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

Menu Development
sauces

Adding an entirely new cuisine to the menu can feel daunting. But what if you could dabble in international flavors simply by introducing a few new condiments? For inspiration, FSD talked to operators who are offering a range of condiments plucked from global regional cuisines.

“Most ethnic cuisines have some sort of sauce or condiment relishes that go with their dishes,” says Roy Sullivan, executive chef with Nutrition & Food Services at UCSF Medical Center in San Francisco. Condiments offered to diners at UCSF Medical include chimichurri (Argentina), curry (India), tzatziki (...

Ideas and Innovation
turnip juice brine

Give leftover brine new life by adding it to vegetables. In an interview with Food52, Stuart Brioza, chef and owner of State Bird Provisions in San Francisco, says that he adds a splash of leftover brine while sauteeing mushrooms to increase their flavor profile. “We like to ferment turnips at the restaurant, and it’s a great way to use that brine—though dill pickle brine would work just as well,” he says.

Menu Development
side dishes

Operators looking to increase sales of side dishes may want to focus on freshness and value. Here’s what attributes consumers say are important when picking sides.

Fresh - 73% Offered at a fair price - 72% Satisfies a craving - 64% Premium ingredients - 56% Natural ingredients - 49% Signature side - 47% Something familiar - 46% Housemade/made from scratch - 44% Something new/unique - 42% Large portion size - 42% Healthfulness - 40% Family-size - 40%

Source: Technomic’s 2017 Starters, Small Plates and Sides Consumer Trend Report , powered by Ignite

Ideas and Innovation
earth

When putting together our surveys, FoodService Director’s editors tend to ask operators about big trends that we’re seeing throughout the industry. For the November "Besties" issue , we asked readers to share the best ways they’re menuing things like plant-based dishes, trending international cuisines and creative DIY options.

Great responses flooded in from across the country, and it was tough to narrow down which would make it into the cover story. A few even came in after the piece was finished. Laura Thompson, resident district manager for Aramark at James Madison University,...

FSD Resources