Members’ News

October 2021

London Metropolitan University partners with Gather & Gather #

London Metropolitan University is pleased to announce it has awarded a new catering and hospitality contract to Gather & Gather.

The two-year deal, which began on 1st August 2021 and has a value of £1.5million, will see Gather & Gather bring its award-winning approach and innovative menus to multiple outlets across the university’s two campuses on Holloway Road and at Aldgate.

Exciting and nourishing food experiences will support the university culture and its future food strategy as the campus locations evolve. This new academic year, students, employees and visitors alike can look forward to fresh concepts, such as street food vendors through Gather & Gather’s newly formed partnership with Karnivalfood, and a new artisan coffee offer.

The tender process attracted stiff competition across the board and Gather & Gather stood out for its commercial acumen, sustainable practices, innovation, creativity and, of course, its commitment to quality ingredients.

Elizabeth McGowan, Head of Events, Hospitality & Business Services for London Metropolitan University, said: “We look forward to working collaboratively with Gather & Gather to bring our university community exciting food experiences on campus. Providing the nutrition needed to support our learning community, whilst of course being great value for money.

Rob Fredrickson, Managing Director for Gather & Gather, said: “We’re delighted to be working with London Metropolitan University. It’s fantastic that Elizabeth and the team share our vision and aspirations around the positive impact brilliant food and drink experiences can have on people – bringing them together whatever the occasion or location. We’re introducing fresh and exciting concepts to the two campuses and together we will make a real difference to university life and the community.

Compass Group UK & Ireland to Roll Out Eco-Labels Across Business & Industry Estate #

Following completion of an “ecolabelling” pilot project with researchers in the Livestock, Environment and People labelling (LEAP) group at the University of Oxford, Compass Group UK & Ireland’s Business and Industry sector is rolling out the trial across its workplace catering sites.

The eco-labelling initiative sees dishes labelled A-E, to highlight which meals have a higher (E) or lower (A) environmental impact. The data is shared with the LEAP researchers who are monitoring whether eco-labels nudge consumers to make more sustainable and planet-friendly meal choices. Scoring is based on greenhouse gas emissions, water scarcity, water pollution and biodiversity loss, with the eco-label values for each product created using environmental impact data from the Poore & Nemecek dataset and menu item ingredient information.

Initially trialled by the B&I arm of Compass, Eurest, at 15 industry client sites that remained operational throughout the pandemic, the business has seen positive results in relation to consumer behaviour. Following the company’s recent announcement to achieve climate Net Zero emissions by 2030, the company has been looking at a number of different ways to create a sustainable food offer. This has included increasing the number of plant-based dishes on their menus.

LEAP aims to understand the health, environmental, social and economic effects of meat and dairy production and consumption, in order to provide evidence and tools for promoting healthy and sustainable diets. Other areas of focus include availability of plant-based options on menus, placement of products and creative naming trials.

The business has already seen a difference in what consumers are choosing following the introduction of a greater range of plant based dishes and changing the “placement” of dishes to make plant-based more prominent.  

Placement of plant-forward dishes on the counters, in front of the meat-based dishes, encourages people to try new things, as customers view the dishes of equal relevance to traditional meat-based dishes. Often vegetarian meals are seen just for vegetarians, and previously would have been at the end of the counter in a separate area. With millions of people now identifying as flexitarians, the opportunity to celebrate and feature plant-forward meals is enormous.

Working with LEAP, dishes descriptions were also reviewed and renamed – providing more detail and description of what was within each dish. For example – Big Veggie Bowl has become a Hearty roasted squash & broccoli bowl with maple glazed lentils and Warm Satay Noodle Salad and Satay noodles with rainbow veggie ribbons, sesame, lime & coriander. This enables the consumer to better picture what they are eating.

Additionally, the B&I culinary team has been introducing more plant-based ingredients to their meat dishes, so where customers still want their traditional dishes, the vegetable and meat content has been changed at no expense of taste.

Commenting on the LEAP partnership Liz Forte, Health and Wellbeing Director, Business and Industry, Compass Group UK & Ireland said: “We have learnt so much through this partnership with the LEAP project at Oxford University. It’s been so exciting to be part of something that not only is driving healthier eating habits, but also has great sustainability benefits too. We know our customers want choice and great tasting meals.

“At traditional manufacturing sites, meat and two veg dishes have been a staple of consumers’ diets for some time, yet following the introduction of these subtle changes, we are seeing an increase in customers choosing plant-forward dishes. Our pilot seems to suggest that people are willing to try new things, but when it comes to plant-based need a nudge of encouragement. We have seen an increase in our plant-forward sales and the feedback from customers has been fantastic. I am really looking forward to introducing these measures across our B&I client base. The trial will also inform future eco-labelling initiatives for the wider Compass business.

Professor Susan Jebb, Oxford University said: “When we began the LEAP project, we were keen to get outside the lab and work in real world settings. It’s been fantastic for us to be able to work in partnership with Compass. We’ve learnt from their chefs about what they think will work and we’ve experienced at first-hand the challenges to implementing some of the interventions – especially the eco-labelling.

“It’s given us a great opportunity to learn more about the feasibility of changing eating habits in the workplace, and to gather evidence on a range of interventions in real world settings. Though we have yet to analyse all the data, the insights from Compass and the response of their customers looks promising. We look forward to seeing the final results of the trials from sites around the country over the coming months.


Leading digital and data experts, TWC, is pleased to announce two new members to its fast-growing team. Sarah Coleman has joined as Director of Communications and Kelly Liversage has joined as Customer Excellence Manager.

The appointments will add further expertise, talent and energy to the business as it navigates its way through the impressive growth strategy it has planned for the years’ ahead.

A graduate in hospitality with a masters in journalism, Sarah has an impressive track record with research agencies including Kantar, Nielsen, IGD and Lumina Intelligence, as well as experience of ‘client-side’ engagement with Unilever.

Sarah said,

Through the recruitment process I was really struck by the dynamism, determination, and sheer expertise of the TWC team.  The knowledge within the business of wholesale, and the associated supply chain and convenience retail markets, is extraordinary.  I have also been so impressed with TWC’s platforms which are without doubt the best I have seen within the industry. This is a business which is going places and it’s one that believes passionately in service excellence, which mirrors my own values and beliefs.

“I am really excited by the role as I see a huge opportunity to drive awareness of our brand and share with the industry what we do through credible and relevant thought leadership

Kelly has a background in property with over 11 years of knowledge and experience of providing the highest level of customer service.

Kelly said:

TWC’s service ethos is what underpins its whole business, and this is something I really value.  As a real people person, I’m absolutely committed to exceeding customers’ expectations and providing them with outstanding service and solutions.”

Tanya Pepin, Managing Director for TWC, said,

These are very exciting times for us, and we warmly welcome Sarah and Kelly to our TWC family.  We are delighted with these appointments which add further strength to the talent we already hold within our business”.

Bidfood signs up to a science-based net zero commitment to reduce carbon emissions #

With the world needing to transition to a zero-carbon economy, Bidfood, one of the UK’s leading foodservice providers, is proud to be the first UK wholesaler to commit to a science-based net zero carbon target within the ‘Food and Staples Retailing’ category 1 . All in a big to champion change within the foodservice sector, whilst encouraging suppliers and customers to follow suit, and drive governments to take bolder action.

According to the Global Energy Review, the UK is estimated to have over 33bn tonnes of carbon dioxide emitted in 2021 alone. To support global efforts to take action against climate change and cut carbon emissions, as of this week Bidfood have joined the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi 2 ) along with more than 1,000 worldwide businesses, who are all now working to reduce their emissions in line with climate science.

Bidfood have committed to a target date of 2045 to achieve their science-based target reduction, and will be focusing heavily on reducing its emissions across not only internal operations, but also working with customers and suppliers in collaboration, to see how together they can reduce their overall carbon footprint. SBTi signatories aim to limit global warming to well-below 2°C above pre-
industrial levels, with many pursuing efforts to limit warming to 1.5°C.

Heather Angus, People and Sustainability Director at Bidfood comments on the commitment, “For many years at Bidfood, we have measured and managed our Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas 2 emissions. As we continue to drive towards delivering service excellence for our customers whilst putting our planet first, we are really proud and excited to be working alongside Carbon Intelligence to widen our focus and management to include Scope 3, and to develop our carbon reduction plan with an aim to achieve net zero carbon by 2045.

Julie Owst, Head of Sustainability at Bidfood, adds:” This is a fantastic step forward for Bidfood; the global food system has a huge part to play in reducing global emissions. The degree of change needed to decarbonise is both huge and daunting, but the alternatives of extreme climate change are even worse. I hope our step forward compels other food organisations to join us.

For more information on the commitment, please visit

Dine-in represents more than two thirds of reopening sales in restaurants #

According to the recent quarterly update to the Lumina Intelligence UK Restaurant Market Report 2020/21, the majority of purchases are now made in restaurants following the easing of restrictions. In total, 67.7% of restaurant purchases were made on-site in the 12 WE 11.07.2021. In comparison, 18.7% ordered for delivery and 9.6% ordered for collection.

The report also highlights some of the key differences between branded and independent restaurants. For example, a greater proportion of consumers eat in in independent restaurants (58.5% vs 46.5%), which is helping to drive a greater average spend (£20.60 vs £18.00).

Dinner occasions are the still the most important for branded and independent restaurants, accounting for nearly two thirds of total visits for each.

Alcoholic drinks are more likely to be purchased in independent restaurants than branded restaurants. 42.2% of drinks purchased in independent restaurants are alcoholic, compared to just 15.6% in branded restaurants. However, in both independent and branded outlets soft drinks is the top choice of beverage.

Furthermore, independents outperform branded restaurants for all satisfaction ratings. Independent restaurants achieve scores of 78% for freshness and food quality and taste and outperform the market average for all ratings. Branded restaurants underperform compared to the market average on numerous counts including atmosphere, drink quality and friendly service.

Pizza hut remains the most visited brand - 12% of branded restaurant occasions are served by Pizza Hut, driven by its established delivery offering. Nando’s and Wagamama are the next most visited brands by share, due to the vast number of outlets across the UK as well as appealing to more health-conscious shoppers with a variety of healthier options to traditional fast-food choices.

Katherine Prowse, Senior Insight Manager at Lumina Intelligence said, “Delivery has provided a significant lifeline to restaurants over the past 18 months, however with restrictions easing, operators will be glad to see consumers returning to dine-in occasions. Over the 12 week period, independent restaurants have led the way in terms of spend and consumer satisfaction, as well as driving a higher proportion of dine-in footfall. In particular, independents achieved strong satisfaction scores for
freshness and food quality and taste. Operators can capitalise on this opportunity by highlighting local suppliers on menus and on social media

Find out more about Lumina Intelligence’s UK Restaurant Market Report 2020/21 here.

Compass Group, SAP and Zurich Insurance Group join forces to make supply chains fairer and more sustainable across Europe #

A group of forward-thinking global corporations are using their collective purchasing power to open up their supply chains to European social enterprises - businesses which reinvest the majority of their profits into a social or environmental mission - in an effort to contribute to a more inclusive and sustainable post-COVID recovery.
Spurred on by the success of the Buy Social Corporate Challenge in the UK, which saw the level of annual social procurement spend hit a record high in 2020, Compass Group, SAP and Zurich Insurance Group are now working together as part of a new pan-European pilot scheme which aims to make it easier for corporations to engage with social enterprise suppliers across the whole of the EU + Switzerland region.
Led by Social Enterprise UK with the support of Euclid Network, the European Social Enterprise Network, and Social Enterprise World Forum, it is hoped that the partnership will make this form of trade far more common across Europe in the years to come.
A database of approved suppliers has already been launched, allowing the companies to connect with a growing number of recommended social enterprises across the 28 countries in the region.
Dominic Blakemore, Group CEO of Compass Group PLC, said: “Social procurement is a key plank of our Compass Group commitment to a sustainable future for all. Across many of our regions, in particular the UK and USA, we’re already seeing first-hand the powerful social impact we can drive for communities, clients, customers and colleagues through social enterprise partnerships. Now, we’re looking forward to expanding our work globally alongside the other founding members of the Social Enterprise UK Global Expansion group.”
A growing number of social enterprises operate in the business-to-business space, delivering high-quality products and services to corporate clients across a wide range of categories, from employee benefits and events management, recruitment and recycling, to signage and software development.
Though social enterprises can be found in almost every country across the world, they are rising in prominence across Europe thanks to growing support from the European Commission, which is due to publish its European Action Plan for Social Economy later this year. This will outline ways in which the Commission intends to support social economy actors and social enterprises to start up, scale up, innovate and create jobs.
Peter Holbrook, CEO of Social Enterprise UK, said: “The global social enterprise movement is thriving, and on every continent social enterprises are taking on the biggest social and environmental problems and in many cases making key contributions to the Sustainable Development Goals. Procurement leaders at large businesses have really stepped up in the last few years to build social enterprises into their UK supply chains, and I am delighted to see that our corporate partners are now focusing on creating opportunities for social enterprises across Europe.”
Germany and Ireland have been identified as countries where the social enterprise supplier base is more mature and where the opportunities to make rapid progress are even greater. Social Entrepreneurship Netzwerk Deutschland (SEND) and Social Enterprise Republic of Ireland (SERI) are strategic partners supporting the delivery of the pilot, accelerating corporate engagement even further with leading social enterprises in Germany and Ireland respectively.
One such organisation is Speedpak, a contract packing and fulfilment provider based in Dublin, which delivers logistics and e-commerce fulfilment services to a range of manufacturers and online retailers.
European corporations and social enterprises operating across the EU + Switzerland region are being invited to get in touch with Social Enterprise UK to find out more about the plans and get involved.

A buzzing return for Casual Dining, Commercial Kitchen & lunch! puts faith back into face-to-face business #

The hospitality and foodservice industry experienced an injection of inspiration, togetherness, and a newfound business confidence at the return editions of Casual Dining, lunch! and Commercial Kitchen over 23-24 September 2021 at ExCeL London.  

Food and drink industry leaders, trailblazers, and senior decision makers came in their thousands across the two days, with a strong and positive appetite for face-to-face business. lunch! welcomed 5561 visitors, Casual Dining welcomed 4707 visitors, and Commercial Kitchen saw a huge increase, welcoming 4295 visitors at its debut London show.  

Visitors who attended included senior decision makers and professionals from: The Alchemist, BaxterStorey, Bill's Restaurants, Burger King, Caffè Nero, Center Parcs, Coffee Republic, Compass Group, Co-op, Crussh, Dishoom, Five Guys, Greggs,  Heathrow, Hilton Group, Honest Burgers, KFC, Las Iguanas & Turtle Bay Restaurants, Legoland, Leon, Merlin Entertainments, New World Trading Company, Nando’s, NHS, PizzaExpress, Pret A Manger, The Restaurant Group,  Sainsburys, Tesco, Waitrose, WH Smith, and many more.  The positive buzz across the show-floor certainly didn’t go unnoticed as exhibitor testimonials echoed the “quality” of contacts they met and “genuine enquiries” they made – concluding that the co-located ‘supershow’ was the “best show yet!” 

Chris Brazier, Group Event Director, says: "We’re so delighted to see that the industry has returned to face-to-face trade events in no uncertain terms. The brilliant exhibitors were back, the buyers were back and the buzz was back at our biggest show yet. We won't rest on our laurels and have already started preparing for an even better lunch!, Casual Dining & Commercial Kitchen for 14 and 15 September 2022. A huge thank you to all our exhibitors, visitors, speakers, media and association partners for their help and support in getting these much-needed shows open again.” 

Lucy Blythe, Senior Customer Activation Manager at Molson Coors (Casual Dining exhibitor) says: “We had really positive conversations with our regular customers as well as with new business at Casual Dining 2021. We have some great leads and it was brilliant to have conversations with premium suppliers.” 

Justine Carruthers, Managing Director at Traybake (lunch! exhibitor) says: “Everyone is pleased to be here, and there have been significant buyers and senior people to speak to who know what they are looking for.  lunch! is the show that helps us grow our business, our top customers have come from exhibiting here.  

Iain Phillips, Deputy Managing Director at Regale (Commercial Kitchen exhibitor) says: “The quality has been high at Commercial Kitchen. We’ve taken genuine enquiries and orders across a range of our products. It was great to engage with large accounts and it has allowed us to reconnect with customers. Possibly, the best show we have done!” 

Expert advice and inspiration 

The multiple Keynote Theatres were packed full of inspiring talks, interviews, and business advice from senior professionals in the business – including Roger Whiteside (CEO of Greggs), Neil Lake (MD of Costa), Alasdair Murdoch (CEO of Burger King). Hannah McKay (Head of Food & Beverage at Caffé Nero), Atul Kochhar (Chef Patron, Atul Kochhar Restaurants), Sat Bains (Chef Patron, Restaurant Sat Bains with Rooms), Cyrus Todiwala OBE DL (Chef Patron, Café Spice Namasté and Mr Todiwala's Kitchen), Jon Knight (Managing Director, Leisure & Concessions of The Restaurant Group); Mark Selby (Co-Founder and CEO of Wahaca); Anthony Pender (Co-Founder of The Yummy Pub Co); Susan Chappell (Divisional Director - City Division of Mitchells & Butlers); Steve Holmes (CEO of Azzurri Group), Martyn Clover (Head of Food at Tortilla), and many more., Food Future Insights, IGD, UKHospitality, and CGA shared essential market updates and overviews, plus strategies needed to help the sector recover and build resilience after the pandemic and deliver a return to growth ahead of forecast.  

I’ve been blown away by the diversity of suppliers here and the quality of what they are doing. If you are looking for certain suppliers that are doing something really niche, I guarantee that they’re going to be at lunch!,” says Alasdair Murdoch, CEO of Burger King.  

Innovation Challenge RESULTS 

The lunch!, Casual Dining and Commercial Kitchen Innovation Challenges are three of the most anticipated events at the show.  Visitors vote for the best new products that have launched to the market in the last 12 months by visiting the ‘Innovation Gallery’ at the show.  And then finalists get to pitch their products in front a live audience and to a line of prestigious judges - who then decide if it deserves a bronze, silver or gold (based on innovation).  

lunch! Innovation Challenge winners:  

AQUA Carpatica: AQUA Carpatica Kids Natural Mineral Water rPET - SILVER 
Bio&Me: Bio&Me Gut-Loving Prebiotic Yoghurts - GOLD 
Brite Drinks: Brite For Better Focus- Pineapple Mango - GOLD 
Fellow Creatures Choc: Fellow Creatures Matcha White Choc - SILVER 
Flower & White: Double Chocolate Vegan Meringue Bar - GOLD 
FUL Foods: FUL Revive – Superfood Tonic - GOLD 
Insane Grain: Insane Grain - GOLD 
OGGS: Scrambled OGGS - SILVER 
Oh My Fruity Goodness: Tropical Bircher - BRONZE 
Origin Kitchen: Creamed Cashew Mango & Passionfruit Indulgence - SILVER 
ProAmpac: Fully Recyclable Sandwich Skillet.Wedge - GOLD 
Raylex Brands: Roasted Bars - SILVER 
The Soho Sandwich Company: Onion Bhaji Wrap - BRONZE 
UCC Coffee UK and Ireland: UCC – To-Go - SILVER 
Waterbomb: What A Water – Lemon & Cucumber – GOLD 

Casual Dining Innovation Challenge winners: 

Arley Foods:  Plant-based Chicken Breast – BRONZE 
Belvoir Farm Drinks Ltd:  Non-Alcoholic Passionfruit Martini - GOLD  
Biff’s:  Crispy Fried Jackfruit Wingz 50g – GOLD 
Days Brewing:  Days Brewing 0.0% Pale Ale – SILVER 
Destiny Foods:  Vegan and Gluten Free Crumble-Topped Mince Pie – SILVER 
Diageo:  Guinness MicroDraught – GOLD 
Eurilait:  Authentic Cypriot Halloumi Fries - SILVER  
Kepak Foodservice:  Big Al’s Hereford Burger – SILVER 
Meatless Farm:  Meatless Farm Plant-Based Chicken Breast – GOLD 
Nix & Kix:  Watermelon Hibiscus - SILVER 
Pip Organic:  Pip Organic Sparkling Apple – SILVER 
Punchy Drinks:  Punchy Drinks Adult Soft Drinks – SILVER 
Rubies in the Rubble:  Plant-based Garlic Mayo – GOLD 
Small Beer:  Small Beer Organic IPA 2.3% - GOLD 
THIS: THIS Isn’t Pork Cocktail Sausages – GOLD 
Twinings:  Twinings Revive – SILVER 
Yumpingo:  Smart Actions – GOLD 

Commercial Kitchen Innovation Challenge winners:  

Carpigiani UK: Carpigiani Synthesis 2 – SILVER  
Duke Manufacturing: Readyflex – BRONZE   
Environmental Products & Services Ltd: GreaseShield 3BU – GOLD 
Filta Environmental: FiltaFOG Cyclone – GOLD  
Jestic Foodservice Solutions: Icetro ISI-161 Slimline Soft Ice Cream Machine – GOLD  
Klipspringer: LazaPort Mono – GOLD  
Meiko UK Limited: Meiko Bottle Washing System – GOLD 
Metcalfe Catering Equipment: Hallde RG-250-diwash – SILVER 
MKN Maschinenfabrik Kurt Neubauer GmbH & Co. KG: SpaceCombi® Magic Team – GOLD 
Mobilchef: Foodtainer – SILVER  
Quintex: Lepido – GOLD 
Retigo: Black Edition Combination Ovens – BRONZE   
Rexmartins: Induction fryer diwash – SILVER  
Synergy Grill Technology: Synergy CharGo – GOLD  
UNOX UK: MULTI Day Hot Vacuum pump – GOLD  

The Casual Dining Awards - Trailblazer of the Year 

Although The Casual Dining Awards could not happen this year, Chris Brazier (the events group director) presented a surprise ‘Trailblazer of the Year’ Award to Peter Borg-Neal, Founder and Executive Chairman of Oakman Inns – live in the Keynote Theatre.  This award was given for his pioneering work over the years, and for encouraging and driving both his company and the industry forward during some difficult times.  

Casual Dining’s Taphouse Champion 2021  

Like the King of Craft in 2019, this year, Casual Dining introduced the Taphouse Champion competition. Companies exhibiting in The Taphouse could put forward one craft beer or cider for selected VIP visitors to try and vote on during the show, and at the end of day two a winner was crowned.  

Redchurch Brewery was crowned the 2021 Taphouse Champion with their Pornstar Martini Pale Ale. One of the VIP judges commented that the drink was “Full bodied and great tasting. Love the branding too. Bang on trend!” 

Save the date for lunch! Casual Dining and Commercial Kitchen 2022 

lunch! - the UK’s multi-award-winning trade show for the food-to-go industry; Casual Dining, - the definitive trade event for the restaurant, pub and bar sector; and Commercial Kitchen - the leading kitchen equipment, services & design show will return to ExCeL London on 14-15 September 2022.  

For further information, visit   

A seat for everyone: CH&CO extends its Gathered Table across the business #

CH&CO has extended its successful Gathered Table initiative across the whole of the group to help shape its distinctive approach to food in each of its specialist markets.

The Gathered Table brings together the brightest experts in hospitality to inspire, develop and work in collaboration with CH&CO’s chefs. Together they explore what’s hot in food, drink, technology, nutrition, sustainability, and creative design, and help ensure ideas and menus remain fresh and relevant and continually inspire CH&CO’s clients, customers and teams.

For 2021/22, the Gathered Table features Dr Rupy Aujla of The Doctors Kitchen, Ottolenghi development chef and author Ixta Belfrage, Kricket founder Will Bowlby, Michelin-starred Ollie Dabbous, Louisa Dodd of the Sustainable Restaurant Association, esteemed pastry chef Ravneet Gill, restaurateur and chef Robin Gill, Galway’s JP McMahon, technology expert and It’s Lolly CEO Peter Moore, and the ‘Godfather of Spanish cooking in the UK’ José Pizarro.

First in the wider business to seize upon the opportunities on offer is Venues by CH&CO. Initially, José Pizarro will create bespoke menus for the company’s portfolio of iconic venues and headline an exclusive event, and thereafter customers will enjoy a series of exclusive Gathered Table events and appearances from other experts from the collaboration.

The first event with José Pizzaro takes place on 7th October 2021 at Prince Philip House. ‘Tapas for Everyone’ will introduce new menu concepts and includes a live demo and talk from José himself and an interactive Jamón carving. There will also be wine pairings, networking and more.

Allister Richards, COO, CH&CO, said: “We want the food we create and the way it’s presented to stand out and create excitement and conversations for all the right reasons, whether that’s in a workplace, school, tourist attraction, venue or at an event. It makes absolute sense to give every part of our diverse business the opportunity to work with the brilliant talent and minds of the Gathered Table.

At a time when our industry faces a real shortage of skilled chefs and front-of-house professionals, the benefits of accessing bespoke training, unrivalled development opportunities and, of course, real personal engagement with the Gathered Tables experts themselves is a key part of attracting and retaining talent across our business.

Elior UK and Alzheimer’s Society announce 3-year partnership during World Alzheimer’s Month #

Leading UK caterer, Elior, today announced an exciting three-year partnership with Alzheimer’s Society, which aims to raise over £100K for the charity. With a passion for the cause and synergies across the business, Elior will share best practice on good nutrition for dementia patients as part of the partnership. Alongside, the caterer revealed ambitious plans to build awareness across its 10,000-strong workforce with the help of Alzheimer’s Society’s successful Dementia Friends programme.

Dementia is the UK’s biggest killer. Someone develops it every three minutes, and there’s currently no cure. Alzheimer’s Society campaigns and raises money to fund research and help people living with dementia. They deliver support for individuals and groups – online, in-person and on the phone. And they’re transforming the way the nation views and responds to dementia through pioneering Dementia Friends initiatives.

Elior UK’s healthcare division, Caterplus, works with dementia patients in care homes across the UK, keeping them well-nourished with award-winning texture modified food and grazing boxes. Elior chefs, nutritionists and food service staff will be sharing this expertise with Alzheimer’s Society’s networks as part of the partnership – with the shared goal of helping more people with dementia to enjoy the benefits of a healthy diet.

To support campaigning, staff will be encouraged to take part in Alzheimer’s Society’s campaigns throughout the year, adding their voice to powerful campaigns like Cure the Care System, which campaigns for social care reform. To raise vital funds for the charity, there will also be the chance to get involved in diverse personal and company-led fundraising initiatives such as Denim for Dementia.

Elior announced the collaboration internally at the start of World Alzheimer’s Month, issuing a national call for Charity Champions to drive the cause forward across the business. Work kicks off in earnest after the month ends, when fundraising targets are set, and a calendar of fundraising opportunities communicated to staff.

Charlotte Wright, Elior Head of CSER said, “We’re delighted to announce this collaboration. It’s a powerful cause, which touches so many lives across the UK. Despite this, it doesn’t get the recognition it deserves as a challenge many people struggle with in their everyday lives. “That’s why we’re particularly excited about using the opportunity to open up a dialogue with the huge proportion of our staff members who are touched by Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.

“To build awareness internally, we have ambitious targets to upskill our workforce to become Dementia Friends by the end of the three years. After all, this will not only improve our services with these client groups, it will also help staff to empathise with the challenges and get fully behind the cause.

“We’ve already had a great response from staff who are keen to get involved as Charity Champions. And we’re looking forward to announcing a busy schedule of fundraising events at the end of this month.

Siobhan Nugent, Head of Regional Engagement at Alzheimer’s Society, welcomed the announcement: “We are absolutely thrilled with our significant new three-year partnership with Elior, particularly at what is such a challenging time for people affected by dementia.

“The coronavirus pandemic has been devastating for families across the UK, where there are currently around 850,000 people living with the condition. People affected by dementia need us now more than ever, but the pandemic has hit us hard financially, despite an unprecedented demand for our services.

“The money will help us reach and support more people through our vital services which have been used over six million times since March 2020 and have been a lifeline to thousands

TŶ NANT appoints TWC for bottled water consultancy #

Leading data and digital experts, TWC, has announced a new TWC Consultancy project with Tŷ Nant Natural Mineral Water.

Tŷ Nant Water, which comes from the foothills of the Cambrian Mountains of West Wales, is trialling its iconic bottle designed by Ross Lovegrove, for the first time in number of convenience stores across the UK.  Ty Nant is normally only sold in the finest hotels & dining establishments across the world.

TWC Consultancy, which provides invaluable data-driven insights and strategy, examined total aggregated water sales across the stores and more specifically the performance of still, sparkling, plain and flavoured water for 500ml and 1.5litre bottles.

TWC then analysed sales data from those stores where the Tŷ Nant Water is being stocked to discover how well the water has been performing against other brands.  And good news - it’s performing well!

Tanya Pepin, Managing Director for TWC, said:

We were delighted to be approached by Tŷ Nant Natural Mineral Water to analyse water sales across a number of stores located throughout the UK.  A key result we found is that Tŷ Nant accounts for 22% of total plain drink-now water in the featured stores.  

"It’s perhaps a little-known fact that Tŷ Nant comes second in the plain water to drink now market and number three in plain water to drink later (both by volume). Overall, Ty Nant was the 4th largest brand across all bottled water in the trialled stores in volume terms and third highest within plain water." 

“The results were highly positive and the sales ranking of 500ml/1.5L plain still water SKUs showed Tŷ Nant Water performing strongly against other well-known brands, including Buxton, Volvic and Evian.     
“Our market intelligence and digital savviness – comprising insight and strategy services – enables us to help clients like Tŷ Nant Water to make data-led decisions that will enhance their wholesale performance”

Jeremy Wright, National Account Manager at Tŷ Nant Water was impressed with the sales data analysis commenting:
The sales data analysis is excellent. It is clear and concise, with the killer points making for a very compelling argument for customers to stock in the future.”
Tŷ Nant’s innovative and stylish PET bottle was identified in 2003 as “the 8th coolest item in the world

For further details on TWC Consultancy please visit

New Toque d’Or® 2021 cookbook features inspiring recipes from the UK’s hottest young talent #

Nestlé Professional has launched Taste the Future – a collection of food and drink
recipes and inspiration from the UK’s finest up and coming talent.

Featuring locally sourced and seasonally inspired dishes and drinks, the recipe book
is compiled using recipes from FOH and BOH finalists from this year’s prestigious
Toque d’Or Competition. To inspire menus and budding foodservice superstars
across the UK, Nestlé Professional has made it available for download on its

This year’s Toque d’Or Competition was focused on creating the recipe book.
Under the theme ‘sustainable futures’, the competition covered elements including
nutrition, health, food waste and seasonality. In a series of challenges, competitors
were tasked to develop recipes that met these criteria, using seasonal and locally
sourced produce where possible.

Past winner turned food writer and influencer, Julie Jones, was on the judging panel.
With her bestselling The Soulful Baker as inspiration for the book, she provided tips
on developing an authentic voice through biographies and recipes. Finalists also
learned how to stage and capture enticing food shots while boosting their Instagram
and Facebook presence with help from creative media specialists, Shuttersmith.
The results is a mouth-watering collection of 22 recipes, spanning mains, desserts,
coffee-based digestifs and Jasmine-tea infused refreshers.

Finalists took inspiration from their hometowns and regions, developing dishes that
paid homage to local produce:

 Mackerel & Rhubarb - inspired by fishing trips to Dover pier by London-
based, Sarah Morton (BOH Winner).
 Botanical Brasile – a coffee-based mocktail with Scottish alcoholic-free spirit,
Feragaia, by Sophie Taylor from Edinburgh (FOH student Winner).
 Brummie Honey Tart by Rebecca Bourne from Birmingham (BOH student
 Pink 6 – a Jasmine green tea refresher made with Sheffield honey and
raspberries, inspired by Sheffield’s snooker championships by Jessica
Nicholson (FOH Student Finalist).

Katya Simmons from Nestlé Professional said, “As ever, we’ve been blown away by
the standard of the dishes and skills of the contestants.

“Toque d’Or® is continually evolving in response to industry needs. We equip
entrants with a wide array of hospitality skills, but we also keep a nose to the ground,
to make sure that they’re learning fresh skills that are valuable and relevant.

“Social media has transformed the landscape for foodservice professionals. Now it’s
easier than ever to broadcast your recipes to a global audience, but there’s only one
chance to make a first impression. That’s why skills like photography, and writing
recipes and biographies are now vital.

“We’re delighted to have this book as a lasting reminder of the 2021 finalists and
their involvement in the competition. As our entrants keep telling us, the real reward
for entering Toque d’Or® are the skills you develop and the people you meet

To be inspired by the finalist biographies and recipes and learn more about Toque
d’Or 2021, download Taste the Future here.

To stay informed on or register your interest in Toque d’Or 2022 visit:

Recognition for Compass with Employer of the Year Win at BAME Apprenticeship Awards #

Compass Group UK & Ireland has won the highly prestigious Employer of the Year Award in the Retail, Hospitality & Tourism category at the BAME Apprenticeship Awards. This is testament to the hard work of the UK’s leading food and support service company, in creating a workforce which represents the rich diversity of the customers and clients it serves.

Organised by the BAME Apprentice Network, the BAME Apprenticeship Awards aims to showcase the range of talent and hard work within the BAME communities. Made possible with the contribution of employers and learning providers who share these values.

Donna Catley, Chief People Officer at Compass Group UK & Ireland commented: “Winning this award is fantastic recognition of our apprenticeship team, and how they help change lives, along with the support of our great partners and training providers. We have a D&I strategy in place to ensure everyone in the business can be themselves at work and have an equal opportunity to progress and follow their career path.”

Jonathan Foot, Head of Apprenticeships and Early Careers at Compass Group UK & Ireland said of the win: “We are honoured to receive this award and are immensely proud to see the growth of our diverse apprentice community acknowledged with this amazing accolade. It has been especially rewarding to watch our apprentices progress and develop throughout the pandemic, whilst achieving their qualifications. 

Don’t miss Access All Areas! #

We’re excited to welcome you to our next Access All Areas online event. Our series of sessions, tailored for hospitality, takes place in October and has been created to support your industry and job role. Taking place over 4 days, 11th to 14th October, we are pleased to offer you a variety of exciting, informative and useful sessions bringing together industry experts from across hospitality. Highlights include:

11th October: CGA unpack new and exclusive consumer and operator research findings on the future of tech in hospitality.
12th October: Are you Christmas ready? A customer panel with Gusto, Scotsman Hospitality and Mimi's Bakehouse, hosted by Ann Elliott, to discuss the unique challenges facing the industry including supply chain and staffing shortages.
13th October: The staffing crisis – Hosted by James Stagg from The Caterer, help is at hand with our expert panel who will discuss how to attract, retain and develop your top talent
14th October: Masterclass day - Making your data work harder with CRM and a stock control special with practical tips to save you time and money

Register here and click ‘Build Your Agenda’ where you can use the ‘Advanced Filter’ to search for hospitality under ‘Tags’ to see the full agenda across 11-14th October.

Achieving great things together! #

As Walk for Calm comes to a close for 2021, we’d like to say a HUGE thank you to everyone who took part in some shape or form. 
We’re delighted to share that we’ve nearly hit £12,000 with our fundraising. 
Walk for Calm is all about bringing people together to promote wellbeing across our industry, whilst supporting the incredible work of Hospitality Action and Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM).
The work of Hospitality Action and CALM will become increasingly important as we enter into the Autumn & Winter months, meaning every £1 counts.
That’s why, from today until 30th November, we’re asking each and every connection, contact, colleague, friend and family member to donate £1 (or more) to these incredible charities.
Let’s smash our target and show our support for our industry and all its wonderful people! 

Coming up on HRC Connects #

HRC Connects, the digital platform created by Hotel, Restaurant & Catering, has a jam-packed programme of live webinars coming up in October and beyond, looking at the reduction of food waste, recruitment and retention and providing legal insights and advice for hiring international workers post-Brexit.

The platform also hosts a wide range of on-demand content for the foodservice and hospitality sector including insightful interviews with top hoteliers from businesses such as CitizenM and Lime Wood Group, webinars covering on topics like the end of furlough and smart kitchen equipment, plus resources from partner organisations including thefoodpeople, Good Sense Research and WRAP.

Check out some of the sessions coming up over the next month:

11 October: Legal insights – Hiring international workers post-Brexit
The UK’s exit from the European Union has had an immediate and drastic impact on the world of hospitality. As of 1 January 2021, EU Nationals can no longer travel to the UK under freedom of movement, which might make recruiting a chef from a European country seem like an intimidating challenge. However, with staff shortages and recruitment concerns making headlines in recent months, can you afford to write off an entire continent of talented professionals?

Join Chris Harber, Head of Immigration at Boyes Turner LLP, to learn about navigating this legal process and supporting your potential new hires overseas.

14 October: Back to basics – Out with the old habits, in with the new!
This insightful webinar hosted by hospitality recruitment leaders Hospitality Jobs UK will explore recruitment best practice and offer advice on how to recruit differently to ensure your business stands out to candidates. The session will also provide the low-down on innovative new ideas that recruiters do not want to share.

19 October: Ask the experts – Refrigeration
Join Keith Warren, Chief Executive of the Foodservice Equipment Association (FEA), and his panel of industry experts as they discuss the topic of refrigeration in the professional kitchen and provide the answers to the industry's FAQs surrounding this important topic.

19 October: Food waste bad taste – How to keep food on the plate for planet and profit
It costs hospitality £3bn a year and 75% of it is avoidable. When everyone knows the damage food waste is doing to their bottom line and the environment, why is it so much continues to feed bins and not bellies? Hosted by the Sustainable Restaurant Association, this session will feature three panellists who’ve made it their mission to keep food on the plate, share their secrets and highlight the potential rewards – economic, environmental and social.

20 October: The old normal – Food delivery's future post-Covid
While the world stayed at home, food, drink and hospitality businesses had to evolve to keep their businesses afloat. Many businesses shifted to delivery whilst existing delivery pioneers had to evolve their offering to keep up with increased competition and demand. With lockdown now over and the world re-open for business we take a look at what the coming months could have in store for delivery.

Discover the full range of upcoming events and on-demand content and the UK’s largest list of hospitality and foodservice suppliers and products all available to access for free, when you sign up to HRC Connects at