Members’ News

April 2024

Hospitality superstars honoured at Springboard Awards for Excellence 2024 #

Twenty winners of the Springboard Awards for Excellence 2024 have been announced at a prestigious ceremony hosted by comedian Simon Brodkin at the InterContinental Park Lane.

Delivered in partnership with headline sponsor IHG, the awards celebrated those that have gone above and beyond to grow their organisations, look after their people and champion the industry.

The evening began with the Fiona Colley Trainee of the Year Award, sponsored by Savoy Educational Trust. Winner Sophie Pace-Balzan was recognised for showing tenacity and passion to overcome challenges which had previously prevented her from finding employment.

Steve Munkley, David Mulcahy and Brian Turner received the Chris Beaumont Outstanding Achievement Award to honour their 25 years of support for the FutureChef school cooking competition and supporting the next generation of culinary talent.

Eden Hotel Collection, Rare Restaurants and Z Hotels were also double winners on the night, while Sodexo scooped the new Partner of the Year award.

The 2024 Awards for Excellence raised a total of £175,310 for the Springboard Charity through sponsorship, tickets sales and fundraising on the night.

Chris Gamm, chief executive of Springboard, said: “In congratulating the winners of the Springboard Awards for Excellence, we recognise the remarkable achievements within the hospitality industry. These awards create a brilliant occasion for us to come together and acknowledge the outstanding contributions of our industry highlighting their exceptional successes and highly talented teams.

“Once again, the support in the room for the finalists and winners was outstanding. The InterContinental Park Lane has provided us with the perfect setting to be together, offer our congratulations and to celebrate the greatness of our industry. The more than £175,000 raised was a record for the event and will help an enormous number of people gain news skills and secure work in the hospitality industry.”

Fiona Colley Trainee of the Year Award – sponsored by Savoy Educational Trust
Sophie Pace-Balzan 

Best Recruitment Initiative Award – sponsored by
Z Hotels 

Best Apprenticeship Strategy Award – sponsored by HIT Training
Greene King 

Employee Engagement Award – sponsored by Boyes Turner
Eden Hotel Collection 

Best Training Programme Award – sponsored by Blastness
Leonardo Hotels 

Career Development Initiative Award – sponsored by Diageo
RARE Restaurants 

Best Use of Technology Award – sponsored by MAPAL Group
The Athenaeum Hotel & Residences 

Talent Development Team of the Year Award – sponsored by Hospitality Jobs UK
Z Hotels 

Employee Health and Wellbeing Award – sponsored by Hand Picked Hotels
Eden Hotel Collection 

Community Engagement Award – sponsored by 5 Hertford Street & Oswald’s
Aurora Foxes 

Disability Champion Award – sponsored by Sodexo

Diversity, Equality and Inclusion Award – sponsored by CH&CO
RARE Restaurants 

Best Education and Industry Partnership Award – sponsored by San Carlo
Academy by Simon Rogan 

Sustainable Business Award – sponsored by Franke Coffee Systems
Apex Hotels 

Springboard Ambassador of the Year – sponsored by BaxterStorey
Kyle Basnett, Gusto Restaurants 

Best Employer Award – sponsored by Coca-Cola Europacific Partners
The Belfry Hotel & Resort 

Partner of the Year – sponsored by IHG Hotel & Resorts

Chris Beaumont Outstanding Contribution Award – sponsored by Bidfood
Steve Munkley
David Mulcahy
Brian Turner 

Two Michelin-star chef Tommy Banks shares his top tips ahead of highly-anticipated Toque d’Or Grand Finals #

There are just days to go until the Grand Finals of Nestlé Professional’s prestigious Toque d’Or competition. And award-winning chef and judge, Tommy Banks, has offered last-minute advice for the 12 budding chefs and restaurateurs competing for the grand prize.  

As the finalists prepare to go head-to-head, Tommy shares his five top tips to help them excel under pressure and make the most of the transformative, week-long experience: 

Stay organised and focused: “First and foremost it’s all about maintaining your composure. And nothing helps more than staying organised and focused on the job at hand. Remember to stick to your usual methods and stay disciplined, while always taking a moment to think through your approach. This time you invest will pay off in your work.” 

Soak up the experience: “Toque d’Or opens doors to extraordinary experiences and expert mentoring. Whether you win or not, there will be so many learnings that help you come out of this experience stronger. And you will gain so much experience, that I can promise, so it’s a ‘win-win’ situation.”  

Demonstrate your passion and determination: “It’s what stands you out from the crowd. And in our dynamic industry, a good work ethic and a positive attitude really does make a huge difference. But don’t ever forget to be your true authentic self – your personality is what makes you unique and it’s what sets great chefs and restaurateurs apart.”  

Embrace the networking opportunities: “While you might have to step outside of your comfort zone, the competition offers fantastic opportunities to meet new people. This is a rare opportunity, so seize it by networking with your fellow contestants and judges. You never know, these connections can become invaluable as you advance in your career.”  

Enjoy and take care of yourself: “Most importantly, enjoy yourself. Although finals week will be nerve-wracking, especially the Fine Dining Challenge, the experience of doing a good job and putting smiles onto people’s faces makes you feel great. That’s what is unique about hospitality – so don’t forget that and be present in those moments. It’s also just as much about self-care. So prepare as much as you can to ease the nerves and ensure you get plenty of rest and sleep in-between the challenges. It can work wonders for performance!” 

The Finals will comprise a series of action-packed challenges built around the competition’s overarching theme of sustainability, covering topics such as locally sourced produce, regenerative agriculture and how hospitality plays an important role in supporting communities. Competitors will get the opportunity to hone their skills while exploring the latest culinary trends and learning about farm-to-fork dining.  

Joining Tommy on the judging panel for Finals Week will be winner of the 2023 Gold Service Scholarship and footman at The Royal Household, Jupiter Humphrey-Bishop. The Finals will also comprise a mix of judges from Nestlé Professional and former Toque d’Or competitors – both finalists and winners – providing a platform for them to continue to develop their knowledge and also pass on their advice to this year’s competitors. 

For more information about the competition, please click here

Top of the LET tree: FEA’s sales professional of the year will win £500 cash #

Are they working in YOUR team?

With the Light Equipment and Tableware Forum fast approaching, FEA is calling for any last minute entries for the Sales Professional of the Year Award to move fast, as the nominations close on May 1. 

Along with the prestige of being named best LET sales professional, the winner gets the coveted trophy, a place on FEA’s Certified Foodservice Professional (CFSP) training course plus £500 in cash. 

Corey Mayes, who won in in 2023, says, "It was a proud moment in my career in the industry, being noticed by our suppliers for my effort and commitment. The award was lovely to receive and going on the CFSP course was a great opportunity.  The cash came in very handy for my summer holiday!"

The award celebrates those salespeople who offer ‘above and beyond’ customer service, win major business contracts or who have success in developing sales of utensils and smallwares. 

The award will be presented at the LET Forum awards dinner, on Tuesday 14th May.  The shortlist will be unveiled a week earlier. 
To nominate a member of your team, click here (

There is still time to apply for tickets for the 2024 LET Forum.  The event is at Whittlebury Hall, Towcester, on 14th and 15th May.  Delegates get to have hands-on experience of the latest light equipment and tableware launches and ideas.  Tickets are free and include meals, the awards dinner and overnight accommodation at the hotel. 

FEA’s events manager Jocelyn Shawyer is encouraging any companies wanting to attend to book places as soon as possible.  Tickets are available from Eventbright (  For more information email  

The picture with this release shows the FEA Chair of the LET Group Steve Goodliff, left, presenting Corey Mayes with his award at the 2023 LET Forum. 

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’s Ian Gribben recognised by Enactus with ‘Outstanding Contribution of a Coach Award’ #

The Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation and Sodexo UK & Ireland are delighted to announce that Ian Gribben, Account Director, Universities at Sodexo, has been awarded the title of ‘Enactus Outstanding Contribution of a Coach’ in recognition of his exceptional contribution to the Chance for Change initiative. 

This award highlights Ian's profound commitment to making a positive social impact through his role as lead charity champion between Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation and Enactus UK & Ireland. 

Enactus UK and Ireland is a social action charity that works with academics and business leaders to support over 4,000 students each year to use business and innovation to create a more sustainable world for us all. 

Stop Hunger’s partnership with Enactus UK and Ireland began in 2019 and has received £37,000 of funding to date. The collaboration focuses on empowering students delivering innovative projects to support the most vulnerable in our communities.  

Charlie Lea, Head of Partnerships and Engagement at Enactus UK & Ireland, said: “The Outstanding Contribution of a Coach Award was established to honour volunteers who support their team, champion Enactus within their organisation, embody the Enactus values, and of course support the entire Enactus UK & Ireland programme and mission. 

“Ian has shown an unmatched level of dedication. He demonstrates profound care and passion for the students and beneficiaries, and the cause itself. Despite his extraordinary efforts, he remains incredibly humble. His outstanding contribution cannot be overstated, as he truly embodies the transformative impact our volunteers and partner organisations can make.”

The Chance for Change project, an Enactus initiative led by students from Aston University, aims to combat food insecurity and empower women through innovative solutions. A key achievement of this project is the Global Recipe Book 2.0, a unique collection that celebrates the culinary heritage of refugees and international students. 

Enactus Aston, with their Chance for Change project, won last year’s Stop Hunger Action for Impact Dragon’s Den competition organised by Enactus. Thanks to Ian’s expertise and dedication, the team was able to maximise its impact. Ian’s support and mentorship have been crucial to the project's success, helping to bring the recipes to life, which he helped to incorporate into the recent Stop Hunger Foundation Dinner. Through Ian’s support, one of the beneficiaries cooked on the evening and took part in a panel session, and he also ensured that the recipe books were available for guests to purchase which raised funds for Enactus. 

Ian Gribben added: "I am honoured to be recognised with this award. The Chance for Change project has been a remarkable journey, and seeing the tangible impact of our collaborative efforts is incredibly rewarding. This recognition reinforces our commitment to continue supporting initiatives that drive meaningful change in our communities." 

Ian's role in facilitating the partnership between Sodexo and the student team has opened up opportunities within the wider business, directly benefiting the project's beneficiaries and reinforcing Sodexo's commitment to community engagement. He also engaged with Coventry University, a Sodexo client, to sell dishes from the recipe book on menus at a pop-up restaurant. 

Laura Brimacombe, Trustee of the Stop Hunger Foundation, added: “The Stop Hunger Foundation is deeply committed to making a significant difference through meaningful volunteering, and Ian’s award as ‘Enactus Outstanding Contribution of a Coach’ is a shining testament to this commitment. 

“His recognition is a celebration of the impactful change we can achieve when committed individuals lend their time, expertise and passion to causes that matter. 

“We are incredibly proud of Ian’s accomplishments and his contribution to the Foundation.” 

The Stop Hunger Foundation is supporting Enactus’ £75,000 multiyear grant. This year again, the Foundation supported the Action for Impact Dragon’s Den challenge where the best five teams from across the UK and Ireland put forward their best business cases and competed for £5,000 to tackle food insecurity with the support of 23 Sodexo volunteers. This year, Enactus Southampton won the competition with their Woky Bowl project. The other universities that competed were Enactus Birmingham City University, Enactus King’s College London, Enactus University of Limerick and Technological University Dublin.

Sodexo is the founding partner of the Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation, a UK registered charity. In the UK & Ireland, the Foundation’s mission is to act sustainably to fight food insecurity and its root causes. and its work complements Sodexo's Social Impact pledge. 

Thanks to the financial support of Sodexo, 100% of the donations made to Stop Hunger go directly to financing activities and sustainable solutions for disadvantaged communities to exit food insecurity. 

The Foundation's work contributes to Sodexo’s global corporate responsibility commitment, Better Tomorrow 2025 which aligns to the Sustainable Development Goals designed by the UN to make the world a fairer and more equal place. 

Sodexo extends its support of veterans with Combat2Coffee partnership #

Sodexo Government has announced a new partnership with Combat2Coffee, a community interest not-for-profit company (CIC) committed to supporting veterans and ex-uniformed personnel.   
Combat2Coffee is a coffee company with a difference, created by its founder, Nigel Seaman, a Royal Anglian veteran, to support the wellbeing and mental health of ex-service personnel and their families using coffee as a vehicle for conversation. The vision of Combat2Coffee is to provide:
- mental health and signposting support through a dedicated and experienced outreach team and community hubs
- employability skills through barista and roasting training 

From its roastery in Ipswich, Suffolk, the Combat2Coffee team of staff and volunteers, many of which are veterans, ex-uniformed or prison leavers, produce the unique Combat2Coffee blend using fairtrade and sustainable premium coffee beans sourced by Nigel himself from two family farms in Brazil.
As a purpose-led business Sodexo is committed to doing all it can to support SMEs and VCSEs and has been running its supplier inclusion programme for almost ten years. The programme has been designed to break down barriers which historically may have put off SMEs from pitching for supply contracts with large organisations like Sodexo. It has been designed to provide a safe environment for potential supply partners to work with Sodexo.
Combat2Coffee participated in the programme and with a shared commitment to supporting the whole armed forces community including veterans was the perfect partner for Sodexo’s Government business.
The first step in the new partnership is the introduction of Combat2Coffee at Larkhill Garrison, part of Project Allenby Connaught.
Nigel Seaman, founder of Combat2Coffee, said: "Our mission at Combat2Coffee is to create a supportive community for veterans and their families, ensuring all those affected by mental ill health are heard, understood and supported. Partnering with Sodexo enables us to extend our reach and impact, bringing our unique coffee blend and the warmth of our community to the service personnel, veterans and their families living, working and visiting Larkhill Garrison."
Mark Baker, Chief Operating Officer Defence, Sodexo UK & Ireland, added: "Our collaboration with Combat2Coffee highlights our commitment to enriching the lives of military veterans and their families through meaningful opportunities and providing much needed health and wellbeing support for those who may be finding it hard to adjust to civilian life. We are excited about the partnership and look forward to working with Nigel and his team to expand Combat2Coffee’s reach further.”
Sodexo has partnered with the Armed Forces for over 30 years. With 4,700 colleagues serving 75,000 customers at 35 military bases, Sodexo understands how important the lived experience is for all those living and working at those sites whether military personnel or all ranks and the civilians supporting them.
Sodexo was an early signatory of the Armed Forces Covenant an initiative which commends employers who actively support the Armed Forces community in their workplace and encourages others to follow their lead. 
Sodexo has been a Gold award holder in the Employer Recognition Award scheme since 2017. Gold is the highest badge of honour from the Ministry of Defence and reflects Sodexo’s commitment to the UK Armed Forces community including its continued support in the employment of ex-armed forces personnel and their families as well as those employees which are members of the Reserves. 

KAM are excited to launch their new Low+No: Drinking Differently research report, in partnership with Lucky Saint, on 5th June in central London. Arena readers can save 25% using code KLN-25KAM #

KAM are excited to launch their new Low+No: Drinking Differently research report, in partnership with Lucky Saint, on 5th June in central London. Arena readers can save 25% using code KLN-25KAM

It's set to be an engaging & informative afternoon:
Drinking Differently – Blake Gladman (Strategy & Insights Director @KAM) will reveal exclusive research highlighting how Brits socialising & drinking habits are evolving.
Low + No - the customer perspective – Laurence Brown (Senior Insight Manager @KAM) shares what, when, where, how and why Brits are currently consuming mid, low and no alcohol.
The Operator perspective – Blake Gladman (KAM) chats to Laura Simonelli (Bar Operator & Drink Developer @Dishoom), Andrew Carpenter (Senior Category manager @Greene King) about their approach to low+no and what success they’re seeing.
Learnings from the off-trade – Lou Pollitt (Category & Insight Director @Lucky Saint) shares key market trends and case studies highlighting what the UK on-trade can learn from other industries and countries.  
Where does 'Low' & ‘Light’ fit in? – Laura Willoughby MBE (@Club Soda) discusses the growing demand for ‘lower’ ABV drinks with Freddie Cobb (Head of Drinks Buying @Vagabond), Daniel Crowther (MD, Hedonist Drinks) & Cyril Francoise (Bar Manager UK & Europe @Soho House)
Activating Low + No effectively – Jo Lynch (Account Director @KAM) discusses research on how to activate Low + No more effectively in venues with Paddy Gardiner (Brand Drinks Manager @Cote Restaurants)
Future legislation – Kate Nicholls OBE, (CEO @UKHospitality) chats to Katy Moses (MD, KAM) about future legislation impacting the category.
Low + No mixology demonstrations, networking and crazy-golf!
Who should be there?
Foodservice operators, publicans, restaurants, food and drink retailers, and 'drink' brands, who want to capitalise on this growing customer occasion.
Previous year’s attendees included: Admiral Taverns, Adventure Bar Group, Arc Inspirations, BBPA, BII, Black Rose Pubs, Brakes, Fullers, Greene King, Hall & Woodhouse, Harpers Wine & Spirit, Hawksmoor, Imbiba, Laine Pub Company, Marston’s Pubs, McMullen’s Pubs, Mitchells & Butlers, Oakman Group, Punch Pubs, Red Cat Pub Co, Red Mist Leisure, Revolution Bar Group, Sainsbury’s, Shepherd Neame, St Austell, Star Pubs, Tesco, The Alchemist, The Caterer, Tao Group Hospitality, Various Eateries, Waitrose, Youngs and more.
Tickets available now:

Digging deep: FEA industry conference considers crucial foodservice equipment challenges #

Former top rugby ref Nigel Owens MBE to deliver keynote address

FEA industry conference, Chesford Grange Hotel, Kenilworth, 15th and 16th November 2023 

This year’s FEA industry conference will dig deep into some of the crucial issues facing the foodservice equipment sector.  The cost of living crisis, energy, Covid, climate change, war in the Ukraine, tensions between world super powers… we need help to make sense of it all.  Step forward futurist, strategic advisor and this year’s conference facilitator Simon Stenning who, with razor sharp perception and analysis, will present his overview of foodservice and hospitality trends.  As the acknowledged expert when it comes to pulling together, and making sense out of, the mass and variety of industry data available, his strategic nous will make for fascinating insights.   

As the sophistication of the modern kitchen becomes ever more complex, the skills required of the army of engineers that the industry needs to maintain and repair it become ever greater.  In the 'Servicing the needs of the Market’ presentation, conference will look at how we develop and maintain the expertise and competence of our service professionals to keep foodservice equipment in tip top condition.

How can equipment manufacturers help operators meet the challenges they face in implementing sustainability targets?  Ellie Wrighton CFSP, head of kitchen development at Mitchell and Bulter PLC, and Amanda George, director at Inspire Consultancy, will talk about operators’ needs around sustainability planning and equipment. 

There are also sessions on recruitment and staff retention and a special focus on the implications of energy. 

The keynote address will be delivered by the great Nigel Owens MBE, the former international rugby union referee.  As well as holding the record for the most test matches refereed, he’s a person who has been very open about his personal life and battles and is certain to bring official conference business to a stimulating finale. 

This year’s FEA industry conference is being held at the Chesford Grange Hotel in Kenilworth, on Wednesday 15th and Thursday 16th November.  The FEA AGM takes place on the Wednesday, as well as the popular charity dinner, which this year will include the announcement of the all new Charitable Endeavor Award, sponsored by Meiko.  On Thursday, after the conference programme, there will be the annual gala dinner, including the presentation of the FEA Apprentice Award, the FEA Chair Awards, and the Outstanding Service to the Catering Equipment Industry Award. 

For the latest news on the industry conference, to book places, or to find out about entering the awards, visit  There are several package options for delegates to choose from, starting at £395 for FEA members and £545 for non-members.  This year there is also a limited number of ‘first time delegate’ places costing from just £25, provided they are accompanied by a FEA member booking a residential package.           #FEAuk            #FEAconference2023

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 

Sean Haley comment on first half fiscal results #

Following the announcement of Sodexo’s first half Fiscal 2024 results, Sean Haley, CEO UK & Ireland, reflects on the region’s success over the last six months. Please see below:
“In the first half of our financial year, Sodexo’s growth – and more specifically, our growth with purpose – has been very positive.  Every contract retained or won has been – in part at least – in recognition of the quantified and tangible positive social impact we deliver as a company, in partnership with our clients and suppliers.
“We are optimising the workplace and employee experience at a time of significant change. Our extended global contract with AstraZeneca is a truly great example of a working partnership through a highly collaborative Vested® agreement*, offering consumers access to global food brands, carbon labelling on menus and a digitised grab and go food offer.
“We are also now delivering foodservices to the ground-breaking higher education institution, University Academy 92 (UA92), which chose to partner with Sodexo as a purpose-led provider that could support UA92’s founding principles of accessibility, social mobility and inclusivity.
“Our colleagues in Ireland have successfully retained a number of contracts in the education sector, and this, alongside the growth of our corporate services business, reinforces our position as a world leader in sustainable food and valued experiences. 
“Our partnerships with many public sector organisations have also continued. We have been awarded a new 10-year contract with Royal Stoke Hospital, where last year we were the first to install an innovative automated 24/7 deli solution, providing hospital staff and visitors with access to nutritious and tasty hot food and drink on demand.
“We are ambitious and optimistic for the future. We look forward to further accelerating our growth as a partner chosen not just for our service excellence and continued innovation, but importantly as a responsible, purpose-led provider that is taking bold and tangible actions to improve the lives of colleagues, clients and consumers in the communities where we work and serve. 
“Our results speak for themselves: earlier this year we announced in the 12 months up to 31 May 2023 we have reduced our carbon emissions by 37%. This has put us ahead of schedule in our journey to net zero 2040. More recently, we announced our intention to add carbon labelling to menus at 300 of our client sites where we provide food services, part of our work towards ensuring 70% of main dishes on our menus are low carbon by 2030 – a key lever in our SBTi-validated net zero targets.
“Being clear on how we make a positive social impact is the driving force behind everything we do – from creating job opportunities for ex-offenders and cutting food waste.  At our recent annual Stop Hunger Foundation dinner we raised a record-breaking £286,000 which will go directly towards supporting disadvantaged communities and addressing the root causes of food insecurity. 
“We continue to challenge ourselves to do more – whether that be on one of our 2,000 sites or in our communities across the region.  We recognise that our success is down to our colleagues who deliver service excellence for our clients across the UK and Ireland, whether in the public or private sector, as part of an operational or functional team.
“Every day, our colleagues make a difference and we thank them for that, every year we can feel proud of the impact we are having.”

Sodexo Secures Crown Commercial Services Healthcare Framework Place #

Sodexo Health & Care has been named on the Crown Commercial Service's (CCS) RM6331 Healthcare Soft Facilities Management Services framework for a period of three years with an option to extend for an additional year.
This national framework is available to all UK public sector bodies to easily access services from a range of suppliers who have already gone through a procurement process to assess the quality and price of services. The RM6331 framework has been specifically designed to meet the needs of health care providers including NHS acute trusts, community health trusts, mental health trusts and GP practices.
Sodexo’s appointment to the framework will enable the organisation to bid for contracts which support the provision of soft FM services including linen and laundry, cleaning, waste management and catering.
Healthcare organisations using the framework will benefit from:
A simplified customer journey for procuring multiple services under one agreement.
Flexibility in procuring single or bundled services.
Support for social value initiatives.
Enhanced opportunities for SMEs to participate in bids. 
In a world of growing clinical demand and workforce challenges, healthcare organisations will benefit from Sodexo’s expertise in creating positive patient experiences, improving patient flow, and promoting the wellbeing of staff and communities.
Sodexo Health & Care offers global expertise with the power of science and technology, designing and delivering more effective healthcare facilities management services that help to achieve better health and financial outcomes.
Philip Leigh, CEO of Sodexo Health & Care, said: “This award is testament to Sodexo’s longstanding commitment to delivering exceptional quality services in healthcare settings and strengthens our position as a strategic supplier to the Government. Utilising our extensive experience, we’re excited to contribute to the Crown Commercial Service’s commitment of ensuring public sector entities, including the NHS, receive the best commercial and sustainable value in their procurement of goods and services.
“We’re delighted to bring our expertise to this framework, supporting not only in cost savings but also in enhancing the efficiency and quality of essential healthcare services and supporting the NHS and other healthcare organisations reach their net zero targets, through our own SBTi-validated net zero roadmap.”

The Crown Commercial Service plays a vital role in helping the public sector obtain maximum value in procurement. In the fiscal year 2019/20, CCS's initiatives led to over £1 billion in commercial benefits, highlighting its effectiveness in public service enhancement. This framework not only simplifies the procurement process for public bodies but also ensures cost-effective access to top-tier facilities management services.

TWC Group announced as James Hall & Co. Ltd’s new data partner #

TWC Group has been announced as the new data partner of SPAR North of England wholesaler James Hall & Co. Ltd.
Through TWC, suppliers will be able to access James Hall & Co. Ltd’s wholesale shipments data to its company-owned SPAR store estate.
The agreement is a three-year deal beginning on 1st May 2024, and all the data will be accessed via TWC’s market leading ‘SmartView’ reporting platform.
Utilising the latest cloud-based technology, TWC’s data dashboard works across multiple devices making insightful data highly accessible.
TWC Managing Director and Founder, Tanya Pepin, said: “We are delighted that James Hall & Co. Ltd has decided to pick TWC as their next data partner from May onwards and we hope this is the start of a long and successful relationship.
“We will work tirelessly to ensure James Hall & Co. Ltd and their suppliers get access to great actionable data to enable all parties to make decisions to grow everyone’s sales.
“Our businesses share similar values, and we look forward to supporting James Hall & Co. Ltd on the next stage of their exciting data journey.”

Andrew Barnes, Trading Director at James Hall & Co. Ltd, said: “We were very impressed with TWC’s proposition from the outset, and we are really pleased to announce our new data partnership with them.
“Born from a wholesale and convenience background, TWC’s focus and expertise in the wholesale and convenience sector was a key factor in our decision making.
“The simplicity and user-friendly nature of the platform TWC provide was a defining aspect too, and we believe this is an improvement for our suppliers and a positive step forward for our company.”

Springboard names Sodexo as Partner of the Year at annual Awards for Excellence #

Sodexo UK & Ireland was named Partner of the Year at the Springboard Awards for Excellence 2024 with David Mulcahy, Food Innovation & Sustainability Director, School & Universities, recognised as joint winner for the Chris Beaumont Outstanding Contribution Award. 

The Awards celebrate those who have gone above and beyond to grow their organisations, look after their people and champion the industry.
The Partner of the Year accolade, a new special award, was awarded to Sodexo in recognition of the extensive support it has provided Springboard over many years.

Sodexo is proud of its long partnership with Springboard which provides invaluable support to those from disadvantaged backgrounds to find employment in the hospitality industry. Many of Sodexo’s colleagues participate in Springboard’s Ambassador Programme, taking time to visit schools to talk about the hospitality industry as a dynamic and rewarding career choice. 

It is also the Platinum sponsor of the FutureChef school-based culinary competition with many of its chefs providing mentoring to the children taking part. Sodexo has supported the competition for many years and provides the competition winner with the unique behind the scenes experience of the huge catering and hospitality operation for Royal Ascot. 

David Mulcahy, Food Innovation & Sustainability Director at Sodexo since 2005, has been actively involved in the competition since its inception in 1999, he is current chairman of the competition and was also recognised at this year’s Springboard Awards for Excellence receiving the prestigious Chris Beaumont Outstanding Contribution Award alongside Steve Munkley and Brian Turner. 

Sean Haley, CEO of Sodexo UK & Ireland, said: “This accolade is in recognition of the extensive support so many of my colleagues have provided to the organisation for many years. 

“I extend enormous congratulations to David, who is a longtime colleague of mine. His award, truly a highlight of the evening, is deserved recognition for his exceptional commitment and passion for the culinary arts and education within the industry. 

“As a Springboard trustee, I'm extremely proud to see FutureChef providing so many opportunities to inspire young talent, paving the way to bring more young and disadvantaged people into successful hospitality careers.” 

2024 marks the 25th anniversary of FutureChef, which has supported over 225,000 young people in developing their culinary skills. This year’s competition saw over 13,000 students take part, culminating in 15-year-old Reese Ventura winning the title. 

As well as his role with Sodexo, David plays a significant role in various national culinary competitions, such as UK National Chef of the Year. 

David Mulcahy added: “I am humbled and proud to have received the Chris Beaumont Outstanding Contribution Award alongside Steve and Brian who I have enjoyed working with for many years. 

“The Springboard Awards are a celebration of talent, support, endeavour and sheer determination. The charity helps change lives and creates amazing opportunities with the support of so many across the hospitality industry through programmes like FutureChef. 

“It’s a privilege to see so many young talents thrive and embark on their culinary journeys through the competition every year and we are all delighted to play a part in their futures.” 

The 2024 Springboard Awards for Excellence raised a total of £175,310 for the Springboard Charity through sponsorship, tickets sales and fundraising on the night.

Compass reports significant progress with food waste reduction #

79.5 tonnes of food redistributed in the last year – equivalent of 185,500 meals

753,252 litres of cooking oil converted into biofuels

With 25-30% of the world’s food produced lost or wasted* – addressing food waste has never been so important. To mark the eighth Stop Food Waste Day (24th April 2024), Compass Group UK & Ireland has announced that it has donated 79.5 tonnes of food over the past year (FY23). This is the equivalent of around 185,500 meals going to organisations including FareShare, which received 27 tonnes; Olio, which received 29 tonnes; and Too Good To Go, which received 22 tonnes, as well as local charities. In addition, Compass has converted 753,252 litres of cooking oil into biofuels.

Across Compass, its businesses are driving redistribution. Highlights include:

Eurest and 14forty – 47% food waste reduction since 2020. Waste that hasn’t been prevented is redistributed resulting in 13,434 meals saved.
Restaurant Associates – 57 sites provided the equivalent of 40,000+ meals to charitable causes and saved 50 tonnes of fruit and veg by using Waste Knot products.
Compass Ireland – 1,455 meals donated to Olio and Iveagh Trust.
ESS - 66 sites donating pre-packed products and fresh fruit and veg that are close to their use by date. Since July 2023, 39,522 items of food have been saved.
Healthcare – donated almost a tonne of edible food.
One Retail – saved 83,552 meals and avoided 225,500kg of CO₂e using Too Good to Go across the lifetime of the partnership.
Foodbuy - continue to partner with social enterprises who are sustainability focussed, for example its work with Rubies in the Rubble has saved 9,413kg fruit from going to waste.
Levy UK + Ireland – almost 20,000 meals saved, since January 2022, through Olio partnership, one of many community sharing platforms Levy use to re-distribute its unserved food.
Compass - partnership with FareShare has surpassed the redistribution of 1 million meals since 2014.

Saasha Celestial-One, COO and Co-Founder of Olio: “It's encouraging to see such a major player in the catering and hospitality space leading the way in redistributing surplus food. For Stop Food Waste Day 2024, we're reflecting on the incredible impact we've been able to achieve together - we've rescued hundreds of thousands of meals in the UK and Ireland since we first started working together in 2019 and fed thousands of families with that food – having an impact on the planet and supporting those in need.”

Compass aims to stop food waste through preventing, recovering and recycling. Only when food waste is unavoidable, do teams turn to redistribution and recycling. The company continues to roll out its digital recording system, which measures waste in up to five categories allowing for insight into the source of waste. This is in line with Compass’ Climate Net Zero by 2030 ambition, which commits to a 50% reduction in food waste by 2030.

Stop Food Waste Day was launched by Compass Group USA in 2017 with the aim of raising awareness around reducing food waste. Within the UK & Ireland business, 2024 activities include:

Compass HQs in Chertsey and Parklands will hold events featuring a specially designed food waste menu including Beetroot Falafel and Broccoli hummus.

A Compass poll showed the top three most wasted food items – salad leaves and lettuce, bread and fruits including bananas. Chefs provided innovative recipes based on the results, for colleagues to download and use.

Chartwells has continued to work with the next generation, sharing the importance of avoiding food waste with their Beyond the Chartwells Kitchen workshops in schools. Its culinary teams have developed a series of video and recipe banks for frontline teams, to reduce food waste.

Eurest has developed a series of Stop Food Waste Day recipes, used across hundreds of sites and for customers to use at home - they utilise ingredients which often get wasted including cauliflower stalks and vegetable peelings.

Restaurant Associates recently opened Toast Brewing’s circular micro-brewery at Unity Place (Milton Keynes), using surplus bread from the on-site bakery in the beer making process. They are also continuing their partnership with Native – the restaurant venture from Ivan Tisdall-Downes and Imogen Davis – striving towards a zero-waste offer, sourcing produce locally and supporting regenerative agricultural practices.

Compass Ireland continues to partner with DigiTally, a digital food waste tracking solution and 89% of sites are now recording food waste daily.

Ashleigh Taylor, Head of Environment, Compass Group UK & Ireland, said: “It was estimated there was 10.7mn tonnes of food waste in 2021 – accelerating global warming, wasting water, energy and valuable resources. Stop Food Waste Day allows us to raise awareness of the environmental, commercial and social impacts of this important issue and showcase our chefs’ creativity to reduce, reuse and repurpose ingredients – preventing food waste through recipe redesign. It’s great to see the huge support globally for this initiative, as reducing food waste is a necessary, collective responsibility.”

Adam Thomason, Culinary Director of Restaurant Associates agreed: “As a Chef, I feel empowered to create change through creative and innovative concepts, that can save food and have an impact on the environment. We are investing in our talent through our Chef Apprenticeships, which cover food waste reduction, zero waste cooking techniques, seasonality, and local, ethical sourcing. Through educating our team at the beginning, we are able to affect positive change at every turn.”  
Visit the website here - STOP FOOD WASTE DAY

FEA’s five year deal with Specifi will give members competitive edge #

Significant savings available on market-leading design and PIM platform

FEA has signed a new five year partnership deal with Specifi, the leading foodservice equipment design software developer. This will give members low-cost access to many of the company’s products, including Specifi’s product information manager (PIM), called Specifi Organiser, as well as Specifi Quote and Specifi Design. 

“FEA is delighted to continue the relationship with Specifi,” says John Cunningham, FEA’s chief executive.  “Many of our members already use the company’s products.  The new deal gives them considerable savings, while being part of the Specifi platform certainly gives a competitive edge.”  

Other benefits include waiving the fee for FEA members joining Specifi Organiser for the first time; an extra three months free for the first year contract; and the ability to embed the Specifi configurator tool on their own website.  The benefits are worth several thousand pounds compared to the company’s standard pricing structure. 

Simon Lilley is the business development manager for Specifi in the UK and Ireland and is the main contact for FEA members.  “The deal we have struck with FEA means their members will be getting the most competitive prices possible,” he says.   

John says, “Product design software and PIM systems are becoming increasingly sophisticated as specification tools continue to evolve.  Specifi is a top global supplier with unrivalled resources and expertise.   FEA’s relationship with Specifi underlines the benefits of working in collaboration with top level business partners.”   

For more information contact FEA or Simon Lilley direct ( 

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 

It's GOLD for Compass Group UK & Ireland! #

An award ceremony was held this week to mark Compass Group UK & Ireland’s Gold revalidation of the Armed Forces Recognition Scheme status, by the Defence Relationship Management Team.
Mark Webster, Executive Sponsor of the Compass Armed Forces Committee; Carol Sommerville, Chief People Officer, Compass Group UK & Ireland; and Camilla Howard, Chair of the Compass Armed Forces Committee, received the award from Phil Marks, National Account Manager, Defence Relationship Management, at Compass Group’s head office in Chertsey. Reservists, veterans and military spouses from across the business were also in attendance.
The Gold award reflects the work the organisation does to support veterans, reservists, cadets and military families in its business.
Compass signed the Armed Forces Covenant in 2016, securing gold in 2018. The award is reviewed every 5 years, to ensure companies are meeting the commitments they made when they signed the Covenant.
Commenting on the Gold revalidation award Mark Webster said:
“I am really proud that Compass has secured a gold revalidation for our wide-ranging work supporting the armed forces community in our business. We know that veterans, reservists, cadets and those from armed forces families have so much to offer our business and bring a wide range of skills and a great can-do attitude.
“I would like to recognise the work of our Armed Forces Committee who continually review what support our armed forces community needs and identify what could help them to flourish further in our business.”

Camilla Howard, Chair of Armed Forces Community added:
“It’s fantastic that our work supporting our Armed Forces Community in the company and beyond has been recognised through the gold revalidation. We have over 1000 people in our business who are either veterans, reservists, cadets or part of an armed forces family. As a veteran and military spouse I know only too well of the pressures armed forces life can bring, so it’s really important to me that as an employer we do all that we can to support our people and help them to thrive in our organisation.”
Phil Marks, National Account Manager, Defence Relationship Management added: 
“It’s been my privilege to have worked with Compass Group from the very start of the relationship as the landmark 1000th Armed Forces Covenant signatory in 2016, through the Employer Recognition Scheme ladder of support to Gold in 2018 and the Gold revalidation in 2023. 
“This though only tells of the sharp end of Defence Engagement, all has been underpinned with polices that support the Defence People within the organisation, your Reservists, Cadet Force Adult Volunteers, Spouse and Partners and Service Leavers. None of this would have been achievable without the dedication and support given by all the individuals involved, the hard work and support from the top of the business to the Compass Group Armed Forces Community with particular mention to Camilla Howard, Angela Lewis and Mick Hickman. I look forward to many more years working with you all to continue to grow and strengthen this mutually beneficial relationship. “

Compass has updated its pledges in relation to the Armed Forces Covenant to include military spouses and military families. Updated pledges include:
Spouses – A specific policy that enhances support through the commitment to endeavour to redeploy military spouses to an alternative role internally on notification of posting; providing an additional leave day to support with pre-post deployments

Military Families – introduction of military family days – working in partnership with clients providing families with days out at high profile venues

Recruitment of veterans – enhancing support for those leaving the military, through access to webinars, guidance and work placements

Ongoing support to its Reservists through the provision of 10 days leave to support with the training

Widening partnerships with key military charities and recruitment partners – Forces Families Jobs, Career Transition Partnership, Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity, Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund, ABF The Soldiers’ Charity, Naval Families Federation, The White Ensign and SSAFA

Casual Dining Awards 2024 announce winners of UK’s best restaurants, pubs & bars #

Dishoom, Loungers, Pizza Pilgrims, Mission Mars and wagamama were revealed as some of the UK’s best restaurants, pubs and bars at the 7th annual Casual Dining Awards last night (25th April) at the London Marriott Hotel, Grosvenor Square. 

Hawksmoor, Nando’s, Bill’s, Brightside, Blacklock, Caravan, Bundobust, All Bar One, Albert’s Schloss and Inamo were among the other leading brands who took home prestigious awards. These covered everything from New Concept of the Year and Sustainable Operator to Employer of the Year and Menu Innovation. 

Stephen Herring, Event Manager of the Casual Dining Awards & the Casual Dining show, says: “The Casual Dining Awards surpassed all expectations. It provided an excellent platform for the dynamic, passionate, and innovative operators in this industry to unite and celebrate their achievements. It is inspiring to see the drive and commitment within this resilient sector. Thank you to the sponsors, judges, nominees and congratulations to all the deserving winners!” 

Thomas Heier, the CEO of wagamama commented "The Casual Dining Awards are a great opportunity to celebrate the hard work and achievements across the industry. It is important to celebrate the consistent hard work and dedication that goes into growing and developing the hospitality sector at our industry awards." 

Jane O’Riordan, chair of Caravan, Turtle Bay and Red Engine, received the prestigious Special Award for her extraordinary contribution and commitment to the casual dining industry. 

O’Riordan is also the chair of the innovation working group within the government’s Hospitality Sector Council to help encourage change through new processes and increase productivity. Previous winners include Mark McCulloch, founder of Hospitality Rising, Peter Martin, founder of Peach 20/20, and Kate Nicholls OBE, Chief Executive, UKHospitality. 

James & Thom Elliot, founders of Pizza Pilgrims, were popular winners of the Trailblazer of the Year Award (sponsored by Uber Eats). They had an evening to remember also picking up awards for Restaurant Brand of the Year (20-50 sites) and Brand Marketing of the Year. 

The Casual Dining Awards winners in full: 

Special Award

Jane O’Riordan 

Trailblazer of the Year – Sponsored by Uber Eats

James & Thom Elliot 

Legendary Brand – Sponsored by Coca-Cola, Europacific Partners

All Bar One 

New Concept of the Year - Sponsored by PIB Insurance Brokers


Opening of the Year – Sponsored by Bidfood

Caravan – Covent Garden 

Sustainable Operator – Sponsored by Amber


Employer of the Year (1-49 sites) – Sponsored by Howden


Employer of the Year (50+ sites) – Sponsored by Goldstar Chefs


Menu Innovation (1-25 sites) – Sponsored by Fresh Direct


Menu Innovation (26+ sites) – Sponsored by Reynolds


Brand Marketing of the Year – Sponsored by IPW1

Pizza Pilgrims 

Best Use of Technology – Sponsored by HGEM


Best Designed Site of the Year – Sponsored by Brakes

Faber-Hammersmith with Natalie Waldron Design 

Best Family Dining Experience – Sponsored by IPW1


Pub/Bar Brand of the Year (1-49 sites) – Sponsored by SIM Fit-Out

Albert’s Schloss 

Pub/Bar Brand of the Year (50+ sites) – Sponsored by Birrificio Angelo Poretti


Restaurant Brand of the Year (1-19 sites) – Sponsored by Howden Insurance UK


Restaurant Brand of the Year (20-50 sites) – Sponsored by Boutinot

Pizza Pilgrims 

Restaurant Brand of the Year (51+ sites) – Sponsored by Red Bull


Casual Dining Group of the Year – Sponsored by St Pierre

Mission Mars 

For further information, including the full list of winners, finalists, and judges, please visit

Join the winners at Casual Dining for our 10th anniversary show! 

Many of this year’s Casual Dining Award winners (and finalists) will be attending their industry show – Casual Dining at ExCeL London on 18-19 September. Celebrating a decade of innovation for restaurants, pubs and bars, Casual Dining (co-located with lunch!) is a unique opportunity to discover new products and trends for your business at the only show dedicated to your sector. 

To register for a free trade ticket, visit our website and quote priority code VCD3. 

Casual Dining Awards 2025

Full details regarding next year's Casual Dining Awards 2025 will be announced in due course at