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

Ideas and Innovation
aquaponics produce

We partnered with a student group interested in aquaponics to build a recirculating fish tank and lettuce growing operation in our Oval Dining Center. The large tanks are stocked with tilapia that live in the water and fertilize lettuce growing in the recirculating water under grow lights. We then harvest the lettuce and use it in our operations. The unit is set up in the dining room where customers can see the science in action, learn about the process and enjoy the fresh lettuce that was just picked.

Ideas and Innovation
fridge system

We installed a remote refrigeration system as part of our cafeteria renovation. The main part of the system is located on the roof and controls all our refrigerated equipment, including the walk-in freezer and coolers, beverage refrigerator, etc. The system allows us to identify problems faster, and the elimination of individual condenser units cuts down on A/C bills as well as noise.

Industry News & Opinion

Students at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor will be served student-grown produce from the campus farm at dining halls this fall, M Live reports.

The dining team received its first batch of produce from UM’s on-campus farm in June, after students received the proper USDA certification to grow, harvest and deliver food to campus dining halls. In order to figure out what produce is needed, students communicate with the dining department weekly, and Michigan Dining purchases items accordingly.

"The students are involved from seed to plate," Executive Chef Frank Turchan...

Sponsored Content
college students eating

From Ovention.

Today’s colleges and universities know they should offer more than a large selection of breakfast cereals in the morning and chicken tenders at lunch to appeal to students. When it comes to what’s trending on campuses, here’s a look at what directors can tune into to boost engagement.

1. Expanded dining hours

Late-night options have long been a popular fixture on college campuses, but if it’s too late, students often choose to venture to off-campus retailers to satisfy their cravings. According to Technomic’s 2017 College & University Consumer Trend...

FSD Resources