The Top 50 managed to add almost $2 billion in new volume in the past year, basically matching the collective gain posted in each of the two previous years. Most of that gain was generated by the top three companies — Compass Group North America (which regained the top spot this year), Aramark and Sodexo. Together they accounted for about $1,700 in increased volume.
That number should be put into the context of when these results were reported, however. Compass, Aramark and Sodexo all end their fiscal years in the late summer/early fall. The fiscal 2008 numbers reported here were for periods that ended just before the banking crisis and subsequent recession last fall. Fiscal 2009 numbers reflecting that downturn won't be reported for several months, but interim reports from each indicate slowing growth.
Compass's interim financial report for the first half of fiscal 2009 (through March 31st) shows organic growth of 4.4% in North America, down from the 7% posted in the first half of fiscal 2008 and well under the nearly 10% growth rate posted in all of fiscal 2008.
Sodexo posted organic growth of 3% in the first nine months of its 2009 fiscal year (through May 31) in its North American operations, compared to 5.4% growth for all of fiscal 2008. Aramark was actually down about 4.3% in the first three quarters (through July 3) of fiscal 2009, from $6.550 to $6.270 billion in its North American Food and Support Services unit. In fiscal 2008, it grew almost 6%.
The Top 50 is confined to firms that operate significant manual foodservice operations, whatever else they may do. For this reason, companies that are, for example, exclusively vending specialists or caterers are not included.
It is also important to note in this context that the top-line volumes posted by some of the companies in the Top 50 contain revenues generated by operations other than managing manual foodservice. Most prominently, Aramark Food & Support Services is generally acknowledged to derive a significantly larger proportion of its revenues from non-food-related support services (facilities management, laundry, housekeeping, etc.) than Sodexo or Compass do. (For more specifics on this, go to food-management.com/editors_page/side-service-equation-0209/index.html.)
A similar search for growth has also led several other Top 50 companies to expand into areas like facility management and other support services, commercial restaurant operations and outsource meal production. Another nod to the sour economy: many Top 50 companies cite efforts to provide more economical and “value” meal choices as among current initiatives.
Of course, many are also expanding their offerings in terms of healthful meal options, and “green” initiatives, ranging from recycling and composting programs to local sourcing. These efforts are a nearly universal theme in their marketing.
Companies that operate in the B&I sector have seen major challenges, generally reflected on their top-line numbers. Those with heavy concentrations of business in other onsite segments have generally been more successful in driving growth.
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 before drawing larger conclusions about a company's market position simply from its nominal standing on the list.
TOP 50 at a glance
1 Compass Group North America
|SALES VOL.||2008: $9,000|
|SEGMENTS SERVED: B&I (30%), Healthcare (24%), Education (20%), Recreation (13%), Vending/OCS (10%), Other (3%)|
Compass North America is a division of London-based Compass Group PLC, the world's largest contract catering company. It accounted for 40% of the parent company's revenues in fiscal 2008, and 44.5% in the first half of fiscal 2009. In the field, Compass operates through the brand names of its various operating companies, all previously independent firms that have been acquired since Compass entered the U.S. market in 1994.
Notable contract wins over the past year include St. Louis, Carrol County (VA) and Duval County (FL) schools and UNC-Greensboro by Chartwells; Palace Sports & Entertainment, the United Center arena in Chicago and the Washington Nationals Major League ballpark by Levy Restaurants; and the new US Capitol Visitor Center by Restaurant Associates.
The major addition to the management ranks was the appointment of Dennis Hogan, formerly the group's SVP of finance, to CEO of the Canteen Vending Services unit, replacing Mike Kiser. On the acquisition front, the only major deal was the purchase of KIMCO Corp., an Illinois-based provider of support services primarily to the B&I segment.
Sustainability continues to be a major area of emphasis for Compass, highlighted over the past year by its announcement that its three-year-old sustainable seafood purchasing initiative has resulted in a decrease of 1.5 million pounds of unsustainable seafood from its purchasing invoices this year.
On the corporate business side, Compass inked a series of deals with MasterCard, Visa, Agilysys and Nutricate to advance the company's abilities and offerings at the point-of-sale, including enhanced loyalty, cashless and nutritional information services.
Other highlights: the Morrison unit cemented an alliance with celebrity chef Cary Neff to develop Flavors 450, a series of more than 60 healthful recipes specifically designed for the healthcare retail environment. The Restaurant Associates unit made a similar deal with noted restaurateur Ed Brown (Tropica, The Sea Grill, Eighty One) to enhance its fine dining operations.
Compass also signed partnership deals with several notable restaurant brands to bring their concepts to its venues. These included organic pizza concept Pizza Fusion and Zoup!, which subsequently opened its first college campus location at Oakland University, where dining in managed by Chartwells.
2 Aramark Corp.
|SALES VOL.||2008: $8,925|
|SEGMENTS SERVED(e): B&I (29%), Sports/Entertainment (20%), College/University (20%), Healthcare (17%), Corrections (5%), Vending/OCS (5%), K-12 (4%)|
The sales volume shown is for Aramark's domestic Food & Support Services business for fiscal year 2008. It includes revenues from both foodservice and the many non-food-related support services the company offers. The international Food & Support Services unit generated an additional $2.783 billion while the Uniforms unit added $1.762 billion.
Domestically, Aramark services 1,315 B&I locations, 500 correctional facilities, 486 colleges, 400 school districts, 369 healthcare facilities, 250 recreation/convention sites, 50 conference centers and 15 university stadiums.
In June, Aramark consolidated its North American Food & Support Services unit and its International unit into a single new Global Food, Hospitality and Facility Services Group headed by current North America Food & Support Services President Andrew Kerin as group president. Aramark International President Ravi Saligram adds the title of Chief Globalization Officer.
Operationally, Aramark announced several major initiatives over the past year. Most prominent is Cool*Caf, a new elementary school dining environment emphasizing nutritious menus, faster service lines and a fruit/vegetable bar. Piloted at 60 schools last spring, it will begin wider rollout this fall.
For the college market, the company announced an enhanced campus convenience store concept called Provisions on Demand, designed to meet the needs of students looking for fresh, healthy and convenient grab-and-go-dining options. Other highlights in the higher education area include partnerships with health/lifestyle author Anne Fletcher to promote healthy weight management on campuses and with Clean Air Cool Planet to quantify carbon usage and educate students on how to make responsible food choices. Also in the health front, the Sports/Recreation unit opened a gluten-free concenssion stand at Coors Field in Denver.
Major contract wins over the past year include the Scranton (PA) School district; the Mason Inn on the campus of George Mason University; Asilomar State Beach & Conference Grounds; Kauffman Stadium, home ballpark of MLB's Kansas City Royals; the event management firm Live Nation to co-manage food and beverage concessions at 34 of Live Nation's North American amphitheaters; and an expanded deal with the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles to include premium dining at the team's Lincoln Financial Field home stadium.
In the last year, Aramark Refreshment Services acquired Brand Coffee Service Inc., which provides coffee and refreshment services to nearly 3,000 clients throughout Texas.
3 Sodexo, Inc.
|SALES VOL.||2008: $7,700|
|SEGMENTS SERVED(e): B&I (35%), Healthcare (24%), College/University (18%), K-12 (5%), Other (18%)|
Sodexo, Inc., is the North American division of Paris-based Sodexo, a company with global operations at some 30,600 sites in 80 countries worldwide.
Among major business initiatives Sodexo has launched in the past year the Esteem Pass gift card program, the first North American offering of the global company's Service Vouchers and Card unit. The cards, redeemable at over 20,000 brand name retail outlets, can be used for recognizing, rewarding and motivating employees, clients and customers.
Also new is an agreement with GetFit Technologies Ltd to add its virtual exercise management solution to Sodexo's ToLive wellness program, and a partnership with healthcare call center operator Beryl Companies to get better and quicker feedback from recently discharged patients at the hospitals where Sodexo operates.
Sodexo last year enhanced its brand mix through an alliance with frozen yogurt concept Red Mango and the rollout through its Retail Brands Group of a new burger concept, The Original Burger Co. Meanwhile, a partnership with celebrity chefs Mai Pham and Roberto Santibañez is bringing a special menu series of Thai, Vietnamese and Mexican specialties to Sodexo's 600 college dining sites this year.
New contracts include a deal with Patheon for six plants worldwide, as well as with John Hopkins University, Southern Oregon University, Okaloosa County (FL) School District, Columbus (OH) City Schools, The University HealthSystem Consortium (UHC) of Oak Brook, IL, Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium, Blue Cross & Blue Shield and five Procter & Gamble Paper Products Co., Ltd. sites. The company also opened a restaurant called Nourish Café at the Indianapolis Museum of Art.
4 Delaware North Companies
|SALES VOL.||2008: $2,200|
|SEGMENTS SERVED: Stadiums/Arenas (32%), Parks/Recreation (18%), Airports (14%), Other (36%)|
Delaware North operates in a number of travel and leisure segments, most prominently in sports stadiums and arenas through its SportService unit, and in national/state parks, resorts and airports. It also operates racetracks and owns both the Boston Bruins NHL team and the TD Garden arena in which they (and the NBA's Boston Celtics) play. Part of the revenue listed above was derived overseas, primarily in the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand.
The company continues to upgrade the menu offerings at its various units in the recreation and travel segments, most recently concluding a national distribution deal with fresh produce distribution network Pro-Act to supply its operations across the U.S. It also signed an agreement with the State of New York to build and run a casino at the Aqueduct Racetrack in Queens.
Among the individual operating units, Travel Hospitality Services plans to open a branded Pink's Hot Dogs location at Los Angeles World Airport later this year, the first Pink's at an airport and one of only a handful outside of the famed operator's traditional Hollywood location.
Travel Hospitality Services also debuted the first Heineken branded luxury airport bar in the U.S., at Newark Liberty International Airport, and the first branded airport Sports Illustrated retail store, at the Detroit Metro Airport. It is also partnering with uWink to implement the latter's self-order technology at the Chili's Too Margarita Bar at Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport.
Meanwhile, the Sportservice unit won a contract to provide concessions and premium dining services at the new Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ, the new home of Major League Soccer's New York Red Bulls. It will also open two major new facilities next year: Target Field in Minneapolis and Meadowlands Stadium in New Jersey.
|SALES VOL.||2008: $793.0|
|SEGMENTS SERVED: Stadiums/Arenas (70%), Convention/Conference Centers (23%), Parks/Recreation (5%), College/University (2%)|
Centerplate was acquired by private equity firm Kohlbeg & Co. in a deal completed early this year. It also appointed a new CEO, Desmond Hague, former president of IHOP and of Safeway Foodservice and former CEO of Hot Stuff Foods.
Among recent operational initiatives, Centerplate launched its Innovation Labs project, which is designed to develop and disseminate service and efficiency solutions for its operating venues, and inked alliances with celebrity chef Philippe Chin to oversee culinary operations at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center and with Admiral Capital Group.
In the past year it also introduced the Loft Menu, a discounted a la carte menu for suite holders at the Arizona Cardinals Univeristy of Phoenix Stadium, which won Best New Idea accolades from the Association of Luxury Suite Directors (ALSD).
Centerplate has also expanded its presence in the higher education segment, where it now boasts 18 accounts after adding the University of Kansas, the University of Alabama and the University of Louisville. It also expanded its operations at the University of Hawaii to include campus dining, a relatively new area for a company that specializes in concessions. Its current client list includes 11 NFL teams and four MLB teams (plus four spring training sites) as well as dozens of arenas, convention centers, minor league ballparks, racetracks, amphitheaters and other sports/entertainment venues.
6 Guest Services, Inc.
|SALES VOL.||2008: $334|
|SEGMENTS SERVED: Government (45%), B&I (30%), Parks/Recreation Centers (10%), Other (15%)|
Originally founded 90 years ago to provide government facilities in Washington with foodservices, Guest Services today operates in multiple segments including corporate dining facilities, full-service hotels and resorts, conference centers, museum restaurants, schools, universities and senior living centers. Guest Services manages cafés in public institutions like the National Gallery and the Holocaust Museum, operates retail outlets in public spaces like the National Mall, the National Aquarium and the Interior Dept. and manages recreational facilities in public parks like Canaan Valley Resort, Mount Rainier and Big Sur Lodge.
Public clients include the State, Energy and Housing/Urban Development Departments; the FBI; Bethesda Naval Hospital and the West Virginia State Capitol complex. Guest Services also has private B&I clients like Raytheon, Honeywell, Provident Bank and the Washington Times as well as several schools and universities. It gets about half of its revenues from dining, retail, catering and concessions operations; its Lancaster Foods subsidiary, which wholesales fresh produce and flowers, accounts for much of the rest.
7 AVI Food Systems, Inc.
|SALES VOL.||2008: $320(e)|
|SEGMENTS SERVED: College/University, B&I, Healthcare|
Privately held AVI is one of the nation's largest vending and office coffee services providers. Recently, it has been concentrating on building its manual foodservice business, where it has signed major contracts in the college, healthcare and B&I segments. FM estimates that manual foodservice now accounts for up to 20% of AVI's volume.
College contracts include Kenyon College, Mount Union College, Hiram College and Slippery Rock University while the Cleveland Clinic is the company's major healthcare account. In B&I, AVI has long had a significant presence because of its core vending business. Like many companies in the vending business, AVI has seen reduced revenues because of the recession but this area remains the bulk of the business.
8 Guckenheimer Enterprises, Inc.
REDWOOD SHORES, CA
|SALES VOL.||2008: $300(e)|
|SEGMENTS SERVED(e): B&I (97%), Other (3%)|
Guckenheimer has grown from a West Coast regional player to a national company that is the largest provider of dining services to the corporate dining segment outside of the “Big Three” of Aramark, Compass and Sodexo. It currently operates in 29 states and maintains half a dozen regional offices. The company continues to emphasize fresh, natural and authentic ingredients and from-scratch food preparation.
Northern California remains Guckenheimer's strongest territory and one that generates a good portion of its annual growth. However, the company continues to land new accounts in other areas as well.
9 Thompson Hospitality Services
|SALES VOL.||2008: $270|
|SEGMENTS SERVED: B&I (46%), College/University (30%). K-12 (15%), Museum/Perf. Art Ctrs. (6%), Arenas/Stadiums (3%)|
Thompson is one of the country's largest minority-owned businesses. It operates both franchised commercial restaurants and onsite dining sites.
In the onsite dining area, Thompson operates campus dining at 22 higher education accounts, many of them historically black colleges and community colleges such as Alcorn State University, Virginia Union, Coppin State and Chicago State.
In addition, it partners with various business units of Compass Group to serve several dozen corporate dining clients, including Aetna and Panasonic (with Flik), the National Institutes of Health and Microsoft (with Eurest), Chevron/Texaco and Cleveland Browns Stadium suites (with Restaurant Associates) and the Washington Post and Texas Health Resources (with Canteen). It also partners with Chartwells on contracts with the Chicago, Newark and Spotsylvania (VA) school districts and Radford University.
10 Boston Culinary Group, Inc.
|SALES VOL.||2008: $237|
|SEGMENTS SERVED: Stadiums/Arenas (50%), Convention/Conference Centers (30%), Other (20%)|
Boston Culinary Group manages concessions, merchandise sales and upscale catering and luxury suite service. Clients include 19 arenas, nine stadiums and several dozen convention centers, skiing facilities, performing arts centers and other venues. It also owns and/or operates movie theaters and commercial restaurants.
The company's self-developed Everglades BBQ concept at Land Shark Stadium in Miami has proven to be a great success. With six locations around the facility, it has proven to be a great concessions success, as well as a popular catering choice for the stadium suites.
BCG also saw the return of former business development VP Steve Cahoon as VP-marketing/business development and the opening of several new accounts, including Miramar (FL) Cultural Ctr./Arts Park, Meadowbrook US Cellular Pavilion in Gilford, NH, and the Columbus (GA) Civic Ctr.
11 Ovations Food Services
|SALES VOL.||2008: $208|
|SEGMENTS SERVED: Stadiums/Arenas (44%), Convention/Conference Centers (30%), Other (35%)|
Ovations is part of the Comcast-Spectacor entertainment conglomerate. 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. Ovations operates in convention and exposition centers, fairgrounds, parks, amphitheaters, sports stadiums and arenas. It also now operates in four Native American casinos and is looking to expand in that segment.
Major clients include Jacksonville Municipal Stadium, home of the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars, and the Rose Garden, home of the NBA's Portland Trail Blazers, as well as minor league and spring training ballparks and sports venues at Wright State, San Jose State, Fresno State, Temple and George Mason Universities.
Recently, Ovations has been busy developing a local, sustainable focus across its operations and is also looking to reflect more of a local culinary culture at each location.
12 Xanterra Parks & Resorts
GREENWOOD VILLAGE, CO
|SALES VOL.||2008: $200(e)|
|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. Then, as the Fred Harvey Co., it began managing concessions operations in national parks like the Grand Canyon. Today, it operates concessions at Yellowstone, Bryce Canyon, Zion, Crater Lake, Death Valley, Rocky Mountain and Petrified Forest National Parks; Mount Rushmore National Memorial; the South Rim of the Grand Canyon; Silverado Resort in Napa, CA; and eight Ohio State Parks. The operations span 10 states and include more than 5,000 guest rooms, 55 retail stores and 68 restaurants as well as marinas, golf courses and campsites.
Last fall, Xanterra was acquired by the Anschutz Co., a privately held investment firm owned by Denver billionaire Philip Anschutz.
13 Gourmet Services, Inc.
|SALES VOL.||2008: $182.5|
|SEGMENTS SERVED: College/University (90%), B&I (8%), Other (2%)|
Gourmet Services began in 1975 as a campus dining services provider to half a dozen historically black colleges. It expanded rapidly in that segment and into other segments, especially K-12 and B&I. To serve customers better, it also secured branding alliances with a number of notable street restaurant chains, including McDonald's, Cinnabon, Chick-fil-A and Subway.
In the past year, Gourmet Services has made a strong push for more business in the community college segment, which has been growing rapidly as students look for more economic higher education alternatives in a down economy. Among programs developed specificallly for this market are pre-plated entrees designed to increase meal variety as well as check average.
14 Valley Services, Inc.
|SALES VOL.||2008: $181|
|SEGMENTS SERVED: Senior Nutrition/Frozen Meals (48%), Hospitals (21%), B&I (11%), Corrections (9%), College/University (8%), K-12 (3%)|
Valley realizes close to half of its revenues from manufacturing and distributing meals (including some frozen meals intended for home consumption) for senior nutrition programs. That business continues to grow as the choices have expanded to encompass a Latin and diabetic menu, promting an 80,000-sq.ft. facility expansion of the central kitchen where the meals are produced.
In its managed dining operations, Valley continues to emphasize health and wellness in its menu concepts with the re-engineering of its Choice Matters program. It also enhanced its Outtakes program with a comprehensive array of premium sandwiches and salads as well as parfaits and other upscale grab-and-go options.
Operationally, the company initiated a new strategic plan integrating all sites into a comprehensive back office system, implemented a model training program for associates as well as a comprehensive, competency-based management training program, and it launched a POS system for its K-12 accounts that lets parents pay online while monitoring their children's purchases.
15 HHA Services
ST. CLAIR SHORES, MI
|SALES VOL.||2008: $155|
|SEGMENTS SERVED: Hospitals (90%), Senior Dining (10%)|
Dining services, which HHA only began offering in 2005, now represents over a fifth of its revenues. The rest of the business consists of providing various non-food-related support services to healthcare institutions (reflected in the firm's original name and the source of its acronym — Hospital Housekeepers of America). In 2008, it updated its patient services menu portfolio to offer clients a wider range of service options at different prices.
Among its food-related services, HHA offers retail and patient dining and foodservice consulting to both hospitals and senior care centers. The company has developed a portfolio of both patient and resident dining concepts as well as retail brands. Clients include the TriHealth Bethesda System in Cincinnati, Grandview Hospital/Medical Center in Dayton and South Florida Baptist Hospital in Plant City.
16 CulinArt, Inc.
|SALES VOL.||2009: $142|
|SEGMENTS SERVED: B&I (53%), College/University (24%), K-12 (11%), Other (12%)|
CulinArt celebrates 40 years as a dining services provider in 2009. It is also celebrating adding six new locations in California, a market it entered through acquisition in 2006, and by its more recent entry into the Texas market.
Operationally, in the past year the company launched its first Popeye's Louisiana Kitchen franchise in one of its recreation accounts. It also introduced Farmers Markets stations (complete with scales for weighing produce) featuring local and organic fruits, vegetables and breads, and promoted its 500 Calories or Less program in March (National Nutrition Month) with a loyalty card initiative (buy eight and get a discount on the ninth).
17 Lackmann Culinary Services
|SALES VOL.||2009: $124|
|SEGMENTS SERVED: College/University (64%), B&I (29%), Other (7%)|
Lackmann emphasized local ties, healthfulness and value in the past year, highlighting both local employees and local products in its marketing. The Dining Go Green program, with a logo developed by the students at one of the company's college accounts, focused on local produce and sustainable product.
Meanwhile, value programs like “What You Can Get for Under $1.50” and Under 3 highlighted items selling for $1.50 or less and grab-and-go options under $3 and under 300 calories, respectively.
Lackmann also launched a number of new food concepts such as Taro 13 Asian Fusion, featuring a sushi bar and Asian fsion grab-and-go options; Native Spice, featuring authentic international cuisines; Wrap It Up, featuring sandwiches wrapped to go; and UPick Chopped Salads, where guests can choose ingredients for salads made to order.
18 Healthcare Services Group, Inc.
HUNTINGDON VALLEY, PA
|SALES VOL.||2008: $115|
|SEGMENTS SERVED(e): Senior Dining (90%), Other (10%)|
The volume listed is foodservice only. Healthcare Services Group derives the bulk of its $602.7 million in annual revenues from providing housekeeping, laundry, linen and facility maintenance services. It operates in 2,100 nursing homes, rehabilitation facilities, retirement centers and hospitals in 47 states and Canada.
Clients include the GGNSC Holdings LLC (Golden Horizons) nursing home chain, which accounts for about 15% of total company revenues, and 17% of foodservice revenues.
19 Parkhurst Dining Services
|SALES VOL.||2008: $105|
|SEGMENTS SERVED: College/University (63%), B&I (32%), Museums/Perf. Arts Ctrs. (5%)|
Parkhurst is one of two onsite foodservice divisions (along with #31 Cura Hospitality) of the Eat'n Park Hospitality Group's Onsite Brands Division. The unit continues to make sustainability, local sourcing and healthy dining key components of its business plan. Among recent initiatives in these areas have been the addition of fresh, never-frozen burgers to Parkhurst's Sequoia Grill concept, an expansion of its Whole Body Cuisine line of meals, especially with more selections that adhere to the Mediterranian Diet ideal of using healthy oils and adding more grains, legumes and fresh produce.
A recent high-profile initiative to illustrate the company's commitment to local sourcing is the use of fresh herb and produce gardens at sites like St. Francis University and the Pittsburgh Steelers headquarters. Behind the scenes, it leverages its local sourcing contacts through its FarmSource program, sending unit managers weekly market reports to inform them of what the best current values are from local farms.
To enhance menus, Parkhurst recently expanded its Hemisflavors international cuisine program to include Lebanon and Sicily, while the On the Go take-out program for college students was broadened to include more basic healthy items at economic prices to accommodate customer budgets.
20 Taher, Inc.
|SALES VOL.||2009: $105|
|SEGMENTS SERVED: K-12 (54%), B&I (15%), Restaurants (14%), College/University (10%), Senior Dining (7%)|
Taher operates primarily in the Upper Midwest. Last summer, it expanded its commercial foodservice operations with a deal for the 11-unit Timber Lodge Steakhouse restaurant chain. Timber Lodge joined the company's five single location restaurants and helped grow the proportion of total company revenues from the commercial side of the business from 2% to 14%. Nevertheless, most of Taher's revenues continue to come from managing “noncommercial” dining operations in businesses and institutions.
In its onsite operations, Taher continues to emphasize chef-driven meal programs, healthy food, local sourcing and staff training.
21 Trusthouse Services Group
|SALES VOL.||2009: $104|
|SEGMENTS SERVED: Senior Dining (37%), College/University (33%), K-12 (24%), Other (6%)|
This is the first year in the Top 50 for Trusthouse, which was formed in the spring of 2008 through the acquisitions of three formerly independent foodservice management companies, two of them in the 2008 Top 50 (#26 Aladdin Food Management Services, Inc., and #37 Fitz Vogt & Associates, Ltd. The third company was Aladdin's Ameriserve subsidiary).
Trusthouse is headed by Michael Bailey, the former CEO of Compass Group plc, the British parent company of #1 Top 50 contractor Compass Group North America.
Trusthouse has launched a number of initiatives in the past year, including a unique 100% vegetarian/organic dining program piloted at Maharishi University in Fairfield, IA (see the January 2009 FM), which is now also in half a dozen other campus operations as part of the daily board plan menu.
It has expanded its involvement in the facility management area in the long term care segment and added its first acute care client, a 114-bed hospital in Illinois.
Trusthouse also added veteran talent to its senior management team, including Dan Kubanet as VP-sales, a former VP-sales at Compass who also spent the past eight years selling national accounts for Sodexo. Also added recently are business development directors Dan Edwards (formerly of Quiznos, Dunkin Brands and The Wood Company) and Todd Lindsay (formerly with Guckenheimer and Sodexo).
22 Nutrition, Inc. dba The Nutrition Group
WEST NEWTON, PA
|SALES VOL.||2008: $102|
|SEGMENTS SERVED: K-12 (80%), Senior Dining (12%), Other (8%)|
Nutrition, Inc., is one of four divisions that make up The Nutrition Group, which offers clients an integrated package of food, custodial/maintenance, vending, dining facility design and consulting services. It serves some 300,000 meals each day, some 54 million a year.
Nutrition was a major emphasis in the past year, when the unit introduced its iNutrition program, which is designed to inform students about wise menu choices through signage and displays in cafeterias. Also new is a Quality Assurance Committee that will have the company's corporate chefs visiting sites to offer nutrition education, conduct cooking demonstrations, promote the company's program and offer taste testing of new culinary concepts.
There are also colorful new menus that incorporate dietary tips in separate age-appropriate formats for primary and secondary school customers.
23 Whitsons Culinary Group
HUNTINGTON STATION, NY
|SALES VOL.||2009: $101.3|
|SEGMENTS SERVED: K-12 (56%), Food Manufacturing (27%), B&I (16%), Senior Dining (1%)|
Whitsons emphasized sustainability and economic choices for customers over the past year. Its recently launched “Local Flavors…fresh from farm to fork” program brings more locally produced products to the company's kitchens. It also introduced several value meal concepts — Budget Bowls (petit-portioned meals for $3.99), Target 5 (complete meal with beverage for $5) and Veggie Values (meatless meals for $4.99), which seek to meet customer demands for budget-conscious options.
Other initiatives include fielding a delivery vehicle that runs solely on recycled vegetable oil and debuting a new Elmers Organic Garden project with one of Whitsons' school accounts, which will bring fresh organic produce grown by students to their cafeteria. Another K-12 initiative, to debut this month: mobile breakfast carts to bring meals to classrooms.
Meanwhile, Whitsons' food production operation, which now accounts for over a quarter of company revenues, is growing its business by performing private label manufacturing for a number of well-known brands.
24 Next Generation Vending & Food Service, Inc.
|SALES VOL.||2009: $100|
|CONTRACTS||2009: 67 (dining only)|
|SEGMENTS SERVED(e): B&I (80%), Hospitals (7%), College/University (6%), Government (5%), Military (2%)|
Next Generation was formed in 2007 when a holding company acquired the assets of All Seasons Services, a vending and manual foodservice management company in the Northeast. It had run into financial difficulties and been seized by a creditor after defaulting on a major loan. Over the following year, the business doubled as a result of six acquisition deals. The new owners invested significantly in technology, innovation and merchandising programs, becoming one of the Northeast's largest regional companies.
The acquisitions included Integrity Management Services of Binghamton, NY; Canteen franchisee Loose Ends Vending, Inc., which operated in Western New York State; the assets related to the Massachusetts and Rhode Island business of Canteen franchisee A&B Vending Co., Inc.; the assets of Canteen's operations in Albany, NY, and Middletown, CT; and selected routes in Rochester, NY.
Vending remains the bulk of the business, accounting for about 80% of revenues, and has been enhanced by Next Generation's Vitalities program, which helps customers make healthful snack, beverage and fresh food selections. The manual dining business has concentrated on driving same store sales with value and economic relief menus and innovative promotions.
25 Unidine Corp.
|SALES VOL.||2009: $97|
|SEGMENTS SERVED: Senior Dining (56%), Hospitals (26%), B&I (18%)|
Unidine undertook a number of initiatives in the past year, not least among them the addition of a new COO, Joshua Hubbard.
It recently formed a partnership with a large Michigan extended care operator to provide dining services management to its 25 senior living communities; developed an in-room patient dining program for acute care and behavioral health facilities; partnered with GoGreenPack, a supplier of environmentally sound disposables; and established strategic partnerships with independent contractors to recycle its kitchen oil. During the program's first year, Unidine was recycling oil at 30 sites in Massachusetts and has now expanded the initiative to more than 40 client locations across the East.
Unidine also continues to work with New Milford (CT) Hospital to implement its Plow to Plate initiative, which seeks to source 95% of food products used from the local community area. Along those same lines, the company received a 2008 Spirit of Planetree Award for its healthy fresh food vending program at Griffin Hospital in Derby, CT.
26 Metz & Associates, Ltd.
|SALES VOL.||2008: $92|
|SEGMENTS SERVED: K-12 (35%), B&I (20%), Senior Dining (17%), College/University (16%), Hospitals (10%), Independent Schools (3%)|
Sustainability continues to be a major initiative for Metz, which issued a new corporate positioning statement pledging to do its part in being a good environmental steward of resources. As part of that commitment, Metz has inked partnerships with state organizations like PA Preferred, Ohio Proud and Jersey Fresh to use local products where possible (it also hosted PA Preferred and Ohio Proud days in many accounts to encourage local product purchasing by customers).
In other “green” initiatives, Metz recently launched several trayless programs, instituted widespread recyling programs and begun several composting programs. It also recycles fry oil as biofuel. A new K-12 mascot, Scout the Eco Eagle, now tours schools to promote healthy eating and environmental awareness.
Among other initiatives undertaken in the past year are Decentralized Dining, which increases personalized dining service for nursing home residents by bringing dining staff out of the kitchen and into the dining room; a freshly baked pizza concept for school dining programs; a new smoothie program; and a sushi program for schools and B&I.
27 Treat America Food Services
OVERLAND PARK, KS
|SALES VOL.||2008: $78.6|
|SEGMENTS SERVED: B&I (72%), College/University (12%), K-12 (6%), Government (6%), Convention/Conf. Ctrs. (4%)|
Treat America made a huge leap in size thanks to a pair of acquisitions last year. In August it acquired two division of Crystal Foods: the C.A.F.E. Group, an Indianapolis-based dining services provider serving the B&I market, and Capital Vending, which operates vending services in central Indiana. Three months later came a deal for Calderon Brothers Vending, also based in Indianapolis, a major vending operator in the state that also managed several corporate cafes.
Together, the deals doubled the size of Treat America's vending business and increased manual dining operations by about 20 percent. Manual foodservice now accounts for half the business, while vending, along with some OCS, concessions and catering, accounts for the other half.
28 Southern Foodservice Management, Inc.
|SALES VOL.||2008: $72.25|
|SEGMENTS SERVED: B&I (60%), Government (16%), K-12 (10%), Military (4%), Convention/Conf. Ctrs. (4%), Parks/Rec. Ctrs. (3%), College/University (3%)|
Manual dining operations account for about 70% of Southern's revenues, with vending providing much of the rest. Its client base includes big corporate names like Hertz, State Farm Insurance, Lockheed Martin, the Atlanta Journal Constitution and Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina as well as public entities like NASA Marshall Space Flight Ctr., the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security, the U.S. Coast Guard Aviation Training Ctr. and Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory.
Last year, Southern initiated a partnership with a global facilities services firm to pursue bundled services business as part of its strategy to grow in today's down economy. It also expanded its Smart Cuisine healthy dining program, converted to the Boar's Head deli concept in its onsite dining operations and implemented its SFM Cares sustainable operations program.
29 MMI Dining Systems
|SALES VOL.||2008: $65|
|SEGMENTS SERVED: Senior Dining (25%), K-12 (20%), College/University (20%), B&I (10%), Boarding Schools (10%), Arenas/Stadiums (10%), Corrections (5%)|
A division of the MMI Hotel Group, MMI Dining manages dining and catering operations for the Hotel Group's 16 Southeastern lodging and resort properties, most of them located in Mississippi and Florida. In addition it offers contract dining service management to various outside clients, including private schools and colleges, boarding schools, nursing homes, long term care and behavioral health facilities, businesses, resorts and clubs.
30 Thomas Cuisine Management
|SALES VOL.||2008: $65|
|SEGMENTS SERVED: Hospitals (50%), B&I (45%), Convention/Conference Ctrs. (3%), Other (2%)|
Thomas created TCM University, a training facility and virtual campus focused on developing leadership and culinary skills throughout the company. It also developed and implemented a web-based financial operating system to streamline process and provide real-time detailed financial information at the unit level. On the culinary end, the company continues to emphasize healthy offerings and sustainability in all its market segments. It has also been leveraging “lean” operating principles into both its production and retail operations.
31 A'viands, LLC
|SALES VOL.||2008: $64.857|
|SEGMENTS SERVED: Corrections (34%), Senior Dining (26%), K-12 (15%), Hospitals (10%), College/University (10%), B&I (5%)|
Operating in nine Midwestern and Southwestern states — the latter through its Albuquerque-based Summit Food Service Management subsidiary — A'viands generates almost all of its revenues from managing dining operations in three business groups: Education/Business Dining, Healthcare and Corrections.
Recent client wins include the Univeristy of Wisconsin-Green Bay, Augsburg College, Milwaukee Behavioral Health System, Whitnall (WI) School District, Dolton (IL) School District, Casa Grande Union (AZ) High School District and Lake County (IL) Corrections.
The company continues to roll out organic and sustainable dining choices as well as new exhibition and ethnic concepts such as Pao Mongolian BBQ, Olive Mediterranian Eatery, Sweet Peppers Deli and Bravo, a fresh pizza/calzone/pasta concept. New programs for the school market include Newton's Eat-In Adventure for K-6, Fuel Zone Cafe for middle/junior high and Nutropolis, a food court concept featuring healthy entrees and world flavors, for high schools.
32 Cura Hospitality
|SALES VOL.||2008: $64|
|SEGMENTS SERVED: Senior Dining (94%), Hospitals (5%), College/University (1%)|
Cura is one of two onsite foodservice divisions of the Eat'n Park Hospitality Group's Onsite Brands Division (the other is #19 Parkhurst Dining Services). Two of Cura's biggest initiatives over the past year have come in the areas of sustainability and resident-centered care.
The company supports local agriculture through the parent company's FarmSource initiative, which establishes relationships with local suppliers, but Cura took that a step further at some senior dining sites by helping residents grow some of their own food in onsite gardens. The Gardens at The Bridges in Bent Creek and at Peter Becker Community also compost pre-consumer waste generated at the sites.
Meanwhile, at Hanna Healthcare Center at Longwood and at Phoebe Richland Healthcare Center, “decentralized” dining programs have converted an institutional approach to foodservice to one that resembles home-style kitchens, giving residents a more informal dining experience that encourages socialization.
33 Creative Dining Services
|SALES VOL.||2009: $53|
|SEGMENTS SERVED: College/University (41%), B&I (18%), Parks/Recreation (12.5%), Senior Dining (12.5%), Convention/Conf. Ctrs. (9%) K-12 (7%)|
Creative Dining operates in nine states in the Midwest and Southeast. It began in 1990 as a college dining specialist in partnership with a pair of Michigan colleges but has since expanded geographically and into other segments, especially B&I.
Last year it unveiled Dinner Express, a home meal replacement program for B&I that offers fully cooked meals in microwaveable containers. It also developed a certification program for its SEED sustainability initiative.
Other recent moves include the design of new menu cycles scaled for account infrastructure that allow locations to maximize variety while controlling costs. The menus focus on local and sustainable products when available and offer as standard fare at least one vegetarian/vegan option per meal, as well as options meeting the American Heart Association's heart healthy criteria.
34 CL Swanson Corp.
|SALES VOL.||2008: $52|
|SEGMENTS SERVED: B&I (84%), Other (16%)|
CL Swanson is primarily a vending company that gets about a quarter of its revenues from dining operations, catering, office coffee and convenience retailing services. However, dining service business has received more emphasis in the past year as CL Swanson has aggressively focused on management fee opportunities in accounts with 800-2,000 employees.
To position itself better for today's business environment, it has continued to expand its Better-4-You healthy choices program as well as its array of budget-conscious selections.
35 Pomptonian Food Service
|SALES VOL.||2008: $51.3|
|SEGMENTS SERVED: K-12 (98%), B&I (2%)|
Pomptonian manages cafeterias and vending operations at nearly 280 sites in 70 school districts. Like most companies operating in the K-12 segment, it has been working to menu healthier meal alternatives that students will enjoy. Part of its strategy involves using recognizable branded items that meet nutritional criteria. Its success in deploying healthy and innovative school menus was recognized by the New Jersey State Dept. of Agriculture with an Eat Right Move Right award, presented during a New York Jets NFL game at Meadowlands Stadium.
36 Sanese Services, Inc.
|SALES VOL.||2008: $50(e)|
|SEGMENTS SERVED(e): B&I (75%), Other (25%)|
Vending accounts for about half of Sanese's volume. Manual foodservice in B&I, college and K-12 locations represents about a third. The company also delivers pre-plated, chilled lunches (made in its Columbus production center) to schools through its Lunches Kids Love program. Clients include the Capitol Café in Ohio's statehouse complex in Columbus.
37 LPM Holding Co. dba Epicurean Feast
|SALES VOL.||2008: $43.5|
|SEGMENTS SERVED: B&I (97%), Other (3%)|
Epicurean Feast gets almost 80% of its revenues from managing dining operations, and most of the rest from catering, including elaborate events handled by its Currier & Chives unit. Other units include Walking On Air (interactive games/inflatables), Encore Party Rentals and the 5 & Diner Deluxe restaurant in Worcester, MA.
The company has recently emphasized health/wellness, action stations and exhibition cooking, grab-and-go programs, organic offerings and local branded products. Recent initiatives promote “green” products, health/wellness, online catering/ordering, cashless payment, cost efficiencies and take-home food programs.
38 Corporate Chefs, Inc.
|SALES VOL.||2008: $36.5|
|SEGMENTS SERVED: B&I (93%), College/University (7%)|
Corporate Chefs primarily operates in white collar business dining environments and colleges in New England, New York, New Jersey and Virginia. About two-thirds of revenues come from operating onsite cafés and most of the rest from catering operations. Client sites include the Ledgemont Center corporate complex in Lexington, MA, and the Clock Tower Place in Maynard, MA.
39 Continental Dining & Refreshment Services
STERLING HEIGHTS, MI
|SALES VOL.||2008: $36.5|
|SEGMENTS SERVED: B&I (53%), Convention/Conference Centers (17%), Hospitals (10%), College/University (9%), Other (11%)|
Continental realizes about half of its revenues from vending. Its catering services, representing about 20% of the volume, are highlighted by two cruise ships it owns and uses to host events. The company has implemented a number of initiatives in the past year covering areas ranging from menu and brand enhancement to sustainability and online capabilities.
In the latter area, Continental added online and text message ordering, merchandising and customer surveys for its catering operations and a new online newsletter. Its new green standards include partnering with local farmers, using Michigan made products where possible and even introducing in-house herb gardens at managed sites.
On the menu front, a series of new choices have been added: more $1 and bundle value meals, a series of chopped and tossed salads (in regular and mini sizes), the Pizzan! flatbread pizza, more healthy menu choices such as whole grain pastas and breads, smaller portion options and low-cal substitutions, and new healthy item of the day promotions. In addition, Continental added new franchises, including Pizza Hut Express and Subway.
40 Brock & Co., Inc.
|SALES VOL.||2008: $35.2|
|SEGMENTS SERVED: B&I (72%), K-12 (19%), Government (6%), Other (3%)|
Brock continues to expand its presence in the private/independent school segment, with the company's K-12 business jumping from 13% to 19% of revenues in the past two years. Nevertheless, B&I remains the core of the business with corporate dining clients such as T. Rowe Price Associates, the Washington Post and Drinker, Biddle & Reath, LLP.
41 Prince Food Systems, Inc.
|SALES VOL.||2009: 31.7|
|SEGMENTS SERVED: Hospitals (66%), B&I (32%), K-12 (2%)|
Prince operates primarily in Texas except for five locations of the Regency Hospital chain, four of them in Ohio and one in Louisiana. Its clients include Boeing, Continental Airlines, Lockheed-Martin, Samsung Semiconductor and Texas Petrochemicals as well as 26 healthcare facilities ranging from Columbus (TX) Community Hospital, St. Mark's Hospital in La Grange, TX, and Atrium Medical Center in Corinth, TX, to Southwest Mental Health Center in San Antonio and Covenant House in Houston.
In the past year, Prince has expanded into offering housekeeping services, and has upgraded patient meal offerings with an array of freshly prepared selections that meet all diet requirements. This has boosted patient satisfaction scores, particularly among those on restricted diets, into the 90+ percentile range.
42 Food For Thought
|SALES VOL.||2008: $30|
|SEGMENTS SERVED: Commercial Restaurant (35%), B&I (30%), Parks/Recreation Ctrs. (15%), Museums/Perf. Arts Ctrs. (10%), K-12 (10%)|
Off-premise catering has been the heart of Food For Thought for 25 years, but over the past decade it has expanded into onsite dining services for Chicago area clients. Currently, catering accounts for about 40% of revenues, with dining operations — plus a little vending and concessions — making up the rest. The company's eight Food For Thought cafes are located in onsite environments like law firms, office towers, colleges and cultural institutions as well as on the street as public cafes.
Clients include the Adler Planetarium, Rosalind Franklin University / Chicago Medical School, Seyfarth Shaw LLP, Astellas Pharmaceuticals, Sidley Austin LLP, Equity Office Properties, CarrAmerica Properties and the John Buck Co.
43 Restaurant Marketing Associates
|SALES VOL.||2008: $22|
|SEGMENTS SERVED: B&I (85%), Museums/Performing Arts Centers (10%), Other (5%)|
RMA provides comprehensive foodservice programs for law firms, publishing companies, financial institutions and brokerage firms in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Manual dining accounts for about 60% of the business, catering for 30% and the rest split between office coffee and vending. Clients include Morgan Stanley, Bank of Tokyo/Mitsubishi, Sun America AIG, Aegis Insurance, Garband Intercapital and Sapient. It also operates four commercial restaurants — two at the Harborside Financial Center in Jersey City and two at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark — as well as the Club 101, a business luncheon club located on the first floor of the 101 Park Avenue Building in Midtown Manhattan, near Grand Central Station.
44 Gulf Coast Enterprises Food Services
|SALES VOL.||2008: $21|
|SEGMENTS SERVED: Military (79%), Senior Dining (21%)|
Gulf Coast Food Services manages dining operations at five Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard bases in Florida, one Seabee base in Mississippi, one submarine base in Connecticut and one Navy base in Rhode Island. Service is also provided to the Armed Forces Retirement Home in Washington, DC. Gulf Coast Enterprises Food Services is a division of Lakeview Center, Inc., a behavioral health unit of Baptist Health Care in Pensacola, FL.
GCE also operates administrative, custodial and commissary services contracts, all operated to provide significant employment opportunities to persons with severe disabilities. Total GCE annual revenue is around $46 million.
45 FAME Food Management, Inc.
|SALES VOL.||2009: $21|
|SEGMENTS SERVED: B&I (73%), Government (8%), Hospitals (4%), College/University (3%), Other (12%)|
FAME (Food & Management Enterprise Corp.) generates almost all of its revenues from managing dining operations. The company recently launched a by-the-ounce concept that has proved highly successful in promoting sales. For example, at FAME's Dept. of Labor account, daily revenues more than doubled from $4,200 to over $10,000 when the by-the-ounce program was introduced. FAME's other recent big news was the landing of the Library of Congress account this summer.
46 Nutrition Management Services Co.
|SALES VOL.||2008: $20.9|
|SEGMENTS SERVED(e): Senior Dining (70%), Hospitals (25%), K-12 (5%)|
Nutrition Management Services, a publicly held entity traded over-the-counter, derives most of its revenues from managing dining operations and providing housekeeping and vending services at continuing care facilities, hospitals, retirement communities and some schools. It also operates the Collegeville (PA) Inn Conference/Training Center, which provides NMS 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 2009 fiscal year were $15.350 million, about a hundred thousand dollars short of the $15.442 generated in the first three quarters of fiscal 2008.
47 Quest Food Mgt. Services, Inc.
|SALES VOL.||2009: $20|
|SEGMENTS SERVED: K-12 (92%), B&I (4%), Other (4%)|
K-12 schools specialist Quest met its new business goal of adding five new contracts over the past year. Its program emphasizes multi-station arrangements using the company's array of concepts. These range from Oriental Express and Fiesta Junction to Boxcar Burgers and On Track, which offers wellness related menu choices. Founded in 1985, it operates primarily in the Chicago Metropolitan Area.
48 Luby's Culinary Services
|MGED. VOL.||2009: $20|
|SEGMENTS SERVED: Hospitals (90%), B&I (9%), College/University (1%)|
Luby's Culinary Services, a unit of the 120-unit Luby's commercial cafeteria chain, operates in 16 accounts in Texas and Louisiana, including high-profile clients like Baylor College of Medicine, St. Joseph Medical Ctr. in Houston and Baylor Medical Ctr. in Carrollton, TX. It menus the chain's traditional offerings in its retail food court outlets, including a garden fresh salad bar, made-to-order grill, build-your-own deli, gab and go and a global cuisine exhibition station. In addition it offers catering, vending and OCS programs as well as patient dining in the hospital accounts.
A recent VIP Room Service Program initiative upped the quality with “restaurant-like” menus, scratch-cooked selections and service. Another recent initiative is Culinary's Catering, a full-service catering program with signature selections like fresh salsas, various breakfast strattas and kolaches and freshly prepared compound salads for the salad stations. There is also Mesa Verde, a made-to-order wrap concept recently added to the retail concept mix.
49 Linton's Managed Services
EAST NORRITON, PA
|SALES VOL.||2009: $16|
|SEGMENTS SERVED: Community Service Programs (27%), K-12 (24%), Hospitals (23%), Corrections (12%), Military (8%), Non-food Procurement (6%)|
Linton's operates as a manager of onsite dining operations and supplier of preprepared meals for clients in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware and Florida. It is also a distributor of nonfood items like disposables, cleaning supplies, office products and medical supplies. For the second consecutive year, the company achieved 100% client retention. Also, additions to the management team allowed Linton's to enhance current training and incentive programs as well as implementing a human resource website for all associates.
50 Kosch Hospitality
|SALES VOL.||2008: $11|
|SEGMENTS SERVED: B&I (25%), Convention/Conference Centers (25%), Golf Courses/Country Clubs (25%), Hospitals (15%), Senior Dining (5%), College/University (5%)|
Kosch derives half of its revenues from managing dining operations, and another 40% from catering. In the past year, it expanded into the golf/country club segment and is developing more fine dining concepts. It has also found success expanding its conference center business with its customized approach. It also recently added a new strategic development director to its management roster.
Where the Numbers Come From…
The number that determines each company's place in the Top 50 is its domestic top-line revenues for the most recently completed fiscal year (indicated in each entry in millions of dollars). Because most companies in the Top 50 operate on calendar years, they show a 2008 figure. In the few cases where a company completed and compiled 2009 fiscal numbers, we've used that figure. Where revenue or other numbers were not available, FM estimates are based on known accounts and other information (indicated by a red “e”).