Members’ News

July 2022

Speed named Large Consultancy of the Year #

Speed sweep up at the PRCA DARE awards with three award wins including the top accolade

It was a night of glory for South West PR and communications consultancy Speed, at the PRCA DARE awards, taking home the top accolade of Large Consultancy of the Year, along with two other campaign awards.
The 40-strong, talented team at Speed earned industry recognition for their work with i heart Wines winning Integrated Campaign of the Year, alongside B2B Campaign of the Year for their work for BRITA VIVREAU.
The big win of the night was regaining the title of Large Consultancy of the Year, having previously won the coveted honour for three years running from 2016 to 2019. The award recognises the passionate focus of Speed to redefine PR and demonstrate its value; showing unwavering determination to ensure that every piece of work makes a clear difference to clients, their customers, and the wider environment.
The award also credits the strength in Speed’s people offer through its Balance programme for employees. Ensuring team achieve the right balance in all aspects of work and home life, Balance incorporates a range of guidance and benefits including annual health checks, trained Mental Health First Aiders in team, a health cash plan of £900 per employee, confidential 24/7 GP and counselling service plus regular speakers on stress awareness, sleep management and nutrition. Proof of impact is shown in team feedback with 96% endorsing Speed’s positive work culture and 92% feeling fully supported.
Kelly Pepworth, Managing Director at Speed commented: “Being recognised by our peers and the industry means a huge amount. The team at Speed is passionate about their clients and the impact that PR can deliver, as demonstrated by the winning campaigns for BRITA and i heart Wines. And to be named Large Consultancy of the Year is a real honour. This award acknowledges not just our business success but the culture of Speed, our focus on innovation and creativity and how we are living our values every day in support of the team.”

Freemans Event Partners delivers successful British Grand Prix #

Tuesday 19th July was a significant and momentous date for those in the events industry, as it marks the first anniversary of COVID restrictions being lifted in England.
It was one year ago, that we were completing our first event of scale, the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, following a fifteen-month period of huge upheaval and uncertainty.
12 months on and the events industry is back, with no restrictions and here at Freemans Event Partners we found ourselves, once again, back in the hallowed ground of Silverstone; delivering and managing over 250 food and drink outlets for 401,000 F1 fans, across four event days.
The 2022 British Grand Prix was a thrill ride of an event, made all the better in being the icing on the cake of a year of re-building. Here at Freemans Event Partners, we’ve spent the last 12 months scaling back up to our pre-covid operational levels. We’ve landed new contract wins with the likes of Lords and Burghley Horse Trials, extended long term partnerships with the likes of Gloucester Rugby, Silverstone, Jockey Club, DP World Tour and most recently extended our partnership with Boomtown and Victorious two of the most iconic and unique events in the country.
The scale-back journey over the last 12 months has been made possible by the phenomenal efforts of our partners, clients, and teams over the last 12 months and with a lot more projects to come from Team Freemans Event Partners, the next year and beyond look set to be hugely exciting.

Peter Backman launches theDelivery.World #

Following the pandemic-fuelled explosion of restaurant delivery, Peter Backman has launched a new platform to explore the many questions surrounding the long-term viability of the sector
Whilst demand for delivery continues to rise, around the world, concerns continue to grow, ranging from employment rights and rider safety through to the biggest question of all – will we ever see profitability?
The new platform is a ‘go to’ place for any business that has an interest in restaurant delivery and will contain news, insights, reports, webinars and white papers.
For a taster of what’s to come, Arena members are invited to subscribe to the free fortnightly theDelivery.World newsletter which contains global insight and analysis.
Visit to learn more.

Elior scores with Hibernian Football Club #

Leading contract caterer Elior has been awarded the catering contract at Hibernian Football Club, located in Edinburgh. The contract is worth a significant eight figure sum over a nine-year term. The agreement will see Elior working with the Club to deliver innovation around retail brands, a fan zone for pre- and post-match entertainment, seven different match day hospitality experiences and non-match day hospitality and events.
During a competitive tender process, Elior won the contract for its creativity in designing a menu focused on sharing the best of Scottish produce, as well as sustainability and social value initiatives to support the Hibernian FC’s ambition to be the ‘Greenest Club’ in Scotland. 
Hibernian FC is a Scottish Premiership Football Club with a rich heritage in Scottish football. Its 20,000-capacity stadium is currently undergoing extensive refurbishment of the hospitality areas with the aim of creating the best match day experience in Scotland. 
Ben Kensell, CEO Hibernian FC said: “We are delighted to be working with Elior as our catering partner at Hibernian FC as the Club enters a new transformational phase in our history. The rich heritage and values of the Club will be reflected through the new dining environment we are creating. The food and service Elior will provide are pivotal to delivering an elevated match day experience for fans and our members across all hospitality areas, kiosks, and concourses.”
Kenny Finlayson, Managing Director, Elior added: “This contract has been awarded at a critical moment for Hibernian FC as they complete their hospitality area refurbishments. We’re immensely proud to be working with the Club to take their guest dining to the next level. Operational excellence, guest experience and carefully curated food are at the heart of everything we do.
Elior will commence catering at the Club this month ready for summer events and the start of the football season.

Compass Group UK & Ireland to bolster opportunities for one million people by 2030 as part of social mobility drive #

Compass Group UK & Ireland, the UK’s largest food and support services provider, has announced a new strategy to address the inequalities that create barriers to progress.
The Mission to a Million commitment will see Compass provide support to one million people, from both within and outside the organisation, by 2030 to enhance their opportunities and change their lives through job creation, education, training, community and charitable engagement.      
Opportunities include:
Providing work through skill development, entry-level schemes and promotions.
Outreach to schools and communities to provide access to work placements and opportunities.
Working with communities and social enterprises through the introduction of volunteer days.
Promoting healthy eating habits for the next generation.
Compass Group’s flagship Compass Group Academy, which is set to open next year, will provide further opportunities for skills development 
Compass has also set new targets to improve diversity across the company. The commitments include ambitious gender, ethnicity (with specific targets on Black representation) and the industry’s first socio-economic representation targets. These targets are set for the executive and leadership team, middle management, junior management and frontline workers.                     
The firm is targeting a 50:50 gender split by 2025, while 14% of its employees will be from an ethnic minority background (5% of whom will be Black) by 2027. Two fifths (40%) of its employees will come from a lower socio-economic background by 2030. The firm has also committed to increasing support, education and placements for people with disabilities.
In addition, Compass has set an annual target for promotions within the company to gradually improve diversity across middle and senior management. It will track progression rates for employees of different genders and ethnicities to have a clear understanding of the strategy’s impact.
It comes as part of a drive for Compass to offer jobs, skills and training to less advantaged communities to ensure the company is to be representative of the UK working population at all levels.
To hold itself accountable to these commitments, Compass has pledged to report annually on progress towards its social mobility targets. Additionally, it has published Our Social Promise and its Social Promise Roadmap, which details the steps it will take leading up to 2030.
“Our Social Promise” forms part of Compass’ wider social value strategy, alongside its Net Zero and health and wellbeing commitments.
Robin Mills, Managing Director, Compass Group UK & I said:
As an employer of around 45,000 people, we know that we have the ability to make a real difference not only to the lives of our own employees, but also the communities in which we serve. Hospitality is well placed to bring down barriers that exist in relation to social mobility. You can join the industry and be trained on the job. We are committed to investing in our employees and also working to support disadvantaged groups. I passionately believe that whatever your background, you should have the opportunity to progress and build a career. I believe our programme is a significant step forward to achieve this”.
Donna Catley, Chief People Officer, Compass Group UK & I said: “Our Social Promise is one of the biggest and boldest set of commitments made in business – designed to provide opportunities for all. The size and reach of Compass across the UK’s major regions means that we are uniquely placed to benefit people from all walks of life. Our targets will improve our diversity at all levels and we want to ensure we are benefiting the communities that we serve. Our benchmarking has given us a clear view of where we are and our roadmap shows where we want to be. I’m looking forward to delivering these ambitious commitments, which we hope will lead towards a more equitable and diverse society.
Sarah Atkinson, Chief Executive, Social Mobility Foundation said: “It is excellent to see Compass Group launch their social mobility strategy and outline their plans to create opportunities for so many people right across the UK. I particularly welcome the commitment to setting targets for socio-economic representation at different levels in the business - demonstrating a focus not just on who gets in, but also who gets on. I hope the lead that Compass Group is taking acts as a catalyst for others.”

Nutritics are Delighted to Announce Partnership with Cygnet Health Care and Brakes #

Nutritics are delighted to announce our latest partnership with Cygnet Health Care — the UK’s leading provider of services for individuals with mental health needs, autism and learning disabilities — and Brakes. Through this partnership, Nutritics software will empower Cygnet chefs to create nutritionally balanced meals for service users and residents.

Cygnet’s Procurement team worked closely with food supplier Brakes to introduce the Nutritics recipe management solution across Cygnet’s 150 sites. This pioneering tool will enable chefs to create and edit bespoke, nutritionally balanced recipes that clearly display nutritional values and allergens and improve meals for service users and residents.

Nutritics links directly into the Brakes product catalogue, and gives chefs the ability to add their sites’ favourite dishes, or create new ones. The accessible software allows chefs to add any ingredient they want, and instantly see nutritional information like fats, proteins, salt levels or allergens such as wheat. They will also be able to swap out ingredients once a recipe has been created to fortify a recipe, make it healthier or even turn it into a halal dish. Once created, these recipes can then be shared with all other Cygnet chefs.

Budgeting is also a huge part of the tool, and allows chefs to see the true cost of each recipe they are creating, and the exact cost per portion/per person. This further empowers chefs to control budget, and potentially swap out higher priced ingredients for lower cost alternatives.

In order to roll this out successfully across all Cygnet Health Care’s sites, the team has engaged with a number of Cygnet chefs to create over 120 recipes within the Nutritics recipe management platform. Titilayo Jackson, Chef at Cygnet Churchill, an in-patient mental health hospital for men, said: “I like the fact that the Nutritics tool gives an in-depth nutrition analysis; this will help ensure consistency and accuracy in our recipes. This system also provides all allergen information, which is extremely useful. What excites me the most is the fact that we’ll easily be able to adjust the ingredients or measurements in our recipes and this can then be used as standard recipes across all Cygnet sites. We’ll also have the ability to share our recipes, so we’ll be learning from each other.”

Clare Stead, Nutritics Business Development Director, noted: “We are proud, with the support of our valued Brakes partnership, that our technology has been chosen and is starting to be implemented across all Cygnet Health Care locations to further enhance the wonderful care package already provided to service users and residents. Delivering the right meals within a care environment is critical to safeguard against incident, whilst also ensuring that budgets can be achieved, and Cygnet quickly saw the benefit Nutritics would deliver alongside the other value add solutions of improving internal communication, compliance, efficiency and the resident experience whilst also delivering a direct cost reduction to the business”.   

Nutritics software is currently being piloted in health and social care sites with a plan to roll out to all Cygnet Health Care services using Brakes later in 2022.

Foodbuy enhances procurement capability with acquisition of e-foods #

Compass Group UK & Ireland, the UK’s largest food and support services business, has acquired e-foods which will sit within Foodbuy, Compass’ procurement business. e-foods, based in Manchester, provides purchase to pay solutions and supply chain management with a strong portfolio of care home clients and supplier relationships.
The acquisition will see Foodbuy bring its cross-sector expertise to the e-foods business, helping to bring additional value to clients and customers, whilst allowing an enhanced food sourcing and service offering. There is great synergy between the businesses, that have shared values and a strong sustainability focus. The additional coverage and purchasing power, will help Foodbuy continue to deliver better than market value for its clients.
e-foods’ Senior Management Team will stay in place and will continue to operate under the E Foods brand.
Commenting on the acquisition Karl Atkins, Managing Director for Foodbuy said:
I am delighted to welcome e-foods to our business. It is a fantastic company, with a strong client base. There are many synergies in relation to the sectors in which we work and also the many supplier and client relationships it has. I am looking forward to getting to know the team. With inflation continuing to rise, this acquisition enables us to continue to deliver greater protection of supply and added value for our clients.”
Paul Mizen, Managing Director of e-foods added:
We are looking forward to joining the Foodbuy family. We are really proud of the business we have built over the last 18 years and believe by sharing our expertise with the Foodbuy team we can identify further opportunities for growth and continue to provide our clients with great food, products and service.”

Sodexo retains Gold in Defence Employer Recognition Scheme #

Sodexo has retained its gold award in the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) for its continued commitment to support the armed forces community.

Sodexo was first awarded ERS Gold, the highest badge of honour, five years ago in 2017.  The Defence Relationship Management scheme is open to organisations which are signatories of the Armed Forces Covenant and recognises organisations which demonstrate or advocate support to the defence sector and the armed forces community. 

To receive gold status Sodexo has demonstrated its forces-friendly credentials in the employment of ex-armed forces personnel and their families as well as those employees who are members of the Reserves. A commitment which has reinforced through its Social Impact Pledge and signatory to SSAFA’s Friendly to Forces campaign. 

Working closely with the MOD’s Career Transition Partnership (CTP) all roles at Sodexo are advertised through the Forces Families Jobs site, and at a local level Sodexo helps the CTP to review CVs, conduct mock interviews and offers developmental feedback. 

As part of its continued support Sodexo created an employee Reservist and Military network to give a voice to those in its workforce that are reserves, veterans, families of serving personnel as well as those with a connection or interest in the military. This network provides representation from this unique group to ensure Sodexo’s policies and ways of working are inclusive to their needs. 

One crucial area of support is helping individuals transition from military to civilian life and through its 15 year partnership with defence charity SSAFA helps in a number of ways.  From financial donations to the charity’s homelessness fund; fundraising activities, employee volunteering through to participation in SSAFA’s mentoring scheme with a number of Sodexo employees, providing crucial advice and counsel for up to two years after they leave the military covering aspects from employment, relationships, housing and financial matters. 

Across its defence sites, Sodexo supports work experience programmes locally for military personnel that are currently serving and in a transition period towards civilian life. This also includes for example CV writing, sessions to understand transferable skills from military to civilian employment and an opportunity to experience difference departments and roles in Sodexo. 

As a proud Gold ERS organisation Sodexo recognises the importance of sharing its experience and learnings to encourage others to sign the Armed Forces Covenant and participate in the ERS scheme and is planning a number of virtual sessions to do just this with its supply chain partners. 

Rachel Evans, HR Director, Sodexo Government UK & Ireland said: “We are delighted to have retained our gold award in this important scheme. As a larger employer we recognise the value, knowledge, talent, qualities and skills that ex-service personnel and their families bring to our organisation.  We also understand the challenges they encounter when transitioning from military into civilian life and are committed to doing all we can to help them

As a responsible business it is imperative, we do all we can to support those who are serving our country, and to help improve the communities in which we live and work.” 

Sodexo was an early signatory of the Armed Forces Covenant when it was launched in 2013.

4 in 10 consumers eating out less often as cost of living crisis bites #

New research from digital and data experts TWC has revealed that 39% of consumers are eating out less frequently as they attempt to balance spending with increasing bills.  

The TWC Trends research was conducted in June 2022 and showed that 53% of consumers agreed that they were having to reduce their spending to pay their bills; with younger consumers and those with children in the household most likely to be feeling the pinch. There continues to be a divided population, with 24% of consumers disagreeing with this statement, particularly consumers aged 55+.  
In relation to managing their eating out spending, consumers were using a number of tactics, with 39% opting to eat out less frequently and 26% reducing their spend when they eat out, for example through choosing cheaper establishments, having fewer courses or not drinking alcohol when out of home.

Interestingly, consumers living in London bucked the national trend with those in the capital more likely to be reducing their spend than reducing their frequency of eating out.

There was also evidence of switching habits, with one in four consumers changing their behaviour by having takeaways rather than meals out; entertaining at home rather than out of home; and/or making food to take to work rather than buying lunch or meals out.

Sarah Coleman, Communications Director at TWC comments:

Over half of GB consumers admit that they are having to reduce their spending to pay their bills and it stands to reason that discretionary spend would be scrutinised first. The younger generation are more likely to visit hospitality outlets, but they are also more likely to agree that they are struggling financially – so this unfortunately means there will continue to be an impact on the channel.”

“Given that many consumers are actively looking to reduce their spend when eating out, operators need to consider how they can communicate value and/or offer incentives for repeat visits to capture as many occasions as possible

The TWC Trends Summer Edition 2022 series is based on the views and sentiments of over 1,000 consumers across the UK. The research was conducted 14-18 June 2022.

Chef development days with HC-One and MHA #

On 12 and 13 July our National Account Executive Andy McFall visited the Brakes Innovation Kitchen in Reading, after arranging with Brakes Development Chef Danny Silcock for our clients HC-One and MHA to attend some additional chef development days.

The development days were a great chance for Danny to run through relevant product lines for the care groups, to experiment and evaluate IDDSI texture modified meals, and for the chefs to learn from each other. HC-One had a specific aim for their day and wanted it to be based around vegetarian and vegan product lines with Brakes, whereas MHA were looking at products associated with cost control.

During the MHA development day, Danny discussed texture modified foods referencing the IDDSI framework, Danny explained about the many ways to present certain foods to care residents rather than avoiding them completely.

After the session, the chefs were given an array of food enabling them to create various levels of texture modified meals, which they made up on the spot using their knowledge and skills. The chefs created dishes such as sausage roll and beans, spaghetti bolognaise, chips and a gateau, which were all piped to look like the meal they were creating.

Presentation of texture modified meals is incredibly important to ensure dignity in dining for elderly residents, and as we eat with our eyes, making it visually appealing will encourage them to eat, reducing the risk of malnutrition. When creating texture modified recipes it is important to relay the visual aspect to chefs of the homes and to the carers to ensure consistency and that they remain visually appealing.

Andy McFall commented:

Our development sessions with HC-One and MHA have been a remarkable success. The feedback from the chefs has been excellent and it was a fantastic opportunity for the chefs, clients, supplier, and us, as a service provider, to be in the same room together to answer any queries and build on those relationships.
More importantly, it is an opportunity for the chefs to share knowledge and experiment in a setting outside of the pressures of work.

The days for both MHA and HC-One continued with a presentation and taste of the Brakes Christmas line and ended with a session with the Brakes Nutritionist with a focus on care residents, and another on what Brakes are doing to become more sustainable, led by Brakes’ Head of CSR and Government Relations. 

Branded restaurant main dishes see +10.1% price inflation February-June #

According to data from Lumina Intelligence’s Menu Tracker, main courses on branded restaurant menus have increased in price by +10.1% since February.

The average main course on a branded restaurant menu cost £12.69 in June 2022, compared to £11.53 in February 2022.

Overall menu inflation hits 7.4% at branded restaurants
The average price of any dish on leading branded restaurant menus was £9.02 in June 2022, up +7.4% from £8.40 in February 2022.

Inflation is being driven by main courses and desserts, with desserts increasing +5.4%, from £5.35 to £5.64.

Starters and side dishes have remained stable during this period, with the average starter costing £6.52 and the average side dish £3.46. Starters and side dishes are key tools for increasing consumer spend, so operators will be keen to keep costs down to tempt consumers.

Branded restaurant inflation double other channels
When we analyse other channels, branded restaurant menu inflation is at least double. Between February and June 2022, the average price of a dish on a pub and bar menu increased +2.3%, on a QSR menu increased +3.6% on a coffee and sandwich shop men increased +2.3%.

In contrast to branded restaurants, it is side dishes that are driving price inflation across the rest of the market.

Menu dish counts see small increase at branded restaurants
The average branded restaurant menu in June 2022 included 64 different dishes, +3.2% from 62 dishes in February.

When broken down, the average number of starters on a branded menu declined -16.7%, main courses and side dishes remained stable and the average number of desserts increased +11.1%.

During the peak of the pandemic, operators really stripped back menus to manage costs and adhere more easily to coronavirus restrictions. With restrictions eased, operators are slowly increasing menu sizes, however it is likely to be a slow process, as the industry continues to face into staff shortages and the cost of living crisis.

NPD on branded restaurant menus doubles
In June 2022, the 20 biggest branded restaurant operators in the UK introduced a combined 137 new dishes to menus, equating to 10.7% of the total menu. In comparison, in February only 71 new items were added to menus, equating to 5.7% of the total menu.

Versus February 2022, the volume of new starters introduced to branded restaurant operator menus in June 2022 increased +73.3%, main courses +72.7%, sides +150.0% and desserts +185.7%.

Zizzi is the brand with the highest proportion of its menu tagged as new in June 2022, with 44%. This is followed by TGI Friday’s (19%), Franco Manca (19%) and ASK Italian (18%).

Commenting on the findings, Senior Insight Manager at Lumina Intelligence, Katie Prowse, said: “Like the general public, operators are experiencing rapidly increasing costs, whether that be produce, energy costs or staffing. Whilst menu inflation at branded restaurants is outpacing the rest of the market, this is likely to even out over the coming months, as more operators are forced to increase costs at a steeper rate to maintain margins. Despite reaching a 40-year high, inflation is not expected to slow, so operators are doing to have to work hard to drive footfall and increase consumer spend.”

Find out more about Lumina Intelligence’s Menu Tracker here