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The 2006 FM Top 50 Management Companies

FM's Top 50 has never been as stable as it was in 2006. Absent the acquisitions and mergers that characterized the contract management company sector through the 1990s and early 2000s, our annual listing has become much more an annual scorecard and much less a picture of a consolidating industry. It also now offers more clarity in terms of how much organic growth is actually occurring in the sector.

In fact, this year's Top 50 finds only two new companies—Unidine (#38) and Williamson Hospitality (#47). The only 2005 Top 50 company acquired was Swanson Corp. (#35 last year, by #39 Treat America Food Services).

Even without turnover, there are a number of other developments worth noting. The most obvious is the emergence of Compass Group's Americas Division as the new #1 player. It is the culmination of a remarkable ascent that started literally from zero only 12 years ago, when the British firm first entered the U.S. market with the acquisition of Canteen Corp. As late as 2003, Compass was #3, the position at which it debuted in the initial Top 50 back in 1998. Granted, while a fair amount of Compass's early growth came from a continuing spate of acquisitions, its recent growth has largely been organic (though the now-fully-digested January 2005 deal for HDS Services undoubtedly helped nudge it to the top).

Also notable is the emergence of CulinArt (#15) as a $100 million company, these days a rare milestone. Since 2000, only two companies—Thompson Hospitality and Boston Culinary Group (then known as Boston Concessions Group)—have hit and passed that mark. CulinArt did it mostly the old-fashioned way: by painstakingly building and nurturing business in its core high-end B&I market and augmenting that with extensions into key new segments like universities, private schools and recreation venues (the deal for P&A Food Systems, made only a few months ago, is too recent to have an impact on the numbers reported here).

Close reading of our company-by-company listings also highlights other trends affecting the contract sector. One is the difficulty of growing even top-line revenues in today's market. Seven of the companies—mostly concentrated in the bottom half of the list—actually saw sales decreases in the past year. About a dozen others grew only marginally or remained flat.

Of course, there were spectacular exceptions, led by Compass, which posted a 15.5% gain over the year. Other high achievers included Unidine (boasting an 88% increase—see the profile on p. 42), #37 Pomptonian (21.6%), #4 Delaware North (17.6%), #19 Parkhurst (14.7%), CulinArt (14%), #11 Boston Culinary Group (13.5%) and #25 Metz (11%).

A major trend among contractors this year is the rush to add sustainable/locally-grown food programs while deleting or deemphasizing fry oils containing trans fats. These moves mirror the larger culture's growing interest in these areas, as well as in organic and fresh foods and more exotic flavor alternatives and preparation methods.

The number that determines each company's place in the Top 50 is its domestic top-line revenues for the most recent completed fiscal year. Because most companies in the Top 50 operate on calendar years, they show a 2005 figure, the most recently reported full-year numbers. In the few cases where a company completed and compiled 2006 fiscal numbers, we've used that figure and it is noted in the listing.

While the Top 50 is an excellent resource for determining the major national and regional players in the contract foodservice sector, caution should be exercised in drawing larger conclusions about a company's market position simply from its nominal standing in the Top 50.

Onsite foodservice is a remarkably varied industry encompassing operations at everything from sports stadiums, auto plants, large public hospitals and national parks to nursing homes, Wall Street law firms, local jails and private boarding schools. Given this diversity of client types, it can be assumed that each contract company's business mix is fairly unique, and comparisons based on raw numbers alone can be misleading.

For example, while we list vending companies like AVI Food Systems (#6) and All Seasons Services (#12) because they have developed significant amounts of manual foodservice business, we do not list companies that are exclusively vending specialists. Also, in many cases, these are closely held companies where we have had to estimate revenues (indicated by an "e").

Further, contractors often derive revenues from multiple services encompassing not just the management of dining rooms, kitchens and cafes, but also vending, convenience retailing, office coffee service, catering, concessions sales and even non-food operations like maintenance, laundry, facility management and security. In many cases, these revenue streams are all bundled into one top line number that obscures the actual business mix.

In the short capsule profiles that accompany each entry, we try to provide a summary of the kinds of business services that each company manages in order to better put the top-line revenue numbers into some sort of context.

Another complicating factor: contract terms that affect the revenue a contractor derives from a particular operation may obscure the scope of what is being managed. For instance, a contractor may get more top-line revenue from a modest-sized P&L operation than from a straight fee arrangement that in actuality feeds many more customers. For this reason, some contractors prefer to speak in terms of "managed volume," the amount of business the company "manages" in the sites in which it operates, irrespective of the contract terms and the actual revenues the contractor realizes from its activities.

In the Top 50, we use the gross revenue number that reflects the dollars companies put on their top line rather than managed volume because in the end, a company's size is most accurately indicated by its gross revenues.


1. Compass Group
Americas Division
2. Aramark Corp.
3. Sodexho, Inc.
4. Delaware North Companies
5. Centerplate
6. AVI Food Systems
7. Guest Services, Inc.
8. Guckenheimer Enterprises, Inc.
9. Xanterra Parks & Resorts
10. Thompson Hospitality Services
11. Boston Culinary Group, Inc.
12. All Seasons Services, Inc.
13. Valley Services, Inc.
14. Gourmet Services, Inc.
15. CulinArt, Inc.
16. Healthcare Services Group, Inc.
17. Lackmann Culinary Services
18. Ovations Food Services
19. Parkhurst Dining Services
20. Taher, Inc.
21. Whitsons Culinary Group
22. Nutrition, Inc.
23. Southern Foodservice
Management, Inc.
24. Crystal Food Services
25. Metz & Associates, Ltd.
26. MMI Dining Systems
27. Aladdin Food
Management Services, Inc.
28. Cura Hospitality
29. CL Swanson Corp.
30. Sanese Services, Inc.
31. Creative Dining Services, Inc.
32. Selrico Services, Inc.
33. Fitz,Vogt & Associates
34. Epicurean Feast
35. Corporate Chefs
36. Thomas Cuisine Management
37. Pomptonian Food Service
38. Unidine Corp.
39. Treat America Food
Services, Inc.
40. Brock & Co.
41. Continental Dining &
Refreshment Services
42. Restaurant Marketing
43. Host America Corp.
44. Nutrition Management
Services Co.
45. FAME Food Management, Inc.
46. Prince Food Systems, Inc.
47. Williamson Hospitality
Services, Inc.
48. Linton’s Managed Services, Inc.
49. The Certo Group
50. Kosch Foodservice Group

1. Compass Group Americas Division

SALES VOLUME 2005: $7,400
(in millions) 2004: $6,400
NO. OF UNITS 2005: 8,342
2004: 7,448

MAJOR SEGMENTS SERVED(e): B&I (28%), Healthcare (20%), Recreation (20%), Vending (12%)

A division of London-based Compass Group PLC, Compass Americas accounted for 32% of the parent company's sales in fiscal 2005. The expansion was led by the healthcare and sports/leisure segments (15% and 17% like-for-like growth, respectively). The sports/leisure segment was even hotter in the first half of fiscal 2006, with a 26% increase, while B&I, healthcare and education (including both K-12 and colleges/universities) all posted double-digit gains (14%, 13% and 11%, respectively).

Compass acquired full ownership of Levy Restaurants at the beginning of 2006 after holding a 49% stake since 2000. A few months later, the commercial restaurant businesses of Restaurant Associates and Patina Group were spun off (Compass retains the Managed Services and Sports & Events divisions of RA) while the Creative Host Services airport concessions unit was sold as part of a larger divestment of primarily overseas assets by the parent firm.

Significant new accounts in the past year include Qwest Field in Seattle (Levy), Duke University (Chartwells), the planned new Newseum in Washington, DC (RA and Wolfgang Puck Catering), Peoria (IL) Public Schools (Chartwells), SUNY Upstate Medical University (Morrison), Shippensburg University (Chartwells), Kansas City Public Schools (Chartwells), the Morgan Library & Museum (Restaurant Associates), the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia (Flik) and CNRL Horizon Oil Sands Project (Compass Canada).

Also, the company announced a new policy earlier this year to purchase sustainable seafood, part of a longerterm campaign seeking to put Compass at the forefront of healthful and ecologically sound culinary trends. In related initiatives, Compass continues to roll out cutting edge concepts like Zona Mexicana (authentic Mexican), Jow Jing! (Asian box meals), Dosa Deli (Indian street food) and Olo Sushi.

Major management changes over the past year in the Americas Division include the promotion of Rick Postiglione to CEO of Contract Foodservices (including B&I, Healthcare, Education and Vending) and the retirement of longtime Morrison Management Specialists CEO Glenn Davenport, who is being succeeded by Scott MacLellan.

2. Aramark Corp.

SALES VOLUME 2005: $7,130
(in millions) 2004: $6,882
NO. OF CONTRACTS 2005: 4,240
2004: 3,873

MAJOR SEGMENTS SERVED(e): Sports/Entertainment (19%), B&I (16%), College/University (14%), Healthcare (14%), Corrections (14%), Vending/OCS (10%), K-12 (9%).

The sales volume shown is for Aramark's domestic Food & Support Services business for fiscal year 2005, which ended last October (U.S. Food & Support Services sales through the first three quarters of fiscal 2006 were $5.542 billion). It includes revenues from both foodservice and the many non-food-related support services (facility management, maintenance, housekeeping, etc.) the company offers. Not included in this number is an additional $2.28 billion generated by the International Food & Support Services unit. Total company sales—including Aramark's Uniform & Career Apparel business—were $10.96 billion in fiscal 2005. (The segment percentage estimates listed above reflect only U.S. foodservice business).

The major piece of news involving Aramark over the past year was the recent buyout offer by a group of investors led by CEO Joseph Neubauer to take the company private. The offer has been accepted by the board but was awaiting shareholder and regulatory approval at FM press time.

Earlier in 2006, Aramark named Andrew Kerin president of its U.S. food, hospitality and facilities services businesses, along with some major reshuf-fling elsewhere in the corporate structure. Meanwhile, in January, it opened its new 53,000-sq.ft. Innovation Center to house its corporate research and culinary and product development efforts.

Among major initiatives launched by Aramark in the past year were SnackFactor, a healthy snack program for middle and high school students; Just4U for Vending, highlighting healthier vending beverage and snack choices for schools; Fresh & Healthy, a customer healthy eating education initiative for colleges, B&I and healthcare; and CampusDish, a one-stop college dining services web portal that offers students access to nutrition and dining information through the internet. It also launched experimental initiatives with walk-up nutrition kiosks and podcasting.

Aramark made a number of acquisitions in the vending/OCS field, including Country Club Coffee of Davenport, IA, and Park Avenue Office Services of South Florida. It also acquired SeamlessWeb Professional Services, an internet-based provider of food-related services.

Currently, Aramark manages dining and food services for 1,300 business dining locations, 500 correctional facilities, 400 colleges and 440 school districts, 1,320 hospitals and long-term care facilities and 230 recreation and convention venues. It also manages services at 50 conference centers through its Harrison Lodging division and provides vending and office coffee services at 50,000 locations, the latter not included in the number of contracts listed above.

3. Sodexho, Inc.

SALES VOLUME 2005: $6,300
(in millions) 2004: $6,000
NO. OF CONTRACTS 2005: 5,900
2004: 6,000

MAJOR SEGMENTS SERVED(e): Healthcare (27%), College/University (25%), B&I (23%), K-12 (10%)

The North American division of Parisbased Sodexho Alliance, Sodexho generates about 43% of the parent company's total revenues, and about half of its food and management services revenues. In fiscal 2006 North American revenues posted a 12.1% increase (4.3% organic) over the first nine months of the year.

In fiscal 2005, B&I revenues were slightly lower than in 2004, affected in part by lower customer counts at military bases in the U.S. (military business is folded into the B&I sector in Sodexho's internal reporting). On the other hand, the healthcare segment posted robust organic growth of 7.3%, while the education segment—led by colleges/ universities—grew by 5.8%.

New clients during fiscal 2005 and so far in fiscal 2006 included the New York City Health & Hospital Corporation, Verizon Wireless, General Electric in a number of states, the Philadelphia municipal school system, George Washington University, Adrian College, Valdosta State University, St. Cloud (MN) State University, the Kairos Health Systems, Catholic Health East, the Sears Tower in Chicago and Durant (OK) Public Schools.

Major initiatives include a strategic alliance with former NBA star Magic Johnson to develop branded cafè concepts in onsite environments; an alliance with the Fizzy Fruit Co. to bring the firm's effervescent fruit product to K-12 schools; a joint venture with the National Business Group on Health to launch a toolkit to help employers create and implement healthy on-site dining programs; a biometric finger scan pilot for colleges launched at Gonzaga University and the University of North Texas; and an exclusive partnership with celebrity chef Suvir Saran of New York City's Devi Restaurant, who will work with Sodexho's chefs for culinary training and business development.

The company also continues its rollout of its branded concepts through its Retail Brands Group. Most recently, the Jazzman's Cafe concept unveiled a proprietary branded whole bean retail coffee.

4. Delaware North Companies

SALES VOLUME 2005: $2,000
(in millions) 2004: $1,700
NO. OF CONTRACTS 2005: 200
2004: n/a

MAJOR SEGMENTS SERVED(e): Stadiums/Arenas (27%), Parks/Recreation (21%), Airports (18%)

Delaware North celebrated 90 years in the hospitality business and 75 years with Major League Baseball in the past year. The venerable firm also renamed its CA-One airport/roadway concessions unit Delaware North Companies Travel Hospitality Services, and the unit celebrated by signing a deal with the New York State Thruway. It has beefed up its offerings with new brands and concepts like Caribou Coffee, Tim Horton's, Fuddruckers and Vito's, the unit's proprietary upscale deli concept.

Also on the menu front, DNC introduced organic menus in its SportService and Parks & Resorts units, both using as many fresh locally-sourced ingredients as possible. SportService is also focusing on unique menus at each of its locations to emphasize regional favorites. At the new Busch Stadium in St. Louis, fans can watch chefs prepare fresh food in the facility's open-design kitchen, a model SportService will look to deploy in other new facilities.

5. Centerplate

SALES VOLUME 2005: $643.1
(in millions) 2004: $607.2
NO. OF CONTRACTS 2005: 135
2004: 133

MAJOR SEGMENTS SERVED: Arenas/ Stadiums (53%), Convention/Conference Ctrs. (24%), Other (22%)

Centerplate is a major provider of catering, concessions, merchandise and facility management services for sports facilities, convention centers and other entertainment venues. Its clients include six Major League Baseball and 11 NFL teams—the latest being the Arizona Cardinals—as well as 27 spring training and minor league baseball facilities, 28 convention and civic centers, eight amphitheaters, 16 racetracks, 17 college arenas and stadiums and more than two dozen civic arenas, including facilities for two NBA and one NHL franchise (a second NHL team, the New Jersey Devils, will be a client beginning in 2007). Other concessions clients include the Los Angeles Zoo, the Arkansas Fairgrounds complex and the Tennessee State Fairgrounds. The revenues listed above are for the calendar years. Sales through the first six months of 2006 were $304.2 million.

6. AVI Food Systems, Inc.

SALES VOLUME 2005: $400(e)
(in millions) 2004: n/a
NO. OF MANUAL 2005: 65(e)
FS CONTRACTS 2004: n/a

MAJOR SEGMENTS SERVED(e): Colleges (60%), B&I (25%), Healthcare (15%)

AVI remains primarily a vending and office coffee services provider, operateing its own commissary/bakery where it prepares the sandwiches, salads, entrees, pastries and cookies offered in its vending machines. However, it has been concentrating on building its manual foodservice business in recent years and has also organized internal divisions to focus on the B&I and campus dining markets. Estimated manual foodservice volume is now around $50 million. The company now has manual foodservice client relationships with institutions that include the Cleveland Clinic, the University of Toledo, the University of Michigan Medical Center, Kenyon College, Thiel College, Slippery Rock University, Cleveland State University, Rosemont College, Wayne State University and California University of Pennsylvania.

7. Guest Services, Inc.

SALES VOLUME 2005: $260
(in millions) 2004: $240
2004: 90

MAJOR SEGMENTS SERVED: Government (40%), B&I (17%), K-12 (11%), Museums (10%)

A public benefit corporation with no stockholders (after-tax income is either plowed back into the business or given out as loans and grants to tax-exempt organizations), Guest Services provides food and management services to hotels, resorts, senior living centers, colleges and the military in addition to the segments listed above. In addition, it secured its first hospital account over the past year—Collier County (FL) Medical Center. A subsidiary, Lancaster Foods, wholesales fresh produce and flowers. About half of revenues are derived from dining operations.

Signifying the range of operations it manages, among the more notable outlets Guest Services recently opened were Treviso, an upscale Italian themed restaurant in the Visitors Pavilion of the John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art in Sarasota, FL, and Jersey's, a selfbranded quick-serve outlet serving burgers, hot dogs, fries and wings on the Wildwood (NJ) Boardwalk. Late last year it added Staybridge Suites in Bonita Springs, FL, to its roster of hotel/resort accounts.

8. Guckenheimer Enterprises, Inc.

SALES VOLUME 2006: $252
(in millions) 2005: $251
NO. OF CONTRACTS 2006: 182
2005: 192


Guckenheimer is currently focused on leveraging its expertise in—and reputation for—high-quality from-scratch meal preparation to promote natural and organic products and celebrate local sustainability in the sourcing of the freshest seasonal ingredients. Authentic flavors and preparation styles remain the company's signature in the nearly 450 unit locations in which its serves customers. About two-thirds of Guckenheimer's revenues are generated by onsite dining operations, with the bulk of the rest coming from onsite catering services for business dining clients.

9. Xanterra Parks & Resorts

SALES VOLUME 2005: $250(e)
(in millions) 2004: n/a
NO. OF CONTRACTS 2005: 25(e)
2004: n/a

MAJOR SEGMENTS SERVED: Parks/Recreation (100%)

Xanterra (known as Amfac until 2002) was formed in 1995 through the acquisition of TW Recreational Services, a business that traced its history back to 1905 when, as the Fred Harvey Co., it began managing concessions operations in Grand Canyon National Park. Today, Xanterra manages operations in national parks like Yellowstone, the North Rim of Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon, Zion, Crater Lake, Death Valley, Petrified Forest and the Everglades as well as Mount Rushmore National Memorial. In addition, it operates at the Silverado Resort in Napa, CA.; Gideon Putnam Resort & Spa in Saratoga Springs, NY, and eight Ohio state parks. Its affiliate Xanterra South Rim, LLC, operates concessions at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. The operations include 63 foodservice outlets ranging from full-service restaurants to quick-serve cafes.

10. Thompson Hospitality Services

SALES VOLUME 2005: $215
(in millions) 2004: $195
2004: 72

MAJOR SEGMENTS SERVED: B&I (50%), College/University (30%), K-12 (11%)

One of the country's largest minorityowned businesses, Thompson was founded in 1992 with the acquisition of 31 Bob's Big Boy restaurants. It has since evolved from a franchise restaurant operator into a developer of its own concepts, and has also diversified into onsite foodservice, beginning with a 1995 contract with Morgan State University, still a client. The onsite end of the business received a substantial boost in 1997 through a partnership with Compass Group. Today, Thompson has joint venture clients with Compass units Chartwells, Canteen Vending, Eurest and Restaurant Associates in 40 states, and solo clients in 10. The latter include 22 community and historically black colleges and universities like Alcorn State, Northern Virginia CC, Chicago State and Virginia Union. The two most recent contracts are with the Kansas City Public Schools (in a joint venture with Chartwells) and Elizabeth City (NC) State University.

11. Boston Culinary Group, Inc.

SALES VOLUME 2005: $210
(in millions) 2004: $185
NO. OF CONTRACTS 2005: 140
2004: 140

MAJOR SEGMENTS SERVED: Arenas/Stadiums (50%), Convention/Conference Ctrs. (30%)

Boston Culinary Group manages concessions, merchandise sales and upscale catering and luxury suite service in nine stadiums and 19 arenas, most located on college campuses. It also operates in 14 convention centers, 13 skiing facilities, nine performing arts centers and a variety of other venues such as the Bristol (TN) Motor Speedway and New York's Laguardia Airport. BCG also owns and operates 23 movie theaters in the Northeast as well as three single location commercial restaurants (including Figs at LaGuardia and Tia's on the Boston waterfront) and the John Harvard's Brew House chain.

The most recent contracts are with Broomfield Event Center near Denver, the Rio Rancho Events Center near Albuquerque, the Prescott Valley (AZ) Event Center and the Chevrolet Center in Youngstown, OH. It also successfully opened the new Virginia Beach Convention Center, developed a Culinary Excellence Award program and implemented a sustainable seafood program in its operation at the New England Aquarium.

12. All Seasons Services, Inc.

SALES VOLUME 2005: $184
(in millions) 2004: $180(e)
NO. OF CONTRACTS 2005: 101
2004: n/a

MAJOR SEGMENTS SERVED(e): B&I (77%), K-12 (14%), College/University (7%)

Though vending remains its primary focus, All Seasons is included on the Top 50 because of its substantial manual foodservice business (about $35 million). The company operates some 39,000 vending machines in more than 10,000 sites across the country. Its most significant recent move was the implementation of an unmanned, automated Shop 24 c-store on the campus of the State University of New York (SUNY) at Morrisville. The company plans to expand the program as feasible to other sites where it operates, in a variety of segments.

13. Valley Services, Inc.

SALES VOLUME 2005: $180
(in millions) 2004: $169
NO. OF CONTRACTS 2005: 300
2004: 275

MAJOR SEGMENTS SERVED: Senior Nutrition/Home Meal Delivery (37%), Hospitals (23%), B&I (17%)

Valley continues to emphasize its signature Choice Matters healthy dining concept, which stresses the importance of low-fat and -sodium selections, while also exploring new brands to introduce regional and ethnic cuisines into its portfolio. It plans to unveil at least one of these concepts before the end of 2006 and is also developing and implementing a company-wide culinary and catering program.

The Senior Services division continues to grow its Traditions frozen meal product with direct client relationships, while the shelf-stable Traditions products played a key role in offering victims and rescuers nutritious meals during the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita last year (a new shelfstable, ready-to-eat product for military and disaster relief applications in on tap for rollout this year). The Health Services division, meanwhile, continues to expand into the Southwest and Midwest with a newly developed express delivery system.

14. Gourmet Services, Inc.

SALES VOLUME 2005: $170(e)
(in millions) 2004: $167
NO. OF CONTRACTS 2005: 300(e)
2004: n/a

MAJOR SEGMENTS SERVED(e): College/ University (45%), K-12 (40%), B&I (15%)

Gourmet Services began in 1975 as a contract foodservice provider to six historically black colleges. Originally based in Charlotte, NC, it soon moved to Atlanta and began branching out to other segments like K-12 schools, B&I and even airport concessions. Today, the company maintains a clientele of K-12, B&I and higher education accounts that include some of the country's most prominent black colleges, such as Bethune-Cookman College, Morehouse College and Central State University (OH). Gourmet Services also has branding relationships with prominent commercial chains like Domino's, McDonald's, Subway, Chick-Fil-A, Planet Smoothie, Zero's Subs & Pizza and Popeye's to bring their brands to locations served by the contractor.

15. CulinArt, Inc.

SALES VOLUME 2006: $105
(in millions) 2005: $92
2005: 91

MAJOR SEGMENTS SERVED: B&I (55%), College/University (25%)

CulinArt's most prominent recent move was its acquisition earlier this year of P&A Food Systems, Inc., a Southern California contract management company active in the region's B&I segment. The deal put CulinArt, whose operations were concentrated in the Northeast, into the West Coast market, and also helped nudge its revenues past the $100 million mark. In other moves, CulinArt introduced a new corporate position—culinary development & nutrition specialist—in order to emphasize its new Fresh & Healthy dining program. Its Regional Chefs Network also issued a Commitment to Sustainability statement to position the firm to take advantage of that other major consumer culinary trend. On the business side, CulinArt continues to expand beyond its traditional B&I base to embrace a growing clientele in higher education and private schools as well as recreation sites like Playland Park in Rye, NY, and the Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk, CT.

16. Healthcare Services Group, Inc.

SALES VOLUME 2005: $91
(in millions) 2004: $87
NO. OF CONTRACTS 2005: 250(e)
2004: 242

MAJOR SEGMENTS SERVED: Eldercare (90%), Hospitals (10%)

The volume listed is foodservice only, a business Healthcare Services Group entered in 1997. HSG derives the bulk of its $466 million in annual revenues from providing housekeeping, laundry, linen and facility maintenance services to some 1,700 nursing homes, rehabilitation facilities, retirement centers and hospitals in 45 states and Canada. Clients include the Beverly Enterprises nursing home chain, which accounts for about 19% of total company revenues, and 27% of foodservice revenues.

17. Lackmann Culinary Services

SALES VOLUME 2006: $90.5
(in millions) 2005: $87.8
2005: 73

MAJOR SEGMENTS SERVED: B&I (41%), College/University (48%)

Lackmann continues to expand beyond its New York Metro base. Active in Florida since the mid-90s, it opened its first account in Orlando during the past year and says it will open accounts in three new markets over the next year. Meanwhile, it also bolstered its culinary capabilities by adding a new corporate executive chef and introducing a research & development culinary team. On the menu front, it introduced selfdeveloped and branded organic and kosher concepts, a new branded coffee program and a new baked-to-order pasta station concept, Alforno.

18. Ovations Food Services

SALES VOLUME 2005: $86
(in millions) 2004: $75
2004: 38

MAJOR SEGMENTS SERVED(e): Arenas/Stadiums (60%), Convention/Conference Ctrs. (15%)

Ovations is the the former Leisure & Recreation Consultants firm acquired by the Philadelphia-based Comcast-Spectacor entertainment conglomerate in 2000. The parent company also owns several major and minor-league sports teams and arenas, a 24-hour sports programming network and a facility management firm that operates several dozen arenas, stadiums, ice rinks and convention centers in the U.S. and Canada.

After picking up 10 new accounts through the first half of 2006—including its first NFL venue, Alltel Stadium, home of the Jacksonville Jaguars— Ovations now operates in 18 convention and exposition centers, 13 fairgrounds, parks and amphitheaters, and 29 sports stadiums and arenas. It recently bolstered its concessions offerings with more than a dozen new proprietary concept brands and initiated relationships with national brands such as Quizno's and Starbucks in several client locations.

19. Parkhurst Dining Services

SALES VOLUME 2006: $78
(in millions) 2005: $68
2005: 32

MAJOR SEGMENTS SERVED: College/ University (65%), B&I (28%)

One of two onsite foodservice divisions of the Eat'n Park Hospitality Group's Onsite Brands Division (see also #28 Cura Hospitality below), Parkhurst has grown significantly in the past year, adding new clients like the Dick's Sporting Goods corporate headquarters near Pittsburgh, the Island Sports Center at Robert Morris University and the National City Center in downtown Cleveland. Along with Cura, Parkhurst has replaced its fry oil with trans-fat-free canola oil as part of a corporate initiative to meet customer concerns about health and nutrition. It also continues to expand its FarmSource program, introduced in 2004, that emphasizes purchasing from local producers. The management team has also changed, with former Cura president Mitch Possinger now heading the Onsite Brands Division. Day-to-day operations at Parkhurst are headed by Executive Vice President/COO Nick Camody, with former Parkhurst president Jeff Broadhurst moving up to head the Eat 'n Park Restaurant Division.

20. Taher, Inc.

SALES VOLUME 2006: $75.5
(in millions) 2005: $72
NO. OF CONTRACTS 2006: 205
2005: 197

MAJOR SEGMENTS SERVED: K-12 (55%), B&I (25%), College/University (10%), Eldercare (10%)

Taher operates primarily in the Upper Midwest. Over the past year, it has increased its focus on serving fresh, and even some organic, food. It introduced five new ethnic menus with less focus on meat-based entrees and more on non-meat options. Taher also continues to expand its grab-and-go product lines with new packaging and merchandising, and has installed credit card based POS systems in a number of B&I and school accounts and even in some vending machines.

21. Whitsons Culinary Group

SALES VOLUME 2006: $70.4
(in millions) 2005: $60
NO. OF CONTRACTS 2006: 170
2005: 120

MAJOR SEGMENTS SERVED: K-12 (41%), B&I (35%)

Formerly known as Whitsons Food Service Corp., Whitsons launched a new brand identity under a new name and logo. The business units of the newly positioned company—Whitsons Corporate Dining, Delivered Meals, School Nutrition, Vending Services, Residential Dining and Healthcare Services, and the Andrews Catering gourmet catering arm—are branded separately while sharing corporate resources and crossover marketing efforts. Whitsons has also moved into a new 55,000-sq.ft. corporate headquarters in Islandia, NY, that includes a sophisticated culinary center, catering kitchen, training center and executive showroom/dining room for tastings and client entertainment. Another addition: seasonal marketing concepts for B&I and K-12, with each season focusing on a theme and including special limited offer menu items, meal deals and merchandising materials. Also, the Sensible Snack program for schools has been expanded and a new Middle School Nutrition Education program introduced.

22. Nutrition, Inc.

SALES VOLUME 2005: $70
(in millions) 2004: $70
NO. OF CONTRACTS 2005: 300
2004: 250

MAJOR SEGMENTS SERVED: K-12 (80%), Eldercare (11%)

Like all companies operating in the K-12 segment, Nutrition, Inc., has been busy stressing the new federally mandated Wellness Policy issue, deleting many non-nutritious choices and substituting more nutritionally healthy items. In addition to dining operation management, the company also offers an array of auxiliary services such as training, dietetics, information technology, loss prevention, area enhancement and marketing. Besides K-12 and eldercare, Nutrition, Inc., also services a few B&I and corrections clients that collectively represent about 10 percent of its business.

23. Southern Foodservice Management, Inc.

SALES VOLUME 2005: $67.5
(in millions) 2004: $70
2004: 91

MAJOR SEGMENTS SERVED: B&I (55%), Government (18%)

Southern recently restructured its regional support organization to allow greater focus on account supervision and support. It also initiated rollout of its proprietary iCafe, CaterNet and Pulse Point customer interaction systems and signed its first college account. New menu offerings include an expansion of the company's Smart Cuisine healthy dining selections and Smart Snack healthy vending choices. Also introduced were three-tiered menu pricing offering discounted daily combo meals, traditional selections and premium entrees.

24. Crystal Food Services

SALES VOLUME 2006: $62
(in millions) 2005: $67
2005: 40

MAJOR SEGMENTS SERVED: B&I (40%), K-12 (22%), Convention/Conference Ctrs. (17%), Parks/Recreation Ctrs. (13%)

A division of Marsh Supermarkets, Crystal derives about 38% of its revenues from catering and much of the rest from a combination of manual foodservice, vending, OCS and concessions. In the past year, Crystal has bolstered its CAFE (Creating Amazing Food Experiences) onsite dining management services brand with new Mexican and "buildabowl (to-order sauteed protein and vegetable meals) food programs. The CAFE Group has also hired a corporate executive chef to create and implement new food programs, develop menu cycles, analyze food and labor costs, spec products, train staff and conduct cooking classes for client employees. Its Crystal University program provides continuing education and professional development opportunities for both managers and staff employees.

25. Metz & Associates, Ltd.

SALES VOLUME 2005: $61
(in millions) 2004: $55
2004: 93

MAJOR SEGMENTS SERVED: K-12 (35%), B&I (27%), College/University (20%), Eldercare (11%)

Metz recently cemented a partnership with Penn State's School of Hospitality Management to develop a new employee training initiative focused both on cooking skills and food safety/sanitation. It will also include a product demonstration component featuring vendors showing new healthful products, in line with a corporate program that has also seen Metz change to trans-fat-free fry oil in all its operations. Also new this past year is Dining Essence, a comprehensive program that seeks to enhance the guest dining experience through both food preparation and presentation, and also dining ambiance. On the culinary front, Metz's latest concept is Bordertown, featuring a variety of Mexican cuisine choices.

26. MMI Dining Systems

SALES VOLUME 2005: $60
(in millions) 2004: $57.5
NO. OF CONTRACTS 2005: 120
2004: 111

MAJOR SEGMENTS SERVED: Eldercare (30%), K-12 (20%), Hotels (20%), College/University (10%), B&I (10%), Retail Restaurants (10%)

A division of the MMI Hotel Group for which it manages foodservice operations, MMI Dining also provides country club management services, foodservice management for schools and colleges, auxiliary and foodservices for senior living communities and corporate dining management. It also operates two Corky's Ribs & BBQ franchise locations. Club and college foodservice management in the Southeast market are seen as particular growth areas in the comping year.

27. Aladdin Food Management Services, Inc.

SALES VOLUME 2006: $58
(in millions) 2005: $62.4
NO. OF CONTRACTS 2006: 130
2005: 150

MAJOR SEGMENTS SERVED: College/ University (39%), K-12 (38%), Eldercare (22%)

Aladdin services clients in 16 states ranging from New York and New Jersey down through the Southeast as far as Florida, and across the upper Midwest as far as Missouri and Oklahoma. Over 90 percent of the business is manual foodservice, with clients like The Linsly School in Wheeling, WV, Carlow University in Pittsburgh, West Virginia Wesleyan College, Bethany (WV) College, Alvernia College in Reading, PA, and Drury University in Springfield, MO. It recently reduced its operating districts from seven to six and segmented them by market (education, healthcare, etc.). It also created a new executive vp position responsible for new business development and formed three operating groups headed by regional operations vp's. On the culinary front, Aladdin rolled out a new fresh Southwestern concept, introduced a limited selection of organic product and incorporated regionally and locally sourced foods into select accounts.

28. Cura Hospitality

SALES VOLUME 2006: $58
(in millions) 2005: $52.8
2005: 23


Cura is one of two onsite foodservice divisions of the Eat'n Park Hospitality Group's Onsite Brands Division (see also #19 Parkhurst Dining Services above), which is now under the leadership of former Cura president Mitch Possinger. Day-to-day operations at Cura are headed by Executive Vice President Patrick Johnson. Like Parkhurst, Cura has replaced its fry oil with trans-fat-free canola oil as part of a corporate initiative to meet customer concerns about health and nutrition, and also continues to expand its Farm-Source program, introduced in 2004, that emphasizes purchasing from local producers. In addition, Cura has introduced the LivingLife program, which incorporates hospitality with activities like cooking classes and exercise programs for residents of the senior living communities the company serves. Another program is Lifestyle Dining, which features not only alternative menus, but meal plan and delivery point alternatives, such as curbside pickup at some locations.

29. CL Swanson Corp.

SALES VOLUME 2005: $55.5
(in millions) 2004: $52
NO. OF CONTRACTS 2005: 786
2004: 750


Swanson is part of a group of companies that also markets financial mangement services and business software to clients. The CL Swanson unit primarily provides vending services but also manages onsite cafeterias, where it continues to emphasize its Better-4-You healthy eating program and is expanding its use of POS technologies like credit and debit cards. The company operates in more than 1,200 unit locations, most of them consisting of vending activities.

30. Sanese Services, Inc.

SALES VOLUME 2005: $54
(in millions) 2004: $54
2004: 54


Vending accounts for about half of Sanese's volume, while manual foodservice represents almost 30%. Sanese also delivers pre-plated, chilled lunches (made in its Columbus production center) to schools through its Lunches Kids Love program, a growing business that has been reinforced with the addition of a dedicated salesperson. The catering division—currently about six percent of the business—has also been revamped with personnel changes to promote growth. On the menu front, Sanese continues to focus on national menu and dietary trends to provide customers with up-to-date offerings consistent with a healthy lifestyle.

31. Creative Dining Services, Inc.

SALES VOLUME 2005: $42
(in millions) 2004: $40
2004: 46

MAJOR SEGMENTS SERVED: College/University (51%), Convention/Conference Ctrs. (20%), Parks/Recreation (11%), B&I (10%)

Launched in 1990 in partnership with two Michigan colleges, Creative Dining Services expanded its presence in the K-12 segment and continued to develop services for the extended care and youth recreation markets in the past year. It also initiated a partnership with client Whirlpool Corp. and the Robb & Stuckey upscale home products retail chain in which CDS manages the demonstration kitchen in the Naples, FL, unit. CDS is also focusing more attention on using locally grown and organic products, as well as converting to trans-fat-free cooking oils through its Food Matters program.

32. Selrico Services, Inc.

SALES VOLUME 2005: $41(e)
(in millions) 2004: n/a
2005: 25(e)
2004: n/a


Selrico Services provides military installations worldwide with dining, waste management/recycling, facility support, house management and building cleaning services. Among its operations are facilities supporting U.S. armed forces in the Middle East.

33. Fitz, Vogt & Associates, Ltd.

SALES VOLUME 2005: $40.8
(in millions) 2004: $45.1
NO. OF CONTRACTS 2005: 126
2004: 130

MAJOR SEGMENTS SERVED: Eldercare (69%), College/University (10%)

In the past year, Fitz Vogt upgraded its storage capacities at several of its commissary kitchens, allowing it to take increased advantage of opportunity buys and volume purchasing, which has increased margins while reducing costs for clients. On the culinary front, the company continues to focus on adding services for its assisted living clients with such programs as cook-to-order breakfast menus, standardized made-from-scratch sugar-free dessert menus and greatly expanded alternative menus, all part of a master menu program that ensures consistent quality and presentation.

34. Epicurean Feast

SALES VOLUME 2005: $36
(in millions) 2004: $35
NO. OF CONTRACTS 2005: 105
2004: 75


Most of Epicurean Feast's business involves providing manual foodservice management to corporate clients, but the company also derives about a fifth of its revenues from catering. It has recently continue to expand its heathy eating and nutritional programs, added more proprietary on-site programs and put increased focus on exhibition-style cooking in its unit operations. Clients include Millyard Technology Park in Nashua, NH, and University Office Park in Waltham, MA.

35. Corporate Chefs

SALES VOLUME 2005: $35.7
(in millions) 2004: $35.5
2004: 71

MAJOR SEGMENTS SERVED: B&I (88%), College/University (12%)

Corporate Chefs primarily operates in white collar business dining environments and colleges in New England, New York, New Jersey and Virginia. More than two-thirds of revenues come from operating onsite cafes; another fifth comes from catering operations. Clients include Clocktower Place office park in Maynard, MA, Bergen (NJ) Community College and Union County (NJ) College.

36. Thomas Cuisine Management

SALES VOLUME 2005: $35
(in millions) 2004: $33
2004: 27

MAJOR SEGMENTS SERVED: Hospitals (50%), B&I (45%)

Thomas operates manual foodservice, catering and vending in various segments. Its Cuisine on Call program offers room service dining options for acutecare hospital clients. Clients include Wells Fargo, DirecTV, Magic Valley Regional Medical Center and Health-South Treasure Valley Hospital.

37. Pomptonian Food Service

SALES VOLUME 2005: $33.8
(in millions) 2004: $27.8
2004: 50


Pomptonian manages cafeterias and some vending operations in some 240 primary and secondary school locations. Like most companies operating in the K-12 segment, it has been working to find healthier meal alternatives to offer clients, as well as nutrition education materials. The company's school menus have a strong branded component in order to encourage consumer confidence in its offerings.

38. Unidine Corp.

SALES VOLUME 2005: $32
(in millions) 2004: $17
2004: 25

MAJOR SEGMENTS SERVED: Eldercare (61%), Hospitals (31%)

Unidine completed two acquisitions in 2005 that not only boosted revenues but put the company into new geographic markets and a new segment. Originally a healthcare specialty contractor operating in New England, Unidine added a series of senior, adolescent and rehabilitation facilities in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, DC, through the purchase of Columbia, MDbased Healthcare Service Solutions, while acquiring Delmonico Management marked an expansion into B&I (which now constitutes about eight percent of revenues). In addition, Unidine operates a culinary training program through a partnership with three Northeastern culinary schools.

39. Treat America Food Services, Inc.

SALES VOLUME 2005: $30.135
(in millions) 2004: n/a
2004: n/a


Treat America significantly boosted its business when it acquired Swansons Corp. (see #35 last year) this past March, though the 2005 financial numbers listed above do not yet reflect the additional business. The deal added over a thousand sites—mostly vending and office coffee—to Treat America's portfolio (the contracts listed above are for manual foodservice operations only). Currently, the business is split almost equally between managing onsite dining operations and providing vending services to businesses in eight Midwestern states. The company also owns and operates the venerable EBT restaurant in the former Emery Bird & Thayer department store location in downtown Kansas City, and the Union Cafe in Kansas City's historic Union Station.

40. Brock & Co., Inc.

SALES VOLUME 2005: $30
(in millions) 2004: $30
2004: 65

MAJOR SEGMENTS SERVED: B&I (73%), K-12 (10%)

In business for almost 80 years, Brock has recently been growing in the private/independent school segment, which it first entered through a contract with Massanutten Military Academy in Woodstock, VA. However, the company's principal business remains B&I, with clients like T. Rowe Price Associates, the Washington Post, the Academy of Natural Sciences and Drinker, Biddle & Reath, LLP.

41. Continental Dining & Refreshment Services

SALES VOLUME 2005: $28.2
(in millions) 2004: $24.5
NO. OF CONTRACTS 2005: 112
2004: 105

MAJOR SEGMENTS SERVED: B&I (59%), Convention/Conference Ctrs. (16%)

Continental realizes about a third of its revenues from dining operations and almost half from vending. Its catering services are highlighted by two cruise ships, including the recently purchased 138-ft., 325-passenger yacht Infinity. Other recent moves have included starting a minority certified company (Diamond Hospitality), expanding into the Ohio market, deploying an online catering order platform at several locations, developing a proprietary coffee concept and coffee house retail business and debuting the Wonder Pizza vending machine. Continental also acquired Canteen Detroit last November, becoming a Canteen franchise in the process, giving it access to Canteen's volume purchasing program and systems.

42. Restaurant Marketing Associates

SALES VOLUME 2005: $28
(in millions) 2004: $27.5
2004: 21

MAJOR SEGMENTS SERVED: B&I (80%), Museums/Performing Arts Ctrs. (15%)

RMA provides comprehensive foodservice programs for publishing companies, law firms, multi-tenant developments and private clubs in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. It also operates commercial restaurants, including the Theater Square Grill at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, the C-Side at Harborside Financial Center in Jersey City, NJ, and 95 Greene in Jersey City's historic Colgate Building. Onsite dining clients include Scholastic Publishing, John Wiley & Sons Publishing, McGraw Hill Executive Dining Rooms, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and Club 101, an exclusive private club located at 101 Park Avenue in Manhattan.

43. Host America Corp.

SALES VOLUME 2005: $27(e)
(in millions) 2004: $29
NO. OF CONTRACTS 2005: 60(e)
2004: 62

MAJOR SEGMENTS SERVED(e): B&I (45%), Meals on Wheels/Head Start Meal Production (55%)

Host America continues to deal with the fallout of its July 2005 delisting by the Securities & Exchange Commission following allegations of misrepresenting a relationship between the company's Energy Management unit and Wal-Mart stores (the company has since been relisted and is currently traded on the Over the Counter market). The incident led to the dismissals of CEO Geoffrey Ramsey and Human Resources Director Anne Ramsey in December. Meanwhile, the company continues to operate its foodservice management and pre-packaged meal production businesses, the latter under the Lindley Food Service name.

44. Nutrition Management Services Co.

SALES VOLUME 2005: $26.6
(in millions) 2004: $28
2004: 67

MAJOR SEGMENTS SERVED(e): Eldercare (70%), Hospitals (30%)

A publicly held entity traded over-thecounter, NMSC manages manual foodservice, snack shops and environmental services in continuing care facilities, hospitals and retirement communities. It also operates the Collegeville (PA) Inn Conference/Training Center, which provides a venue for showcasing its services and functions as an in-house training center and R&D lab. Revenues through the first nine months of the company's 2006 fiscal year were $18 million, down $2 million from the first nine months of fiscal 2005.

45. FAME Food Management, Inc.

SALES VOLUME 2005: $25.5
(in millions) 2004: $26.5
2004: 36

MAJOR SEGMENTS SERVED: Government (60%), B&I (23%), Hospitals (11%)

FAME (Food & Management Enterprise Corp.) generates over three quarters of its revenues from managing dining operations in client locations in New England, the Mid-Atlantic and Texas. Another 16% comes from catering operations. The company has added an International Corner station that changes themes weekly, as well as utilizing locally well-known branded seafood concepts (Phillips in Washington, DC, and Legal seafood in Boston) in its operations.

46. Prince Food Systems, Inc.

SALES VOLUME 2005: $24.6
(in millions) 2004: $23.1
2004: 25

MAJOR SEGMENTS SERVED: Hospitals (55%), B&I (42%)

Prince successfully rolled out its first school lunch program last fall in a private school, and also opened six other new accounts over the past year. Hospitals and B&I remain the bulk of the business, with housekeeping a new service. The company operates exclusively in Texas, with clients including Boeing, the St. Joseph Regional Health Center in Bryan, Samsung Semiconductor, Columbus Community Hospital, Depelchin Children's Center's Houston and Richmond campuses, Unocal and Lockheed-Martin.

47. Williamson Hospitality Services, Inc.

SALES VOLUME 2005: $16
(in millions) 2004: n/a

2004: n/a

MAJOR SEGMENTS SERVED: K-12 (35%), B&I (25%), College/University (20%), Eldercare (20%)

Founded over 60 years ago as a restaurant and catering enterprise, Williamson now operates in 36 locations in multiple segments in the Delaware Valley market. It markets an array of branded concepts under its Show Thyme program. It recently introduced a series of "smart food" choices and trans-fat-free cooking to increase the health profile of its offerings. Clients include Gwynned-Mercy College (Gwynned, PA), Montgomery County (PA) Community College and LaSalle College High School (Wyndmoor, PA).

48. Linton's Managed Services, Inc.

SALES VOLUME 2006: $12.2
(in millions) 2005: $10.7
2005: n/a

MAJOR SEGMENTS SERVED: Community Service Programs (20%), Hospitals (18%), K-12 (19%), Non-Food Supply Procurement (16%), Government (12%)

Linton's traces its history back to a restaurant opened in Philadelphia in 1890. It later became a chain that at its peak in 1939 had 26 units around the city. Today, Linton's operates as a manager of onsite dining operations and supplier of preprepared meals as well as a distributor of nonfood items like disposables, cleaning supplies, office products and medical supplies.

49. The Certo Group

SALES VOLUME 2005: $12
(in millions) 2004: N/A
2004: n/a

MAJOR SEGMENTS SERVED: B&I (80%), Airports/Retail Concessions (10%), Government (10%)

Certo Group went public in late 2005 through a reverse merger arrangement and is now traded on the OTC market. It’s main retail offering has been its branded LA Cafe concept, which menus signature "Hollywood-style" sandwiches and gourmet entrees with motion picture-related themes. A new concept, 5th Avenue Newsbar, offers a New York style contrast to LA Cafe’s California theme. Clients include the Bell South Towers Building in downtown Jacksonville, AT&T, Comcast, the New York College of Podiatric Medicine, St. Petersburg College, Tyco, Lea & Perrins, Motorola and Ferrero Foods.

50. Kosch Foodservice Group

SALES VOLUME 2005: $12
(in millions) 2004: $10
2004: 33

MAJOR SEGMENTS SERVED: B&I (69%), Government (10%)

Kosch has initiated alliances with organizations for the blind to train visionimpaired individuals to work in foodservice environments under the federal Randolph-Shepard Act. The company has also been diversifying into the country club and hospital segments, though over two-thirds of its business remains concentrated in B&I.

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