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ISS unites all foodservice operations

ISS has announced a new strategic vision to be one of the true premier leading players in the UK foodservice sector. All current catering operations - including healthcare - are to be combined to create a new operating platform, ISS Food Services. The business will have an annual turnover of £250m, establishing ISS as the major force in catering that it has always threatened to be. 


Craig Smith, ISS Head of Corporate Affairs - Healthcare, Education, Authorities & Defence - and National Vice Chairman of the Hospital Caterers Association, told HEFMA that the move will capture all that is good within the various aspects of the current ISS operational business and bring it together under one Chief Operating Officer. All Executive Heads and Development Chefs will pool resources and ideas, and sharing Best Practice will be much easier. Other tangible benefits will follow, including more streamlined procurement and further development of the company's sustainable approach to sourcing quality British produce.


Chief Operating Officer, Philip Leigh will lead the experienced team. He has himself spent ten years in the UK business and at various times has headed up all the individual elements of the catering offer.


The foodservice sector has long been dominated by a small number of companies, including Compass, Sodexo, WSH Group, Elior and Aramark. ISS sits naturally alongside that group and wants to challenge the status quo; by bringing together the foodservice streams it can achieve this in a more focused way than before. 


A competitive sector with powerful players is always good for service levels and for the industry itself. Foodservice is changing and becoming increasingly important in every sector and walk of life. The new platform will see the delivery of Food Services forming a key part of ISS. 


“We have now strategically moved all parts of the business into one unit to establish the business as an identifiable name in the market. Now we are combining our current catering operations under ISS Food Services built on a strong platform of people and food experiences. We are driven and understand our business, which is a rare combination in today’s market and that will add further value to both our single service excellence and to our key accounts," says Philip Leigh. 


“We have a great team that is coming together – a team that understands ISS and understands foodservice from a range of different perspectives. This creates a powerful base of knowledge, expertise and support tapping into the Power of the Human Touch and thereby providing real value to clients. We are now bringing thinking together from across all parts of the business around food, because that is core to the offer. 


“We firmly believe in transparency and it is important we are open to our teams and customers. The latter will see no impact as business continuity is paramount. Our aim is only to add more value. From a platform of steady growth this move will bring innovative customer solutions which will drive turnover. We are also conscious that we are always learning and using our global power to develop a depth of understanding that has never been done before. On a global platform ISS is now the fourth largest catering provider."


2018 marks ISS’s 50th anniversary operating in the UK. It is one of the true leaders in support services and with a track record and understanding that very few others can rival. Its success in healthcare has been underlined recently with significant contract gains including catering and other soft FM services at the Fulham Road Collaborative (including Chelsea & Westminster NHS Foundation Trust, the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust and the Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust), as well as South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust and South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust.


In a recent industry wide survey run by i-fm/Magenta FM ISS was named as the top service provider: the service provider who offered the best value for money; the most customer focused, the most admired and the FM company people would most like to work for.