A new, growing area for Sodexo has been the operation of some 50 Covid-19 test centres and to ensure the teams on site are well fed during their shifts Sodexo partnered with London SME, The Soho Sandwich Company.

While convenience is key, Sodexo’s ethos of providing fresh, healthy options using ingredients from British suppliers remains at the fore, which is why Sodexo turned to its trusted supply partner The Soho Sandwich Company to provide the testing teams with breakfast options, sandwiches, wraps, healthy snacks, salads and ‘heat to eat meals’ such as curries, chilli and pasta dishes, with vegan and gluten free options also available. To date, over 190,000 meals have been provided to Sodexo-managed testing centres.

The Soho Sandwich Company is one of London’s leading producers of handcrafted artisan sandwiches, providing food for Sodexo at major events such as Chelsea Flower Show and Royal Ascot, where Sodexo is the official caterer, since 2016.

Dan Silverston, CEO for The Soho Sandwich Company, said:

Back in March, no one could have predicted the impact coronavirus and the national lockdown was going to have on our sector. Within five days, we watched sales plummet by over 70 per cent as our clients closed their sites down.  

It is a real privilege that we are now supplying our full range to almost 50 Covid testing centres nationally. 

Due to the speed at which the testing centres were opening, it was incredibly difficult to forecast volumes, we had to be agile and react quickly. At one point Sodexo was mobilising 20 Covid testing centres within 48 hours, and we were there to ensure that when it opened, food was available for the teams at each site.

Like Sodexo, The Soho Sandwich Company is committed to conducting its business in an environmentally sustainable manner. The company operate in a zero carbon footprint facility, all food is responsibly sourced, all eggs are free range, cardboard sandwich wedges are plastic free, and bread crusts (which make up most of their food waste) go to a sheep farm in Essex to be used as animal feed. 

Its ingredients are Red Tractor assured where possible and produced under the LEAF scheme.

Dan added:

The feedback we are getting from the teams on site is great, they think the quality and consistency has been fantastic, with particular emphasis on the provenance of our ingredients, notably our British ham, Barbers Cheddar, British free-range egg and Scottish smoked salmon, It continues to be uncertain times, and the market remains unpredictable, but we have risen to the challenge and are looking forward to supporting Sodexo even further.

Ben Dutson, Divisional Executive Chef for Sports and Leisure at Sodexo, said:

We have worked with The Soho Sandwich Company for four years now and wanted them to provide food to our teams at the testing centres.  We know that they take great pride and care in selecting the ingredients for their products. They work in close partnership with their suppliers to source ingredients with a real emphasis on quality, provenance and sustainability and look to reduce food miles whenever possible.

Supporting British farmers and producers has been a Sodexo commitment for many years, with much work undertaken to build relationships and support SMEs across all areas of food production.

Since March, Sodexo teams have redeployed to operate Covid-19 testing centres on behalf of the UK government and support the national test and trace effort. As well as catering at the sites, Sodexo has worked with its suppliers to ensure its teams have the relevant tools and personal protective equipment (PPE) to work safely, accurately and efficiently.

Sodexo is committed to prioritising partnering with SMEs in the delivery of public services, as outlined in its public service pledge

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