FSM companies are all around us, for example, grabbing a drink at your college coffee shop; having lunch in a staff restaurant; buying some refreshments at a concert or stadium and you will be feeding your FSM habit.
FSM companies – sometimes known as contract caterers - are contracted to provide the catering for their clients across the country, be they businesses, schools, colleges and universities, sports stadia, event venues, hospitals, local authorities, the armed forces and even offshore oil rigs.Their role now often extends beyond catering with many being contracted to offer a much wider range of facilities management services such as reception, maintenance and security, cleaning, ground maintenance and even crèche management.
In a nutshell, the FSM world may be unknown to the people it serves but it is vast, diverse and the unsung hero of the hospitality industry. It’s a huge, responsible and enlightened world where the hours are good, your exposure to different people, places and events will be second to none, and the opportunities for advancement are great.
Business & Industry
Where do office and factory workers eat breakfast, grab a coffee, relax over lunch? The job to feed them is the largest part of the FSM landscape. Directors’ fine dining rooms, staff restaurants and food kiosks in companies large and small are all outsourced to FSM companies.
"Catering is seen as a barometer of morale in a business and most clients see the value of having a buzzy social hub in their buildings."
Wendy Bartlett - Managing Director, Barlett Mitchell
B&I clients demand top-notch quality and the latest trends in food and service. And as they work to be cost-efficient, the bottom line is much on their mind, attention to providing the best value is key to client satisfaction.
Staff feeding nurtures staff loyalty, encourages productivity and a ‘return on their investment’. So your clients demand plenty of quality choices – from gourmet-style meals to ‘grab and go’ snacks and sandwiches. The order of the day is nutritious, well-balanced menus using fresh ingredients, sustainable, locally sourced produce and friendly, efficient customer service.
Leisure & Events
The ultimate way to combine work and pleasure, FSM in leisure.
This is where FSM companies can really show off their versatility... and so can you. From ‘grab and go’ stalls to large scale sit-down lunches and dinners, champagne bars to sumptuous buffet spreads for corporate entertainment or VIP guests – the challenge is to meet customer expectations for quality and variety.
Imagine a day at Wimbledon, Royal Ascot, the British Grand Prix - all iconic sporting events and all catered for by FSM companies delivering great food and excellent service. As well as the huge events, FSM in leisure includes the weekly fixtures at stadiums, concert venues, and visitor attractions – historic houses, theme parks, zoos, museums, theatres and galleries.
FSM companies served 353 million meals to students, teachers, lecturers, professors and other education management and staff across 4,487 education outlets. Whether it be a school, college or university, you can be sure that FSM companies are doing their very best to offer best value for budget.
On the back of Jamie Oliver’s School Meals Manifesto, the issue of healthy meals in schools is here to stay. It’s all part of developing children’s health, concentration and well-being – a no-brainer!
Working within education presents you with a specific variety of challenges. Thanks to campaigners across the country there are set standards to ensure that children eat well in schools. Combined with a wide variety of customers and tight budgets, working within the education sector will provide you with both creative and social opportunities to both challenge you and advance your career.
An army marches on it´s stomach. Who keeps the Armed Forces fed? The big FSM companies of course. FSM does a great job in supporting our brave men and women in uniform. Contract caterers provide a complex mix of services that often includes catering, domestic and building services across a number of outlets at home and overseas...sometimes in far-flung regions and active war zones.
If catering is your career path, don’t think that Defence won’t challenge your culinary skills. There’s the ‘bread and butter’ part of producing hundreds of wholesome meals but there is also catering for all – from canteen style to plated offers, cooking for sports teams, summer balls, weddings, military exercises and even children’s parties.
Bars, internet zones and games rooms also come under FSM. Off-site, there are central support roles: in Marketing and Logistics, Supply Chain, HR and Finance.
No society can function without emergency services, government bodies and HM Prisons. No public servant can function without a good meal!
Enter FSM – and you. Are you committed to developing and using your skills in management, budgeting, and yes, preparing healthy, delicious meals to this very important and cost conscious segment of society?
Be part of the integral running of our country.
"You've got to love the industry; you've got to really want to work in it. You've got to be self-motivated and have that drive to work your way up the ranks."
Colin Davidson - Commercial Services Manager, Cordia-Encore Hospitality Services Glasgow
Just what the doctor ordered – nutritious food for patients to assist in their recovery and for health workers to sustain them in the ever-demanding caring profession. Meals punctuate the day and are greatly anticipated, be part of that experience and help bring a little bit of home to those in care.
Whether in NHS hospitals, nursing homes or specialist care homes, FSM companies step up to the plate to deliver nutritious menus, often geared to specialist diets, within a challenging environment, ruled by ever-increasing financial constraints.
The scale of the NHS operation dictates that it is mainly the large players that are able to compete on this particular playing field – and they often build retail, cleaning and other support services into the contract in addition to catering. However, smaller companies often provide the catering at private hospitals and care homes. One size doesn’t fit all.
"At Queen Mary's I'm responsible for 16 services from catering to waste management, so every day is different. My training as a chef was the best grounding possible; working in a busy London hotel has prepared me for anything that life can throw at me. My greatest recent challenge was mastering the switchboard systems at QMH as in a hospital it can literally be a matter of life and death if it is down."
Nick Galloway - General Manager, Sodexo Healthcare, Queen Mary's Hospital
A safe, healthy environment with everything to keep the clients’ workforce content at work and play are the main ingredients to lifestyle satisfaction when the everyday is far away. Food takes on a heightened significance – it’s the glue that keeps body and soul together.
"The best bit about my job is knowing that I've made a difference. Some of our crews are from countries that are so poor they don't have the same opportunities that we have. Seeing the proud smile on someone's face when you teach them something - as simple as making a cottage pie - is absolutely priceless."
William Bragg - Camp Boss, ESS Offshore, Compass Group
Quality of daily life takes on a different meaning when you are miles from home in perhaps a hostile natural environment. FSM helps make a temporary home for workers who normally work a two-week on/two-week off shift. You’ll be providing comfortable hotel-style accommodation, daily meals tailored to varied diets and cultures, planning and executing leisure activities, on-line concierge services, running shops and more.
Only the largest companies can cater to this sector. Sodexo Remote Sites serves BP Sollum Voe Terminal, one of the largest oil and liquefied gas terminals in Europe, and 110 offshore sites. Compass’ ESS Support Services also provides both food and retail services including its Global Kitchen, bringing together a home-from-home approach with cuisine from around the world to satisfy the tastes of an international workforce.