Companies are ordering food from special city centre kitchens in a bid to attract workers back to the office without having to run canteens.
(Reuters) -The chief of Compass Group said on Tuesday new business, especially from clients outsourcing their kitchen needs for the first time, will help the British caterer regain its pre-pandemic size and grow faster than before. Shares in the world's largest catering company reversed early losses to trade up 3% following the comments from Chief Executive Dominic Blakemore on an earnings call. "The pipeline is exceptional ... we've got the digital and climate offers to win with the balance sheet to exploit all of these opportunities," Blakemore said in a call with analysts after the group reported better-than-expected annual profit and resumed dividend payments.
The world's largest catering company, which had suspended dividends in April 2020 to deal with the blow from COVID-19, said it would pay an annual dividend of 14 pence per share. "With ongoing mobilisation costs and inflationary pressure, further improvement will be weighted towards the second half of the year as we return to underlying margin of around 7% by year end," said Chief Executive Office Dominic Blakemore. Food catering volumes at Compass have picked up from pandemic lows, as students return to universities and schools, sports fans fill up stadiums and crowds attend music events again.