Companies in this industry contract to provide food services at commercial, institutional, and governmental locations. Major companies include ARAMARK, Centerplate, and Delaware North (all based in the US), as well as Autogrill (Italy), Compass Group (UK), Sodexo (France), and SSP Group (UK).
The US food service contracting industry includes about 3,000 companies with combined annual revenue of about $37 billion.
Demand is driven by employment trends and consumer tastes. The profitability of individual companies depends on efficient operations and food quality. Large companies have advantages in economies of scale in food and equipment purchasing, off-site food preparation, and distribution. Small companies can compete effectively by specializing in unique food products or local markets. The US industry is highly concentrated: the 50 largest companies account for about 90% of revenue.
PRODUCTS, OPERATIONS & TECHNOLOGY
Companies in this industry primarily provide meals and snacks under long-term contract. Other products include alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Meals can vary depending on the setting and client, but typically focus on breakfast, lunch, and dinner standards. Food includes pizza, Mexican and Asian cuisine, sandwiches, salad bars, chicken, and hamburgers. Beverages include soft drinks, tea, coffee, bottled water, and juice.
Food service contractors typically prepare and serve meals cafeteria-style at locations such as schools, company offices, hospitals, and prisons, as well as in fast-casual or quick-service restaurants (QSRs). About 25% of industry sales are made through airlines and other transportation businesses.
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