Compass Group USA Company History Timeline


Compass Group was founded in 1941 and is headquartered in Chertsey, the United Kingdom.“


From Something Established, Something New: 1987-94

1987: Company is formed from the purchase of Grand Metropolitan's London catering division.


Compass Group was first listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1988.


1991: Francis Mackay is named CEO.


Gardner Merchant had bought the United States-based Morrison Hospitality Group in 1994 and was then gobbled up by Sodexho.

1994: Acquisition of Canteen Corp.; Michael Bailey heads up North American division.


1995: Acquisition of Eurest International makes Compass Group the largest foodservice company in the world.


Eurest, one of the company’s US subsidiaries, was launched in the USA in 1996 to provide diningservices to local, regional and national companies within the Business & Industry markets, including employee dining centers, on-site catering, vending, executive dining rooms, and other managed services.

Compass Group's domination of the global foodservice industry was in full swing by 1996.


By the end of the year Compass Group's stock value had quadrupled since its introduction a decade earlier, and profits had increased by 14 percent to £54.3 million from 1997.


In 1998 the North American division sought and won a contract for the Smithsonian Institution, including sites in the National Museum of American History, the American Art & Portrait Gallery, and the National Museum of Natural History.

In 1998 the playing field became stacked in favor of Sodexho, when the company's United States arm, Sodexho USA, merged with Marriott Managed Services, a part of Marriott International.

Compass Group finished the year with turnover of £4.81 billion (US$7.92 billion), a 14.3 percent increase over 1998 and with operating profits of £261.4 million, another substantial increase over the previous year's £218 million.


Two disparate quotes sum up the industry, its potential, and its dangers for the new millennium: first, from the December 1, 1999 issue of Restaurants & Institutions, Compass Group's North American division head Gary Green stated, 'Being big, bigger, biggest means nothing.

1999: Mackay is named chairman and Bailey is appointed CEO.


The company bought Morrison Management Specialists in 2000 and in July of that year the company merged withGranada plc as part of a strategy to separate the media and catering interests of the latter.

Compass Group’s subsidiary, ESS, became a UN-registered food vendor in 2000 and then went on to win contracts to supply UN peacekeepers operating in Sudan, East Timor, Liberia, Burundi, Eritrea, Lebanon, Cyprus and Syria.


The two companies demerged in February 2001 to form Compass plc and Granada Media.


In addition, Compass provides catering to special events such as the US Open and the Academy Awards®. Compass Group was the official catering services supplier for the 2002 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City.


In April 2006 Compass Group sold its roadside and travel catering businesses for a combined £1.82 billion.The transaction included the sale of 43 Moto motorway service areas to Australia’s Macquarie Bank for an estimated £600m.


The company made further acquisitions in 2009 including Kimco and Lackmans in the USA, Plural in Germany and several McColls retail site leases in the UK.


The company also acquired Integrated Cleaning Management in 2013.”


Since 2014, the Imperfectly Delicious Produce Program run by Compass Group USA has used over 4.5 million lbs of imperfect fruit and vegetables that would otherwise have rotten in fields or been sent to composting or landfill for simply not meeting an artifical standard of attractiveness.


The Group had revenues of around £25.2 billion in the fiscal year ending September 30, 2019.


Sign up to Women in Hospitality's Travel and Leisure 2020 initiative Appointment of Karen Witts as Group Chief Financial Officer Commitment to sourcing higher welfare chickens across Europe announced

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