Serving Up Industry Leading Foodservice & Cost Efficiencies in the Care Sector

You Can’t Have Your Cake and Eat It… Can You?


There are over 17,500 registered Care Homes in the UK accommodating almost half a million senior residents. [1]

Care homes are a vital component of the healthcare industry, providing a wide range of specialised care to support the varying needs, functionality and wellbeing of our senior generation.

Food represents one of the most important pillars of the day-to-day Resident experience, bringing people together whilst nourishing bodies and minds.

But the care sector is facing down the barrel of one of its biggest challenges to date.

A rising tide of financial pressure associated with the Covid crisis has placed greater emphasis on achieving cost reductions across the sector, posing a potential threat to the quality of the Resident experience.

So, what sacrifices have to be made to the Food Service to achieve cost savings?

We think the answer is a no-brainer: With the help of Foodbuy, none. 

Here’s why…

Food Related Cost Efficiencies: The Basics…

The costs of delivering delicious, high-quality meals in a care setting are predominantly determined by three key factors:

  • The cost of ingredients
  • The cost of sundries (think PPE, disposable items, cleaning products etc.)
  • The cost of administration (labour)

Achieving cost efficiencies relies on an ability to influence the associated costs of these factors, and better still, reduce them.

Historically, assuming full ‘true cost’ transparency, these costs existed with little to no variance between suppliers and care providers. Simply put, an onion cost roughly the same for everyone!

That was, however, until we launched Foodbuy.

Introducing Foodbuy to the Care sector

With over 200 food procurement experts working across 70 specialist categories, Foodbuy represents the most powerful purchasing force in the Foodservice Industry.

Leveraging over £1billion worth of annual spend, cost savings go further than food and beverages, with an extensive and far-reaching non-food portfolio providing Clients with access to savings on day-to-day necessities such as PPE, chemicals and sanitisation equipment.[2]

To put this into perspective…

‘Quenelles’ was established in 1997 after decades of experience in the catering industry and is now regarded as the foremost independent food-price benchmarking service in the UK.

On average, we estimate that the buying power of Foodbuy delivers 8 - 12% lower costs vs. the Quenelles benchmark.

Coupled with a forensic level of cost transparency, Foodbuy represents the lowest cost option to Care providers throughout the UK currently procuring both Food & Non-Food items.

Case Study: The Humble Onion

Remember that onion reference earlier? From sofrito’s to pies, sauces to salads, this unsung hero is a staple of ’00s of classic recipes.

A.H. Worth are our main supplier of onions. The fourth-generation family business runs a farm of 6,500 acres and have been in operation for over 100 years. The business has operated a sustainable 8-year rotation including our supply of onions which are 100% Red Tractor assured all year round.

They’re versatile too, sourcing over 20 different varieties of onions that can withstand different lengths of storage and growing conditions.

But why does all of this matter?

Foodbuy purchase around 500 tonnes of onions every year. In doing so, we’re able to utilise unrivalled economies of scale to lower the cost of supplying these onions to our clients. It’s not complicated, but it is an effective way of reducing costs without sacrificing the end product. Apply this methodology across thousands of ingredients and numerous spend categories and the savings begin to grow...

Time is money: Administrative Cost savings

Let’s not forget the true cost of delivering food services to Residents; it’s not just limited to ingredients and supplies. There’s menu planning, allergen management, ordering and administration requirements across a national Care portfolio. Doing so diligently takes considerable time and resources to deliver ‘in house.’

So, Foodbuy does all the heavy lifting, assuming full responsibility for sourcing and purchasing within a fixed budget, as well as taking accountability for the more time-consuming tasks, such as food chain compliance management.

With staff turnover levels rising[3] and widespread funding cuts[4] hitting the Care Sector, every hour gained is another that can be spent focusing on what’s important: providing a world-class Resident experience.

Constellation: staffing resilience  

Constellation was initially conceived to support temporary labour requirements during the COVID-19 pandemic. It offered work to employees where their home sector was unable to and since then, has morphed into Compass UK&I’s very own in-house staffing agency.

This has led to a reduction in the requirement for and cost associated with utilising external agencies.

All of the employees work under the Compass Group family umbrella and undergo mandatory training and e-learning. This affords clients staffing quality assurance and full cost transparency as the timesheets and payroll are processed through a single Compass contact and not via a 3rd party. In many cases, as new vacancies arise, we can transfer in Constellation members. This reduces common recruitment and onboarding costs, providing yet more savings to be passed on to Care Providers.