Sodexo, a leading provider of onsite service solutions, is celebrating after its key people claimed three coveted spots in a list of the top 40 influencers in Scotland’s catering sector.
The first ever Hot Scot Power 40 list was drawn up to mark 40 years of the ScotHot exhibition, the major annual showcase of the country’s players in food & drink and hospitality.
Sodexo was the only name to have multiple entries in the list of those movers and shakers “having the biggest impact on the industry”, as voted for by peers and respected sector experts.
The trio of Sodexo entrants were led by Trevor Garden at number 20. He is executive chef with Sodexo Prestige in Scotland, the company’s sport and leisure division. Close colleague Stephen Frost, executive chef in Scotland for sports, leisure, workplace and events, was named at number 26.
Meanwhile Sodexo Scotland managing director Graham Box claimed 25th spot. His extensive brief sees him lead a 1000-strong team providing catering and a wide range of on-site facilities at more than 100 locations, including schools, colleges, universities, business & industry sites, castles and football clubs.
Graham said: “I’m deeply flattered and pleasantly surprised to be included in a list which includes some of the best-known chefs and biggest-hitters in the business of hospitality.
“The reality is that I’m only on the list because of the fantastic work put in by our army of people at sites across Scotland. They are committed to using the best Scottish produce, embracing sustainable practices and helping customers and clients make informed choices when it comes to nutrition and healthy living.
“That’s why I’m so delighted that both Stephen and Trevor have been included in this list. They really do lead from the front to ensure that a company like ours, which touches so many aspects of daily life in Scotland, remains innovative.”
The Power 40 list was compiled in association with the industry bible, Caterer & Hotelkeeper magazine. It featured some of the country’s best-known chefs such as Andrew Fairlie, Nick Nairn and Martin Wishart, as well names like Stefan King, founder of major leisure operator G1 Group and Pete Irvine, the man behind Unique Event and Scotland the Best.
The panel responsible for drawing up the Top 40 said of Graham Box: “The key to Box’s success has been his ability to recognise and nurture talent and to help workers focus their energies and competencies in areas where they can really make a difference.”
In praising Trevor Garden they recognised how he is responsible for catering for more than 500,000 people every year and played a key role in helping Sodexo Prestige land a £500,000 a year deal at Edinburgh Corn Exchange and a six-figure deal at the city’s Freemason’s Hall.
The panel added: “Garden has proved himself to be a versatile chef, showcasing the best of Scotland’s produce and culinary talent at world-class venues and sporting events.”
They also heaped praise on colleague Stephen Frost and said: “He has demonstrated an understanding of the relationship between happiness at work and a healthy, nutritious diet, creating menus that help Sodexo’s employees, clients and customers maintain a healthier, balanced lifestyle.
“He is as comfortable planning a menu for a low-key wedding as he is masterminding the food at a Robbie Williams concert.”
Sodexo in Scotland has retained its Healthy Living Award every year since 2008 and was named the Best Group Caterer in Scotland for a third consecutive year in the Best Employers in the 2012 Hospitality Awards.