Our history

We can trace our roots back over 60 years.

The many businesses that have joined Compass Group since then have contributed to our rich heritage and shaped the personality of our business today. Whilst we have come a long way from these humble beginnings to become the international business we are now, the commitment of our people to our customers, the quality of our service and our spirit of innovation remain a constant and ongoing feature of our development.


  • 1941

    Group founded in the UK as 'Factory Canteens Ltd'
  • 1967

    Bateman & Midland Catering acquired by Grand Metropolitan and eventually merged as Grand Met Catering Services


  • 1984

    Grandmet Catering re-launched as Compass Contract Services
  • 1987

    Management buy out the contract services division of Compass Services from Grand Metropolitan and form the new Compass Group
  • 1988

    Compass Group PLC listed on the London Stock Exchange


  • 1992

    Letheby & Christopher and Travellers Fare join Compass Group
  • 1993

    Acquire Select Service Partner (then SAS Service Partner)
  • 1994

    Canteen Vending acquired
  • 1995

    Acquire Eurest International from Accor
    Joint venture with RKHS (India)
  • 1996

    Eurest France acquired
  • 1997

    Compass Southern Africa created through joint venture with KKS
  • 1998

    Join FTSE 100 index
    Restaurant Associates in the USA join the Group
  • 1999

    GR SA, joint venture formed in Brazil
    Compass Group in Australia established


  • 2000

    Merger with Granada Group creating Granada:Compass
    Partnership with Levy Restaurants announced
  • 2001

    Demerger of Granada:Compass and the newly separate Compass Group joins the London Stock Exchange
    Sale of Forte Hotels division
    Acquired Morrison Management Specialists and Crothall (USA)
    ADNH, joint venture in the Middle East formed
    Selecta Group acquired
  • 2002

    Acquired Seiyo Foods (now Seiyo Food-Compass Group) in Japan
    Acquired Bon Appétit (USA)
  • 2003

    Onama Group (Italy) acquired
    Sale of Travelodge and Little Chef
  • 2005

    Sale of Au Bon Pain (USA)
  • 2006

    Appointment of Richard Cousins as Group Chief Executive
    Sale of SSP (including Moto and Creative Host Services (USA)), European Inflight and Rail Catering, Italian motorway services business, Restaurant Associates/Patina (USA), public restaurants business and Krispy Kreme (USA)
  • 2007

    Sale of Selecta
  • 2008

    Acquired remaining 50% of GR S.A. (Brazil)
    Acquired Professional Services and Medi-Dyn (USA)
  • 2009

    Acquired KIMCO Corporation (USA)
    Acquired Plural Group (Germany)


  • 2010

    Group operating profit over £1 billion for the first time
    Acquisitions in food and support services in Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, India, UK and US 
  • 2011

    New reporting regions and management structure introduced (North America, Europe & Japan, Fast Growing & Emerging)
    £500 million share buyback announced
  • 2012

    Organic revenue growth of over 5%
    Appointment of Dominic Blakemore as Group Finance Director
    £400 million share buyback announced
  • 2013

    Group operating margin over 7% for the first time
    £500 million share buyback announced
  • 2014

    Appointment of Paul Walsh as Non-Executive Chairman
    £1 billion special dividend announced

Our sectors

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