Members’ News

November 2020

BEIS confirms grant aid for foodservice equipment supply companies #

FEA lobbying success
BEIS (the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) has confirmed that the foodservice equipment supply chain will be able to claim additional support if they have been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.  The support is in the form of grants from local councils. 
The decision follows intensive lobbying from FEA, supported by other trade associations such as UK Hospitality, which successfully argued that businesses that were heavily linked to the hospitality industry should be given special treatment. 
As a result, BEIS has said that businesses that supply the hospitality sector can apply for the grants.  The Department has said local councils have the freedom to determine the eligibility criteria for the grants, but it expects the funding to help those businesses which – while not legally forced to close – are nonetheless severely impacted by the restrictions.
We are delighted that the government has finally agreed that the foodservice equipment supply chain needs extra support,” says Steve Hobbs, chair of FEA.  “I’d like to congratulate the FEA team who, despite repeated frustrations, have never let up in their pressure and efforts.” 
To find out more visit ‘coronavirus additional restrictions grant’ pages* at the website (
The Foodservice Equipment Association (FEA) is the independent, authoritative voice of the foodservice equipment industry, representing nearly 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 

Sodexo introduce Vital Spaces: a new approach for a people-centred workplace #

Sodexo’s Vital Spaces has brought together the company’s diverse expertise to provide employers with a new approach to help them transform their workplaces through a connected, people-centric approach.

The workplace of today is not just about the physical boundaries of an office, but also the employee experience wherever and whenever teams are working. Recent research from the CBI, in which UK businesses were questioned about plans for remote and hybrid working, saw nearly half of organisations (47%) state that beyond 2021 they believe work will be split evenly between an office or other workplace and their employees’ own home.

With hybrid working becoming a reality for many organisations from 2021, Vital Spaces will enable a blended way of working, bringing together everything Sodexo can do to support adults at work whether in the office, at home or at a third workspace. 

Building out from traditional iFM and food services, Vital Spaces offers a wider range of services, from consultancy, space design and planning, benefits and rewards solutions through to employee-focused services like concierge, and Sodexo will deliver this through greater integration of its business divisions and partners such as Sodexo Engage, Wx and Circles.

Sodexo’s Vital Spaces focuses on spaces and people and has been framed under five service pillars.

WorkPlace Strategy: A data-driven, outcome focussed approach to workspace including change management. Smart building strategy with consideration to the environment, sustainability and energy. 

WorkPlace Design: Supporting the creation of productive and inspiring spaces - where people can be their best. 

WorkPlace Management: Seamlessly managing safe, compliant and sustainable places where people can focus on the task at hand. 

WorkLife Services: Including food at work, food delivery, employee & guest services, as well as work from home services, all supporting life for people at work, helping them thrive. 

WorkPlace Tech. & Analytics: Data-driven solutions helping organisations make faster, smarter decisions in areas such as space utilisation, energy reporting, health, wellbeing & environmental analysis.

Julie Ennis, CEO, Corporate Services Sodexo UK & Ireland says: “The Covid-19 pandemic has had a dramatic impact on the workplace as we knew it, but that transformation was already underway.

“Over the last few years, we have seen the gradual shift towards agile and flexible working and, because of this trend, we had already begun to look at how we can support client organisations to maximise the use of their workspaces.

“Vital Spaces it is an evolution of Sodexo’s wide portfolio of expertise and services brought together to provide our clients with the solutions to transform their workplaces, bringing a new focus on the working experience whether in an office, at home or at a third space, and drive employee engagement as a result.

“We are proud that as an organisation we can support our clients, help them plan for the future whilst getting the best out of spaces and people

Bidfood teams up with Hospitality Action on launch of Christmas charity single #

Following the latest blow to the industry, with another national lockdown forcing hospitality to close their doors once more, Bidfood and Hospitality Action have announced they will be releasing a charity single in response to the pandemic, to raise vital funds for the industry.

Available from 7th December the single, which is a cover of Miley Cyrus – The Climb, aims to shine a light on the importance and resilience of the industry in these testing times. Produced by Troy Miller, Winner of an Ivor Novello Award, and nominated for a Grammy for ‘best producer’, the single encapsulates the raw and authentic voices from across the industry.

Singers include Patron of Hospitality Action, Brian Turner CBE, and employees from Subway, IPC, Hospitality Action and Bidfood. 

Discussing the project Mark Lewis, CEO, Hospitality Action said: “With the festive trading period in jeopardy many hospitality businesses will be making the tough decision to reduce their headcount or even to close for good. Yet hospitality people are known for their resilience and are a multitalented bunch, as demonstrated by the amazing vocals on this single. By purchasing a copy you’ll be helping hospitality families put food on the table and keep a roof over their head this Christmas.”

Speaking about the single, Tim Adams, Director of Corporate Sales and Marketing said: “We are delighted to be working with Hospitality Action to raise money and awareness for our industry during such challenging times. This has been an incredibly difficult year and we wanted to launch a campaign that would spread some light-heartedness and positivity whilst doing our best to support those who need it most.

“I’d also like to say a massive thank you to those who took part in this, taking time out of their day to be involved means a great deal to us. We really hope people will get behind this campaign, download the single and who knows, we may even get in the Christmas charts!

To find out more information regarding the single, including how to pre-order please visit:

If you’re keen to purchase the single and donate a larger amount, you can visit our fundraising page by clicking here.

Springboard UK announces star-studded line up for Christmas carols #

Hospitality charity, Springboard, has announced a star-studded line up for its charity carols on 14 December - including chefs Monica Galetti, Raymond Blanc, Thomas Frake and Ruth Hansom.
The chefs will also be joined at the virtual service by Hollywood actor and producer Jason Flemyng, known for his roles in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and The League of Gentlemen.
Chris Gamm, CEO of Springboard, says: “2020 has been a particularly challenging year for the hospitality industry. Through this year’s Virtual Christmas Carols, we want to bring some much needed cheer to the industry, while raising vital funds. It’s a line up not to be missed, and we’ll have some other surprises for you on the night.
“Money raised from the event will support unemployed, young people and those made redundant from the hospitality industry. It will be used to increase skills and confidence, improve job prospects and futureproof the talent pipeline for hospitality
The service will be streamed from St Cyprians Clarence Gate Church. As well as the celebrity readers, the church’s choir will perform a selection of carols. Tickets purchased before 7th December will include a box of festive treats to enjoy during the service.
Tickets for the event at 5:30pm on the 14th costs just £25 and are available here:

Access Hospitality creates festive cheer for charity and customers with treat-packed advent calendar #

Sector technology expert, Access Hospitality, is inviting everyone in the hospitality industry to join in with its festive fun advent calendar whilst bringing some much-needed support to its customers and food charities around the country. 
The digital advent calendar hosts a series of treats and prizes to be won each day up until Christmas Eve, purchased by Access Hospitality and drawn from its customer base. It includes prizes from Hawksmoor, Silverstone, Lane 7, The Belfry, Youngs, and many more. The daily prize draws are free to enter and big-value prizes hide behind each window, including a draw for a weekend in London or Edinburgh with £1000 worth of accommodation and restaurant vouchers. To win the prizes on three specific days a £5 raffle ticket must be purchased, with all proceeds being donated to FareShare, the UK’s national network of charitable food redistributors. 
Henry Seddon, Managing Director of Access Hospitality said, “Hospitality businesses have gone above and beyond what could have been expected of them in exceptionally difficult circumstances this year. We wanted to give everyone a lift during the festive season and a digital advent calendar with great prizes waiting to be won seemed like the ideal way to get everyone involved. Access Hospitality works with some incredible operators and we wanted to support them and say thank you this Christmas. 
“This is also a time of reflection and we are acutely aware that many people are struggling to put food on the table. That is why we have chosen to list three higher-value items on the calendar and ask for a donation of £5 to FareShare, which takes quality surplus food from across the food industry and distributes it to almost 11,000 frontline charities and community groups to share almost a million meals for vulnerable people every week.
The first prize waiting to be claimed from the Access Hospitality advent calendar is a £200 voucher for steakhouse and cocktail specialist, Hawksmoor, with the chance to win open until midnight on 1st December. A random draw will be made the following day and winners notified by email and announced on social channels. 
Henry Seddon commented, “I hope people join in for the chance to win some amazing Christmas gifts, support their contemporaries and help FareShare with their invaluable work in the community. Three advent calendar windows require a donation to the charity and anyone taking part will, of course, be able to make other contributions if they are in a position or willing to do so.” 
The Access Hospitality advent calendar will open its first window on 1st December and can be found at
Terms and conditions apply, as outlined at 

Research provides valuable insight to further develop Sodexo’s support of people with disabilities #

In celebration of International Day of People with Disabilities on 3 December 2020, Sodexo has published a report of the findings of a survey into the lived experience of employees and customers with disabilities.

The report, ‘A day without explanation: the future of disability inclusion?’, is the result of a survey carried out by Sodexo and PurpleSpace, the professional network hub for disabled employees.

Nearly 900 people from the PurpleSpace network, partner organisations, Sodexo and its external communities responded to the survey, which aimed to help Sodexo understand how to better support employees and customers with disabilities.

The results showed that 79% of respondents believe that people with disabilities find it much harder to build and nurture inner confidence and resilience, which may impact their ability to progress at work.

The report highlights the crucial first port of call role that line managers play, with 75% of respondents with a disability had informed their line manager. However, many believed that their employer doesn’t do well in sharing information about role models; only 15% have heard about people with disabilities in senior or managerial positions in their organisation.

As a provider of services across a range of industries, including hospitals, schools, prisons, universities and government offices, Sodexo was also interested to understand the needs and experiences of customers with disabilities.

When asked about their experiences as a customer, 30% believed that they received a good service where their needs are anticipated, while 45% have to explain individual needs to a different person on each visit.

The research highlights that there is significant appetite for disabled customers to use mechanisms that make it easy to be identified as having access needs.

Sarah Perry, HR Director, Sodexo UK & Ireland, said: “This research has provided useful insight that we will be using to improve the workplace experience for colleagues with disabilities, and sharing with our clients and partners.

“Sodexo is proud to be a Disability Confident Leader, but the results clearly show that there is more we can be doing to improve the experience of our employees.  

“Last year, we set up an employee network for people with disabilities and allies to help people feel more supported and connected. There are already nearly 150 members of this network, and we’ll be engaging with them to understand how we can better improve how adjustments at work are made to help people feel more actively involved in the process.

“We will also be considering how we can work with our onsite teams to make improvements for our customers, and with our clients to help them provide more inclusive workplaces

Sodexo is a committed to disability inclusion, having made a global commitment to provide 100% of its workforce with access to programmes for people with disabilities by 2025.

Sodexo achieved Leader status in the UK Government's Disability Confident scheme in 2018, affirming its commitment to recruit and retain people with disabilities and long-term conditions.

As part of this, Sodexo is working with Project SEARCH, a transition to work programme aimed at transforming the lives of people with learning disabilities and autism. Sodexo provides young people with work placements in its healthcare business, with a view to offering permanent employment where possible.

Earlier this year, Sodexo also announced its global membership in The Valuable 500, an international initiative to put disability on the leadership agenda.

Kate Nash, CEO at PurpleSpace, added: “Disability affects all employers and service providers, so we were delighted to work with Sodexo to carry out this research, so uniquely placed are they to impact on the experiences of disabled people as customers, as well as employees.

“Anticipating people’s needs requires people to listen and to act appropriately. It is a necessity to ensure adjustment processes both at work and in customer services are part of the DNA of good practice.

“We look forward to continuing our partnership with Sodexo as they build on the survey results and make changes that will improve practices for their employees and customers

Sodexo will be participating in PurpleSpace’s #PurpleLightUp on 3 December; a 24 hour global broadcast with webinars, interviews and panel discussions to spark conversations about disability inclusion worldwide.

Free employee insight survey from CRITIQUIE to help businesses post lock down #

As lockdown in England finishes critiQuie are offering our members a FREE “back-to-work" survey
It helps businesses understand:
- what their employees think of the business they work for
- if there are any areas they need help in
- areas of the business that are well managed
- areas of the business that may need to be improved

It further demonstrates to employees that the business value their opinions, thoughts and suggestions, which build stronger engagement and loyalty.
Businesses can see what’s working well and what’s not. Focusing on areas to make their business thrive... FOR FREE! 

A Simple, quick and engaging way to gain great Insight. 
How it works … It's virtually zero effort for the business, 5 easy steps:
1.  Go to
2.  Simply fill in the details (no payment obligation)
3.  We will send a dedicated URL to email to employees
4.  We will run the survey for a week
5.  Once closed we send a ‘results report’ for review.

Simple and Straight Forward - which with current challenges everyone needs right now - Great Insight for businesses to support employees.

If you have any queries please contact, and for more information on our Insight and Engagement platform go to:

Fooditude and Sodexo offer a tasty combination in food service #

Sodexo has today announced it has taken a majority shareholding in Fooditude the London-based delivered-in office food services provider.

This represents a significant milestone for Sodexo in offsite food production and food delivery, allowing the business to grow new digital-enabled and consumer-focused food services to support its mission to keep its clients’ employees happy, healthy and well-fed.

Fooditude produces high quality fresh food from a 20,000 sq ft central production unit (CPU) in London that is delivered to corporate clients. Its client base is predominantly with media and technology organisations, with key clients including Netflix and Pinterest.

By investing in Fooditude Sodexo is not only adding a successful food brand to its portfolio, it is adding significant offsite food production, which will accelerate the roll out of delivery models, such as Good Eating Company Delivered, launched in August 2020.

Changes in lifestyles brought about by the global coronavirus pandemic have resulted in huge shifts in both working patterns and consumer food habits. Sodexo’s latest (October 2020) Harris Interactive tracker revealed that 88% of UK workers who worked from home during the pandemic would like to continue to do so, with three days the most popular option (35%).

As a result, organisations are reviewing their real estate and looking at the role of food as a benefit, either as a way to entice people back into the office, or indeed to support their productivity at home, with healthy food delivered in.

A growing trend is the acceleration of food delivery and consumer demand to access food services digitally. This trend is likely to challenge traditional onsite food services, as consumers look for more flexibility and choice.

Indeed, the Harris Interactive tracker1 found that half of employees stated that when they return to the office, they are less likely to visit the staff restaurant; and 60% of those wanting to continue working from home stated they were interested in food delivery (lunch & snacks) and when asked what improvements could be made by their company’s foodservice provider, 26% stated the ability to order food to be delivered. 

The acquisition forms part of Sodexo’s global and regional strategy to develop new, more flexible food service models, responding to accelerated trends in consumer demand. Sodexo UK has also recently partnered with leading food service technology provider Dynamify to develop an app-based digital retail platform to support the growing trend for a contactless food experience.

Julie Ennis, CEO, corporate services, Sodexo UK & Ireland says: “Last week we launched Vital Spaces, a bringing together of our diverse expertise to help our clients transform their workplaces with a connected, people-centric approach. Our investment in Fooditude is an exciting step in the evolution of Vital Spaces and the transformation of our food services in the UK and Ireland. Fooditude is a well-established and dynamic food brand, putting food right at the heart of employee experience.

“The world is changing at pace, and it is imperative that we have the right brands, production capability and digital solutions to deliver the best food services in the market, across all sectors.

“Using the insight gained from our research we will work closely with Fooditude grow and expand their business and importantly we will use their production capabilities and delivery model to support our growth

Founders Dean and Sam Kennett will retain shares in the company and will continue to operate the business under the Fooditude brand alongside their existing team. 

Dean Kennett, managing director and founder of Fooditude says: “I couldn’t be happier about our decision to join forces with Sodexo to bring the Fooditude brand to new audiences across the UK and beyond.

“We have ambitious plans for growth after 15 successful years as a premium workplace caterer to London’s most forward-thinking businesses and partnering with Sodexo will accelerate those plans.

“Our partnership with Sodexo is a good fit for us and will ensure our success as we seek to develop new opportunities together.

Elior UK makes the move to a 100% electric fleet #

Elior UK has committed to transition its vehicles to 100% electric in a move that will reduce their vehicle CO2 emissions by 80-100%.  
The exchange programme was developed earlier this year and further demonstrates Elior’s Economic Social Governance (ESG) commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Elior’s pledge will see the replacement of their petrol and diesel vans and company cars with eco-efficient vehicles that are EV (full electric), PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric) or non-plug-in hybrid electric. Any vehicle manufacturers that do not offer alternative fuelled vehicles will be removed from Elior’s car policy which will reviewed annually to account for any changes.

Charlotte Wright, CSR manager at Elior UK comments “As a responsible company, we wholly recognise the importance of preserving natural resources and the positive impact this will have on society and in our continued commitment to our ESG programme, it’s essential that our people are part of the journey. The UK government has announced it will ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030. We are ahead of this, going green with our vehicles is a big step in the changes we are working towards in becoming a more environmentally-sound business.”

To support the changeover, Elior will invest in installing electric charging points at its head offices in London and Macclesfield. App based technology will also be made available to employees to conveniently identify the nearest available pod points whilst on the move.

To find out more on Elior’s corporate responsibility initiatives, visit: