Compass Group Looks for Startup Partners to Shape the Future of Foodservice

Feb 27, 2018

Through FoodBytes!, pitch companies get one-on-one access to industry experts, and industry experts get the chance to talk with the brightest and best food and agriculture startups across North America. First-time FoodBytes! supporting sponsor, Compass Group USA’s Susie Weintraub, Executive VP of Business Excellence, shares a bit about why Compass Group is looking to partner with startups, how they use technology to reduce food waste and more.

FoodBytes!: Why is Compass Group excited to partner with FoodBytes!?

Susie Weintraub: As the world’s leading foodservice provider, we are always looking towards the future and how we can create positive impact for people, planet and the food system. Compass Group is obsessed with growth – we are always looking for opportunities to create new markets, develop innovative solutions and partner with game changers in the industry – like those at FoodBytes!

We challenge ourselves to connect people through food – and create environments that promote community and collaboration. Food is the cornerstone of our company – we’re about providing great tasting food that celebrates culture and community while driving well-being of both people and planet. We leverage extensive data to understand our guests and anticipate their needs. It is our goal to provide a frictionless experience, serving customers what they want, exactly when-where-and-how they want to get it.

From the US Open to the Oscars, Compass Group is a family of companies that serves 9.8 million meals a day at every stage in life – hospitals, schools, arenas, corporations, museums and senior living communities. Our approach to drive positive change is to constantly challenge status quo. As a sponsor of FoodBytes! we value creativity, support community and look to grow with new partnerships.

With our scale, we can create real and meaningful change. If you have a food, product, system, approach, technology or design that aligns with our vision, let’s talk at FoodBytes! San Francisco!

FB!: Can you tell us more about how Compass Group currently works with innovative startups and how you’re looking to engage with the FoodBytes! San Francisco pitch companies?

SW: Most of our partnerships have evolved from an initial conversation (or two). There is no prescriptive model or formula. It begins by learning about the companies – their vision, values and culture – and especially the people. If we feel they share our vision for creating positive impact for people and planet, while still recognizing the necessity to drive commercial results, then we pursue deeper discussions and begin to design a framework for partnership.

A successful partnership begins with alignment on vision and culture with the desired outcome of mutual, material benefit for both organizations.

FB!: How is Compass Group leveraging technology to positively impact the triple bottom line?

SW: From a consumer perspective, digital and technology platforms enable customization of all aspects of the experience – food, time, payment, location, etc. thus improving overall customer satisfaction, driving loyalty and frequency.

From a business or financial lens, technology facilitates production and labor efficiencies –automating and integrating systems that have historically been manual and time consuming (i.e. inventory). Additionally, as cashless and mobile payment become the preferred payment solution, costs associated with cash handling and theft are minimized and/or avoided.

Technology has also played a significant role in our efforts to address the global food waste crisis. Digital platforms and innovative systems have improved our ability to track and monitor food waste – thus uncovering opportunities to reduce waste in the life cycle of food – from harvesting, transporting and production to menuing, serving and portioning.

FB!: What does the future of foodservice look like to Compass Group?

SW: We recognize the landscape of foodservice is changing. We need to adapt our traditional models to be able to deliver what customers want, when they want it, where they want it – and provide them with options to pay for it based on their personal preferences. We constantly challenge ‘status quo’ and explore innovative solutions to address today’s consumer lifestyles.

That’s where partnerships – within and outside the industry – play a growing role. We have a ton of expertise and talent inside our Company, but also recognize that partnerships with young companies (or established organizations) that share our vision can truly help us shape the future of foodservice.

For startups looking to apply to pitch, Montreal (closing March 11) and NYC applications are now open.

Susie Weintraub

Susie Weintraub

Executive VP of Business Excellence at Compass Group USA

Based in Seattle, Susie supports development of organic growth and business retention strategies for over $7B of Compass Group’s managed revenue. She is a founding member of the Business Excellence team that was formed in 2007 to deliver business efficiencies and leverage operational best practices across core Business sectors.

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