As we approach the end of the year, it’s always a time for reflection before we look to the year ahead.

2022 has certainly been memorable for lots of reasons, creating new partnerships and demonstrating true value to our existing clients. As we have all returned to the workplace post-pandemic, we have seen a rise in our sites offering subsidised food and beverages to encourage the return to the office and, more recently, support employees through the cost-of-living crisis. This trend was further seen in a survey commissioned by Compass. 

Our Social Promise to support a million people by 2030 through job opportunities is thriving. We have supported numerous local communities, offered a wide range of apprenticeships across our partner sites and are working with/increasing our work with social enterprises. 

The year gone by has seen us embrace innovation and take our suite of technology to the next level, enabling us to introduce smarter and more efficient operations. Additionally, this is contributing to our climate net zero journey.

Here is a quick snapshot of some of the key things we have implemented in the past year that I am particularly proud of before taking a deeper dive:

  1. Revitalised food offers, incorporating a plant forward approach and tailored with a focus on technology to reduce food waste.
  2. Enhanced cleaning programmes including harnessing the latest technology as well as more locations using chemical free cleaning.
  3. Improved security focus and procedures to ensure safety of people and buildings.
  4. Greater emphasis on digital reporting to simplify the overarching account management and aid future business decisions.
  5. Collaborate on environmental initiatives and reducing our carbon impact.

Reducing food waste

Our team of chefs are constantly evolving our catering offers. As a prerequisite, our offer is seasonal and the British First policy, meaning we maximise quality, nutritional value, taste, and cost by using produce when it's readily available.

Pre-ordering mobile apps allow us to be flexible and control food waste; tray scanning as a payment method speeds up the service and allows the team to focus on customer service element, and other innovations, such as frictionless stores and micro-markets, help us manage the service, provide consistency throughout the day and maintain the cost base accordingly.

Compass (175)

Enhanced cleaning programmes

We have seen a true emphasis on the standard of cleaning within the workplace, with people more aware of hygiene than ever before. This year saw us begin to roll out our cleaning cobots - collaborative cleaning robots that work alongside cleaning teams to support the cleaning of larger spaces whilst our colleagues focus on the detailed areas, thus increasing the productivity and efficiency of the service.

Greater use of Tersano, a highly effective natural cleaner, sanitiser and deodoriser that kills 99.999% bacteria and microorganisms, produced with just two ingredients: water and oxygen, has received fantastic feedback.  After use, it reverts safely back into water and is not harmful to the environment, making it a more sustainable, cheaper, and effective alternative to traditional cleaning chemicals.

Eu14 Photoshoot Ride On Vacuum 11

Another innovation we’re harnessing is sensor technology and a move to demand-led cleaning. This approach gives us rich data that we can use to correctly align our cleaning scheduling to the needs of the building and its users to maximise efficiency. This is important post-pandemic for the majority of our clients as they experience much more erratic and unpredictable office use.

Improved security focus and procedures

Within security, the pace of technology is increasing; we’re now exploring drone technology to help monitor large locations and estates, as well as robots that can meet, greet and take guests to meeting rooms, as well as patrolling and reporting.

New clients and industry recognition

We have welcomed new clients to the 14forty family and are delighted to be working with N Brown Group and HEINEKEN. It’s been great to see our expertise receiving industry recognition with wins at the IWFM Awards for our well-being and diversity & inclusion initiatives and our chef Wayne Corbett winning Unit Chef of the Year at the Contract Catering Awards.

Looking forward to the year ahead

As we look forward to the year ahead, and the tenth anniversary of our brand, we are all facing into many challenges, primarily around inflation, attraction & retention of talent and ESG. It’s at times like this that we must think smarter, build on our partnerships even more to deliver true collaboration, value and expertise, to meet the changing needs of each client.

We’re looking forward to 2023, as we continue to drive the use of tech within our operations, move forward the creativity within our menus, whilst operating responsibly, looking after our people and the planet.