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Catching up with Eurest Services

19 February 2010

SPONSORED ARTICLE: Regular customer research helps Eurest Services match culinary trends, as Jason Leek explains

LIKE HAVING A COMPUTER at a desk and recycling bins for waste paper, employees today have come to expect that their employers will provide onsite catering where they can grab lunch in evershortening lunch breaks. For chefs in Eurest Services, the leading business and industry catering and FM provider, serving meals in employee’s offices that beat the high street in terms of variety and value is a top priority and one which the Eurest Services team prides itself on achieving.
Every year Eurest Services’ parent company, Compass Group UK & Ireland, surveys consumers to see what motivates them to eat on-site. This research helps the team to understand how they can best match the industry’s latest culinary trends, ensuring that employees want to eat onsite, day after day. This year, they will survey 130,000 consumers.
This research has shown that food, menu and value are the key deciding factors in the business and industry sector, influencing whether an employee will use the on-site restaurant or go offsite for their lunch. With this in mind in 2009 Compass’ dedicated NPD team extended and expanded its range of branded, themed food offers (Core Concepts) which are available to every Eurest Services client to make lunch on-site even more varied.
Following extensive menu development, the Core Concepts range now includes a new set of authentic Thai recipes (Thai Market), an updated range of Chinese dishes (China Dragon) and even more traditional, hearty favourites from Britain (Best of British) in addition to Mexican, Indian and Irish inspired meals and healthy choices. As the recession has taken hold, Compass has used its research which showed that price is an increasingly important factor and has developed a range of quality, value favourite dishes called Why Pay More? all priced at £2.50.
The constant striving for innovative meal solutions that surpass offers on the high street and accurately reflect consumer trends has resulted in Compass winning many prestigious industry awards last year including Workplace Sandwich of the Year at the “Sammies” and being Highly Commended in the IGD’s Consumer Understanding category. This same drive has also led to significant new contracts with companies including Lloyds Banking Group.
Compass’ focus on food provenance andtraceability continues to be a business priority. The launch of Compass’ sourcing campaign, Truly British, Truly Local, supported by Gary Rhodes, a chef synonymous with British cuisine, and the IGD, food and grocery industry experts, is the latest initiative in Compass’ drive to support the British farming industry. With this campaign, Compass is offering a greater range of British and locally sourced products from a 50 mile radius to all clients, particularly through dishes in the Meet the Grower Core Concept range. With Meet the Grower, employees can support local and British farmers, growers and producers in one dish.
In 2009, Compass committed to sourcing 100 per cent of its fresh beef from Britain – no mean feat considering Compass purchases more than 2,000 tonnes of fresh beef every year. It was also the year when Compass was the first in the industry to commit to using only sustainable fish in accordance with the MCS Fish to Eat guidelines. Our “Fish to Avoid” list, which currently names 69 species of fish, took immediate effect across all employee restaurants, covering fish in hot meals, sandwiches and all grab-and-go offerings, showing that we take our responsibility to source sustainable food seriously.
While food is still Eurest Services core offer, the new year sees some new additions to the Eurest Services team including Neil Eke, Sales Director and a dedicated Business Director for FM, Steve Davies, reflecting the increased importance of support services to Eurest Services. With constant focus on responsible sourcing, innovative food offers and hassle-free health and safety, companies can trust us to deliver more in a costefficient
way. Visit www.compass-group.co.uk/ eurest-services-bi.htm to find out more.


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