Members’ News

April 2024

Foodbuy welcomes Carl Howells as the New Commercial Director of Hospitality #

Foodbuy, the procurement division of Compass Group UK & Ireland, has announced the appointment of Carl Howells as its new Commercial Director.

With an impressive track record and extensive experience in the field, Howells brings a fresh perspective and strategic vision to its team.

In this pivotal role, Carl will oversee all aspects of Foodbuy’s hospitality operations. Carl will look to specifically grow this arm of the business. This involves building the client base by offering hotel clients unparalleled efficiencies and manufacturer deals.

Foodbuy currently manages a combined client spend of over £1.4 billion in the UK alone, with clients benefitting from supply chain solutions across all categories, culinary expertise to support menu design, margin delivery and chef development through Foodbuy Culinary Solutions. Foodbuy also offers a comprehensive online ordering system and expertise in alcohol procurement and brand support.

Carl Howells has spent over 25 years in the hospitality sector, holding key leadership positions at renowned establishments including premium health, fitness and spa operator, David Lloyd Clubs, as well as supporting various well-known 4- and 5-star hotel groups both in the UK and internationally. His most recent role has been at Entegra for five years, where he was the Director of Operations and then the Director of Client Relations. Expertise spans premium health, fitness and spa, hospitality and casual dining. Howells is known for fostering collaborative teams, bringing innovation, change and driving growth.

Karl Atkins, Managing Director at Foodbuy UK & Ireland said: “We are delighted to welcome Carl to the Foodbuy family. His proven leadership and deep understanding of the industry will undoubtedly elevate our client experiences and contribute to their continued success.”

Carl Howells said: “It is great to join Foodbuy and lead this exceptional hospitality team. Together, we will enable our clients to drive profitability, help them build on their customer offer and support the development of their teams with our market-leading procurement solution.”

Norwegian Seafood celebrated at this year's HRC Trade Show #

Michel Roux Jr among culinary superstars at Norwegian Seafood Chef HQ takeover

Celebrating the quality of Norwegian seafood and its story of origin, the Norwegian Seafood Council (NSC), in collaboration with Chef Publishing, staged a seafood takeover at this year’s HRC Chef HQ, inviting a star-studded host of chefs to showcase seafood from Norway alongside a group of Norwegian seafood stakeholders. 

The takeover, which took place on the 26th March 2024 at HRC, the UK’s largest hospitality, restaurant and catering trade show, featured cooking demonstrations from award winning chef partner Simon Hulstone from Michelin-starred The Elephant, and culinary prodigy, CGC 2023 winner of Young National Chef of the Year (YNCOTY), Sam Dixon from Northcote, to demonstrate how seafood from Norway can be incorporated into modern UK dining menus. 

Both Sam and Simon cooked with Norwegian white fish Skrei – a seasonal cod exclusively from Norway that is a prized culinary feature for many seafood loving chefs around this time of year. Known for its firm meat and fresh flavour, Skrei is only available between January and April each year.  

The chef demos were complimented by two sharing sessions covering several pertinent topics in the seafood and hospitality industry. The first, which featured Mike Warner of A Passion for Seafood Ltd and Victoria Braathen, UK director Norwegian Seafood Council, highlighted Norway and the UK’s seafood partnership, sustainable management of fisheries, and the importance of consumer seafood education. While the second, featuring Michelin Restaurateur Michel Roux Jr, delved into the value of nurturing the next generation of culinary talent, and the importance of responsibly sourced seafood within the hospitality sector. 

Key takeaways from the sharing sessions note that: 

Norway and the United Kingdom are long-held seafood partners and increasing seafood consumption, both in the context of sustainability and health benefits, is a shared agenda for our two countries.  

Consumers are looking for greater guidance and inspiration when choosing and preparing seafood dishes at home and when dining out. 

The hospitality industry has an important role to play when it comes to seafood education in the UK, helping facilitate a more widespread celebration of fish and seafood.  

Reflecting on the Chef HQ takeover Michel said: 
“This has been a fantastic day, meeting with stakeholders across the industry. I really enjoy my long-term relationship with Norwegian seafood. As a chef, it is so important to work with great produce and you can’t really get much better than Norwegian seafood. I’ve been lucky enough to visit Norway, alongside the next generation of the UK’s leading chefs, experiencing first-hand how much quality and sustainability is valued by the country’s seafood industry. It was a pleasure to share insights on my journey cooking sustainable seafood and to connect with young, up and coming chefs in the industry at today's seafood takeover." 

A seafood canapé reception, curated by Simon Hulstone, rounded out the afternoon, showcasing a selection of Norwegian seafood brought by Norwegian seafood suppliers also in attendance at the takeover including Ava Ocean, the Fisker Prawn Co., Nordic Halibut and Norcod. 

Norway is a proud supplier of sustainable seafood to the UK hospitality industry through a close collaboration with importers and distributors, chefs and caterers. On concluding the takeover Victoria Braathen, UK Director of NSC, commented: 
“Coming together with some of the UK’s most esteemed and respected chefs and hospitality representatives at this year’s Chef HQ, to explore the value of quality, sustainable seafood from Norway, has been an absolute pleasure. We’ve been delighted to be joined by a number of seafood industry representatives and the meals and discussion sessions served as a testament to the close seafood bond between Norway and the UK and opportunities ahead.” 

Barnett wins first-ever ‘Hospitality’s Got Talent’ at event which raises £30,000 for Wafflemeister foundation #

Stuart Barnett was named winner of ‘Hospitality’s Got Talent’ last night - at a charity event which raised more than £30,000 for the Wafflemeister Foundation.
Barnett, group sales director at Dewberry Redpoint, was announced as the night’s top performer for his rendition of ‘Don’t look back in Anger’ by Oasis at the sell-out event, which took place on Tuesday 26 March at Piano Works in London Farringdon.
He said: “Mad for it. What a night, and just what the industry needed. It was an amazing event for two amazing causes and Wafflemeister did an incredible job by bringing the industry together.”
The performers were cheered on by 350 of their hospitality colleagues, who got to enjoy complimentary drinks and canapés as well as a whole evening of entertainment and live music.
The evening included a comedy sketch by Ell Powell from drinks brand Nix & Kix; Bidfood’s Liza Lucas and Michael Pollitt sang ‘This Is Me’ from The Greatest Showman; and the ‘Crispy Grids Band’ from Perfect Storm PR Agency sang Lizzo’s About Damn Time. To round off the evening, Danny Wright, founder of Collab Coffee, performed Stevie Wonder’s ‘Superstition’.
Funds raised from the event will go towards the Make-A-Wish Foundation, which helps fulfil the wishes of children with critical illnesses, and the Burnt Chef Project, which provides mental health support to the hospitality industry.
Rikos Leong-Son, chief executive at Wafflemeister, said: “We’re so proud and delighted to host the event. Rather than a big ‘corporate’ event, we wanted to celebrate the launch of our new foundation by bringing together our industry friends for a night of fun and great talent while raising money for two brilliant causes at the same time.
“Everyday, our job is to make customers smile with great service and products. We also want to put a smile on the faces of those going through challenging times.”
“Thanks so much to our sponsors, everyone who bought tickets, put themselves forward to perform, and gave their time, energy and money towards making it such a brilliant event.”

The Wafflemeister Foundation was set up earlier this year to support various charities through hospitality-based fundraising activities throughout the year.  

Nestlé Professional® team up with rising culinary star in London school visit to change perception of industry and attract the next generation #

Managing Director of Nestlé Professional Katya Simmons and 2023 Toque d’Or Back-of-house finalist Elycia Rayner, now Chef de Partie at Oxford University, inspire more than 600 year 9 and 10 pupils from Hazelwick School to choose a career in hospitality.
Getting back to the classroom, their visit was part of a collective push by four of the UK’s biggest hospitality powerhouses who are carrying out a series of school visits designed to change perceptions of the industry. Together with UKHospitality and Springboard, Nestlé Professional, Compass, Elior and Punch Pubs aim to breathe new life into the sector by inspiring the next generation of talent.
Mr. Salmon, Head of Year 9 at Hazelwick School, said: “The Year 9 students thoroughly enjoyed the presentation from Katya and Elycia. It was interesting to hear from two professionals who had completely different experiences of being employed in the hospitality industry and who are in different branches of the industry.
“One aspect that was extremely apt to hear was the importance of good people skills in terms of characteristics employers are seeking. This reinforces messages that Year 9 students have heard throughout the Dare 2 Dream Project- ‘people employ people’.
“A final aspect that was useful to hear was the variety of jobs that are available in the hospitality industry and how hospitality has links to almost every subject that students are studying for their GCSEs.”

Katya and Elycia are some of the first Choose Hospitality Pledge ambassadors to visit their local school and speak to Year 9 and 10 students about hospitality careers in two engaging and informative 1-hour sessions. Students got an introduction to hospitality and its various careers in an inspiring video, followed by a fun quiz where they were able to get a true sense of the industry’s many career pathways, fast progression rates and the competitive salaries on offer.
To learn more about the Choose Hospitality Pledge and join the industry-wide movement, visit:

Buzz of Business: FEA’s ‘brilliant’ HRC #

Popular events and insightful Masterclass programme cap business-rich show

The 2024 HRC Show was a huge success for FEA, with a series of popular receptions, including awards for the latest CFSP graduates, and a well-attended programme of Masterclass talks.  More importantly, FEA members reported lots of business being done, with a strong footfall of quality visitors across all three days. 

Masterclass insights

FEA ran four Masterclass discussions during the show.  ‘Restaurant design: when form meets function’ discussed the myriad aspects that need consideration in planning a restaurant.  With so many options, and with such a huge potential opportunity, it’s essential to engage with experts to get it right.  ‘How to find and choose sustainable kitchen equipment’ considered the variety of new features and options on foodservice equipment that not only help the planet, but also reduce running costs.  It’s important to take time when selecting equipment, and work with a supplier who really understands both the business and its sustainability aspirations.  ‘Options for servicing and maintaining your kitchen equipment’ underlined the need to train staff in day to day care of equipment, and to ensure there’s a solid service contract in place.  It also looked at how connectivity will have huge benefits in foodservice kitchens in terms of reliability and running costs. 

One of the most popular Masterclasses was Cyrus Todiwala’s power breakfast.  He gave an inspiring talk covering his humble upbringing in Bombay, his development through the ranks of The Taj group, his transition from chef to leader, and his move to the UK (via breaking both ankles in a mineshaft in Australia!).  He also had some powerful words of advice and wisdom for aspiring chefs about working hard, being resilient, having confidence in yourself and leading teams in the right way. 

Eventful receptions

FEA’s drinks reception on the Monday was attended not only by humans but also the sponsor’s robots (with thanks to Gamble FS).  The FEA Light Equipment and Tableware reception brought together members and dealers to discuss trends in advance of the LET Forum in May.  FEA chair Paul Anderson welcomed the latest group of CFSP graduates at a special event on Tuesday evening, where they were able to pick up their official certificates. 

“HRC 2024 was just brilliant,” says FEA chief executive John Cunningham.  “There was a real buzz of business in the air, and FEA members were very positive about the show.  Roll on 2025!”

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 

Expected £14.1bn Value for UK Food Delivery Market: Shifts in Consumer Behaviour Drive Market Evolution #

The latest Lumina Intelligence Foodservice Delivery Report presents promising prospects for the foodservice delivery market in the United Kingdom. According to the report, the market is expected to grow by +2.8% to a value of £14.1 billion in 2024, stabilising following the pandemic boom.

The market has stabilised following significant pandemic-driven growth and subsequent volume decline. Aggregators continue to expand reach and scale, with London’s share of delivery occasions decreasing by -2ppts.

Market growth excluding VAT and delivery service fees fell to -3.3% and +1.6% in 2022 and 2023, hindered by reduced volumes as consumer delivery behaviours shifted post-pandemic. Reduced customer frequencies (-0.9%) and a lack of growth in new customers (+0.2ppts) restricted the market in 2023, particularly affecting families with weaker finances.

Fast food is forecast to lead share growth in the market, supported by developments around white label services and investment. Company-owned delivery services and Uber Eats experienced a +2.9ppt and +2.4ppt rise in share respectively in 2023, the only two to see growth. Aggregators and operators are focusing on improving the user experience through AI and expanding partnerships.

Pandemic-driven delivery behaviours, including a wider variety of day-part and weekday occasions, have reversed. There is an opportunity to cement habitual delivery behaviours in UK consumers, particularly with the rise of dinner occasions and the importance of treating missions. There is potential growth in solo and sporting delivery occasions in 2024 with the UEFA Euros and Paris Olympics.

Commenting on the findings, Insight Lead Katie Gallagher, said “opportunities around day-parts and ranges must be realised to unlock further growth. Increasing customer order frequency through encouraging a wider repertoire of occasions will also be a key lever of growth. Optimisations in delivery platforms and services, including AI-driven order assistants, to prompt additions and drive transaction value will be another market bolster.”

Levy UK + Ireland Clinches Ninth Consecutive Gold Medal Award for Outstanding Safety Performance from RoSPA #

Levy UK + Ireland proudly announces it has maintained its Gold Medal Award status for Safety Performance from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA). This remarkable achievement marks the ninth consecutive year that Levy UK + Ireland has been honoured with this esteemed accolade.

RoSPA's Health and Safety Awards stand as the ultimate symbol of excellence and commitment to safety across industries globally. These awards recognise businesses, teams, and projects for their steadfast dedication to safeguarding lives and promoting a culture of safety.

Levy UK + Ireland's consistent recognition by RoSPA underscores its commitment to safety excellence, and ongoing efforts to maintain the highest safety standards. This not only sets a benchmark across the sports and entertainment arm of the hospitality industry but reinforces its position as a leader in safety performance.

"We are thrilled to receive the RoSPA Gold Medal Award for the ninth consecutive year. This accomplishment is a testament to the dedication and diligence of our entire team," said David Crowe, HSE Director at Levy UK + Ireland. "Safety is a core value within Levy, and this recognition reaffirms our commitment to ensuring the well-being of our people, our clients and visitors to our partner venues."

Julia Small, RoSPA’s Achievements Director, said: "Workplace accidents don't just pose financial risks and operational disruptions; they significantly impact the quality of life for individuals. This is why acknowledging and rewarding excellent safety performance is vital.

“We congratulate Levy UK + Ireland for winning a prestigious RoSPA Award and showing an unwavering commitment to keeping employees, clients and customers safe from accidental harm and injury.”

Kensington Palace's Iconic Restaurant, The Orangery, Reopens with Regal Flavours and Elegant Architectural Restoration #

Company of Cooks is delighted to announce that in partnership with Historic Royal Palaces it will reopen the iconic restaurant, The Orangery at Kensington Palace, on 1 May. Historic Royal Palaces – the independent charity that cares for the public-facing State Apartments at Kensington Palace – has undertaken an extensive period of restoration at The Orangery. Situated within the picturesque grounds of Kensington Palace, The Orangery holds a rich history dating back to the 18th century, and its restoration signifies a renaissance of one of London's most cherished architectural treasures and the opening of what is poised to become one of the city’s most sought after lunch and afternoon tea destination.

Elegant lunch and indulgent afternoon tea menus will be inspired by the opulence of Queen Anne's greenhouse drawing from the Palace’s rich history, with signature dishes set to include Queen Victoria's renowned Victoria sponge and ‘The Orange’ with orange sorbet, citrus salad and chocolate soil.

The lunch menu showcases modern, seasonal British fare, featuring exquisite starters such as Wye Valley asparagus with pink grapefruit, pomegranate and London smoked salmon paired with capers and pickled shallot rings. For mains, delight in dishes like Seared ChalkStream trout with cauliflower cream, samphire, mussels, and lemon thyme dressing or savour the rich flavours of Palace pie, a hearty blend of braised lamb shoulder and beef rib served with Somerset cheddar mash.

The Royal Afternoon Tea is a truly regal indulgence, with a selection of delightful treats including Castle Farm lavender éclair; traditional scones served with Cornish clotted cream and blackcurrant preserve and pea, broad bean and tarragon quiche, to be enjoyed alongside Pimm’s or English sparkling wine. Young guests will be offered the Children's Afternoon Tea featuring a variety of cakes, scones with Cornish clotted cream and strawberry preserve.

Company of Cook’s commitment goes beyond taste, with sustainability at the heart of everything they do. "Our commitment to sustainability is ingrained in every aspect of our operations at The Orangery," says Group Chef, Karen Poynter. "From reducing farm surplus with local growers to refusing airfreight for fresh produce, we prioritise our planet and our communities. With an exclusive reliance on only British meats and cheeses and adherence to the Good Fish Guide for responsible seafood sourcing, we are dedicated to making environmentally conscious choices."

"We take pride in sourcing ingredients from some of London's finest local artisan suppliers," adds Poynter. "By supporting local growers and producers, we not only ensure the highest quality ingredients for our dishes but also contribute to the sustainability of our local food ecosystem."

Ian Cuerden, Head of Admissions, Retail and Catering Sales at Historic Royal Palaces, says: “We are thrilled that The Orangery at Kensington Palace will be reopening as an elegant dining destination this spring following a period of careful building restoration. A sumptuous menu inspired by the history of Kensington Palace and seasonal British fare, served in this architecturally stunning setting, will create a unique and elevated dining experience for our guests and we look forward to them enjoying the space once more.”

The spatial reimagination of The Orangery at Kensington Palace is led by design studio StudioKKD, who have brought the space to life using a warm, textured, sophisticated material palette that complements the royal historical architecture. Key finishes have been chosen to elevate and reflect the original heritage of the building and the surroundings, including the Verdure Tapestry wallpaper by Cole & Son, inspired by a 17th century tapestry and a velvet fabric design by GP & J Baker, inspired by the royal gardens of Historic Royal Palaces.

The Orangery boasts a rich history dating back to 1704, when it was built by Nicholas Hawksmoor – a leading figure of English Baroque style architecture. Initially commissioned by Queen Anne as an elaborate greenhouse for her orange trees, this building has also been used as a party venue since her reign, when it became a ‘summer supper house’ and a place for royal entertainment. Now, visitors can once again soak in the rich history, magnificent gardens, stunning architecture and elegant culinary offering inspired by royal traditions and crafted with contemporary flair.

Sodexo recognised in RoSPA Safety Awards with eight medals and four President’s Awards #

Sodexo UK & Ireland has been recognised for its commitment to health and safety with six gold and two silver medals in the 2024 RoSPA awards programme as well as four President’s Awards, given to organisations with ten or more consecutive gold medals.
The RoSPA Awards, now in its 68th year, stands as the UK’s foremost health and safety programme, attracting nearly 2,000 entries annually from over 50 countries and impacting millions of employees worldwide. These awards serve as a testament to Sodexo's ongoing pursuit of excellence and continuous improvement in health and safety standards.
This year Sodexo’s Corporate Services business secured its thirteenth consecutive gold medal receiving the prestigious President’s Award for the fourth time.
Sodexo Health & Care at four locations have received three gold and a silver.  It is the twelfth consecutive gold for the team at Wythenshawe Hospital, part of the Manchester University Foundation Trust (MFT), resulting in a second President’s award. 
The MFT team also received its tenth gold medal for the Oxford Road Campus, which comprises five hospitals (Manchester Royal Infirmary, Manchester Royal Eye Hospital, Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital and Saint Mary’s Hospital), receiving the President’s Award for the first time, as did Sodexo Health & Care at Royal Stoke Hospital.  Sodexo Health & Care at Hereford Hospital received a silver medal.
Sodexo’s Government team are also celebrating RoSPA success with Project Allenby/Connaught, part of the MOD estate managed by Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO), receiving gold for the third time; its Agencies and Property Professional Services division received its fourth gold medal and for its contract with the Ministry of Justice which received a silver medal.
Sean Haley, CEO of Sodexo UK & Ireland, said: “The health and safety of all our colleagues, customers and partners is an intrinsic part of our culture, these awards demonstrate our commitment to having world class health and safety systems and processes in place that help us to create a better everyday for everyone to build a better life for all.”
Samantha Holmes, Sodexo UK & Ireland’s HSEQ Director, added: “I am delighted to see our teams rewarded for their continued excellence in safety. This recognition underpins our Zero Harm Mindset ambition and demonstrates our unwavering commitment to ensure everyone goes home safely. The safety of our people, our clients and our partners is and always will be at the heart of everything we do.”
The RoSPA Health and Safety Awards programme recognises organisations’ commitment to continuous improvement in the prevention of accidents and ill health at work, looking at entrants’ overarching health and safety management systems, including practices such as leadership and workforce involvement.
Julia Small, RoSPA’s Achievements Director, said: "Workplace accidents don't just pose financial risks and operational disruptions; they significantly impact the quality of life for individuals. This is why acknowledging and rewarding excellent safety performance is vital.
“We congratulate Sodexo for showing an unwavering commitment to keeping employees, clients and customers safe from accidental harm and injury.”

Sponsored by Croner-i, the RoSPA Awards scheme is the longest-running of its kind in the UK, and receives entries from organisations across the globe, making it one of the most sought-after achievement awards for the health and safety industry.

FEA members start to populate new categories on Energy Technology List #

Parliament considering making ETL listing a prerequisite for public sector procurement

FEA has congratulated Hobart for being the first commercial dishwasher manufacturer to have products listed on the government’s Energy Technology List (ETL).  The ETL opened a new technology category early in 2023 for Professional Foodservice Equipment (PFSE), with new subcategories being added, including commercial dishwashers and combi ovens.  Hobart is the first company to be listed in the commercial dishwasher category, joining fellow FEA members MKN and Rational, who listed their products in the combi oven category last year.

Hobart has two hood type dishwashers on the ETL, with two undercounter models expected to be listed shortly.  The testing procedure is complex and rigorous, and since it’s carried out by an independent third party, buyers can be sure that results are accurate.  “For companies like Hobart, getting listed on the ETL is an investment, both in time and money,” says Andy Threlfall, FEA’s technical and policy director.  “Of course, it’s also a great way for a PFSE manufacturer to prove their energy efficiency credentials.  And it’s brilliant for equipment buyers who are interested in sustainability and energy efficiency, as it gives them the information they need.” 

The commercial dishwasher category not only confirms that the equipment meets the required cleaning standards with efficient use of energy, water and chemicals, but also ensures it meets the strictest of hygiene standards using bacterial testing methods. The hygiene standard created for the category was new and there was a shortage of facilities capable of accommodating this specific testing requirement.  FEA investigated options that would allow manufacturers to access the test and, after various discussions, UL Solutions (also a FEA member) rose to the challenge and provided a cost effective method to carry testing out under laboratory conditions.

“FEA was involved during the various stages of the creation of the EN standards and the ETL requirements,” says Threlfall, “Being involved during the development phase enabled us to keep our members updated and ready to provide in-depth advice relating to the requirements.”

He adds, “We heartily commend these manufacturers who have gained ETL listing.  They are leading the way by achieving recognition and approval for their products, which had to meet strict energy efficiency and performance levels using the new BSEN testing standards.”  

At the recent HRC exhibition Liebherr announced it had been added to the list of manufacturers in the ETL Refrigeration category.  The company joins FEA members True Refrigeration and Electrolux Professional Refrigeration in having their energy efficient equipment listed in the professional refrigeration and display refrigeration categories.

The ETL provides foodservice operators with confidence that products listed on it meet the strictest energy efficiency criteria, helping them choose the one that best suits their efficiency, carbon and sustainability aspirations. The new ETL PFSE categories are the first to give energy efficiency ratings for this type of equipment, and can be referenced easily on schemes covered by BREEAM.     

Threlfall predicts that more equipment manufacturers will invest in the ETL testing, not only because it gives their products third party accreditation but also because Parliament is considering making ETL listing a prerequisite for public sector procurement.  In fact, it is already being asked for when tendering for some NHS contracts. 

“The application to submit products for ETL approval is relatively simple,” says Threlfall.  “While there is no cost to apply and list them, there may be some costs for some product categories which may require third party testing and verification. The team looking after the ETL is very helpful and happy to advise manufacturers in the application process.”

Tom Lock is consulting director at ICF and programme director for the ETL Scheme.  He says, “We're thrilled to welcome Hobart as our latest ETL listed manufacturer, marking our first approved products in the professional dishwasher category. Joining Rational and MKN in our Professional foodservice equipment category, we are keen to encourage more applications from manufacturers.  The ETL is free to use, increases market visibility, and the application process is straight forward. Listed products rank among the top 25% on the market in their class for energy efficiency and independent verification and accreditation builds purchasers’ trust.”

FEA is also offering advice and guidance to members who want to know more about getting on the ETL list.  Visit for contact information. 

“The ETL gives end users and specifiers the confidence that equipment listed has achieved the highest standards for energy efficiency and performance,” says Threlfall. “Anyone looking for energy efficient products should look at the categories within the UK’s ETL register.” 

The ETL can be accessed via 
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 

TWC announces upcoming shopper insight study on UK aggregator market #

In a dynamic market where one study revealed that UK households spent an average of £5 per week on takeaways in 2021, and individuals shelled out £641 annually on takeaway food, the demand for consumer insights remains paramount. With the advent of advanced online ordering technology and an expanding array of restaurant delivery services, the landscape continues to evolve rapidly.
Amidst this backdrop, TWC is conducting a comprehensive shopper insight study on the UK aggregator market, launching in Q1 2024.
Speaking to a robust sample of 2,000 UK shoppers, TWC's study will provide cutting-edge shopper insights encompassing various critical dimensions, including penetration rates overall and by named operators, frequency of purchase, demographic profiles, spending patterns, mission and occasion dynamics, triggers for purchase, and much more.
Why Participate?
Participating in this study offers stakeholders an unparalleled opportunity to:

Gain invaluable insights into aggregator market performance in 2024
Identify potential partnership opportunities and the scope of the market
Anticipate future trends and developments within the aggregator landscape 

The study will exclusively focus on food purchases, encompassing both foodservice and grocery sectors. Moreover, participants will have the flexibility to include up to 10 customised questions, tailoring the results to their specific categories or hypotheses.
For further information or to express interest in participation, please contact us via email at or call us at +44 (0)1908 101 389.

Compass chefs shine at International Salon Culinaire #

Compass Group UK & Ireland chefs celebrated an impressive haul of awards at this year’s International Salon Culinaire competition, which took place as part of the three-day Hotel, Restaurant & Catering show (HRC) at ExCeL London during Food, Drink and Hospitality Week.

Compass chefs secured six Best in Class awards, plus one Gold, 12 Silver, 19 Bronze alongside 10 Diplomas.

Talented chefs from across the Compass UK business took part in the event with representation across its sectors, including: Chartwells, Eurest, ESS, Restaurant Associates and Levy UK + Ireland.

Salon Culinaire provides an opportunity for chefs to test their skills and creativity in a competition environment, set across 120 live and static challenges over a three-day event.

In total, the team competed in 29 different competitions across the three elements:

Salon Live – live cooking competitions
Salon Display – static exhibits
Skills Theatre – live kitchen and service skills competitions for students

A Gold award was honoured to:
Husan Alaqel from Chartwells Independents in the restaurant fish course

Best in Class awards were honoured to:
Max Faulkner, Chartwells – Beef and beyond Australian culinary challenge
Brett Seagrave and Gareth Williams, ESS – Tilda Chef Team of the Year
Terry McBride, Eurest – Raised Pie
Charlotte Harris, Chartwells Schools - Main Course Plates
Nicola Harper, ESS (Craft Guild Entry) – Main Course Plates

Nick Vadis, Culinary Director at Compass Group UK & Ireland, said: “Events like these are a great experience to challenge our chefs and for them to learn. It’s also a great opportunity to showcase the industry and encourage others to join. Our awards have gone to a wide variety of our talent from our junior apprentices to our more senior Exec chefs – demonstrating the importance of investing in our chef talent at all levels and the programmes created for them to progress and develop. With lots of new competitors this year, it is an incredible result. Well done to everyone involved.”

The HRC event also saw the launch of the Healthcare Chef’s Knowledge – a book led by the NHS and Prue Leith, designed to highlight the importance of food and nutrition in hospitals. The book includes Nick Vadis, UK Culinary Director for Foodbuy Culinary Solutions and NHS Supply Chain, Compass Group UK and Ireland - Healthcare Culinary Director, Bruce Toon and One Retail, Business Development Director, Haley-mae Downer.

Russell Blake, Managing Director of Healthcare at Compass Group UK & Ireland - “Food and nutrition are so important across the NHS – for staff, visitors and of course to support the health outcomes of patients. This book emphasises the critical role of good quality food within healthcare and it is fantastic to see the collaboration from experts across the sector. The book has extended our longstanding partnership with the NHS and I am glad we could support to help bring the idea to life.”

Gemma Evans-Hurley, Head of Culinary, Dine Contract Catering joined the “Contract Catering in 2024 and Beyond” panel to discuss menu design amidst a challenging economic landscape whilst continuing to meet the needs of clients and ensuring our operations positively impact the planet.

Compass Group UK & Ireland is headline sponsor of Salon Culinaire at HRC and has supported the event for more than 25 years.

Délifrance expands its premium viennoiserie range with the ever indulgent Chocolate Bun #

Leading baked goods manufacturer, Délifrance, has announced the launch of an irresistible Chocolate Bun, adding to its range of premium, ready-to-bake viennoiseries.  

Catering to the indulgence trend and moments of escapism, the hybrid Chocolate Bun pastry is perfect for those who eat breakfast on-the-go, or as a delicious snack throughout the day. Its generous and delicious chocolate filling, together with its unique dome shape and a spiral puff pastry effect, offers the perfect combination of classic flavour and innovative design.  

More than half of global consumers claim to eat chocolate confectionery at least once a week. Therefore, the new Délifrance creation will enable out-of-home operators to expand their chocolate offering, to tap into this demand. 

Stéphanie Brillouet, marketing director at Délifrance says: “We’re pairing consumers’ love of chocolate with their desire for moments of indulgence and escapism. Whether enjoyed for breakfast or as a snack throughout the day, the Chocolate Bun offers baked goods operators a point of differentiation with its classic flavour profile and stunning visual appearance. We’re delighted to be able to bring another premium viennoiserie to the market, adding to the Cinammon and Brioche Buns that we launched earlier this year.” 

As well as delighting consumers with moments of comfort and nostalgia, the product has been developed with convenience in mind. Sold in individual molds, the Chocolate Bun is ready-to-bake enabling operators to save time in the kitchen. 

The product is now available via Délifrance from national wholesalers and is sold frozen, in boxes of 54.  

For more information about the product, please visit:

Levy UK Going the Distance to Raise Vital Funds for ParalympicsGB #

Edinburgh International Conference Centre, Edinburgh: Leading sports and entertainment hospitality provider, Levy UK, launches its 1,000-Mile Relay fundraising initiative in support of long-term official charity partner, ParalympicsGB. With the ambitious goal of raising over £50,000, Levy aims to make a significant impact in supporting the incredible athletes in the lead up to the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games.

Up and down the UK, Levy teams will be embarking on a remarkable 1,000-mile relay across 50 Levy-catered partner venues spanning Scotland, England and Wales. The “1,000-Mile Relay” initiative will take five weeks and see employees – running, walking, or cycling – passing a baton to the waiting team signaling the next leg of the journey. Almost 350 Levy employees are taking part – details of each leg can be found here.

The first leg kicks off with a 58-mile cycle ride from Edinburgh International Conference Centre to Glasgow Rangers Ibrox Football Stadium. Gold medal winning Paralympic champion, Aaron Phipps, who also works as an ambassador for Levy as part of its ongoing commitment as an inclusive employer, will be the Starter, as well as taking part in some of the London stages. The relay concludes at Swansea City Football Club on Monday 13th May.  

Jon Davies, MD of Levy UK, says of the challenge: "We wanted to do something special in support of our long-term official charity partner and friends at ParalympicsGB. The passion and dedication of our Levy teams has been colossal which I believe is born from a desire to help ParalympicsGB athletes reach their full potential on the world stage in Paris. Levy is immensely proud to stand beside ParalympicsGB on their incredible journey to inspire a better world for disabled people through sport.”

"We are thrilled and deeply grateful for Levy UK's crucial support," comments Jenny Seymour, Commercial Director for ParalympicsGB. "Their commitment to our athletes is commendable, and initiatives like '1,000-Mile Relay' is a great and creative example of what can be done when you really care. Together, we can empower Paralympians to achieve greatness and inspire generations to come."

Through its '1,000-Mile Relay', Levy reaffirms its dedication to ParalympicsGB, who it became the first official fundraising supporter of back in 2020. Levy aims to make a lasting difference in the lives of ParalympicsGB athletes and sporting communities nationwide.

To support Levy’s 1,000-Mile Relay and donate to ParalympicsGB, please click here or go to

A tale of two safety marks #

FEA stresses importance of maintaining compliance with both UK and EU marks

The Foodservice Equipment Association (FEA) is urging UK businesses to be vigilant and prepare for upcoming changes to regulations surrounding certification of goods, despite the government extending the acceptance of the CE marking indefinitely for certain applications.

FEA has worked closely with the UK government as well as the EU and the European Federation of Catering Equipment Manufacturers (EFCEM) throughout, to provide feedback that is helping to shape the regulations.

The ongoing uncertainty with the future status of the acceptance of the CE marking and the status of its replacement in the UK, the UKCA mark, is causing frustration in the foodservice equipment industry, thanks to the additional costs and administrative burdens required to apply it to products. With the extension of accepting the CE marking some manufacturers have begun ditching the UKCA mark, feeling that their efforts to maintain compliance and meet the high expectations of regulatory authorities, ensuring market stability for end users, has been in vain.

However, FEA advises that caution should be exercised by any manufacturer taking this approach as the announcement of the extension of CE marking only applies while UK requirements match the EU’s. If the UK’s regulatory positions diverge from the EU, the UKCA mark will become mandatory. Manufacturers with products currently relying on exemptions under RoHS should check that the UK’s exemptions have an EU equivalent.

Meanwhile the FEA points out that the UK’s energy labelling requirements are outside the scope of this announcement and remain unchanged, meaning that the UK energy label is needed for any products falling within this regulation.

Some market segments are more likely to face these issues sooner. Products falling within the scope of energy efficiency and F-gas are more likely to be affected due to the UK’s requirements being different to the EU’s, this is especially true for the heat pump sector. For example, professional refrigeration is likely to be affected by upcoming changes to EU energy labelling requirements. While FEA will continue to work to maintain alignment between the UK and EU, divergence is more likely to occur as time goes on, so manufacturers should think carefully before removing support for the UKCA mark.

“The post Brexit regulation landscape is, perhaps unsurprisingly, taking many years to find its new form,” says Paul Anderson, chair of FEA. “While we can understand the frustration many businesses are feeling, it’s important to stress that they should continue to engage with the process of establishing new standards. One way to do this is to become an FEA member, which provides opportunities to provide feedback that we use to shape discussions with legislators, helping guide and shape regulation in both the UK and EU.”

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 

Sodexo powers ahead with level 3 NHS Evergreen Supplier status #

Sodexo Health & Care has achieved level 3 status on NHS’s Evergreen Sustainable Supplier Assessment maturity matrix.
The NHS is the world’s first health service to commit to reaching net zero carbon with a vision to respond to climate change and improve health now and for future generations.
The Evergreen Assessment is one of several NHS initiatives designed to support its net zero and wider sustainability objectives and is aimed specifically at its target to reach net zero by 2045 for the emissions it does not have direct control over but that it can influence.
The Assessment is a reporting tool enabling suppliers - like Sodexo - to engage with the NHS on their sustainability journey and understand how to align with the NHS net zero and sustainability ambitions, including those set out in the NHS net zero supplier roadmap.
Following the assessment Sodexo Health & Care received Level 3: 2045 net zero targets that are independently validated. The information reported through Evergreen is supporting Sodexo Health & Care to understand its alignment with NHS sustainability priorities and identify those areas in which it needs to accelerate progress.
The maturity criteria are informed by leading, independent sustainability initiatives such as the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) and the modern slavery assessment tool (MSAT), as well as NHS sustainability requirements including those set out in the net zero supplier roadmap.
The data and information provided by Sodexo will be used to support the NHS in understanding its supply chain carbon footprint, measure progress against its targets, and tailor engagement to support suppliers.
Suppliers are assessed against four maturity levels which indicate alignment with NHS sustainability priorities:
Level 1: Publicly committed to net zero carbon and engaged with sustainability.
Level 2: Comprehensive net zero targets and reporting for carbon emissions.
Level 3: 2045 Net Zero targets that are independently validated.
Level 4: 2045 Net Zero targets, independently validated, across the global organisation 

Philip Leigh, CEO for Health & Care, said: “We are delighted to be supporting the NHS in its vision to deliver the world’s first net zero health service. At Sodexo we are very clear about the need for collaboration in our sustainability strategies, this assessment is a positive step on our journey, we know there is still much work to do which is why it is imperative that we continue to partner with our NHS clients, their teams and patients to make a collective effort to reduce carbon emissions and have a positive impact.”
In 2023, Sodexo Health & Care reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 37% compared to Sodexo's 2017 baseline, over 68,000 tCO2e, the equivalent of flying around the world over 5,800 times.
The assessment is valid for 12 months, after which Sodexo Health & Care will again use the tool to assess its status.
Sodexo UK & Ireland was one of the first organisations to have a SBTi approved net zero target.  It started its net zero journey in 2010, calculating its scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions, working in partnership with WWF. In 2017 it set a baseline that covered not just its scope 1 and 2 direct operations, but all scope 3 categories across its value chain.
In January this year, Sodexo UK & Ireland reported that it has achieved a 37% reduction in absolute GHG emissions across scopes 1, 2 and 3, compared to its baseline year of 2017 – putting the organisation ahead of schedule on its Net Zero 2040 roadmap.
Sodexo operates in 45 countries and in 2024 has received an A scoring in CDP climate ranking and for the first time has been named one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies® by Ethisphere.

Compass Adds Critically Acclaimed Chef Ollie Dabbous to Enhance Culinary Apprenticeships #

In an exciting chef collaboration, highly respected chef and restaurant owner, Ollie Dabbous is sharing his culinary expertise with a group of apprentices at Compass Group UK and Ireland.

His programme delivers dynamic sessions, each centred around a dedicated course. Ollie has been leading intense hands-on apprenticeship workshops, each aimed at nurturing the talents of the next generation of culinary professionals across all sectors at Compass.

Under Ollie’s guidance, the Compass apprenticeship workshops sees Level 2 and 3 apprentices learning skills, which include flavour combinations and presentation techniques, to create show-stopping starters, mains, and desserts. The first cohort consisted of nine Chefs, and Ollie plans to deliver the programme twice a year. It focuses on seasonal, locally sourced British ingredients, working on creating dishes that are more sustainable.

The first cohort has now completed the course, and some have been offered the opportunity to support at Ollie Dabbous' critically acclaimed restaurant, Hide. This first-hand experience will provide a rare glimpse into the inner workings of one of London's premier dining establishments.

Head of Apprenticeships and Early Careers at Compass Group UK and Ireland, Jonathan Foot, says: “The introduction of Ollie Dabbous’ workshops is another example of how Compass places so much emphasis on enhancing our apprenticeships and ensuring we deliver an experience which is both educational and inspirational. Spending time with a chef of Ollie’s experience is something we know our young chefs feel is not only an incredible privilege, but also an opportunity to really hone their skills, as they start off on what we all hope will be their long and exciting culinary journeys.”

Ollie Dabbous says of this collaboration: 

Ollie Joins a host of Culinary Ambassadors working with Compass, including Bryn Williams, Stevie McLaughlin and Dipna Anand.  In 2021, Compass also introduced its industry leading ‘Forward with Marcus Wareing’ programme – now on its third cohort of participants with cohort 4 due to start in the Autumn.

This is in addition to Ollie’s partnership with the sports and entertainment arm of Compass, Levy UK + Ireland. This collaboration incorporates training sessions with Levy chefs, working closely with culinary leaders to elevate hospitality menus even further, and delivering specifically designed menus at sporting events throughout Levy partner venues.

Sodexo Cyprus and DIO crowned Team of the Year for Sudan humanitarian crisis support #

The Sodexo operational team for the British Forces Cyprus contract with the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) was crowned Team of the Year at the 2024 Public Sector Catering Awards for their collaboration and support in Operation Polar Bear, the largest UK non-combatant evacuation operation involving more than 2,400 British nationals evacuated from war-torn Sudan in the summer of 2023.  

The DIO team at headquarters British Forces Cyprus and Sodexo’s contract team in Cyprus played a critical role during the crisis, providing essential welfare services and sustenance to the 2,400 plus British nationals evacuated from war-torn Sudan as well the additional 2,000 service personnel stationed on the island to support the evacuation.  

Whilst Operation Polar Bear was a meticulously planned evacuation, the timeline was intense and the demands were ever evolving, military personnel and evacuees were arriving on the island with almost no notice.  The Sodexo and DIO teams in Cyprus worked together on a rapid response and clear commitment to support the national operation, carrying out their responsibilities with unwavering professionalism throughout. The collaborative response acutely illustrated the diligence, resilience and agility of both teams. 

From 19 April until the end of May 2023, Sodexo and the DIO teams had to work flexibly and 100% in tune with each other, to react in what was a complex and challenging picture. During this time an additional 100,000 had been prepared and served to the troops involved in the operation and more than 9,000 meals were also provided to the evacuees and supporting personnel. 

Mark Baker, Chief Operating Officer Defence, Sodexo UK & Ireland said: “We are immensely proud of the team in Cyprus. They have demonstrated our company values of service spirit, team spirit and spirt of progress time and time again. The team has a close relationship with the DIO team based at the British Forces Cyprus headquarters on the island as we have delivered services on the island since 2003.   

“The success of the operation would not have been possible without the outstanding collaborative teamwork of the joint DIO and Sodexo team on the island, demonstrating a strong relationship with suppliers and business partners to create a positive impact at a critical time. Congratulations to all involved.”  

The achievements of the DIO and Sodexo’s team in Cyprus have not gone unnoticed.  In January 2024, the DIO and Sodexo team were collectively honoured with a prestigious Vice Chief of the Defence Staff (VCDS) Commendation for the crucial role they played in providing essential welfare and sustenance to the British nationals and service personnel during Operation Polar Bear.  

The Sodexo team was also recognised in December 2023 at the company’s annual Spirit of Sodexo Awards as one of three teams to receive the coveted CEO award. 

Ian Mitchell passes away #

Wendy Bartlett, Co-Founder, BM Caterers (formerly Bartlett Mitchell):
“It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Ian Mitchell, co-founder of BM, a great friend, and one of the industry’s true greats.  Ian was a caterer through and through, with a genuine passion for people, service, and food. He always held the highest standards, and everything that BM is today stems from the most generous, jolly, and loveliest gentleman you would ever be likely to meet. Ian's love for life and his unwavering pride in our #bmfamily were evident in every interaction we shared. He was a beacon of positivity and generosity, always quick with a smile and an encouraging word. I can imagine him urging us to raise a glass in his honour. 
Reflecting on our journey together spanning more than 35 years, I am filled with gratitude for the privilege of calling Ian not just a business partner but also my dearest friend. The memories we created and the support we offered each other are treasures I will cherish forever. We will miss him dearly, as will so many people from across our industry. While we mourn Ian's loss, let us also celebrate Ian’s remarkable life. His memory will continue to inspire us, guiding our actions as we carry forward his legacy at BM. Please join me in extending our deepest condolences to Ian's family and particularly his wife Angela.
For those who wish to share memories or extend condolences, we have set up an online condolences book where you can leave your thoughts and reflections. Your words will serve as a source of comfort to Ian's family and loved ones during this difficult time.”
BIOGRAPHY - Ian Mitchell
Born in July 1949 in West Bromwich, Birmingham, Ian Mitchell grew up surrounded by hospitality as his grandparents owned a hotel in North Wales, where the family spent holidays.
At the age of 19, he left Haileybury College to do his National Diploma in Catering and Hotel Keeping at what was then Oxford Polytechnic (now Oxford Brookes University). Despite making his name in contract catering, Ian didn’t enter the sector until later in life and in fact started out in hotels.
After graduating, he became a management trainee at the Savoy Hotel Company, spending time in New York and Paris, including two years at Hôtel de Crillon.
Returning to the UK, he joined Claridge’s hotel and spent the next decade in five-star hotel management including roles as assistant manager at the Capital and overseeing the opening of the InterContinental at Hyde Park Corner. He also worked for three years as banqueting manager at London’s Café Royal.
Ian moved into contract catering in 1985 when he started work at the Institute of London Underwriters with Gardner Merchant, at that time the company’s most prestigious City of London site.
In 1987, he moved to Sutcliffe Catering when he became an area manager overseeing its West London contracts. He eventually moved to Heathrow as general manager of its British Airways operations – where his deputy was Wendy Bartlett. Together, they took the contract into single sourcing for Sutcliffe from competitors Compass and Gardner Merchant.
Following a spell as operations director of Sutcliffe's airport division, Ian (and Wendy) both moved over to Compass, following their mentors Don Davenport and Mike Oldfield. Ian became managing director of the city unit and, after a stint with BT, Wendy became his operations director – which was around the time they first discussed the idea of starting their own business.
Ian stayed with Compass for five years until 1999. In 2000, he and Wendy launched their own independent catering company, Bartlett Mitchell, focused on food and people.
They each put £20,000 into the company, setting aside £20,000 aside to live on, and didn’t pay themselves for the first two years while they got the business off the ground. They won their first contract on Christmas Eve in 2001.
For the last 24 years, Ian and Wendy have led the company to become one of the leading independent caterers in the UK.
The business has since grown to more than 100 sites, exceeding 1,000 employees.
Ian stepped back into a more ambassadorial role in 2018 – referring to himself simply as ‘founder’ while everyone else in the business affectionately called him ‘Mr Chairman’. He remained active in the business, regularly visiting sites and touching base with clients, customers and team members.
A keen West Brom supporter – his grandfather was the team’s doctor – Ian loved wine and regularly wrote wine blogs for the BM website. He married his wife Angela in 2009.  A keen animal lover, Ian was a puppy trainer for guide dogs for the blind. 

Unitas signs up Smartview Convenience - the market read for independent convenience stores #

Unitas has become the first wholesaler or wholesale buying group to sign up to SmartView Convenience (SVC), the market read for independent convenience stores launched in mid 2023 by TWC Group in partnership with I-TG Group.  Many industry suppliers have already signed up to SVC.
SVC provides the most representative EPOS market read covering independent retail and wholesaler-supplied symbol stores in GB. The read comprises a sample of more than 5,000 stores which have been cherry-picked and extrapolated up to represent the total GB market of 30,000 independent convenience retail and wholesaler-supplied symbol stores.
As the first wholesaler client to subscribe to SVC, Unitas will have the ability to use the market read to support many functions, including marketing, trading and core range planning. SVC’s drill down function will allow Unitas to understand performance by category, sub-category, supplier, brand, down to SKU level.
Cheryl Hope, Trading Director at Unitas commented:
“There has never been a reflective market read for the part of the market we serve and historically this has made ranging, performance benchmarking and strategic planning challenging.
SmartView Convenience will help us develop bespoke category growth plans for our members and their stores and will identify the ‘must-stock’ SKUs based on what is actually selling in independent c-stores. We will also be able to identify high growth products and emerging trends.”

Tom Fender, Development Director at TWC added:
“TWC is already Unitas’s data partners for shipments data (both retail and foodservice), and we’re delighted to now welcome them aboard as SmartView Convenience (SVC) clients. Feedback we have received from existing SmartView Convenience clients has been outstanding, and we are confident that Unitas will benefit greatly from this much needed, long overdue market read.
We wholeheartedly believe our truly representative market read is a must-have solution for this part of the market.  The mults have been awash with data for years – our sector hasn’t had nearly the same quality of market data to aid decision making for wholesalers and their suppliers.  Too often we see suppliers presenting range recommendations based on data which doesn’t reflect the independent convenience sector and we want to help everyone produce truly appropriate category plans”.

To learn more about SmartView Convenience and to book a demo, please head to: