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Advertising Age - 21 March 2011 by Abbey Klaassen (Editor)

By Abbey Klaassen (Editor)

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Sodexho: Inventing and providing services to improve clients’ quality of life Patrice Douce, a Sodexho veteran, says the secret to Sodexho’s growth is ‘a clear vision of where we want to go and a clear strategy of how to get there’. ’ ‘No,’ said Sodexho, ‘we have a clear vision and a consistent strategy. ’ Compared with the focus of the other three companies, on the other hand, Sodexho’s definition of its game seems almost all-encompassing: Invent and provide, all over the world, every kind of service that can bring to individuals, living in society together, a more pleasant existence at any moment in their lives.

At this time he reviewed the company’s strategy and embarked upon the plan of building a focused food service group on the international stage – no small ambition for a UK based company, since not many culinary experts admired English cuisine. Compass Group was a relatively large UK player, but it had no international experience in a market where the major players were Ara and Marriott from the United States, and Sodexho, Eurest, Gardner Merchant, SAS Service Partner and other European food service companies.

3 Key events in Compass Group history 1941 Group founded as Factory Canteens Limited 1968 Bateman and Midland Catering acquired by Grand Metropolitan and eventually merged as Grand Metropolitan Catering Services 1970 Eurest founded by Nestle¤ and Wagon Lits 1984 Grandmet Catering re-launched as Compass Group Services 1987 Compass Group the then-largest UK management buy-out 1988 Compass Group PLC listed on the London Stock Exchange 1992 Compass Group launches ‘The Right Direction’. Expansion through organic growth and acquisition.

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