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Our History #adessonews

Our History | Compass Group

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We can trace our roots back more than 75 years.

The many companies that have joined Compass have contributed to our rich heritage and shaped the personality of our business today. Whilst we have come a long way from these humble beginnings to become the international business we are now, the commitment of our people to our customers, the quality of our service and our spirit of innovation remain a constant and ongoing feature of our development.


  • Group founded in the UK as ‘Factory Canteens Ltd’


  • Bateman & Midland Catering acquired by Grand Metropolitan and eventually merged as Grand Met Catering Services 


  • Grandmet Catering re-launched as Compass Contract Services


  • Management buy out the contract services division of Compass Services from Grand Metropolitan and form the new Compass Group


  • Compass Group PLC listed on the London Stock Exchange


  • Letheby & Christopher and Travellers Fare join Compass Group


  • Acquire Select Service Partner (then SAS Service Partner)



  • Acquire Eurest International from Accor
  • Joint venture with RKHS (India)



  • Compass Southern Africa created through joint venture with KKS


  • Join FTSE 100 index
  • Restaurant Associates in the USA join the Group


  • GR S.A., joint venture formed in Brazil
  • Compass Group in Australia established 


  • Merger with Granada Group creating Granada:Compass
  • Partnership with Levy Restaurants announced


  • Demerger of Granada:Compass and the newly separate Compass Group joins the London Stock Exchange
  • Sale of Forte Hotels division
  • Acquired Morrison Management Specialists and Crothall (USA)
  • ADNH, joint venture in the Middle East formed
  • Selecta Group acquired


  • Acquired Seiyo Foods (now Seiyo Food-Compass Group) in Japan
  • Acquired Bon Appétit (USA)


  • Onama Group (Italy) acquired
  • Sale of Travelodge and Little Chef


  • Sale of Au Bon Pain (USA)


  • Appointment of Richard Cousins as Group Chief Executive
  • Sale of SSP (including Moto and Creative Host Services (USA), European Inflight and Rail Catering, Italian motorway services business, Restaurant Associates/Patina (USA), public restaurants business and Krispy Kreme (USA)



  • Acquired remaining 50% of GR S.A. (Brazil)
  • Acquired Professional Services and Medi-Dyn (USA)


  • Acquired KIMCO Corporation (USA)
  • Acquired Plural Group (Germany)


  • Group operating profit over £1 billion for the first time
  • Acquisitions in food and support services in Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, India, UK and US 


  • New reporting regions and management structure introduced (North America, Europe & Japan, Fast Growing & Emerging)
  • £500 million share buyback announced


  • Organic revenue growth of over 5%
  • Appointment of Dominic Blakemore as Group Finance Director
  • £400 million share buyback announced


  • Group operating margin over 7% for the first time
  • £500 million share buyback announced


  • Appointment of Paul Walsh as Non-Executive Chairman
  • £1 billion return of cash announced


  • New reporting regions announced (North America, Europe, Rest of World)
  • Appointment of Johnny Thomson as Group Finance Director


  • Global cage free egg commitment announced


  • £1 billion special dividend announced
  • Compass Group included in the Forbes Global 2000 – World’s Best Employer List for 2017
  • Since 2014, the Imperfectly Delicious Produce Program run by Compass Group USA has used over 4.5 million lbs of imperfect fruit and vegetables that would otherwise have rotten in fields or been sent to composting or landfill for simply not meeting an artifical standard of attractiveness.   


  • Appointment of Dominic Blakemore as Group Chief Executive
  • Launch of Stop Food Waste Day globally


  • Sign up to Women in Hospitality’s Travel and Leisure 2020 initiative
  • Appointment of Karen Witts as Group Chief Financial Officer
  • Commitment to sourcing higher welfare chickens across Europe announced


  • Acquisition of Fazer Food Services
  • Appointment of Ian Meakins as Non-Executive Chairman

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