"In 1941, Jack Bateman founded factory canteens to feed British workers who were supporting the war effort. He wanted to give them extra stamina and help improve their productivity. More than seventy years later that tradition is still going strong – but Jack’s business idea has evolved into a global food and support services organisation in fifty countries around the world.
14forty is part of Compass Group – one of the world's leading food and support services businesses. It brings scale and strength and we see this in action every day."
Let me introduce you to Mauro Ortelli – he runs 14forty. He tells me that every minute of every day his team do everything from serving great food to keeping facilities safe, clean, well maintained and running smoothly.
But none of this is new. As you are reading this, Compass Group people are serving millions of customers around the world. They have been providing food and support services for decades. And during that time, it’s joined forces with and brought together some other great companies – experts in their own right:
Vision Security Group (VSG) – already the UK's leading independent provider of security services – became part of Compass Group in 2010.
Integrated Cleaning Management (ICM) – a specialist cleaning and support services company – joined the fold in 2011.
Out of this remarkable DNA has come 14forty, created to respond to the needs of businesses like ours looking for greater efficiency, productivity and simplification.
All this might sound rather heavy and corporate, but it doesn’t feel at all like that. What it really feels like to us is a large organisation with a small local focus and a real can-do, will-do attitude. In the end it all comes down to these people – their heritage, training in hospitality and customer service, plus their special expertise in soft services.
You see it in everything from the fantastic safety record and culture, through to the continual training and development, to the way they look after and support their people every minute of every day. So that we experience the best quality service, efficiently delivered. Today 14forty has its own identity, personality and style – and it’s a great fit with ours.
Talking to other companies offering support services in the past, we’ve found them rather too quick to want to do things their way and stick to rigid models. 14forty by contrast are well known for modelling their services to meet the precise needs of their clients. They work to high standards and share best practice, so it seems to come naturally to them to start with what clients like us need.
The only thing they’re absolutely rigid about is the way they write their name – 14forty – not 14FORTY and never 1440. Consistency makes it easier to learn and to find them on line.
One size fits no-one. 14forty have as many sizes and tailored approaches as they have clients. And it’s no exaggeration to say that the way they do things has emerged from and been shaped by their trusted relationships with these clients over many years.
As a slightly smaller (but growing) client, we’re happy to be in such good company – and developing our business together.
Each time we’ve extended the scope of the outsourced services provided by 14forty, they’ve invested in what we do. When we look around at our refurbished restaurant, our private fine dining rooms, our sophisticated cleaning equipment or the communications in our service vehicles, it’s all due to the capital funding that 14forty have been willing to put in upfront.
That says as much about their financial strength as it does about their customer service. And of course, it’s the power of their ultimate parent, Compass Group PLC, at work again – a FTSE top 50 company with strong finances and credit rating.
It also comes from their substantial buying power and leverage in partner services, products and consumables … combined with the way they carefully select suppliers that are consistently safe, ethical, competitively priced and financially robust.