Members’ News

August 2021

Sodexo to deliver fabulous food for over 1,700 guests at Henley Royal Regatta #

Sodexo will provide official hospitality services for Henley Royal Regatta 2021 as rowing supporters and crews return to the world-renowned event. 

The annual rowing event on the River Thames will be held from Wednesday 11 August to Sunday 15 August, after cancellation last year due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The official hospitality at Fawley Meadows is expected to welcome over 1,700 people following the lifting of lockdown restrictions in England in July. 

Sodexo has operated hospitality services for Henley Royal Regatta since 2013. This year, Sodexo will deliver all hospitality for the event across the Fawley Meadows Restaurant and Riverside Chalets and private dining in Temple Island. 

Guests have chosen from a range of hospitality packages, and a new addition to the 2021 event is the VIP picnic hospitality packages. 

The hospitality offering includes canapes, a five-course meal, afternoon teas and a selection of beverages, including Moët & Chandon champagne. 

Guests can enjoy a five-course meal featuring local-sourced produce, with vegetarian and vegan options available, including Cured Loch Duart Salmon, 28-day aged West Country Beef and Summer bean risotto. 

Food waste and sustainability has been high on the agenda for Ian Page, Sodexo Head Chef of Events, who has curated the menus, with Salmon and broccoli trimmings that could have gone to waste being used as part of a salmon and broccoli tart canape. 

Henley Royal Regatta is the first greenfield event that Sodexo chefs will have operated at since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The Sodexo team will serve up to 500 hospitality covers per day at the regatta. 

Chris Bray, CEO Sports & Leisure for Sodexo UK & Ireland, said:

As the hospitality industry continues to re-open, we are delighted to be back at one of the most prestigious events in the sporting and social calendar. Our teams have been working tirelessly to develop new experiences and we are looking forward to welcoming back our guests to this wonderful event

Daniel Grist, Secretary & Chief Executive, Henley Royal Regatta, said: “With the return of the Regatta this year, it has never been more important to offer outstanding hospitality to those who watch the action from the riverbank. We want everyone to have the best day and for everything we do to reflect the excellence on the water. We know that Sodexo’s attention to detail contributes to the unique atmosphere of Henley Royal Regatta and will make it a day to remember!

Walk for Calm 2021 – back for an even bigger event this year, taking simple steps to promote wellbeing #

This September, all the wonderful people of hospitality are invited to Walk for Calm, to promote better mental health and raise funds to support the work of leading charities Hospitality Action and CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably). Will you join us?

Walk for Calm is a fun, flexible event all about taking simple steps to promote wellbeing, getting out in the fresh air, moving your body and taking time to think, exercise, reflect and energise.

Back for a second year, the event is powered by mum, in partnership with, UKHospitality, Umbrella Training, The Caterer, Institute of Hospitality, Tonic Talent, Lexington Catering, AA Media, EXP101, Sixty-Eight People, HIT Scotland, HRinHospitality, Arena, Hoteliers’ Charter, Catering Scotland and Off to Work.

This is an event that is accessible to all ages and abilities, no matter what your fitness level. You can walk, wheel, run, skateboard, cartwheel or even pogo your chosen distance. The important thing is to have some fun whilst raising money and awareness for such an important cause.

Craig Prentice , Founder of Walk for Calm commented “I’m excited to bring Walk for Calm back for a second year to promote better mental health across our industry, whilst highlighting and supporting the great work of Hospitality Action and CALM.”

Craig commented, “There has never been a more important time for people to come together in a fun way to increase awareness of wellbeing and positive mental health.’

Mark Lewis is CEO of Hospitality Action, the benevolent charity for the hospitality sector, established in 1837 and commented “Hospitality Action offers lifelines to people who work or have worked in the hospitality industry and find themselves in difficulty. As you can imagine more people than ever have been in crisis, mostly financial, over the last 14 months.’

“We received 20,000 emails asking for help in the first week of the lockdown and we calculate that Hospitality Action has helped approximately 5000 hospitality households since COVID first struck last March. By taking part in Walk for Calm you’ll be keeping active and engaged, taking care of your own mental health as you take care of others

Simon Gunning is CEO at the Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM), a leading movement against suicide. Every week 125 people in the UK take their own lives. And 75% of all UK suicides are male. CALM exists to change this.

We try to help anybody and everybody who finds themselves in crisis, with suicide prevention at our core. We campaign for personal and societal change, and we run a helpline from five to midnight, seven days a week which is free to call and staffed by professionals during lockdown. We took over 130,000 calls and visits to our website over the past year, more than double the previous period, so our services are clearly needed more than ever.”

The pandemic has had a profound impact on our lives and will continue to do so as more people than ever turn to CALM for support. By raising awareness and vital funds for our helpline services through this amazing event, we can continue to be there for whoever needs us, no matter what.’

For Craig the message is simple, “Please support and get involved however you can, whether that be through social media sharing, signing up to take part on your own or as part of a team with friends and family, or by making a donation if you’re in the position to.

What is Walk for Calm?

This is an 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 10km to 40km and then run, walk, wheel, relay, skip, skate, pogo or even cartwheel your way through, whilst raising funds to support those struggling with mental health and wellbeing. You can go all out, or do a little bit every day!

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

When and Where is Walk for Calm?

Walk for Calm kicks off on World Suicide Prevention Day, Friday 10th September and runs until Sunday 26th September, and you can clock up your steps at any point during this time. Plus, if you’d prefer to join an organised route with other walkers, there’ll be organised hosted walks taking place on Saturday 18th September in London, Brighton, Bristol, Cardiff, Birmingham, Manchester and Edinburgh. To find out more, visit or drop us an email

What’s more, 18th September is the new official National Hospitality Day - a nationwide celebration of your brilliant and resilient restaurants, hotels, pubs and bars. Show your support by dropping in to your favourite hospitality venues to celebrate with a well-deserved treat after clocking up your steps!

What will your fundraising achieve?

CALM and Hospitality Action 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 pays for an hour of telephone support. Providing a listening ear for those struggling with the impact of COVID19.
• £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.

How do I get involved with Walk for Calm?

Visit the Walk for Calm website HERE

Want to take part and ready to sign up? Create your own fundraising page HERE

If you are unable to take part but would like to make a donation directly to our campaign, then please visit HERE Any questions?

Just drop us an email to find out more.


Pubs and bars grow channel share, as average spend continues to grow #

According to the latest data from Lumina Intelligence Eating & Drinking Out Panel, consumer participation in the eating out market grew remained stable at 50% in the 4 w/e 11 July 2021 (vs. 4 w/e 13 June 2021). Visit frequency also remained stable at 1.4 times per week over the same period.

With the Euros taking place throughout June and July, there has been a shift in channel share in the last 4 weeks. As consumers flocked to catch the football, pubs & bars have continued to gain channel share, accounting for 15.0% of total eating out occasions across the four weeks – up 2ppts versus the previous period. Restaurants also continue to grow share, up 0.6ppts to 12.7%.

Average spend per visit across the eating out market also continues to grow, as higher spend channels continue to grow share at the expense of low-ticket channels. Average spend in the 4 w/e 11 July 2021 was £9.79, up +2.6%.

This is also reflected in an increase in day part share for dinner, up by +0.7ppts over the last 4 weeks, from 31.5% to 32.2%. Popular dinner items have therefore also increased in share, including burgers (+0.6ppts) and pizza (+1.2ppts).

Commenting on the results, Insight Director at Lumina Intelligence, Blonnie Whist, said: “With many consumers remaining cautious amidst rising coronavirus cases in June/July, participation and frequency of eating out remained stable. However, a shift towards pubs & bars and restaurants from lower-ticket solutions like retail and coffee shops has driven an increase in average spend per visit.

Pubs will have no doubt capitalised on the recent success of the England team at the Euros

Find out more about Lumina Intelligence’s Eating & Drinking Out Panel here.

The Access Group continues investment in the hospitality and leisure sector with acquisition of Trail #

Trail, the UKs #1 hospitality checklist app, will be integrated into the Access Group’s Hospitality division to help customers increase productivity and maintain compliance.

The Access Group has acquired Trail as the latest addition to its business software solutions, building on its strategy of bringing new and innovative products to market. The productivity and checklist app will be incorporated into its hospitality division and follows other recent acquisitions including Acteol CRM and CPL Learning. This investment in best-in-class technology reflects Access Hospitality’s role as the UK leading provider of software solutions for the hospitality and leisure sector. 
Trail is the market leading hospitality checklist app. The simple app replaces paper in hospitality businesses to streamline operations, boost productivity and uncover efficiencies. When integrated with existing Access Group solutions, including Training, HR and scheduling, EPoS, CRM, reservations, property maintenance and purchasing, all powered by Access Workspace, Trail becomes a complete operational hub. 
Henry Seddon, Managing Director of Access Hospitality, said “With operators facing an increased need to focus on productivity and compliance, adding Trail to the Access Group’s portfolio creates an unrivalled end to end offering that gives customers freedom to do more.  
Trail’s smart digital checklists let teams know exactly what to do and when to do it, reducing pressure on managers and team members. Dashboards and notifications give remote visibility to head office so operators can track performance, discover trends, and identify efficiencies. Trail closes the communication loop between individual sites and head office, allowing everyone to do more with less
Henry Seddon continued “I’m confident that there’s a great cultural fit between the two companies, as well as experienced talent within the Trail team which will be a great addition to the Access Hospitality family.” 
Joe Cripps & Wil Grace, co-founders of Trail will join Access Hospitality to help integration with existing hospitality software products through Access Workspace and steer further product development. 
Joe Cripps commented “This is an exciting step for Trail. Since its creation in 2014, Trail has become the UK’s leading hospitality checklist app with strong integration into feedback, EPoS and TNA technology. Over the last year, the adoption of digital technology has accelerated in the hospitality industry, and digital checklists will be a key consideration for improving productivity as businesses get back on their feet. With staff shortages and high turnover currently making it even harder to maintain standards, Trail helps ease the pressure. 
“Access Hospitality is well known for providing innovative technology solutions for the hospitality and leisure sector. Existing Trail customers will benefit from the company’s extensive experience in accelerating product development, investing in customer success and providing software that gives customers the freedom to focus on guest experiences.
For further information please contact Access Hospitality at or 0845 345 3300. 


TWC Trends – The Rise of Subscription Services #

Latest stats from TWC Trends have highlighted the extent of the online explosion when it comes to digitalisation and delivery of food and drink and the impact on convenience and foodservice with more recent data showing that subscription services are rapidly taking hold.
TWC Trends shows that consumers are 3x more likely now (than before the Pandemic) to say that at least 80% of their retail interactions are digital in nature.  Alongside this, subscription box services are being adopted fast – a market that is set to grow 72% by 2022 with UK residents currently spending an average of £2 billion on subscriptions every year. 
According to TWC’s development director, Tom Fender, the market is ripe for subscription services with the average spend on a subscription box currently ranging from £7.5 to £30. 
The big one of course, is Netflix, which now has over 16.7 million subscribers here in the UK. However, subscription box services are rapidly emerging in every compartment of our lives, whether groceries, health and beauty products, contact lenses, wines, beers and general living.  Food remains the most popular subscription box in the UK but it covers anything that is bought on a repeat or regular basis.
“The data shows that women are more likely to sign up for subscription services than men are and right now, London is the epicentre of services but this looks set to spread fast to the regions.
“One could argue that for businesses who have based their offer on subscriptions, they know exactly what they are delivering when which avoids the highs and lows in supply that we have seen over the past few months whether due to Brexit Covid or delivery driver shortages.  Commensurately, consumers are believed to feel more secure in the knowledge that they will be receiving their regular goods
Right now, delivery issues are dominating the media headlines.  There’s an irony that as demand grows and comfort factors increase around the ease and use of online ordering, we are now in a position where fulfilment cannot keep pace!  You can have the best online platform in the world but if you can’t get the products delivered, it’s all worthless! 
“In London alone, the number of available drivers has fallen by 14% whilst shifts and demand has soared by 53%.  It’s not hard to see that we are about to enter a period of real disconnect that has no short-term quick fix.  It is becoming apparent that the market for subscription services will benefit from this current driver shortage
Fender concludes:

As brands go digital, or go direct as B2B businesses learn new channels, we believe that digitalisation, the economy and Millennials will drive lasting changes to consumer behaviour with subscription services.
Figures show that the UK is topping the leader-boards when it comes to its digital economy.  The ecommerce market in the UK* is the largest in Europe, (*Statista) and it is reported to be the 3rd highest digital economy in the world (lagging a mere 0.1% behind China and South Korea).  The Covid-19 crisis has accelerated the online trend, seeing 10 years’ worth of growth in just a few months
The digital sector contributes over £149billion to our economy and is a key source of jobs with more than 1.5 million people working in related businesses.

Industry leading suppliers join Hotel, Restaurant Catering 2022 #

Hospitality equipment specialist Falcon Foodservice Equipment, staff rota software provider Planday, commercial interiors business Harp Design and quality stocks & sauces provider Essential Cuisine are just a handful of the exhibitors who have signed on to showcase their products and services at Hotel, Restaurant & Catering (HRC) 2022.   

For more than 86 years Hotel, Restaurant & Catering (HRC) has stood at the forefront of hospitality innovation, welcoming thousands of visitors every year to test, taste and discover the latest products from over 500 suppliers in the hospitality and foodservice market.   

This year’s event is set to be bigger and better than ever, incorporating PUB22 for the first time and taking place alongside International Food & Drink Event and IFE Manufacturing Solutions to create a comprehensive one-stop-shop for buyers operating in food, drink, hospitality and foodservice.   

Kevin Ryan, Partner Manager UK & IRL at Planday, commented: “We always love meeting hospitality operators and hearing their plans for growth and new opportunities. With a fresh optimism in the industry and consumers ready to make the most of quality UK hospitality with extra enthusiasm, we are very excited to join the conversation about how to maximise this opportunity at HRC 2022.”  

Hayley Roy, Owner of Harp Design, added: “All of the Harp Team are really looking forward to exhibiting at HRC, we can't wait to meet with our clients and suppliers again in person. As a design partner for the show, we have designed the Vision Stage with a focus on sustainable design with a monochrome theme and we can’t wait to see it come to life!”  

To find out more about the suppliers supporting Hotel, Restaurant & Catering visit 

Sodexo gifts more than £1 million to help SMEs and not for profits fund apprenticeships #

Sodexo is helping numerous small companies and not-for-profit organisations to upskill their workforce by gifting more than £1 million of its apprenticeship levy to support 106 new apprentices.

The money is helping train people for roles across many sectors including trainee paramedics for the London Ambulance Service and health and support staff for locally based community organisations and sports clubs in areas such as Salford, Worcester and Bath.

The levy is also funding a staff member at a primary school in Salford – where one of Sodexo’s main offices is based – enabling them to gain a Level 5 apprenticeship qualification.

In addition, Sodexo is gifting its levy to help numerous hospitality workers in the hotel and catering industry as firms across the UK are facing recruitment issues due to the pandemic.

Large businesses, such as Sodexo, can gift up to 25 per cent of their apprenticeship levy to help other organisations.

In February this year, during National Apprenticeship Week it committed to donate £800,000 a year to benefit SME organisations and not for profits.

Having increased the amount given to other organisations to meet this commitment, Sodexo has now gifted a total of £1,000,629 since 2019.

Sean Haley, Sodexo’s Regional Chair for UK & Ireland, said: “As an organisation that serves the public in so many important ways, it is incumbent on us to operate with purpose and to create a positive social impact in the communities we serve.

“Our apprenticeship programme is incredibly important to us and we have committed to ensuring that all appropriate job roles and vacancies are considered as an apprenticeship. Being able to share this to such an extent with SMEs and not-for-profit organisations is truly a privilege and we wish each apprentice benefitting from this every success

Sue Davison, Head of Apprenticeships at Sodexo, added: “As one of the largest facilities management organisations in the country, we build up a huge apprenticeship fund each year and, while we are committed to the apprenticeship scheme and encourage all of our colleagues in Sodexo to further their development and boost their careers, we also feel it is important to gift a percentage to help local communities, SMEs, the public sector and community based organisations.”

Sodexo ensures it is ‘gifting with purpose’ to employers that share the company’s ethos when it comes to health and safety and ensuring their workforce is diverse and inclusive.

Earlier this year, Sodexo launched its Social Impact Pledge, which included a commitment to contribute to the economic, social and environmental development of the cities, regions and countries in which it works.

You can find out more about the Social Impact Pledge here.