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Strategy & Business Model

Performance, People and Purpose

We manage the business with a disciplined focus on Performance, People and Purpose as our main strategic priorities.

We remain focused on food, our core competence. The food services market is estimated to be worth around £220 billion. With only about 50% of the market currently outsourced and another 26% of the market in the hands of small and regional players, we see a large and exciting structural growth opportunity.

Our people are at the heart of our business and we believe the way we organise, train and develop them is a critical competitive advantage. They are the key to delivering great food and services to our clients and consumers.

Our purpose is first and foremost a social purpose, the foundation of which is a safety culture built around caring for people combined with personal and food safety. Our sustainability strategy focuses on three key areas of health & wellbeing; environmental game changers and better for the world.


Although COVID-19 has not changed our business model, we are evolving our strategy to increase our resilience and strengthen our competitive advantages. The three main areas of focus are:

  • digital: consumer facing use of apps and kiosks to pre-order, pre-pay, click and collect as well as back of house apps for labour management and food procurement
  • labour: increase labour flexibility, leverage our scale and pool the workforce across sectors to better accommodate volume volatility on site
  • central production units: hubs for development, training and production to rationalise labour costs and reduce food waste

By innovating and adapting our operations and our offering, we will ensure we continue to lead the industry and remain relevant to our clients and consumers. This will allow us to continue to win new business and have strong retention rates so we can continue to grow and further leverage our scale.

From an operational perspective, we are renegotiating our contracts and mitigating higher operating costs as efficiently as possible so that we can rebuild our operating margin and continue to strengthen our competitive advantage. In this way, we will continue to create long term value for all our stakeholders.

Business model

Food is our focus and our core competence. We take a pragmatic and targeted approach to support services on a country and sector specific basis

Organic revenue growth
Our business model begins with organic growth, which we drive by sectorising and sub sectorising our business. This approach allows us to differentiate ourselves and get close to our customers to create bespoke and innovative solutions. Organic growth is supplemented by small and medium sized acquisitions that add capability or scale in our existing markets.

Cost/operating efficiencies
We focus on operational execution and generate efficiencies by optimising our supply chain and diligently managing our food and labour costs. These efficiencies enable us to reinvest in the significant growth opportunities around the Group and to improve margins.

Competitive advantage
Our growth, the scale it creates and our focus on cost and efficiencies give us a competitive advantage. This allows us to provide our clients and consumers the best value in terms of quality and cost which, combined with our sectorised approach, helps drive long term sustainable organic revenue growth.

Our people and culture
Our people and culture lie at the heart of our business. Our aim is to nurture an engaged and highly capable workforce to win new business, manage our units efficiently and effectively, and deliver the healthiest, most innovative food solutions in a way that provides a safe and exciting experience to our clients and consumers.

How we create value


Our priority is organic growth and we continue to put focus and resources behind both MAP 1 (driving new business and retention) and MAP 2 (consumer sales).


We remain focused on costs and improving MAP 3 (cost of food), MAP 4 (in unit labour costs and overheads) and MAP 5 (above unit overheads). This generates operating efficiencies and enables us to improve margins.


We invest with discipline to support our organic growth and to generate further efficiencies to deliver continued margin imrpovement. We invest in bolt-on acquisitions that add capability or scale in an existing market and whose returns exceed the cost of capital by year two.

Returns to Shareholders

Our aim it to target a net debt to EBITDA leverage range of 1x-1.5x and we are keeping dividends and other shareholder returns under review and will restart them when it is appropriate to do so.