Members’ News

August 2023

Compass Group UK & Ireland launches career hub for people struggling to gain employment #

The platform has been launched as part of Compass Group UK & Ireland’s Mission to a Million programme.
Compass Group UK & Ireland has launched a new career hub specifically for people who are struggling to gain employment. The Social Partner Hub will support candidates from a range of backgrounds who are facing barriers to entry into the job market. These include ex-offenders, care leavers, long term unemployed and people with disabilities.
The platform is being launched as part of Compass’ Mission to a Million commitment, which will provide support to one million people by 2030 through jobs, training, community engagement and development. Mission to a Million forms part of Our Social Promise, the company’s wider social value strategy.
Working with a range of partner organisations, the platform will match candidates with job opportunities and internships available at Compass. In recent years, Compass has already provided hundreds of work placements and jobs across the UK, for those who have traditionally found it difficult to find work and aims to significantly increase this through this new tailored recruitment process. 
The career hub will help to provide support for people struggling to access work, ensuring that the hiring process is inclusive and caters to the needs of each applicant. Compass hiring managers will also undertake training to better understand some of the challenges faced by different candidates, help identify roles that may be suitable and also the support the individual will require to ensure everything is done to ensure the job or work placement is a success.
To mark the launch of the Social Partner Hub, Compass hosted an event this week at the Imperial War Museum in London with existing and potential charity partners to talk about the opportunities that will be available. Some of the 60 partners that attended the event included: National Autistic Society, Scope, Maximus, The Clink, Clean Sheet, Ingeus Restart Scheme, and Career Transition Pathway.
Commenting on the launch, Amanda Scott, Talent, Learning and Diversity & Inclusion Director at Compass Group UK & Ireland said:
“We’re delighted to be launching the Social Partners Hub to provide opportunities to disadvantaged people struggling to access employment. At Compass, we are incredibly proud that we offer the first rung on the career ladder to these people regardless of their background. As part of our Mission to a Million, we want to be a force for good and a real driver of social mobility in the UK. We look forward to working in collaboration with our partners to achieve our shared goals of equal opportunity and access to employment.”
Chrissie Williams, Partnership Manager, Clean Sheet added:
“We’ve been working with Compass for over a year now. Their team are brilliant and advocate for our Clean Sheet Members (people with convictions) with hiring managers who understand our ethos. Compass has a meaningful attitude to help people move forward with a variety of opportunities, in lots of different industries, and it means that our Members can find something to suit their skill set. You have a fair recruitment process in place, and we feel confident that people are not pre-judged but are reviewed on a case-by-case basis, which is so important. This portal and the case-by-case consideration for people with convictions really is the gold standard.” 
Jenny La Rocque, National Account Manager, Ingeus Restart Scheme commented:
“We must remember there is a reason why so many unemployed people are unable to apply on-line for certain positions. Many unemployed people have become disengaged and feel they are being ignored. This portal will be a great start and we’ll continue working in partnership with Compass to provide valuable feedback. We care passionately about working with partners who treat our candidates with dignity and respect.”

Who is responsible for foodservice equipment safety? Everyone. #

Following the tragic death of a technician, FEA highlights how equipment safety is everybody’s responsibility.

In response to the upcoming sentencing relating to the tragic death of a foodservice equipment technician, the Foodservice Equipment Association (FEA) is highlighting the importance of ensuring that all parts of the supply chain are aware of, and complying with, their responsibilities for ensuring the safe installation, use and maintenance of foodservice equipment.

As with any working environment there are potential risks associated with the foodservice industry. A commercial kitchen can be a dangerous place, with equipment that requires training to use correctly and safely. Much of this will also need to be installed by trained technicians, with ongoing regular maintenance to ensure a long and safe working life.

These responsibilities begin with the purchaser of the equipment. Safety should be one of the key considerations when evaluating potential new equipment. From an electrical viewpoint this includes factors like ensuring that the energy supply is capable of handling the load of any equipment chosen. The manufacturer may specify the type of protective device / supplementary bonding in the installation manual. It is imperative that the manufacturer’s instructions are followed, and you may need to employ the services of a qualified electrician prior to the equipment being installed.

Once the parameters of the required equipment have been established, it is the responsibility of the supplier to understand the customer’s brief and help to meet legal obligations. This involves ensuring that all required certification and labelling are carried out correctly, as well as adhering to the specific installation requirements of the manufacturer.

The installation should be carried out by a competent technician with the appropriate training and qualifications. They should ensure the manufacturer’s specific instructions are carried out while also adhering to all applicable standards and regulations.
Once equipment is installed, any member of staff that works with it should understand both how to use it and how to carry out basic everyday maintenance tasks. This will generally require specific training.

Regular scheduled maintenance is vital, and it’s equally important that the technician understands the original requirements behind the installation as well as the maintenance tasks specific to the equipment. They should also be aware of any product recalls or updates and action them accordingly.

If anything goes wrong at any stage throughout this process each person in the chain could be held responsible. This could potentially lead to prosecution if legal requirements have not been correctly met.

“The tragic death of the technician has brought the issue of safety standards surrounding foodservice equipment into sharp focus,” says Andy Threlfall, technical and policy director of the FEA. “The FEA will continue to work to provide support, advice and training to its members.  Our aim is not only to help them to meet their legal responsibilities, but also to help them make their business a safe working environment for employees and any technicians or specialists undertaking work for them.”

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 

One Retail offers launching at Luton and Dunstable University Hospital #

One Retail, Compass Group UK & Ireland’s retail sector, is working with Luton and Dunstable University Hospital to create a retail offer to serve staff, visitors and patients. The offer will focus on innovation, choice and quality, as part of the hospital’s site developments which include a brand new main entrance as well as an upgrade and expansion of the Emergency Department.
Luton and Dunstable University Hospital is an acute hospital in Luton, Bedfordshire, run by Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. It provides medical and surgical services for over 350,000 people in southern Bedfordshire, the north of Hertfordshire and parts of Buckinghamshire. Luton and Dunstable University Hospital has four main buildings.
The ten-year partnership kicks off on 14th August. The main entrance will house a Costa and ’The Market’ – a new store concept from One Retail, with the surgical block opening One Retail’s own branded ‘Coffee House’ – offering quality and choice across the brands.
To facilitate convenience and speed of service for customers, the One Retail team will be utilising technology including its Time2Eat app, self-service tills and self-ordering kiosks.
Andrew Jones, One Retail, Managing Director commented: “This is a great example of a partnership that will see the immediate impact of an enhanced retail offer. We are pleased to be investing and introducing a combination of in house and high street names to the hospital, which will provide choice and quality in very busy environment.”
Cathy Jones, Deputy Chief Executive at Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust commented: “We are extremely pleased to be working with One Retail to provide new food, drink and retail outlets to our staff, visitors and patients. Having a variety of high-quality options available will really make a difference to those attending our Luton and Dunstable Hospital site.”
The retail offer will see six people transferring to One Retail and around 20 new people employed – they will be paid the Real Living Wage.

Football fan favourite, pie and mash, gets a new season makeover #

Sodexo Live!, the venue partner to football clubs Blackburn Rovers, Preston North End and the DW Stadium in Wigan, has launched new dishes to kick off the football season. The refreshed menu, available to fans in hospitality at each of the clubs, contains a series of dishes inspired by the local culinary tastes of Northern England with a twist.
British Northern classics have been reimagined by a team of talented venue chefs to add a modern twist and enhance the football fan experience throughout the new season. A tribute to the local cuisine, each dish has been crafted with locally sourced and seasonal ingredients.
The new dishes include:
Peppered beef striploin with pulled beef & onion pie – a twist on the well-loved pie and mash, bringing the robust essence of beef
striploin served with pulled beef and caramelised onions together, nested in an earthy pie. Accompanied by a velvety and opulent
truffle mash, heritage carrots, fine beans and crowned by a rich red wine sauce.
Smoked haddock arancini – a gentle remake of kedgeree, accompanied with a creamy curried Hollandaise, poached hen egg and
fresh micro coriander to add a dash of sharpness.
Buttery roasted chicken breast – a fan’s favourite that comes with fondant potato on the side, seasonal charred baby leek and
creamy carrot puree. This traditional Sunday dish comes with a twist – Sodexo Live! has added crispy chicken & croquette, pancetta
crisp, drizzled with a flavourful tarragon sauce to top it up.
Lemon tart – a luxurious Amalfi lemon tart, topped with scorched meringue, decadent yoghurt sorbet, pistachio and macerated,
sweet strawberries – a nod to the traditional Wimbledon strawberries and cream.
The new menus are available now as the new season kicks off, additional dishes can be found below.
Rebecca Kane Burton, CEO at Sodexo Live!, said: “Northern football fans are in for a treat - we know how much they love their local teams and community, so it was important for us to reflect this heritage in our hospitality offering.
“We truly hope that fans at the venues will enjoy our modern take on some of the classics, in turn creating a more memorable matchday experience.”

Rovers CEO, Steve Waggott, said: “As a leader in service excellence, the club and are always looking at ways to improve the matchday experience for our supporters.
“Football has moved on in recent times, along with customer expectations, and although still popular, the typical ‘pie and a pint offer’ isn’t suited to all our matchday visitors. 

The upgraded menu options are just another example of Sodexo Live!’s willingness to work in partnership with Blackburn Rovers to provide food and beverage choices to match our expected gold standard service levels.”
Lisa Whittaker, Senior Commercial Manager at Preston North End, said: “We’re happy to be expanding our hospitality offering with dishes which we hope will be very well-received by our supporters.
Providing our fans with the best possible service is always at the top of our priorities so we’re grateful Sodexo Live! share the same values as we strive to keep improving.”

Colin Smith, Executive Head Chef at Sodexo Live!, said: “The idea behind the dishes was to make the fans feel at home.  Because Northerners love their food, we wanted to do things a bit differently, so we revisited some of the hearty, most loved recipes with our own take – making their experience even more unique.”
A partner with extensive experience of working in football and live entertainment catering, Sodexo Live! has been the hospitality and food partner at Ewood Park, home to the Blackburn Rovers, with a keen focus on sustainability since 2019.
In 2022, Sodexo Live! made £1m investment at the DW Stadium in Wigan, resulting in new upgrades to the hospitality, conference and events spaces.
Most recently, Sodexo Live! became the official venue partner of Preston North End from July 2023, taking over the stadium’s catering infrastructure, hospitality in the lounges and boxes, and on the concourse on matchdays.
Sodexo Live! is also the venue partner for other UK football clubs and stadiums including Everton FC, Brighton & Hove Albion FC, Fulham FC, Newcastle United, Hampden Park, Celtic FC.

Join guest Dan Warne in the latest episode of The Delivery Prophets #

theDelivery.World has released the latest episode of The Delivery Prophets podcast featuring Dan Warne, founder of Sessions – a true industry disruptor. Join us in this game-changing conversation that dives deep into the world of delivery and technology, shaping the modern hospitality landscape.
In this episode, Peter Backman, Jon Borzacchiello of Aviko together with Dan Warne explore the evolution of businesses from disruptor to transformative scalability. Discover how Sessions' innovative blend of technology and franchising is opening up compelling opportunities for local brands, and redefining the restaurant and delivery sectors.
Tune in now to gain insights into the future of delivery and its place in hospitality, and explore the potential to revolutionise your business. Don't miss this opportunity to be inspired and challenged as we help to reshape the future of restaurants and delivery.

Pabulum joins CH&CO’s education business #

Education caterer, Pabulum, has announced that it is to join forces with independent caterer and Royal Warrant holder, CH&CO.  

The merger expands CH&CO’s education business. Based in Fleet, Hampshire, Pabulum operates in over 100 schools within a 125-mile radius of its office, with a turnover of £28.5m and employing over 800 people. Pabulum’s portfolio of schools includes primary and secondary schools comprising of single sites, multi academy trusts and federations. 

Nelson Williams, Managing Director of Pabulum, will continue to manage the business. 
With aligned culture and values, both companies will share best practice across the combined portfolio of education sites and Pabulum will gain the extra support that a larger organisation like CH&CO supplies, especially from its support teams and the learning and development opportunities for team members. 

Nelson Williams commented: “My team and I are absolutely thrilled to be merging with CH&CO, we have very similar values and I know they will be hugely supportive in growing both our Pabulum brand and the wonderful people that work for us.” 

Bill Toner, CH&CO’s Chief Executive Officer, added, “A very warm welcome to the Pabulum team, we’re delighted they are joining us. The Pabulum business is a great addition to our education business and we look forward to making a difference in this important sector together. With our shared values, we’re also excited about the opportunities this merger provides all team members and our partners.”  

Strong performance for Scottish convenience stores #

Latest independent convenience market figures from SmartView Convenience from TWC Group reveal a strong performance for Scottish stores.
The market read – which comprises a reflective sample of ca.5,000 independent retail and wholesaler-supplied symbol stores in GB – has shown that value sales for Scotland in the 52 w/e 30 July 2023 were +4.6% higher than a year ago, which is ahead of growth in total GB.
The strongest performing categories in Scotland over the period were crisps, snacks & nuts (+21.4%), chilled (+18.5%), confectionery (+15.2%) and soft drinks (+10.9%).

In a separate consumer study, commissioned by TWC, 800 Scottish consumers were asked about the role of local independent convenience stores in their community. The top response was ‘being open and available when consumers need them’, followed by offering jobs to local people. Scottish consumers also recognised the importance of independent convenience stores in maintaining a community spirit in the area. The next responses recognised the efforts of retailers to support their customers by trying to keep prices competitive and by offering good deals, offers and promotions.

Commenting on the results, Tom Fender, Development Director at TWC, said:
“Data from SmartView Convenience confirms that the independent retail sector in Scotland is robust and there is plenty of room for optimism given that inflation is now beginning to fall and consumer confidence is rising. Consumers recognise the importance of their local store and continue to support these businesses, which they see as an important part of their local community.”  

A batch made in heaven – Sodexo Live! partners with Great British Bake Off winner Peter Sawkins #

Heritage Portfolio, the specialist events and catering company within Sodexo Live!, has announced its new partnership with 2020 Great British Bake Off winner Peter Sawkins at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, unveiling a new cake range specially crafted for the venue. 

Visitors to the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh will be able to indulge in the bespoke sweet treats until the end of the year at the in-house cafés, alongside savouries, salads, cakes, and the signature Botanical Afternoon Tea.

Inspired by the seasonal goodness from within the venue, the recipes take inspiration from the seasonal ingredients showcased in the onsite Kitchen Garden, which produces over 1.2 tonnes of organic produce annually, which is then included in all the menus for visitors to enjoy. Peter’s cakes include carrot patch cupcakes (for children), rhubarb and orange cake, as well as apple and lemon thyme tart.
The Kitchen Garden located within the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, is a true statement of sustainability and helps to reduce food mileage. It covers over 300 square metres of land, and produces more than a tonne of crops each year; the equivalent 23 kilograms a week. This produce is then used on site in many of the dishes served by the Heritage Portfolio team.

The collaboration with Peter kicked off earlier this month with an exclusive event organised by Heritage Portfolio and the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh at the John Hope Gateway, a modern visitor centre designed with sustainability in mind. Guests sampled Peter’s scrumptious bakes and heard from him about the inspiration behind the range, along with top tips and expert insights.

Clare Short, Head of Commercial Sales at Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh explained her excitement around this collaboration: “We are delighted to welcome Peter to the garden and join us on our culinary journey with our catering partner Heritage Portfolio. Peter has created cakes that are exclusive to the Garden and what makes it even more special, as many people know from his Bake-Off competition, Peter is local and from Edinburgh. It is fantastic to give him the opportunity to showcase his talents right on his own doorstep using produce grown on site here in our kitchen garden. We hope that our visitors enjoy the cakes from this very talented baker, tasting produce from our garden and being part of this unique and exciting collaboration.”

Peter Sawkins, Great British Bake Off winner, added:

“The bakes I’ve made for this collaboration were designed to fit alongside the Gardens, so are all centred around fruits, vegetables, and herbs. I’m thrilled to be partnering with Heritage Portfolio and, as a local from Edinburgh myself, creating a baking range for the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh has truly been a pleasure. I can’t wait for people to try the bakes and hope they make an already grand day out at the gardens even sweeter!”

Sandy Robson, divisional director at Sodexo Live!, said: “We’re delighted to see this partnership with the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and Peter Sawkins come to fruition. Peter is an Edinburgh native with a love for baking using locally sourced ingredients, a passion that our Heritage Portfolio team and our customers share. This is also a celebration of our long-term collaboration with the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, where we can enhance our current offering while delivering an unforgettable and sensory experience to visitors.”

Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is a world-leading centre of excellence in plant science, conservation horticulture and education – and one of Scotland’s most famous five-star attractions. A partner since 2007, Heritage Portfolio provides catering and hospitality to guests all year round based on its ‘made from scratch’ philosophy.

In 2021, Heritage Portfolio renovated spaces at the venue to continue enhancing the customer experience with a new food and drink offering using the highest quality, locally sourced and seasonal ingredients.

A division of Sodexo Live!, Heritage Portfolio is a leading provider of private and corporate hospitality for cultural destinations. Producing outstanding catering and event services, it serves some of the most prestigious venues across Britain, delivering amazing experiences that go beyond the remarkable food it creates. In 2013, Heritage Portfolio was granted a Royal Warrant for services to catering from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.  

Nestlé Professional Toque d'Or winners experience regenerative farming and the exotic flavours of Brazil #

Watch the winners experience Brazil’s exotic flavours, cuisines and landmarks in their foodie trip of a lifetime
This year's Toque d’Or winners have just returned from a once-in-a-lifetime foodie trip to Brazil, where they enjoyed some of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo's most exclusive restaurants and bars. Expanding on the competition’s sustainability theme, the winners also followed ‘bean to cup’ journeys, experiencing regenerative farming in coffee and cocoa farms, before seeing the beans transformed into high quality coffee in a Nescafé flavour lab.
Firm in its commitment to young hospitality talent, each year Toque d’Or supports participants to bridge the gap between classroom learning and the realities of the industry. This year’s 35th-anniversary edition was no different and competitors went head-to-head in a string of thrilling, sustainability-based challenges. During the Grand Finals in June, finalists visited Brough Castle Farm, part of the First Milk co-operative of sustainable farms supplying Nestlé, competed in a coffee and confectionery challenge after visiting the KitKat® factory and then battled it out in the Fine Dining Challenge under the supervision of chef Tommy Banks.
Competition was stiff, but two winners emerged: Joshua Kerr from City of Glasgow College and Amber Clay from University College Birmingham were named champions, and on 20th July, the pair embarked on an exclusive trip to Brazil for a once in a lifetime gastronomic  tour of Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Espírito Santo.
For once, the winning pair were on the other side of the house; dining at Michelin-starred restaurants in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, enjoying Brazilian gastronomy at Oro and Japanese cuisine at Imakay, and exclusive pork-only restaurant, Casa da Porco. They also explored Brazil’s top landmarks – by helicopter, boat and foot - including Christ the Redeemer, Copacabana, Guanabara Bay and the world’s biggest urban forest in Rio, Floresta da Tijuca.
The trip also provided another opportunity to expand the winners understanding of regenerative practices in farming and hospitality, first experienced during the Grand Finals. During an exclusive 'bean to cup' coffee tour, they learned how regenerative farming techniques are helping to reverse the effects of climate change and improve yields for farmers at a Nescafé Plan coffee farm. They also sampled different coffees and learned how to differentiate high quality coffee beans at the Nescafé Coffee Quality Lab.
Brazilian coffee farmer, Luiza Bonobo, says:
“Coffee’s flavour is influenced by the climate, how the soil was treated, and the quantity of nutrients within the soil.
“We’re going back to organic farming methods for our crops, which means the soil retains more water, bringing more nutrients and minerals to the plants. We plant a variety of trees in the farm, creating a better microclimate that does not stress the coffee trees. We control irrigation, using the ideal quantity of water for the time of the year and day. We also manage the soil to bring more nutrients to the plants and use biological products to prevent or control disease.”

The theme continued during a visit to a Nestlé Cocoa Plan cocoa farm, that, in line with Nestlé's Net Zero commitments, is transitioning to regenerative farming techniques to improve long-term resilience as well as yields.
Toque d’Or 2023 FOH winner, Joshua Kerr, said:
“The food here in Brazil is absolutely amazing. They've got such an international array of foods - from Michelin-starred Japanese restaurants to traditional Brazilian barbecues.
"I really enjoyed being at the cocoa farm in Espirito de Santo seeing the farmers harvesting the cocoa. I was so impressed by how Nestlé look after the sustainability aspects of the farm and the farmers as well.”

Toque d’Or 2023 BOH winner, Amber Clay said:
“Going to the coffee farm was really, really exciting. Learning about how Nestlé are supporting farmers to change the way coffee is farmed to make it more sustainable; increasing biodiversity so as not to create a monoculture.
“Equally, I was really surprised that they grow black pepper next to coffee. I'd never known about that. For me as a chef, it was really interesting to see all the pepper plants."

Katya Simmons, managing director of Nestlé Professional UK&I, said:
"Nestlé Professional Toque d’Or exemplifies our commitment to supporting young hospitality talent, and every year we're proud to watch these young people grow as they progress through the competition. This year we were particularly proud to give the winners an exclusive look around some of our top Brazilian farms, which, with our help, are transitioning to regenerative farming practices.
"Congratulations once again to Joshua and Amber. They've shown amazing resilience in the face of some tough challenges, and I'm looking forward to seeing how they progress in their future careers."

As part of its work supporting youth in an industry that's struggling with worker shortages, Nestlé Professional is collaborating with Choose Hospitality, Springboard, CareerScope and many other industry leaders to deliver on the Choose Hospitality Pledge. Aimed at enticing young people into the diverse roles hospitality has to offer, the pledge sends ambassadors out to speak to school leavers, engaging youngsters and showcasing some of the exciting opportunities that exist in hospitality.
For more information on Nestlé Professional Toque d’Or 2023, please click here:

Compass Group UK & Ireland gifts £500,000 to fund apprenticeships in West Midlands #

Compass Group UK & Ireland has gifted £500,000 to the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), to boost hospitality and professional services apprenticeships for the region, via the Apprenticeship Levy Fund.
The funding will help people gain the skills, knowledge and behaviours needed to enter and progress within the hospitality sector and give West Midlands businesses access to more emerging talent – a vital step in levelling up for the region.
Set up in March 2019, the Apprenticeship Levy Transfer Fund allows large employers to transfer up to 25% of their levy funds each year to SME organisations, to pay for the Apprenticeship Standards to be delivered.
Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands and WMCA Chair, said: “Hospitality is something of a strong suit for our region. Despite the challenging economic backdrop, there’s still plenty of scope to provide training to the next generation of talented chefs, mixologists, and restaurateurs.
“That’s why it’s great to see Compass Group UK & Ireland supporting this mission by kindly transferring half a million pounds towards our Apprenticeship Levy Transfer Fund. It’s vital that we support our night-time economy and one way we can do that is by helping local talent to connect with opportunities on offer in hospitality.
“I would encourage employers right across our region to continue to contribute to our Levy Fund and recruit apprentices in the months and years ahead. Together, we can work to ensure Birmingham and the wider West Midlands maintains its position as one of the UK’s most exciting food destinations.”

Cllr George Duggins, portfolio holder for skills and productivity, and leader of Coventry City Council, said: "This generous £500,000 donation from Compass marks a significant step in fortifying the culinary landscape of the West Midlands.
“By channelling support into apprenticeships and professional services courses, we're empowering aspiring chefs and restaurateurs to refine their craft and in turn this will help to invigorate our hospitality sector.
“Having a job changes lives and an apprenticeship is a great way to learn new skills and enter the world of work. It's also great that we can offer some of our businesses full funding to take on and train their future talent.”

The transfer contributes to Compass Group UK & Ireland’s Mission to a Million pledge, which was launched last 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: “We are committed to investing in and developing talent - creating opportunities for all.
“We are so pleased to be supporting the West Midlands Combined Authority, with this significant transfer of Apprenticeship Levy Funding. As a large organisation, we have a responsibility to give back to the communities we operate in, and in the West Midlands we want to be able to support SME organisations and local people.
“This will help our existing work in the area and enhance our plans to open Compass’ Regional Community Skills & Learning Hub in Edgbaston, which is due to open early next year.”

Pizza brand announces major relaunch with new look, heavyweight campaign and a trio of new products #

Dr. Oetker Ristorante has announced a major refresh for its packaging, which will be rolled out this month.

The brand is also announcing three new products that are being added to the line-up of flavours, including new premium tier.

All supported with a £2.5m heavyweight multimedia campaign.

Household-name pizza brand, Dr. Oetker Ristorante, has announced a major relaunch with new look packaging, a line-up of product launches, and a heavyweight multimedia campaign. 

Combining its famously thin and crispy base with rich, mouth-watering passata, and light, Italian-inspired toppings that burst with flavour, the brand is embarking on a new look and feel for its packaging but retaining its much-loved classic taste.

The refresh of the packaging adds a fun, fresh and inviting look with brand new photography, colourways and overall design, and will be rolled out across the range from mid-August.

Alongside the refresh, Dr. Oetker Ristorante is also launching three new SKUs, with the trio arriving in major retailers including Asda, Morrisons, Sainsbury's, Waitrose & Ocado from 14th August.
Dr. Oetker Ristorante Pepperoni Mozzarella Pesto (MRRP - £3.85) will join the core range, and features the classic Ristorante thin & crispy crust, topped with irresistibly tasty pepperoni, mouth-watering mozzarella pearls and drizzled with pesto. 
The brand is also launching a new tier of two premium pizzas; the Dr. Oetker Ristorante Primo with flavours Salame Piccante Nduja and Primo Pollo Funghi Truffini.
The Primo Salame Piccante Nduja (MRRP - £4.40) is topped with creamy mozzarella, calabrese salame, nduja, peppadew peppers and a hot honey garnish on a chilli infused crust. 
The Primo Pollo Funghi Truffini (MRRP - £4.40) is topped with creamy mozzarella, roast garlic chicken, crispy bacon, sliced mushrooms and a rich truffle garnish on an Italian herb infused crust. 
To support the rebrand and product launches, a heavyweight multimedia campaign will deploy from late August, including a return to TV and VOD in September, with a significant £2.5M spend behind it.
Paula Wyatt, Head of Marketing – Pizza at Dr. Oetker UK, said “We’re pleased to be able to announce our fresh new look and feel, with both our new packaging and a range of exciting new products.  Ristorante is a much-loved frozen pizza brand, and this relaunch ensures the brand remains relevant to a wide audience of frozen pizza consumers”
The new packaging and NPD launches will be available from mid-August. For more information about Ristorante, please visit the Dr. Oetker website. 

Growth eludes out of home sector as consumers remain cautious of spending #

Consumer enthusiasm for eating and drinking out this year has been dampened by the challenges posed by the cost of living crisis, despite some indications of a positive outlook for the sector earlier in 2023.
The frequency of out of home occasions has flatlined and spend growth is behind inflation year-on-year. There has been a modest increase in penetration driven by necessity-based visits – up +1.7ppts – however, more lucrative dining-out missions have not seen growth as cash-conscious consumers reduce their spending on social dining.
The service-led market is suffering amid the cost living crisis, with pubs & bars and restaurants declining -0.2ppts year-on-year. Among necessity-based visits, drink-only occasions gained the most share, up +0.9ppts as the June heatwave led to more consumers purchasing drinks out of home. Consumers were also out and about in city centres and workplaces in greater numbers compared to last year with the slow post-pandemic return to normality. Dinner occasions, on the other hand, continued to decline, down -1.0ppt.
The rise in necessity-based trips in the sector is a driver of quick service needs and demonstrates that consumer needs are changing. The growth of QS restaurants and retail channels reveals that consumers are, increasingly, looking for a fast or friendly service.
One significant shift in consumer mindset when compared to last year is that occasions have become more treat-led, with these visits experiencing a rise of +0.8ppts. Therefore, to be most effective, marketing should include treat-led messaging to encourage consumer engagement with the market.

Omne the foodservice agency working with a host of suppliers including Kellogg’s, Arla Pro, Dr Oetker and Tilda and operators like Compass, has been nominated five times in the 2023 B2B Marketing Awards. #

The awards cover all sectors of b2b marketing from tech to pharma to business services, so it’s great to see foodservice and hospitality represented.
The agency has been nominated for:
Best Brand Initiative for Knorr Professional’s Best in the Business campaign featuring chefs Tom Kerridge, Kath Breckon and Preston Walker 

Best Digital Experience for chocolate supplier Callebaut 

Best use of AI for My Professional Rewards, the new operator loyalty scheme from Unilever Foodsolutions 

Best Sales Enablement for Strong Roots 

And Best Purpose-Led Initiative for McCain Foodservice Solutions’ Streets Ahead Programme. The scheme, developed with KERB, helping food entrepreneurs from disadvantaged backgrounds get into the street food sector. 

The finals will take place in November.

Is working from home bad for our health? #

1. New research finds UK hybrid workers eat less healthily and work longer hours when working from home

2. Two thirds of UK hybrid workers say they try to eat more healthily on days when they go into the workplace

3. Yet home workers benefit from more exercise, more time outdoors and less screen time than work-based colleagues 

UK employees who work from home are more likely to eat indulgent foods, snack between meals, and work longer hours than their workplace-based colleagues, reveals new research from Compass Group, the world's leading food services company, and global market intelligence agency Mintel.
Healthy eating expectations and realities
Analysing insights from 35,000 workers across 26 countries, Compass Group’s Global Eating at Work Survey 2023 found that the vast majority of workers in the UK recognise the productivity, health and wellbeing benefits of maintaining a healthy diet during their working week.
1.60% say that what they eat and drink at work has a direct impact on their productivity
66% say that the food and drink they consume has a direct impact on how they feel3.73% agree that eating and drinking healthily is essential to promoting long-term health
Despite this, more than half of the UK workforce say they struggle to maintain healthy diets whilst at work, with employees who work from home finding it hardest to resist temptation.
1.52% of UK home-based and hybrid workers admit regularly eating indulgent foods during their working day
1.Men who work from home were found to snack on average 3 times per day - twice as often as their work-based peers
2.Employees who work from home are more likely to eat high-calorie snacks such as chocolate during their breaks (31% of home workers vs 25% of work-based employees)
In contrast, two thirds (67%) of UK hybrid workers said they make a concerted effort to eat more healthily on days when they go into the workplace, while calling for more guidance and support from their employers to achieve this.
1.65% of employees with a staff restaurant expect food outlets in the workplace to help them make healthier choices
Across all age groups, younger UK workers are most interested in healthy eating at work and how the food they eat impacts their productivity.
1.UK Millennials are most likely to choose a healthy snack during their breaks (40% vs 28% of Baby Boomers)
Gen Z snack more than any other UK demographic, averaging 4 per day when WFH, often replacing a main meal
Baby Boomers are most likely to grab a quick sandwich for lunch, whereas younger generations favour a hot meal
70% of Gen Z agree what they eat and drink at work directly impacts their productivity (vs just 45% of Baby Boomers) 

Work-life balance
UK employees who work from home report having more frequent and higher quality breaks than in the workplace, with 57% of hybrid workers saying they can truly relax during breaks at home compared to 44% for breaks in the office.
The research also found that UK home-based workers are:
1.nearly four times more likely than workplace-based colleagues to take exercise during the working day
three times more likely to go outside and spend time in nature during their work breaks than work-based employees.
better at avoiding screen-time during breaks (39% have a break from screens vs 27% of work-based employees) 
However, 6 in 10 UK hybrid workers said they tend to work longer hours when working from home, while 60% of home-based workers eat lunch alone (compared to 45% of workplace-based employees), increasing feelings of isolation. The research also highlighted that UK hybrid workers miss the opportunity to socialise with colleagues during their working day, with half wishing they could eat lunch with colleagues more often.
Morag Freathy, Managing Director, Eurest (part of Compass Group UK & Ireland), said:
“It’s clear that workers everywhere want to adopt healthier lifestyles. But, with snacks readily available in the kitchen cupboard and the pressure to plan and prepare balanced meals for themselves, employees who work from home are finding it hardest to maintain healthy eating habits during their working day.
“Knowing that hybrid workers want to catch up with colleagues and eat more healthily on days when they go into the office, UK employers have a real opportunity through their food offerings, breakout spaces and wellbeing initiatives to enhance the health and wellbeing of their teams, while also encouraging them back into the workplace more often.”

Ryan Holmes, Culinary Director, B&I, at Compass Group UK & Ireland, commented:
“Workers across the UK are increasingly looking to their employers to help them make healthier choices, by providing healthy, sustainable, and innovative food experiences in the workplace, which they can’t easily replicate at home. This includes premium ingredients at reasonable prices, interesting new flavour combinations, more plant-based options, and a wider variety of healthy snacks.
“Snacking is on the rise. Younger generations especially are trading down from meals into smaller bites, preferring to graze throughout the day rather than eat at set times, which better suits their ‘on-the-go’ lifestyles and smaller budgets. With workforce demographics shifting towards Gen Z and Millennials, this snacking trend is here to stay.”

Nicky Martin, Director of Nutrition and Wellbeing at Compass Group UK & Ireland, added:
“We’re changing the way we approach nutrition and wellbeing in the workplace, integrating food service and behavioural science to gently nudge consumers towards healthier choices. For clients, this means expanding the variety of healthy food options we offer in office settings, optimising portion sizes, cutting ultra-processed foods from menus, and introducing more slow-release energy snacks to boost employee productivity throughout the day.
“Clients are increasingly exploring new ways to help their employees eat more healthily at home too. We’re helping clients organise pop-up events from nutritionists, producing recipe cards to inspire home cooks, and even introducing urban farms into offices, to grow healthy, fresh produce that employees can take home with them.”