Our History

We can trace our roots back more than 75 years.

The many companies that have joined Compass 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.

Pre-1980

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 

1980-1999

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 S.A., joint venture formed in Brazil
  • Compass Group in Australia established 

2000-present

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 return of cash announced

2015

  • New reporting regions announced (North America, Europe, Rest of World)
  • Appointment of Johnny Thomson as Group Finance Director

2016

  • Global cage free egg commitment announced

2017

  • £1 billion special dividend announced