Members’ News

October 2018

Local kitchen porter recognised in national hospitality awards #

National College for High Speed Rail kitchen porter, David Gadsby has been named the country’s top KP by foodservice provider BaxterStorey.  

David, who has worked for the UK’s national college of High Speed Rail in Doncaster for around a year, keeps the kitchen on campus running smoothly as the culinary team serve staff and students every day, was named as the company’s Kitchen Porter of the Year at an awards ceremony in London. 

Hannah Garner, operations manager for Baxter Storey at the National College for High Speed Rail said: ‘David is a much loved and respected member of the team, and is fondly known as the ‘happiest man alive’. Our kitchen porters are the most fundamental team member in the kitchen, and David is no exception. He always comes to work with a smile and a proactive attitude, we would be lost without him”.   

Despite retiring as a hall porter several years ago, David came out of retirement due to “being bored” and has since offered relief kitchen support across 16 sites for BaxterStorey. The judges were particularly impressed by his professionalism – even at the age of 75 he is always the first to offer his services for additional help during busy periods, and shows no intention of slowing down.    

Dave Hawkes, regional managing director at BaxterStorey, added: ‘The Awards showcase the outstanding talent in our business, including the unsung heroes such as David. He is a credit to our company and this award is a real testimony to his teamwork, positivity and dedication.’ 

BaxterStorey launches vegan café at Royal College of Arts #

BaxterStorey has launched its first entirely vegan café at The Royal College of Art in their flagship Kensington Campus.  
With three catered campuses across Kensington, Battersea and White City, the newly refurbished outlet is within their iconic building in the heart of ‘Albertopolis’ district of London.   
BaxterStorey opened the café in response to requests from the Student Union for an outlet to cater for the increasing number of vegans and vegetarians in the student population. With over 2300 students enrolled at the university, a number set to increase in coming years, the café was designed in collaboration with the Student Union’s president and with support from Bentley Consulting.  
With most students based on campus and working from design studios throughout the day, the new vegan hot spot offers a nutritious all-day grazing menu with energy boosting artisan coffee using plant-based milk alternatives. The café boasts delicious fresh snacks such as; sprouting broccoli and tofu toasties, coconut and apricot protein balls and homemade hot falafels with beetroot hummus. 
As the first vegan-only café in the BaxterStorey portfolio, there are ambitions to expand the theme to the Battersea campus when it opens in 2020. 
Business development manager Martin Holden-White said: “We are delighted to be working with Royal College of Art and to have brought this exciting new space to their iconic 

Kensington campus. We are very aware of the rapid growth in plant-based food trends and it was fantastic to work alongside such a passionate student union and a forward-thinking consultant in David Bentley, which allowed us to be creative and offer students a greater choice of nutritious and varied foods to fit their study patterns”.   
Benji Jeffrey, a member of the student union at Royal College of Arts said: “'We're super happy to have a dedicated Vegan Cafe on site. Students are increasingly aware of the impact we leave on the planet with many moving towards more sustainable diets. It's great to have a space on campus that is suited to their needs”. 

Christmas bookings: how prepared is you team? #

The latest research from guest experience management experts HGEM has revealed over 400 guests’ views when it comes to booking their Christmas party.

The results show that guests like to plan ahead - when organising a Christmas party, over half (56%) prefer to book at least 3 months in advance, with early December being the ideal time to celebrate for 74% of guests. When searching for the perfect venue online, 75% of guests specifically look for Christmas adverts and menus, 50% actually revealed they would leave a website if they couldn’t see a Christmas menu rather than call to enquire. Simply providing a festive menu online, in advance, could save operators from losing out on business.

When choosing a venue, 60% of guests rate food options as the most important factor, this is over price and a festive atmosphere. When it comes to the menu, of guests organising a Christmas party for family and friends, 40% prefer to order food on the day, with options from both the set and standard menu. Yet, when organising a Christmas party for work colleagues, 44% prefer to pre-order from a set menu, indicating that ease on the day is essential for these guests where perhaps the party size is significantly bigger than when dining with family and friends.

During a telephone enquiry, an unfriendly tone was rated as most off-putting over feeling rushed, which could result in a lost opportunity to convert to a booking. Guests also anticipate an efficient booking process, with 58% expecting the call to take 2-5 minutes, emphasising the need for team members to be prepared with relevant information for a seamless process. As the majority (81%) of guests expect to be asked to pay a deposit as standard, operators should avoid focusing on this and instead use the call to provide detailed and engaging information about their offering.

Matthew Smith, head of new business at HGEM said: “You can be bold in asking for a deposit to secure the booking. Party organisers now expect this and will be grateful that you are organised making the deposit payment process effortless – one less thing for the organiser to worry about equals more time to think about how to best spend the director’s budget.”

To help operators ensure that their team members are prepared to handle Christmas bookings effectively, HGEM are offering recorded Christmas calls. These provide valuable insight into team members’ performance when taking bookings.

HGEM founding director, Sally Whelan, said: “We know that pre-bookings for the festive period play a critical part in overall Christmas trading figures. With menus, drinks offers and the marketing campaigns to support it now in place, how ready are your front line team? Do they appreciate the important role they now play? You need to be confident that every telephone enquiry is being handled professionally and that your team have the skills to convert these enquiries into bookings.”

HGEM unveils new guest experience platform that combines guest insight with team performance at Restaurant & Bar Tech Live #

HGEM demonstrated its new Guest Experience Management (GEM) platform ‘The Hub’ at Europe’s leading event dedicated to the emerging technologies that are forming the future of the restaurant and bar industries.
Visitors to ExCeL, London experienced first hand the new product 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.
HGEM managing director, Steven Pike, said: “We have been measuring and assessing experiences in various ways for many years. But 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.
Steven continues: “We are delighted to be part a show that offers incredible opportunities for businesses to test, discover and experience the most innovative products, systems and services in the industry. Our new product will help managers to monitor their social reputation, listen to their guests and review team performance in detail, in the one place. The net result is better managed guest experiences and a greater likelihood of returns and recommendations.”
HGEM client success manager, Jason Horn, also shared his views on the emerging strategies which could transform the way businesses engage with their customers during a panel debate.

Fleet Street Communications appointed by premium bar operator Arc Inspiration #

Fleet Street Communications (FSC), has been appointed by fast-growing multi-site bar operator Arc Inspirations to oversee its trade and corporate PR, as it looks to expand its portfolio in new markets over the coming years.
Established in 1999, Arc Inspirations currently operates 16 bars in the North of England grouped predominantly into three core brands: Banyan Bar & Kitchen, Manahatta and The Box. The company plans to open two additional bars in Manchester later this year and a further site in Leeds, along with a healthy pipeline for the future, as it takes its concepts to new cities.
FSC will deliver a PR programme to increase awareness of the company and its brands amongst key trade and business media; as well as offering regional support for new site launches.
Martin Wolstencroft, CEO of Arc Inspirations, said: “At Arc Inspirations we are looking to cement our position as one of the leading bar and bar-restaurant operators in the North of England. This appointment marks the next step in an incredibly exciting time for our business; we aim to continue to expand and raise our profile, supported by FSC’s expertise, experience, and passion for the food and drink industry.”
Mark Stretton, managing director at FSC, added: “A distinctive feature of Arc Inspirations is its ambitious, creative and regionalised approach to its current venues and future growth plans. Our specialist knowledge in trade communications, combined with our expertise of the wider leisure and hospitality sectors, will enable us to create quality content to support and enhance Arc Inspiration’s profile within the industry.”

Elior soars with new food and drink offer at aerospace giant Airbus #

The food and drink contract across the Airbus estate has been awarded to Elior UK for 5 years. The contract will see Elior cater for some 14,000 staff and guests at 20 outlets across 5 sites: Broughton (near Chester), Filton (near Bristol), Newport, Portsmouth, and Stevenage. 
Elior has made substantial investment to improve the look and feel of outlets and plans to introduce technological innovations designed to increase the number of meals served. These include a click-and-collect style system for meals, and loyalty cards for the artisan coffee shops Elior has introduced.
Due to the scale and complexity of the estate, the leading contract caterer has put together a dedicated team to deliver the Airbus offer – including a development chef and operations manager and marketing manager. The team sits under the overall control of the Airbus UK contract director for Elior, Debbie Clarke.
Clarke said: “As well as our technological capability, our culture for customer service, and our strong CSR credentials – one of the key factors that led to Elior being awarded the contract was our strong focus on fresh food.”
In the main Airbus restaurants, customers now enjoy a rotation of global dishes made on-site with fresh ingredients. While the new Elior-trademarked coffee shop brands the contract caterer has introduced – Barista & Baker, Green Parrot, and Arte – offer customers barista quality hot drinks and freshly prepared sandwiches, wraps, cakes and bakes.
In addition to day-to-day staff and guest feeding, Elior will also be responsible for catering for VIP events and corporate hospitality, as well as management of the estate’s merchandising outlets – Let’s Shop.

Photo Credit: Airbus

Elior scoops seven awards at LACA’s Finishing Touches culinary salon #

Taylor Shaw, part of Elior Group, scooped an impressive seven awards at LACA’s Finishing Touches culinary salon – cementing its reputation as master bakers in education catering.

The team from Sheffield was awarded recognition in every class it entered, picking up three gold medals, three silver medals, one bronze medal and five certificates of merit. In addition, it was honoured with two best in class awards for their delectable chocolate truffles and incredible ‘floral bouquet’ of sugar craft.

Among the big hits at the two-day event were Kelly Beaumont’s (cook supervisor, Wharncliffe Primary School) cupcakes and James Wright’s (High Green Primary School) biscuits.

Kelly Holden, operations director at Taylor Shaw, said “We are absolutely thrilled with the number of awards we received. It’s an incredible result considering that, except for one member of the team, this is the first time any of the other candidates have entered. It really demonstrates the high standards we are able to deliver for baking within our schools.”

Judged by the Craft Guild of Chefs, LACA’s Finishing Touches culinary salon showcases craft skills among chefs.

The judging panel included Steve Munkley of the Craft Guild of Chefs, Nick Wort (House of Commons), Matthew Shropshall (University College Birmingham), Lesley Herbert, Paul Taylor (Hilton Birmingham Metropole), Nick Hollands (former Royal Garden Hotel) and Leanne Oliver-Pulford (Finishing Touches 2017 Best in Show winner).

Munkley said: “This event never fails to amaze me with the quality of the entries and the skill of the competitors. As ever, you left the judges with a very difficult task.”

Also celebrating wins for their baking talents were Rachel Kirk (area manager), Sarah Doane (area manager), Samantha Andrews (catering assistant, Pipworth Community Primary School) and Joana Gaspar (cook supervisor, Springfield Primary School).

Speed appointed to promote The International Food & Drink Event 2019 #

Speed to deliver integrated communication strategy to drive exhibitor and buyer attendance at the UK’s largest food and drink event 

Fresh Montgomery, has appointed Speed as its PR agency to promote The International Food & Drink Event 2019 (IFE 2019).
Speed’s dedicated Food & Hospitality team will deliver a multi-channel supplier and buyer campaign designed to increase awareness of IFE 2019, drive attendance at the event and position it as an innovation oasis, increasing its standing as the leading event for sourcing inventive new food and drink products.
Celebrating its 21st edition in 2019, IFE is the UK’s largest food and drink industry event attracting some 27,000 attendees including 1,350 exhibitors. Introducing a new creative proposition for this year – A Taste of Tomorrow – IFE provides unrivalled opportunities for businesses to be inspired and network with the best international producers in one place.
Georgina Preston, portfolio marketing manager at Fresh Montgomery, said: “With the industry changing and new challenges lying ahead, we want our PR agency to have fresh ideas and be really forward thinking. Speed impressed us with its extensive industry knowledge and expertise but most importantly its creative full-service approach to the brief. I am really looking forward to working together on what promises to be our most inspiring event yet.”
Cat Jennings, director of food & hospitality at Speed, said: “IFE is not only a hub of food innovation but a great platform to network with experts and immerse yourself in the latest trends and pioneering approaches to food and drink from across the world. We’re really excited to be involved with this significant industry event and can’t wait to use our passion for the sector and inspired storytelling capabilities to get even more people involved with the event in 2019.”

Big changes are brewing in the coffee market #

The coffee market is changing rapidly according to the Quarterly Business Report, created by foodservice expert and commentator, Peter Backman.

“JAB Holding Company is openly targeting Nestle with the aim of becoming the pre-eminent global coffee business.  In the last quarter, it has acquired Pret a Manger to add to a growing portfolio that includes grocery brands and foodservice operators like Krispy Kreme.   Meanwhile, Nestle is in the throes of reaching a deal to supply Starbucks branded coffee to the grocery sector and Costa is becoming a standalone business from Whitbread, making it a target for acquirers,” explains Peter.

“It’s a little early to predict the precise effect on the UK coffee shop market but these developments have the potential to disrupt supply and consequently, prices.”
This may be good news for many operators but not for those that are beginning to struggle in a saturated market.  Like the restaurant market, growth is coming at the expense of profits.  There is a limit to the amount of brands that the market can sustain.  The sale of Apostrophe to SOHO Coffee and Timberyard’s move into a workspace offer are examples of changes that have already occurred.

Coffee continues to be big business in the UK with per capita consumption at 2.84kg per person, per year (includes retail and out of home; soluble and roast and ground).  However, the continent is way ahead with Germany on 5.5kg, France at 5.4 kg and Finland - the highest in the world - at 12kg.

To find out more about what the Quarterly Briefing Report has to say about the state of foodservice market in the UK please contact Peter Backman on 07785 242809 or email

Aramark’s Take15 campaign aims to promote good mental health and wellbeing in the workplace #

During the month of October, people across Aramark’s sites, as well as the wider public, will be encouraged to take just 15 minutes out of their days to talk to colleagues and reconnect.
It is estimated that nearly three in every ten employees will experience a mental health problem in any one year. The pressure of an increasingly demanding work culture is perhaps the biggest and most pressing challenge to the mental health of the general population. Workplaces are seen as an ideal setting in which to promote positive mental health. 
Take 15 is Aramark’s annual campaign to encourage all its clients, customers, staff and students to take 15 minutes away from phone calls, computers, TVs, and smart phones to unwind, recover from work stress.
Take 15’s goal is to help encourage positive mental health for its teams and customers in the workplace/study environment.  The focus this year is mindfulness and encouraging more interaction and engagement with both employees and clients.

Take a look at how Aramark employees are embracing the campaign:

Award-winning development chef storms International Cuban Sandwich Festival with a little help from French’s #

Squaring off against 40 chefs and hardcore sandwich aficionados from across the globe held no fear for Las Iguanas’ head of food development Glenn Evans as he travelled to Florida to vie for the seventh annual title of The World’s Best Cuban Sandwich.
The multi-award-winning chef knew he had a world beater on his hands – an innovative take on an established Las Iguanas menu favourite, made using French’s Classic Yellow Mustard and New York Deli Pickle Relish – which saw him return triumphant, winning first place for Best Non-Traditional and second overall in the World’s Best category.
He said: “Even though the event is in its seventh year, it’s growing all the time – there’s a real Cuban culture in Florida and these guys have created this festival and invited loads of people from around the world to bring their takes on the world famous ‘Cubano’.  We were like; ‘that sounds like an adventure – let’s do it.’”
The traditional Cubano is a Latin variation on a grilled ham-and-cheese sandwich, made with ham, roasted pork, Swiss cheese, pickles, mustard, and Cuban bread. The highly popular version on Las Iguanas’ menus is a more traditional homage, created using French’s finest – “You need to be able to taste the layers of flavour – the French’s mustard marries so well with the pulled pork, caramelised pork belly, ham and Emmental – while the Pickle Relish is less polarizing than gherkins and adds just the right sweetness.”
Glenn’s award-winning creation at the festival was something a bit different, however. 
“We created what we called a ‘smoking Cuban cigar’, so basically all the same ingredients wrapped up in a tortilla, nice and tight, browned off with butter on a Plancha until it was evenly brown to look like a cigar, and placed in a cigar box with an edible cigar label. To add theatre to the serve, we pumped it full of smoke and the judges absolutely loved it.
Glenn has confirmed that the sandwich will be making its UK-wide debut on Las Iguanas Spring/Summer menus in 2019, with French’s Classic Yellow Mustard and New York Pickle Relish at its heart. “We’re working with a company who make unique wooden products for our brand – so they’re going to make the cigar box with a little hole in the side to pump in the smoke. It’s really exciting.”
Will he be travelling to Florida in 2019 to compete again and see if he can go one better?
“Absolutely, we’ll approach it with the same ethos – using the same ingredients – but enhance it, maybe make it a bit more traditional, and look to go and win the competition outright!”
McCormick Flavour Solutions provides ingredients and inspiration for chefs and caterers across foodservice, supplying a number of trusted brands including: French's, Schwartz, Hammonds, Noels, Bicks Camp Coffee and Old Bay.

New report from Délifrance UK digs deeper into consumer trends on breakfast and brunch #

Beyond Breakfast and Brunch, a new report from Délifrance, has revealed the UK’s hottest trends in breakfast and brunch, lifting the lid on what consumers really want when eating out of home.
The nation is now swinging towards breakfast and brunch as social occasions (40%), but is divided on whether indulgence (23%) or health (22%) is the main consideration when choosing what to eat.
Convenience drives 48% of those polled in deciding why to eat breakfast out of home, closely followed by 40% viewing it as a social activity, and 40% because it’s a luxury.
Stéphanie Brillouet, marketing director – Northern Europe & North America, Délifrance says: “In Britain, the breakfast market is worth £11.6 billion[1], and is predicted to grow 5% by 2019[2]. We’ve dug deeper into the trend, looking at what customers have come to expect from their breakfast and brunch out of the home, be it from a supermarket’s grab & go shelf, or a sit down brunch with friends.
“Our new report – Beyond Breakfast & Brunch – summarises the findings of our research, and shares consumer insights to help operators maximise their offer and capitalise on changing consumer expectations.”
Beyond Breakfast and Brunch includes the findings from a survey of 2,000 UK consumers and commentary from food anthropologist and writer Bee Farrell.
Bee Farrell says: “The role food, and specific meals, play in people’s lives, and how it changes over time has always been a really interesting area to explore. It can tell us a lot about society - from a food’s place in a family routine, to the types of food we typically eat, and how eating has developed into a social occasion. Breakfast and brunch are particularly exciting just now and Délifrance’s new report gives a snapshot of consumer behaviour today.”
The report was launched this week at a breakfast and brunch food tour in Brighton and is available upon request from

[1] Kantar Worldportal August 2018
[2] NPD data, November 2017

Afternoon Tea Week at the wonderland that is Kew Gardens #

“It’s always tea time.” The Mad Hatter

This National Afternoon Tea Week, visitors to Kew Gardens were grinning like Cheshire Cats as they can indulged in the magically delicious Alice in Wonderland Afternoon Tea.
Served in The Botanical restaurant, which is run by Kew Garden’s catering partner CH&CO Destinations, the extraordinary Afternoon Tea captured the charm of the characters from Lewis Carroll’s timeless adventure, which was also performed to thousands of families by the Australian Shakespeare Company in the grounds of Kew Gardens throughout August.
Diners young and old could feast at their very own tea party on Cheshire Cat’s finger sandwiches, The Queen of Hearts’ cherry scones served with English jam and clotted cream, The Mad Hatter’s mini tea cakes, The White Rabbit’s pocket watch macaroons, Playing card cheesecake, Eat Me mushrooms and, of course, jam tarts; all washed down with refreshing Drink me Botanical tea.
Simon Finnigan, the general manager at The Botanical for CH&CO Destinations, said: “Just like the classic tale itself, the Alice in Wonderland Afternoon Tea and treats delighted adults and children alike. Our chefs cleverly brought Lewis Carroll’s famous and enchanting characters to life through the menu, which is fun, delicious and eye-catching. It really is the cherry on the cake of the magical Alice in Wonderland experience on offer at Kew this summer.”

Principals by CH&CO starts the 2018/19 school year with new openings worth £7.5m #

Principals by CH&CO has had a strong start to the new school year with more than 16 new schools opening this term adding to the current established portfolio.
The new partnerships have a total value in turnover of £7.5m for the duration of the contracts and will see the specialist school caterer strengthen its foothold in its homestay of Kent and break into London and Surrey. This success has been built on the team securing both individual schools and small clusters through recommendations and network.
According to client feedback, Principals by CH&CO was successful because of its reputation to develop unique solutions for each school, for growing uptake and for generating interest in food in the classroom, dining hall and home.
Great tasting, nutritious food on the menu is a given, but it’s the way that the on-site Principals by CH&CO teams engage and excite children, staff and parents to create a joyous, positive food culture that stands out. Initiatives and innovations that have captured imaginations and enhanced food experiences include street food pop-ups to introduce new flavours, tastes and textures and an interactive ‘family service’ concept that empowers children to serve themselves at the table, assisted by an adult, helping them build social skills and confidence and teaching appropriate portion size, as well as adding enjoyment to meal times.
Through food, Principals by CH&CO also supports school life throughout the year. From school gardens that inspire children as they follow the life of food from seed to the kitchen and plate, to sports, school events and special calendar occasions, food has an important role to play and is linked with the curriculum wherever possible.
Peter McKenna, sales director for Principals by CH&CO, said: “It’s been an incredible start to the new school year and we’re thrilled to be extending our reach into London and Surrey. Principals by CH&CO is in a strong position and this is down to our innovative, creative approach that enables us to build genuine partnerships with the schools we work with and be a positive part of a school community.  I’ve been into the kitchens of our new schools and the atmosphere is brilliant and the teams’ dedication to creating exciting food experiences is palpable – there’s a real buzz!
“This is a new, exciting chapter for the business as we enjoy continued growth and move into new areas. We also benefit from great support from the wider CH&CO business in the form of outstanding nutrition and culinary expertise and excellent support in marketing, procurement, finance, training and development, to name just a few!
“Our ethos is to work with the right schools that we can build true partnerships with, and not growth for growth sake. We have great people in our teams who want to make a real difference to the children and school communities we work with, beyond what’s on the plate. Take our new family service concept, for example. In modern society, not every child sits down for family meals at home and important development and life skills are in danger of being lost. We’re in a position to give children experiences in the dining hall that they can take with them throughout their lives, and it’s important that we do this.” 

Another year of strong performance for CH&CO #

CH&CO has achieved over £152m in new sales and retained business to date in 2018.
The new sales across the UK, which represent £115m in full contract term value, are with nearly fifty new clients, and the retained business is worth £37m in full contract term value.
The announcement coincided with the latest results for CH&Co Catering Group (Holdings) Limited, lodged at Companies House, showing annual turnover reaching £240m in the year ending December 2017 and an EBITDA of £15.1m or 6%.  Operating cash flows were strong, driving an overall net increase in cash of £10.8m across the Group.  CH&CO’s projected turnover for 2018 is approaching £300m.
Bill Toner, chief executive of CH&CO, explains: “2017 was a strong year for the company with good sales and retention performance.  The Harbour & Jones and Concerto Group businesses became part of CH&CO in 2017 and these integrations are going to plan and have added greater scale and coverage across the UK.  The merging of these two businesses into CH&CO has also strengthened our expertise across a broader range of sectors.
“Our adjusted operating profit for the year at £15.1m or 6% is in line with expectations and industry averages and whilst we are trading in uncertain times with the general economy and Brexit, our business is in a good position to respond to market changes going forward.
“Building on our new business success in 2017, our sales performance in 2018 has been incredibly buoyant and demonstrates that clients like our proposition and can see the benefits that we bring to the market.  It has also been encouraging to see our retention rates continue to be strong.
“Looking forward, our recent rebranding has positioned us well for more growth and consolidated our expertise in the diverse sectors that we operate in.  We continue to be a food-focused and customer-centric business backed up by good, effective systems and team training and we’re very optimistic about the future.”  

Essential Cuisine launches Stock Exchange urging chefs to swap out substandard stocks #

As chefs began to plan for autumn menus, Essential Cuisine is launched The Stock Exchange – giving kitchens short on inspiration the chance to swap out their existing product for full size pots of its class-leading stocks range^.  
The British producer is turning the tables on competitor products, with the view that once kitchens experience the Essential difference, they won’t ever go back.
With a scratch-made taste and performance that chefs from all walks of life love, the Essential Cuisine range has, for the past 23 years, built an impressive reputation for reliability and consistency. Much of the 12-strong range is free from declarable allergens*, while all are low in salt and high yield with an unmatched versatility, meaning they can be used at almost any point in the cooking process.
Perfect for rubs, marinades, pané, blending, poaching, dusting and braising as well as giving existing stockpots a flavoursome boost, Jonathan Harvey-Barnes, senior business development chef for Essential Cuisine, explains why the range should be viewed as so much more than just a stock: “From the most prestigious contract caterers, to schools, hospitals and care homes, right through to pubs and high end restaurants, our stock powders form the backbone of so many menus. These kitchens are united in the knowledge that a standalone stock is just the beginning, however. Essential Cuisine pots are packed with the potential to do more. We’re calling on kitchens to join the Stock Exchange, swap out their existing product for a free full size pot and see the difference. We’re supremely confident that chefs won’t look back.”     
Chefs can sign up today by visiting: or tweeting #ECStockExchange to @essentialcuisin.
^Full size samples are only open to bona fide caterers and available while stocks last, visit the website for full T’s and C’s.
*These products do not contain declarable allergens under the EU regulation 1169/2011 (Annex II).

The Foodservice Show and The Professional Kitchen Show launch The HRC 200 #

The UK’s only dedicated hospitality and foodservice Buyers Club
Fresh Montgomery announced the launch of The HRC 200: a dedicated buyers scheme for the UK hospitality and foodservice industry. The HRC 200’s first instalment will take place at The Professional Kitchen Show and The Foodservice Show on 22-23 January 2019 at NEC Birmingham.
The HRC 200 Buyers Club is the result of two years’ of research and an investment in excess of £75,000. It will bring together 200 of the most influential senior procurement professionals to meet leading UK suppliers, network with their peers, and attend exclusive educational sessions. Being part of the HRC allows buyers to taste, test and trial the very latest product innovations before they enter the wider market.
Every member of the club commits to a minimum of eight prearranged, face-to-face meetings, guaranteeing both buyers and suppliers get an audience with the industry names that can drive their business forward. Buyers already confirmed include Fullers, ABDA, Virgin Trains,  Amadeus, Pizza Hut (Europe), bartlett mitchell, Bestway, Shine, Sodexo, Sprint Group, Vision, Loungers, Starboard Hotels, and 28-50, with more signing up weekly.
Alongside guaranteed meetings, there are a whole host of benefits for members attending The Professional Kitchen Show and The Foodservice Show in January. These include:
- An invitation to the HRC 200 Business Breakfast: an insight-filled networking event hosted by leading business consultant, Lord Digby Jones
- Access to a bespoke web-based meeting tool: the software will let you arrange your eight meetings in advance of the show
- Exclusive entry to the HRC 200 Street Food Festival: the invite-only networking party of the year will take place at Digbeth Dining Club
- Unlimited HRC Club Lounge access: for the entirety of the event, you’ll be able to use private meeting spaces with complimentary refreshments
- Free accommodation at the NEC: for one night, your stay at the NEC is covered, complete with 48-hours of free parking 

Ross Carter, portfolio director, Fresh Montgomery, says: “The HRC 200 Buyers Club truly is one of a kind. With exclusive access to the must-have products of tomorrow, coupled with face-to-face networking and educational opportunities, there’s no better way to increase your knowledge and expertise. And, most importantly, it will help members start the relationships that will drive their business forward.
“Our Birmingham event is just the beginning. The HRC 200 will continue to run through the rest of 2019 and beyond across our entire suite of HRC (Hospitality, Restaurant and Catering) events. This is an investment in the industry that you don’t want to miss out on.”
David Mulcahy, food development & innovation director, Sodexo UK & Ireland, says: “The HRC 200 Buyers Club is a great idea, connecting procurement professionals to unique suppliers that would have otherwise probably not met. I am excited to see what opportunities come out of the club, not to mention the other networking events that have been arranged for members. Sodexo is always on the hunt for new and innovative suppliers that deliver the best for our clients and customers so I look forward to meeting lots of new people and creating new partnerships.”
The HRC 200 Buyers Club is filling fast, but you can still apply to become a member. To complete your application, or to find out more, visit

BB Foodservice makes it easy being green with new comprehensive non-food range #

BB Foodservice has launched a comprehensive non-food catalogue offering an enormous range of products at incredible prices. The vast majority of products in the catalogue are recyclable, and the catalogue also includes a whole range dedicated entirely to products that are biodegradable or compostable.

The move is a major step in the wholesaler’s wider aim to only sell own brand essentially catering ranges that are biodegradable, compostable or recyclable, by 2020.

Tony Holmes, sales director, BB Foodservice (Bestway Wholesale) said: “There’s mounting pressure on food and drink businesses to ditch single-use plastics, with almost half of consumers saying manufacturers should make all packaging recyclable. That’s why we’ve done our bit to make it easier for food and drink businesses – leveraging our considerable buying power and independent status to offer incredible prices on an incredible catalogue of non-food products. It’s just another way we deliver for our customers.”

From burger boxes to cutlery and coffee cups all the items in the bio/compostable range – are made from either Bagasse, Polylactic Acid (PLA), or Crystalline Polylactic Acid (CPLA).

- Bagasse – a moulded natural fibre product made from bamboo plants, reeds, and other natural non-wood fibres
- Polylactic Acid (PLA) – a plant-based resin commonly derived from corn starch, maize, sugar, or wheat
- Crystalline Polylactic Acid (CPLA) – a crystalline form of PLA, which has a higher heat resistance; making it ideal for hot cup lids and cutlery  

The comprehensive non-food catalogue is available through the BB Foodservice sales team or online at
BB Foodservice is part of Bestway Wholesale, the UK's largest independent wholesaler. With a vast range of branded and non-branded produce, BB Foodservice delivers for all sorts of food and drink businesses – from restaurants and hotels to schools and care homes. And thanks to its price hold guarantee, customers can plan seasonal menus and special events with confidence.

Changes in leadership at Bestway Wholesale #

Martin Race, managing director of Bestway Wholesale, has decided to retire from his role and will be leaving the business as of 30th November 2018.

Martin took on the unenviable burden of being away from his family to work out of Head Office in London. Having spent 5 years based away from home, Martin has decided it is time to retire – so that he is able to spend more time at home with his family.

Martin has worked in Wholesale all his working life, and has served both Bestway and Batleys with commendable dedication for over 30 years. He started with the group as manager of Batleys Cleveland in 1988. After playing an instrumental role in the introduction of the Ab initio trading software into Batleys, Martin became operations director in 2000. Martin retained this position through the Bestway takeover in 2005, playing a significant role both during and after the takeover, helping to ensure as smooth a transition as possible without any major impact to the businesses. In January 2014 Martin took over the role of trading director, before subsequently being promoted to managing director of Bestway Wholesale in July 2016. In this role during the last couple of years, Martin has successfully overseen the business’ transformation to a modern wholesaler, driving consistent and strong profitable growth, as well as expansion.

Martin is a very familiar and friendly face, both across the business and across the industry, and his straight talking style will be greatly missed.

Martin Race said “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the last two years as MD and take great heart from the improving performance of the business. I would like to thank the exec, the larger leadership team and all colleagues for their support and hard work, but I feel that it is now time for a younger man to take the company forward and for me to spend more time with my family. I have worked closely with Dawood for 13 years and am fully confident that he is the right man to lead the business forward and I wish him the best of luck in the future.”

Dawood Pervez will take the role of managing director of Bestway Wholesale from 1st December 2018. Dawood will work alongside Martin in the interim period before assuming his new role.

Dawood joined the business as a qualified solicitor in 2002. During his time at Bestway he has headed up various functions across the business including Legal, HR, L&D, Property, HSE and Marketing. He has played a key role in acquisitions since joining and also established our digital presence as well as our Export business. Most recently he has led Trading department, which has flourished under his guidance.

Dawood Pervez said “I am delighted to be succeeding Martin as the Managing Director of Bestway Wholesale, and I would like to thank him personally for all of his support over the years. The business (originally built by Sir Anwar Pervez, Younus Sheikh and Zameer Choudrey) is now in a unique position to benefit from the turbulent market conditions and it is my full intention for it to do so.”

The business remains in very good hands and continues to be run by a skilled and dedicated Executive Team, which going forward will be led by someone who has exceptional knowledge and experience within the company and the industry in Dawood Pervez.

The board of Bestway Wholesale Limited said “We thank Martin for all he has done for the business and congratulate Dawood for his new appointment. We wish him every success as he leads our business into the future – Forward as one”.

Bidfood announces exciting new partnership with Enotria&Coe #

Bidfood announced a new partnership with Enotria&Coe, the UK’s leading premium drinks supplier. The partnership saw the launch of UNITY Wines and Spirits in September, bringing together the expertise of wine sourcing and category insights from Enotria&Coe, alongside Bidfood’s superb delivery network.
Enotria&Coe has one of the UK’s most comprehensive and exclusive ranges of premium wines and spirits. Supplying more than 40 million bottles a year and with 4,400 products to choose from, Bidfood customers will benefit from a unique array of exciting new beverage choices including an unbeatable portfolio of over 30 new and exclusive labels, covering all key countries of origin.
Equally, the partnership will further strengthen Bidfood’s commitment to service excellence, enabling UNITY Wines & Spirits to offer even more guidance on market trends and developments, plus award-winning training support.
Matt Towe, head of marketing at Unity Wines & Spirits, said: “This is a really exciting time for our wines and spirits businesses. Enotria&Coe are obsessive about the drinks market and what they don’t know about wines and spirits isn’t worth knowing. It will be a truly united partnership and together we will offer our customers the very best service and a fantastic range of products. The name UNITY stands for unity between grape and soil, winemaker and wine, Bidfood and Enotria&Coe but ultimately, UNITY and our customers.”
Enotria&Coe chief executive, Troy Christensen, said: “We’re delighted to be partnering with Bidfood to bring the drinks category to life for their customers. Their unique model brings innovation and inspiration into a challenging on trade sector and we believe they are instrumental in building a healthy wine category for the sector.” 
UNITY Wines & Spirits officially launched on 1st September 2018. For more information visit or call  01494 555 900.

Bidfood opens new purpose-built depot in the South #

Bidfood has moved its Worthing depot to a brand new 64,000 sq. ft site in Lancing. The building, which is 60% larger than its previous home, has been opened as part of the business’ plans to provide the best infrastructure to deliver service excellence.

Trading from Monday 17th September 2018, the new depot has been developed with the latest facilities and has created a 20% increase in jobs for the area.

The depot is equipped with a range of food holding areas from a 25k sq. ft ambient storage space, 13.7k sq. ft freezer, 1.8k sq. ft chilled store and a 7.4k sq. ft chill marshall area. The building has also been designed to incorporate a large customer experience centre, which is currently in planning stages. The space will facilitate Bidfood’s work in partnership with food and drink suppliers to test and develop new products, as well as support with menu development and innovation for customers along the South Coast. It will comprise a bar, deli, a fully operational industrial kitchen and non-food catering suite.

In addition, 100% of the current team are being transferred to the new site which boasts a large office space and brand new warehouse. The move is also set to provide more career opportunities in the local area, from telesales professionals to drivers. What’s more, the new office will appeal to local customers by offering a Sunday telesales service to help streamline Bidfood’s customer service along the South Coast, from Bognor Regis, to Winchelsea and as far inland as West Horsley in Surrey.

The site will include a variety of sustainable features including: lighting that will ensure a safe working environment and photocell activation to reduce energy consumption, refrigeration that has zero ozone depletion potential and zero global warming potential, which should significantly reduce energy consumption, as well as sustainable building materials and a ‘SUDS’ drainage system installed for storm water disposal.

Speaking about the new site, Norman Wemyss, COO at Bidfood said: “It is an exciting time for our team in Worthing. The new site has an array of features that are designed to better support the needs of customers, which will in turn aid the team in their mission to continue to grow Bidfood’s business and provide service excellence on the South Coast.

“The site development is a great opportunity to help grow and support the local economy by providing new business opportunities along with more jobs.”

Christmas guilt for 40% of those working in the hospitality industry #

Bidfood calls for Christmas Gift nominations to give Christmas back to hospitality workers 
With 93.4% of hospitality workers accepting there is a chance they will need to work Christmas or Boxing Day[1], it’s no surprise that 40% admitted to feeling guilty about not spending the festive period with their families.[2]  
The new research from Bidfood also revealed that 45.5% of the 750 hospitality workers surveyed, felt a sense of community with colleagues also working on Christmas or Boxing Day.[3]
To reward those who work over the festive period, Bidfood’s Christmas Gift campaign is back for another year, but this time with an exciting twist. The campaign, which scooped a PRCA Dare award earlier this year, recognises those who sacrifice spending Christmas with their families to make the holiday season special for others. However, this year Bidfood will be wishing the whole industry a ‘Merry Missedmas’ by extending nominations outside of its customer base to make it industry-wide.
Bidfood is calling on the industry to nominate** individuals in their outlets who are either working Christmas Day or Boxing Day this year (and/or worked last year), that go the extra mile to make the festive period special for thousands of others.
Winners will be chosen via a panel of leading influencers from across the industry - including Bidfood’s group sales & marketing director, Andy Kemp; Anne Pierce, chief executive at Springboard; Peter Hancock, chief executive at Pride of Britain Hotels; Kate Nicholls, chief executive at UK Hospitality, Mark Lewis chief executive of Hospitality Action, Julia Sibley MB, chief executive, The Savoy Educational Trust; and Andy Jones, chair of the Public Sector 100 Group to name a few.
Four winners will be revealed on Monday 3rd December across the below categories, and each will receive Christmas dinner with all the trimmings from Bidfood in January, once the busy period has passed, as well as a surprise gift.

Categories include:

- Accommodation: hotels, B&B’s, hostels, pubs with accommodation etc.
- Care: hospitals, care homes, hospices etc.
- Foodie outlets: restaurants, pubs, cafes, bars etc. (includes QSR and B&I)
- Charities/other: includes charities and schools/universities

Bidfood’s group sales & marketing director, Andy Kemp says: “Following the overwhelming success of last year, we are delighted to announce the return of our award-winning, Bidfood’s Christmas Gift campaign.
“The sheer volume of heart-warming stories we received last year is testament to the hard work and importance the hospitality sector has on all of us.
“With thousands giving up family time in the lead up, and often on Christmas Day itself. We want to hear about some of the standout individuals in our industry and thank them for their contribution.
“This year, we are really excited to be opening nominations up industry-wide, encouraging not only our customers, but anyone who works within hospitality and is serving or preparing food and drink on Christmas Day or Boxing Day.”
Entries are now open until midnight on Monday 12 November and can be made online at
**Entries are open to those individuals that work in outlets who are involved in the preparation or serving of food and beverages. Full terms and conditions will be listed on the website.

[1] Survey of 750 respondents conducted by 3GEM on behalf of Bidfood (September 2018)
[2] Survey of 750 respondents conducted by 3GEM on behalf of Bidfood (September 2018)
[3] Survey of 750 respondents conducted by 3GEM on behalf of Bidfood (September 2018)

Bidfood launches new Modern India range #

Bidfood has unveiled its new Modern India range showcasing a contemporary take on traditional Indian cuisine. The collection of sweet and savoury products shifts the focus from dairy and protein heavy curries to fresher, lighter alternatives and playful fusion dishes.

The range was born out of Bidfood’s evolutionary ‘Innovate your Plate’ programme, recently shortlisted for two Foodservice Catey’s awards, which analyses current consumer trends and turns them into practical solutions for its customers. With contemporary Indian expected to be one of the top five fastest growing cuisines within the eating out sector in the next three to five years[1], Bidfood has developed Modern India to help operators make the most of this booming trend.

Bidfood’s Modern India range offers inventive flavour combinations whilst drawing on recognisable dishes that will be familiar to customers. The classic fish and chip supper is given a modern twist with Amritsari MSC battered pollock goujons, for example, and the humble pasty is transformed with vibrant Indian spices to become the vegan Phat Pasty keralan cauliflower, chickpea and onion bhaji pasty.

For those with a sweet tooth, the new array of Premium Selection spiced cakes provides an eye-catching update to any cake display, featuring tempting on-trend flavours such as caramel chai latte and jewelled carrot cake with cardamom rose hip and mandarin oil.

Gemma Young, senior customer marketing manager at Bidfood commented: “At Bidfood, we believe provenance is incredibly important and that’s why our development chefs travelled east to gain an authentic experience of the cuisine first-hand before creating our new Modern India range.

“It fuses traditional dishes with contemporary flavours to capture the essence of India’s diverse regions, while ensuring our customers can keep their menus relevant, on-trend and enticing.

“Many of the products also lend themselves to being great on-the-go options, with Indian-inspired pasties and pies providing a welcome sandwich alternative in the busy lunchtime rush. Contemporary Indian cuisine is about much more than just curry dishes, and Bidfood’s new range offers operators a chance to incorporate the trend in new and unexpected ways.”
To explore the full Modern India range and for regional and Indian-fusion recipe inspiration visit:

[1] MCA Industry research (Q1 2018)

A Taste of Tomorrow: IFE is back and bursting with inspiration #

Celebrating its 21st year, The International Food & Drink Event (IFE) – the UK’s leading and largest food & drink event – is returning to ExCeL London 17–20 March 2019.
A must-attend event, IFE 2019 will provide buyers with the chance to discover emerging trends; meet with thousands of international, future-focused producers and brands; and hear inspiring and thought-provoking talks from key figures across the food & drink industry.
Taking place in London – the home of food & drink innovation – IFE 2019 will provide a taste of tomorrow with the launch of captivating new event attractions, including:
Tasting Trends – taking future trend-gazing to the next level, this multi-sensory experience will allow visitors the opportunity to see, smell and taste some of the most innovative and on-trend food & drink products.
The Future of Retail – with significant changes on the horizon for the retail sector, what will the shops of 2030 look like? This interactive installation will provide food & drink professionals with the chance to experience the new technology and alternative shopping models set to disrupt the sector.
The biennial event provides both British and international suppliers with the rare opportunity to meet and connect with top retail, wholesale & distribution, import & export and foodservice & hospitality buyers all under one roof. With 1,350 innovative, global and cutting-edge food & drink manufacturers attending from 111 countries, IFE 2019 is one of the only places to experience the best of the what the food & drink industry has to offer across the globe.
Co-located with Pro2Pac, the food & drink processing & packaging event, the joint festival will provide a comprehensive snapshot of the food & drink industry, making it a calendar highlight for all forward-thinking companies.

The Hub welcomes a trio of high-profile clients onboard #

The Hub, is proud to announce three exciting new client wins, with Jacobs Douwe Egberts, Lamb Weston and Wild Fizz each appointing The Hub as its trade communications partner moving forward.
Working with coffee experts Jacobs Douwe Egberts, The Hub will support the business in building the profile of the company’s category leading brands across a range of retail and foodservice channels, including Kenco, Maxwell House, L’Or, Douwe Egberts, Cafitesse and Promesso. From convenience stores and coffee shops to staff restaurants, Jacobs Douwe Egberts has a solution for every occasion that consumers need a great cup of coffee and The Hub will be bringing these high-profile brands to life implementing a robust trade PR programme, dedicated customer marketing strategy and more.
September also saw the launch of the innovative new Hot2Home™ concept from Lamb Weston – the world-leading brand in quality potato products. A stunning combination of product and packaging innovation, the Hot2Home™ packaging solution, ensures that fries are delivered hot and crispy to the consumer at home, every time, and is set to boost repeat sales from happy consumers and in turn drive profits for operators across the industry.  The Hub developed an exciting launch strategy, including a VIP press, customer and influencer event at Pop Brixton, in addition to a high-profile market wide launch at the Restaurant and Takeaway Innovation at Excel on the 25th and 26th September, supported by wider trade PR and marketing strategy for the brand.

Andrea Deutschmanek, country marketing manager UK & ROI, Lamb Weston comments; “We’re delighted to be working with The Hub. Our new Hot2Home™  launch combines unique product benefits with innovative packaging to deliver a best in class solution. The Hub’s creative flair and strategic insight has brought to life a stunning vision for our presence across trade shows, trade PR and customer marketing. The team is great fun and really organised and we’re looking forward to some brilliant results over the course of the campaign.”
Completing its hat trick of Autumn success, The Hub welcomes Wild Fizz Kombucha to its client roster, supporting its trade communications strategy within the foodservice sector, after a successful launch across the retail market.  Full of gut-friendly live cultures, Wild Fizz is a 100% natural, organic low sugar sparkling tea, hand brewed in the UK by its founders Gina Geoghegan and Luke Montgomery-Smith.
Luke explains; “We are really excited to be working with The Hub to raise the profile of Wild Fizz Kombucha in the foodservice arena. The team’s extensive knowledge of our target channels, combined with a black book of top-class industry contacts is sure to elevate our brand to the next level, and position Wild Fizz as pioneers within the emerging Kombucha category out of home.”
Rebecca Riches, founder and MD of The Hub adds, “To see such a varied array of clients appoint The Hub in recent months is testament to the changing landscape of the foodservice and retail sectors as a whole. Whether we are working with established or challenger brands, we pride ourselves in delivering big ideas, exciting strategies and high-profile activations that really get the industry talking about our clients, and most importantly translate into tangible business uplift for the businesses that we represent.  On behalf of myself and the team, we’re delighted to welcome our new client partners onboard and look forward to long and prosperous relationships with each and everyone of them.”  

Name the date! The Hub’s Annual Industry Calendar is Incoming! #

It is the time of year again when The Hub, the foodservice and retail PR and trade marketing specialists, begins to plan its popular and highly-anticipated calendar, which is sent out to over 2,000 industry individuals every year.
Within the 2019 calendar, The Hub aims to include all relevant industry events and important dates for the year ahead.
With this in mind, the team is reaching out to fellow Arena members to share any key dates relating to your business, for inclusion. From trade shows, to awareness weeks, awards schemes to networking events…if the industry needs to know about it, The Hub will include it!
The Hub request you email your key dates by Monday 12th November to for consideration. The same email address can also be used to request a copy of The Industry Calendar 2019.

Popular Fresh Careers Fair announces re-location to larger venue for 2019 #

The Fresh Careers Fair returns next year with a new venue designed to accommodate the growing demand to attend and exhibit at the popular, annual event that connects new talent with leading fresh food and drink employers.
Heading into its fourth edition, the exclusive recruitment fair for the fresh produce, retail, foodservice and hospitality sectors takes place on March 13, 2019 at London’s stylish Business Design Centre, which originally opened as the Royal Agricultural Hall in 1862.
Hosted by the organisers of the award-winning London Produce Show and Conference, The Fresh Careers Fair offers complimentary access to high-calibre college students, university undergraduates, graduates, jobseekers and career changers of all disciplines.
During the course of the day, these skilled newcomers interested in a fresh food and drink career have the chance to meet face-to-face with exhibiting top-brand employers looking to recruit new talent.
Hannah Gorvin, chief marketing officer for The Fresh Careers Fair, explains: “By 2024, the food and drink industry needs 130,000 new employees; making The Fresh Careers Fair an unmissable recruitment opportunity for both jobseekers and employers.
“Many jobseekers are unaware of the diverse range of skilled roles and extensive employment opportunities offered by the food and drink industry, where prior experience is not always required.
“This is the chance for employers to promote their brand, shout about the life-long careers they can offer, and raise awareness of the enviable benefits the fresh food and drink sector can provide. Put simply, the businesses that participate will get noticed and find talent.
“At the same time, employers can forge connections with key educational institutions, and network with the leading recruitment and training agencies who also attend The Fresh Careers Fair every year.”
Employers who take an exhibition stand will be able to promote their part-time, full-time, temporary and permanent positions in the food and drink sector, including national and international roles, as well as work experience and placements, plus graduate schemes, internships and apprenticeships.
Introductions to exhibiting companies will be provided to attendees by a group of food and drink industry experts hand-picked by the organisers. These mentors will also offer attendees free guidance and inspirational feedback on their career goals.
Additionally, Springboard will be present to offer attendees specialist careers advice, such as tips for writing CVs and succeeding during interviews.
Gorvin comments: “Over the past three years, The Fresh Careers Fair is proud to have successfully connected a remarkable number of jobseekers with fresh food and drink industry-leading employers. Many of these vital introductions have led to work placements and full-time jobs. Attendees have turned up, for free and got hired!”
Exhibiting employers can also select from a range of bespoke sponsorship packages to further promote their brand to those interested in a career in the fresh food and drink industry.
Confirmed exhibitors for 2019 include: AMC Fresh Group; Berry Gardens, BerryWorld, Greene King, Mitchells & Butlers, Richard Hochfeld, The Fresh Produce Centre, Vitacress, among many others.

Recruitment and training agencies in attendance include: Angel Human Resources, FMK Consulting, Henderson Brown Recruitment, MDS and MorePeople.

Nisbets adds to its range of eco-friendly catering disposables #

Nisbets has extended its Fiesta Green range with a series of new disposables including plates, cutlery, skewers, and containers made of a variety of compostable and biodegradable materials such as, palm leaf, bamboo, and birch and poplar wood. Working towards a greener future for all, Nisbets Fiesta Green range offers caterers eco-friendly, disposable solutions that deliver functionality as well as sustainability in abundance.
With the grab and go market on the rise and set to grow by 2.8% to a value of £20.7bn this year[1], the need for sustainable packaging grows with it. Consumers are becoming increasingly conscious of how their eating and drinking habits affect the world around them, and are increasingly interested and concerned by the lifecycle of packaging waste, with more focus than ever on the war on plastic. Younger adults in particular have stronger connections with brands that promote sustainability and corporate responsibility.
Made from carbon-saving plant-based materials and sustainably sourced paper, Fiesta Green’s range of compostable and biodegradable products are designed to give back to the environment and be kinder to the planet. Richard Cromwell, Commercial Director, says: “Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of their carbon footprint, and as such, are seeking to purchase from out of home outlets that demonstrate a commitment to reducing their environmental impact. Subsequently, manufacturers such as Nisbets have a duty to provide products that meet this demand. The growing Fiesta Green product range allows operators to responsibly package food to go items reducing waste sent to landfill.”
The range also includes, compostable straws, hot cups and lids, ice cream spoons, hot food to go cones and more.  By using sturdy plant-based materials as linings, with CPLA to handle hot products in place of plastic, they are the perfect alternative to traditional disposables that are environmentally friendly. As such, with operators using these eco-friendly disposables, the aim will be to lessen the amount of waste sent to landfill, and begin to reduce foodservices’ carbon footprint.

[1] MCA 2018

Nisbets extends its industry support with 12 month interest free finance offer expansion #

When kitchen equipment needs replacing, most businesses can’t afford to wait. Acknowledging this and further demonstrating its support of the foodservice industry, Nisbets has expanded its successful 12 month, 0% finance offer to include more than 20 of its brands.
The financing offer gives operators fast and easy access to the products they need to keep their business moving, without the burden of the upfront cost. Split across 12 easy-to-manage, interest free monthly payments, operators can now access a wider range of Nisbets’ own brands including Buffalo, Olympia and Vogue products alongside house-hold name brands such as Samsung, KitchenAid and Dynamic, enabling them to keep their kitchens running smoothly at all times.
Continuing its commitment to delivering exceptional customer experiences, Nisbets is dedicated to offering fast, reliable and robust solutions, ensuring that it supports customers where it matters most, from guaranteed next day delivery, to unsurpassed after-care solutions.
Simon Pharoah, head of leasing at Nisbets comments: “Our fundamental aim at Nisbets is to provide our customers with the best shopper experience possible. We understand that when kitchen equipment needs replacing, it needs replacing quickly. We also know that there is not always the availability of an immediate contingency fund. Working closely with our customers we appreciate the importance of providing flexible financing solutions that enable them to keep their businesses operating in any situation. Nisbets’ expanded 0%, 12 month finance offer now gives our customers the opportunity to purchase a wider range of our best quality equipment quickly and efficiently, without the worry of finding the funds upfront”.

Nisbets recognised by The Sunday Times Grant Thornton Top Track 250 for economic growth #

Nisbets has been acknowledged by The Sunday Times Grant Thornton Top Track 250, which champions Britain’s growing businesses.
The prestigious list tracks the 250 top-performing mid-size companies across the UK which have achieved growth of more than 5%.
Ranking 48th on the annual league table and just one of nine businesses recognised in the South West, Nisbets stands out for making a significant contribution to the continued growth of its local economy. Following positive year on year growth of +18% and a strong profit before tax position in 2017, not only had Nisbets maintained its presence on the annual league table, but has climbed 10 places higher than the previous year.
Nisbets is proud to attribute its growth to its popular and ever increasing product range, available as part of its ongoing dedication to providing an exceptional customer experience. Building on recent successes Nisbets is resolute in its mission to continue its forward thinking approach, enabling it to continue to support the growth of both the local and UK economy.
Klaus Goeldenbot, group CEO at Nisbets said: “Nisbets is honoured to be in the top 50 of The Sunday Times Grant Thornton Top Track 250, which celebrates our business success and cements our position as a signifcant contributor to the UK economy.
Our growth confirms that Nisbets’ company values work in practice, and reassures us that we are supporting our customers in the right way amid the strong headwinds faced by the industry”.   

Nisbets launches In Place campaign in support of restaurants #

Nisbets continues its ongoing support of the UK restaurant sector with the launch of its all-new In Place campaign.
This digitally-hosted activity provides a dedicated online sector-focused advice centre, in the form of a microsite boasting a virtual reality showroom. Operators are invited to step inside and discover front and back of house hotspots that will flag key points of interest and offer insight relevant to individual outlets.
Highlighting parallels between the online showroom and operators’ own venues, In Place provides practical solutions through thought leadership, credible influencer stories and expert inspiration. The campaign also encourages customers to utilise the interactive platform and view it as the go-to resource to guide them through their biggest workplace challenges. All of this knowledge, inspiration and advice has been curated by Nisbets and is based on content gathered from across the whole industry.
A 360 degree campaign, In Place offers a range of content through testimonials, advice columns and hints and tips shared though social media posts. Advice comes from some of the industry’s most influential names including Tom Brown, founder, Cornerstone, Adam Handling, chef patron, The Frog, Hoxton and Emma Underwood, restaurant manager, Stem by NEO helping to demonstrate how the everyday advice works in real kitchens nationwide.  
Identifying three key areas that matter most to chefs, In Place launches with a focus on food safety, equipment efficiencies and presentation, all of which are key to maximising both customer satisfaction and profit in busy outlets.
Klaus Goeldenbot, group CEO at Nisbets comments: “Our aim at Nisbets is to always provide the best experience for our customers, whether that’s a seamless shopping experience, or added value through our advice and support platforms. We recognise the ways in which we do this must evolve alongside the headwinds of current hospitality trends and the technologies available to us. In Place demonstrates our commitment to providing added value to our customers in the right way, every day.
In Place aims to support restaurant owners and operators with practical advice and solutions that help to improve efficiency, boost productivity and eliminate risk so that they can focus on delivering exceptional customer experiences time and time again.  
Nisbets is passionate about identifying the needs of its customers and supporting them with innovative and interactive solutions that support them both back and front of house, and ultimately make them more profitable. We know our audience is busy, so In Place provides a reliable, consistent and interactive advice platform for our customers that can be accessed anytime of night or day to help chefs, operators and owners overcome some of the challenges faced by the industry”.
For more information and to explore our virtual showroom visit

JJ Invests in e-learning to progress next generation #

National wholesaler JJ Foodservice is working with bespoke online training company, Bolt, to offer a programme of intense, structured training for its next generation of talent.  
HR manager for JJ Foodservice Joanna Florczak said, “We want to support our people to be the best they can be – it’s a big investment to develop and progress the next leaders within our business.”
The modules cover a range of topics including motivating teams, communicating effectively, stress management, delegation, negotiation, coaching and health and safety, to name a few.
JJ’s investment follows research conducted last year. “95% of managers said that training was important to them and 89% were keen to receive more in the future”, said Joanna.  
“We’ve responded by investing in a comprehensive programme covering the areas they told us were important to them”, she added.  
Bolt was chosen as the training supplier because of its contemporary, forward-thinking approach. “At JJ Foodservice, we invest in technology to make shopping easier for our customers so when it came to looking for a learning partner – Bolt’s mobile-friendly modules really stood out,” she added.
Modules can be accessed easily on a desktop or mobile device and completed in minutes. “It’s nice to work with a business that shares our passion for tech”, she added. 
The training is starting with immediate effect across all eleven JJ Foodservice branches.

CESA’s new structure will help meet industry challenges #

Improving responsiveness is key to major changes
CESA has changed its structure in a move that the Association says will better represent its membership and give it the flexibility to address the big issues, such as Brexit, training, education and connectivity, more effectively.  It will also aid CESA in developing programmes that work more closely with the rest of the supply chain and with foodservice operators. 
As the voice of the catering equipment industry, CESA is looking to ensure it can respond quickly to both members’ needs and those of industry partners and end users.  The new structure sees the creation of a series of committees focused on specific sectors of the catering equipment industry, ranging from warewashing, refrigeration and cooking appliances to spare parts and ventilation.  There are also new groups focused on cooperation with the supply chain, including dealers, consultants and wholesales, and liaison with foodservice operators. 
“The membership has grown significantly over the past few years,” says Glenn Roberts, chair of CESA.  “That’s given us the critical mass to have committees comprising a representative number of companies in each sector of the market, which can address the current and anticipated concerns of individual product groups.” 
The new structure will give CESA members more information about their sector and direct access to all relevant committees.  It will allow the Association to directly and quickly address questions from members on specific products. 
“The complexity of the challenges we face, from Brexit to connectivity to training, is unprecedented,” says Roberts.  “In many cases, they bring different issues for different product categories.  The new structure gives us the opportunity to deal with the challenges both at the individual product level and strategically, via the plenary council and the CESA Board.”

CESA Conference: industry ‘Titans’ to tell it how it is #

CESA expects a lively debate at the 2018 Conference when three of the industry’s biggest names, Klaus Goeldenbot, group CEO of Nisbets, Steve Snower, CEO of Partstown and Alberto Zanata, CEO of Electrolux Professional, take part in a high profile presentation looking at the big issues – and how the industry needs to change to tackle them. 
The Titans of Industry session will cover the disruptions that these three global players anticipate.  With margins under pressure throughout the supply chain, what needs to be done to keep pace, survive and thrive?   And how does all this impact on the evolution of the value chain?
Once they’ve delivered their expert opinions, the Titans will take part in a Q&A session hosted by the conference chair Simon Jack who, as a broadcaster and economist, is well versed in asking awkward questions – and getting them answered. 
The theme for this year’s conference is ‘Evolving in a Disruptive Environment.’  More details of the conference programme and speakers can be found at 
For 2018 the Conference is at the De Vere Cotswold Water Park, taking place on Wednesday 14th and Thursday 15th November.  A variety of booking options is available to delegates, from simple attendance at the Conference itself to two-day packages including both the informal dinner (14th November) and the gala dinner (15th November), as well as golf or another activity.  The event is open to all foodservice industry professionals, including equipment manufacturers, suppliers and dealers, consultants and operators.  CESA members receive a discount.  To find out more and book tickets visit

CESA to honour Apprentice of the Year and Best Training Initiative #

Two new awards will be presented at the 2018 Conference

CESA’s drive to tackle the skills shortage and push the foodservice industry to commit to higher levels of training will be given a boost at the Association’s 2018 Conference, with the announcement of two new awards.  The Apprentice of the Year, sponsored by John Gilbert, will recognise the individual winner’s commitment, contribution and success in their workplace.  The Training and Development Award will celebrate a company or an individual who has done outstanding work in supporting staff development. 
The winners of both awards will be announced during the Gala dinner, to be held on Thursday 15 November.   Glenn Roberts, who will pass on the baton of CESA chair to John Whitehouse during Conference, has made training and staff development key strategies during his two-year stewardship of the Association. “I’m delighted that we’ve been able to announce these awards now,” he says.  “By shining a spotlight on apprenticeships and training we hope they will encourage and inspire individuals and companies.”
The Conference theme this year is ‘Evolving in a disruptive environment.’  “With Brexit looming, the skills shortage is even more of a business threat,” adds Roberts.  “We have to encourage young people to consider careers in foodservice and, at the same time, raise professionalism throughout the industry.” 
To find out how to enter the awards, contact the CESA secretariat.  The awards are open to all CESA members and associate members.  Closing date for entries is 19 October.  
The CESA Conference takes place at the De Vere Cotswold Water Park on November 15th, with a networking day and informal dinner on November 14th.  The event is open to all foodservice industry professionals, including equipment manufacturers, suppliers and dealers, consultants and operators.  CESA members receive a discount.  To find out more and book tickets visit

CESA unveils Conference speaker line-up #

The Rt Hon the Lord Winston of Hammersmith to deliver keynote speech

The speaker line-up for the 2018 CESA Conference includes some of the biggest hitters in the foodservice industry, leading business experts and a scientist whose unconventional views are bound to create a buzz.  The latter is The Rt Hon the Lord Winston of Hammersmith, the eminent and popular scientist whose TV career has spanned a huge variety of shows, from the BAFTA-winning Human Body to Have I Got News for You.  When he’s not entertaining, amongst other things he runs a gene transplant research programme and is regarded as the preeminent expert in reproductive medicine.  He will give the Conference keynote speech and delegates can expect a sparky, humorous and thought-provoking performance.  Broadcaster, economist and conference chair Simon Jack will have the unenviable job of tying everything together after the presentation.  
The theme for this year’s conference is ‘Evolving in a Disruptive Environment’ and Simon will also be attempting to manage the diverse thoughts of industry luminaries including Klaus Goeldenbot, group Chief Executive of Nisbets; Steve Snower, CEO of Parts Town; and Alberto Zanata, CEO of Professional Products at AB Electrolux.
As well as giving insights into the current economic climate, their presentations will cover a wide range of industry-specific topics such as the future of UK hospitality, foodservice trends in the pub sector, and developing catering equipment to match the latest food fashions.  Phil Williams, MD of Victor Manufacturing, will present the latest news on EFCEM (the European Federation of Catering Equipment Manufacturers), which could have an increasingly vital role to play in the context of Brexit.
The 2018 Conference is at the De Vere Cotswold Water Park, taking place on Wednesday 14th and Thursday 15th November.  A variety of booking options is available to delegates, from simple attendance at the Conference itself to two-day packages including both the informal dinner (14th November) and the gala dinner (15th November), as well as golf or another activity.  The event is open to all foodservice industry professionals, including equipment manufacturers, suppliers and dealers, consultants and operators.  CESA members receive a discount.  To find out more and book tickets visit

Sodexo - decking the halls at top UK venues this Christmas #

THE UK’s most prestigious venues will be decking the halls and throwing masquerade balls, to make this Christmas truly magical.

Sodexo Prestige Venues & Events is the catering and events partner at more than 50 top historic buildings, museums, sports stadia and tourist attractions in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

And it has unveiled plans to ensure partygoers have plenty to celebrate in the run-up to Christmas.

Each venue is putting its own twist on the celebrations, by offering a selection of party nights and the chance for corporate or leisure guests to host their own, bespoke events in a unique and memorable setting.

The choice of entertainment is as varied as the venues, from IWM London’s 1940s-inspired wartime-style events to White Christmas-themed packages at London’s The Crystal, at Royal Dock and The Athenaeum, Bury St Edmunds.
Historic Knebworth House, Hertfordshire and the Apex at Bury St Edmunds are adding a little mystery to Christmas with masquerade party nights, while Bateaux London and Windsor are taking the festivities onto the Thames with evening cruises up and down river.

While Ascot Racecourse is bringing Italian-style glamour to the season, with party nights inspired by the glitter and mystery of the ancient city of Venice.
Elsewhere, guests can take to the skies in a fight simulator at the Emirates Aviation Experience and tuck into Cabin Crew Canapés, or dance the night away at two of Tyneside’s top venues: Great North Museum:Hancock and Discovery Museum.                                                                  

The UK’s top sporting stadia are also kicking the festivities into touch, with fairy tale-themed party nights at Brighton’s Amex Stadium and traditional festive fun at Newcastle United’s St James’ Park stadium.

North of the border, Pittodrie Stadium, Hamilton Park and Perth racecourses and Glasgow’s Hampden Park stadium – celebrating a decade of shared party nights this year - are all popping the cork on pitch-perfect parties at Christmas and, of course, Hogmanay.

Edinburgh’s most prestigious attractions, including the Corn Exchange, National Museum of Scotland, The Royal Botanic Garden and the Assembly Rooms, will also be pulling out the stops with themed and bespoke party nights and drinks receptions throughout the festive season, as will Belfast’s The National Football Stadium which promises glitz and glamour this Christmas.

“Our portfolio of clients comprises some of the most interesting, unusual, historic and quirky venues throughout the UK,” said Natasha Carr, UK venue & events marketing manager, at Sodexo Prestige Venues & Events.

“And this Christmas they really are pulling out all the stops – we have everything from traditional celebrations to themed balls and even the magical experience of partying against a backdrop of fairy lights on the River Thames,” she said.

“Because each venue is unique – and because many offer early bird booking offers -  the shared party nights do fill up very quickly so, while it might seem early to be thinking about Christmas, it’s best not to leave it too late.”

Sodexo Defence & Government Services chef is overall Sodexo salon culinaire winner #

A Sodexo Defence & Government Services chef rose above hundreds of other colleagues to be judged overall salon culinaire winner at Sodexo Live.

Elaine Morris, pastry chef at Battlebury Barracks in Wilthshire, won best in show for her two vases entry in the sugar floral display category.

Patricia Gora, another Sodexo Defence & Government Services employee won the apprentice chef of the year category. Based at Bulford Garrison in Wilthshire, Patricia has been training as an apprentice chef for six months.

In addition to hundreds of Sodexo employees taking part in a range of live and static classes, more than 100 suppliers exhibited at Sodexo Live, held in the grandstand at Ascot Racecourse.

Adam Handling, Phil Howard and James Tanner were among well-known chefs giving live demonstrations throughout the day.

Sodexo Live also included a thought leadership seminar programme which saw a number of experts from a range of organisations including The Humane Society, WWF, Simply Cups, Fruitful Office and Love British Food, take part in panel debates on issues in the foodservice and facilities management industries.

Sodexo’s annual culinary challenge saw five teams of three chefs from across Sodexo prepare a five-course dinner for 120 colleagues, clients and partners in the Ascot Parade Ring Restaurant.

David Mulcahy, Sodexo UK & Ireland food innovation director, said: “Well done to Elaine Morris, Patricia Gora and all the competitors who took part. Our salon culinaire is an annual celebration of food excellence and craft development and demonstrates Sodexo is a great place to build your career as a chef with plenty of training and development opportunities.

“A huge thank you goes to the thought leaders, suppliers, celebrity chefs, industry judges, competitors, visitors and sponsors who made our first ever Sodexo Live the success it was.”

Sean Haley, Sodexo UK & Ireland regional chair, said: “Sodexo Live is a celebration of our skills and expertise, used every day, to improve the quality of life of the clients, consumers and employees we serve. It builds on our successful salon culinaire events and this year, showcases not only our culinary excellence, but also our offers, skills and innovation in hard and soft facilities services."

Sodexo recognises outstanding customer-facing employees #

Sodexo has recognised the achievement of around 100 of its most outstanding customer-facing employees in its seventh annual Service Excellence Awards.
Cleaners, fitness instructors, helpdesk operators, gardeners, security officers, engineers, kitchen porters and customer service assistants from across Sodexo’s integrated facilities management business in the UK and Ireland were recognised for their dedication and hard work.

More than 200 employees attended the Service Excellence Awards, held on Wednesday (27 September) at Ascot Racecourse, where Sodexo holds the hospitality contract.

Regional chair Sean Haley and Sodexo ambassador Matt Dawson were accompanied on stage by Sodexo’s regional leadership committee members to recognise employees across 27 categories.

Sam Stacey, food service assistant at North Devon Hospital, won the Food Service Assistant of the Year award along with the coveted Kathy Ridgard Award, given to the overall winner on the day.

The award is presented in honour of Kathy Ridgard, formerly director of Sodexo’s Centre of Excellence before sadly losing her battle with cancer in February 2013. Sean Haley, regional chairman of Sodexo UK and Ireland, said: “Over the years the Service Excellence Awards has grown significantly and highlights how our dedicated employees are delivering an ever more diverse range of services as our business grows. I’m always very humbled when I come to this event, seeing the commitment and loyalty of our teams across Sodexo. Our employees are central to delivering benefits to our clients and to our continued growth.”

Sodexo and Taylor St Baristas announce exclusive global partnership #

Sodexo has joined forces with specialty coffee provider, Taylor St Baristas to launch a global world class quality coffee programme, putting baristas at the heart of its coffee offer.

As one of the most sophisticated coffee markets in the world, London has been chosen as the launch market for the partnership.

The new exclusive partnership will see Sodexo offer its clients two premium quality coffee offers; an exclusive Taylor St licensed offer with an extended menu of premium quality coffees; and Chapter & Verse, a fresh new specialty coffee brand, co-developed by Sodexo and Taylor St.

Both offers boast 80+ Q-graded beans that are sourced in a way that incentivises quality throughout the value chain whilst also paying farmers prices that are typically 20-50% above those paid by Fair Trade. And all coffees are expertly hand-roasted by Taylor St.

The partnership is not just about the coffee: the partnership also includes an accompanying food menu which has been developed in line with the high quality, world-leading coffee on offer.

Sodexo and Taylor St Baristas are both passionate about their people. This new partnership enables Sodexo to offer specialty grade premium coffee, made by highly skilled baristas trained by one of the most highly credentialed coffee teams in the country.

Before serving any customers, all Taylor St and Chapter & Verse baristas undergo an extensive 40-hour training programme through Taylor St Baristas’ world-class training academy. Training and development continues as the baristas develop, helping them grow and acquire new skills over the course of their career.

Nicola Morris, divisional managing director and head of food, Corporate Services, Sodexo UK & Ireland says: “Research amongst consumers identified quality coffee as more important than location, service or atmosphere when looking at coffee shops.  With over a third of people leaving the office to purchase coffee it was imperative that we looked for a coffee which met the needs of our consumers and sets us apart from other food service providers. 

“We looked beyond the coffee bean to address this need which is why this partnership with Taylor St is unique.  We now offer an authentic expertly-crafted coffee of the highest quality with the provenance and traceability we insist upon, served by passionate baristas.  London is the perfect market to launch our partnership and we look forward to seeing it expand in other urban markets such as New York, Dublin and Paris.”

Taylor St was founded by Laura, Andrew and Nick Tolley, three siblings from Australia with a penchant for all things coffee.  It was one of London’s first coffeehouses of the artisan coffee movement and today is one of the premier transatlantic roasters and retailers of specialty-grade coffee.  Taylor St Baristas has broken ground in everything from café design through to guest experience, operating technology, product development and its barista training academy. “We are looking forward to partnering with Sodexo to bring Chapter and Verse to life; to training people who are passionate about coffee and excited to become a part of an elite group of baristas,” said Nick Tolley, CEO, Taylor St Baristas. “We’re confident this new quality line will be among the best specialty offers available”.

critiQuie supports businesses and their staff with wellbeing #

In October every year, World Mental Health Day brings much needed focus on the 'WellBeing' of everyone. 

critiQuie, who provide Arena’s feedback capability,  has devised a very simple solution to support businesses and their staff with ‘WellBeing’.
This video demonstrates critiQuie’s quick and easy 'WellBeing' outlet, which helps to build better communications between staff and management: 

It’s a place that staff can get advice, assistance, blow off steam or give suggestions on how to reduce stress in the work place. 

Louise Newman (MD) said “Over the past decade, Mental Health has become an increasing focal point on company agendas to support and care for staff. It’s encouraging to see that hospitality is one of the leading industries who are bringing mental health to the forefront.” 

The ‘WellBeing’ outlet is available 24/365, can be branded for any business, comes with a business portal to access responses from staff, has a high-level dashboard, data download facility, and the ability to customise the 'Well Being' template. 

critiQuie wants to continue its support of ‘good mental health’ and are offering an unbranded & branded outlet for Arena members at a discounted price: 

* Unbranded - Sponsored by critiQuie version which is free of charge. 
* Branded - Fully branded version from £10 a month (exc. VAT, T&Cs apply)

Louise adds 'We know it's good to talk but not everyone feels they can with their colleagues, friends or family. With the critiQuie outlet anyone can say how they feel, use it as a release to voice their concerns, either for them or someone else. Sometimes it's just a case of ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’, releasing a huge amount of pressure. Being able to put feelings into words and click the send button, even anonymously, can be extremely helpful, rather than bottling it up and not sharing with anyone.' UK state if you're in Good Mental Health you have: 
- the ability to learn, 
- the ability to feel, express and manage a range of positive and negative emotions, 
- the ability to form and maintain good relationships with others, 
- the ability to cope with and manage change and uncertainty.  

However, in more and more cases it’s easier said than done. critiQuie provide an outlet which is easily accessible, simple and quick to use. It can be acted on in confidence and helps the response to mental health going forward. critiQuie want to assist businesses promote good mental health and increase the avenues available for everyone to achieve and retain it. 

To find out more please contact the critiQuie team, email: