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Compass Way Back



Compass Group UK & Ireland, the UK’s largest food and support services company, is announcing a series of new initiatives to support its clients, communities and its people through their safe return to work. This includes the launch of its Stay Safe, Eat Well programme which incorporates lessons from across its global business on operating a foodservice provision in the COVID-19 environment.

Compass colleagues have continued to provide nutritious meals, expert cleaning and security to the NHS, defence, schools and other key businesses right through the crisis. They have served a range of companies, food distribution centres and many of the country’s other essential services, extending its operations where the crisis has demanded it and redeploying resource where necessary.

Building on this experience, and with global insight from the international business in Asia and other regions, Compass is working closely with industry and with government to support the country’s phased return to work. They have been working with their customers and unions to ensure the highest standards of safety, health and wellbeing are in place, and are in close collaboration with their supply chain to enhance support for small suppliers and communities.

In addition to preparing for the return to work, the business is also:

Recognising colleagues’ contribution to the NHS with an on average pay increase of over 5% to match the NHS Agenda for Change rate of pay

  • Compass has increased the pay of 2,200 of its healthcare employees, who support the NHS, on average by over 5% to match the equivalent NHS Agenda for Change rate of pay, recognising the value of their contribution. This builds on the six-week bonus payment to healthcare frontline employees and their supervisors who have supported the national effort against COVID-19.

Providing support for small businesses, communities and the vulnerable

  • Foodbuy, the procurement business supplying Compass UK and Ireland, is committing to spend £5 million with UK social enterprises to incubate and support small suppliers who are giving back to communities and tackling wider social and environmental issues.
  • Chartwells, the education arm of Compass, is introducing a pilot breakfast feeding model to provide school children in deprived areas with supplementary nutrition.

Protecting employees and customers

  • The launch of the Stay Safe, Eat Well programme, which has been created by top Health and Safety experts. As part of this Compass has examined every part of its unit operations and adjusted working principles and guidelines with employee and customer safety as its number one priority.

The Stay Safe, Eat Well programme has at its core the principles of:

  • Social distancing with 2m separation for all customers and staff, queue management and dining apart
  • Safe service with sanitising stations, protective screens, assisted serve and takeaway adjusted food offers and contactless payment
  • Enhanced and additional cleaning routines
  • Technology enabled capacity management to manage restaurant flows and enable click and collect

All sites have been issued with a “Way Back” Operating Manual – which outlines how to implement all the measures of the Stay Safe, Eat Well programme.

Robin Mills, Managing Director Compass Group UK and Ireland commented: “We believe Compass has an important role to play in helping the UK get safely back to work. We recognise how challenging this period has been for our clients and communities, our suppliers and our people so we are doing everything we can to invest in the food and cleaning services that are most needed as the economy adapts to a new normal. We hope our Stay Safe, Eat Well programme will give both our employees and customers confidence that they can return to work safely, while also supporting them with their health and wellbeing. I want to pay tribute to all our colleagues who have played, and continue to play, a key role in the national effort against COVID-19.”


Donna Catley, Chief People Officer Compass Group UK and Ireland commented: “I couldn’t be more proud of the dedication our colleagues have shown during the COVID-19 pandemic, and we are doing all we can to support them and to recognise their contribution. I’m pleased that this will include a permanent pay rise for many of our workers playing vital roles supporting the NHS.”


Stay Safe, Eat Well Principles