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Food and service management

The food and service management industry (sometimes known as contract catering) is part of the hospitality, leisure, travel and tourism sector. Where services are outsourced to an external provider this is known as ‘food service and management’ provision. Food and service management providers support a number of wider industries ranging from traditional hospitality based industries (such as hotels and restaurants), to other areas (such as education and oil-rigs). The industry provides food and drink services, housekeeping services, linen and security

The industry is made up of some very large companies, such as Compass Group, Sodexo and Aramark, some medium sized companies such as BaxterStorey and a large number of small independent caterers who provide catering for local businesses and events.

Key facts:

  • There are 185,800 people working in the food and service management industry, in around 25,500 establishments.
  • 71% of food and service management establishments employ between 1-10 people, 27% between 11-49 people and 2% employ more than 50 people.
  • 66% of the workforce is female.
  • 90% of the workforce is white and 10% is from Black Ethnic Minority groups.
  • 6% of the workforce is aged 16-19 years, 18% 20-29 years, 22% 30-39 years, 27% 40-49 years and 28% is 50 years and older
  • 17% of the workforce has an NVQ Level 4 or above qualification.
  • The majority of the workforce has a NVQ Level 2 qualification (31%).
  • 8% of the workforce has no qualifications.
  • The industry employs a large number of migrant workers.
  • 55% of the workforce is employed full-time.
  • Nearly half of all those working in the food and service management provision sector work in elementary occupations. 18% are managers with a substantial proportion (18%) working in skilled trades occupations.

Source: People 1st LMI Report (March 2010) and Food and Service Management industry profile 2009