London community and brought 120 people into full-time employment as chefs during his 14 years as a chef trainer.  
Seraphin, who was also recognised with the 2018 Rising Star Chef Mentor Award at the inaugural Hospitality and Catering Mentor Awards, was nominated for his work in helping people gain meaningful employment if they are at risk of, or have experienced homelessness.  

The judges were captivated by his passion and drive to use food as a catalyst to help people out of homelessness, by equipping them with the culinary skills needed to help improve their skills in the hospitality industry, as well as giving them the emotional and practical support they need as they adjust to working life.  

Ricky Wilmont, director of operations at Brigade said: “A natural life coach and trainer, Leon has a talent for seeing the best in people and helping them find their strengths. He has proven to be the perfect role model for those in vulnerable situations and has contributed to the success of a social enterprise that makes the hospitality sector about more than profit.” 
BaxterStorey provides tailored hospitality services through deli operations, restaurants, cafés and executive dining rooms for a wide range of customers across the UK, Ireland and Northern Europe. Established in 2016, the BaxterStorey Awards recognise outstanding talent within the hospitality organisation. 
Noel Mahony, co-chief executive at BaxterStorey, added: “The Awards showcase the remarkable talent in our business, including Leon and the admirable job he has done in providing training to support vulnerable adults in gaining meaningful employment”.  

“This award is a real testimony to his passion, leadership and dedication.” 
Leon said: “When you love what you do, nothing will stop you from reaching the top.”

Fleet Street Communications strengthens expertise in London & Birmingham offices #

Fleet Street Communications (FSC), the specialist hospitality, leisure, food and drink agency, has made a trio of new appointments on the back of a significant period of growth and new business wins.
The PR and communications agency, which was this year placed at no.148 in PR Week’s list of the UK’s top 150 communications agency, and which has offices in London and Birmingham, has bolstered its team with the addition of three seasoned PR pros: new account director Mark Teale plus account managers Harriet Evans and Laura Rogers.
The three individuals have joined the 20-strong FSC team following a period of strong growth at the start of 2018, which saw the agency win mandates from the Irish food board, Bord Bia; premium bar operator Arc Inspirations; guest feedback provider Feed it Back, and electronics goods specialist Casio.

Based in London, Mark has extensive experience of working in food, drinks and hospitality PR, across both consumer and trade. With a specialism in strategy and planning, he has delivered successful campaigns for big global brands such as Burger King, Heinz and Campbell’s Soup, along with a number of leading alcohol brands as well as some leading-edge bar and restaurant concepts.
Also located in the London office, Harriet is highly experienced in devising and delivering campaigns across a mix of channels including social media for leading consumer brands including: BrewDog, Coca-Cola, Innis & Gunn, Pernod Ricard, New Amsterdam Vodka, SAB Miller and Ocado.
Laura, who has joined the Central Birmingham team, brings a decade of experience across a variety of sectors, having worked for large consumer and corporate brands agency side, as well as in-house for Arsenal Football Club. Joining Fleet Street’s Birmingham team, she will bring a creative, content-led approach to both new and existing clients.
Mark Stretton, managing director of Fleet Street Communications, said: “We’re delighted to be able to attract these incredibly talented individuals to the team, and in doing so, further strengthen our expertise and capability. Mark, Laura and Harriet all bring a wealth and depth of different experience and will help play a big part in driving the agency forward – as we build our consumer work alongside trade and corporate communications.”

St Martin and St Mary C of E Primary School named winner of the 2018 McDougalls Young Baking Team of the Year Competition #

Premier Foods announced that pupils from St Martin and St Mary C of E Primary School have been awarded the title of the 2018 McDougalls Young Baking Team of the Year. The team from Windermere, Cumbria, cooked its way to first place with its Raspberry and White Chocolate Scones, wowing judges with their mouth-watering recipe and outstanding team skills. Finely Park (aged 8), Harry Vinall (aged 9) and Alice Evans (aged 10), supported by school caterer, Nicola Hastie, visited their local farm to collect the eggs used and sourced the chocolate in the recipe from a nearby company, adhering to the locally sourced ingredients competition theme. The final took place at LACA: The Main Event on Thursday 12 July, with the five schools cooking in front of a live audience.

Sarah Robb, foodservice channel marketing manager at Premier Foods, comments: “We couldn’t wait to see the dishes that each of the five finalist schools had submitted come to life. Every year we are blown away by the standard in terms of presentation, taste and how the teams work together throughout the day. Huge congratulations to the winning school and a big thank you to all those who took part, the effort that you put into rehearsing for the finals was clearly evident in the high quality of the final dishes.”
The judges – Andrew Green, representing the Craft Guild of Chefs; Carol Harwood, representing LACA; and Mark Rigby, executive chef at Premier Foods - had the tough challenge of choosing one overall winner from the outstanding finalists in attendance. St Martin and St Mary C of E Primary School scored highly for their impeccable attention to detail from the mini pots of jam and cream to the beautifully handmade chocolate swans. The school was awarded £1,000 worth of kitchen equipment, a prize which was presented to them by Tim Blowers, Chair of LACA, encouraging the pupils to continue their passion for high quality food and learning cookery skills.

Nicola Hastie, school chef from St Martin and St Mary C of E Primary School, commented: “I couldn’t be prouder of the children, you can see such a difference in their confidence from when we first started practicing for the competition. It has really brought all of the pupils at the school together as everyone has got involved with the process and supported us. The £1,000 prize money is incredible and we’re planning on using it towards kitchen equipment so we can start up a weekly cookery club from September. It’s so important that the children know where their food comes from and how to prepare it and this prize will help us teach them this.”

UCC Coffee UK & Ireland COFFEEWORKS suite joins SCA global training elite #

UCC Coffee UK & Ireland’s refurbished training suite, dedicated to its unique COFFEEWORKS training programme, has been named as one of the world’s leading locations for training, after receiving Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) Premier Campus accreditation.
Following its upgrade earlier this year, the Milton Keynes-based COFFEEWORKS suite becomes one of only six Premier Campuses in the UK. It’s now the third UCC Coffee training suite globally to receive the accreditation, joining the Total Coffee Solution’s Kobe and Tokyo campuses.
Gareth Davies, head of coffee excellence, UCC Coffee UK & I said: “We developed this suite to provide the best possible platform for us to train customers and our own team. From the equipment on offer, to the flow and set-up, every detail has been considered to make it the perfect training environment. Our aim was to create the right environment for our needs. Achieving this and then being aligned with an industry recognised name this early in our journey is phenomenal.”
To be named as one of the world’s leading training spaces, assessors look for sites that provide an exceptional environment alongside industry-leading courses and educational materials. Everything from the quality of equipment through to the level of lighting is reviewed through a thorough day-long assessment from the SCA. With over 40 individual factors assessed, it takes a lot to make the grade and be named a Premier Campus.
COFFEEWORKS gives operators the visibility, skills and knowledge required to serve exceptional coffee across an entire estate, every time. With its wide range of courses and unique Coffee Excellence Check, the programme makes great coffee simple. 

CESA, CEDA and the FCSI host charity race day in aid of Hospitality Action #

CESA is inviting all the petrol heads of the catering world to compete at the Foodservice Industry Race Day on Thursday 13 September 2018 at Daytona Milton Keynes. The fundraising event, which is being held in support of Hospitality Action, offers the chance for drivers to bring their A-game to the go-kart track for a good cause.
Hospitality Action, the hospitality industry benevolent organisation, offers vital assistance to all who work, or have worked within hospitality in the UK and who find themselves in crisis.  The event is being run by CESA in association with CEDA and the FCSI. 
Equally suitable for the experienced driver and the newcomer, the Race Day is perfect for team building or as a networking event to invite customers to.  
The day begins with breakfast, followed by a full briefing from circuit staff and includes all safety equipment. Then the action gets underway with practice laps to set the grid positions. Once the order of the grid has been settled, it’s time for the main event: the team endurance race. Drivers from each team will line up for their stretch of the contest, taking it in turns to last the distance in this two hour endurance event.
There are prizes to be won, with accolades for the fastest lap, best team performance and more.
The cost for signing up a team of four is £750 (plus VAT), and there is no limit to the number of teams a company or organisation can enter. This fee includes equipment hire, breakfast and lunch.
Glenn Roberts, chair of CESA says, “We are looking forward to a fantastic day of competitive fun. It’s a great way to network and raise money for a good cause.
“Hospitality Action provides much needed assistance to members of the industry who fall on hard times. We are delighted to be able to help spread awareness of their great work and, hopefully, to contribute to their future efforts.”
Book up a team by filling out a form at this address: 

Have you considered a career as a catering equipment service engineer? #

The chefs of Britain need YOU – apprenticeships provide path to fulfilling, challenging career
The life of a catering equipment service engineer is busy and fulfilling with every day presenting a new challenge – that’s according to the men and women currently doing the job.  The Catering Equipment Suppliers Association (CESA) has launched a video series designed to encourage individuals to take up apprenticeships as catering equipment service engineers. 
Perks of the Job, the first video in the Catering Service Providers Series, features an assortment of apprentices, engineers and senior staff talking about the rewards of their chosen career path. 
One of the most attractive parts of the job is its variety – on any day an engineer may visit a Michelin star restaurant one minute, a school the next or a huge high-street chain after that.  Kenny Grace, a service engineer for warewasher specialist Winterhalter, says, “The career really stands out if you like the freedom of working in different places.”  “It’s not like a nine-to-five job, every day is different,” says Ruben Rahunathan, improver refrigeration engineer with McFT, which maintains commercial kitchens.  “The job is always fast paced,” says Kane Needs, technical manager at service company Marren. 
Job satisfaction is another perk.  Rob Chapman is a regional operations manager.  He says, “You go into a hospital kitchen and the oven’s down, you walk out and it’s fixed so everyone can eat their lunch – in terms of job satisfaction, that’s huge.”  “You fix something, there on the job, and you get a really good buzz,” says Laura Smiles, catering engineer with McFT. 
There are a number of catering equipment service engineer apprenticeships available for anyone looking for an interesting and challenging career.  CESA is happy to offer advice on next steps, and you can find more information at Perks of the Job, and the forthcoming videos in the Service Provider Series, can be found on the CESA UK Youtube channel.

Catering equipment industry is nervous about the future #

The mood of the catering equipment industry has swung dramatically from 2017 to 2018, with many more companies feeling that the economy will struggle in the next twelve months.  

The latest CESA Business Barometer, which surveyed members at the end of Q1 2018, also highlights the change in priorities in terms of what businesses are most concerned about.  At the end of 2017 it was price increases and inflation.  Now it’s reduced consumer demand. 
“Heading into 2018 there was an optimism about the economy,” says Glenn Roberts, chair of CESA.  “However, this changed significantly after Q1, with only 14% of respondents seeing a positive outlook.  Nearly 50% of respondents said they thought economy would not do so well over the coming year – compared to just over 20% in Q4 of 2017.” 
There’s less optimism around their own business prospects, too.  40% of companies are nervous or pessimistic about business turnover in the next year – compared to 24% in Q4 2017. 
Reduced consumer demand jumped from number five to number one in the list of major business concerns.  Uncertainty over the UK’s role in Europe remained at number two.  Interestingly, raw materials prices dropped out of the top five altogether – perhaps because by now the worst has already happened.  It was replaced by the need to retain the best people. 
In terms of the priorities for the UK’s negotiations over Brexit, the derogation from the Working Time Directive remains respondents’ number one objective, with reduction of the UK’s payments to the EU budget at number two.   Reduced regulations saw the biggest jump, moving from second to bottom in Q4 2017 to third from top in Q1 2018.  Standards, access to skilled workers, free movement of people and access to the single market all feature as key priorities, too.   
“It’s not all doom and gloom,” says Roberts, “but it’s certainly a holding pattern.  For example, while fewer companies expect orders from the UK and overseas markets to increase, more expect them to remain the same.  The same is true of staff numbers, capital investment and R&D.  We’re not going backwards, but we’re certainly slowing down.” 
The CESA Business Barometer is a survey of CESA members, carried out every quarter, to give a snapshot of the market and business expectations for the catering equipment industry.  Copies can be obtained by contacting CESA.

Compass brewing success with Barista Academy #

Compass Group UK & Ireland launched its inaugural Barista Academy, revealing the five baristas who will make up the company’s elite group of coffee experts.

Selection for the Academy was conducted through a rigorous trial process, which stretched over three days, with an emphasis on technical skill, consistency and quality. Starting with over 30 entrants, Compass whittled the applicants down to ten for the final heat.

The concluding round was judged by a panel of esteemed judges including: Lauro Fioretti, World Barista Championship Judge and Product Manager at Simonelli Group, Owen Thom, Training and Quality Coordinator at Speciality Coffee Association, Gayan Munaweera, Head of Coffee Quality at UCC Coffee, and Paul Whitehead, Regional Sales Manager at BUNN UK.

The Barista Academy’s Master Baristas are:
- Thales VB Pima (Restaurant Associates)
- Razvan Cojocaru (Levy UK)
- Pariwarten Nepal (Eurest)
- Sziszi Walter (Restaurant Associates)
- Sharon Trundle (14 Forty)

Compass will now progress the skills of these baristas by enrolling them onto the Speciality Coffee Association (SCA) Coffee Skills Program. The baristas will have the opportunity to work towards a Diploma in Coffee and potentially working towards becoming an Accredited SCA Trainer, enabling them to spread their expert knowledge across the business’ barista community by leading SCA training courses themselves.

Stephen Lovegrove, head of format (Café and Foodvenience), said: “The standard of the Barista Academy entrants has been outstanding. They have demonstrated creativity, knowledge and expertise during this process and they are testament to the quality and skills of our baristas.”

Louise Pilkington, marketing director – Compass Group UK & Ireland said: “Over the last two years we’ve been raising the bar in our hot beverage offers. By launching our Barista Academy, we have empowered our baristas to enhance our brands and create fantastic tasting coffee for our clients and the public.”

Sponsoring the Barista Academy are: UCC Coffee, Nuova Simonelli, Victoria Arduino, Yew Tree Dairy, West Country Milk, Alpro UK Ltd, Brita, Hydracs, Teapigs, Continental Chef Supplies and Speciality Coffee Association.

New Culinary Director on the menu for Restaurant Associates and Levy Leisure #

Restaurant Associates and Levy Leisure have appointed esteemed chef, David Simms, as culinary director.

David has more than 20 years’ experience in the hospitality industry and joins from the Corrigan Collection, where he held the position of managing director overseeing an impressive portfolio including Bentleys Oyster Bar and Corrigan’s Mayfair. Prior to this, David was managing director of Simon Rogan’s UMBEL Restaurant Group, where he was responsible for the restaurant estate, including Fera at Claridge’s, Rogan & Co and the iconic, two Michelin star, L’Enclume.

This appointment is a return to the business for David, as he previously held the position of group hospitality executive chef at Restaurant Associates between 2005 and 2012.

Commenting on his appointment, David said: “Restaurant Associates has a rich culinary heritage, serving many of Britain’s most prestigious organisations. I’m looking forward to working side by side with our clients and our talented chefs to continue delivering top quality dining offers.”

David will join the executive team, taking responsibility for culinary development, supply chain and culinary training for both Restaurant Associates and Levy Leisure. He will report to Alice Woodwark, MD of Restaurant Associates and Levy Leisure.

Alice Woodwark commented: “David brings significant culinary kudos to our team and truly reinforces our positon as the leaders in food service and innovation. He has a wealth of Michelin Star restaurant experience, a passion for training and talent development and a genuinely innovative approach to food service. We’re thrilled to welcome him back to our team.”

Restaurant Associates prides itself on creating food that is of Michelin Star quality and serving it to clients that range from banking organisations to boutique law firms and independent media agencies. Levy Leisure is the official catering partner at renowned cultural, historical and visitor attractions in the UK from Somerset House, IWM Duxford, to Salisbury Cathedral, world-famous Glyndebourne Festival and Edinburgh Zoo. Both are part of Compass Group UK & Ireland.

Compass cooks up double success at Craft Guild of Chefs Awards #

It was a double win for Compass Group UK & Ireland at the Craft Guild of Chefs Awards 2018 with two of its chefs receiving awards. Seen as the Oscars of the culinary industry, this year’s ceremony, which took place at Grosvenor House Hotel, London, once again shone a light on the UK’s most talented chefs.

Faye De Souza, former apprentice chef and now Chef De Partie at Restaurant Associates, was awarded the Young Chef Award for her continued approach to the development of her career while still significantly supporting others within the kitchen and wider Restaurant Associates business.

Allan Blackmore, culinary director, Sport, Confex and Arenas, Levy UK, took home the Banqueting & Event Chef Award, being recognised for his work in the development and growth of the sports and leisure market through sound management and a great culinary presence.

James Larkins, group executive chef at University of Oxford, Chartwells, was also nominated for the Contract Catering Chef Award.

Allan Blackmore, winner of the Banqueting & Event Chef Award, said: “A lot of effort goes in to ensuring we offer our customers the very best catering and hospitality experiences across our portfolio, so our hard work and achievements being acknowledged in this way is really fantastic.”

Faye De Souza, winner of the Young Chef Award, commented: “At Restaurant Associates, I am lucky to work with some highly talented people. I would like to thank my Head Chef Adam Thomason, for constantly driving me forward. I’m really proud of this achievement and look forward to my continued culinary journey.”

In addition to her Young Chef Award, Faye was also crowned Compass Group UK & Ireland’s Junior Chef of the Year in October 2017 and helped Restaurant Associates take first place at the Association of Catering Excellence’s (ACE) annual Ready Steady Cook competition the month before.

Medirest Dietitian named British Dietetic Association Award winner #

Medirest dietitian, Helen Ream, has been awarded the Ibex Honour from the British Dietetic Association (BDA), for her contribution to the second edition of its ‘Nutrition and Hydration’ Digest. The event was held on 19th June in Birmingham, to celebrate the achievements of some of the UK’s most accomplished food and nutrition professionals.

Five years after the BDA launched its successful Digest, Helen led the update and review of the comprehensive document, which replaces the original as one of the five key papers forming national hospital food standards in England.

Launched in 2017, key changes to the Digest included updated recommendations such as information about the latest Hospital Food Standards and the introduction of a new chapter about Health and Wellbeing for staff and visitors in the NHS.

Sian O’Shea, Chairman of the BDA commented: “Helen leading on the updates to the Digest was a hugely important piece of work that sets the standards for, and informs the industry. We are very grateful to her for her valuable contribution and for imparting her knowledge and expertise in this area.”

Helen Ream, Medirest Dietitian, commented: “It’s been an honour to lead such an important piece of work. To receive this award is testament to the efforts the working group put in. The fact that I was nominated by my profession’s peers makes this award very special.”

Helen has been a Dietitian for 25 years and until 2014, had roles within the NHS. She joined Medirest, Compass Group UK & Ireland’s healthcare division, in 2015 and during this time, she has worked with its Care Home teams to support and enhance nutritional care for residents in this setting.

In addition to receiving this prestigious award, Helen and fellow Medirest Dietitians, Maxine Cartz and Lisa Baker, were all named on the BDA’s Roll of Honour. The list recognises and rewards its members who have contributed significantly to a defined piece of work in the past 12 months.

Nisbets announces strong performance in catering equipment sector #

Nisbets, the UK’s largest supplier of catering and kitchen equipment announced sustained year on year growth figures for 2017, but warns of sector headwinds as wider economic conditions tighten.
Nisbets has continued to lead in the UK market and has seen double-digit growth in their key international markets. This coupled with full year contributions of acquisitions made during 2016, has helped Nisbets achieve YoY sales growth of +18 % and a strong profit before tax position in 2017. 
Building on success to date, Nisbets will continue its forward thinking approach to improving the wider business’ capabilities by focusing on customer satisfaction and service, continued development of their broad product range, together with an investment in people and systems capability.
Klaus Göldenbot, group CEO at Nisbets said “The health of our latest financial report gives us even greater conviction in our ability to deliver best in class service to our customers, while realising sustainable growth for our business.   Whilst the industry faces an ever-increasing set of challenges, amid nationwide economic uncertainty and tougher trading conditions.
It is our goal at Nisbets, to sustainably invest in our systems, product innovation and employee expertise to deliver the best service and support we can. Our team and our products all continue to add value to our customers for a more optimistic and stronger industry of the future.
By listening to our customers’ needs and collaborating with our supplier partners, stakeholders and the opinion formers within industry trade bodies and associations, we can start to consider Nisbets’ longer-term strategy. In today’s market, no business can afford to rest on its laurels; only those that holistically invest, analyse their internal beliefs and re-strategize, will stand the test of time.
Whatever lies ahead, foodservice remains one of the most dynamic and exciting industries in the UK, as well as making a significant contribution to our nation’s economy and at Nisbets we aim to be central to its on going development and success”.

Exclusive Polar Refrigeration offer is helping to keep back and front of house cool this summer #

Dedicated to supporting operators during the busy summer period Polar Refrigeration has launched guaranteed next day delivery on its entire refrigeration range. Coupled with price discounts of up to £140, this offer available exclusively through Nisbets, is one that operators can’t afford to miss.
Understanding the increased pressure put on operators during warmer weather, Polar Refrigeration is keen to ease the burden faced by out of home venues, whether that’s through additional chilled drinks displays or increased chilled capacity back of house to help supply demand.
Commercial director, Richard Cromwell, comments: “Our product portfolio offers operators a huge amount of versatility from back bar displays and blast chillers to 1,200ltr capacity double door uprights. We want to work closely with our customers and understand that when additional cold storage is required they can’t afford to wait. We know that a reliable and efficient service is crucial to our customers and we continue to look at ways in which we can offer added value.
In addition to our guaranteed next delivery, our delivery team will position, unwrap any new unit and remove all packaging, meaning that operators can be up and running quickly without any additional time or financial costs”.
The majority of Polar Refrigeration’s range is available in hydrocarbon versions helping operators satisfy their CSR and sustainability policies.
Polar Refrigeration’s summer offer includes guaranteed next day delivery when ordered before 8pm, two man delivery to ground floor, position and unwrapping of new units. The offer is available until 30th August 2018.