Michael Bailey: Making a move

The prime architect of Compass Group's growth seems poised to repeat his success with TrustHouse Services

Back in the mid 1990s, a brash young Englishman by the name of Michael Bailey took the foodservice management industry by storm with a radical philosophy: Acquire smaller contract companies and then allow them to operate as discrete units, almost as if they were still independent companies. As president of Compass Group North America, Bailey parlayed that strategy into a multibillion-dollar empire that included such entities as Bon Appétit Management Co., Restaurant Associates, Flik International and Thompson Hospitality. It was a sound strategy, and one that continues to work, with Bon Appétit and its approach to sustainability a prime example.

Bailey “retired” as CEO of Compass Group PLC, the British parent of Compass Group N.A., in 2006. But men like Bailey are restless individuals and they don’t remain dormant for long. So it was no surprise in 2008 when he resurfaced as the co-founder of TrustHouse Services Group. Since that time, Bailey has been hard at work building his new company the same way he developed his previous firm: through acquisition. Last Friday, TrustHouse completed its latest acquisition when it merged with Valley Services Inc., the Jackson, Miss.-based contractor with a strong stable of senior nutrition clients.

And once again, Bailey is employing the strategy that has worked so well for Compass. Valley Services will continue to operate with its name and management team intact. Is another Compass Group-like firm being created? Well, the contract company landscape is markedly different from what it was in the 1990s. One colleague of mine asked whether there were many more food management firms out there worth acquiring. I don’t know, but it will be fun to follow TrustHouse and find out.

Keywords: 
new concepts

More From FoodService Director

Sponsored Content
Mrs. T’s pierogies

From Mrs. T’s Foodservice.

Today’s college and university students demand customization, but they also seek out creative riffs on familiar dishes, making comfort food an area of opportunity for college & university operators.

This is especially true as more restaurants across all sectors add comfort-food favorites such as meatloaf, potato tots and loaded fries to menus.

Operators are already starting to see how a comforting, customizable ingredient such as pierogies meets those needs: Menu mentions of pierogies as an entree are up 9.3% over the last two years,...

Sponsored Content
local produce

From WinCup.

Today’s students care deeply about sustainability—much more so than the general population. For them, sustainable practices are visit drivers. What’s more, some 57% of students are willing to pay more for sustainable foods, according to Technomic’s recent College & University Consumer Trend Report . Sustainable claims drive visits, especially for young consumers: Some 31% of Gen Zers say they’re more likely to visit restaurants that try to be sustainable.

Students are looking for foodservice operations with comprehensive sustainability programs, and...

Industry News & Opinion

Mayfield High School in Mayfield, Ohio, has opened a coffee cart in its cafeteria, The News-Herald reports .

Open throughout the day, the cart sells 12-ounce cups of coffee for $2 each. Students were able to taste-test some of the offerings and were also involved in choosing the cart’s name.

The drinks are made with low-fat milk and unsweetened flavor syrups, and soy milk is on hand for those with allergies. To encourage more breakfast participation, the school gives students 50 percent off coffee when they also buy a breakfast item. Additionally, the cart is stationed next...

Sponsored Content
boston college acai bowl

From Dannon Foodservice.

Catering to the go-go-go lifestyle of university students is a challenge, and it’s one that Boston College dining representatives wrestle with daily.

“Students don’t just want to eat dinner between 5 and 7 p.m.,” says Beth Emery, the school’s director of dining. “They may want to eat dinner at 9 o’clock. We’ve been trying to come up with creative solutions.”

Those creative solutions include everything from offering breakfast items throughout the day to providing healthier late-night choices to trolling social media for trendy new menu ideas...

FSD Resources