Foodservice giant Sodexo has seen its catering contract for the Ministry of Defence's (MoD) Allenby-Connaught scheme garrisons significantly expanded to cover an additional 4,000 army personnel.
When defence contractor Aspire Defence Services was awarded a 30-year contract with the MoD in 2003 Sodexo was named as its supply partner. Its original contract was to provide catering, mess management and cleaning for about 18,000 military and civilian staff.
As a result of a major infrastructure programme which has seen army personnel withdrawn from Germany and re-based in the UK, it has now increased its team from 1,416 to 1,652 and its number of kitchens increased from 54 to 60.
Catering locations have been increased from 69 to 78 and a new junior ranks ‘super' diner has been constructed at the Larkhill garrison, one of the largest of its kind, which can accommodate an extra 4,000 personnel. It has a team of six professional chefs catering for five Royal Artillery regiments. More than 600 soldiers can be served during one meal sitting. It also houses a retail outlet, coffee shop and bar facilities available to officers seven days a week.
Aspire Defence Services managing director Mark Carr said: "Feeding the Army is a complex operation. A staggering 3.4 million meals are served to soldiers in our dining facilities across Salisbury Plain and Aldershot each year, that equates to some 9,500 meals every single day. The Sodexo teams work closely with each garrison operational team to ensure customer satisfaction is maintained.
"Sodexo and military chefs work side by side delivering the catering services in state-of-the-art kitchens. In addition to providing a crucial service to everyone living and working across the garrisons, the catering services provide a wide range of job opportunities and career paths for chefs, catering support staff and front of house, enabling them to share experiences, hone their skills and gain valuable qualifications.
"The Sodexo element of ABP delivery has been a great success and all the catering refurbs and new builds have completed to requirement, so Sodexo and their teams were ready to welcome and serve the new personnel joining us across the Project."
Additionally, Sodexo's cleaning contract has been expanded to cover 100 new buildings.
The list of new catering and retail outlets added at the four garrisons are: Larkhill: New junior ranks diner; two new senior ranks dining and a new officers Mess. Bulford: New senior ranks dining and refurbished senior ranks into an officers Mess. Perham Down: New senior ranks and officers Mess. Tidworth: New senior ranks dining plus two existing senior ranks and one officers Mess, all refurbished.