Members’ News

February 2024

ICC Birmingham achieves RaisingNutrition accreditation #

ICC Birmingham has been awarded the RaisingNutrition accreditation, becoming the first UK venue to achieve the status. 

The accreditation recognises businesses that have made a commitment to raising nutritional standards in their food offering, by embedding nutrition into practices to enable healthier food choices for visitors. 

RaisingNutrition will form a crucial part of the ICC’s food ethos, ensuring the venue’s catering supports delegate health, wellbeing and productivity. This includes providing nutritional training for key colleagues within the business, as well as redesigning the purchasing and menu development process with nutrition at the forefront. 

Craig Hancox, general manager for food and beverage at the ICC, said: “We pride ourselves on the first-class catering offering we provide at the ICC and remain committed to the quality of our service delivery, food and beverage and sustainability credentials. 

“Gaining this accreditation is the next step on our journey, understanding both the positive influence we can have on our delegates’ wellbeing and the importance of nutrition. 

“It will touch every part of our catering offer and is a huge step for us, from serving 130,000 delegates per year, to redeveloping our staff dining facility at the venue, no stone has been left unturned. We want to use it as an opportunity to educate customers on the value of nutrition, as well as informing the choices our clients make. 

“We have been inspired by the RaisingNutrition team who are able to offer us the support, knowledge and insight to take this step.” 

As part of the accreditation, the ICC has reviewed how food and beverage choices are displayed, developing food markers that denote nutritional dishes so visitors can easily understand their nutritional impact. As well as this, all set menu proposals have been optimised to promote fruit and vegetable intake and the reduction of salt and sugar volumes. 

This is designed to work in tandem with the venue’s existing developments in menu creation, including the recent accreditation by the Vegetarian Society on more than 100 vegan dishes. 

Jenna Mosimann, CEO of RaisingNutrition, said: “The team at the ICC has shown a real commitment to integrating nutrition further into their food offering and wider sustainability agenda. 

“They understand that nutritious food, and making healthier food choices easy and appealing, can really support their delegates and colleagues in working well and feeling well. Ultimately, we want to help create great tasting food that is good for health and wellbeing that benefits everyone.”

For more information, visit

Putting its customers first. Bestway invests £3m into market leading deals and BOGOF offers #

Bestway Wholesale has announced that it is offering its customers market leading wholesale deals and Buy One Get One Free Offers (BOGOF) as part of a £3million ‘Thank you’ and Christmas investment into price, promotions and local support.
As the UK’s largest independent food and drink wholesaler, Bestway is leading the way with incredible price drops and unmissable deals for its customers, all designed to help them grow their business and make more profit.
The customer ‘Thank You’ campaign, which has been a tradition for the Bestway’ business for over 10 years, rewards customers for their continued loyalty and has been high profile in depots and across online activation for all retail customers. Starting on 12 January – the campaign is running for a three-week period, (a week longer than seen in previous years) in order for retailers to benefit from the amazing deals, for longer.
With all the pzazz and glamour of a Hollywood’ opening night, customers are welcomed through a ‘Thank You’ archway before taking to a red-carpet walkway that leads to an exciting shopping experience.

They are then being presented with phenomenal value on ten amazing BOGOF offers across many top brands and key football drivers as well as over 50 unmissable deals each week. These BOGOF deals are a first for Bestway and have been entirely funded by the progressive wholesaler.

Not only do customers get to enjoy special theatre in depot, but they also experience fantastic further savings and the opportunity to purchase top-selling brands at extraordinary prices.

Bestway Wholesale Managing Director, Dawood Pervez, said:
“This is a major investment for us at Bestway, and it reflects our ethos that the customer always comes first.
“We know that retailers have been affected by economic volatility and that January is historically a very difficult month. Our aim is to provide outstanding value offers that deliver relevant support to drive the best possible start to 2024. Whilst also thanking customers for their loyalty during 2023.
“We are leading the way in offering our customers these remarkable prices in order to help them make better margins and ultimately, enable them to grow their business.”

As part of the campaign, Bestway hosted a ‘Thank You’ Awards Ceremony and Lunch at the company’s Head Office at Park Royal to recognise the outstanding contribution and excellence that suppliers have made over the past year working in partnership with Bestway’s trading teams.

Here, the talented individuals and rising stars working in the industry who have gone ‘above and beyond’ the call of duty to excel in their roles working with Bestway over the past year were called out and recognised. This reflects the successful collaborations that have been evidenced in new and extraordinary ways.
The Awards Lunch presented the perfect opportunity for both Dawood Pervez, and Kenton Burchell, Group Trading Director to share their appreciation with key suppliers for their continued support, whilst giving them a glimpse at the latest insight on Bestway’s vision and strategy. 

The talented winners in each Award category were announced as follows:

Key Account Manager of the Year: Debra Smethurst (AG Barr)
Special Achievers Award: Jason Stocker (Nestle Grocery)
Marketing Professional of the Year: Sydney Bron (Redbull)
Newcomer of the Year: Chris Kingshott (AB InBev)
Data and Insight Star of the Year: Jim Stanley (Imperial Tobacco)
Digital Innovator of the Year: Harry Harrison (CCEP)
Supply Manager of the Year: Carl Levery (CCEP)
Highly Commended Awards:
Key Account Manager of the Year: Andrew Ravenscroft (Diageo)
Special Achievers Award: Robert Craven (Premier Foods)
Newcomer of the Year: Sonya Owen (CCEP)
Supply Manager of the Year: Crispin Newborough (KP Snacks)
Speaking of the enormous contribution that suppliers have made to the business over the past year, Kenton Burchell, Group Trading Director at Bestway Wholesale, concluded:

“Our supplier ‘Thank You’ Lunch and Awards has been a truly memorable and important way to start the year.
“It gave me great pleasure to pay tribute to individuals who have more than exceeded our expectations with their dedication, commitment, and incredible contribution to Bestway.  
“What has really shone through is the overwhelming determination to work collaboratively with Bestway, which in turn has led to successful outcomes. Together we are ‘one team’, 
“We’re really proud of the winners as they have all worked incredibly hard, trying new things for the first time, and working even harder than last year. Together, we have achieved something quite special.
“Successful businesses are built with great talent, and this makes working together much more rewarding and enjoyable for everyone – and importantly helps us deliver real value to our customers and to the end consumer. 
“The words ‘thank you’ are not used often enough in all our day to day lives – but we do mean it and would like to extend a very sincere thank you to all involved!”

Sodexo appoints Chief Growth Officer for UK & Ireland #

Sodexo UK & Ireland has appointed Dan Weiss to the newly-created role of Chief Growth Officer, leading strategy, sales and marketing to drive accelerated growth in the region. 

Dan has 25 years’ experience in the industry and joined Sodexo in 2017 as Managing Director within its Government business segment. During this time, he has been responsible for the development of the Property Professional Services business and, more recently, its Government Agencies portfolio, handling £500 million of business development.  

Dan Weiss said: “Sodexo has an ambitious growth target for the coming years, built on significant investment in our digital transformation and our sustainable food services. I’m looking forward to bringing Sodexo’s full potential to life for our clients and consumers, and am proud of the role I will play in our mission to grow with purpose.” 

Sean Haley, CEO Sodexo UK & Ireland added: “Our ambition is to be the market leader in sustainable food and valued experiences in the UK & Ireland.  The Chief Growth Officer brings together the strategic components of growth into a central powerhouse led by Dan who, since joining Sodexo, has successfully developed key parts of our business. 

“Our business is transforming with greater agility and enabling us to deliver our collective ambition.  This new role is an example of our absolute commitment to creating and delivering best in class services for our clients and consumers.” 

Over its last annual financial reporting period (Sept 22 to Aug 23) Sodexo achieved strong growth with the retention of a number of its longest-standing clients across all markets, as well as adding to its portfolio in both the private and public sector.  

Compass doubles Apprenticeship Levy gifting commitment #

250 apprenticeship standards started with over 170 organisations.
Committed over £3 million since 2019.  

Today, Compass Group UK & Ireland has announced it has supported 250 apprentice programmes across 170 organisations, committing over £3 million of its Apprenticeship Levy. These funds have helped small and medium sized enterprises, charities and social enterprises to invest in and develop their staff.

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.

Organisations that have so far benefitted are spread across the UK, ranging from Brewhouse and Kitchen, New College Oxford and Sidney Sussex College. Apprenticeships that have been taken up through this funding include Marketing, Chef de Partie and Hospitality Manager. 

This overall figure includes the £500k announced to support the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), to boost hospitality and professional services apprenticeships for the region. One of the beneficiaries of the funding is Cherry Reds café bar in Birmingham, which has invested in its Deputy Manager taking on a Hospitality Management level 4 apprenticeship – receiving £6,000.

This funding is aligned to Compass Group UK & Ireland’s Mission to a Million pledge, which promises to positively impact 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: “Within Compass we have clear Career Pathways and apprenticeships form a critical part of these. I am a firm believer in the power of these opportunities and I know they can change lives, so it makes sense to align this funding with our Mission to a Million pledge to support individuals outside our business too. It is great to get positive feedback from those taking on apprenticeships and hear from the organisations they work in how it’s helped.”

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “It’s good news that we’re receiving financial support from Compass Group UK and Ireland via the Apprenticeship Levy. Their generosity is enabling us to support many SMEs such as Cherry Reds café bar, as they upskill their workforce.

“Apprentices make a valuable contribution to the hospitality sector and to our wider economic growth story. I look forward to the scheme continuing to change lives for the better right across our region in the months and years ahead.”

Brewhouse and Kitchen’s Alex Marshall completed the Level 3 Hospitality Supervisor with Distinction, funded by Compass. He said: “I joined Brewhouse and Kitchen almost four years ago and currently I am the Assistant Manager at one of our brewpubs. Having loved my time in hospitality, I decided to undergo the Level 3 Hospitality Supervisor apprenticeship, funded by Compass which I passed with Distinction. It’s great to utilise my enhanced skillset and demonstrate how I can impact how each brewpub operates in their unique and different ways.”

Compass currently has around 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. This includes the company’s Forward with Marcus Wareing programme, which launched for the highest level of culinary talent within Compass.

Visit here for more information on how this funding has supported Cherry Reds.

Sodexo Live! Champions Sustainability with Plant-Forward Burgers During Green Football Weekend #

Sodexo Live! has partnered with The Devil's Kitchen to introduce a tasty, low-carbon, plant-forward burger at four of its football club clients - Blackburn Rovers, Brighton & Hove Albion, Everton FC and Preston North End - as part of Green Football Weekend (3-5 February).
Green Football Weekend brings together more than 90 top football clubs across the UK, sports broadcasters, leagues, brands, communities and millions of fans to unite for the planet and is a testament to how the power of sport can bring positive environmental change.
The Shiitake Mushroom Burger, a low-carbon meal option, showcases the commitment of Sodexo Live! to sustainability. Producing only 0.5kg of CO2e, this burger is a substantial improvement over the average CO2e per meal in the UK, which stands at 1.6kg of CO2e.
Crafted for both taste and sustainability, the Devil's Kitchen Shiitake mushroom burger features a toasted La Boulangerie vegan brioche style bun, vegan Applewood cheese slices, a mix of exotic marinated and seasoned mushrooms and plant-based garlic mayonnaise.
Burgers continue to be one of the most popular choices on menus and the Shiitake Mushroom burger now allows supporters to have an equally flavoursome snack using plant-based, low-carbon ingredients on match days.
The venues also offer alternative meat-free options, including vegetarian pies, with all ingredients sourced locally where possible.
Ben Dutson, Food Innovation Director, at Sodexo Live! UK & Ireland, which provides catering and hospitality at nine UK stadia, said: "Sodexo Live! is resolute in its commitment to ensuring 70% of main dishes on our menus can be labelled ‘low-carbon’ by 2030, and that food waste is reduced by 50% by 2025.
“While we know there is a lot more everyone can do in this space, the Green Football Weekend is a perfect opportunity to show our customers that our low carbon and plant-based meals can be interesting and tasty, and we are proud to support this great initiative.”

Sarah Jacobs, Director of Green Football Weekend, said: “Food is an important contributor to the overall climate impact of football. Choosing a veggie alternative in the ground is a simple way to help address the climate crisis, and can have significant impact if you make it a habit.
“If the UK’s football fans ate one veggie meal a day, it would save as much carbon as taking 5.5 million cars off the road. We are delighted to be working with Sodexo Live! to help protect our world as part of Green Football Weekend.”

Sodexo Live! aims to feature 33% plant-based meals on its menus by 2025 as it moves steadfastly towards its goal of net zero by 2040.
By introducing the plant forward burgers, Sodexo Live! invites football fans to boost their nutrition and contribute to reducing carbon pollution.
This announcement follows the recent launch of Sodexo’s first annual Sustainable Food Barometer, that highlights 73% of the UK believe adopting a more sustainable way of eating is now urgent. 

Chief Nursing Officer for England visits Barnet Hospital #

Barnet Hospital, in partnership with Medirest, the healthcare division of Compass Group UK & Ireland, welcomed Dame Ruth May, Chief Nursing Officer for England, to the hospital to meet staff and highlight their success in achieving triple ‘Exemplar’ site status.
Last year, Barnet Hospital was acknowledged with NHS ‘Exemplar’ status across portering, catering and cleaning. It was the second hospital to achieve all three elements of recognition within the NHS, so this visit was an opportunity to share insights, learnings and best practice. Dame Ruth took the time to meet colleagues from across portering, catering and cleaning services, as well as nursing and Infection Prevention and Control teams, to understand the working relationships. Together they discussed cleaning from methodology to innovation, catering, central helpdesk advantages and went to the wards to see the teams in action.
She was hosted on 24th January 2024, by Barnet Hospital and Medirest teams including Bev Thomas, Director of Nursing at Barnet Hospital, as well as Russell Blake, MD, Healthcare - Compass Group UK & Ireland and Anna Hallas, Head of Healthcare Cleaning and Infection Control, Compass Group UK & Ireland. Phil Shelley, Chair of the NHS Food Review and Senior Operational & Policy Manager from NHS England also attended to meet the teams.
Dame Ruth May, Chief Nursing Officer for England, said; “It was great to visit Barnet Hospital and meet the staff there, who are delivering ‘Exemplar’ site services across portering, catering and cleaning. These teams have incredibly important roles to play in supporting excellence in infection prevention and control and helping to deliver high quality patient care each and every day.”
Bev Thomas, Director of Nursing at Barnet Hospital said: “Our triple Exemplar site status was a phenomenal achievement for our domestic, portering and catering colleagues. I am so pleased that we have been able to welcome Ruth to talk through our approach and how it helps us to deliver excellent care for our patients.”

Phil Shelley, Chair of the NHS Food Review and Senior Operational & Policy Manager, NHS England: “I am proud of the high standards demonstrated by Barnet’s portering, catering and cleaning teams, which have led them to achieve triple ‘Exemplar’ status. It’s wonderful that Dame Ruth was able to meet with these teams and see how support services and clinical teams, including nursing colleagues, are working in partnership to deliver the best possible care for patients.”

Russell Blake, Managing Director, Healthcare – Compass Group UK & Ireland: “It has been great to host Ruth today and show how our teams work in partnership with the clinical staff. Anna Hallas also attended, as she was an integral part of the team that developed The National Standards of Healthcare Cleanliness, so it is crucial that she supports our partners with her expertise and helping others implement best practice across infection control and cleaning. A big thanks to all our team here in Barnet Hospital.”

TWC expands customer support team as client base doubles in a year #

Leading data consultancy TWC Group is pleased to announce the recruitment of two new customer support executives as the firm’s customer base doubles in a year.
The two new recruits comprise Kelly Pye, Client Services Manager and Olly Brown, Client Services Executive.
In addition, TWC welcomes back Becky Thomas from maternity leave.
These new appointments – along with Becky’s return to work - will bolster TWC’s client service team, providing day-to-day support and account management to the company’s growing roster of wholesale and supplier clients and platform users.
Tanya Pepin, Managing Director of TWC Group, comments:
“We warmly welcome Kelly and Ollie to the TWC family, and welcome Becky back. Client centricity is one of our core values as a business and these appointments will ensure we can continue to provide the highest level of customer service in the industry. 
2023 was transformational for TWC.  Our customer base doubled in a year.  Every client contract which was up for renewal has renewed – for at least as long as the original contract, or longer.  And many of our clients are commissioning TWC to conduct more projects – a fascinating array of tech, data or research projects. 
We are hugely grateful to our clients for their ongoing support.  Offering the best customer service in the industry is one of the reasons why I think customers remain loyal to TWC.  We will continue to invest in having the right people join TWC – and invest in them, so they develop their careers with TWC, while becoming an integral part of our clients’ teams.”

You can check out the full TWC Group team here:

Wafflemeister launches charitable foundation with ‘Hospitality’s Got Talent’ fundraiser #

Waffle brand Wafflemeister has launched its own charitable foundation with its first fundraising event to be a ‘Hospitality’s Got Talent’ competition. 

The Wafflemeister Foundation has been set up to make a difference to people’s lives through food and hospitality charitable activities. 

The first event, taking place on Tuesday 26 March (during HRC week) at 6pm at Piano Works in London Farringdon, has been designed to bring together people from across the hospitality, food service and supply chain to help raise vital funds for its designated charities. 

Team members from across the hospitality industry will be performing onstage throughout the evening.  Talented individuals working in hospitality are encouraged to apply for the competition by sending in a short video of their performance for consideration for the night, whether it’s singing, a comedy act, dancing or something completely different. The competition winner will be decided by the audience on the night. 

As well as live music all night – provided by hospitality’s finest talent and Piano Works’ in-house band – there will be complimentary drinks and canapés available. 

People in hospitality businesses large and small are encouraged to buy tickets for themselves and their teams, of which 400 are available through Eventbrite ( to support their colleagues as well as the event’s chosen charities. 

Funds raised will go towards the Make-A-Wish Foundation, which helps fulfil the wishes of children with a critical illness, and the Burnt Chef Project, which provides mental health support to the hospitality industry. 

Bidfood will be the headline sponsor of the event alongside Bacardi, Tilda, Adnams Brewery and Dewberry Redpoint offering media support. 

Rikos Leong-Son, chief executive at Wafflemeister, said: “Wafflemeister has supported lots of charities over the years, but we felt we could have an even bigger impact and give back to the industry by doing something different and launching our own charitable foundation. What better way to kick things off than by celebrating the amazing talents of the people in our sector? 

“Rather than a big ‘corporate’ event, we wanted to make it a night where our brilliant industry friends can come along, have fun and enjoy great talent while raising money for two brilliant causes at the same time.  At Wafflemeister, our pledge to our team and our customers is to make a difference.  We call on the industry to join us to make a difference to the children and hospitality colleagues that need our help". 

Jon White, commercial director at Wafflemeister added “We’re already receiving auditions from hospitality professionals who are also singers, magicians, musicians and flair bartenders, as well as loads of clients who are really up for making it a great night out with their teams – don’t miss out, it’s going to be a fantastic evening!” 

More than 85 of UK’s top clubs took part in weekend of climate action for Green Football Weekend #

Players, clubs and organisers available for interview. Footage and stills available.
Manchester United vying for top place with Northampton Town, Leicester City and Brentford in the Green Football Cup leaderboard. 
More than 95 of the UK’s top clubs - including the whole of the Premier League - came together this weekend (2-5 February) for Green Football Weekend, to raise awareness of the impact of climate on football, announce new sustainability commitments and support their fans to make a difference on climate.
Across the weekend matchday goers experienced a veggie twist, with the three biggest club caterers joining forces to promote delicious plant-based burgers and pies. Eating more veg can not only improve health and playing performance - it also helps protect our world. If the UK’s football fans ate one veggie meal a day, it would save as much carbon as taking 5.5 million cars off the road.
Clubs joined thousands of fans across the UK, who over the past two weeks have been scoring goals by taking climate-friendly actions to help their team win the Green Football Cup. More than 95 of the top clubs mobilised their fans for the win, with activities such as downloading the Green Football Weekend Veggie Cookbook, using an AI recipe generator to plan their next  veggie meal, leaving the car behind, and switching to a green energy provider.
Highlights from Green Football Weekend include: 

Chelsea Women flipped their menu this weekend, with a majority of plant-based options on offer, and Conor Gallagher, Jessie Fleming and Niamh Charles joined school children doing a Green Football Weekend lesson.
Crystal Palace have switched plastic beer cups for paper, and their first team players cooked-up a feast of plant-based food that was available at the match over  Green Football Weekend.
Former world champion triathlete Kate Strong cycled over 135 miles from Forest Green Rovers to opponent Colchester United to deliver the matchday ball, b-roll and stills available here 
Bristol City’s light up Ashton Gate stadium with green lights to celebrate Green Football Weekend at their game against Leeds whilst famous fans Tony Robinson and Joe Sims were treated to locally sourced courgette and beetroot cake made by local school kids, highlighting that the food offered to fans is locally sourced, coming from within a 12-mile radius.
Bournemouth invited school children to the ground to hear what they think the club should do on sustainability.
QPR has joined the Sustainable Travel Charter, which commits their club to travelling more sustainably, and fans got 50% off veggie and vegan food.
Watford FC launched a sustainability platform to help the club log how their fans travel the platform contains recipes and sustainable tips for fans.
Wycombe Wanderers has launched their new sustainability strategy, created in conjunction with fans and fronted by PFA sustainability ambassador David Wheeler. 
Wolverhampton Wanderers have shared a progress report on their strategy launched last Green Football Weekend.
Clubs including Leeds United and West Bromwich Albion have trained their hospitality staff in plant-based cooking, and others such as Fulham and Southampton have run sustainability training for their Academy teams.
Arsenal and Liverpool held a veggie lunch for fans with Arsenal legend Mathieu Flamini and collected veg, fruit and other foods for local food banks.
Exeter City offered free tea and coffee for fans who travelled by public transport to the match and offered a veggie hospitality menu.
Clubs including Southampton, Blackburn Rovers, Leeds, Derby, Bristol City and Portsmouth all wore green armbands to show their support for tackling climate change, while Walsall wore their green third kit instead of their away kit.
Southampton Women offered 25% off plant-based food at the game, had free vegetable soup and vegan cupcakes available, gave out 500 packs of tomato seeds, and players Rosie Parnell and Izzy Milne joined a vegan cook-along.
West Bromwich Albion launched a new sustainability steering group and have removed single-use plastics from the training ground.
West Ham United did a veggie bake-off with Great British Bake-Off winner Matty Edgell, Michail Antonio and Vladimir Coufal, hosted by JaackMaate.
Swansea City did a litter pick with Academy and club staff.
Brighton & Hove, Bristol City and Tottenham Hotspur showcased their sustainable food production with local farmers and kitchen gardens.
Bradford City launched a vegan menu at their café, and two first team players had a cooking lesson from a local plant-based restaurant.
Clubs including Walsall, Everton, and Bristol City put on fan zone activations to educate and entertain fans, including holding veggie taste tests.
Robbie Savage’s club Macclesfield, which suffered terrible flooding and cancelled matches this October, joined the campaign promoting veggie food to fans and wearing green armbands on the pitch.
More than 80 clubs held Green Football Weekend activities with local school children and community groups.
More than 70 players, club nutritionists and famous chefs have contributed recipes to the Green Football Weekend Veggie Cookbook, including Raheem Sterling, James Ward-Prowse, Demi Stokes, Jen Beattie, Hawa Cissoko, Amy Turner, Raymond Blanc, Hugh Fearnley-Wittingstall, Levi Roots, BOSH!, Ainsley Harriot and Tom Kerridge. 
Other players and famous fans supporting Green Football Weekend activities include Marc Pugh, Alastair Campbell, Ed Balls, Sam Johnstone, Chloe Arthur, Bobby De Cordova-Reid, Cara Milne-Redhead, Sai Sachdev and Sophie Barker.
Partners across the UK are also showing their support. Club caterers Delaware North, Levy and Sodexo Live! Are doing special plant-based promotions across the country, Football Manager video games will be supporting Green Football Weekend on their virtual hoardings. And in the classrooms, pupils have been taking part in Green Football Weekend themed lessons to learn more about the positive benefits of eating more veggies for health and performance
The future of football is at risk due to the effects of climate change, with 150,000 games already cancelled per year due to pitch flooding. By 2050, a quarter of UK football grounds will be flooded, with one in four teams expecting partial or total stadium flooding each year.
Peter Crouch said: "I have been going to matches with my dad since I was little and getting a pie at half time was as regular as clockwork. Food has always been a massive part of being on the terraces, and it's brilliant to see so many clubs promoting veggie options across Green Football Weekend. Eating more veg is an easy way we can all help protect our world - not to mention stay healthy.  

"With more and more pitches flooding, climate change is threatening the future of football. But together we can do something about it. We can make sure every football-loving kid is able to enjoy the life of playing we've all been able to. Football can be an amazing force for good, and it's so encouraging to see so many clubs, players and fans coming together through Green Football Weekend to talk about and take action on climate. That's how change will happen."

Gary Lineker, Green Football Weekend Ambassador, said: “I am proud to see Green Football Weekend mobilising millions of fans and so many clubs to protect what we love. Football has the unbelievable power to unite everyone - clubs, players and fans - from across the community with a common goal to take action. Trying a healthy veggie option over Green Football Weekend is a simple step towards a healthier lifestyle and a healthier planet.“
Amy Turner, said: “I'm very passionate about protecting the future of our planet and it’s encouraging to see so many clubs speaking up and taking action on climate change. There’s a lot to be done across the industry, but I believe football can have a transformative impact, especially now so many fans are getting involved and want to see progress. I've been trying to live a more sustainable life and taking steps to reduce my own impact - even small changes can make a huge difference when we all come together. And that’s why Green Football Weekend is so powerful - it’s fans and clubs coming together to protect our world."
Sarah Jacobs from Green Football Weekend said: “Climate change is already having dire consequences for football, from flooded pitches to sweltering summer temperatures. Football is loved by billions globally, and its community - from fans to clubs - can play a critical role in protecting our world. It’s brilliant to see fans across the country taking action in their own lives, and inspiring such a breadth of club action across Green Football Weekend.
“There’s still a huge amount that needs to happen - including clubs travelling sustainably to nearby matches becoming the norm - but this is very much a journey. Green Football Weekend is bringing everybody together to raise collective ambition, generate momentum, and start to demonstrate what football can achieve when it puts sustainability at the heart of what it does.”

Amazing prizes are up for grabs for anybody taking part in Green Football Weekend, including tickets to the Championship Play-Off finals, a behind-the-scenes Sky Studios tour, tickets to Warner Bros. Studio Tour London - The Making of Harry Potter, and Football Manager game codes. Plus, supporter groups can bid for a £1000 cash prize for their club to spend on a green project. Throughout the tournament, fans can choose which green goals to score and track the progress of their club via the live leaderboard at
Green Football Weekend is powered by Ecotricity, in partnership with Devils Kitchen, Ministry of Eco-Education, Little Green Devils, Forest Green Rovers, and FGR Community, Coller Foundation, BOSH!, exceptional and the Gusto Group, and is supported by the EFL, WSL, PFA and the FA.
It is driven by Sky Sports, TNT Sports, The Football Supporters Association, Count Us In, Pledgeball and Planet League, and supported by partners including Compass Levy, Sodexo, Delaware North, The Vegetarian Society, Football For Future, Humane Society International, Veganuary, Veg Power, Sokito, Football Manager, Opta, University of Leeds, Keele University and First News. 

For more information and interviews, please contact:
Rosie Shannon on 07580422706 or 

Sodexo Live! apprentice named HIT Chef Apprentice of the Year #

Tay-Jaun (TJ) Moore, an apprentice chef for Sodexo Live! has been awarded Chef Apprentice of the Year award at the HIT Heroes Apprentice Awards 2024. 

The HIT Heroes Apprentice Awards celebrate the skills, passion and expertise of the industry’s budding chefs. 

TJ joined the Sodexo Live! academy with Raymond Blanc in September 2022 and has since worked at a number of Sodexo Live! venues in London as well as joining the chef brigade at Royal Ascot and at a number of Sodexo events including its annual awards ceremony held at  ACC Liverpool. 

Alexis Kennedy, HR Director - Sodexo Live! UK & Ireland said: “We are committed to ensuring that each and every one of our team members feel like they belong, that they can act with purpose and thrive in their career. Apprenticeships are just one way we are supporting our people hone their skills so they can grow their career the way they want to. We are so proud of TJ receiving this award, since joining us he has become a valuable member of our culinary team and we look forward to supporting him in realising his ambitions, he is definitely a star of the future." 

The Sodexo Live! academy, delivered in partnership with HIT Training, was set up with the aim of discovering, fostering, and launching the next generation of chefs from the greater London area into rewarding careers in the kitchen. TJ joined the academy in September 2022 as a Level 2 Commis Chef apprentice and is currently working with Sodexo Live! at the Wallace Collection café and restaurant in London.  

TJ says: " When I first started my apprenticeship, I was shadowing chefs and following pre-made prep lists. Now, I am responsible for sections, meaning I ensure products are labelled, the section is clean and organised and we are always ready for service. I create my own prep list and communicate with other chefs who take over my section in my absence. I also assist others when I am free and frequently run services under the supervision of the head chef to help me develop even more skills. I have been thrown in the deep end a few times leading services and tasks which is an incredible accomplishment from where I started. My confidence has soared and I am always ready to try new things.” 

TJ is looking to progress onto a Level 3 apprenticeship and hopes to move into event catering. 

TJ adds: “The apprenticeship has opened my eyes to wonderful opportunities and I want to travel the world, experience venues in different cities and pass on my knowledge to a new generation of chefs after me. My next career goal is to be one of the youngest head chefs in London and build a reputation in the industry.” 

The HIT Heroes Apprentice Award judges look for examples of how chef apprentices across five categories have applied their learning and skills development to enhance their role and place of work. Highly methodical organisational skills, energy, accuracy, attention to detail and an awareness of sustainability were also considered.  You can read TJ’s and the other winners interviews here.

Shortlist announced for Springboard Awards for Excellence 2024 #

The 50 shortlisted hospitality businesses and individuals competing to win a coveted Springboard Award for Excellence 2024 on 11 April, has been announced.
Springboard was delighted to receive nearly 200 entries and nominations this year, a record number for its annual hospitality awards, which are delivered in partnership with headline sponsor IHG.
The judging panel of industry experts and Springboard ambassadors praised the exceptionally high standard of entries received across all categories this year, including two new awards for Best Use of Technology and Talent Development Team of the Year.
The awards ceremony will take place at the prestigious InterContinental Park Lane, in the heart of Mayfair, London on 11 April and will be hosted by renowned comedian Simon Brodkin – off the back of his latest comedy tour, and recent TV appearance on The Royal Variety Performance.
The awards recognise and celebrate the UK and Ireland’s hospitality superstars, and those that have gone above and beyond to grow their organisation, look after their people and champion the industry.
Chris Gamm, chief executive of Springboard, said: “To be shortlisted for a Springboard Award for Excellence is a mark of hospitality brilliance. The awards are a fantastic opportunity to come together and commend our top businesses and people, showcasing their successes and hugely talented workforces. Yet again, the awards have grown, and the stunning InterContinental Park Lane is the perfect setting for us all to gather, raise a glass and celebrate our incredible industry.”
Tables and tickets are now available to purchase to attend the event at:
Fiona Colley Trainee of the Year Award
Alistair Kemley
Kierra Smith
Natasha Elston
Sophie Pace-Balzan
Best Recruitment Initiative Award – sponsored by
Greene King
Liberation Pub Group
Providence Hotels
Z Hotels
Best Apprenticeship Strategy Award – sponsored by HIT Training
Greene King
JKS Restaurants
Mitchells & Butlers
The Vineyard Hotel, Newbury
Umbel Restaurant Group, Academy by Simon Rogan
Employee Engagement Award – sponsored by Boyes Turner
Dalata Hotel Group
Eden Hotel Collection
Rare Restaurants
Best Training Programme Award
Dakota Hotels
Leonardo Hotels
Rare Restaurants
Sodexo Live!
Career Development Initiative Award – sponsored by Diageo
Crerar Hotels
IHG Hotels and Resorts
Rare Restaurants
RBH Hospitality Management
Best Use of Technology Award – sponsored by Mapal
Delaware North
The Athenaeum Hotel & Residences
The Elms
The Lowry
Talent Development Team of the Year Award – sponsored by Hospitality Jobs UK
5 Hertford Street and Oswald’s
Raffles Hotel
Z Hotels
Employee Health and Wellbeing Award – sponsored by Hand Picked Hotels
Eden Hotel Collection
Rare Restaurants
Valor Hospitality
Community Engagement Award – sponsored by 5 Hertford Street
Aurora Foxes
Craig Prentice, mum
DoubleTree by Hilton London ExCel
Disability Champion Award – sponsored by Sodexo
Cardiff Council
Greene King
Gusto Restaurants
Pan Pacific London
Diversity, Equality and Inclusion Award – sponsored by CH&CO
Brewhouse & Kitchen
Rare Restaurants
The Athenaeum Hotel & Residences
Valor Hospitality
Best Education and Industry Partnership Award
Aloft Birmingham Eastside & The Eastside Rooms
The Vineyard Group
Umbel Restaurant Group, Academy by Simon Rogan
Sustainable Business Award – sponsored by Franke Coffee Systems
Apex Hotels
Leonardo Hotels
Wilson Vale
Springboard Ambassador of the Year – sponsored by BaxterStorey
Ian Higgins, The Ivy Collection
Julian Rose-Gibbs, The Anchor Pub, Digbeth
Kyle Basnett, Gusto Restaurants
Michael Taylor, Sodexo
Best Employer Award – sponsored by Coca-Cola
5 Hertford Street and Oswald’s
Eden Hotel Collection
Hand Picked Hotels
Nobu Hotel Shoreditch
Permanently Unique
The Belfry Hotel & Resort
Chris Beaumont Outstanding Contribution Award – sponsored by Bidfood
Winner to be announced on the night
View shortlist here:

Sodexo, only company in its sector to be A scored in CDP climate ranking #

Sodexo is pleased to join the 346 top-rated companies of CDP climate ranking out of 21,000 companies scored, representing two thirds of the global market capitalisation. This recognition by CDP*, acknowledges the progress achieved by Sodexo on its climate ambition, both in performance and transparency.
In line with its ambition to be the global leader in sustainable food and valued experiences and given the climate emergency, Sodexo is accelerating its actions to reduce its climate impact.
This scoring recognises Sodexo’s ambitious trajectory and the active implication of its employees to achieve its SBTi approved Net Zero target by 2040. The integration of the most recent standards and tools to rigorously track performance and communicate transparently on climate is helping Sodexo to drive positive change across its value chain.
Anna Notarianni, Sodexo Group Chief Impact Officer said:
“We are pleased to be recognized by CDP for our sustainable commitment on climate. This recognition highlights the daily work of our local and global teams alongside our clients and suppliers. I am convinced that our actions and our vision for the future will allow us to achieve our ambitious objectives. Engaging with all our stakeholders will enables us to have a positive impact on our entire value chain, and to be the global leader in sustainable food.”
Sodexo’s climate ambition is based on four key levers identified to drastically reduce carbon emissions:
Products: by promoting sustainable farming practices, supporting supplier efforts to reduce their carbon emissions and by continuing to develop local sourcing and short supply chains.
Cooking: by designing new recipes to ensure that 70% of its main dishes are labelled “low-carbon” by 2030 (0.9 kg CO2e or less).
Energy: by implementing less energy-intensive preparation methods and by achieving the 100% renewable electricity in its direct operations by 2025.
Waste: by massively deploying the WasteWatch programme, Sodexo’s food waste prevention programme. 

*CDP is a global non-profit organisation holding the largest environmental database in the world. CDP scores are widely used to drive investment and procurement decisions towards a zero carbon, sustainable and resilient economy.

UK Restaurant Market Thrives Amidst Economic Challenges: Valued at £18.6bn in 2023 #

According to the latest insights from Lumina Intelligence's Operator Data Index, the UK restaurant market exhibited resilience in 2023, reaching a valuation of £18.6 billion. Despite economic challenges marked by high inflation, the industry experienced a commendable growth rate of +4.4% during the same period.

The report highlights that the overall eating out market achieved a slightly higher growth rate of +5.8%, indicating that restaurant closures and restricted consumer spending have posed challenges for further market expansion.

Notably, branded restaurants emerged as a success story in 2023, achieving a remarkable turnover growth of +7.7%. The market has witnessed a distinct polarization, with premium brands such as The Ivy, Côte, and Miller & Carter thriving while mid-market brands faced struggles. The shifting preferences of consumers have notably favoured fast-growing brands like Flat Iron and Rudy’s Pizza, which offer high-quality experiences at accessible price points.

In an effort to boost profitability, restaurant groups have strategically rationalised their estates. Leading brands experienced a decline in estate size by a combined average of -2.6%, largely driven by mid-market chains undergoing estate restructuring to alleviate debt. Seizing this opportunity, stronger operators such as The Big Table Group increased their acquisition activity, aiming to consolidate market positioning, secure synergies, and expand their reach.

NESCAFÉ® B2B by Nestlé Professional is giving small businesses across the UK a unique opportunity to win face-to-face business advice from DEBORAH MEADEN #

In an exciting new partnership for 2024 – NESCAFÉ® B2B by Nestlé Professional - is giving small and medium businesses, a unique opportunity to win bespoke insight and advice from serial entrepreneur and business guru Deborah Meaden.   

Open to SMEs*, across all industries, the new business programme, Let’s Partner up for Good, will see six lucky businesses win a seat at the table to discuss their business challenges relating to their sustainability journey, workplace wellbeing and business growth with Deborah Meaden and NESCAFÉ® B2B business experts.  

Nadia Roberts, Brand Manager at NESCAFÉ B2B, said: “We’re delighted to partner with Deborah Meaden to help and support six small businesses, and to share insight and tips with the wider small business community.  

“We know that every business is different but there are common themes that all small businesses face.  For example, we know that 76% of SMEs believe that having an environmental strategy is good for business and 25% would like their business to be more environmentally friendly. Over a third (35%) of small business owners’ want to learn how to improve their mental health while running a business but don’t feel they have access to the correct resources. And, shockingly, around 7,000 UK businesses are predicted to fail every quarter in 2024. 

“Whether it’s understanding what sustainability means for individual SMEs, improving employee wellbeing or boosting growth in the current climate, our aim with this partnership is not only to provide bespoke insight for the six selected businesses, but to create a platform with longevity for learning and sharing for the small business community.”  

Deborah Meaden said: “As people know, I’m passionate about running ‘good’ businesses and good will mean different things to different people.  There’s no one size fits all.  Running a business is a constant stream of challenges to navigate and it can be difficult to know where to turn for support and advice.  I’m delighted to work with NESCAFÉ® B2B to share my knowledge and experiences with SMEs across the UK.”  

The live discussion with Deborah will take place Spring/Summer 2024.   

SMEs also have the chance to win a place in the audience to listen as the conversations unfolds and pose their own questions in a live Q&A session with Deborah.  


For a chance to win a seat at the table with Deborah Meaden or a place in the audience; small businesses need to visit, complete the application, including detail on their business challenge and upload a short video clip. Entries close 31 March. T&Cs apply.  

Taylor Shaw extends contract with Elliott Hudson College #

Elliott Hudson College, one of the highest performing sixth form colleges in Leeds, has extended its catering contract for a further 3 years with Taylor Shaw, the leading catering specialist in the UK education sector.  
For the last two years, Taylor Shaw has served up to 1,000 students daily at the Elliott Hudson College. As well as optimum service delivery, Taylor Shaw’s contract extension was fuelled by its unwavering commitment to innovation. Elliott Hudson is the first college to have implemented a fully digital catering service and runs a fully cashless operation.
Successful implementation of Taylor Shaw’s ‘Breaz’ app for the on-site Costa Coffee shop and the college restaurant, has enabled students to order in advance as well as ‘click and collect’ food and beverages. A scan-and-go function is also available on the app for the grab-and-go counters and coffee stations.
Elliott Hudson College was also a successful trial site for Taylor Shaw’s self-serve kiosk technology. This digital screen allows students to place orders in the college’s café and restaurant and customise their choices. After the initial on-site kiosk trial, the response was so positive that a second kiosk became operational in close succession.
These cutting-edge initiatives, inspired by the B&I catering environment, have been instrumental in reducing student and staff queue times, particularly during short lesson breaks and lunch times, ensuring no student is missing out on lunch or learning. Taylor Shaw’s digital innovation also links with the college’s bursary system allowing for a seamless and inclusive food journey for all students, regardless of whether their meals are self- or college-funded. The new technology aligns with Taylor Shaw’s inclusive initiative to provide nutritious and filling meals to sustain young people in their learning journeys throughout the day.
Taylor Shaw’s investment in technology provides greater data gathering and facilitates trialling new items on the menu or commissioning street food pop-ups. Visibility of data in real-time means Taylor Shaw can better understand eating habits and inform targeted promotions.
Digitisation at Elliott Hudson College has been enthusiastically embraced by students and teachers. New digital services have been rated highly, with customers scoring the overall digital ordering experience at an impressive 4.9/5.
Lin Ridings, operations director at Taylor Shaw, said: “Our digital implementation at Elliot Hudson College exemplifies our constant dedication to improving not just what students eat, but how they experience their food service at college. We believe we are the first catering company to have implemented a fully digital journey like this in a sixth-form college. The enthusiastic response we’ve seen proves it is a welcome success.”
Jeanne McHale, business manager of Elliot Hudson College, added: “The recent digital trials with Taylor Shaw have led to an extremely quick and efficient service for all our students. As an educational institution, we are constantly trying to give the next generation the best tools for their future, and Taylor Shaw’s focus on accessibility is vital to ensuring student satisfaction and productivity.”

RSPCA Assured launches campaign to boost demand for higher welfare eggs on Pancake Day #

Half of Brits say the RSPCA Assured label on egg boxes makes them feel more confident about where their eggs have come from and better about their choices

RSPCA Assured, the RSPCA’s ethical food label and farm assurance scheme, has launched a new campaign to encourage consumers to choose higher welfare eggs this Pancake Day. 

The social media campaign is running across Youtube, Instagram and Facebook, with the aim of encouraging consumers to choose higher welfare eggs this pancake day. 
The campaign is part of a major bid to highlight that whether raised indoors (barn) or outdoors (free-range or organic), RSPCA Assured eggs always come from hens cared for to higher welfare standards. 
A new survey, commissioned in support of the campaign, was published by RSPCA Assured today. The survey found that the majority of Brits are concerned about hen welfare, with three-quarters of them saying hen welfare is important and two-thirds saying they look for either the RSPCA Assured logo or free-range label when buying eggs. 
Xenia Kingsley, Senior Marketing Manager at RSPCA Assured, said: “UK consumers will consume approximately 52 million eggs on Pancake Day - a staggering increase of around 22 million more eggs than on any other day.
“Now is a prime opportunity for us to highlight the importance of hen welfare and the dedication of RSPCA Assured members to caring for their hens. No matter how people like their pancakes, we hope the campaign will encourage people to spare a thought for the lives of hens and choose higher welfare eggs.”

The survey also revealed that almost half of Brits (48%) say the RSPCA Assured label on egg boxes makes them feel more confident about where their eggs have come from and better about their choices. Reassuringly, only one percent of respondents said they didn’t believe hens needed access to a higher welfare lifestyle, revealing an almost unanimous demand for higher welfare products.
“The results of this survey clearly show that hen welfare is no longer just a niche concern but an increasingly mainstream demand.” Xenia continued. “It’s really encouraging to see consumers prioritising hen welfare when they shop and recognising that hens are sentient creatures who deserve a good life.”
View the RSPCA Assured social media advert here
RSPCA Assured eggs are always higher welfare - whether the hens are free-range or barn. For a kinder Pancake Day, look for the label.

Bolsius Professional launches the 30 hour burn Relight candle The only ambience enhancer that operators need #

Bolsius, the largest candle manufacturer in Europe, unveils its latest innovation this month in its Bolsius Professional range – the 30-hour burn Relight candle.
Specifically crafted to enhance the ambience for special dining moments, this new addition to the Bolsius Professional Relight® range is a game-changer. The 30-hour Relight Candle is designed to be a safe and ideal atmosphere-enhancing light, providing operators with a long-lasting and versatile solution.
With its relightable and easy-to-replace features, this candle ensures a hassle-free experience for operators aiming to create the perfect setting. The extensive colour options in the Relight range allow operators to swiftly change the colour of the candle, catering to various moods and occasions while also emphasising sustainability by minimising waste.
Paul Christodoulou at Bolsius Professional, explains how candlelight can play a key part in venue design, especially during key dining occasions.

"The mood created by the soft flicker of a candle flame can make a venue feel intimate, warm, and inviting, elevating a night out to create a more premium experience. Our independent research reports that ambiance is key to more than 90% of UK consumers when choosing where to go out*; creating the perfect aura for customers can mean longer visits and repeat business - our candles can help with that.

“Our Relight® candle lasts 30 hours and is a fantastic table decoration and ambience tool. We introduced this candle to provide operators with more value and a refill option with an even longer burn period. This candle has a stable, and odourless flame that can be relit and only needs to be changed once a week, reducing wastage and employee time.”

The refills, available as 24 and now 30 hour burning hours, are currently being offered at the same price, offering operators more value. Made from plant-based wax from Europe and, whenever possible, recycled plastic and recyclable materials. The recently certified B Corporation goes above and beyond to make sure that its candle ranges are produced sustainably with care for people and planet. 

For further details on the full range visit Home | Bolsius Professional and to request a sample email

Million-Pound Training Facility Unveiled - Xcelerate with Edgbaston #

Watch the Xcelerate launch via this flythrough video here.

Xcelerate with Edgbaston, the inaugural Compass Group UK and Ireland state-of-the-art regional community skills and learning centre for training and excellence, officially opens its doors today. Operated by its sports and leisure caterer, Levy UK + Ireland, and located at the iconic Edgbaston Stadium, the centre aims to support the training and upskilling of its colleagues and the local community.

Levy UK + Ireland has enjoyed a long-term partnership of over twenty years with Edgbaston and was instrumental in establishing the pioneering training site which is dedicated to elevating the skills and standards of all aspects of hospitality. Xcelerate with Edgbaston will not only offer apprenticeships, career development and skills training within the Compass network but also extend its benefits to the broader hospitality industry, with some graduates going on to secure jobs at the stadium itself. Additionally, the centre will feature a comprehensive community engagement programme and a diverse range of cookery masterclasses tailored for aspiring home chefs.

The one-million-pound training facility boasts state-of-the-art infrastructure designed to provide a conducive learning environment. Equipped with 12 innovative cooking stations, a modern lecture theatre, practical training areas, and the latest industry-specific technology, the centre ensures a comprehensive and immersive learning experience. From culinary arts to front-of-house management and facility management services, our industry experts bring a wealth of experience to deliver hands-on training that prepares individuals for success in their respective roles.

Xcelerate with Edgbaston will help break down barriers and offer opportunities to all. Both local community partners and nationwide market-leading training providers will deliver training on site.

Hospitality Training
From foundational skills to advanced techniques, attendees will receive first hand training and theoretical knowledge to prepare them for successful careers. With a wide Apprenticeship offer from Level 2 through to degree level and spanning culinary, operations, IT, HR, event management, procurement and finance, there is something for everyone wanting to work in hospitality.

Community Engagement  
Xcelerate with Edgbaston is committed to fostering community engagement and will host a variety of programmes, outside of apprenticeships, aimed at the local community and those wishing to start out in the industry. The centre will be home to after-school cookery academies, pre-apprenticeship courses, skills bootcamps, T Level industry placements, ESOL training, as well as supporting refugees and ex-offenders through Gateway to Employment programmes.

Hosted by Steven Lamb, one of the founding tutors at River Cottage, Xcelerate will offer a host of intimate masterclasses designed to meet the demands of the evolving culinary scene. Cooking enthusiasts are encouraged to don an apron and roll up their sleeves, ready to be guided through a gastronomic tutorial by the curing and smoking maestro. Courses range from a One Day Cookery School; Preserves, Pickles and Fermentation; to Vegetarian Cooking; and of course, Curing and Smoking.

The West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) has been working with Xcelerate with Edgbaston and Compass to help link its own skills training to the new facility and encourage local people and businesses to take advantage of the training and support on offer.

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands and chair of the WMCA, comments: “Hospitality is an incredibly important sector not just for our regional economy but also for our communities, providing valuable opportunities for local people either seeking work or simply an enjoyable night out with family and friends.

“But we know the industry has struggled with a shortage of skilled workers in recent times which is why I’m so pleased to officially open Xcelerate here at Edgbaston Stadium. I look forward to seeing it play a pivotal role in giving people the skills they need to work in hospitality while helping our local businesses recruit the future talent they need to prosper in the months and years ahead.”

Kate Nicholls, Chief Executive of UKHospitality, says: “I applaud Compass and Levy for investing in the future of hospitality by creating a fantastic space at Xcelerate with Edgbaston, which will provide access to first-class training facilities, for their own staff and people from neighbouring communities.

“Initiatives such as Xcelerate are crucial in supporting our sector. They not only promote hospitality as a career of choice to young people, but they also provide top-class training for people at all levels and stages of their careers, helping to enhance and grow their skillset. We look forward to continuing to support the great work that both Compass and Levy will be doing at Xcelerate with Edgbaston.”

Edgbaston Community Director, Fidelis Navas, adds: “We take considerable pride in being the first site to house an Xcelerate community centre for training and excellence. Edgbaston is dedicated to serving our surrounding communities. Most of the staff that work here on match days come from the local area and we see Xcelerate as an opportunity to provide more career opportunities for people living near Edgbaston.

“This centre offers a fantastic facility, equipped with modern amenities, for prospective Edgbaston employees to undergo training in various roles such as chefs, event managers, receptionists, baristas, and facilities managers. There will be opportunities for trainees to showcase their talents on match days – including England internationals when 25,000 spectators will be here – and for visitors to savour the food the trainee chefs create.”

Jonathan Foot, Head of Apprenticeships and Early Careers at Compass Group UK & Ireland, sums up the launch: “Xcelerate with Edgbaston is the first of the Compass Group UK and Ireland regional community skills and learning centre for training and excellence, and marks a significant milestone in our commitment to fostering excellence in service and professionalism within the industry. Our mission is to offer everyone the opportunity to develop and progress. To nurture and empower the next generation of hospitality professionals, reach out to local communities to offer our skills and knowledge, and provide cooking experiences for budding home chefs.”

The Xcelerate training space will also be utilised on match days providing an enhanced experience for cricket goers, offering a modern and vibrant food and drink area with the latest technology. Situated under the RES Wyatt stand, the opening of Xcelerate means fans will now be able to walk around the whole perimeter of the stadium.

Xcelerate with Edgbaston is the first of a series of regional hubs of training excellence, under the “Xcelerate” name, being set up by Compass Group UK and Ireland across the country.

Please see Xcelerate website here and link through to flythrough video here.   

Facebook: @XcelerateWithEdgbaston                
Instagram: @XcelerateWithEdgbaston