Catering Scotland

Compass Scotland Looks Back at a Stellar Year…

 Breaking News
  • Graham and Sibbald Announce Directorship Roles OIOpublisher Chartered surveyors and business valuation experts, Graham and Sibbald have announced the promotion of Kevin Hunter and Scott Graham to director. With more than 12 years’ experience, Kevin (pictured...

Compass Scotland Looks Back at a Stellar Year…

Compass Scotland Looks Back at a Stellar Year…
March 01
12:50 2023

As the country bounces back from the Covid pandemic, Compass Scotland continues to build on its success. David Hay reflects on a busy year…

Last year was phenomenal for Compass Scotland. Following our launch in 2020 and with the country finally opening back up again after COVID-19 restrictions, it was great to spend time developing our offering with new technology, a new apprenticeship proposition and several exciting new clients.

David Hay

We were especially proud to announce our partnership with Scotland’s only two Michelin-Star chef, Stephen McLaughlin, as he became our Culinary Ambassador. It’s a fantastic match, as the ethos at Restaurant Andrew Fairlie perfectly complements ours at Compass Scotland, with a menu influenced by the very best seasonal Scottish ingredients and a genuine focus on people and development.

Over the last year, Stevie has offered us invaluable insight, delivered a series of inspirational workshops and hosted two of our apprentices for two separate four-month internships, with another starting with him this month.

These apprentices* have been able to experience a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, working in the kitchen at the acclaimed Restaurant Andrew Fairlie at Gleneagles, alongside Stevie and his team. Having started his own career in a placement at One Devonshire Gardens, he worked alongside mentor Andrew Fairlie, progressed through the ranks, and he now understands how inspirational apprenticeships such as those he leads now can provide.

Apprenticeships – Skills Development & Career Progression

For us as a company, the partnership with Stevie has enhanced our industry-leading apprenticeship programme which offers real opportunities for skills development and progression. We now offer apprenticeships in Culinary, Front of House, Facilities Management, Business Administration, Retail, Customer Service and Management.

Offering an aspirational road map for people at all stages of their career, we offer apprenticeships at foundation, modern and graduate level, depending on the individual’s current situation and needs. 

As well as the experiences with Stevie, our apprentices get involved in some industry-leading events, working alongside our colleagues and learning from some of the best in the industry. A highlight from 2022 included supporting the Chartwells Independent team at Merchiston Castle School as we hosted the inaugural Scottish School Food Awards. Working alongside chefs from the Compass Culinary World Cup Team with the apprentices and college students preparing the canapes for the evening and helping waiting staff.


As one of the largest employers in the UK, Compass Group UK & Ireland takes its responsibility as an employer and last year launched our Social Promise, a commitment to change their lives of a million people through job creation, education, training, community and charitable engagement by 2030.

Emily McWilliam

A significant new role for us in 2022 was the introduction of a senior nutritionist and sustainability lead with the appointment of Emily McWilliam (RNUTR). Responsible for the delivery of nutrition, well-being and sustainability initiatives, and education for employees, clients and consumers across all Compass Scotland sites, including schools, workplaces and venues, Emily (pictured) is currently working on the COP26 legacy, following our role supporting catering and cleaning at the event in 2021 and with suppliers to see where menu and ingredients changes can be made for clients.

Compass Scotland and Fareshare work together to help people in need

Heavily involved in our new surplus food partnership with food charity, FareShare, we are encouraging all of our sites to donate surplus food so that meals can be distributed to those who need it most. This has been especially important over the last year, as increasing numbers of individuals and families have struggled to cope with the rising cost of living.

Having worked alongside FareShare on a national level since 2014, Compass Group UK & Ireland’s Scottish division kicked off the partnership at the Scottish Event Campus (SEC) in Glasgow. In July, seven employees from the SEC Food team spent time with the FareShare Glasgow team at their warehouse, supporting the volunteers as they sorted through surplus food and prepared it for donation. In total, they helped FareShare sort through six tonnes of food, the equivalent of over 14,000 meals.

Client Wins

We were thrilled to welcome some new clients to Compass Scotland over the last year, including an exciting new commercial partnership with Levy UK + I and Rangers F.C to provide best-in-class match day food and beverage experiences at Ibrox Stadium (pictured below).

Ibrox is Levy’s first sporting venue in Scotland and they are working closely with our Compass Scotland team to deliver the same high quality catering expertise provided at their other venues across England, Ireland, and Wales.

Together, we’re creating an innovative new menu, embracing the history and global heritage of the club and focusing on sustainable, local Scottish produce in line with the company’s journey to net zero by 2027.

In addition to the culinary expertise, we’re introducing upgraded technology, including digital screens and other frictionless technologies to maximise the experience across all levels.


Using technological enhancements to drive and improve the customer journey across all of our venues, we’ve introduced self-service kiosks at the OVO Hydro Glasgow, which provides quicker service for customers and allows more time to enjoy the shows. Replacing the traditional bar service with kiosks, guests are now able to order drinks from the terminals and collect their drinks from the six collection points.

These have been tried, tested and enjoyed at a number of events at the SEC since their introduction last October.

Next steps

Looking forward to the year ahead, we’re focusing on the areas that make Compass Scotland special, namely locally sourced, seasonal food, impeccable service and an unbeatable customer experience. Technology is at the forefront of what we do and we will continue to lead in our innovative solutions for client and customer experiences.

We’re also continuing our hard work to achieve Climate Net Zero targets and minimise food waste, as part of Compass Group UK & Ireland’s industry-leading pledge. We will continue development of our partnership with The Larder who we supported with their Catalyst Kitchen Christmas appeal.

David Hay is Managing Director of Compass Scotland.

* See our interview with a Compass Scotland apprentice

About Author

Catering Scotland

Catering Scotland

Related Articles


No Comments Yet!

There are no comments at the moment, do you want to add one?

Write a comment

Only registered users can comment.