Members’ News

March 2022

Bidfood releases range of tools to support operators with new calorie labelling legislation #

Bidfood, one of the UK’s leading foodservice providers, has revealed its plans to assist its customers in understanding and adhering to the new legislation on calorie labelling.

From 6th April, new government legislation will come into effect that introduces requirements to calorie label on menu items. Businesses that have, or exceed, 250 employees will be required by law on printed, display or online menus to label the amount of calories per dish or portion.

To support the industry with another new legislation, Bidfood has devised a range of tools and information that will help save time and offer important advice.

Online hub
As we’re In the weeks leading up to the implementation of the legislation, Bidfood has launched a dedicated calorie labelling page on its website, containing all the information businesses and customers will need ahead of the 6th April introduction.

The page will include tailored content from Samantha Mollart, Nutrition and Allergen Manager at Bidfood, such as a blog on the subject, a podcast episode.

There is also an online guide designed to help businesses understand and implement the legislation. Covering all aspects of calorie labelling, the guide will explore areas such as when the changes will come into effect, what support is available and who will be in scope.

Bidfood Direct support tools
To help support our customers to remain compliant with this legislation, Bidfood Direct MyRecipes automatically calculates the calorie content of your recipes based on the ingredients and quantity of those ingredients in your recipe.

MyRecipes also has the option to change your portion description so that you can display values in kilocalories in a context the consumer understands, such as meal, bowl or slice. A further development is due in April which will ensure all downloaded PDF’s and label downloads will display the recommended calorie intake for adults too.

Samantha Mollart, Nutrition and Allergen Manager at Bidfood commented:

The industry has been through a turbulent two years with Brexit, Covid-19 and new legislation being introduced. We have designed these support tools with customers front of mind to help provide them with all the information they need.

“We’re giving access to calorie information for the products we offer, along with reporting tools to share product information with customers, available on Bidfood Direct and through our Advice Centre.

“Another fantastic tool we have on Bidfood Direct is ‘Menu Planner’, this is available to Bidfood customers and is our recipe analysis software solution, able to accurately calculate the calories in a dish.

The legislation is being introduced as part of the governments’ initiative to tackle and reduce obesity, with the aim to make diners more aware of their calorie intake when eating out.

For more information about Bidfood’s support tools please visit:

Ade Adepitan MBE to host Springboard Awards for Excellence 2022 #

Springboard UK has revealed that Paralympian champion, TV presenter and journalist – Ade Adepitan MBE – will present its Awards for Excellence 2022 on 7th April.

Held at the Science Museum’s breath-taking Illuminate venue, the ceremony will reward outstanding achievements in hospitality, celebrating its finest individuals and businesses. Ade will reveal winners across 16 categories – recognising everything from employee health & wellbeing and career development initiatives, to best community engagement and business innovation.

Also joining the festivities is Showtime Photo Booth with its popular animated GIF booth.

More than 40 leading restaurant, hotel, pub, bar and catering business have made the shortlist for the Awards.

Springboard CEO, Chris Gamm, says: “We’re delighted that Ade can join our celebrations and having such an inspiring and engaging host is the perfect addition to what is shaping up to be a very special event in the hospitality calendar.
“Our industry has gone above and beyond throughout the pandemic to support their communities and employees, bring in new talent, and succeed despite the odds. We’re looking forward to welcoming Ade as we celebrate the true stars of the hospitality industry face-to-face at such a fantastic venue
Ade Adepitan MBE says: “I’m absolutely delighted to host the Springboard Awards for Excellence and celebrate the successes of the fantastic hospitality industry over the last year. We’ve all seen some amazing things happen in our restaurants, pubs, bars, hotels and cafes over the last year and this has been in spite of staff shortages and restrictions. I’m also in awe of the work that Springboard does to help young, unemployed and underprivileged people in our communities to get skills, build their confidence and find lifelong careers in the hospitality industry!”   
The awards, in partnership with the Smart Group, will take place from 7pm-midnight on Thursday 7th April. Individual tickets are £200 (plus vat) or £1,900 (plus vat) for a table of 10. Tickets are available to buy at 

Freemans Event Partners announces new partnership with Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials #

Freemans Event Partners has been appointed as the new sole provider of public catering services at Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials.
This new relationship sees Freemans Event Partners become the sole and exclusive public catering partner for the esteemed four-day-long equestrian event.
Taking place from the 1 – 4 September 2022, Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials is the ultimate 5* event in the Eventing calendar, with more than 173,000 visitors heading to Burghley Park to watch the sport’s elite in action.
Freemans Event Partners supports over 400 of the UK and Europe’s biggest events, supporting venues from Silverstone to Wembley, Twickenham to the Boomtown Fair and Victorious festival.  A family-owned business, which began life in 1975 as a humble fish and chips outlet at Silverstone, Freemans Event Partners now offers a full range of services to iconic venues and festivals: from catering, bars, concessions and product wholesale through to payment solutions and brand partnerships.
Martyn Johnson, Event Director at Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials Ltd comments:
This is a very exciting time for Land Rover Burghley, the announcement of this new partnership with Freemans Event Partners illustrates perfectly our intention to enhance and diversify the overall customer experience for our visitors.”
We were very impressed with Freemans Event Partners; their track record in delivering at scale without sacrificing on quality is exactly what we were looking for.”
Stephen Freeman, CEO at Freemans Event Partners adds: “This is a very exciting brief for us, the audience expectation is very different with this particular event. We’ll be developing menus to match the customer demographic and managing over 70 outlets offering a wide range of quality local, regional and national products with sustainability at the heart of our delivery.”
“With our experience delivering temporary and semi-permanent food and drink villages across the UK and Europe, we have a track record and ability to deliver something truly exceptional for Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials
For more information visit:

Fifteen Compass Chefs Set to Experience Kitchen Life at Michelin-Starred Marcus #

Michelin-starred chef, Marcus Wareing, developed ‘Forward’, a cutting-edge culinary training programme in partnership with market-leading foodservice and support services company, Compass Group UK & Ireland. A great supporter in helping chefs reach their potential, Marcus has generously offered each Forward chef an experience of a lifetime, working and dining in his exclusive restaurant.  
Last year, 15 senior Compass chefs enrolled on ‘Forward with Marcus Wareing’, an enhanced culinary programme which runs alongside a Level 4 Senior Culinary Chef or Level 5 Operations Departmental Manager apprenticeship standard. Halfway through the 18-month course, Marcus wanted to test the flourishing chefs and put them through their paces in his busy kitchen.
Michelin-starred Marcus, set within The Berkeley Hotel in Knightsbridge, serves contemporary British food to evoke and create memories. Each cohort member will be working alongside the chefs in the restaurant to help prep food for one day of service. Marcus has also invited them to see life on the other side of the pass, with a meal for two to enjoy his fine-dining experience.
The tried-and-tested method of experiencing a Michelin-starred kitchen as part of a culinary development programme will enable the cohort to “take their skills to the next level,” Marcus commented. “When we developed the ‘Forward’ programme, we were looking for ways to develop the chefs’ skills, grow their knowledge, and expand their imagination. By offering them an opportunity to see a different way of cooking in the kitchen, we are letting the chefs take yet more new ideas and skills back to their day-to-day roles.”
Head of Apprenticeships & Early Careers at Compass Group UK & Ireland, Jonathan Foot, commented: “We’re delighted we can provide such an amazing opportunity for our cohort of chefs. The ‘Forward with Marcus Wareing’ programme is meant to give chefs experiences and lessons which take their skills to the next level; giving them time in a fine-dining kitchen, such as this, is fantastic way to advance and develop their skills during their apprenticeships, making the service they provide to their customers and clients even better.

UK food to go market to grow +31.9% in 2022, to a value of £21.3 billion #

According to the new Lumina Intelligence UK Food To Go Market Report 2022, the UK food to go market is forecast to grow by +31.8% in 2022, to a value of £21.3bn.

This will see the market fully recover to and exceed its 2019 pre-pandemic market value and follows growth of +38.2% in 2021 (a value of £16.2bn).

KEY FTG channels expected to exceed 2019 turnover in 2022
Key FTG channels including convenience and supermarket grab and go, coffee shop/cafés as well as travel are expected to exceed 2019 turnover in 2022. Branded traditional fast food is expected to have a slower recovery, with delivery gaining large proportions of key operators including McDonald’s and KFC’s sales mix.

Travel, coffee shops/cafés and street food are expected to see the strongest growth in share from 2016-2022. Convenience store grab and go remains the largest channel in the food to go market, at a share of 28.3%, but the channel is losing share to higher spend food to go specialists as consumer quality expectations increase.

Sandwich & bakery, coffee shop and travel to lead outlet growth
In outlet terms, the UK food to go market is set to see a net increase of +1,517 sites in 2022, a percentage growth rate of +1.0%, led by sandwich & bakery, coffee shop and travel segments.

Operators across the food to go market including Greggs, Costa Coffee and Pret A Manger are diversifying outlet coverage in line with changes to consumer habits following the pandemic, with operators targeting more drive thru, travel led sites, as well as neighbourhood and suburban locations.

Top ten brands account for 34.5% share of total FTG market
The top ten brands by turnover saw stronger and unrestricted trading in 2021, leading to an average growth rate of +43.2% following overall FTG sales declines in 2020. Both city centre and suburban focused sites benefitted from hybrid working patterns, catering to consumers commuting and working from home, especially for lunch occasions.

Half of the top ten brands increased their share of the food to go market in 2021, bringing their combined share to 34.5%, up +1.8 ppts from 2020.

Three-in-ten consumers purchase food to go every week
30% of UK adults have a food to go occasion at least once per week.

Drink and lunch hold the biggest share of FTG occasions by day part – a combined 66% of occasions. The drink occasion has seen a further boost to day part share of +2.4ppts with hot drink on the go purchases taking a greater share amid a raft of operator innovation around festive hot drinks.

Familiarity, good value for money and voucher/promotion/loyalty card have increased as drivers to choosing a specific establishment.
Gregg’s, Costa Coffee, and McDonald’s lead the FTG market by share of occasions, and each gained share in the 12 weeks end ending 30/01/2022. Greggs has the highest share of occasions, accounting for 12%, with Costa Coffee accounting for 11% and McDonald’s 10%. These brands have benefited from consumer desire for tried and tested brands.

Food to go to grow by +£1.7 billion from 2022-2025
The UK food to go market is expected to total £23.0 billion in 2025, with robust growth of +2.5% per annum from 2022-2025.

Outlet growth in the market is expected to reach its highest figure in six years, at +1.2% in 2025, to a net value of 156,120 outlets.

Blonnie Whist, Insight Director at Lumina Intelligence said, “During the pandemic, the very nature of food to go was hampered by tight restrictions on movement. However, the channel has always been well placed to recover post-pandemic. This is apparent in our forecasts, which indicate a full recovery by the end of 2022. This growth is set to be driven by a number of factors. Firstly, the reopening of hospitality, as well as recovery in city centre footfall, will drive food to go occasions as more consumers return to offices at least some of the working week. Secondly, recovery in travel and tourism will boost food to go throughout key parts of 2022, including the summer months. Thirdly, food to go is a relatively low ticket and is well placed to capitalise on tighter budgets as consumers feel the impact of cost increases across food, fuel and utility bills as well as taxation.”

Find out more about Lumina Intelligence’s UK Food To Go Market Report 2022 here.

Competition hots up as Toque d’Or® announces finalists for the Heats #

Thirty-eight of the UK’s most promising college students and apprentices in hospitality have been shortlisted for the Heats in Nestlé Professional’s Toque d’Or®. Whittled down from more than 400 entrants from across the UK, competitors have already completed rigorous Selection and Qualification challenges. And with the shortlist announced today by Toque d’Or judges, finalists are revving up for the Heats at Nestlé HQ at the end of this month.
Competition has been fierce: high-flying students from 42 catering colleges, promising professionals from large employers including Compass, and ambitious apprentices from first-class establishments like The Stavely Arms and Gilpin Hotel & Lake House. The South East and North West sent the lion’s share of students, with 12 and 10 colleges taking part respectively from these regions. And colleges with a strong track record of winners: New City London, University College Birmingham and Edinburgh College, have sent their finest to lay claim to the prestigious title.
Over the week starting 7th February, hospitality hopefuls took to the kitchens to complete Toque d’Or’s Selection challenge. Back of house (BOH) entrants were tasked with preparing and cooking a Chicken Ballotine, and Front of House (FOH) entrants created a coffee drink and country-themed table arrangement. By the Friday, lecturers and employers had graded their cohort, submitting the top three to competition judges.
The following week, shortlisted entrants submitted an online examination on Sustainable Diets and 30-second video on their passion for hospitality. And after a great deal of deliberation, Toque d’Or® judges have selected from these the 38 finalists that will compete in the Heats taking place at Nestlé HQ between 28th March and 1st April.
Toque d’Or 2021 winners Kenny Markham and Sophie Taylor will be helping award-winning chef and Toque d’Or judge, Louisa Ellis and well-respected sommelier and wine expert, Raul Diaz judge the Heats.  Toque d’Or continues to work with previous winners offering ongoing experiences along with the opportunity to develop new skills.

Competitors will also receive a masterclass from Louisa Ellis, where she’ll demonstrate a dish, which they’ll replicate, serving tables of guests across the week.   And with just a month to go before finalists are announced for the Grand Finals (4th April), the competition is starting to hot up, fast.
Katya Simmons, managing director Nestlé Professional UK&I said:
The response we’ve received for this year’s Toque d’Or has been outstanding. This year, we adapted the competition so that more budding hospitality stars could take part. And we’ve already been blown away by the calibre of students and apprentices put forward by college lecturers and employers.
The thirty-eight shortlisted finalists were particularly impressive during the first two phases. And we’re looking forward to meeting them in person here at Nestlé HQ where we can try their local and seasonally focused creations. This is where they really get the chance to show us what they’re made of!
Once the competition has started, it tends to gather pace fast, creating a huge sense of excitement and anticipation – not just for entrants, but also for Toque d’Or judges and the team here at Nestlé Professional. With only a month to go before the Grand Finals, this is a critical time for the competition. We wish the Heats finalists the very best of luck. And we hope that those that didn’t make it enjoyed the experience and will join us again for next year’s Toque d’Or.

For more about the competition training, format and timeline, go to

15 Scottish suppliers successful in Sodexo sourcing scheme #

Food and drink producers from across Scotland have successfully won places in Sodexo’s new Supplier Development Programme to help them enter foodservice markets. 

Supported by the Scotland Food & Drink Recovery Plan and with funding from the Scottish Government, the programme will welcome 15 primary producers initially. 

Brewers, bakers and ice cream makers are among the 15 successful applicants to the programme. Delivered with Levercliff Associates and beginning later in March, the programme will support the businesses to build capacity, identify opportunities and effectively promote their products to foodservice and wholesaler markets. 

The businesses will also have one-to-one mentoring throughout the programme and ultimately will have meetings with Sodexo buyers this summer.

Stephanie Pritchard, Head of UK Supplier Development at Scotland Food & Drink, said: “The past two years have been incredibly difficult for Scotland’s food and drink businesses, but the uptake for the Sodexo Supplier Development Programme demonstrates that companies continue to innovate and strive for growth. 

“Foodservice and wholesale markets present a huge opportunity for Scottish producers to expand. Increasingly customers – both business and consumers – are looking for quality, locally-sourced products which Scotland has in abundance. 

“This programme presents a real commercial opportunity for businesses as they recover from the twin hits of Covid and Brexit and highlights the spirit of collaboration that exists with the industry and with the Scottish Government.

Sodexo is one of the country’s leading foodservice providers and is expanding its collaboration with local food and drink businesses to source more Scottish products.  

The 15 food and drink companies taking part in the programme are: 

71 Brewing                                          (Dundee)

Aye Love Real Food                             (Ayrshire)

Galloway Lodge                                   (Galloway)

Island Bakery Organics                       (Mull)

Mackays                                              (Arbroath)

Peter Equi & Sons                               (Hamilton)

Roehill Springs Distillery                     (Keith)

Taste of Arran                                     (Arran)

The Start Up Drinks Lab                      (Port Glasgow)

Tilly Confectionery                              (Larbert)

Vertegrow                                           (Aberdeenshire)

Walker’s Shortbread                           (Aberlour)

Aldomak                                              (Glasgow)

Bon Accord Soft Drinks                       (Edinburgh)

Buchanan Distribution/Nudie Snacks (Kilmarnock) 

Kim Ryan, Customer Support Manager at Taste of Arran, said: “We’re very proud to have secured our place in the Sodexo Supplier Development Programme. Foodservice is a huge potential market for us, so the opportunity is very exciting for the business. We’re looking forward to collaborating with Sodexo and Scotland Food & Drink as we aim to grow our business and diversify our customer base.” 

Aoife Wycherley, head of supply chain at Sodexo UK & Ireland, said: “We are a large global organisation operating in diverse segments and markets across the world and as such we can be very difficult to connect with at times, and for some simply understanding our supplier selection process and the opportunities open to them can be the first hurdle to overcome. 

“We are delighted to be working with Scotland Food & Drink and Levercliff Associates on this programme and look forward to meeting the 15 selected companies. Scotland has a rich heritage when it comes to food and drink and we hope that this programme will help break down barriers which historically may have put off SME’s from pitching for our supply contracts. The programme has also been designed to provide a safe environment where we can work together with potential partners for the future and demystify ways of working with large companies such as Sodexo


* The UK Eating Out sector is expected to reach 79% of its pre-pandemic value in 2022
* Consumer behaviour and socioeconomic factors are slowing recovery and driving disparity
* QSR is the driving force behind market growth
* Restaurants and Pubs will continue to recover but pace will slow
* Focus on customer experience, investment in technology and mitigating costs will support recovery 

In brand new forecasts* and in-depth analysis for the eating out sector, IGD – leading providers of insight and foresight for the food and consumer goods industry – highlights the road to recovery and its complexities, driven by evolving consumer behaviour and socioeconomic factors.

Modelled on three different economic scenarios to reflect current global volatility, the forecasts give manufacturers, wholesalers and operators a view of the challenges ahead and actionable insights to help with planning for both short-term and longer-term recovery.

Nicola Knight, Senior analyst and lead on the new forecasts and report comments: “During the pandemic, we saw an unprecedented and accelerated level of diversification and innovation in the sector that enabled survival for some businesses.  As the market recovers from the shockwaves of the last two years, there are a new set of challenges to face, such as the rising cost of living and inflation, and now, the significant implications of the war in Ukraine.

Recovery will be at a slower pace than industry would have hoped. Our low-mid growth forecasts are most likely to play out, meaning that the market will not return to its pre-pandemic state until at least 2024.

Recovery will also vary by sector and QSR is currently the driving force behind growth, offering a convenient, consistent and value-driven alternative to eating at home, providing the “lipstick effect” for consumers.  That said, city-centre and transport hub focused brands will continue to chase 2019 sales levels.”

The report examines the key challenges facing each sector:

Pubs and Restaurants will see recovery slow; mid-market operators will be squeezed as consumers eat out less or down-trade, yet high-end restaurants will be protected to an extent.  

Hotels and Leisure will find recovery the most challenging as discretionary spend is scaled back by more consumers. Staycations will continue at higher than pre-pandemic levels due to pre-booking but international tourism will still be considerably reduced. Income from domestic and international business travellers will remain significantly depressed this year.  

Staff Catering will see some growth prompted by returning office workers.  However, some businesses have removed facilities or remodelled to lower cost formats.  With businesses facing increased costs there will be little desire to re-invest in the short-term. 

Healthcare, Education and Government-run Services are likely to revert to pre-pandemic patterns with inflation driving growth. 
Nicola continues: “There’s no denying, the industry is facing a challenging time; planning and prioritising must sit at the top of the agenda for businesses to navigate the year ahead and beyond. 

Priorities will vary by sector, but there are clear behaviour themes driving the industry forward which include an enhanced focus on customer experience and loyalty, investment in technology and implementing strategies to mitigate costs.”

For more insight on the numbers and the challenges and opportunities by sector, IGD invites journalists, manufacturers, wholesalers and operators to attend an exclusive free webinar:
Eating out: a new world of challenges and opportunities
Wednesday 11 May 2022, 11:00 BST

Free registration:

Kyle Bowman announced as the winner of Sodexo Chef of the Year 2022 #

Development Chef Kyle Bowman has been named Sodexo Chef of the Year 2022 in a live cook-off at this year’s Hotel, Restaurant, and Catering (HRC) event held at ExCel London. 

On 21 March, Kyle represented Sodexo Live!, the organisations’ sports and leisure segment making an impression on the competition judges with his street food menu using plant-based and Future 50 foods, as well as sustainably sourced Norwegian seafood.  

Receiving gold best in class for his menu, Kyle scored highly for his complex flavours, presentation, and sustainable ingredients.   

Kyle’s menu began with a starter of Tom Kha Gai; a Thai coconut soup served in biodegradable bowls. For his main course, he served chorizo battered Norwegian cod, bravas fritas, mojo verde, and mashed fava beans. For dessert, Kyle created a Snickers chocolate éclair, made with peanuts, nougat, caramel, chocolate, and vanilla cream.   

Adam Harty from Johnson and Johnson Pinewood Campus in Wokingham represented Sodexo’s Corporate Services and was awarded runner-up by the judges.   

Eight chefs from across Sodexo UK & Ireland competed against each other in a live cook-off watched on by supportive colleagues, friends, and family, winning awards for their participation – three gold, two silver, and three bronze.  

In preparation for the event, finalists attended a mentor day where they recreated their dishes for scrutiny and received one on one feedback from a team of expert industry chefs as well as a masterclass from The Craft Guild of Chefs UK National Chef of the Year winner, Nick Smith.  

At the end of the competition, Kyle was presented with a trophy for winning the prestigious competition.   

Kyle, 33, a lifelong Newcastle FC fan, is based at St James’s Park, where he works in the fine dining area, evolving and developing the menu. Kyle will now have the opportunity to participate in an exclusive study trip to Norway to discover the country’s amazing cuisine and to visit sustainable fish farms courtesy of Seafood from Norway.    

All eight finalists received certificates and medals for their appropriate awards and participation.   

Kyle Bowman, Development Chef at Sodexo Live! said on his win:   

I am delighted to have won the title of Chef of the Year 2022. I’ve only been with Sodexo for 10 months, so this feels like an incredible achievement.   

“I spent quite a while developing the menu to make sure I was making the most of those ingredients and delivering three dishes packed with taste. I was influenced by global flavours and wanted to make sure I made the menu as sustainable as possible. As a chef, it is important to be able to adapt, not just to changing tastes but also to respond to the need for more sustainable ingredients.

David Mulcahy, Food Innovation & Sustainability Director at Sodexo UK and Ireland, added:   

We are very proud of Kyle for winning this coveted title and a massive well done to all those that participated in today’s final. 

“Kyle’s dedication to Sodexo’s sustainable future has been demonstrated clearly through his food being delivered to such a high standard. All the chefs this year rose to the challenge of presenting a street food menu with high-quality dishes, which is a testament to their determination and training.  

“This year’s competition was designed to be relevant to what is happening currently in the food service sector, not only with the street food theme but also with an increased focus on sustainable ingredients and minimising food waste. Although the style of food was more informal than previous competitions, it still was a big test of the chef's skills, and the outcomes were excellent.

Sodexo Chef of the Year 2022 finalists: 

Kyle Bowman - Sodexo Live! – Gold  
Adam Harty - Corporate Services – Gold 
Adam Smith - Schools & Universities – Gold 
Adam Collison - Corporate Services - Silver
Matthew Shipley - Sodexo Live! – Silver 
Ross Hamilton – Government – Bronze 
Malcolm Givan - Corporate Services, Ireland – Bronze 
Keith Pigott - Corporate Services, Ireland – Bronze  

Sodexo Chef of the Year 2022 was judged by:  

Nick Smith, UK National Chef of the Year 2021 
Michael Kitts, Culinary Director, School of Hospitality, Dubai  
Alex Hall, Head of Culinary, Unilever Foodsolutions   
Gary Hunter, Deputy Head, Westminster Kingsway College 
Sarah Frankland, Head of Pastry, Pennyhill Park 
Steve Scuffell, Lead Chef, World Skills 
Harry Lomas MBE, Executive Chef Wembley Stadium 

Sodexo Chef of the Year 2022 was kindly supported by: 

Unilever Foodsolutions  
Norwegian Seafood  
Lockhart Catering   
The Craft Guild of Chefs 


Bestway Wholesale has seen a 10% growth in revenues during 2021 to £2.66 billion – an increase of £220 million, returning an operating pre-tax profit of £37.2 million.

The strong performance has been attributed to the agility of the business in responding fast to changing customer behaviours.  Bestway Wholesale remained focused on ensuring operations were as smooth as possible alongside a heightened focus on stock availability to ensure it remained its customers’ partner of choice.
Bestway Wholesale also saw an opportunity to increase its scale and completed on the acquisition of Costcutter Supermarkets Group (CSG) in February 2021.

Dawood Pervez, Managing Director for Bestway Wholesale confirmed that the business had focused on integrating operations and delivering the associated synergy benefits.  He commented:
Aside from Covid-19, market conditions in the wholesale sector remained challenging, with supply chain issues, staff availability and inflationary pressures.  We have also had to absorb the continued impact from the National Living Wage increases, as well as additional costs and the uncertainty surrounding Brexit.

“Despite these challenges, we remained committed to our strategic plans of offering improved service and convenience to customers and we continued to improve and manage availability of products during this period which resulted in a positive impact on sales.
“Despite the economic turbulence and challenges faced during 2021, the results are a testament to our strategic approach and operating model which has increasingly positioned us as the home of choice for the entrepreneurial retailer whether affiliated, or unaffiliated, and with a fascia to suit every retailer, regardless of size or location.

“I would like to sincerely thank all of our employees for the dedication and commitment they have shown during a very difficult period
Bestway Wholesale is part of the wider Bestway Group, which saw a 10% growth in revenues during 2021, which reached £3.75 billion with operating pre-tax profit of £350 million.

The Group’s portfolio includes Bestway Wholesale, the UK’s largest independent food and drink wholesaler and Well Pharmacy which remains the largest independent retail pharmacy chain in the UK. Additionally, the Group owns the 2nd largest cement manufacturer (Bestway Cement) and 2nd largest private bank in Pakistan (UBL) as well as significant property investments in both the UK and in Pakistan.

The Group’s UK businesses were classified as essential businesses and played a key role during the pandemic in ensuring the UK’s food and medicine supply chain remained stable, with Well Pharmacy operating over 60 COVID vaccination sites.

The Group’s charitable arm, Bestway Foundation remained active in its support of a variety of healthcare and education charities and provided more than £270,000 in grants to students of South Asian origin to attend universities in the UK. 

Lord Zameer Choudrey CBE, CEO of Bestway Group commented:
The Group and all of its subsidiaries have shown immense resilience in 2021 and we are confident that we will continue to gain share during 2022”.

Owned by the Pervez, Choudrey and Sheikh families, Bestway Group was founded by Sir Anwar Pervez OBE in 1976, who remains Chairman. Serving over 12 million customers and employing over 28,000 individuals, the Group supports and serves communities through its operations across the UK, Pakistan and the Middle East. Its head offices are based in Park Royal, London.

Chartwells launches Junior Chef Academy #

Chartwells, part of Compass Group UK & Ireland, has launched a Junior Chef Academy that will see it deliver chef courses across ten schools for students aged 14-16, giving them a flavour of the skills needed to become a chef and promoting the opportunities available within a career in hospitality.
The courses, which are delivered by Chartwells’ culinary team, in partnership with Compass UK & Ireland’s Apprenticeship and Early Careers Team, officially launched last week with ten students attending an after-school class at Our Lady and St Chad Catholic Academy, in Wolverhampton.
The move clearly demonstrates the company’s ongoing commitment to enrich the learning of young students, supporting the National Food Strategy by providing practical sessions and information around food, while also promoting the opportunities available to those looking for a career in the hospitality industry.
The engaging ten-week course, which is free of charge, will run after-school hours during weekdays or over the weekend. Attending students will learn about key chef skills, such as knifework, before focusing on learning and developing dishes from a weekly theme, including bread and pizza, salads and healthy eating, and a meat masterclass, amongst others.
The course, which promotes sustainability, nutrition, good hygiene, and healthy eating practices, culminates in a celebratory graduation event, whereby the students demonstrate their new-found cookery skills at a three-course dinner event, attended by special guests. 
Andrew Walker, Culinary Director, Chartwells said: “This course is not a flash in the pan, it gives students an in-depth understanding and experience of the skills needed to become a chef. We need to be doing more as an industry to promote the fantastic opportunities that exist within hospitality and hopefully this course will create a spark of excitement within students that leads to a fulfilling career in the kitchen.”
Miss L Craig, Principal at Our Lady and St Chad Catholic Academy, said: “The level of engagement from the students was amazing and the atmosphere in the room was electrifying. It was simply outstanding to see the commitment to learning in the room, all under the guidance of industry experts. The skills learned over this course will be fundamentally valuable to our students, across many aspects of their lives, irrespective of whether they pursue a culinary career.”
Jonathan Foot, Head of Apprenticeships and Early Careers, Compass UK & Ireland said: “As a business, we’re dedicated to enriching the learning of young people across the country. This course demonstrates that this focus is not limited to serving nutritious and delicious meals, but also fuelling the inspiration of the next generation of chefs and sharing our insight and expertise during a crucial time in their development. This course will not only add great value to the students who undertake it, but it also forms part of our overarching strategy to champion a career with Chartwells, and the wider Compass UK & Ireland, providing a direct path onto our apprenticeships and career pathway programmes for students who wish to take the next step.”
The course has been made possible by a series of sponsors and supporters including City of Portsmouth College; Stoke on Trent College; Brakes; Lockhart; Harvest Fine Foods; Nisbets; and John Sheppard Butchers.

Springboard invites you to a day at Royal Windsor Racecourse #

Springboard invites you to join us for an exquisite evening out at Royal Windsor Racecourse on Monday 9th May.
We have the use of Riverbank Marquee, a well-placed, exclusive and beautiful area with its own bar and private sun terrace, overlooks the parade ring.
Close to viewing areas of the racecourse and with convenient betting facilities and flat screen TVs, you can enjoy luxurious and comfortable surroundings without missing out on any of the main event!

Your hospitality ticket also includes a delicious three-course meal and complementary parking
Prices are £150 (+VAT) per person or book for a group of 10 at £1,350 (+VAT)

The evening at the races is perfect for rewarding your team or delighting your clients:
Have a great evening out whilst supporting Springboard to futureproof the talent pipeline for hospitality!

Spoonfed’s Learning Curve! #

Spoonfed’s catering management software, was in the news at the end of 2021 having been acquired by US based 365 Retail Markets Inc. in a multi-million-pound deal. And now, as the Pandemic restrictions ease, it seems that it is the University and College sector in particular that is leading the charge to Spoonfed’s door, turning to their software solutions to manage meeting room and event catering programs across the campuses.

The software firm’s decision back in mid 2020 to accelerate its platform development is proving to be a very shrewd one indeed. Now they find themselves investing further by adding two new hires to their development team in the Glasgow office this month, as they continue to grow in this sector.

The Glasgow based firm had already made considerable inroads in this sector during the Pandemic, landing several top 50 global and Ivy League Universities to their client portfolio, complementing an already prestigious list of establishments including the University of Cambridge.  More recently they have enjoyed notable sign ups with the Universities of Birmingham (including their Dubai Campus), Texas, Sheffield and Lancaster, as well as several significant establishments managed under contract by CH&CO, Mount Charles, BaxterStorey and Compass in the US, UK and Irish markets, being lured by Spoonfed’s evolving tech solutions.

Traditionally, catering across the campuses is wide ranging and complex in both what and how it is able to offer - automation is key for delivering the efficiency required. However, due to the fact these accounts can be so sprawling in their nature, it seems that automation and technology are only part of what is required.  

Emma Easton, Planning & Analysis Manager at the University of Lancaster commented on Spoonfed: “First and foremost we have been most impressed with the customer service, it’s been outstanding. No question is too big or too small and all queries are resolved in a timely manner. We’ve had great feedback from our customers, it’s such a contrast compared to our prior system.”

Spoonfed MD, Willie Biggart commented: ‘In these accounts the R&D aspect has actually been ‘Relationship’ and Development. There’s no doubt that adding value to one University can open up other opportunities and when we bring development to bear on an issue at one Campus we roll that out for everyone. However, just as vital has been the relationships we have struck up across the sector. They know we understand their unique requirements, hassles, pain points and the potential for growth.”

Spoonfed, now that they are part of 365 Retail Markets Inc with its expertise in contactless technology, is excited at the prospect of being able to bring a whole range of new solutions across the their growing customer base, whilst maintaining a keen focus on their driving principle of trust, respect and understanding to the fore.