Compass comes out on top at 11th Contract Catering Awards

Compass Group was the big winner at the 11th annual Contract Catering Awards, which were hosted by broadcaster Mark Durden-Smith at the Leonardo Royal Hotel London Tower Bridge last night. The company claimed an impressive six of the 15 accolades that were up for grabs at the glittering awards ceremony and gala dinner.

The star of the show was Raheem Morgan from Chartwells, who picked up two gongs for his inspirational work at Torridon Primary School in Lewisham. He kicked off the evening by being named Unit Chef of the Year, then followed it up with the Education Award.

Another Compass subsidiary, ESS, claimed the big one of Contract Caterer of the Year, while two of its chefs, Izabela Ginter and Tony Murphy, won the Rising Star and Executive Chef Awards respectively. The group’s impressive tally was completed by Harry Ridley, who picked up the Innovation Award for his ground-breaking work revolutionising the fan experience at Leicester City FC’s King Power Stadium.

The evening was rounded off by one of the real cornerstones of contract catering, Bill Toner, receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award. The chief executive officer of CH&CO Group was rightly recognised for his service to an industry that he joined straight from school back in the 1970s.

Toner summed up the celebratory mood perfectly, saying: “Thank you to the Contract Catering Awards, this is a fantastic honour and something I am very proud of. I have absolutely no idea where 50 years has gone. I joined this industry washing dishes and I have had the best time.

“Everyone having a wonderful time tonight, have a look around the room. Feel how lucky you are to be in an industry that gives so much back.”

On that note, a hugely appreciated £3,263 was raised on the night for Hospitality Action. Anyone wishing to donate to the industry charity’s latest challenge – rowing the Atlantic – can do so at

The other eight awards were shared out between Angel Hill Food Co, BaxterStorey, Elior UK, Freemans Event Partners, HC3S, Lexington, Signature Dining and TNS Catering.

The awards were sponsored by Bidfood, Birds Eye Green Cuisine, Britvic Softs Drinks, Civica, Freemans Event Partners, Front of the House Buffet Solutions, Restaurant Design Associates, Suntory, The Collective, The Soho Sandwich Company, Unox and Young's Seafood.

The 2023 Contract Catering Awards winners

Area Manager of the Year
Nick East – BaxterStorey

Business & Industry Award
Gavin Loud – TNS Catering at ARM

Contract Caterer of the Year

CSR Award
Lexington Catering

Education Award
Raheem Morgan – Chartwells at Torridon Primary School, Lewisham

Executive Chef of the Year
Tony Murphy – ESS

Healthcare Catering Award
Michael Hannon – Signature Dining

Innovation Award
Harry Ridley – Compass Group UK&I

Marketing Award
Amanda Whatley & Karen Clark – Hampshire County Council Catering Services (HC3S)

People Development Award
Matt Vernon – Angel Hill Food Co

Rising Star Award
Izabela Ginter – ESS

Senior Executive of the Year
Stephen Freeman – Freemans Event Partners

Sports, Leisure & Event Catering Award
Avneesh Sinha – Elior UK

Unit Chef of the Year
Raheem Morgan – Chartwells at Torridon Primary School, Lewisham

Lifetime Achievement Award
Bill Toner, CH&CO

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