Members’ News

December 2022

Kraft Heinz Foodservice and Chiquito shake up the hot sauce foodservice industry with Kumana #

Kraft Heinz Foodservice and The Restaurant Group’s casual dining chain Chiquito have joined forces to bring the UK’s first avocado hot sauce to out-of-home customers.  Kumana – pronounced ‘ku-mah-na; - is a Venezuelan-inspired avocado hot sauce. Key ingredients include avocado and jalapeno, with mango and habanero chilli delivering sweetness and additional punches of heat. With a thick consistency and creamy texture not seen before in its category, it stands alone for its versatile culinary prowess and flavour combination. 100% vegan, gluten free and HFSS approved, Kumana is perfect for all day occasions, as can attest Chiquito.

Following its successful retail launch - Kumana has been available in Ocado since 2021, and recently became listed in Waitrose - the sauce has now arrived at Chiquito’s 22 nationwide restaurants.

With the growth of the hot sauce market being fuelled by the increasing influence of South American cuisine, and with 35.81% restaurants offering hot sauce on their menus 1 , Kumana has entered the market with undeniably unique credentials.

Lawrence Ager, Culinary Sales Manager at The Kraft Heinz Company, says: “Kumana is not what you would expect a hot sauce to be – it’s got an avocado base which can be spicy or cooling, and used in cooked dishes, cold straight from the jar, or as a marinade or dressing. Unlike a lot of other hot sauces that are sugar or vinegar based and tend to be used on the side of the plate, Kumana offers versatility and multiple applications for chefs and operators.”

Simon Xavier, Executive Food & Drink Development Chef at Chiquito, adds: “Kumana can be used as a finishing touch for dishes like eggs at breakfast, slathering on a burrito or dunking chips into. The PH balance of Kumana means it can be a salt and lime substitute for ceviche or poured on to salmon or monkfish and roasted for a beautiful glaze, colour and taste. It’s also great for tinga tacos - an incredible Mexican dish from Puebla made from shredded chicken cooked in a smoky and slightly spicy tomato-based sauce.”

The idea for the partnership came about earlier this year when the duo was on a food tour together in Miami. Lawrence continues: “Kumana was originally launched in the US a few years ago by two Venezuelan brothers who started producing their own version of the sauce – known locally as Guasacaca - after failing to find anything that resembled the flavours they were missing from home.

Heinz partnered with the brand, and we believed the sauce would be a hit in the UK. I asked Simon if he’d be interested in developing it for Chiquito and here we are. We’re extremely proud of Kumana and look forward to hearing how diners are enjoying it.”

For further information or imagery, please contact Louise Adu at William Murray PR or Leila Andrews

Compass success on the world stage at 2022 Culinary World Cup #

Compass Group UK & Ireland is celebrating after winning two silver awards, in the Regional Team Buffet and the Community Catering live kitchen events at the 2022 Culinary World Cup, held in Luxembourg.

The Culinary World Cup EXPOGAST is a five-day event that brings together chefs from around the globe. Over 1,500 professional chefs competed in Luxembourg at the event, which is staged every four years in a different location.

The event saw Compass Group UK & Ireland placed sixth­ overall and being named best Regional Team for their cold buffet entry on their competing day, alongside the silver award, plus the Community Catering team also gaining silver status.

Stacey Harris from Restaurant Associates, Head Chef in Canary Wharf, received gold and silver medals as part of the English National team. In addition, Compass also had Wayne Corbett, Executive Chef, 14forty and Rick Owens, Sous Chef, from Levy UK+I, taking part within the Craft Guild of Chefs team - they achieved a silver award.

The Compass Group UK & Ireland chefs were mentored by Nick Vadis, Compass’ Culinary Director and Chef Ambassador to the NHS supply chain, as well as Graham Singer, Culinary Director for ESS Energy and Compass Scotland.

The Community Catering line-up created a four-course lunch, amongst the four chefs and three support chefs. The Regional Cold Buffet team was made up of five chefs and four support chefs – they created a mouth-watering cold buffet display, including petit fours and a chocolate centre piece.

Entries were judged by an esteemed panel of chefs from the World Association of Chefs Society (WACS), before being opened up to the public audience to enjoy.

Nick Vadis, Culinary Director at Compass Group UK & Ireland, said:

 “I am a great believer in our chefs taking part in culinary competitions and the World Cup is particularly special. Our chefs showing off their outstanding talent on the world stage and succeeding, is a poignant moment for us all. Our chefs are the lifeblood of the Compass business, their creativity, dedication and skill is second to none and I love working with them all. A huge well done and thank you to everyone involved.”

Robert Kennedy, Culinary Director for Chartwells Independent, said:

 “This has been a unique and fantastic experience. We have all learnt so much during the months of preparation. The feedback from the World Association of Chefs Jury was excellent and they complimented us highly towards our sustainable food and excellent organisation. As team Captain, I am thrilled for our team and I would like to thank our chefs for all their hard work and dedication.

Graham Singer, Culinary Director for ESS Energy and Compass Scotland, said:

 “The success of the Compass culinary team came from the passion, drive and commitment of each and every team member. Amazing results were achieved - a fantastic showcase of teamwork and a rewarding experience for the team as whole - I was humbled to be the mentor and manager of such a great team. Having the opportunity to show on the world stage the skills our chefs have honed, alongside the innovation and sustainability of our food was an honour. A heartfelt congratulations to the team and everyone else involved in the organisation and delivery of the event. The team were so proud to represent Compass UK and Ireland.”
The full teams were:

Regional Cold Buffet: -
Team Captain: David Auchie, ESS
Chef: Robert Kennedy, Chartwells Independent
Chef: Christopher Macleod, ESS
Chef: Gordon McKenzie, ESS
Pastry Chef: Barry Fleming, ESSSupport chefs
Simon Coulter, ESS
Kevin Rocks, ESS
Shona Sutherland, ESS
James Larkins, Chartwells Independent 

Community Catering:
Team Captain: Robert Kennedy, Chartwells Independent
Chef: Dennis Mwakulua, Chartwells Independent
Chef: Gordon McKenzie, ESS
Pastry Chef: Barry Fleming, ESS 
Support chefs
Izabela Ginter, ESS
Christopher Macleod, ESS
Tony Murphy, ESS 
Rick Owens and Wayne Corbett were part of the Craft Guild of Chefs team.
Stacey Harris was part of the England National team

CH&CO crowns its Barista of the Year 2022 #

Natalia Taraskiewicz has been named the CH&CO Barista of the Year 2022.
Natalia, part of the Gather & Gather team at Sky Osterley showcased incredible talent at the final of the Barista of the Year competition where technical skills, knowledge, creativity and latte art were put to the test.

Open to all baristas across the diverse catering and hospitality business, the CH&CO Barista of the Year competition underpins its commitment to coffee excellence, whilst celebrating the people at the heart of its delivery. It gives baristas the opportunity to develop their craft, share ideas and learnings with peers, and continue to experiment and push boundaries.

Making it accessible for baristas at every stage of their careers, the Barista of the Year competition was split into two categories – Brilliant Basics and Barista of the Year.

Barista of the Year was designed to find the ultimate CH&CO barista champion. The multi-disciplinary coffee competition challenged the more experienced baristas to showcase what they can do with a big emphasis on customer service and exceptional coffee skills, including day-to-day skills, signature drink, latte art and brewing.

Brilliant Basics celebrated CH&CO’s emerging barista talent, showcasing the developing skills of baristas that are new to coffee or had not competed before. This competition challenged them to demonstrate a range of skills, progression and flair with a focus on day-to-day coffee service skills, including latte art and a signature drink.

Following 5 regional heats, 13 finalists from across the UK and Ireland made it to the final in London.

The Baristas performed under the watchful eyes of expert judges including Francesca Coombe, Account Manager, Redemption Roasters; Vincenzo Barlie, Head of Coffee at Sky for Gather & Gather; Chris Hall, General Manager, Gather & Gather; Aidan Lonergan, Head of Coffee Development, Gather & Gather Ireland; Johnny England, Director of Coffee, Lofbergs and Ashley Dawes, Key Account Manager, Union Hand Roasted Coffee.

The Brilliant Basics competition was won by Raffaella Grillo part of the Sky Ocean Rescue Team at Sky Osterley.

And just for fun, the CH&CO leadership team and those within the business more use to drinking coffee than brewing it, were put to the test in a timed challenge. Following an on-the-spot training session and practice run, they were tasked to produce two flat whites with latte art as quickly as possible, with varying results.

Matt Symonds, Managing Director for Gather & Gather, part of CH&CO, said: “What an amazing Barista of the Year final. The barista talent and coffee knowledge we have across CH&CO is superb and it’s great to have the opportunity to showcase and celebrate it in this way. All the finalists brought their ‘A game’ and I was blown away by their pure talent and flair. The standard was incredibly high, and it was truly a close call for the judges. Everyone should be incredibly proud of what they have achieved, but huge congratulations must go to Natalia, our worthy winner.

“Congratulations also go to Raffaella, the winner of our Brilliant Basics competition – they are most definitely a talent to watch! As for the leadership challenge, that was a lot of fun but let’s just say we’ll stick to drinking coffee and leave the brewing in the safe hands of our talented baristas!

As well as developing their skills and enjoying the competition experience, the winners and finalists also received some fantastic prizes including a group espresso machine, a Specialty Coffee Association Brewing Course and an educational trip to Victoria Arduino in Italy,

The event was generously supported by Union Hand Roasted Coffee, Victoria Arduino Machinery, Lofbergs, Minor Figures, Jaguar Espresso, Beyond the Bean, The Roasting Party, Bidfood, Nisbets and Debaere UK.

Bidfood teams up with Hospitality Action to deliver #CheckPlease #

It’s officially the most wonderful time of the year, but have you ever stopped to think if that’s the case for everyone? It can be an incredibly busy time for those working over Christmas and although many enjoy working the festive period it’s not always plain sailing. Despite having fun, there can often be stressful times and nearly half (46%) say the hardest thing about working over the Christmas period is being away from their families. 

This Christmas season, Bidfood, one of the UK’s leading foodservice providers, is proud to be partnering with Hospitality Action to bring #CheckPlease – a campaign designed to act as a health barometer for the hospitality industry. Their goal is to encourage both employers and consumers to spot early signs of stress, be kinder and check that those working in hospitality are okay.

From today, Bidfood will be funding Hospitality Action’s free 24/7 helpline for the festive period. Hospitality Action’s team are on hand to provide help and advice to any hospitality workers who are struggling with the mental health stress and financial pressure the festive season can bring. In addition, toolkits have been assembled, tailored with the hospitality industry in mind, to help employers to not only reach out, but invigorate their teams through recognition and reward.

But with 30% of hospitality staff saying they have had to deal with difficult or rude customers daily, during what is meant to be the happiest season of all, Bidfood has also explored ways to help the general public be more aware of the positive and negative impact they can have on staff. Posters, table-talkers and ‘specials’ menus, will also be available through the toolkits, sign-posting consumers on how they can interact with staff in a kind, appreciative and respectful way, alleviating their stress.
Commenting on the campaign, Tim Adams, Sales and Marketing Director at Bidfood said:

We’re thrilled to be working with Hospitality Action to raise awareness and offer support to the industry during the incredibly busy Christmas months.

It’s been a tough couple of years for the industry and as we approach our first completely normal Christmas since 2019, there is bound to be some nervousness and anxiety amongst workers, so we wanted to launch a campaign to help support those who need it.

“We really hope the public get behind this campaign when they’re out this Christmas and think about the stress those serving them may be under, making sure they don’t forget to ask for the #CheckPlease!

Hospitality Action’s Chief Executive, Mark Lewis said: “I’m delighted for us to be partnering with Bidfood once again on another meaningful campaign.

“Not only does this campaign reflect the hard work, dedication and importance of our industry over the festive period, but also reminds us of the difficulties and stresses that it brings to those in the sector. 

“Staff sacrifice a lot so that others can enjoy themselves and it’s fantastic that we’re offering support to help them navigate what can be a challenging period

To find out more about #CheckPlease including a campaign video, advice and support pages and to download your very own digital toolkit, please visit:

Paul Anderson of Meiko UK appointed new chair of FEA #

Paul Anderson, managing director of Meiko UK, has been appointed as the new chair of the Foodservice Equipment Association (FEA) at the recent AGM. The meeting also endorsed his proposal that Emma Brooks, managing director of Quintex UK, be elected as vice chair.

Taking over from outgoing chair Stephen Hobbs, director of Grande Cuisine, Paul outlined his aims and areas of focus over the next two years. With the hospitality industry dealing with ongoing staffing issues and rising costs he stressed the importance of FEA’s work and the support it provides its members and to foodservice operators.  He aims to help it continue to find new opportunities for the training and development it offers. A particular focus of this will be aimed at widening training opportunities for younger staff entering the industry, to help bring in new blood.

Furthermore, with energy costs increasing and the importance of swift action to reduce carbon footprints, the ability of the FEA and its member’s companies to help the industry make cost savings and improve its environmental impact through the use of better equipment will remain a vital part of its work.

The appointment of Emma Brooks as vice chair is another indication of the FEA’s commitment to environmental issues as she is chair of the Association’s Net Zero Carbon Forum. “Her passion for reducing carbon and focusing on finding better ways to save energy is infectious,” says Paul. “Emma matches my wish to help all in implementing the needs of the circular economy and meeting the carbon reduction targets across the value chain, and she is undoubtedly the best person for the job.” Emma is the first woman in FEA’s history to hold the vice chair position and will become chair herself after Paul’s two year tenure.

It is imperative that all of us at FEA continue to raise awareness of the support that the FEA offers,” says Paul.  “We can help the industry with enhanced energy saving measures and advanced technology to reduce carbon emissions.”

The Foodservice Equipment Association (FEA) is the independent, authoritative voice of the foodservice equipment industry, representing nearly 200 companies who supply, service and maintain all types of commercial catering equipment - from utensils to full kitchen schemes.  For more information on FEA visit  

Latest MealTrak Results – 12 w/e 31 October 2022 (wave 107) #

Wholesale experts TWC Group, in partnership with food-to-go and out-of-home tracking programme MealTrak, reports the latest food-to-go market performance to 12 w/e 31 October 2022.

Latest MealTrak results show the number of out-of-home eating occasions were +15% higher than the comparable period in 2021 on a 52 week/MAT basis.

In the latest 12 weeks, the number of out-of-home eating occasions were +4% higher than in 2021.

In the last 12 weeks, the ‘eating out’ channel (comprising pubs, restaurants and hotels) outperformed total food-to-go at +8% vs the previous year, however the growth rate continues to slow. Growth in ‘eating out’ is driven by pubs +37%, while restaurants are in decline (-10%).

Sandwich shops (-5%), fast food & takeaway (-10%), high street (-22%) and transportation (-2%) are all in decline meanwhile coffee shops & cafes have returned to modest growth (+2%) in the latest 12 weeks.

The multiples, with their more affordable food-to-go offer, remain the clear winners, with steady and significant growth (+24% in the latest 12 weeks).
Other retail channels – convenience stores (+7%), discounters (+6%) and forecourts (+9%) are also all outperforming the total market. 

Value sales are up +30% on a 52 week/MAT basis and +12% on a 12-week ending basis versus 2021. As you’d expect in an inflationary market, ‘value’ growth remains significantly ahead of ‘occasions’ growth. 

Commenting on the results, Tom Fender, Development Director at TWC, said:
For the 12-week ending period to 31 October 2022, total food-to-go and out-of-home occasions increased +4%, a slight increase vs. the last 12 w/e data release. Behind this headline figure, there are several interesting nuances. Firstly, ‘eating out’ continues to outperform ‘food-to-go’, this is driven by pubs, which appear to be resonating well with consumers as an affordable option for evening meals.”
Meanwhile, within food-to-go, retail outlets continue to outperform foodservice FTG specialists, with the multiples continuing their outperformance of the market at +24% in the latest 12 weeks. This aligns with consumers’ continued search for value, with the need for ‘something not too expensive’ continuing to rise strongly. We are also seeing consumers sticking with what they know – ‘regular favourite’ (+17%) significantly outperforms ‘something a bit different’ (-22%).”
For the first time in quite some time, coffee shops have returned to a positive trend (+2%). Following the pandemic there was an inevitable decline in this sector as workers embraced hybrid work patterns. However, with energy cost rises, it is possible that some work-from-home days are being replaced by working from venues such as coffee shops.”
Mealtrak is a vast data source so if you would like to know more of the detail behind these headlines, please contact Tom Fender at TWC ( for more information.

Kilmardinny House named Scotland’s Best Funeral Tea Venue at the Scottish Funeral Awards #

Kilmardinny House has been named Scotland’s Best Funeral Tea Venue at the Scottish Funeral Awards.

Catering at the venue is provided by Elior UK, one of the UK’s leading caterers.
The Scottish Funeral Awards were created to recognise businesses who go the extra mile to ensure their customers are offered a fair and exceptional service doing a difficult time.

Kilmardinny House is an A-listed Georgian mansion, owned by East Dunbartonshire Council and operated by East Dunbartonshire Leisure and Culture (EDLC) Trust, situated on Kilmardinny Avenue in Bearsden. With stunning views of Kilmardinny Loch, the house is set across two storeys amidst mature landscaped gardens.

Hospitality and catering services at Kilmardinny House are provided by Elior UK, who manage all types of events at the venue, ranging from funeral teas and weddings to celebrations and corporate events.

Eilidh Young, sales and operations manager for Elior UK at Kilmardinny House, said:

It is a privilege to provide the hospitality services for funerals at Kilmardinny House. A funeral reception is such a significant occasion so it is critical that we deliver a service that is just right for the family. We manage around two to three funeral receptions each week and work closely with our chefs to ensure that each event is individual and exactly the type of event that those hosting the funeral want to honour their loved ones.”

The Scottish Funeral Awards, hosted by presenter Greg Summers, took place on 30th October at the Glasgow Marriott Hotel.

Sodexo trio recognised in WiHTL 2022 Women to Watch & Role Models index #

Sodexo is proud to announce that three of its female colleagues have received recognition in the Women to Watch & Role Models for Inclusion in Hospitality, Travel & Leisure (HTL) Index 2022 produced by WiHTL in partnership with The MBS Group. 

Raj Jones, head of DE&I, Sodexo UK & Ireland and Paula Stevenson, managing director, corporate services Sodexo UK & Ireland are recognised as women to watch in the index. They are joined by HR director for Sodexo UK & Ireland’s schools and universities business, Laura Purdey who is recognised as a role model for inclusion. 

Now in its fourth year, the first half of the index features 61 incredible women from across hospitality, travel and leisure who have achieved personal and professional success through their leadership, innovation and determination. Also included in the index are 20 incredible role models for inclusion, these are individuals from all backgrounds who are playing a central role in moving the dial on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion both in their organisations and communities. 

WiHTL woman to watch 2022 Raj Jones has been with Sodexo since 2014, she has held the role of head of DE&I since spring 2020, initially in an interim capacity until May 2021 when she took the role on permanently. Raj is a trusted and critical advisor, continually pushing for positive change internally and for social good. Under Raj’s leadership Sodexo has received recognition for its work from a number of external bodies and has made good progress towards its gender aspirational targets and was the first business in the hospitality sector to voluntarily publish its ethnicity pay gap report in 2021. Raj has also established a strategic taskforce with leaders from Black and other ethnic minority backgrounds to better understand the lived experiences of employees and start meaningful conversations about race at Sodexo.  

WiHTL woman to watch 2022 Paula Stevenson has 30 years’ facilities management and project experience spanning a range of sectors. Paula joined Sodexo as global account director managing a Vested Contract for a major pharma client. After four years in that role, in Sept 2021 Paula was appointed as managing director, corporate services UK leading 80 client’s accounts across 300 sites across the UK. During her career, Paula has been both internally and externally recognised for her innovative solutions, compassionate leadership and collaborative style. Paula was nominated for her outstanding dedication to the industry and her influence over both client partnerships and Sodexo’s social value agenda. 

WIHTL role model for inclusion 2022, Laura Purdey joined Sodexo in 2007 and over the last 15 years has progressed her career in a number of HR roles at Sodexo. Laura has been HR director for Sodexo’s schools and universities business since 2018. Throughout her time at Sodexo Laura has always been passionate about ensuring those around her feel comfortable to be their true self, she has been an active member of Sodexo’s PRIDE employee network in the UK and Ireland and this year has extended that by volunteering to co-chair the global PRIDE network. 

Sean Haley, CEO, Sodexo UK & Ireland said: “I am immensely proud to see Raj, Paula and Laura included in this Index.  At Sodexo we are committed to building a diverse and inclusive culture where our employees feel valued and respected as individuals. Raj, Paula and Laura are making a difference to make sure that every one of our colleagues can be their true self at work, that they can thrive in their career with us. They are fantastic role models and I congratulate them on this achievement.” 

Diversity, equity and inclusion have long-been heralded by Sodexo as real differentiators and it endeavours to make these values part of its DNA, and through its Social Impact Pledge it has committed to creating social contracts that support equity, inclusion and wellbeing. 

Find out more about DE&I at Sodexo:

A ‘unique opportunity to shape the foodservice equipment industry’ #

The Foodservice Equipment Association, FEA, is recruiting to replace Keith Warren, the association’s chief executive, who is stepping down after 21 years at the helm. It’s expected that the new CE will start in April 2023, with Keith working alongside them, part-time, for up to 12 months. 

This is an opportunity for a committed individual to shape the future of the foodservice equipment industry,” says Paul Anderson, FEA’s chair.  “FEA has many key channels of influence outside of its core role for UK businesses, including direct links to government, and influences the industry on a European and global scale.”  The CE’s role involves working directly with, and linking together, key influencers such as government and legislators, manufacturers and suppliers, and foodservice operators, in the UK and overseas. 

FEA’s 190+ member companies cover the breadth of the sector’s £1.5bn supply chain, including equipment manufacturers and importers, kitchen design houses, dealers and service companies.

We are an open, friendly, and inclusive trade association with a committed and engaged membership,” says Anderson.  “The new CE can draw on the significant engagement and support of our members as they get into their new role.” 

Keith is one of the most respected and liked figures in the foodservice industry and his replacement will have big shoes to fill.  Under his guidance FEA has grown to be the largest foodservice equipment association, the independent voice representing the majority of the equipment companies that supply and service the HoReCa industry.  The association’s influence has increased significantly, too, with its key people regularly talking to legislators and advising on areas as diverse as trade agreements, sustainability and standards. 

As well as shaping and leading industry thinking, the CE role includes giving direction and support to FEA members by addressing strategic challenges such as the drive for net zero carbon.  The CE is supported by a highly professional, well-structured secretariat and established external service providers. 

FEA is offering an attractive package commensurate with this important position and our partnered consultant, Tom Ewen at Berwick Partners, is on hand to talk in strict confidence about the role.

All applications and accompanying C.V. should be presented to Berwick Partners.  For more information and contact details please visit

If you are interested in finding out more about the role and ambition for the FEA in the future, please contact Tom Ewen by email at  The closing date for applications is Sunday 22nd January 2022.

The Foodservice Equipment Association (FEA) is the independent, authoritative voice of the foodservice equipment industry, representing nearly 200 companies who supply, service and maintain all types of commercial catering equipment - from utensils to full kitchen schemes.  For more information on FEA visit 

Compass’ first Be A Star ‘Legend’ wins £10,000 #

Compass Group UK & Ireland has crowned cleaner Jackie Kennedy the winner of its very first Be A Star ‘Legend’ award, landing her £10,000 and marking the culmination of the first year of its relaunched recognition programme.
An impressive 2,568 colleagues were nominated throughout the year, but Jackie’s story resonated the most with the judges, who selected her as overall champion from among the 325 other deserving Be A Star winners.
Robin Mills, Managing Director, Compass Group UK & Ireland, surprised Jackie at work at Essar in Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, presenting her with her prize in front of her delighted colleagues, clients and nominator.
Jackie won the prestigious Be A Star ‘Legend’ award in recognition of her incredible charity work. She started collecting loose change she found while cleaning, kicking off a fundraising campaign for Ukrainian refugees which led to £110,000 being donated to the Red Cross. On top of the demands of her job, Jackie also provides support to a young persons’ homeless charity.
Jackie is employed by 14forty, one of the country’s leading facilities management companies and part of Compass Group UK & Ireland. She was nominated by Ian Hillard, Transition Director with 14forty, in the ‘Supporting Communities’ category of the Be A Star programme.
Be A Star asks teams to nominate colleagues across three categories, who have gone above and beyond in: Helping Colleagues, Delighting Customers and Supporting Communities. These people work across Compass sectors including healthcare, education and sports and leisure, representing frontline heroes in roles such as cleaners and retail workers, to chefs and support teams.
The programme runs every quarter and each winner is presented with a certificate, Be A Star pin and £/€250, as well as a paid day off with their nominator to enjoy a celebratory regional “lunch is on us” with other deserving colleagues at one of Compass’ stand out venues. This year venues included Twickenham Stadium in London, Twycross Zoo in Leicestershire and Game of Thrones Studio Tour in Northern Ireland.
An overwhelmed but ecstatic Jackie declared: “I just can’t believe this has happened to me! I want to thank Ian and everyone I work with – I can’t wait to tell my daughter!
Jackie’s nominator, Ian Hillard, Transition Director, Compass Group UK & Ireland commented: “Jackie has been a wonderful member of my team for many years – she shows the very best of human nature, and her selflessness knows no bounds. I am so proud to have Jackie representing 14forty at my contract every single day”.
Robin Mills, Managing Director, Compass Group UK & Ireland, commented: “Compass is nothing without our people - they make a difference to the lives of those around them every single day. I’d like to say thank you to all of our people for all they do and an especially huge well done to our 2022 ‘Legend’ Jackie Kennedy, who has received our highest accolade in recognition of her hard work, fundraising and extraordinarily selfless dedication to others in her community. Her own courage, resilience and spirit shine as a beacon of the best of human nature. She is the pride of Compass.” 
To watch our video of Jackie’s presentation click here
For all the winners and more detail on Be A Star visit -

Where does my food come from when I’m eating out? #

This is what 70% of UK adults want to know, according to new research published today by the RSPCA’s ethical food label, RSPCA Assured*

In response, RSPCA Assured has today launched a new online resource to encourage more businesses to source higher welfare food.

The research also reveals that RSPCA Assured is the most trusted farm assurance label in the UK and is ranked first amongst UK adults when choosing animal welfare assurance versus other food labels.** Farm animal welfare is also a key issue for customers,with 69% of the UK public saying they care about it.*

RSPCA Assured head of commercial partnerships, Cliona Duffy, says: “The label is now found on more than 1,400 products across all the major supermarkets, including chicken, pork, eggs, milk, salmon and trout. Visibility amongst consumers has never been higher and it couldn’t be a better time for more restaurants to take advantage of the growing trend for higher welfare food.” 

The new RSPCA Assured online resource for foodservice businesses, showcases the benefits of sourcing RSPCA Assured products. It also includes a step by step guide on how to become a member and start using the label.

Duffy continues: “I would also urge businesses to look at our supplier directory, which we update monthly. It lists hundreds of suppliers of RSPCA Assured products across the country, from those offering raw ingredients, such as eggs and chicken, to processed products like liquid eggs, ice-cream and mayonnaise. 

“It is also worth pointing out that nearly all farmed Scottish salmon and free range eggs from the UK are already RSPCA Assured.  So there will be many businesses who could already be enjoying the benefits of using the logo on their menus. 

“So we hope that both resources will give the foodservice industry the boost it needs to better develop higher welfare supply chains, and give those already sourcing higher welfare products the tools to market them and reap the benefits

The RSPCA Assured scheme was set up nearly 30 years ago to help improve the welfare of farm animals and give consumers a greater welfare choice. More than 12% of UK farm animals are now farmed under the RSPCA Assured scheme, including more than 90% of Scottish farmed salmon and free-range eggs.

More information about RSPCA Assured can be found here

Lively Sodexo event puts focus on the power of food in creating positive employee experiences #

Sodexo’s Corporate Services team welcomed around 70 guests from leading organisations to an insightful and lively event at its UK HQ in London, to talk about the future of workplace and the power of food for organisations seeking to improve the employee experience. 

Kicking off the event on Wednesday 7 December was a panel discussion moderated by features editor of The Caterer magazine, Caroline Baldwin. Panellists included Linda Hausmanis, CEO IWFM; Ali Khan, chief operating officer at SHAPE, James Greetham, founder and CEO at Sprung Collective and Sodexo’s CR Director for the UK & Ireland, Claire Atkins Morris. 

The panellists enjoyed a lively and engaging debate, including topics such as the great resignation, the importance of workplace experience and the role of food in nurturing employee engagement. Scribe artist Oguzhan Secir was on hand throughout to capture the key themes, buzz words and topics on a unique live mural. 

Discussions included the impact of the pandemic with one panellist stating that we won’t know for ten years or so the true impact it has had on people, their psychology, behaviour etc whether young, old or in the middle.  The importance of remembering that everyone is different and how the employee experience differs for each, and everyone, must be considered was widely discussed. 

A word of warning for organisations looking to return to pre-Covid times or when adopting a hybrid model was conveyed. For every individual there may be a very personal reason why working from home or working from the office is better for them.  Employers need to consider this in their workplace strategies, it shouldn’t be about where they work, employers need to ensure their people are provided with a working environment that suits their needs and enables them to be productive and thrive. 

Food and drink were cited as one of the best catalysts for engaging people and when looking at cost we should look at the value of experience over financial cost. That experience needs to address sustainability, with more and more people experiencing climate anxiety. Free issue and subsidised food are not enough. Consumers are better educated and want to know more, where does the food come from, how much waste is there and how is it being managed.  

It was agreed that happiness is one of the most important factors. Ali Khan from SPACE shared the insight from research which has shown that there are 150 factors used to measure if people are delivering to their peak, with one third coming from the individual and two thirds generated from their working conditions. 

Guests were then invited to an interactive food experience designed and delivered by Sodexo’s chefs from Fooditude and The Good Eating Company, showcasing their offerings for organisations looking for an agile business model for their workplace dining offer.  Hot and cold dishes reflecting the latest trends in food were on offer for guests to experience along with vegan desserts and premium specialty coffee from Sodexo’s partner, Origin. 

Alex Kristall, managing director, Corporate Services, Sodexo UK & Ireland and host of the event said: “We believe food fuels our health, wellness and happiness at work, and we are seeing both caterers and high street chains enticing people back with exciting food and drink offers.  We wanted to share our experience and engage industry experts in a discussion about the role food and drink can play, to help organisations retain and attract talent and what ingredients are needed to help them attract their people back into offices.  Not only does great food help to entice people back into the workplace, but it also fuels productivity. 

“We enjoyed a lively debate with our panellists, with the discussion brought to life through Ozzie’s amazing mural.  It was our pleasure to then serve our guests some delicious food from Fooditude and The Good Eating Company.  We look forward to continuing this conversation with our existing and potential clients as we do all we can to support them with the workplace strategies and ambitions

Sodexo’s UK HQ, based at One Southampton Row, was transformed in 2021 to create a welcoming workspace embracing new ways of working and smart building technology. A truly connected workspace using the internet of things is felt throughout, with sensors tracking air pollution, desk usage and energy management to continuously improve the office environment. 

Offering three distinct experiences – work, collaboration and showcase – the office provides an adaptable workspace that can accommodate a range of activities and events, just like this one. Sodexo’s Vital Spaces approach was used to redesign the space to provide a workplace which not only prioritises employees experience but is a showcase of for its eco-system of workplace services. 

Sodexo’s Corporate Services business delivers workplace services, facilities management and food services to some of the world’s most recognisable brands. Its teams have expertise operating across a range of different environments in the corporate sector, including headquarters, regional offices, data centres, manufacturing centres and research and development hubs, in sectors as diverse as professional services, financial services, pharmaceuticals, media and technology. 

For more information on Sodexo’s Vital Spaces visit:

HRC announces new features and returning partners for 2023 #

Hotel, Restaurant & Catering (HRC) returns to ExCeL London on 20-22 March 2023 with a host of exciting new features and event partners to provide more value to visiting hospitality and foodservice professionals.

As always, the show will bring together innovative suppliers from across hospitality tech, design and décor, food & drink, professional kitchen equipment and pub & bar products, with over 1,500 suppliers taking part for 2023.

New for 2023 is Chef HQ, curated by Chef Publishing, a networking area, stage and demo kitchen dedicated to chefs and hospitality business owners. Confirmed chefs taking to the stage include Andrew Wong of Restaurant A. Wong, Tom Phillips of Restaurant Story, Launceston Place Chef Patron Ben Murphy, and legendary pastry chef Frédéric Bau, with many more due to be announced in the weeks to come.  

Another new addition for next year’s event is The Networking Hub, which will offer visitors the chance to take part in guided networking sessions and roundtable discussions with fellow hospitality and foodservice professionals, with opportunities to talk about issues such as sustainability, staff retention, recruitment, mental health and tackling common industry challenges. Confirmed partners working with The Networking Hub include the Foodservice Equipment Association, the British Institute of Innkeeping (BII), and the Sustainable Restaurant Association.

Resources from event partners won’t stop there, with the BII running Helpline Live, offering drop-in sessions and presentations providing much needed and valuable expert advice, and the FEA holding a live edition of Ask the Experts to answer all questions relating to foodservice equipment.

The Vision Stage, designed by Harp Design, and the Tech X stage, will both see a wide array of talks, presentations and discussions across the three days of the show, including an exclusive interview with HRC Chef Ambassador Monica Galetti and insights from the likes of thefoodpeople, The Pig Hotels, CH&CO, KAM and The Burnt Chef Project.

Jonny Dillon, General Manager of The Great Shefford, comments: “HRC is a fantastic day to enjoy. The brilliance of meeting new suppliers, seeing new trends in the market, finding innovative new products, learning from the biggest and best in hospitality with shows and talks. I can see me and my team there every year.

HRC will once again be taking place alongside The Pub Show @ HRC, IFE, International Food & Drink Event, IFE Manufacturing and historic chef competition International Salon Culinaire, an unmissable gathering for the food, drink and hospitality sector.

To find out more about everything happening at next year’s event, head to

Compass Commits over £1.6m Apprenticeship Levy funding to support 100 organisations #

Compass Group UK & Ireland has committed over £1.6million of its Apprenticeship Levy funds to support over 100 small and medium sized enterprises, charities, and social enterprises to invest in and develop their staff.
Compass is helping organisations across the UK, including Go Beyond, the charity giving children and young people breaks and the charity, St Ann’s Hospice based in Greater Manchester. So far Compass has committed to support around 133 apprenticeships including courses such as Commis Chef, Production Chef, Hospitality Supervisor, Finance and Management.
Large employers that pay the Apprenticeship Levy can choose to transfer up to 25% of their levy funds each year to other organisations, to pay for their apprenticeship training and assessment.
The transfers contribute to Compass Group UK & Ireland’s Mission to a Million pledge, which was launched earlier this year and promises to provide support to one million people, from both within and outside the organisation, by 2030. It aims to enhance opportunities and change lives through job creation, education, training, community, and charitable engagement.
Jonathan Foot, Head of Apprenticeships and Early Careers at Compass Group UK & Ireland, commented: “Investing in and developing talent has a big impact on people’s lives. Creating opportunities for learning is important to me and a cornerstone of Compass Group UK & Ireland’s approach as a people business. That’s why we have been working with our partners, charities, and SMEs to make funds available and in some cases share expertise and best practice. Never has this been so important as now, as we recover from the pandemic and strive to attract the best people back into our industry.”
As a large organisation, we have a responsibility to give back to the communities we operate in, and this is a great way to do that.”
Rachel McMillan CEO St Ann’s Hospice in Greater Manchester, said: “Compass sharing these much-needed funds has allowed us to support people to further their learning and development through an apprenticeship scheme. This has meant we have been able to develop our organisation as well as our talent and I’d like to thank Compass for helping us navigate this opportunity.”
Compass currently has over 600 employees taking on apprenticeships, with qualifications varying from a Level 2 or 3 to a degree level higher apprenticeship, across subjects such as finance, culinary, events and leadership. In the last 12 months, Compass’ apprenticeship programmes have grown by an unprecedented 30%.

Main shop increase prompts reduced frequency in depot vs pre-pandemic #

There has been a notable uptick in wholesale visits that a driven by the main shop mission, across retail and foodservice, as shown by the latest Lumina Intelligence’s Wholesale Market report.
The main shop mission has indeed become the most popular among retailers and it has grown in importance over time, as the current economic outlook prompts retailers to avoid regular small purchases and opt for bigger top-up missions to mitigate the impact of the increasing costs. Playing into this trend, promo weeks and event days are being used to drive footfall and build loyalty.
“Worsening cost pressures are prompting behavioural changes in wholesale customers.  Both retailers and foodservice operators are opting for bigger, main shops to maximise savings.  Lumina expects cost pressures to increase into the Winter months with a looming recession threatening a tough period, especially for the foodservice market,” commented Insights Manager Katherine Prowse.
Growth in main shops, particularly for cash and carry visits, has driven a decline in frequency in 2022. Retailer cash and carry frequency has declined by -10%, whilst foodservice cash and carry frequency is down -13% as operators manage costs. Within this overall decline, 19% of independents are visiting the wholesaler depot / Cash & Carry more frequently to avoid paying for delivery
Foodservice focused wholesalers are expected to see strong growth as the sector recovers, whilst traditional wholesalers’ turnover growth slows following bumper 2020. Hybrid wholesaler Morrisons is expected to have grown its wholesale business by more than half from 2019 2022, following the acquisition of McColl’s convenience business.