Members’ News

October 2020

NACC leads celebration and thanks for frontline Meals on Wheels teams #

The National Association of Care Catering (NACC) has today launched a social media campaign to celebrate the magnificent work of the frontline Meals on Wheels services across the country and to say a big thank you to everyone involved.

#mealsonwheelsheroes gives Meals on Wheels teams up and down the country the recognition, praise and thanks they deserve as part of the Covid-19 frontline effort, and also for the vital lifeline they offer the elderly and vulnerable living independently in the community all year round.

The Covid-19 pandemic meant the number of vulnerable people living in the community, confined to their own homes and reliant on others, increased significantly, almost overnight. In response, an army of Meals on Wheels heroes stepped up to ensure demand for this essential lifeline was met.
From established meals on wheels services to the lunch clubs unable to welcome their guests and the closed pubs, restaurants and cafés that transferred their skill and facilities, to mention just a few, they’ve all worked tirelessly to deliver delicious, nutritious food to those in need. They’ve also innovated to ensure those that are isolated benefit mentally and emotionally from a friendly smile, a wellbeing check and the simple pleasure of a chat – all within the social distancing guidelines.

The NACC is calling on everyone – from its members, industry colleagues, partners, associations and friends to local government, politicians, celebrities and the general public – to take to social media to publicly declare their support and gratitude for all Meals on Wheels heroes. It’s asking everyone to post photographs of themselves with a special #mealsonwheelsheroes thank you message for all their followers to see, like, share and recreate.

It’s very simple to take part:
Have your photograph taken holding the special thank you poster (downloadable from the NACC website). There’s a choice of thanking the Meals on Wheels heroes or proudly showing you are a Meals on Wheels hero.

Post the image on all your social media platforms, ensuring the hashtags #mealsonwheelsheroes and #morethanjustameal are included and tagging in the NACC as follows: Twitter @NACCCaterCare, FaceBook TheNACCCaterCare, Instagram nacccatercare or LinkedIn thenacc. Suggested wording for posts can also be found on the website. 

The campaign begins on 1st October 2020 – which also happens to be the International Day for Older Persons – and will culminate with NACC Meals on Wheels Week 2020, 2nd - 6th November 2020.

#mealsonwheelsheroes has already gained strong support from across the industry and beyond. NACC executive officers and members, chairs of key associations (including TUCO, APSE, ASSIST, HCA and LACA), and even some high-profile personalities are backing the movement.

Sue Cawthray, national chair, NACC, said: “The pandemic has highlighted a need that’s always been there. The elderly and vulnerable living independently in the community are at risk of malnutrition and social isolation. These issues existed long before Covid-19 became part of our everyday language, but they have been exacerbated and spotlighted by the pandemic. Talking to our members, the onset of lockdown brought about an increase in demand of up to 30%. As it became difficult for care teams to visit clients or relatives to support their loved ones, the vital role Meals on Wheels services play in the community gained greater recognition. As well as delivering a daily nutritious meal, it also delivered important wellbeing checks and a friendly face to break the loneliness, which was intensified by lockdown.

The value of the Meals on Wheels services in alleviating malnutrition and social isolation must not be underestimated and we’re determined to spread our recognition and thanks far and wide. We’ll be championing the #mealsonwheelsheroes campaign right up until Meals on Wheels Week 2020 and beyond to ensure the resurgence in awareness and respect for the service continues.”

Neel Radia, Meals on Wheels project lead for the NACC, said: “Quite frankly, I’d hate to imagine the plight of the elderly and vulnerable in the community throughout the pandemic if Meals on Wheels services didn’t exist. From established providers to those born out of the pandemic response, the innovation and dedication to find solutions to challenges, including increased demand, social distancing, and supply and staff shortages, has been amazing, with each one having the incredibly positive result of providing a life-quality-enhancing lifeline to the elderly and vulnerable in uncertain, frightening and often lonely times.

It’s so important that we don’t allow their incredible contribution to be forgotten. We ask everyone to show their appreciation for the wonderful Meals on Wheels service by supporting the #mealsonwheelsheroes campaign and getting their colleagues, friends and families involved too!”

For more information on the NACC and Meals on Wheels Week visit

Elior launches fund for its colleagues facing financial hardship as a result of Covid #

Elior Group has launched a fund to help support colleagues facing financial hardship as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. 

The Group Solidarity Fund, which is being administrated with the help of Hospitality Action, will provide Elior colleagues in need with a £750 grant. 

The grants will be funded by Elior Group’s most senior Directors and Executive Committee, who have volunteered to reduce their salaries by up to 25% in a show of solidarity with colleagues across the business. 

Justin Johnston, human resources director for Elior UK, said: ““The current pandemic has brought financial challenges for people across the hospitality industry, including many of our colleagues here in the UK. Available to colleagues across Elior Group, we hope these grants will make a real difference in the lives of any of our people who have been facing financial hardship as a result of the pandemic.”

Elior UK are working in partnership with Hospitality Action and where applications are approved grants will be issued on a first come first served basis, until all funds are exhausted. 

Sodexo launch concierge service to support university students #

Sodexo has launched its concierge service, Circles, at two university campuses as part of its Residential Living programme. Designed to give students a helping hand, the launch is timely following a new survey from Sodexo which reveals that students are finding it hard to adjust to life during the Covid-19 pandemic.   

This research, conducted in partnership with Youth Sight, polled 566 students both before (March) and during (June) the pandemic. The key highlights from the report include: 

- Whilst 75% of university students felt satisfied with their lives before the pandemic, this dropped to 52% during the pandemic.
- Students are concerned about their ability to make new friends at university with social distancing measures in place. Initiatives to facilitate safe socialising are deemed the second most important service they require, after good IT and study facilities.
- Students have struggled with the transition to online/distance learning, with 39% unhappy with the experience.
- Over 3 in 4 were happy with contact time pre-Covid-19 but this dropped to a third during Covid-19. Similarly, whilst around half of students felt their university was value for money pre-Covid, now just under a quarter feel that way.
- Fears about employability topped the list of concerns, with 50% worried about their ability to get a job. 

From this month students at two Sodexo-managed university accommodation facilities at Northumbria University and Bath Court at Birmingham University will be able to access personal assistance services such as arranging travel bookings, downtime suggestions and shopping through a dedicated portal or over the phone 24/7. The service is free to students, with no commission or booking fees; members only pay for what they purchase.

Circles will support students returning to university, enhancing their experience by helping them to settle into university life by taking away the burden of everyday life admin tasks.  The service will also provide an extra helping hand when their study workload increases or during stressful exam periods.

Andrew Wilkinson, CEO schools & universities, said: “Going to university can be a daunting experience and the introduction of social distancing measures will make it harder for new students to settle into university life. We have worked in close partnership with universities to introduce appropriate measures to protect the physical health of students, but protecting their mental health is also crucial.

The introduction of Circles is another step in making sure that students living in accommodation we are managing have the support they need when they need it. Our latest research suggests that now more than ever, students require innovative tools to help them settle into their new surroundings and thrive academically.”

The new service will be particularly important to international students, as it will help them arrange flights and transport bookings and arrange bedding packs ready for their arrival in the UK.

Jon Oxley, Assistant Director Estates and Facilities Services, Northumbria University: “We are delighted to introduce Sodexo’s concierge offer at Northumbria University. Giving our students the opportunity to use this offer on such services such as travel arrangements, grocery shopping, arranging gifts for friends and family and additional cleaning services as and when they require, takes the Northumbria residential experience to a different level.

In addition, having the concierge offer for students takes away stress and anxiety pressures and gives back crucial time to study and meet new friends

Sodexo is committed to supporting the wellbeing of students and the launch of Circles follows the introduction of the Thrive: Mental Wellbeing app in March. Developed in the UK by specialists with many years of clinical experience, Thrive helps monitor moods and teaches clinically proven relaxation techniques to help people cope better with stressful situations. It also has a 'thought trainer' programme based on cognitive behavioural therapy to help people manage negative thoughts.

On 8 October Sodexo is hosting a webinar looking at how educational establishments are adapting to the new normal and the implications it will have on student experience and the new expectations of students, staff and other stakeholders.  Speakers will share their expert knowledge and thoughts on the areas of:

New Megatrends: what pupils and students of the future will expect 
Space Design: what is the new excellence for educators 
Digitalisation: how digital drives service excellence and can improve commercial returns over the short and long-term  

Speakers will include:  Andrew Wilkinson, CEO, Schools & Universities, Sodexo UK & Ireland; Ruti Amal, Group Vice-President Marketing Insights, Sodexo; Jon Preciado, Director of Market Research, Sodexo Education; So Young Hyun, Workplace Experience Lead, Sodexo and Mark Hill, Strategy and Marketing Director, Sodexo Japan.  The webinar is open to anyone interested in this area, to register visit:

Venners appoints Scott Hulme as new Managing Director #

Venners, the UK’s largest hospitality stocktaking business, has appointed Scott Hulme as Managing Director following Steve Mayne’s announcement to retire. As the industry emerges out of one of its most challenging years ever, Venners will head into its 125 th year of business with plenty of

Scott brings with him over 24 years of management experience in enhancing UK hospitality business operations. Having most recently served as Client Services Director and Deputy MD, Scott has built up a reputation for excellent customer service delivery, something which he is keen to bring into his new role as he leads the business into the future. In the wake of the COVID-19 health crisis, the immediate focus will be on rebuilding activity levels and ensuring the business is well placed to return to delivering the level of strong growth it had achieved in recent years, prior to the disruption
of recent months.

Venners’ former MD, Steve Mayne, is finalising handover on 1 st October 2020. During his time at Venners, Steve has steered the company to the most profitable year in its history and has carefully guided it through the Coronavirus pandemic, as well as being a passionate advocate of talent-
development. Following Steve’s decision to retire and Scott’s appointment, Venners has decided to make some further changes to its senior  management team with the appointment of Andrea McCarthy to the Board as Operations Director.

Scott and his team will be setting the pace to maximise the opportunities that exist in the hospitality sector, where Venners prides itself on its ability to help owners and operators maximise profits.

Commenting on his appointment, he said “I am excited about the potential this company has to grow and innovate and feel privileged to play such a crucial role going forward. Whilst I’m keen to see our services expand, my primary aim will be to rejuvenate the business as it heads into a new era and to make sure we continue to deliver the superior quality of support that we’re best known for.

Dan Prickett, Venners Chairman and Chief Operating Officer of parent company Christie Group plc, said: “We have high expectations for Scott, who we are confident is the right person to take Venners forward, supported by a tremendous team across the business. Despite the immediate challenges presented by Coronavirus, I have no doubt the future is bright for Venners.”

Co-op partners with Gather & Gather as latest franchisee at Oxford Brookes University #

Gather & Gather, which is part of CH&CO, a specialist catering and hospitality company, opens its first retail shop as a Co-op franchisee at Oxford Brookes University.
The Headington Campus Co-op of Oxford Brookes University will be one of the largest Co-op’s stores at a UK university, providing 21 new job opportunities for hospitality workers that have been laid-off by Covid-19, as well as for students attending the university.
Gather & Gather secured the 10-year contract, worth £8.1m, to provide catering services within Oxford Brookes University’s three Oxford campuses in 2019, with operations starting earlier this year. The contract was its first with a university, bolstering its presence in the higher education sector, and provided a route to market for the Co-op, bringing a brand new convenience store to the location.
The store, which is managed and run by Gather & Gather, will deliver Co-op quality products and good prices conveniently, supporting the Co-op’s strategy to get closer to communities and to where what its customers want, need and, care about.
Rob Fredrickson, Managing Director of Gather & Gather, said: “We’re delighted to be the first caterer at a University that the Co-op has awarded a franchise to. The new venture is perfect for Oxford Brookes University, enhancing the vibrant campus life and supporting the values and sustainability goals of everyone. 
“It’s been a very challenging time for the hospitality industry with many colleagues displaced as a direct result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Our diversification into this retail franchise project has enabled us to offer our colleagues alternative opportunities, which is a welcome positive in difficult times
Martin Rogers, Head of New Channels at Co-op said: “At the Co-op we are always looking for ways to reach new customers and members, and this a hugely exciting opportunity to grow our brand and generate mutual value with likeminded partners. We’re delighted to be working with Gather and Gather, developing our businesses together. Our Co-op purpose is about connecting communities, bringing people together and making a difference. The Co-op Oxford Brookes Franchise store will allow us to make our fabulous range available in another new location and better serve this campus and surrounding community. And what’s more, every time our own brand products are purchased with a Co-op Membership card, you know you’re helping communities here and around the world.”
Phillipa Fletcher, Head of Commercial Services, Oxford Brookes University said: “Oxford Brookes is committed to providing high-quality, sustainable and value-for-money catering across each of its campuses. We look forward to working with Gather & Gather on a range of exciting new food options for our students, staff and visitors to the University.”  
Opening at the university on Thursday 24 September, the new store offers a range of fresh, healthy foods, extended vegan and free-from products, Fairtrade produce, food-to-go, in-store bakery and essentials, to better serve the campus.
With safety of paramount importance Co-op has introduced strict measures since the outbreak of Covid-19 including rigorous cleanliness, social distancing, limiting the number of customers in store, protective screens at check-outs, and the wearing of visors and face-coverings. In addition, contactless card payment limits are increased to £45, making it easier, quicker and safer to shop.
The Co-op gives TOTUM cardholders 10% discount off groceries and for all Co-op own brand products and services bought by a member who swipes their membership card, a percentage is donated back to the member’s online wallet as well as to the Co-op Local Community Fund, helping local community projects in their area.

Heinz Extends Click&Chips Apps on National Fish & Chips Day to Help Save UK Chippies #

Following incredible demand for the Heinz Click&Chips support that was offered to the nation’s struggling fish and chip shops following lockdown, Heinz is proud to extend the brand-new apps to consumers just in time for National Fish & Chips day this Friday (4 September). 
The campaign, launched in July, pledged to help 100 UK chippies get trading again by providing them with free click & collect apps along with three month’s free subscription.

However, after seeing applications from struggling businesses quickly exceed the 100 limit, Heinz decided to extend its initiative to include an additional 50 chippies, thus helping 150 small businesses benefit from the campaign.
Claire Traynor, Head of Foodservice for UK at Kraft Heinz, says: “A fish supper from the local chippy is a British institution – but it’s one in crisis. Together with app developer Stampapp, we’ve been delighted to open up this pledge of support to our nation’s small but mighty traders in order to help them get back up and running.
“Having their own app will help each business overcome social distancing obstacles and means they can get cash flowing through the tills once again. We had originally capped the number of apps and subscriptions at 100 but, when we saw so many businesses crying out for support, we quickly decided to extend the offering in order to help as many of these fantastic local traders as possible
Bruce Dimelow of the Whiddon Valley Fryer, says: “Social distancing rules were a real issue for us as they were for many chip shops when lockdown hit. We’re a small business by nature and struggle to space customers out. We didn’t know how we would ever be able to reopen.
“Bringing an app like this into our business that allows our customers to simply order online and select their timeslot for collection is an absolute game changer.
“We get advanced notice to prep orders, take payment online and the customers don’t have to hang around. Having something like this funded by Heinz gives us breathing space to get back on our feet as quickly as possible at no cost to ourselves. We’re over the moon to be back in business
Heinz is creating the apps in partnership with specialist app developer Stampapp and will launch those that are up and running on National Fish & Chips Day, meaning chippie fanatics all over the UK can order their favourite fish and chips instantly, from their smartphones.
Customers simply visit the Click&Chips website, enter their postcode to find their nearest participating chip shop and download the corresponding app straight to their smartphone.

The Click&Chips initiative covers each shop’s first three month’s subscription fees. In addition, Heinz is also supplying each business with a box of Heinz sample sauces and marketing toolkits – including posters, social media assets, and Covid-19 checklists to help them trade safely and promote their new app to customers.

The full list of participating chip shops is being added to as the apps go live and can be found at

Foodbuy Scoops a Coveted CIPS Award #

Foodbuy UK, a leading food procurement business, has won the title of 'Best Initiative to Deliver Social Value through Procurement' at the 2020 CIPS Excellence in Procurement Awards.

Run by the Chartered Institute for Procurement and Supply (CIPS), the CIPS Awards recognise outstanding projects, people and teams across the entire procurement and supply chain profession.

Foodbuy won for its work pioneering sustainable causes throughout its supply chains, most notably with social enterprises. In the last year alone, Foodbuy have spent more than £2.1 million with over 20 different social enterprises, as well as helping clients to source more sustainably and socially through a number of different social value initiatives.

In 2019, Foodbuy also became the first company in the food and drink sector to join the Buy Social Corporate Challenge. The Challenge brings together corporate partners from a broad range of industries with a collective ambition to spend £1 billion with social enterprises.

The CIPS judging panel commented: “The project showed that Foodbuy UK is clearly a business whose clients expect them to source responsibly, and within the communities they serve. They are clearly going beyond expectations and pushing into new areas of social procurement. Well done.”

Ian Murphy, Managing Director, Foodbuy said: “At Foodbuy, we are all about sustainable procurement and it’s great to see our efforts recognised on a global scale. We truly believe social enterprises are essential for a successful future which is why we’ve committed over £5million spend to supporting social causes across the UK. Winning a CIPS Award really is the true pinnacle for anyone in our profession, and I couldn’t be prouder of each and every member of the Foodbuy team, they really deserve this fantastic recognition.”

The winners were announced at a virtual awards ceremony and the other finalists in this category included Nationwide Building Society and Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs. Read more here:   

British Food Fortnight a ‘Chance Like No Other’ to Put British Food First – Essential Cuisine #

With British Food Fortnight approaching, Essential Cuisine is calling on the hospitality industry to bang the drum for British produce ‘like never before’.
With Covid having devastated the food and drink industry for much of 2020, the annual event, says Senior Business Development Chef at Essential Cuisine, Jonathan Harvey-Barnes, takes on an even greater significance.
Now, more than ever, UK food and drink needs our support – we need action and cohesion across the board from manufacturers like us, to smaller suppliers, wholesalers, and operators, right down to chefs and front of house staff. This needs to be an unprecedented celebration – a chance like no other to come together to promote the benefits of British, of sourcing local, seasonal produce – some of the finest in the world! From the 19th of September to the 4th of October, let’s flood our social media with positive messages about British food, let’s talk to local suppliers about how to introduce more of their produce onto menus, let’s champion those that already subscribe to local sourcing and seasonality and try to convert those that don’t to the many benefits of buying British!”
Essential Cuisine is yet again partnering with organisers of the fortnight, Love British Food, to encourage retailers and caterers to source menu items responsibly and make ‘British’ their first choice.  
To help with this, the Cheshire-based manufacturer of stocks and sauces has collaborated on a food-to-go recipe guide with fellow Love British Food ambassadors, Brakes. Essential Cuisine products are included in a range of food-to-go recipes, developed by Brakes chefs. Also included are specially designed menu templates to help show the provenance of the ingredients used alongside a monthly produce calendar which can be printed and used by the kitchen team to help plan dishes using British ingredients.
Allied to this Essential Cuisine is encouraging operators to download its Think Seasonal, Think British recipe book, showcasing the best of British produce with invaluable hints and tips.
Available to download now: the recipe book is a collection of classic dishes and some surprising twists using the best in-season British ingredients and including products from Essential’s class-leading range. From Vegan Burritos to Lancashire Hot Pot, Gluten- Free Tuna Pasta Bake to Chili Con Carne, a host of tempting recipes – created to work across a variety of sectors – are included.
The recipe book also includes a foreword by Love British Food Founder, Alexia Robinson who evaluates the social and environmental impact of buying British produce and explains how, with the partnered support of Essential Cuisine, championing British food can benefit us all.
For more information on the Essential Cuisine range call 01606 541490, email: or visit:

National pride on the menu at Sodexo during British Food Fortnight #

Sodexo is proudly supporting British Food Fortnight (19 September – 4 October) once again this year showcasing traditional favourites designed to celebrate national pride.

Sodexo has supported the campaign from Love British Food for several years and champions the use of British suppliers and produce wherever possible.

The company, which provides catering services at offices, hospitals, schools, universities and prisons across the UK and Ireland, is focusing its menus on British classics such as shepherd’s pie, toad in the hole and hotpot as well as contemporary twists on national favourites such as butternut squash and braised lentil filo pie, and Hereford beef burgers with spiced chutney and kale slaw, throughout September, October and November in honour of British Food Fortnight.

Supporting British farmers and producers has been a Sodexo commitment for many years, with much work undertaken to build relationships and support SMEs across all areas of food production.

David Mulcahy, Sodexo’s Culinary Ambassador, said: “2020 has been a difficult year for the hospitality industry, but at Sodexo our commitment to supporting British producers and suppliers remains resolute.

“Throughout the lockdown, we continued to cater to many people and front line workers at our hospitals, prisons, and defence contracts, working closely with our clients and supply chain to ensure our customers had access to nutritious meals.

“With many people now returning to offices for the first time in months, we recognise that our customers want to feel confident and excited by the high standard of food on offer.

“Our ‘national pride’ meals will include hearty classics as well as some new seasonal and on-trend dishes with a stronger accent on the local food movement, bringing that much-needed comfort and trust element into everyday menus across our business.

 As part of its commitment to reducing food waste and supporting local farmers, Sodexo has partnered with Waste Knot, an organisation committed to connecting businesses with surplus food, and Ferryfast, a cooperative in Worcestershire, to supply sites with boxes of rescued fruit and vegetables. The partnership not only prevents food waste at farm level it also enables and inspires Sodexo chefs to create more plant-based dishes which continues to grow in popularity as more and more people adopt a flexitarian diet. Known as Wasteful to Tasteful the initiative has to date saved over 130 tonnes of fruit and vegetables which would otherwise have gone to waste.

 David added: “With more and more people adopting plant-based diets, we have the opportunity to celebrate the wealth of fruit and veg that’s grown here in the UK. We are delighted to champion initiatives that support British farmers and producers and raise awareness of British produce among our clients and guests.

Taylor Shaw wins 2-year contract with Southport College #

Education specialist Taylor Shaw has won a new two-year contract with Southport College in Merseyside.  

The win will see Taylor Shaw catering for more than 3,000 students, staff, and guests across both campuses from September – managing hospitality, coffee shops, and the student restaurant.   

As part of the College’s new youthful food & drink offering, Taylor Shaw will be investing in new branding, coffee machines, and the company’s click & collect app Breaz.  

Lin Ridings, Operations Director at Taylor Shaw, said: “From new menus to digital ordering, everything about the new offer at Southport College has a fresh feel. We’ve a highly experienced, talented and local team in place, who I know have impressed already, which is great to see.”  

Eddie Green, Vice Principal Services at Southport College, said: “What a refreshing way to start the new term! Everything looks and tastes great and the team at Taylor Shaw have made the transition totally painless. Which, with all the added complications given the current environment, has been very much appreciated.”  

The win is yet more good news for Taylor Shaw – following recent further education contract wins and extensions in the area.  

Springboard launches £30k fundraising challenge, encouraging people to move more this November, with the support of Ade Adepitan and Mark Foster #

Would you go the extra mile to help support unemployed people in crisis and poverty get into work? How about 30 miles?!
This November, complete 30 miles over the 30 days of November to raise £30k for Springboard in the #303030 challenge: Click here to find out more.

GB Paralympic Gold medalist, Ade Adepitan, is a fan of the campaign and commented: “I’m looking forward to seeing lots of people cover 30 miles in November to support a great charity. I’m a huge supporter of the work that Springboard do – helping people who are unemployed or have been made redundant to upskill and improve their job prospects. It’s so prevalent right now! Whether you do a mile a day or finish your 30 miles in the first week, the sponsorship you generate will be going to a brilliant cause.”

Help celebrate Springboard’s 30 th anniversary year and raise funds to help thousands of people across the UK. Run, walk, swim, cycle, push or come up with your own ways to cover your 30 miles. The beauty of this challenge is that it can be done at times to suit you and you don’t need any special equipment to take part. You can be part of something special with lots of
other people, all with a combined goal, without having to be physically near each other.

Former World Champion Swimmer, Mark Foster, has praised the flexibility of the challenge: “This challenge is great because, as well as supporting a brilliant charity, you can mix up your exercise throughout the month to achieve your 30 mile goal. You don’t need to be an athlete- everybody can get involved, including kids cycling to school or just taking a morning
walk everyday with a coffee

Springboard help people to overcome barriers to employment, build confidence and improve on or gain new skills through training, mentoring, CV workshops and interview support, helping people to retain jobs and start careers in hospitality and tourism – futureproofing the talent pipeline as these industries heal and rebuild.

Create your fundraising page at today and commit to move more and make a difference this November!
To donate £3 toward the £30,000 target, you can also text THIRTYMILES to 70085 from your mobile phone. Texts cost £3 plus one standard rate message.

Don’t put off maintenance calls, warns FEA – it’s risky and it could be very expensive #

"Delays to PPM are a short-sighted solution that could be disastrous” 
FEA has warned that operators who are postponing service visits and Planned Preventative Maintenance (PPM) calls are not only putting customers and staff at risk, but are also creating serious problems for the industry in the coming months. 
The easing of lockdown has led to foodservice operators working hard to try to make up for lost time.  With busy, stretched kitchens some are putting off planned maintenance calls, because they don’t have time to fit them in.  Meanwhile other operators, trying to avoid having external visitors into the kitchen, are also deferring service calls by engineers.  Then there are a few who are seeking a short term cash flow advantage, but at what cost?  FEA is calling for common sense to prevail – any delay in servicing appliances is not only potentially dangerous and costly, it will also create a backlog that will itself create further delays as service providers struggle to catch up. 
The issue is especially worrying with gas equipment,” says Malcolm Skinner, chair of FEA’s Service Providers Group.  “PPM helps ensure compliance and it’s the operator’s legal responsibility to keep staff and customers safe.  Plus, a timely service check can save a huge amount of money – especially if the delay leads to equipment failure and the need to replace it.” 
For any operator who has delayed a PPM visit, FEA suggests they contact their service provider as quickly as possible to rearrange.  If they need to find a new service company, then they should always look for one that is recognised by a third party, such as the FEA Accredited Service Provider Scheme. 
If the delays to PPM mount up too much, service providers simply won’t have the capacity to reschedule all the missed visits, once operators come to their senses,” says Skinner.  “We need to keep equipment working safely and efficiently – and that means keeping up with the servicing, too.  Delays to PPM are a short-sighted solution that could be disastrous.”  
The Foodservice Equipment Association (FEA) is the authoritative voice of the foodservice equipment industry, representing over 200 companies who supply, service and maintain all types of commercial catering equipment - from utensils to full kitchen schemes.  For more information on FEA visit 

Compass Sectors Excel in Health & Safety at RoSPA Awards #

ESS Support Services Achieves Gold 18 Years Running 
Compass Group UK & Ireland, the UK's largest food and support services firm, is celebrating an impressive haul of RoSPA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) Health and Safety Awards. Compass has a strong track record with RoSPA and six of its sectors have been recognised, with ESS Support Services Worldwide achieving Gold for a staggering 18 consecutive years and honoured with an Order of Distinction. Chartwells, Compass' school division, was given the President's Award, having achieved its 11th Gold Medal in a row.
Receiving a RoSPA award is indicative of an organisation displaying excellent standards of health and safety practice, acting as a benchmark for the wider industry. The award scheme, which is now in its 64th year, marks achievement at varying levels, covering Merit, Bronze, Silver and Gold levels. A Gold Medal, President’s Award, Order of Distinction and the Patron’s Award are presented to organisations sustaining the highest standards of the Gold level over consecutive years. Instore is one Gold away from being awarded the President’s Award after achieving its ninth Gold Medal in a row, followed by Levy UK with its fifth consecutive Gold and the Northern Ireland Compass team receiving a Gold Medal for the first time. In addition to this, the Healthcare division was commended within the Hotel & Catering Industry Award, one of the few competitive awards on offer for organisations displaying high standards of Health and Safety management in their respective industry.
Mark Armstrong, HSE & Technical Services Director, Compass Group UK & Ireland, said:  “I’m extremely proud that several of our business sectors have been honoured in this year’s prestigious RoSPA Awards, only further cementing our long-standing achievements in Health and Safety, which remains a top priority for our business, even more so in the current climate.  In response to the coronavirus crisis we continue to closely follow Government guidelines and also launched our Stay Safe, Eat Well programme, which ensures safe environments for our employees, customers and clients.  We remain focused on continuing this excellent record of achievement.
Julia Small, RoSPA’s head of qualifications, awards and events, said: “The RoSPA Awards scheme is the longest-running of its kind in the UK, and it receives entries from organisations around the world, making it one of the most sought-after global accolades in health and safety.  RoSPA wants every employee, wherever they are, to work safe in the knowledge that they will be going home unharmed and healthy at the end of every day. The RoSPA Award winners are vital to help achieve this goal, as by entering they are driving up standards and setting new benchmarks for organisations everywhere. Currently, around seven million people are directly impacted by the RoSPA Awards, but the scheme’s influence is even wider.”

Defusing the Talent Timebomb #

Nestlé Professional is a name closely associated with talent, youth and opportunity in the foodservice industry, due to its long-running Toque d’Or competition. Whilst the competition may have received a digital makeover this year, the brand’s focus on talent and progression has remained steadfast. To celebrate and build upon this, Footprint Intelligence and Nestlé Professional have worked in partnership to create the ‘Defusing the Talent Timebomb’ report.
The newly published report covers aspects of the talent development process, from attracting the best young prospects to providing appropriate training and opportunity throughout their development. ‘Defusing the Talent Timebomb’ examines the sector’s employment challenges and offers a guide to being a responsible employer that will help tackle recruitment issues and reduce staff turnover.
Key issues covered in the report include ensuring diversity and equality in the workplace, with insight about the foundations that sit behind diversity and how the industry can work to ‘change the dial’ on under-representation.
The increasing importance of sustainability in the foodservice industry is also explored, with Julie Barker, non-executive Director of CUBO (College and University Business Officers), highlighting the impact that a sustainable business ethos can have on attracting young applicants.
The report also looks at health and safety in the workplace, with a focus on provision for disabled professionals and the growing awareness of mental health in a professional environment.
Katya Simmons, Managing Director at Nestlé Professional UK & Ireland, comments on the report, “Attracting, nurturing and supporting the very best talent is something that Nestlé Professional® remains committed towards, in order to provide young professionals with the tools needed to learn and adapt to the changes in the hospitality industry. Each year we host our Toque d’Or competition to put these principles into action, and the creation of this report with Footprint Intelligence is an extension of that.
“This year has shown us all that it is possible to provide platforms for growth in this industry, despite the challenges we might face. We hope that the information and expert insight within this report can enable more organisations in the foodservice industry to develop career pathways that are both attractive to young aspiring professionals, and mutually beneficial
Nick Fenwicke-Clennell, Co-CEO and Founder of Footprint Intelligence, adds, “As experts in sustainability for the hospitality sector, Footprint is always looking to the future and what lies ahead. We wanted to work with Nestlé Professional in order to create a report that could provide the foundations for growth and change in the foodservice industry, whilst promoting good practice and developing more positive work environments for those in our industry.
“We hope that this report will benefit both senior decision-makers in the industry, as well as young talent entering the field
You can download the full Defusing the Talent Timebomb report, here.

H2O Publishing to launch Contract Catering Magazine #

H2O Publishing has announced that popular monthly magazine B&I Catering will be evolving into a huge new multi-sector title.

Launching in October, following a merger with H2O titles EDUcatering and Sports & Leisure Catering (SLC),  Contract Catering Magazine will cover everything across business and industry, education, sports and leisure, healthcare, and government and defence food and drink provision.

The result will be the only title in the UK to focus solely on the world of contract catering. The magazine has an impressive pedigree, combining over a decade’s worth of experience of publishing B&I Catering, EDUcatering, SLC and FSM magazine – the launch will offer unrivalled coverage of this enormous industry.

This new monthly title will have a circulation of over 5,000, serving an industry that is worth in excess of £11bn. It will be complemented by the Contract Catering Awards 2021, which will replace the hugely successful FSM Awards that have been honouring the industry for the past decade.
Editor Henry Norman said: “I joined H2O Publishing over 10 years ago to edit the then new FSM Magazine, covering the whole of contract catering. Through Contract Catering Magazine, executive editor Jane Renton and I are delighted to be returning to our roots, exploring and reporting on this hugely successful and innovative industry once again. We can’t wait for you to pick up the first issue.”

To ensure you receive a copy of the new Contract Catering Magazine, you can request your free subscription today by clicking here.

Research reveals the concerns of UK workers #

As workplaces reopen research from Sodexo and Harris Interactive has shown that although many have enjoyed the benefits of working from home but 24% of UK workers said their mental wellbeing was lower than normal, a higher percentage than in other countries (15%). 

The research, which was conducted in June 2020, tracked the sentiment of UK employees from both the private and public sectors during the course of the Covid-19 pandemic. Respondents were asked about a range of issues including physical and mental wellbeing, productivity and the perceived pros and cons of remote working. 

Eight out of 10 employees who have worked from home during the pandemic have stated that they would like to continue working remotely, albeit on a part-time basis (33% say ideally three days per week, 30% two days per week). However, the lack of social interaction has left three out of ten feeling lonely and of those still working from home at the time of the survey 57% stated they felt nervous about work in the next few weeks/months. 

Employees put a significant amount of trust in their employers to protect them, so businesses must be prepared to deliver a safe environment, illustrated by almost seven out of 10 concerned about their own health and safety at work. 

Sean Haley, regional chair, Sodexo UK and Ireland said: “Clearly the way in which we work is changing as a result of Covid-19. It’s vital that organisations understand and respond to the new demands on their workplaces and teams, to rethink employee experience and address their concerns. 

“We are ready to help our clients adapt to these new demands and this research enables employers to understand how employees feel about workplaces reopening and their attitudes towards a mixed model of working both in the office or remotely. Our experts can provide advice on adapting offices spaces to ensure appropriate distancing, on enhanced cleaning and disinfection procedures, and on providing healthy, nutritious meal options for those returning to their workplace.

Over the last few months Sodexo has been working closely with its clients to support them as they develop new workplace strategies. Its ‘rise with Sodexo’ programme offers a comprehensive step by step strategy to ensure sites can operate safely and in line with social distancing measures, and that employees are supported whether they are returning to the office or continuing to work from home. 

The majority of those surveyed expressed concern about their own health and safety at work and are interested in information from their employer on measures taken to improve employees’ safety, workplace hygiene and cleanliness.

The ‘rise with Sodexo’ programme includes standards and protocols that have been clinically informed by Sodexo’s Medical Advisory Council and have been independently verified by Bureau Veritas to provide certified assurances to our clients and those we serve that we have taken proper measures to ensure the environment is safe.

This research is helping Sodexo to support its clients, helping them effectively lead teams into the next normal. Taking the insights gathered from the research Sodexo has published a Thriving in the Worklife Evolution: Insights for Adaptive Leaders to help leaders find answers and shape solutions to navigate new challenges in an agile and adaptable way.  

Sean Haley, added: “At Sodexo, our mission is to support organisations to help their employees thrive. As we live through the ongoing impacts of Covid-19, we’re supporting our clients to manage disruption and plan for positive change. 

As new worklife patterns and hybrid working models become the norm, we have solutions and services that can help organisations manage these transitions and help employees to thrive from concierge services to help those working from home or the office manage their life admin tasks through to comprehensive benefits and rewards programmes. 

“We will continue to work closely with our clients to help them instil confidence and manage potential anxiety among the workforce and help set a positive course for the new normal

Other key findings from the survey includes:

- Health risks linked to Covid 19 are the primary area of concern, either for oneself or family.
- Going back to normality and seeing/working physically with co-workers were the main positives (50% and 45% respectively)
- Employees are interested by the services planned by Sodexo:

       regular audits of various processes in the company (85% are interested)
       display of hygiene and safety training certificates of service staff (86%)
       repeated safety instructions/notices around the workplace (86%)

- To increase the feeling of safety at work, employees identified the following measures:

      antibacterial gel dispensers available at several places in the premises (essential for 72%)
      physical distancing (66%)
      disposable towels or hand dryers in the toilets (65%)
      cleaning of common areas (64%)

- Between a quarter and 30% of employees think they will change their habits in terms of transportation or working hours
- New safe commuting options appear to be attractive especially among those who used public transport prior to the lockdown. The top option is a bike allowance
- Given the likely continuation of remote working, employees are eager to see new services developed to help them. A significant proportion are interested in ergonomic workstations (75%), office supplies (75%), parcel collection and drop off (72%), food/coffee delivery (64%).
- Employees are also positive about different options to keep them motivated when working from home, especially medical and health benefits (82%), and reward schemes to celebrate birthdays/successes/good performance (84%)

Download the ebook: Thriving in the Worklife Evolution: Insights for Adaptive Leaders to find out more.

Sodexo and DIO partner with RAF Benson to open new ‘all ranks’ Common Room #

Located in the Junior Ranks Mess building at the heart of the domestic site and managed by Sodexo, the new Common Room facility provides a relaxed environment to purchase refreshments, meals and snacks.  

RAF Benson’s vision was for a relaxing, welcoming all-ranks facility that would reduce isolation and provide flexibility in catering for personnel on the busy operational unit.  With support from the DIO, particularly the commercial and finance teams, that vision is now a reality. 

Group Captain Adam Wardrope, Station Commander of RAF Benson said: “This new Common Room is a fantastic facility and it will make a huge difference to the whole force here.  It’s been a real team effort to keep driving forward with this project, despite all the challenges that lockdown posed, and we really appreciate how hard DIO and Sodexo have worked to help make our vision a reality” 

Working closely together, DIO, Sodexo and RAF Benson agreed plans, coordinated fixtures and fittings and delivered the innovative facility.  Despite the added complications of lockdown, it progressed quickly and was opened within nine months of approval.  Funding for the project was from both public and non-public funds, including a grant of £150,000 from the RAF Benevolent Fund. 

Paul Anstey, CEO Government & Agencies, Sodexo UK & Ireland said: “The approach focuses on the wellbeing of serving members of the military and their families, helping to relieve isolation and boredom.  Working in collaboration with the DIO and the team on-site has given us an opportunity to create an environment for military personnel to relax in, that’s aligned with the latest high-street dining trends and where everyone is welcome.” 

The facility was officially opened on 11 September 2020 by the RAF Chief of Staff for Personnel, Air Vice-Marshal Maria Byford, and the Controller of the RAF Benevolent Fund, Air Vice-Marshal (Retired) Chris Elliot. 

Andy Honnor, DIO’s South East region head said: “This project is the result of a good relationship with RAF Benson and their request for a facility which would enhance the lived experience of their personnel. We were able to adapt plans used for a similar project elsewhere to create a much-improved social space, tailored to the needs of RAF Benson personnel, where they can relax, eat, drink and meet friends. We hope they enjoy the improvements we’ve made.”

Toque d’Or Digital 2020 Winners Announced #

The hospitality stars were crowned in a virtual ceremony  
The results are in: Nestlé Professional has announced the winners of Toque d’Or 2020 in a live virtual awards ceremony. Hosted on YouTube, the awards ceremony which took place on Friday 11 September was watched by industry insiders, media and supporters of the competition.
The winners are:
Katherine Altham from Kendal College (Back of house - student)
Alex Dick from City of Glasgow College (Front of house - student)
Lily Stock from Boodle’s (Back of house - apprentice)
Chelsie Robinson from The Cross Keys, Stow (Front of house - apprentice) 
During the awards TV personality, Mark Durden-Smith, revealed the challenges the finalists had to face during this year’s competition and interviewed the competitors about their Toque d’Or journey, before Katya Simmons, Managing Director at Nestlé Professional® UK&I, announced each category’s winners.
2020 has been a landmark year for Toque d’Or, with the competition having to change format due to the challenges of COVID-19. The competition also increased its digital elements, with digital entries, Instagram-led challenges and virtual Finals and Awards, a first in its 32-year history.

At the beginning of the year, the National Heats took place across the country in Glasgow, Birmingham, Westminster and Gatwick, where aspiring hospitality superstars battled it out in front of a live audience and panel of expert judges. Following the virtual re-jig, the competitors continued to compete in a series of challenges designed to stretch their knowledge and prepare them for the world in the ‘new normal’.
The finale of the competition saw front and back of house finalists take part in a series of digital challenges in August, aimed at helping competitors develop their own ‘Click and Collect’ business model.
The challenges consisted of a mix of practical, service-based and business-focused tasks, concentrating on crucial areas such as social media promotion, business management and sustainable food and drink. Each challenge was overseen by a panel of expert judges including James Tanner, Acclaimed Chef and Restauranteur; Ruth Hansom, the first female to win Young National Chef of the Year and contestant of this year’s Great British Menu; Alison Taffs, Owner at Alison Taffs People Development and The Grape Society; and Robert Smith, Creative Director and Producer at Shuttersmith Media.
Speaking about the Toque d’Or 2020 competition, Katya Simmons, Managing Director at Nestlé Professional UK&I, said: “This is a transformative moment for the winners. Time and again, we’ve seen this competition open doors to new and exciting opportunities within the industry. The winners’ inspired business plans demonstrated tremendous creativity.
“Everyone who took part this year should be really proud of themselves for persevering through incredibly challenging circumstances. In addition to honing their skills and adding value to their CV’s, they all brought positivity and celebration to the hospitality industry at a time when it was very much needed.

Talking about her experience, back of house apprentice winner, Lily Stock, said: “I was over the moon when I found out I had won, with this being my second year in the final, I felt it was a really big achievement.
“The competition was so different compared to last year. When I first found out I was in the final, I thought I had an advantage as I knew what to expect but then when it went digital, it was like doing a completely different competition. It was a brilliant experience to be a part of and well done to all the other finalists, I know how hard everyone worked and they should all be very proud of themselves
Front of house student winner, Alex Dick, also commented: “Winning was such an incredible feeling, for myself and for my college who are incredibly proud and supportive. I really wanted to show off Scotland’s larder, especially from my local area, and through a pretty intense week I managed to create quite an awesome business. Local produce truly is the way forward.

“For anyone thinking of entering next year’s competition, my advice would be to do it! You learn so many new skills and ideas, as well as grow in confidence throughout the whole experience

Now in its 32nd year, Nestlé Professional Toque d’Or is one of the UK’s most influential industry competitions, bridging the gap between the theories of the classroom, work-based learning and the exciting reality of the industry.
Each of the challenges have been supported by Toque d’Or’s valued partners, which included Grindsmith, WSET, OLIO, Nescafé, Shuttersmith Media and Footprint Media. As well as this year’s sponsors PACE, HIT Training, Savoy Educational Trust, Russums, Nespresso and Springboard.
For more information about Nestlé Professional® Toque d’Or and to get involved with next year’s competition visit:

Pan’Artisan launches delicious new Hi Crust Dough Balls #

Recognising the importance of authentic, premium quality
bread offerings for consumers, and the huge popularity of
pizza, especially as demand for delivery and take out services
grow, Pan’Artisan has developed two new premium dough
balls; Hi-Crust and Hi-Crust made with Sourdough.

David Jones, Sales & Marketing Director, Pan’Artisan Ltd;
“In a market where provenance continues to grow our new Hi Crust doughballs allow the operator to purchase a frozen, UK manufactured product that can be stretched to achieve the trade mark leopard spotting; which is only achieved at a very hot oven temperature, and the high crust pizza base we have been accustomed to only seeing in the markets in Italy. Our development team and dough experts have worked tirelessly to find the
solution the market has been calling for, whilst ensuring the process is not too complex for the operator. This innovative product changes the game when it comes to manufactured dough with its versatility and ease of use.”

Created from an original Italian recipe which results in exceptional elasticity of the dough to promote the final taste, crust and texture, Pan’Artisan’s new dough balls offer a versatile product for chefs and operators alike – they are perfect for pizza bases; in order to achieve the distinctive high crust finish, create a rim of 1cm around the edge of the pizza base before topping and cooking.

The dough balls are also suitable for many other uses, such as bread sticks, canape bases, calzone or dumplings.

The Hi Crust made with Sourdough derives its aromatic flavour profile from the addition of wheat and rye sours, which imparts earthy, fruity notes and a complex acidity.  Pan’Artisan’s dough balls are provided frozen and are available in cases of 70 x 240g aiding operators with a longer shelf life, less wastage and convenience in portion sizes. They are suitable for different
oven types; amazing results can be had from a traditional wood-burning oven, impinger or stone deck oven.

Salt levels conform to government guidelines and all dough balls are suitable for vegetarian, vegan and lactose free diets. They are produced in a nut free environment and contain no artificial preservatives, flavours or GM products.

For more information on the Pan’Artisan range of products call 01730 811490 or visit

OLIO hosts free webinar and announces nationwide partnership with Tesco #

OLIO is hosting a free webinar Tuesday, 20 October from 14h00-15h00 BST on Reducing Food Waste, Tackling Food Insecurity and Promoting Healthy Eating, with panelists from The Food Foundation, LEON Restaurants, Elior UK and Peter Backman.  You can register at:

OLIO has also launched a nationwide partnership with Tesco across 2,700 stores. Through this partnership, we ensure that surplus food that charities are not able to take does not go to waste, but instead goes to local communities. In this way, not only are we tackling #foodwaste together, but also tackling #foodinsecurity through the free sharing on the OLIO app.

If you would like your business to become a zero surplus food waste business and thereby support your local communities, please reach out to OLIO at

critiQuie unveils consumer survey #

critiQuie Insight have carried out a survey across approximately 6000 consumers finding out how they are feeling about returning to London and COVID safety. With further Government announcements and restrictions it's difficult to see a near term recovery. However, many customers are still very happy to be returning to pubs, restaurants and hotels. The International restrictions make it even more appealing for consumers to travel and stay in the UK. However, understandably there are concerns around safety and more importantly businesses following guidelines and regulations to ensure consumers are as safe as possible when they go out to venues and socialise. As we saw with the 'eat out to help out' campaign consumers are more likely to visit venues when it's more cost effective. Top priority is to make consumers feel super safe during their experience, whether visiting your venues, buying your products, or using your services. 

For further information on critiQuie visit

Walk for Calm 17 th – 31 st October for Hospitality Action and CALM #

Wellbeing matters, more than ever. Let’s work together to make things better!
This October, people of hospitality are invited to Walk for Calm, to support and raise funds for Hospitality Action and CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably). Will you join us?

Walk for Calm is brought to you by mum, in partnership with, UKHospitality, The Caterer, Umbrella Training, Healthy Hospo, Tonic Talent and Sixty Eight People.

What is it?
This is a fun, flexible event where you get active and get sponsored to make a difference - but with Walk for Calm you to do it your way! All ages, abilities and imaginations are welcome, just pick a distance from 5km to 20km and then run, walk, wheel, relay, skip, skate, pogo or even cartwheel your way through, whilst raising cash to support those struggling with mental health and wellbeing.

Why not share your videos and pictures and tag #walkforcalm to spread the joy and the Walk for Calm word!

There’s a special focus on the 24 th October, but we’ve expanded the event to run 17 th to 31 st October to allow as many people as possible to get involved on this hospitality community event. So, you can go all out, or do a little bit every day!

Wherever you are! Just make sure you’ve read the most up-to-date government advice on social distancing and stay safe. Visit for more information. 

What will your fundraising achieve?
Hospitality Action and CALM work tirelessly to alleviate the challenges and barriers to people’s wellbeing. Here’s what your fundraising will help them achieve…

For Hospitality Action…
 £25 will pay for an hour of telephone support. Providing a listening ear for those struggling with the impact of COVID-19.
 £250 provides an emergency grant to cover essential costs like utilities and food following redundancy. 
 £100 pays for new interview clothes and shoes to help hospitality people get back to work following redundancy.

 £8 pays for a lifesaving call on the CALM Helpline. So, £80 pays for 10 calls and £800 pays for …well you get the idea!
 £5,500 pays for around a month of Helpline support.

What matters most is that every pound you raise will help the wellbeing and mental health of people in the industry, and across the UK.

Sign up on JustGiving and join our team here

Craig Prentice, Founder of mum explains ”It’s time to not only highlight the importance of looking after our own mental health, but also promote wellbeing at every opportunity. Walk for Calm is an opportunity to unite together to recognise this whilst supporting Hospitality Action and CALM and the terrific work they do - please get involved, support and donate if you can.

Mark Lewis, CEO, Hospitality Action commented: “Mental health isn’t a destination but rather a journey. These past few months have been trying for us all but especially those working in hospitality. By taking part in the Walk for Calm you’ll be keeping active and engaged, taking care of your own mental health as you take care of others.”

Anna Jones, Fundraising Director, CALM went on to say “During such uncertain times, we're honoured people from the hospitality industry will be supporting the life-saving work that CALM do by taking part in The Walk for Calm this October. We're delighted mum and other key players in the hospitality industry are coming together to walk, raise awareness and unite against suicide. Just £8 funds a call to our life-saving helpline so every pound raised by the Walk for Calm will make a difference to those in crisis"

Any questions?
Drop us an email to find out more and view our useful FAQs

London SME, The Soho Sandwich Co, is Sodexo’s chosen partner to provide meals at 50 testing centres #

A new, growing area for Sodexo has been the operation of some 50 Covid-19 test centres and to ensure the teams on site are well fed during their shifts Sodexo partnered with London SME, The Soho Sandwich Company. 

While convenience is key, Sodexo’s ethos of providing fresh, healthy options using ingredients from British suppliers remains at the fore, which is why Sodexo turned to its trusted supply partner The Soho Sandwich Company to provide the testing teams with breakfast options, sandwiches, wraps, healthy snacks, salads and ‘heat to eat meals’ such as curries, chilli and pasta dishes, with vegan and gluten free options also available. To date, over 190,000 meals have been provided to Sodexo-managed testing centres. 

The Soho Sandwich Company is one of London’s leading producers of handcrafted artisan sandwiches, providing food for Sodexo at major events such as Chelsea Flower Show and Royal Ascot, where Sodexo is the official caterer, since 2016. 

Dan Silverston, CEO for The Soho Sandwich Company, said: “Back in March, no one could have predicted the impact coronavirus and the national lockdown was going to have on our sector. Within five days, we watched sales plummet by over 70 per cent as our clients closed their sites down.  

“It is a real privilege that we are now supplying our full range to almost 50 Covid testing centres nationally. 

“Due to the speed at which the testing centres were opening, it was incredibly difficult to forecast volumes, we had to be agile and react quickly. At one point Sodexo was mobilising 20 Covid testing centres within 48 hours, and we were there to ensure that when it opened, food was available for the teams at each site

Like Sodexo, The Soho Sandwich Company is committed to conducting its business in an environmentally sustainable manner. The company operate in a zero carbon footprint facility, all food is responsibly sourced, all eggs are free range, cardboard sandwich wedges are plastic free, and bread crusts (which make up most of their food waste) go to a sheep farm in Essex to be used as animal feed. 

Its ingredients are Red Tractor assured where possible and produced under the LEAF scheme. 

Dan added, “The feedback we are getting from the teams on site is great, they think the quality and consistency has been fantastic, with particular emphasis on the provenance of our ingredients, notably our British ham, Barbers Cheddar, British free-range egg and Scottish smoked salmon,” 

“It continues to be uncertain times, and the market remains unpredictable, but we have risen to the challenge and are looking forward to supporting Sodexo even further.” 

Ben Dutson, Divisional Executive Chef for Sports and Leisure at Sodexo, said: “We have worked with The Soho Sandwich Company for four years now and wanted them to provide food to our teams at the testing centres.  We know that they take great pride and care in selecting the ingredients for their products. They work in close partnership with their suppliers to source ingredients with a real emphasis on quality, provenance and sustainability and look to reduce food miles whenever possible

Supporting British farmers and producers has been a Sodexo commitment for many years, with much work undertaken to build relationships and support SMEs across all areas of food production.

Since March, Sodexo teams have redeployed to operate Covid-19 testing centres on behalf of the UK government and support the national test and trace effort. As well as catering at the sites, Sodexo has worked with its suppliers to ensure its teams have the relevant tools and personal protective equipment (PPE) to work safely, accurately and efficiently. 

Sodexo is committed to prioritising partnering with SMEs in the delivery of public services, as outlined in its public service pledge.