Food Management’s 2021 Top 50 Contract Management Companies tabulates the 50 largest firms by 2020 revenue operating dining, catering and other food-related services for clients in fields ranging from schools, colleges, hospitals and senior living facilities to business and industry, sports and entertainment, corrections and parks/recreation. Each company is ranked by top-line North American revenues for fiscal or calendar year 2020, in millions of dollars. All figures are self-reported, unless noted with an (e), which connotes an FM estimate. Estimated numbers are derived from research and analysis, including published reports, previously submitted company data when available and how the markets in which they operate have fared generally in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 2020 Top 50 is obviously affected significantly by the crisis that struck last spring and caused major disruptions in business in all the markets the Top 50 firms operate in, though some were more affected than others. As a consequence, most companies on the 2021 listing saw revenue declines—often severe—for the year, results that so skew historical performance records that few long-term conclusions can be drawn from them.
Even in ordinary times, while the goal of the Top 50 is to provide the most accurate comparison of the largest foodservice contractors, it does not necessarily reflect listed companies’ relative market position in a particular segment or market. In addition, some companies—particularly the top three of Compass Group, Aramark and Sodexo—do a portion of their business in areas other than foodservice.
While most companies saw revenue declines in 2020, some did report gains and one had no change year over year. The companies with revenue increases tended to operate in either healthcare or K-12, with the healthcare focused firms like No. 9 HHS, No. 33 FMG and No. 35 GCE that generally faring better in the pandemic environment given their relationships with healthcare systems that were on the front lines of dealing with the crisis.
Meanwhile, with so many students learning from home, the K-12 foodservice market did suffer overall declines in meal participation, but some firms operating in this market—No. 10 SFE, No. 16 Whitsons, No. 31 Better4You and No. 43 Lunchtime Solutions—apparently have found ways either to get sufficient numbers of school meals to those student or developed program extensions such as community meals, family meals and other innovations to grow revenues.