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We operate in more than 50 countries around the world. If your country is not on the list, please refer to our global contacts.

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We operate in more than 50 countries around the world. If your country is not on the list, please refer to our global contacts.

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Fun and interesting stuff

We spend a lot of time at work, so it's important to have a bit of fun and explore new ideas too

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blog-white_collection-summer

On the 15th of May we had our spring and summer white collection launch upon the Sunborn London, it was a huge success and showed off some of the talented chefs we have within ISS Food & Hospitality.

The event was attended by current clients, consultants some potential clients, ISS UK board members and  industry and media journalists.

9 of the featured 12 chefs from the Spring and Summer collections were cooking that evening and showcased brilliant fine dining dishes that where both seasonal and executed perfectly.

  • Alan Sosa - Cured sea bass, pickled summer vegetables and horseradish snow
    Lemon meringue posset, lemon sherbet, mint and beetroot meringue
  • Pawel Motzek - Braised white pork belly, carrot puree, chorizo savoy and cider jus
  • Elliot Faulkner – Squid ink arancini with scallops, parmesan foam and pea
  • Matt Petit - Halibut and octopus Carpaccio, orange dressing, caper and fennel salad
    Tomato gazpacho mousse
  • Daniel O’Connell – Rib eye of beef, oxtail croquette, sweet potato and girolles
  • Didier Desmedt - Chargrilled chicory, asparagus, poached quail egg and parmesan tuille
  • Ian Parker -Glazed duck breast, plum compote, braised salsify and black sesame sponge
  • Bart Waszkiewicz -Blue berry cremeaux, lemon posset, orange jelly and yoghurt sponge
  • Frederico Barreto- Crisp and pickled radish, herb cream and black olive soil
    Chocolate and hazelnut croquant, crisp cherry and pastry cone

I have to say that I personally think these are two of my favourite books so far, and each of the chefs within the books cooked and produced some fantastic seasonal dishes and without their skills, the white collection would not be possible.

Simon Price has taken on the mantle of developing the White collection this year, and I certainly think he has done an amazing job and pushed it on to the next level.
As you know Steve Read is chief photographer and food stylist on this project and Steve’s attention to detail has without doubt helped create two of the best collections so far.

"Pulling together The White Collection is a task I relish, and I’m always amazed at the creative ways in which the chefs deliver such perfect, seasonal and vibrant dishes.
Once again the team has wowed us with their personal take on great Spring and Summer food.
Bringing the summer White Collection to life would not be possible without the hard work and dedication of these guys, so well done and thank you.
I believe with this pool of creative talent and the honest food beliefs we have at ISS, it makes for a powerful combination that is world class.
The White Collection books are evidence of that and all involved should be truly proud of the outcome"
Simon Price – Development chef

SH-Blog-02

April 09, 2014 10:00

Passing on the knowledge you receive through mentoring is vital, says ISS Food and Hospitality's Stephanie Hamilton...


I have mentored for many years, both in an informal sense, quietly supporting, encouraging, and entering into discourse with people as they start their careers; and more formally by creating mentor programmes and spending time with people in the workplace.

I viewed my mentoring as a one-on-one experience, the relationship between myself and my mentee being private- allowing us the opportunity to learn from each other and develop our skills and knowledge.

At the Women 1st Conference last year, there were several presenters discussing mentoring programmes and one speaker, Vanessa Vallely, really moved me to take action. Vanessa’s approach to mentoring was to make sure whoever is being mentored ensures they are mentoring someone too, passing the advice along and facilitating a culture of shared learning.

It was something I set upon right away. After years of mentoring, I had never considered passing on the knowledge in this way and I was really excited at the prospect. We are only in the early days of this approach, but I hope as we progress we will see a change at many levels of our mentoring group. Looking ahead, this approach will be a consistent feature .

There are many facets to mentoring; in my experience, the aspect that arises constantly, particularly in younger people, is the question of how to become assertive without it turning into aggression. It’s such a difficult area on which to mentor, as people often try and mimic others’ behaviour within the workplace. In the process, they frequently start to lose their persona - or direction.

At the Women 1st workshops and conferences, this topic of maintaining true to oneself usually arises - in coffee breaks and in the main sessions. I have had various interesting discussions with likeminded women who have all confirmed the same thing. Had they known at the age of 18 – 22 what they know now (in their 30s and 40s) they most certainly would have a word with their younger selves . They would tell ‘early me’ to go to work with their true persona, and be their own person; that there is no need to mimic the behaviour of others, which can be exhausting.

So often we see people trying to walk with the pack instead of standing out from the crowd. I try to install a core of self-belief within my team members, and especially my mentee. They should remember - above all else - the power they possess. At ISS, we call it ‘the power of the human touch’.

If you have the same self-doubt, I love the lyrics to ROAR - Katy Perry’s song. I think it sums up the topic nicely:

"I used to bite my tongue and hold my breath,

"Scared to rock the boat and make a mess,

"So I sat quietly, agreed politely,

"I guess that I forgot I had a choice,

"I let you push me past the breaking point,

"I stood for nothing, so I fell for everything."

 

Stephanie Hamilton is executive director of operations at ISS Food and Hospitality.

This blog was originally published on women1st.co.uk you can read it here

SH-Blog-02

November 14, 2013 10:30

With equality between men and women at board level still a long way off, are quotas a necessary evil? Stephanie Hamilton shares her views.

I am not a ‘sit on the fence’ kind of person. My opinions are always one way or the other. White wine and never red. ‘Team Cheese,’ rather than ‘Team Dessert’.

I love raw celery, but hate it cooked. Women in business quotas? I am ‘no’ on quotas. At least, I was….

I have worked in senior teams for a long time; mostly male, but not really to the point that I have noticed. I currently work on a board with a 70-30 male-female mix, which is the perfect balance and we were all selected on merit. I think we are a dynamic, high-performing team that works really well, so no quotas required, thank you very much!

And then I attended the Women 1st Conference.

I sat and listened to women describe their experiences of working on boards and heard the different perspectives; not just women, men too (Women 1st encourages men to join the group too, it’s fabulous!). I thought about the broad reach of businesses and how some people, both male and female, tend to recruit their mirror image. If, in some cases, the gender balance is 100% one way – male or female, then the status quo will never change. It bothered me. I spent my train journey home thinking about it.

I arrived home and my five-year-old daughter was sitting playing with Lego. So I kicked off my high heels, sat on the floor and joined in. ‘Daddy’ was the chef and, when I asked why, she replied: “because boys are chefs and girls are servers”. Hmmm.

I work in the hospitality industry and I just cannot believe my daughter would think that to be a fact. I asked some other questions: astronaut: man or woman? Person who delivers post: man or woman? School teacher, head teacher, ambulance driver? It was amazing that my bossy little five-year-old already had formed ideas about what gender these roles should be.

As I sat and spoke to her, sharing stories that these jobs could be anyone’s, it was clear to see that opinions actually start quite early. If, at your first school, your head teacher is male and your teacher is female, from early on the boss is male. If your head teacher is female and your teacher is male, the same notion of ‘normal’ starts.

This gave me more to think about regarding quotas. It is already well-reported within the press and lots of research studies that show that, if we continue at our current pace, we will fall short of the targets set by the Lord Davies review. I can sit well in my position and think “it doesn’t really affect me,” but I know there are lots of women and men out there that it does affect.

Also, I found myself looking at my five-year-old and wondering if quotas would be such a bad thing? If our generation ‘took one for the team’, the current slow rate of change would be broken and things might suddenly change at an amazing rate and pace.

I don’t know the answer, just as I still don’t like cooked celery or red wine, but I am determined that for one five-year-old, there will be no ‘blue’ or ‘pink’ jobs. We like purple in our house and, as the quota debate continues, I have found myself edging closer to the fence, to peer over and see what the other side is doing. I hope to see you there!

Stephanie Hamilton is executive director of operations at ISS Food and Hospitality.

This blog was originally published on women1st.co.uk - you can read it here

SH-Blog-02

April 13, 2016 16:30

Stephanie Hamilton, Managing Director for ISS Food & Hospitality, reveals why the future is bright for her team


There has been a real sea change in perceptions over the last two years and now there is a belief that FM companies offer the best in foodservice

Foodservice has consistently evolved year on year. A few years ago, few believed that multi-service companies – ISS included – could offer a depth and quality of foodservice that is equal to the more long-established companies. I was never of that mindset. After all, any service delivery is made up of the sum of its parts, from strategic intent, people capability, an eye on the detail, financial stability, a credible offer that a team and clients believe in.

Sometimes, the only people left to convince is the competition. It has taken time but there has been a genuine shift in perceptions over the last two years alone so that today we know we do not face the barriers that we used to.

Many will tell you how hard it can be to change a perception. The only way one can create real change is through doggedly pursuing excellence, through people training and consistently communicating to the team of where we are and what we are capable of, raising standards and delivering beyond expectation – making the case with every meal served. Over the last few years, we have made the case and today we are seen as foodservice caterers that are skilled and expert in our discipline, and moreover we are told that we are ‘doing things differently’.

Why the sea change in perceptions? It is due to a range of factors – our passion for foodservice, our people. We recruit a ‘type of person’ heavy on the can-do attitude and attention to detail, our service levels, the support of ISS towards foodservice and we also like to carry on regardless of the external perception – ‘let them talk, whilst we do’.

It has also taken time for many to understand ISS. Few understood that ISS is a major international player but we are. We possess real depth and history to our story. ISS was founded in Copenhagen in 1901, based on a security service provision – yes, the first misconception busted, we didn’t start as a cleaning company at all! Not that there is anything wrong with providing cleaning. After all we are expected to be single service excellence in our behaviours and then when a client chooses to multiply their service provision into ISS, they are guaranteed ‘best in class’ no matter which point the customer touches. We have grown to become one of the world’s leading facility services companies with revenues amounting to DKK 74.1 billion, have been voted number 1 outsourcing provider over the past year three times. In the UK alone, we employ approximately 48,500 employees who are dedicated to delivering high quality support services. We are committed to doing business the right way. We are actively involved in corporate responsibility and sustainability initiatives and similarly, we strive to ensure that our people are paid a full and fair Living Wage.

It is our belief in service delivery that has allowed us to become world class. It has taken time for others to see that we are, but this is now happening. Whatever anyone says, I know that ISS will go the extra mile for our people and for our customers. Our executive team has a passion for food that I have rarely seen in other companies. It has been this that has led the change in perception.

I am only interested in the substance of what we do. We believe in the concept of a “team” and we live to that goal. If one looks at our leadership team, one will see a united group that all share the same values and goals.

When I joined the company, I realised that ISS was the right fit for me – I was going to be given more creative freedom with the food development team than at any other company I had worked with before, I would be able to spend most of my times at sites developing a relationship with our customers and employees and finally I saw an opportunity to leave a positive legacy within the organisation. There was still a shift in perception that needed to occur regarding IFM companies and I would like to think we have led the change in perception.

The real challenge was to prove that Integrated Facilities Management companies did not view foodservice as a side business. Let me tell you, I am nobody’s ‘bit on the side’. I am very proud of my business and my team as I know that we are making a real difference – in many ways this will be our legacy. From creating the ISS Academy of Excellence with Leeds City College, which supports young people through a vocational qualification, to a Chef’s diploma for our own team, we have placed every member of our management team on a leadership development programme, mentoring sessions, award wins – a Food Service Catey, a Cost Sector Catering Award, Hospitality Assured Award, MIDAS Menu Innovation Award and to my own Senior Executive of the Year Award the list is endless. For me, the awards are a morale boost for the team, they give that external accreditation. I have previously underestimated how much that meant to them. It feels good to work here and even better when someone’s hard work is recognised.

We are passionate about food experiences; we have all come from single-service catering companies into FM so that we can continue working on our passions and be able to provide our clients additional services if that is their need. Recent contract gains have allowed us to demonstrate our culinary skill to a wider audience. In the end, the client’s satisfaction is what determines our success. If the clients know what a quality company we are, our team can take confidence in that.”

Our journey is only partly achieved. Changing both perception and the reality is ongoing and ever present. We are still gaining momentum. If you haven’t felt the change or seen it coming then do your research because I have done mine. I know what the perception is of our business and we are enjoying the moment.

ISS create great environments and food solutions that improve the quality of our clients and customers lives

Getting Ready for the gig worker by Stephanie Hamilton, managing director, ISS Food & Hospitality

Generation Z refers to those born in the late 90’s and ‘noughties’. They are the ‘swipe, don’t type’ technology users, they find the 3D screens in the film ‘Minority Report’ dated and their idea of work and the workplace is likely to be very different to that of current workers. Are we in FM ready to work with this new group of workers?

Current research suggests that this new generation will relate to work – and their workspace –  in an entirely different manner. Theirs will be the ‘Gig Economy’.

In this Gig Economy model, workers will go from one ‘work performance’ to another and will aim for a more project-based approach where their personal and professional lives are more interlocked. They share information and experiences more readily, are likely to be more entrepreneurial, and upskill to enable themselves to gain the experience to move from project to project; and potentially from employer to employer.

All the while, this new model of worker will be in constant contact (via social media) with their diverse networks which will allow them to tap into upcoming jobs/projects, interests, trends and ideas. Because of this ‘Gigging’, they’re more likely to move from one workspace to another, yet still be able to work and rotate across various teams.

Virtual teams already exhibit some aspects of Gigging, especially if they work across local, regional and international borders. We already see some elements of this in our own company at ISS where our Integrated Teams pool ideas and excellence from across the business. For example, we recently held a sustainable food forum with clients, partners and suppliers to look at how we can better avoid surplus food creation.  Why? To help all of us learn better ways to win the hearts of minds of future workers and employees who will want to (and have to) live in a more sustainable way.

In my role in Food & Hospitality, I already have customers who are likely to share a picture and comment about their meal before it hits the table! So to keep up with this, our people keep step, sharing pictures and descriptions across social media. It seems like a small thing, but in the bigger context, it helps us to keep in touch with our clients, our customers and our employees who create the dishes, and to make sure we’re listening to each other.

Looking ahead, we’ll need to constantly innovate and find ways to make food service and how we communicate around it smarter. Because for the next generation, what we consider smarter is likely to be the norm.

Generation Z is coming up fast and we need to be ready for this ‘swipe, don’t type’ group.
 
 

Watch our top 2014 achievements

At ISS Food and Hospitality, we celebrate our successes Click to watch

We don't always get it right first time! Watch our bloopers!

At ISS Food and Hospitality, we like to have a bit of fun Click to watch

Christmas baking masterclass with Lloyd Mann

Lloyd Mann, Food Service Director, shows us how to bake up some tasty christmas eccles cakes Click to watch