Members’ News

April 2019

The future of high street coffee automation is here #

UCC Coffee UK and Ireland launches new super automatic coffee machine

UCC Coffee UK & Ireland, announced the launch of its Black&White4 super automatic coffee machine. Engineered by Swiss espresso experts Thermoplan, the Black&White4 delivers precision, performance and power through a series of patented features – raising the bar for high street coffee quality.
With intelligent design and precision engineering, the Black&White4 was developed specifically for high volume operators who want to deliver consistent quality coffee at scale. Using advanced technology, it produces unrivalled extraction consistency, perfect milk temperature, texture and taste, temperature stability and allows easier maintenance with instantly exchangeable modules. All while being capable of preparing the UK’s bestselling coffees up to 20% faster[1].
Elaine Swift, managing director, UCC Coffee UK & Ireland comments: “We’re excited to launch this truly transformational machine to the market with our long-term partners Thermoplan. The Black&White range has been instrumental in driving the growth of coffee for operators who are at the top of their game on the UK’s high street. The Black&White4 is the next generation of this success, exceeding expectations for total cost of ownership, consistent quality and exceptional taste, taking automation to market leading levels and creating a positive difference with regards to our sustainability strategy.
“Thermoplan has pioneered technological advances globally for over 20 years and the prototype Black&White4 was trialled in real-life environments across multiple sites ahead of launch with performance analysed and new developments incorporated in to the launch model. This means that from day one we can be confident that it is leaps ahead of any other super automatic machine on the market.”
The Black&White4 has 10 new unique features:
 - ThermoShot™ – unrivalled extraction consistency for the smartest super-automatic espresso extraction ever
- ThermoFoam™ – perfect taste, texture and temperature for every coffee, with up to 41% faster dispense time for large, milk-based drinks
- ThermoProof™ – unrivalled temperature stability for consistent extraction
- ThermoConnect™ – complete estate management and performance visibility managed by the UCC Telemetry Hub
- Maintenance Made Easy – up to 30% decrease in machine downtime due to instantly exchangeable modules. Plug and play ThermoLinks™ connectors for a flawless transition during repair or replacement
- Efficient design, efficient delivery – 15% more energy efficient and 78% less water used than the Black&White3
- Maximum capacity, compact footprint – maximises counter space with clever configuration and potential capacity increase of 28%, meaning hundreds of extra coffees per day. 20mm slimmer than its closest competitor
- ThermoCycle™ – prepares drinks up to 20% faster 
- Dynamic menu – displaying infinite menu options on 10” HD touchscreen
- High Street Approved – performance statistics benchmarked against competitors and outputs based on real life sales mixes, not statistics from the lab 

The Black&White4 was officially launched at London Coffee Festival. It is exclusively supplied by UCC Coffee UK & Ireland, the total coffee solution.
For more information visit, or get in touch at

[1] Than the Black&White3

UCC Coffee announces new European regional structure #

Elaine Swift appointed Regional Director, Northern Europe

UCC Coffee UK & Ireland’s managing director, Elaine Swift, has been appointed regional director (North) for UCC Europe. The appointment comes as UCC Europe restructures in to three distinct regions to create efficiency, utilise skills and provide a consistent brand and customer experience across all major European coffee markets.
Under the restructure, Elaine will take on responsibility for all Northern European territories including Benelux and the Nordics, alongside Smit & Dorlas and the UK & Ireland businesses. The appointment is effective from 1 May 2019.
Elaine will continue to sit on the UCC Europe Board of Directors alongside two other Regional Directors – Rafael Ocon, Regional Director (South) and Marco Giuoco, Regional Director (Central) – reporting to UCC Europe CEO Paul Molyneux. The local business structures of UCC Europe’s operating companies in UK & Ireland, France, Spain, Benelux, Netherlands and Switzerland remain unchanged.
Elaine Swift comments: “This is an important step for the future of our business and reflects our ambition in the European market. Our new structure means we are fully aligned with our global customers, meaning we can provide a consistent brand and customer experience at scale. It also gives us the ability to harness the varied expertise, local knowledge and experience we have in our business to optimise our total coffee solution. Our market insight and industry-leading initiatives means our organisation is aligned with consumer expectations for consistency, quality and convenience. This will enable us to remain competitive and position us for future growth.”
Elaine joined UCC Coffee UK & Ireland (formerly First Choice Coffee and United Coffee) in 1996, driving the business to become the leading Total Coffee Solution, working with leading international retailers and foodservice businesses. In 2018, UCC Coffee UK & Ireland rebranded and hit two major milestones: exceeding sales turnover of £100m and employing over 500 people.
UCC Europe was formed following the 2012 acquisition of United Coffee by UCC Holdings Ltd. The Japanese, independent coffee company is the seventh largest coffee roaster, responsible for over £2bn annual sales.
UCC Europe employs 1,400 people, across 8 companies and operates 10 manufacturing sites including its roastery in Dartford, Kent and Centre of Excellence in Valence, France – Europe’s largest producer of Nespresso-compatible capsules. 

New Sourdough Deep Pan Pizza Bases join Pan’Artisan’s range #

In response to the overwhelming popularity of sourdough and increased demand for deep pan pizza, Pan’Artisan has added delicious new Sourdough Deep Pan Pizza Bases to its range, ticking all the pizza base boxes.

The global market for sourdough is expected to rise at 6.9% CAGR between 2018 to 2023 due to the growing demand for sourdough bread among consumers* and pizza remains a firm favourite menu choice.

David Jones, sales & marketing director, Pan’Artisan Ltd; “Research from our New Product Development programme has highlighted the upward trend in artisan breads, in particular the continued popularity of sour dough for pizza bases.  Our new Sourdough Deep Pan Pizza base addresses consumers’ desire for premium quality pizza, providing operators with a convenient and versatile menu option.  They are also suitable for vegetarian, vegan and lactose free diets, are produced in a nut free environment and contain no artificial preservatives, flavours or GM products.”

Pan’Artisan’s new bases are offered in a deep pan format, using a high level of sourdough specially selected to pack a flavoursome punch; a flavour profile of rye, earthy cereal notes and the intense acidity of the rye sour, compliments the light and fluffy texture of the pizza base to deliver a premium quality and superior taste.

Two popular base sizes are available; 9” and 12”.  They are part-baked to offer the ultimate in convenience and speed of service for operators and can be cooked in most types of oven, traditional or stone.

*Mordor Intelligence Industry Report ‘Global Sourdough Market 2018’

The Hospitality Social Media Awards 2019 #

The Hospitality Social Media Awards applaud hospitality outlets who are effectively using social media to engage with their customers and potential customers and to drive business, whatever the size of their outlet.  
They are the only pan-industry awards designed to celebrate the very best in social media communications within hospitality with each sector having its own category – from pubs, clubs, hotels, restaurants, to cafes and coffee shops and health and leisure venues and recognising chains and independents. 
The Awards will take place on the afternoon of Thursday 27 June at an exclusive ceremony in the stunning terrace room at the Houses of Parliament overlooking the River Thames. 

The awards will recognise those who are using online platforms to communicate in fresh and innovative ways – websites, Facebook, Instagram, apps and everything in-between. 
It's not about who has the most likes or followers but how it's being used to help the business.   

How to enter
The entry form is online on the website and it's free to enter.  The awards are based on social media work carried out in 2018.  Closing date: 23rd April 2019  

Each finalist receives two tickets to the awards ceremony at The Houses of Parliament.  
Hotels: Hotel – outlet / Hotel – chain
Restaurants: Restaurant – outlet / Restaurant - chain
Pubs & Bars: Bar / Sports Pub / Food Pub / Community Pub / Multiple Pub / Bar Operator
Clubs: Community Club / Golf Club / Rugby Club / Sports Club Cafes/Coffee Shops: Café/coffee shops outlet / Café/coffee shop multiple operator
Health, Leisure & Fitness: Health & Leisure Outlet, including fitness clubs / Health & Leisure Chain, including fitness clubs 

For further information: Cindy Hedmann at

Michelin-starred chef Michel Roth reveals range of go-to sandwich creations with Délifrance in new recipe book #

Michelin-starred chef Michel Roth has curated a new sandwich recipe book, The Authentic Collection, serving up plenty of sandwich inspiration for operators across the board. In partnership with leading bakery solution Délifrance, the recipe book features a range of traditional, timeless recipes as well as new and surprising creations to try.
As a Délifrance ambassador, Michel Roth enjoys using its versatile and diverse bread products. As well as his filling creations, these breads also feature a range of both traditional and unusual ingredients from all over the world, such as carrot, chia seeds, corn grits, olives and cranberries. Using traditional breadmaking techniques, these hand-crafted products come in a range of baguettes, rolls and loaves.
Michel Roth said: “Exceptional ingredients and traditional techniques – the product of a century of baking know-how – come together in these uniquely delicious, hand-crafted breads. In this collection of recipes, you will find meat and fish-based creations, but also vegetarian recipes; recipes that combine savoury and sweet notes with soft and crunchy textures to produce a unique sensorial experience. I used typically French ingredients as well as ingredients from all over the world to take your senses on a journey of discovery. I enjoy utilising the wealth of diversity that exists in all culinary cultures. I hope this recipe booklet will inspire you to create your own delicious sandwiches.”
Michel’s recipes include...
- From North to South: chorizo, tomato rougail (onion, tomatoes and espelette pepper) on Délifrance Héritage plain rolls
- The taste explosion: prawns, peppers, tomatoes, pesto, curry powder and four spice on Délifrance Héritage hand-crafted malted roll
- The Exotic: crab, mango, lettuce, passion fruit, lemons, fromage frais and dill on Délifrance Feel Good hand-crafted spelt and seeds rolls
- Awaken your senses: celeriac, avocado, mustard, chicory, buckwheat grains, rocket and lemon juice on Délifrance Feel Good The Farmer half baguette with beetroot and seeds
- Goat’s cheese and black cherry sandwich: black cherry jam, goat’s cheese, walnuts and rocket on Délifrance Feel Good The American half baguette with chia and cranberries
Nordic open sandwich: haddock, seaweed tartare, pink radishes, chicory, apple and grapes on Délifrance Héritage malted wheat and seeds country loaf 

The recipe book serves as a great inspiration to operators looking to enhance their sandwich offering, and can be accessed for free here:

With Brits topping the global chocolate consumption charts, Délifrance reveals Easter eggs aren’t the only chocolate treat to enjoy this Easter #

This Easter, Délifrance offered up its range of pastries and sweet treats to satisfy any chocolate lover. In fact, Brits top the global chocolate consumption charts, with the average Brit consuming 8.4kg of chocolate in 2017(1). One of the biggest seasonal events on the foodie calendar, Easter is an immense opportunity for operators to capitalise on by meeting consumer demand, with the holiday worth £590m to UK retailers last year.(1)
What’s more, research from Délifrance revealed that pastries are the UK’s treat breakfast of choice(2).
With an extensive range of chocolate viennoiserie products, Délifrance offers not only the traditional classics such as pain au chocolat but its own creations such as its popular white chocolate and raspberry filled pastry and triple pain au chocolat.

Other products from the range include chocolate & hazelnut croissant, chocolate & hazelnut little gem, chocolate allumette, chocolate plait, chocolate twist, mini chocolate filled croissant, mini chocolate & hazelnut danish, and mini choc orange danish.
Stéphanie Brillouet, marketing director for the UK, Northern Europe, and North America, Délifrance, said: “There’s something for everyone in our wide range of indulgent chocolate treats. Pain au chocolats for the purists, nut and fruit combinations such as orange and hazelnut for those who like something a bit different, and a whole host of other chocolate treats in between! With great variety in product shape, flavour and size, the viennoiserie range meets the needs of customers in across B&I, hotels, coffee shops and retail sectors.”

2Beyond Breakfast & Brunch, Délifrance 2018

New name, new look, new group - from Considerate Hoteliers to Considerate Group #

Considerate Hoteliers is proud to announce the launch of its new company identity. It has grown from a specialist company driving responsible business practices in hotels, to the Considerate Group, and is already working with an expanded client portfolio.
As the Considerate Group it is able to service more businesses with its leading technology, Con-Serve, as well as its unique consulting methodologies for the implementation of sustainable solutions.
Within this wider scope it is delighted to already be able to announce its collaboration with two new companies: Cheval Residences in London, a company specialising in Serviced Apartments, as well as with the SHA Wellness Clinic in Spain.
Considerate Hoteliers will continue to exist as a membership network for hotels in the UK who are committed to their sustainability journey, offering hands-on advice, workshops, communication tools and other support.
Through its recent successful selection by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to develop an App in order to help SME hospitality businesses to reduce their energy consumption, the Considerate Group is continuing its focus to remain at the forefront of delivering sustainable technology solutions. This will therefore allow it to support businesses in their efforts to reduce their overall environmental impact – both through the use of Con-Serve™, whereby they are able to monitor all data on one platform, and through the App (name yet to be revealed) which will give small companies better control of their energy management.
As the company grows, so does the team, along with the expertise it is able to offer their clients from this now wider circle of companies.
It is however, also through their association with Universities, such as the University of Surrey, as well as collaborations with other service companies offering sustainable solutions that it is truly able to deliver a 360° approach. This ranges from GRI reporting to Science Based Targets and Carbon Reporting, as well as the UN Global Compact initiative and other certification processes.
It strives to help companies integrate the UN's 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as well as reduce their overall Co2 emissions, by working with all stakeholders in order to contribute to the much needed 1.5° Paris Climate Goals.
As Considerate Group it also endeavours to set its own goals, to constantly grow and improve, hence it is aiming to become a Certified B Corporation by the end of 2019.

Government selects Considerate Group to develop energy management app for UK SME hospitality businesses #

Considerate Group – a specialist company that helps hospitality businesses operate responsibly – has been selected by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to develop an energy management app, specifically for the UK SME hospitality market.
As part of the development process, Considerate Group is inviting hospitality businesses, that meet the specific eligibility criteria, to join a free trial. Participants will not only benefit during the testing phase but will also get a free 12--month free subscription when Considerate Group launches the app.
UK based hospitality businesses with less than 250 employees and an annual turnover below £50 million, that have a smart metering equipment technical specification (SMETS) meter installed at the property – or be willing to have one installed – are eligible to join the trial.
For more information contact the development team at:  

Meet ‘fluttr’ the energy saving app for hotels & restaurants- the latest addition to Considerate’s offering of sustainability solutions #

The Considerate Group is proud to announce the name and look of its new mobile app, designed specifically to streamline energy management for SME hospitality businesses.

The Development of this app is part of the UK Government’s Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS)  £8.8 million innovation competition to develop exciting, new and innovative solutions to assist hospitality & retail businesses & schools to monitor and reduce their energy usage, Following research suggesting that SMEs within these sectors use the same amount of energy as 43 million homes in the UK, the aim is to reduce consumption by one quarter with more efficient practices – thereby helping the government achieve its carbon reduction targets.

With the first prototypes completed and having integrated the app with live energy data, Considerate has now finalised the first stage of the creating phase by choosing the branding and name.

Fluttr - ‘small actions- one movement’ - is an app designed to help small businesses, which traditionally do not have dedicated on-site energy management staff, through special functions. Its features and design take into account the unique requirements of both smaller businesses and hospitality operations, such as restricted budgets and time, as well as the significant impact of variation in daily business levels.

Considerate is now focused on testing ‘fluttr’ with further representatives of the hospitality sector ins Phase 3 of the project, by offering the unique opportunity to all hospitality businesses to trial the app for free for 8 months from May 2019.  Hotels, hostels, pubs, cafes and restaurants are all welcome to join the testing round and benefit from better energy management.

The Considerate Group already has expertise in bringing innovative solutions to the market tailored to the hospitality industry through its platform Con-Serve. Leveraging on this understanding of hospitality operations, the ‘fluttr’ app provides users with tips on how to improve current practices tailored not only to the individual business type, but also to specific job functions.  Thus, it allows businesses to empower the whole team to reduce energy. To find out more about the app click here.

Bidfood chefs transform surplus food into innovative, wholesome meals #

Development chefs donate their time and skills to help UK non-profit organisations and charities

As part of its ‘Chef for a Day’ campaign, Bidfood dispatched five of its highly-skilled Development Chefs to not-for-profit organisations and charities right across the UK to give volunteers and cooks inspiration on how to be more innovative with surplus food stock donated by the charity, FareShare.
The Bidfood chefs hosted skills sessions and cookery demonstrations in Manchester, Glasgow, West Berkshire, East Midlands and Birmingham. They aimed to help members of not-for-profit organisations and charities create easily adaptable and nutritious recipes on a low budget, as well as how to make the most of short-dated stock.
The chefs also rustled up buffet feasts of delicious food for over 100 people from low-income households, as well as those in rehabilitation, with meals ranging from creamy risottos and hearty winter stews, to vegan breakfast bowls and modern Indian treats. Furthermore, support was given to build the skills of service users to help them feel more confident to cook for themselves in their own home.
It’s no secret that the UK has a huge surplus of food stock in the system – it’s estimated that 1.9 million tonnes[1] of food is thrown away each year and 250,000 tonnes of this food is still perfectly edible and enjoyable[2]. Not only does wasted food contribute to greenhouse gases, but when 8.4 million people in the UK are struggling to afford to eat[3], there’s an obvious need for redistribution of this unwanted food.
Bidfood has recognised this issue and is proud to have a long-standing partnership with FareShare, a food waste charity that redistributes food from over-production or food with a short sell-by date. Together, they are able to redistribute food to those who need it most.
Lindsay Boswell, chief executive of FareShare, said: “Bidfood has been providing surplus food to FareShare for almost two years. In the last year alone, the company provided a staggering 40,000 meals, which were redistributed to people in need via our nationwide network of 10,000 charities and community groups.”
Speaking about the inspiring ‘Chef for a Day’ campaign, Martin Eshelby, Bidfood development chef, said: “There are so many great charities or non-profit organisations out there who regularly support and feed people in need amongst their local communities. We wanted to organise a campaign to support these dedicated people by sharing our skills and knowledge to teach them how to be more innovative when it comes to creating delicious and nutritious meals from food bank donations.”

[1] WRAP, Quantification of food surplus, 2016
[2] WRAP, Surplus food redistribution in the UK 2015-2017, 2018
[3] FAO UN, Voices of the Hungry, 2016 

Fleet Street Communications celebrates two exciting new business wins #

The year has started with a bang for specialist hospitality, leisure, food and drink agency Fleet Street Communications (FSC), with two significant new business wins across both consumer and trade teams.
FSC has kicked-off a trade communications campaign for Harrison, a specialist, multi-discipline, full service international strategic brand, architecture and interior design consultancy. FSC’s strategy will centre around driving awareness and building the reputation of the brand as a leading concept creator and reinforcing Harrison’s position as a key commentator and hospitality expert.
Richard Samarasinghe, head of brand and business development, Harrison, said: “Our challenge to FSC was simple – we want to elevate perceptions of our business and make sure we’re leading the conversation. FSC’s in-depth insight into our target customers and the channels we can use to reach them, gave us assurance that they would have no trouble achieving the goals set.” 
Following a competitive pitch, the agency has also started work with The Angel Hotel, a renowned ivy-clad Georgian coaching inn located in Bury St Edmunds, in the heart of the Suffolk countryside. Part of the Gough Hotels portfolio, the building is undergoing an extensive refurbishment, which will see its ground floors – including the reception, lounge, bar and restaurant – transformed. FSC will implement a programme of activity across all communication platforms to drive footfall and highlight the hotel’s new F&B offer.
Fiona Bovill, group sales & marketing manager, Gough Hotels, added: “Once we saw FSC’s proposal, it was an easy decision to make. We wanted a plan that would help us shout about our refurbishment to existing friends of the hotel, while introducing us to a new wave of guests. FSC hit the spot with a great mix of ideas across a variety of different communication channels.”
Mark Stretton, managing director of Fleet Street Communications, said: “With February being the month of love, it’s fantastic that we have forged new relationships with two brand new partners. Harrison is a fascinating company with a great roster of clients and projects across the hospitality sector and we look forward to driving greater awareness of the brand. The Angel Hotel is an iconic Suffolk venue and we’re excited to have the opportunity to tell the story of this boutique hotel and the transformation it’s undergoing.
“As an agency made up of expert storytellers and influencers in the broader food and drink industry, these recent wins are testament to the depth of knowledge, experience and creativity the team at FSC has across both consumer and trade communications.”

Bestway recognises colleagues across the business at its annual Performance Awards 2018 #

Bestway Wholesale recognised its teams and individuals who have gone above and beyond to provide excellent service in an employee awards ceremony. 500 Bestway Wholesale colleagues and suppliers attended the 2018 Bestway Performance Awards, which recognise the excellent performance of the company’s employees from across teams, in the 2017/18 financial year.
17 esteemed colleagues and teams, and three suppliers, were recognised for their fantastic achievements including ‘Driver of the year’, ‘Depot of the year’, ‘Head office colleague of the year’ and ‘supplier of the year’.
Managing director, Dawood Pervez said: "For over 14 years, our Performance Awards have been central to Bestway in recognising the commitment and exceptional talent we are proud to see within ours and our suppliers’ businesses.
“The awards are all about championing our people.  Whilst there has to be winners within the awards process, every one of our nominees, chosen by their colleagues, are winners.  You should be proud of what you do and of the recognition you have been given.”

The winners for each of the people categories were:
- Driver of the Year - Stephen Horgan, Bestway Plymouth
- Picker of the Year - Kaushal Kaushal, Bestway Abbey Road
- Receptionist of the Year - Ornuma Burke, Bestway Leeds
- Depot Colleague of the Year – Akhtar Ali, Bestway Romford
- Customer Satisfaction - Batleys Leeds
- Community award - Bestpets, for their ‘watch the birdie’ campaign
- Unsung Hero Award - Debra Allen, Multiple Account Manager
- Values Award - Herchelle Perez-Terrado, Licensed Controller
- Customer sales representative, at Bestway Vans Direct - Rob Spears, Snacks
- Catering salesperson of the year – Syed Shah, regional account manager
- Customer service centre team member of the year - Linda Ross, customer advisor 
- Pet salesperson of the year - Cheryll Flanagan, Regional sales development manager
- Retail salesperson of the year - Hitesh Mehta, territory sales manager for London
- Head Office Colleague of the Year - Pretash Patel, Assistant property and transport manager
- Head Office Department of the Year - The Customer Contact Centre, Perth
- Depot Manager of the Year - Zahid Akbar and his operations manager Habib-ur Rehman, Bestway Manchester
- Depot of the year - Batleys Liverpool 

About the awards:
The Bestway Wholesale Performance Awards 2018, which are the 14th year that these awards have existed, recognise the company’s colleagues and suppliers for their achievements, commitment and hard work in the financial year July 2017 to June 2018. The sales results, customer satisfaction scores, team work achievements, community efforts and commitment to the Bestway values, have all been recognised across the board with these Awards. All the finalists have been nominated by their colleagues and winners selected by a panel of employee judges. There are 17 colleague awards and three supplier awards in total.

Bestway Wholesale appoints new trading director, Kenton Burchell #

Bestway Wholesale has appointed Kenton Burchell to the role of trading director, working within the company’s executive team and reporting to Dawood Pervez. The role was formerly managed by Dawood, before he became managing director of Bestway Wholesale and Retail in December last year.
Prior to his new role, Kenton worked as commercial and logistics director at Bestway Retail, having originally joined Conviviality Retail in 2014 responsible for the drinks offer for Bargain Booze and Wine Rack and the convenience offer for Select Convenience. Bestway Wholesale acquired the Conviviality Retail business in 2018 and maintains two trading teams across Bestway Wholesale and Bestway Retail, working closely together to create the right offer for over 120,000 customers and harmonise terms with suppliers.
Kenton’s extensive retail and wholesale knowledge spans over 25 years in the convenience and independent retail industry. After starting his retail career in store management with Somerfield, Kenton joined Musgrave Retail Partners, working on the Budgens and Londis Symbol brands for almost 15 years covering various roles within trading before becoming trading director at Musgrave before moving to Conviviality.
Replacing Kenton within Bestway Retail, responsible for the product range in the Bargain Booze and Wine Rack franchises and corporate stores and Select and Central Convenience corporate stores, is Mark Owen who joins in the interim position of trading director, reporting to chief retail officer for this side of the business, Andy Cresswell.
Mark joins Bestway Retail with many years of retail and trading knowledge gained from roles as commercial director and head of commercial for various categories at the Co-Operative Group and Scotmid Co-operatives Ltd.

New order tracking facility for catering customers via the BB Foodservice app #

BB Foodservice, the delivered catering arm of Bestway Wholesale, has announced its latest feature, ‘track my order’, enabling customers to follow the status of their order from placement through to delivery, mirroring the service widely offered by consumer-retail brands.

There are five stages to the tracker, which are:
- Confirmation of order email
- Log in via the website or app, to see when the order is being picked
- Awaiting dispatch email - this email provides details of any substitutions or shortages made if products have become unavailable
- Delivery in transit email gives a four hour window in which the delivery will be made
- Delivery confirmation email

This first full service customer app for BB Foodservice launched in December and is already delivering impressive results and continuing to provide new benefits for existing and new customers.The app has been designed to make shopping with BB Foodservice highly convenient for customers.

Just three months after launch, Bestway has announced the new app has achieved a 92% customer satisfaction score1 and a 95% customer retention rate.

Salih Sheikh, head of marketing and digital, Bestway Wholesale, says: “We are continually improving the user shopping experience and make shopping convenient for customers and our app is a big contribution to this. We want our digital offer to make ordering as easy as possible for busy chefs and operators and our new app does just that. It has been designed to enable caterers to browse our full product range, place an order online via their phone, tablet or laptop and save lists based on their recipes, for easy re-ordering.
“The foodservice wholesale industry is just gaining its digital footing compared to other industries, and just three months post the launch of our app, the commercial results speak for themselves. Customers are utilising the app to order, digital sales are up and feedback from our customers has surpassed our expectations.”

The new app allows delivered catering customers to:
- Start their order on a phone, tablet or computer and finish it on another device, anywhere, at any time
- Create lists of their favourite products based on recipes and meal types and lets them order faster from these lists at the touch of a button
- Receive confirmation of their order as soon as it is picked and giving a time-slot for delivery, including substitutions and stock confirmation
- Scan barcodes of products in their store-cupboards to build orders as easily as possible
- Easily switch between multiple accounts for customers with multiple sites or businesses to place multiple orders in one place

BB Foodservice customers can now shop on the app on their phone, tablet or computer, via the website or in one of 64 depots; making BB Foodservice the most convenient place to shop.
The app can be downloaded on Apple devices at / Android devices at
The refreshed website

Britvic appoints Trystan Farnworth to newly created sustainability role #

Britvic has announced the formation of a new role within the GB business and appointed Trystan Farnworth as director of sustainability. Having previously held the role of GB commercial director for convenience & impulse, he has over 15 years’ experience working for the soft drinks giant.
The newly created role reflects Britvic’s ongoing commitment to running a sustainable business and Trystan will be responsible for providing senior leadership in this area. His strong commercial background demonstrates Britvic’s desire to align its sustainability agenda closer to its customers’ ambitions.
Trystan will report directly to GB managing director, Paul Graham, and will continue to hold a role on the GB Executive team – working collaboratively with brand and commercial teams to maximise the role’s impact. 
Paul Graham, GB managing director at Britvic, comments “Trystan has played a crucial role leading strong commercial results and customer relationships. His focus will be to bring together the various components of sustainability, creating a truly actionable plan.”
Trystan Farnworth added: “Britvic’s reputation for leading on industry topics is strong, demonstrated by our recent partnership work with the trade to prepare for the Soft Drinks Industry Levy.  We have led on health, and I want us to be an equally valuable partner in delivering sustainable packaging solutions.
“We’ve made big steps - last year we removed 600 tonnes of plastic packaging through light-weighting, and 100% of our cans, PET bottles and glass are recyclable in the UK. We are also proud founding members of the UK Plastics Pact and we will work closely with other members to support its goals. Our sustainable packaging strategy will continue to see us reduce packaging usage overall, use recycled materials, and explore new technologies to make step-changes. We will do so whilst enhancing our customer and shopper proposition – it must all go hand in hand for everyone to win.” 
Trystan’s former responsibilities will be managed by Rachel Phillips who joins Britvic as OOH commercial director, working across convenience, impulse, foodservice and licensed. Rachel has held a number of commercial roles with multinational consumer goods companies, including Mars, Reckitt Benckiser and more recently she held the position of chief operating officer at Gü.

Aqua Libra introduces sparkling new flavour and refreshed pack design #

Britvic has introduced a refreshing new flavour to its infused sparkling water brand, Aqua Libra, supported with a new pack design across the range, to add fizz to operators’ summer sales. Cucumber, Mint & Lime appeals to consumers’ changing tastes and habits and will help operators to drive growth in the water plus segment, currently worth £77.5m[1].
Aqua Libra is the perfect choice for people who prioritise their health but don’t want to compromise on great taste. With 85% of the population trying to be healthier[2], the UK market is at the beginning of its promising journey into the infused water market, following its explosion in the US.
Rachel Phillips, OOH commercial director at Britvic, comments: “Following the introduction of the soft drinks industry levy, we’ve seen a significant uplift in people switching from full sugar drinks into low and no added sugar alternatives across the board, demonstrating that consumers are not afraid to try new low or no calorie drinks. With crisp and clean flavours, Aqua Libra has no sugar, no sweeteners and no calories. Not only is Cucumber, Mint & Lime refreshing for the summer months – a crucial period for outlets’ soft drinks sales – but it is also an on-trend flavour that complements the existing Raspberry & Apple and Grapefruit & Pineapple flavours. By also storing in front-of-outlet fridges, operators can boost visibility and drive sales throughout summer.”
Aqua Libra is also introducing a new pack design across the range which will go live in outlets from May, helping to drive operators’ sales by increasing its stand-out value. The new packaging will highlight that Aqua Libra has no sugar, no sweeteners, and no calories.
The 330ml Cucumber, Mint & Lime flavour in a will be available from early April with the new pack design across the range rolling out a month later. The campaign will be supported by in-outlet activation, events sampling and digital.

[1] CGA, Total OOL, 52 w/c 31.12.18
[2] IGD ShopperVista, Health, nutrition and ethics monthly shopper update – February 2019

BaxterStorey Praised for Healthy Eating Initiatives #

Nationwide Building Society has been awarded regionally for its healthy catering practices in partnership with its hospitality services provider BaxterStorey. The Healthy Eating Award rewards caterers who make it easier for their customers to eat healthily, increasing wholegrain carbohydrates, reducing saturated fat, sugar and salt and making fruit and vegetables the stars of the plate. 
Following thorough assessments of the menus, cooking techniques, ingredients used and marketing, Nationwide House (headquarters), Wakefield House, Optimus and Pegasus House achieved the Gold accreditation for the Eat Out Eat Well Award from Trading Standards. Caledonia House in Dunfermline achieved the NHS Scotland, Healthy Living Award. 
BaxterStorey has developed its Healthy Me food initiative across locations to provide staff with food choices that are wholesome, balanced and nutritious. Award assessors praised BaxterStorey for its innovation in menu creation and marketing of the Healthy Me initiative, which incorporates more plant-based protein and provides nutritional information. Healthier snack choices are on offer, including the lemon and courgette loaf with no added sugar, and freshly prepared broccoli, kiwi and pear juice, served in 150ml bottles, in line with new Government guidelines.  
As well as grilling, baking and steaming food where possible, BaxterStorey chefs were praised for increasing plant-based protein ingredients and reducing the amount of red meat dishes available. Healthier and more sustainable food alternatives have been introduced to popular dishes such as lasagne, by using wholewheat pasta sheets and increasing plant-based protein with lentils and chickpeas. 
BaxterStorey recently introduced a new Nutrition: Training Tuesday initiative to further educate their teams. Health and wellbeing continues to drive consumer decisions with more awareness around nutrition and sustainable eating. The new initiative covers topics including the Eat Out Eat Well guide, nutritional labelling, pre-service briefings and menu engineering. 
Rosie Cadogan, BaxterStorey nutritionist explained: “Healthy food is vital to a productive workplace and providing our customers with these options is becoming increasingly important to our clients. We are always looking for that next innovative step to ensure customers have informed choice when it comes to their nutrition, which is exactly what our Healthy Me initiative is all about.” 
“Achieving the ‘Eat Out, Eat Well’ award is fantastic recognition of how we are making healthy eating more accessible and exciting. From guidance on nutrition and healthy food swaps to recipes to try at home, our chef development team’s work hard to ensure our food is fresh, local and seasonal, gives our customers choice to choose the best dish or snack to get them through the day”.  

BaxterStorey Scotland supports disadvantaged young adults into employment #

In partnership with Action for Children and Hi!, BaxterStorey Scotland opened its doors to twelve young adults from disadvantaged backgrounds, offering a two-week work placement at City of Glasgow College and Glasgow Caledonian University. The aim of the placement was to give the students, aged between 16-25, an opportunity to experience a realistic working environment, to help improve their communication skills and confidence.  
The hands-on training programme saw students learning the art of artisan baking, practicing their customer service skills and perfecting their latte art at Matthew Algie Coffee Academy. From Yucatan chicken and Mexican meatballs, to black bean tacos, the students served up some creative combos in the university’s ‘market street’, showcasing the best of Mexican inspired street food.  
The two weeks concluded with a graduation lunch, attended by friends and family of the trainees and fundraisers. Following the programme, five students joined BaxterStorey including twenty-five-year-old catering assistant Megan Gallaher. She said: “I would like to thank everyone for giving me the opportunity in supporting my student experience. It’s been amazing, and I am so excited for what’s to come as I look forward to my career with BaxterStorey”. 
Stephanie Wade, CEO of Hi! commented: “It’s crucial for hospitality employees to adopt fair and inclusive practices when recruiting and supporting young, unemployed workers. These students have all previously struggled to attract the attention of local employers because of their barriers to work, lack of confidence and experience. Yet, with new skills and confidence, they’re eager to begin working their way up the career ladder. After the successful partnership with BaxterStorey, we are keen to ensure the programme becomes a regular opportunity across Scotland, continuing to support more individuals into starting their career in the hospitality industry”. 
Mark McCulloch, operations director, BaxterStorey added: “This was a great opportunity for BaxterStorey Scotland’s team to get involved with Action for Children and introduce some great young people to the hospitality industry. Given the challenges the Hospitality industry is facing, it is the responsibility for all caterers to support young talent enter the industry”. 

Chair of CESA calls on senior managers to take on the CFSP challenge #

“Hugely valuable” training course is “a real eye-opener”
Chair of CESA John Whitehouse has just completed the CFSP (Certified Food Service Professional) training course.  He joins well over 500 UK foodservice industry professionals with CFSP accreditation – and he wants to encourage other senior managers to follow his lead. 
CFSP is becoming widely recognised as an accreditation that demonstrates the knowledge, expertise and professionalism of the holder.  However, CESA has found that, while the training is very popular with middle management, some senior managers in the foodservice industry seem reluctant to put themselves on the course. 
“I can understand the feeling,” says Whitehouse.  “A key issue is time – most of us are time-poor and doing the CFSP course eats into it.  It was certainly a reason I held back.  But you know what?  If you want to make the time, you can.  There’s also maybe the thought that we know it all already (trust me, we don’t), and perhaps a little bit of embarrassment that we haven’t done it before – and the fear that we may not pass.
“Having completed it I can honestly say that the course is a real eye-opener – it’s given me insights into the workings of the industry that will be hugely valuable in both my work and my role in CESA.  I only wish I’d taken the plunge sooner. 
“My message to senior managers is: sort out whatever is holding you back, and do your CFSP.” 
As well as being chair of CESA, Whitehouse is managing director of First Choice Group.  Having taken the CFSP challenge he’s now encouraging his colleagues to do the same.  “I have four of my senior leadership team signed up for courses in June and December, with more to follow,” he says. 
CFSP is run by CESA and is accredited by the University of West London.  Its objective is to support, develop and increase levels of knowledge within the industry by giving foodservice professionals a complete understanding of how catering businesses and commercial kitchens work. 
The next CFSP seminar and exam will be held on the 20 and 21 June at SMEG UK in Abingdon. For information on CFSP courses visit or contact CESA. 

CESA announces winners of the Light Equipment and Tableware Awards #

LET Forum celebrates John Gilbert’s contribution to the industry
CESA’s Light Equipment and Tableware (LET) Awards celebrate the distributors and sales people who make the industry tick.  Announced during the annual LET Forum, there’s also a special accolade for someone who has made a significant contribution to the LET industry, in the shape of the CESA Donald Bird Award. 
The awards are voted for by members of the CESA LET Group.  This year the Forum took place at Whittlebury Hall Hotel, Towcester, March 19-20, and the awards dinner was attended by around 130 suppliers, distributors and VIPs.  Steve Goodliff, the chair of the CESA LET Group, announced the winners.
The Distributor Cup recognises the distributor who has done most to support the promotion and sales of light equipment and tableware over the past year.  The shortlist included Lockhart Catering Equipment and Parsley in Time.  However, it was won by Alliance Disposables for the third year running, with Steve Abbott and Carole Halliwell on hand to accept the trophy on behalf of their team.  Amongst other things, voters commented on Alliance’s increased sales growth, the breadth of the range and the company’s receptiveness to new product ideas. 
The Sales Professional of the Year is all about an individual who has contributed most to sales of utensils and smallwares.  Although Ben Clarke nearly made it a double for Alliance, the winner was Antony Chaplain from Brakes Catering Equipment.  A colleague commented that what makes Antony a standout professional is the way he is responsive to customers, and how he looks at new and innovative ways to approach the market.  
The CESA Donald Bird Award was given to John Gilbert who was the driving force behind the growth of Gilberts (‘big in little things’ as the company was described).  “John has always championed light equipment and has unbelievable passion and enthusiasm,” said Steve Goodliff.  Entering his 90s, and officially retired, John’s enthusiasm for the industry hasn’t waned and his support continues, including the sponsorship of the recently launched CESA Apprentice Award. 

CESA and Specifi launch ‘game-changer’ catering equipment information resource #

Free online library will allow specifiers to access ALL product data, in one place
CESA members will soon be able to store and publish all equipment data and support materials, including CAD and Revit symbols, spec sheets, manuals, price lists and catalogues, in a new online information source developed by Specifi and CESA.  Called Sp Share, it will provide customers, designers and distributors with a single point of access for CAD and Revit symbols and product information, via a free portal.  Sp Share goes live in June 2019. 
In addition to perpetual free use of Sp Share, CESA members will be able to publish their price lists and catalogue information to Specifi’s UK Quote products for free through to the end of 2019.   In 2020, CESA members can continue to publish their entire price lists and catalogues to Specifi Quote, for an annual cost of £1,500 per brand.
“Sp Share is a very exciting development,” says Keith Warren, director of CESA.  “Having access to a single online resource covering all product information used to specify catering equipment will be a major benefit to distributors, designers and operators.” 
Sp Share is a natural development of the CESABIM database, which it will replace.   “The new system offers a comprehensive library of product information, whereas CESABIM was restricted to files that could be used in BIM-based designs,” says Warren.  “Furthermore, Sp Share is a browser-based interface that will be intuitive and user-friendly.” 
Specifi will be in charge of organising and uploading the data for CESA members.  CESA and Specifi will request that global IFSE and FCSI standards are used by companies submitting their product data.  However, Specifi has agreed to accept whatever the supplier provides, and publish it without discrimination, with the exception of outdated pricing.
Bob Wolters, CEO of Specifi, says, “Creating, managing and distributing multiple CAD and BIM files, as well as multiple price lists, in multiple languages, currencies and units of measure, is an increasingly complex business.  Sp Share is designed to make the management and distribution of all this much easier for manufacturers and suppliers.” 
Warren adds, “Currently, equipment specifiers have to gather information from different sources – one for prices, another for BIM or CAD models, another for spec sheets, and so on.  It’s a real headache.  Sp Share brings it all together: we think it has the potential to be a game-changer.” 

CESA’s PFS training programme is a “really enjoyable” way to help tackle the skills shortage #

CESA’s latest training programme, the Principles of Food Service (PFS), is designed to help tackle the skills shortage and the need to recruit young blood to the foodservice industry.   Two companies that have recently benefitted from the initiative are Lincat Catering Equipment and Target Catering Equipment.  “PFS helps new recruits get off to a great start,” says Charlotte Pedrette, general manager of Target. 
CESA consultant Steve Loughton delivered the PFS course at both Target and Lincat.  He says, “Forward thinking companies that embrace the ethos of training and development will be the winners now and in the future.  PFS helps recruitment, by demonstrating a commitment to personal development, and gives a basic grounding that helps newcomers quickly make an impact.” 
PFS is a nine-module course that takes two to three hours to complete.  It gives newcomers to the foodservice industry a basic grounding in key areas such as food storage, food hygiene and commercial kitchen equipment.  The course can be delivered by anyone accredited with CFSP (Certified Food Service Professional).  Steve’s long experience in the foodservice equipment industry, and his communication skills, make him an ideal tutor-mentor, which is why CESA asked him to deliver the course to companies wanting input from an expert. 
At Lincat, Steve delivered PFS to nine members of staff, who work in a variety of different areas within the company.  They were both enthused by the course and impressed by the clarity of the information.  “Each module followed on smoothly,” said Michelle Hennell, who has joined Lincat as a services administrator.  Emily Bell, who is a sales administrator, said, “It was very helpful in understanding kitchens processes more, which in turn will help when advising customers.”  Meanwhile their colleague Anne-Marie Greatwood, head of customer service, said “I really enjoyed the course.  So much so that I’m looking into the next step.”  
At Target, Steve tutored the company’s new junior design engineer, Ian Williamson, through PFS.  Charlotte Pedrette was impressed by the results.  “With his knowledge and experience, Steve is able to deliver an insight into the catering industry that few would be able to match.” 
She adds, “I would highly recommended CESA's Principles of Food Service programme as a great starting point to newcomers entering our industry.” 
To find out more about the Principles of Food Service initiative contact CESA.

Inspire Catering teams up with CH&CO #

Independent caterer and Royal Warrant holder, CH&CO, has announced that it is to merge its Scottish business with Inspire Catering, a niche caterer based in Stirling with operations across Scotland. 
Founded in 2008 by David Pease and Lorna McFarlane, Inspire Catering has enjoyed continued strong growth and success. With CH&CO’s ambition to become a leading player in the Scottish food and hospitality industry and make further investments in Scotland, the decision to join forces was a natural fit. Both businesses share an excellent reputation in Scotland and cater for a variety of prestigious clients across the workplaces, education and destination catering sectors.
Inspire Catering serves 14,000 customers every day across the workplaces and the education sectors. It also caters for more independent school pupils in Scotland than any other caterer. David Pease and Lorna McFarlane will continue in their current roles and take responsibility for CH&CO’s existing contracts in Scotland.
Inspire Catering will also benefit from CH&CO’s investment in new systems and IT infrastructure, leading teams of experts, as well as additional career development opportunities for its team of 250 employees.
David Pease and Lorna McFarlane commented: “We are both really delighted to announce this exciting news. It further strengthens our market position and means we now have a collective ability to drive forward with a fresh impetus to the benefit of our clients, customers and our employees. It’s very much business as usual for us all. Inspire Catering will continue to flourish, and we will continue in our existing roles running the business. We are very much looking forward to combining our systems and ideas to build an even stronger business going forward. We’re very proud of what we’ve achieved in developing Inspire Catering into the successful business it is today; providing a high quality and innovative food service in Scotland. We very much look forward to the future and working together with CH&CO.”
Welcoming David, Lorna and the Inspire team to the group, CH&CO’s CEO, Bill Toner says, “For some time now we’ve had a strong desire to grow our market share and invest in Scotland. Inspire Catering is the ideal partner for us to achieve this and the merging of our Scottish businesses now makes us a significant and dynamic player in the Scottish market.
“Lorna and David have built a very strong company and culturally, we share many of the same values and ambitions.  This has proven to be the right time to come together and take our combined business to new levels in the coming years.”  

CH&CO introduces new café and stunning event space at Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich, as the Painted Hall re-opens after two-year conservation project #

CH&CO, in partnership with the Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich, has launched a new café at the popular venue and visitor attraction. The Painted Hall Café is part of a two-year conservation project, part funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, that has restored the Painted Hall and its Undercroft.

The stunning Painted Hall, which has been referred to as the ‘Sistine Chapel of the UK’ and re-opens to the public on 23 March, is part of CH&CO’s portfolio of unique event spaces at the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Painted Hall Café, located in the Undercroft beneath the Painted Hall, will enhance the visitor experience and provide a new café destination for the local community. Its launch is the result of a two-year National Lottery Funded conservation project which has brought the magnificent painted interior of the Painted Hall back to life and restored the Undercroft to house the new café, as well as a retail shop and interpretation gallery.

The ‘baroque meets modern’ design throughout the Undercroft showcases original pillar foundations and offers a glimpse of Tudor archaeology.  Excavations uncovered the remains of two service rooms from the old Friary buildings which formed part of Henry VIII’s Greenwich Palace. The lower room is a cellar and features unusual niches thought to be ‘bee boles’ where bee hives were kept during the winter months to protect hibernating bee colonies.

Open from 10am-4.30pm, daily, to both visitors to the Painted Hall and the general public, the fresh, seasonal menu offers a varied selection of breakfast items, lunches, hot and cold beverages and cakes. Appealing to different tastes, dietary requirements and lifestyle choices, the menu features a mix of light bites, family favourites and classics with a modern twist. For example, breakfast includes bircher pots, porridge and pastries; and lunch features seasonal salads, freshly-prepared sandwiches and toasties, and hot dishes with daily specials such as macaroni cheese with crushed peas and smoked ham hock. The delicious cake selection includes Victoria sponge to flourless chocolate cake and lemon and almond polenta cake. Freshly brewed Barista coffee and speciality teas are available all day, with white wine, prosecco and beers served after midday.

As catering and hospitality partner for the Old Royal Naval College, CH&CO is also excited to reintroduce the Painted Hall to its portfolio of unique event spaces available for private hire at the historic location. Available for evening hire, the Painted Hall offers a breath-taking venue for a variety of events, including corporate dinners and receptions gala dinners, launch parties and fashion shows, special occasions and celebrations, and weddings.

CH&CO’s expertise in event catering and management will ensure every event vision is transformed into an unforgettable experience that exceeds all expectations at every turn. Guests will enjoy bespoke and creative food – from canapés to banquets – surrounded by a wealth of history and stunning architecture, and under the hand-painted canopy of the Painted Hall; the masterwork of Sir James Thornhill.

As with the other event spaces at the site, Queen Mary Undercroft and The Admiral’s House, arrival to the venue can, fittingly, be made in style by boat or clipper along The Thames.

Andrew Bapniah, operations director for CH&CO said: “We’re very excited to be working with the Old Royal Naval College to launch the Painted Hall Café to its visitors and to the local Greenwich community. The Painted Hall Undercroft is a fantastic location for the café, and as part of the incredible conservation project the space has been restored and designed in way that celebrates its history and will make customers feel that they are enjoying a drink and a bite to eat somewhere very special.

“The work in the Painted Hall is phenomenal. The venue is exquisite, and the CH&CO Events team looks forward to creating memorable events for clients in this unique and stunning space.”

For more information about the Painted Hall and other event spaces at the Old Royal Naval College contact the Venue Hire team on 0208 269 2131 or

CH&CO’s health and safety success recognised with third consecutive RoSPA Gold Award #

CH&CO has been awarded the highest accolade of a RoSPA Gold Award for the third year running, confirming its ongoing commitment to raising health and safety standards.

The award recognises CH&CO’s safety success across the diverse catering and hospitality business that employs over 6,450 people at more than 780 locations across the UK.

The internationally-renowned RoSPA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) Health & Safety Awards is the longest-running industry awards scheme in the UK. Attracting entries from organisations around the world, it recognises achievement in health and safety management systems, including practices such as leadership and workforce involvement.

RoSPA Gold Award winners, like CH&CO, have achieved a very high level of performance, demonstrating well-developed occupational health and safety management systems and culture, outstanding control of risk and very low levels of error, harm and loss.

Emma Hill, head of food, health, safety and environment, CH&CO, said: “We’re thrilled to have been awarded a RoSPA Gold Award for the third consecutive year. We work very hard, all year round, to make health and safety part of CH&CO’s culture and maintain our excellent safety standards across all our sites and offices. We use a variety of training and communication tools to achieve this, and to have our practices and systems rubber stamped by a globally-respected and rigorous awards scheme is fantastic; we’re very proud of our safety success.”

Terry Waldron, COO, CH&CO, added: “Our business is all about people, from our teams in our sites and offices to our clients, customers and supplier partners. We have a responsibility to help them all get home safely at the end of the working day, and we take this very seriously. Our third consecutive RoSPA Gold Award upholds the clear and robust systems we have in place and our commitment to a positive health and safety culture.”

Julia Small, RoSPA’s head of qualifications, awards and events, said: “The RoSPA Awards have become the key fixture in the health and safety calendar. Highly-respected, with almost 2,000 entrants every year, RoSPA award winners benefit from the wide-ranging rewards of improved sector reputation.”

CH&CO will be presented with its award on Tuesday 18 June 2019 at ExCel, London.

Create Food extends its exclusive partnership with London’s largest Livery Hall, Plaisterers’ Hall #

Events specialists Create Food by CH&CO has extended its partnership with Plaisterers’ Hall, London, securing its position as exclusive caterer for London’s largest Livery Hall for a further five years.

The partnership is worth £12million in turnover over the duration of the five-year contract.

Create Food will continue to deliver bespoke and uplifting events for clients at the stunning venue in the heart of the City. From corporate dinners, conferences and galas to private celebrations and weddings, its expertise and creativity in event catering and management will ensure every event vision is transformed into an unforgettable experience. It will also provide Livery event catering services to the Worshipful Company of Plaisterers.

Create Food has been the trusted event and catering partner at Plaisterers’ Hall since 2010. Its success is a result of its consistent quality of service, strong relationship with the Livery Company and ability to deliver events that exceed all expectations.

Robert Dalrymple, chairman of Plaisterers’ Hall Ltd, said: “It’s vitally important for both the Worshipful Company of Plaisterers and its commercial arm, Plaisterers’ Hall Limited, to have a partnership with our events catering partner that understands the needs of an historic City Livery Company and the requirements of a modern and dynamic venue, and works together to produce premier events. In Create Food by CH&CO, I believe we have found and developed that relationship. I believe this makes Plaisterers’ Hall the number one City of London space that will exceed client’s expectations from event idea to execution, incorporating production, theming, catering and service delivery across a diverse range of event styles.”

Tom Barrett, managing director, CH&CO Events & Livery, said: “We’re thrilled to have extended our partnership with The Plaisterers’ Company at their magnificent events venue, Plaisterers’ Hall. Over the nine years that we’ve been the exclusive caterer at the Livery Hall, we’ve forged a strong relationship with the client based on mutual trust and a genuine understanding of this unique venue. We look forward to continuing to build on this. It’s a privilege to work in such as beautiful venue and with summer just around the corner, there’s a real buzz of creativity as the team prepares to wow clients at their awards dinners, conferences and weddings.”

Compass Group UK & Ireland Celebrates as Scottish Colleagues Bring Home 22 Wins at ScotHot 2019 #

​Compass Group UK & Ireland is celebrating the amazing achievements of its Scottish chefs who won 22 medals over the two-day Scottish Culinary Championships, held during ScotHot on 13th-14th March.

The bi-annual Culinary Championship held in Glasgow showcases the finest talent from across the country allowing chefs to demonstrate and develop their skills in both culinary arts and live theatre.

Over 20 chefs from across Compass in Scotland came together to showcase their talents and skills, giving an insight into the exceptional standards and quality of food that is served daily across the business. This year saw Compass chefs entering from Eurest, ESS Offshore & Remote and Culinary Director, Graham Singer of Compass Scotland.

Between them the talented chefs scooped 22 awards including: seven Best in Class awards, six gold medals, five silver medals, nine bronze medals and two merits – making this year’s Culinary Championship was one of the most victorious in recent years.

Graham Singer, culinary director, Compass Scotland said of the event: “It’s very rewarding to see so many of our chefs taking part and even greater to see us take home such a big haul of medals over the two days. I’m very proud of the whole team and think our success is a huge testament to the talent we have here at Compass in Scotland.”

RA Group formation unites family of leading food & hospitality companies #

Compass Group UK & Ireland is proud to announce the formation of the ‘RA Group’. Bringing together Restaurant Associates, Levy Leisure, which will now be rebranded as RA Venues, and Rapport – a family of companies that together embody the highest standards of food and hospitality within the industry.

The new name, which takes immediate effect, reflects the values, consumer demographics and food and service standards that are shared by these three companies, as well as their commitment to recruiting, retaining and developing the very best talent in the industry.

Alice Woodwark, manager director, RA Group says of this exciting development: “Joining together these three impressive businesses within one Group brings great benefits to our customers and guests as well as to our clients. Restaurant Associates and Rapport clients will gain access to a prestigious range of venues within which to host external events, as well as access to the strong catering and events capabilities of the RA Venues team. Equally, RA Venues clients will benefit from insights and opportunities from Restaurant Associates and Rapport’s leading position in the corporate market.

“As the workplace food landscape becomes ever more consumer-focused, Restaurant Associates will also gain from RA Venues’ retailing expertise in over 50 public-facing cafes and restaurants. Similarly, the recognised leadership that Rapport holds in the field of guest services – as a multi-award-winning business that has been recognised as one of the Top 30 Best Places to Work in Hospitality for the last five years – brings further depth to the great service culture at both Restaurant Associates and RA Venues.”

All of RA Group’s businesses possess a rich heritage and expert position in the UK hospitality market:
Restaurant Associates: Founded in New York almost 60 years ago and then in London, Restaurant Associates brings the highest quality employee dining, hospitality and coffee to workplaces across the UK. 
RA Venues: Formerly known as Levy Leisure, RA Venues provides visitor and catering & events hospitality at leading visitor attractions across the UK.
Rapport: A boutique provider of award-winning guest services, Rapport proudly provides services for many leading organisations in the UK and overseas, often working as a combined team with Restaurant Associates, as well as on a standalone basis. 

RA Group also incorporates a number of fine dining and public restaurants including Roux at Parliament Square, City Social in partnership with Jason Atherton and Bryn Williams at Somerset House.

The creation of the RA Group family enables three great market-leading businesses to share best practice and training expertise to increase both the breadth and depth of the Group’s skill base and constantly improve the customer experience. The formation of RA Group will also increase opportunities for talented employees across all three businesses, bringing fresh ideas to sites and new experiences for the teams.

Moving Levy Leisure into the RA Group and rebranding it as RA Venues has the additional advantage of aligning the Compass Group brands in the UK and America. In the USA, top-flight visitor attractions including The Met Museum in New York and The Guggenheim are served by Restaurant Associates. Bringing leisure venues within the RA Group family will strengthen the bonds between Compass Group’s market-leading leisure sites on both sides of the Atlantic.

For more information about RA Group please see:

Chartwells successfully 'nudges' secondary school pupils to eat more healthily #

Using a scientific approach to behavioural change Chartwells has identified a number of ‘nudges’ that can be taken to drive healthier eating in secondary schools. Due to the success of the pilot which saw an average increase of 8% in the take up of healthier choices, a new customised menu will be introduced nationwide to its portfolio of approximately 450 secondary schools, after the Easter break.

With the aim to establish what ‘nudges’ influenced pupils to choose healthier dishes, Chartwells piloted the ‘Nudge, Nudge’ scheme in 15 secondary schools, where they serve around 7,500 school meals every day. School menus were tailored to include a number of ‘nudging’ techniques. These included: Red heart stickers next to the more nutritious menu options to draw attention to the dishes; adjectives relating to texture, taste or smell describing the healthier choices; nutritionist’s picks positioned at the top of menus, placed at point-of-sale and promoted on posters, as well as being part of a loyalty card scheme; educating students about the importance of healthy eating via assemblies, workshops and health stalls.

To measure the impact, schools were divided between those that had one of the nudges, all of the nudges and then schools which acted as the ‘control’ group who had no changes made to the menu. The most successful nudge, aptly named ‘Follow Your Heart’, increased sales by 8%. It was achieved through using red heart stickers on grab and go items such as selected sandwiches, fruit pots and water; and on menus for the nutritionist’s chosen main meals.

The ‘Follow Your Heart’ nudge resonated with students at the schools involved in the trial: “The heart stickers on the sandwiches definitely made them stand out from the others and grabbed my attention at lunch” one year 7 pupil commented and Chartwells on-site colleagues also confirmed this in their feedback.  

Education played an important role during the trial. Students at the three schools, where it was used as a nudge, enjoyed a huge uplift in their knowledge – scoring 85% post-trial when asked 10 questions on nutrition and healthy eating compared to 36% before. Nutritional education was delivered, by Chartwells, to the 1,000 students at the three schools through assemblies and health stalls, which encouraged pupils to ask questions and find out more. As part of the national roll-out educational tools will be available to schools via Chartwells’ dedicated health and wellbeing programme ‘Beyond the Chartwells Kitchen’.

Richard Taylor, managing director, Chartwells commented: “Encouraging healthier eating is core to our activity as we know that often school meals may be a child’s main meal of the day. The results of the trial have provided us with so much insight into what more we can do to encourage healthy eating. Findings from this compelling pilot have been used to create new menus across our secondary schools and I am looking forward to seeing the positive impact these measures will make as we seek to improve nutritional awareness in schools.

“Healthy eating can improve productivity and increase energy and alertness. We believe that by working together and continuing to educate students about choosing more nutritious meals, schools as well as their pupils, will reap the benefits.”

School meals advisor and former LACA chair, Patricia Fellows MBE has also backed this impressive initiative by saying: “I’m delighted to endorse ‘Nudge, Nudge’, anything that encourages students in secondary schools to make healthier choices from the school lunch menu gets my full support.

“These results show that using behavioural insights can lead to a real change in students eating habits, which could have a big impact on their futures. I congratulate Chartwells on the huge success of this project and hope that this initiative will be extended to other schools across the country.”

In addition to providing healthier food choices, Chartwells reintroduced its dedicated health and wellbeing programme ‘Beyond the Chartwells Kitchen’, at the start of this academic year. The aim is to help young people, teachers and communities tackle issues like childhood obesity, mental health and lack of exercise. Programme elements include food workshops, inspiring talks, teacher training courses and ‘Pop-ins’ with a Chartwells Registered Nutritionist and go hand-in-hand in raising awareness of healthier eating with students.

Compass signs Care Leaver Covenant supporting care leavers into work #

Compass Group UK & Ireland steps up support for young people coming out of care with the launch of its Care Leaver Covenant commitment. Partnering with leading hospitality industry charity Springboard; and Government delivery partner Spectra First, who support young people to realise their best outcomes, the aim is to provide support for those leaving care looking for employment in the hospitality sector.

There are approximately 70,000 children in care in England[1] and by committing to the Care Leaver Covenant promise the business is giving care leavers a great opportunity to start a career in the food services industry and really flourish. In partnership with Springboard Compass is offering a two-week pre-employability programme resulting in a guaranteed interview for a live vacancy within the business. If successful and following completion of a probationary period, care leavers can progress onto one of 31 different apprenticeship courses as part of their career development and most importantly sustainable employment.

Matthew Gordon, CEO, Spectra First also comments on the signing: “We are delighted to have Compass on board with the Covenant. The Care Leaver Covenant seeks to create practical, specific offers, by organisations in the private and voluntary sectors, to support care leavers aged 16-25 in living independently.  It is a long-term commitment, not only to offer training, work, housing, healthcare or financial support, but to a different way of working and thinking that embraces the positive contributions that care leavers can make.

“It’s really important that we have major industry players involved, especially in our key sectors, to encourage their peers to commit to the Covenant.”

Donna Catley, HR director, Compass Group UK & Ireland comments: “We think everybody deserves the same opportunity and by working with these great charities and the Department for Education we believe we can successfully help integrate young people coming out of care into the working environment.
“Our pre-employability programme has helped a number of candidates into apprenticeships and employment. We are immensely proud of our capability to mentor and train young people at Compass, both of which are key elements to achieving sustainable employment. As a business Compass Group UK & Ireland pledges to provide care leavers with improved access to employment and educational training, giving them a new way of thinking and helping them move forwards by providing a clear career path.”

Nikki Kelly, fundraising and marketing director, Springboard sums up the partnership: "I am delighted that Springboard are working in partnership with Compass Group UK & Ireland and Spectra First to deliver better outcomes for care leavers through the Governments Care Leaver Covenant. This partnership will now see a dedicated employment programme for care leavers offering one-to-one mentoring, pre and post-employment support, work experience and employment opportunities.

“Our partnership demonstrates the benefits of working together, engaging with national initiatives that deliver local outcomes, and discovering new talent within our communities that provides support and nurtures talented young people into the hospitality sector."

For more information about the Care Leaver Covenant Pledge please see:

[1] Care Leaver Covenant Summary/Spectra First

Host of innovative features lead as new Essential Cuisine website goes live #

Hot on the heels of a refreshed brand identity, Essential Cuisine has launched a brand-new website,, packed with a host of sector support functions, the latest trends and insight data, news, views and interactive recipe guides to help working kitchens harness its class-leading products.
The company’s brigade of chefs – with specialisms across the board – are at the forefront of the new site, with biographies and personal contact details for each reinforcing the chef-to-chef, ‘got your back’ ethos of the brand.  An interactive map also directs users to their specific sales representative, helping make life as easy as possible for time poor chefs.
The site’s product support functionality has also been completely refreshed, with an easy-to-use filtering tool helping chefs navigate range, flavour and dietary requirements. Full nutritional and allergen information for each product is included for the very first time, while bespoke recipes, chef tips, video collateral and blending inspiration, relevant to each flavour, are a simple scroll away.
The company’s innovation capabilities are also detailed, in a dedicated manufacturing section that showcases a full suite of product development solutions backed up by specialist technical support.
Essential Cuisine head of marketing, Ben Forbes, comments: “Just as with our brand refresh, this new site takes us a step further in becoming true champions of working kitchens across hospitality. From offering practical advice and hands-on support, to showcasing the finest award-winning products and providing inspiration to help take menus further, Essential Cuisine has a weight of kitchen experience that few other manufacturers can call upon. We have a brand and a new website truly dedicated to chefs.”

This is no April fool! Essential Cuisine giving away free tubs of its Premier Jus Range in ‘Refer a Chef’ promotion #

It may sound like the stuff of pure fantasy, but Essential Cuisine chose April 1st to launch a very real, limited-time-only ‘refer a chef’ promotion, offering up free full-size pots of its number one selling chef favourite Premier Jus range to those that recommend a kitchen colleague or friend.
As part of its new #recommendedbyjus promotion, those chefs that nominate a suitable candidate will have their choice of a full 1kg pot of either Premier Veal, Lamb, Red Wine, Rich Vegetable or Chicken Jus, while the nominated chef will receive a VIP sample pack to try the Essential difference for themselves.
Getting involved couldn’t be easier, those wishing to nominate a chef and claim their free pot can visit and leave a few simple details. Full terms and conditions can be viewed by visiting:
For every candidate referred, chefs will then be entered into an ultimate prize draw to win the entire Premier Jus range, a hard copy of the It’s All About Jus recipe book (containing ten timeless recipes made using the range) alongside a personalised chef’s jacket!
Offering up the quality of a traditional 5-star jus in minutes, the Premier Jus range removes the need for costly sourcing and preparation of veal, chicken and lamb bones, whilst eliminating this sensitive area of food safety. The result is a meaty, flavoursome jus with a viscous mouth feel and mirror-like sheen. 
Senior business development chef at Essential Cuisine, Jonathan Harvey-Barnes, has been working with the Premier Jus range since its inception, demonstrating to working kitchens its many benefits. He is confident that the new ‘pass-on’ promotion will have chefs clamouring for more.  
“In terms of high performance this is the go-to range for working kitchens, especially when quality and consistency need to be safeguarded. As a classically trained chef working in high end kitchens and banqueting for a great part of my life, I’ve never experienced a product that is so versatile, so true to the ethos of what a jus should be and produces such stunning results in a fraction of the time of scratch made product.
“This promotion should have every chef sitting up to take notice. Once trialled, we are confident that working kitchens won’t go back. Getting involved couldn’t be simpler; recommend a chef, get rewarded.”
Essential Cuisine’s Premier Jus range is gluten free, while its Rich Vegetable Jus is vegetarian and vegan friendly. The range is also freeze-thaw stable.

Six of the best ready themselves for North West Young Chef Final #

Coveted young chef competition to culminate on 15th May 2019

Following three nail-biting semi-finals, six young chefs now stand poised for glory, as the 2019 North West Young Chef competition reaches its culmination this May.
The competition calls on young chefs to create a sumptuous three-course menu for two with seasonality at its heart. The three high-pressure semi-final cook-offs saw candidates from across the North West go head to head to showcase their culinary talents, with three outstanding young chefs – and three ‘wildcard’ judges picks; those deemed simply too good to not progress – making the grade. 
The finalists in full:
Semi-Finalist Winners:
- Adam Green, 21, Commis Chef, Twelve Restaurant and Lounge Bar, Lancashire
- Bethan Disley-Jones, 17, Apprentice Pastry Chef, The Art School, Liverpool
- Sean Anthony-Noonan, 24, Head Chef, Griffin Inn, Eccleston
- Jan Vrancken, 21, Chef de Partie, The Cartford Inn, Preston
- Oliver Fitton-Thomas, 22, Sous Chef, The Ryebeck Hotel, Bowness-on-Windermere
- Edwin Kuk, 20, Chef de Partie, The Art School, Liverpool

Chairman of the judges, Brian Mellor revealed that he and fellow chef judges found the standard this year to be so exceptional, that once winners of each of the three semi-finals were chosen, they, after much deliberation, selected three extra ‘wildcard’ places for the final.
Brian says: “Every year my fellow judges and I continue to be impressed by the standard of young talent we have here in the North West.  London may be seen as the culinary capital, but we are more than holding our own. In these hungry young chefs, I see real passion, strong technical ability and an excellent understanding of local and seasonal produce. We pushed them hard and each candidate truly deserves their place in the final.”
The 2019 judging team includes Jonathan Harvey-Barnes, senior development chef from competition sponsors, Essential Cuisine, Francisco Martinez, group executive chef at Fazenda plus BBC Great British Menu stars, Craig Sherrington, and Ellis Barrie, chef and co-owner, the Marram Grass, Anglesey.
For the final on 15 May the team will be also be bolstered by a welcome return to the industry for Matt Davies of the British Culinary Federation, following time out of the kitchen after an accident last year.

Brian adds: “Few have done more to further the profile of this competition over the years than Matt. We can’t wait to have him back where he belongs.”
Cheshire College – South and West will provide the backdrop for the 15 May final where, alongside the coveted title, one chef will scoop an automatic seed in to the prestigious Young National Chef of the Year semi-final, plus £500 and a weekend for two at Cheshire’s The Mere Golf Resort & Spa.
The competition, sponsored by Essential Cuisine, CHR, and Sousvide Tools, also gives finalists the opportunity to attend an exclusive masterclass with an acclaimed chef before the May deadline.
Also supporting the competition and the young chefs are industry supporters, Lancashire Life, Robinsons Brewery, Robert Welch, Oliver Harvey, Villeroy and Boch, RD Wines, and The Mere.

Elior and Urban Rajah take breakfast to the next level with new Indian BREAKfeast menu creation #

Elior UK and Ivor Peters (the TV chef and spice expert better known as the Urban Rajah) have taken breakfast to the next level with innovative new range, BREAKfeast. 

Redefining breakfast, BREAKfeast meets increasing consumer demand for menu diversification as the offering includes an array of options rich in antioxidants, flavour and spices – bringing new life to this daypart. With something for every palate, the range includes delicately spiced protein pots, omelettes, bhajis, porridge, naan rolls, drinks and chutneys and draws its inspiration from the industrious cities of India, the rural hardworking heartlands, rugged mountainous living and coastal harvesting.

The Urban Rajah said: “Every morning we wake up, we’re given the chance to do something better, tastier and more inspiring than the day before. Packed with exciting flavours and nourishing ingredients, the ‘BREAKfeast’ menu grabs the day by the collar and raises its game.
“Drawing upon the independent British spirit and the dynamism of the Indian sub-continent, we’re re-defining breakfast with unique, nutritious dishes that allow our customers to ‘breakfast like a Rajah’.”

The refreshed BREAKfeast menu consists of:
Bombastic eggs: Protein pots with a heritage from Persia, it’s a one pan wonder devoured in Iranian cafes in Bombay. Spice-soaked tomatoes with wonderfully ‘blobby’ eggs touched by turmeric and spinach
Bhurji spiced scramble: scrambled eggs are given an Indian re-mix, Bhurji style using cumin and curry leaves
Masala omelette: pimped up omelette with chillies, health busting turmeric and iron rich mustard seeds
Rajah beans: bean pots are given a Rajasthani make-over using kidney beans, cumin, ginger and coriander and cooked in the style of the Rajahs
Aloo Hash Bhaji: crispy, full of flavour and gently balanced with ginger and cumin
Porridge and fruit pots: Goan Malabar porridge with coconut, pistachios and honey, Himalayan tsampa porridge with blueberries and banana slices
Marari beach mango salad: with lime-soaked mango and jewelled pomegranate seeds, zinged up with mint and toasted coconut and pumpkin seeds
Naan rolls: Junglee naan with bacon, Hunters naan with ethically sourced sausages, Anda naan with ‘pimped’ eggs, and ‘the great Gama’ naan
Drinks: fragrant spiced masala chai, ‘feeling peachy’ lassi with peaches, mint, vanilla, cinnamon and yoghurt
Chutneys: Chunky, sweet and savoury brinjal (aubergine) jam, tamarind brown sauce and tomato and chilli jam 

Visit to learn more about the Urban Rajah concept.

Elior UK keeps mental health on the agenda with new initiatives to support employees #

Elior UK continues to remove the taboo of mental health in the workplace with new initiatives designed to boost and maintain employees’ confidence and resilience.

One in four adults in the UK will experience a mental health problem during their lifetime(1) and nine out of ten people with mental health problems report they experience stigma(2). As a large employer with different departments spanning finance, sales and marketing, HR, learning and development and of course culinary services, Elior continues to remove this stigma by opening up the topic of mental health in a new employee communications campaign, group training programme and its charity partnership with Heads Together.

Wendy Elliott, senior learning & development business partner, Elior UK said: “As a society, we can no longer tolerate the view that mental health is a weakness. As an employer, it’s our job to make sure our employees feel they are listened to, supported and cared for, so they can cope with challenges both in and out of work.”

“Our continued initiatives are making this a possibility, for instance our ‘oktosay’ campaign has encouraged employees from all sides of the business to share their own stories and normalise the subject of mental health.”

Elior’s newest mental health initiatives include...

‘Shine’ and ‘Resilience’ programmes
Created by a third-party developer for Elior’s Head Office employees, these bespoke sessions equip employees with the resources to work through professional and personal challenges, boosting contentment, resilience and confidence in and out of the workplace. They were born out of feedback from employees’ annual performance reviews and an internal survey around how management can best support personal development. Offered in a group session format, the programmes guide employees in a series of exercises to encourage open-minded, positive thinking.

‘Oktosay’ internal communications campaign
Launched for World Mental Health Day 2018, the ‘Oktosay’ internal communications campaign provides a platform for any Elior employee to share their own stories of mental health, making the topic more freely spoken about within the business. It’s proved a great success, receiving positive feedback from employees across the business.

Heads Together charity partnership
Since 2017, Elior has partnered with mental health charity Heads Together. Set up by The Royal Foundation, the charity combines a national public awareness-raising campaign to reduce the stigma that surrounds mental health with a series of innovative programmes to make sure that people are able to access help when they need it most.

Not only has the partnership encouraged a wider conversation on mental health within Elior, employees have found creative ways to raise money for the charity. To date, nearly £40,000 has been raised by book clubs, cake bakes, themed days, marathon running and more that ultimately brought employees closer together. 
(1)NHS England

Elior UK celebrates employee excellence at 15th annual awards ceremony #

Elior UK championed its finest employees in the 15th annual Elior Awards for Excellence. The glittering awards ceremony was part of a conference and a day of celebration and recognition.

Welcoming over 200 guests - including suppliers, clients and finalists – the awards ceremony celebrated talent and commitment across all divisions and regions of the business.

Guests were treated to a spectacular lunch, designed by this year's Elior UK Culinary Competition Grand Finalists, and once again they had the chance to select the winner of the You Made a Difference award in a live vote. The twelve employee accolades also included the Sustainability Contribution and Site Colleague of the Year awards.

Catherine Roe, Elior UK CEO, said: “Congratulations to all of our winners – your hard work and passion to be the best, enjoy what you do and deliver exceptional customer experiences truly represent what Elior is all about. I’m proud to recognise your individual contributions in each award – and you should be too!”
Elior Awards for Excellence Winners 2019
- Customer Service - Claire McNulty, Senior Supervisor, Rangers FC
- Experience Service Champion - Samara Harvey, Assistant Catering Manager, St Barts
- Chef Award - Cheryl Pattison, Head Chef, BT/EE, Darlington
- Culinary Competition - Jack Shaw, Head Chef, Savills, London
- Star Site – QinetiQ, Scotland
- Special Recognition - Katherine Hannan, Bid Production Manager, The Courtyard
- Site Colleague of the Year - Jessica May Gardiner, Chef de Partie, Waters Micromass, Wilmslow
- Manager of the Year - Anne Rimmer, Chef Manager, Merseyside Police
- Support Services Colleague of the Year - Steve Johncock, Business Analyst, The Courtyard
- You Made a Difference - Sarah McDowall, Cook Supervisor, Intake Primary School, Sheffield
- Apprentice of the Year - Leanne Pendreigh, Duty Manager, Hinxton Hall
- Sustainability Contribution - Philippa Moreton, Chef Manager, Our Lady & St Joseph’s Primary School, County Durham

Women in Food and Drink celebrated at IFE 2019 #

The industry needs to unite, say experts 

Women in the food & drink industry were celebrated at the International Food & Drink Event (IFE) 2019 in London.
The celebration came shortly after government figures were released showing there are more women in work than ever before and the gender pay gap is at a record low.
Speaking at a special event in The Hub, Christine Tacon, the Groceries Code Adjudicator, delivered an inspirational speech celebrating the many success stories and opportunities for women in the food & drink industry, as well challenging business owners to keep supporting inclusivity and progression.
Members of the food & drink industry reflected at the event on how far the industry has come in terms of the career prospects now open to women that may not have been before.
Soraya Gadelrab, event director for IFE, said: “The food & drink industry offers fantastic opportunities for men & women alike. It is a highly creative sector to work in, constantly innovating and developing. It also offers an alternative to a traditional nine to five lifestyle, which many find liberating in terms of its flexibility.”
Another senior female figure in the industry, Helen Bird, strategic engagement manager at The UK Plastics Pact/WRAP, led the debate today on sustainability and described the issue of inconsistency in household recycling as one of the most pressing.
Speaking at The Big Debate on how the industry can make the food & drink world more sustainable, she shared examples of how the industry can do better when it comes to eliminating unnecessary and problematic plastics.
In other news from IFE 2019, the taste of tomorrow was the main topic of discussion at a talk on trends, revealing that gut health and ancient grains will feature in the healthy eating trends of the future. Modern wheat alternatives such as spelt, farro and einkorn are growing in popularity and are likely to feature more widely on menus in the future, the Talking Trends panel discussion concluded. Meanwhile sugar reduction was the order of the day at The Healthy Food Development stand, which officially launched its new no-added sugar Traditional Indian Sweets. With diabetes named as the fastest growing disease amongst the Indian population, this new product innovation is designed to meet wider demand for low and no sugar alternatives without compromising on taste and texture.

Diversity, innovation & future-focused: bringing together the great & good of the food & drink industry at IFE 2019 #

Last month, 17 – 20 March 2019, over 27,000 professionals in the global food & drink industry travelled to ExCeL London for The International Food & Drink Event (IFE) 2019.

The hotly anticipated event showcased a taste of tomorrow with more than 1,350 new and trend-setting international food & drink brands exhibiting their latest product innovations; including everything from charcoal-infused drinks and popped lotus seed snacks to meat-free burgers and healthy protein-based ketchup.

Speaking about the memorable 21st edition of IFE, Soraya Gadelrab, event director, said: “As one of the biggest international food & drink events, IFE has to live up to high expectations and this year certainly delivered! Every event I think it can’t get better and every time I’m blown away.

“The 2019 event was truly the best yet with boundary-pushing products being introduced to the market from a wide-range of innovative exhibitors; thought-provoking and insight-driven debates and presentations; and lots of ongoing and beneficial business partnerships made. It’s left a long-lasting impression on the industry.”

Taking place as negotiations continue around the UK’s exit from the EU, the implications of Brexit on the sector and, in particular, importing and exporting food & drink produce, was the hot topic.  Leading figures such as Sandra Sullivan MBE, from the Food & Drink Exporters Association, and Ian Wright, from the Food & Drink Federation, debated the key issues, with the message to the sector focussed on the need to protect the fantastic diversity, quality and range of food & drink produced in the UK market.

Building on the theme of exporting, IFE sponsors, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and Department for International Trade (DIT), brought to life the government campaign, Food is GREAT, through a multi-sensory UK Taste & Tales Wall. Featuring eight leading UK brands such as Halen Môn Sea Salt, East London Liquor Company, Erdinger Beam Suntory Whisky, Eat Real Snacks, Joe & Seph’s Popcorn, ShortCross Gin and Fever-Tree, the storytelling experience took visitors on a journey through their exporting journey and showcased the exceptional British food & drink that’s landing on dinner plates around the world.

The theme of sustainability was also high on the agenda, with over half of food & drink companies citing reducing their reliance on single-use plastic and making packaging more sustainable as the biggest sustainability challenges facing their business[1]. Experts from WRAP, Defra, The Packaging Collective and the Soil Association, took part in the Big Debate panels which highlighted the need to educate consumers from a young age on the environmental impact of food waste and ways to tackle this pressing issue.

As part of this, IFE partnered with City Harvest to immediately redistribute food surplus from exhibitors, resulting in the equivalent of five million meals being delivered to 66 projects such as Acton Homeless, The Choir with No Name, St Laurence Larder and Burgess Park Housing. In addition, almost £1,500 was raised for the charity through donations during the event.

Bringing the IFE strapline – A Taste of Tomorrow – to life, was the brand-new Tasting Trends attraction where all sessions were standing room only. Each day, buyers & suppliers were immersed in an experiential street food hub where they could see, taste and smell the up-and-coming food & drink trends shaping the sector. Pioneering chefs, such as Tony Kitous, Tokunbo Koiki and Jay Morjaria, cooked up mouth-watering delicacies from the international, plant-based, flavour and conscious food trends. This one-of-a-kind experience was then topped off with the chance to create bespoke punnets of microgreens with Rootlabs.
IFE 2019 was co-located with Pro2Pac, the complete processing & packaging event for the food & drink industry. Attracting professionals from the packaging sector, the event featured interesting debates on topics such as packaging in the circular economy, the impact of Brexit on the packaging market and how to inspire the world to switch off the plastic tap. With experts from the likes of the Confederation of Paper Industries, Women in Packaging and The Packaging Collective, it was the only place to gain a comprehensive snapshot of the future of food & drink packaging.

[1] Survey of 293 members of the IFE network, February 2019

Nisbets freezes prices on over 15,000 products #

Nisbets announced it has frozen prices on over 15,000 lines, with price reductions for a further 1,200 products in its 2019 catalogue.
With a strong focus on key own-brand lines, including Buffalo, Polar, Vogue, Jantex, Fiesta and Olympia, more than 78% of Nisbets’ new catalogue of 11,000 products either decrease in price, or the price will remain fixed. The price freeze is in support of opertors across the foodservice industry as challenging trading conditions and uncertainty around Brexit continue to impact their businesses.
In 2018, Nisbets engaged in a series of conversations with key suppliers, discussing ways in which it could work collaboratively with its partners to put in place a number of efficiencies and, ensuring that its customers continue to thrive despite cost headwinds and flat economic growth.
Richard Cromwell, commercial director, Nisbets comments; “Over the last 12 months, our customers have experienced a number of operational impacts, from rising business rates to supply side cost increases. Pair this with unpredictable trading conditions on the high street, and our customers could be facing turbulent times ahead. As the UK’s leading provider of catering equipment, we’re not only committed to supporting our customers to tackle these challenges, but feel it’s our responsibility to do so. By demonstrating our on-going focus on delivering exceptional customer service at a competitive price point we’re aiming to help our customers do great things across 2019.”

Independents by Sodexo wins catering contract for King’s School, Chester #

Independents by Sodexo has been awarded a five-year contract to manage catering services at The King’s School in Chester, one of the leading co-educational day schools in the country.  

Independents by Sodexo won the £4 million contract following a competitive tender process and took over the service on 4 April 2019.

The King’s School, Chester has been educating children for 477 years and currently has over 1100 pupils aged four to 18. The school blends outstanding academic tuition with opportunities to develop sporting, artistic and social skills to help build pupils’ confidence and attainment.

The new catering service from Independents by Sodexo will offer a wide range of dishes with a focus on fresh, nutritious and seasonal food.

Independents by Sodexo will provide investment to the school for the ongoing development of the services, while the onsite team will have opportunities to continually enhance their culinary skills by taking part in the company’s chef scholarship, which provides access to industry-leading training.

Jeremy Alderton, managing director for Independents by Sodexo, said: “We are delighted to be entering into this partnership with The King’s School. We know that young people want variety in their food but are also conscious about sustainability and provenance.

“Our highly skilled chefs will be creating a selection of dishes using sustainably sourced ingredients that will not only interest and excite the pupils, but will also power performance to help them get the most out of school.”
Hayley Jordan, bursar at The King’s School Chester said: “We were really impressed with the way the Independents by Sodexo team engaged with us throughout the tender process. They took the time to understand the ethos of the school and what we are looking for from our catering service. 

“Independents by Sodexo have an impressive track record of taking an innovative approach to providing healthy school meals, and we are looking forward to working with the team to develop menus that will nourish and satisfy pupils and staff alike.”

Sodexo opens first Crussh outlet at City, University of London #

Matt Dawson, former England rugby player and Sodexo Ambassador was at City, University of London, to celebrate the opening of the first Crussh outlet since Sodexo signed a franchise partnership with the healthy food and juice chain last year. 

The new Crussh outlet which is located in the University’s main building in Northampton Square in London will be serving a wide range of Crussh’s healthy food and drinks from 8.30am through to 5pm, Monday to Friday

Included in the range are breakfast options such as porridge, scrambled or poached eggs and for the rest of the day a range of healthpots, salads, wraps, sourdough toasties as well as hot food options including hot pot, hot grain salads, soups and Crussh’s Fit Bowls.

Healthy drinks on offer include a selection of Crussh cold press juices including Brilliant Beets, Oh My Greens, Strawberry Glow, Turmeric Zinger, Cherry Vit C, Immunity Plus.

Founded in 1998 as London’s original juice, smoothie and healthy fast food retailer, Crussh now has 35 stores in the capital where the focus remains on wellbeing of employees and customers.

Sodexo is committed to providing and encouraging consumers access to healthy lifestyle choices as part of its sustainability roadmap Better Tomorrow 2025. City, University of London is the first outlet to open a Crussh with more planned later this year with clients in higher education and healthcare.

Simon Knight, managing director, universities, Sodexo UK & Ireland said: “We are delighted to welcome Crussh at City, University of London. The University is committed to promoting healthier eating habits for both staff and students and the introduction of Crussh as one of our catering offers helps support the University to achieve this.

“Matt Dawson is an ambassador for Sodexo, having him with us on our opening day helped us engage with the staff and students about the importance a healthy diet and lifestyle has on their performance. We are looking forward to bringing this innovative and healthy brand to more of our clients and customers in the near future.”

Shane Kavanagh, CEO of Crussh, adds: “We are delighted to open our first university outlet. We know the university well, and it’s really exciting to be able to introduce healthy, nutritious food to campus. We can’t wait to get going and think this is a great opportunity to positively impact the wellbeing of students and staff onsite.”

City, University of London has a population of more than 18,000 students and staff. Sodexo has provided the catering and hospitality services at the University since 2014.

£174,000 raised at Sodexo’s Foundation dinner #

£174,000 was raised at Sodexo’s annual Foundation charity dinner.

Around 500 guests were at The Dorchester Hotel, London, to attend the black-tie dinner, and grand finale to the year’s fundraising activities for Stop Hunger, a campaign that aims to tackle poor nutrition in local communities across the UK and Ireland.

Over the last 12 months the Foundation has given out grants of over £350,000 to 15 charity partners including FareShare, the Trussell Trust (the Foundation’s national foodbank partner), SSAFA, Focus Ireland, Magic Breakfast and Coram.

The evening also marked a milestone for Sodexo and Fareshare’s ten-year partnership with the total value donated by the Foundation to Fareshare reaching £1 million.

Lindsay Boswell, chief executive of FareShare commented; “FareShare takes good quality, in date food from the food industry and redistributes it to vulnerable people, through a network of 10,000 frontline charities across the UK. Without long-term partnerships with organisations such as Sodexo we wouldn’t be able to support nearly as many people, or get as much food to good causes. Working together we can combat food waste and tackle food poverty.”

Throughout the evening, guests were offered an insight into how the money raised promotes healthy lifestyles and provides food to those in need.

Four employees were recognised at the dinner for their efforts in supporting the Foundation.

Best Charity Champion was awarded to Mark Howie, intervention manager, Justice Services, for his commitment to organising fundraising initiatives and encouraging work colleagues to get involved.

Tim Fagan, contract director, Government Services was awarded the Stop Hunger Day Award. Two weeks into a new role, he arranged a charity auction for the benefit of SSAFA and Stop Hunger; hosted by Matt Dawson, with 180 guests in attendance which raised over £51,000.

The Most Innovative Fundraising Idea award went to Marie Arthur, account director, Sports Leisure & Travel.  Marie was the driving force behind the 2018 Stop Hunger Santa Dash – a 5K run with over 100 participants from across the country dressed up in festive clothing who ran to raise money for Stop Hunger.   The event was such a success that it will now be held as an annual event.

The final award of the evening was the Volunteering Award. A vital element of the Foundation’s work is through the employee volunteering programme which allows every Sodexo employee to take up to three days to help volunteer.  Over the last year Sodexo employees have spent over 2,000 hours volunteering.

The award was given in memory of Anita Wilson, one of the Foundation Trustees and Sodexo employee, who sadly passed away last year.  The winner was Omy Lawal, department administrator in Sodexo’s legal team. Omy received the award for her commitment to supporting the Foundation’s charity partners. Most recently, she has made sure that volunteering opportunities are part of the Springboard intern experience that she oversees, engaging the interns in the charitable work of Sodexo and showcasing how we are impacting our local communities.  

Commenting on the evening, Sean Haley, Sodexo’s UK & Ireland regional chair aid; “The Foundation dinner is an important event in the Sodexo calendar where we have the opportunity to recognise our colleagues who go over and above to help our charitable efforts and to shine a light on the issues that exist within our communities around food poverty. By raising awareness as well as money we aim to help alleviate the issue for as many people as we can.”

Sodexo expands its UK home care business with the acquisition of The Good Care Group #

Sodexo announced the acquisition of The Good Care Group, a leading player in the live-in care market in the UK.

Founded in 2009, The Good Care Group provides tailored live-in care services to consumers, in their homes, who require assistance to live independently, or, have complex care needs. It is one of the few businesses of its type to be rated ‘Outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission in the UK.

The acquisition enables Sodexo, present in the UK home care market through Prestige Nursing + Care, to expand its offer, while meeting the needs and preferences of consumers by providing high quality live-in care services, with the expertise to tailor the care for those individuals living with dementia or other specialist conditions.

As the growing aging population seeks more personalised and more personable care solutions, that often means staying in the home. With this acquisition, Sodexo is expanding its services in the UK live-in care market and will be ranked second nationally in the live-in care market and among the top five in the private-paid care market.

Following the acquisition, Jonathan Bruce, currently managing director of Prestige Nursing + Care, will become CEO of Sodexo’s home care business in the UK, supported by Belinda Berkeley, currently Managing Director of the Good Care Group, as Managing Director. Together they will lead the strategic development of Sodexo’s UK home care business comprised of Prestige Nursing + Care and The Good Care Group.

Dominique Kent, currently COO of The Good Care Group, will lead the continued growth of The Good Care Group as managing director and continue her role as vice chair of the UK Home Care Association.

Sarosh Mistry, CEO Sodexo Home Care Worldwide, said: “Both Sodexo and The Good Care Group share a common mission to help our consumers age in their homes as independently and comfortably as possible. This cultural alignment is key to Sodexo and it is its core values that makes The Good Care Group such a natural fit into Sodexo’s Worldwide Home Care business. The Good Care Group has built a very successful business in the UK, based on delivering high quality live-in care. Together, we see tremendous opportunity to offer a choice of home care solutions to consumers with complex care needs.”

Fiona Lowry, CEO of The Good Care Group said: “The Good Care Group mission is to provide the highest quality home care services, enabling people to enjoy staying in their own homes and community for as long as possible. We are proud to have enhanced the quality of life for many consumers in the UK. Now as a part of Sodexo, we have a shared commitment to improving the quality of life of those we serve and expanding the care we can provide.”  

Jonathan Bruce, managing director Prestige Nursing + Care, and CEO of UK Home Care said: “With the acquisition of The Good Care Group, Sodexo is better equipped to meet the varied and evolving needs of an ageing population.  Being able to offer live-in care as well as Prestige Nursing + Care’s hourly care service creates a single business that can effectively respond to an array of care needs. It’s exciting to think about how this total in-home care solution can change the lives of so many consumers and their families. It’s about living life to its fullest."

Greggs’ vegan sausage roll most talked about during Veganuary #

In light of booming success in the vegan market (such as Greggs’ recent £1bn milestone thanks to its vegan sausage roll), research from William Murray PR & Marketing has tapped into ‘Veganuary’ – a month-long veganism challenge during January which saw a record 250,000 sign ups this year.(1) 
Using its social listening tool, Delve Insights, the team at the specialist food and drink agency kept track of what people were saying online about the much-anticipated month. After weeks of indulgence over the Christmas period, Veganuary was a welcome change for many, who considered it as a personal challenge for 2019.
McDonald’s and M&S were quick off the mark to announce new vegan-friendly products in January, with vegan Happy Meals and the Plant Kitchen ranges appearing on shelves across the country. But it was Greggs that won the battle of the brands for NPDs with its vegan friendly sausage roll, owning 67% of product mentions.
When it came to brand share of voice, plant-based meat alternatives Oumph and Quorn were the top two most talked about brands over Veganuary, proving the nation’s willingness to adopt plant-based proteins in place of meat. This was also true for individual ingredients, with tofu (44%) and jackfruit (34%) popular choices.
So, why did people take part? With 50,305 mentions, it was a widely debated topic with the majority (75%) of consumers conscious of health benefits and 16% talking about environmental impact. What’s more, the social listening tool saw a spike in Veganuary conversations around on Monday afternoons and Saturday mornings – times of the week where health is more likely to be front of mind.
Overall, Veganuary was generally well-received online, with more than two-thirds (64%) considering the month-long lifestyle challenge a positive change. Cities known for their cosmopolitan culture - London, Manchester, Brighton and Bristol - were most vocal and positive on Twitter. 
To understand more on what’s being said about you and your competitors, get in touch with the specialist team at William Murray (details below).

​William Murray launches Delve Insights #

William Murray PR & Marketing has announced the launch of Delve Insights, its new intelligent social listening insight tool that can monitor online conversations taking place in foodservice, giving operators real time research to make informed sales and marketing decisions. 
The intelligent tool can monitor and analyse all online conversations across Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, blogs, forums and news websites.
Fiona Hamilton, group account director, said: “This is a first for foodservice. After months of development we have launched Delve Insights, our intelligent social listening insight tool to give food and drink operators the competitive edge. We can help brands understand what audiences are saying about them, their competitors, and the market in general. You have to ask yourself, with all this insight, why would you leave it up to guesswork?”
This clever new tool allows operators to tap into conversations to help them understand what their audience has to say about their brand and products, competitors, and the market in general to generate qualitative research at quantitative levels. This real time research is then analysed to evaluate and benchmark what’s being said online about a particular brand, the market and how it performs against competitors.
Hamilton continues: “We take all this rich data and do two things. We make sure the messages are right for the market and audience and discover the right influencers to talk about your brand to increase awareness. It’s a cost-effective way to inform and build your sales and marketing strategy by listening to what your audience actually wants and needs.”                                                           
To coincide with the launch at the Arena Savoy Lecture, William Murray monitored and analysed online conversations taking place around Brexit.
Brexit online debate
- In one month alone, there have been 6,000 mentions of Brexit and food online – generating 36 million impressions 
- The biggest spike in conversation around Brexit and food was between 18 and 20 February, just before the international treaty ratification deadline 

Top issues when it comes to food security:
- Food safety (45%)
- Chlorination (39%)
- Food labelling (15%) 

Drilling down into the negative conversations, these topics feature most frequently:
- Food shortages (88.8%)
- Supply chain issues (7.9%)
- Riots (0.5%)
- Price increases (2.7%)

Volume of conversation around different parts of the supply chain:
- Farmers (60%)
- Operators (35%)
- Wholesalers (4%)
- Suppliers (2%) 
Food shortages are dominating the media conversation – but what foods are people talking about?
- Chicken (51.4%)
- Fruit and veg (27.8%)
- Cheese (7%)
- Milk (4%) 

MPs dominating the conversation:
- Michael Gove (72%)
- Theresa May (19.8%)
- Liam Fox (4.9%)
- Jeremy Corbyn (3%) 

The most influential MPs driving the debate and shaping the conversation
1.    David Lammy, Labour MP for Tottenham
2.    Richard Corbett, Labour MP for Yorkshire and the Humber
3.    Yvette Cooper, Labour MP Normanton, Pontefract, Castleford & Knottingley

Bodean’s executive chef secures passport to Memphis for World Barbecue Championships #

The executive chef at London smokehouse Bodean’s BBQ has scooped an all-expenses-paid trip to Memphis this May, as a guest of French’s and Frank’s RedHot Foodservice, to experience the world’s most prestigious grilling event; the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest.  
Andrew Bush was “absolutely thrilled” to have been randomly selected for the prize of a lifetime.  Already well versed in the barbecue craft, he will now be one of 75,000 attendees who flock annually to the banks of the Mississippi river in Downtown Memphis, Tennessee, for the four-day event (15-18 May).  
Ten runners up will each receive a branded BBQ barrel.
During the event, nearly 250 teams travel from around the world and across the U.S. to compete for the title of World Champion, sharing more than $115,000 in prize money. The contest attracts teams from twenty-six states and six countries, to compete in the championship pork categories of Ribs, Shoulder, and Whole Hog, as well as additional competitions of Hot Wings, Sauce, and ‘Anything But Pork’.
Andrew said: “As barbecue specialists, the championships are really well known to Bodean’s which is why I entered in the first place. I can’t quite believe I’m actually going; it’s pretty surreal. May can’t come soon enough now - I can’t wait to experience the sights, smells and tastes for myself, and hopefully bring some insights back to the Bodean’s kitchens.”
Chris Cannon, commercial controller at McCormick (UK) adds: “Many congratulations to Andrew, we can’t wait to share with him a true taste of deep south hospitality – and where better than the home of barbecue!
This event is a true showcase for the barbecue sub-culture – a place to learn new techniques and try new and exciting flavours. Thousands make a pilgrimage there every year and we’re delighted that Andrew can join us in Memphis.”