With the pandemic changing consumer patterns, Sodexo hopes a coming acquisition will help the company stay ahead of the curve when it comes to foodservice technology.
Earlier this month, Sodexo announced it will buy convenience-services company Frontline Food Services, a move that will broaden its tech capabilities, strengthen its presence in the Mid-Atlantic, Texas and Arizona, and more, says Husein Kitabwalla, CEO of service operations for Sodexo in North America.
Meeting customers where they are
The acquisition will enable Sodexo to expand its “any food, anytime, anywhere” strategy with services such as takeout, delivery, self-service pantries, office refreshments and smart vending.
With the ongoing rise of contactless offerings such as ghost kitchens and 24-hour micro-markets, Kitabwallahopes Frontline Foods will enable Sodexo to be more accessible to its diners, wherever they may be.
“There is an opportunity there to go outside of the regular brick and mortar, and if a [diner] is sitting somewhere and if we can connect with them virtually, then why not get them products, not unlike any of the other delivery options you have today,” he says.
All segments online
Frontline’s technology capabilities will not be limited to certain foodservice segments, Kitabwalla says. Instead, Sodexo plans to go through each of the channels it serves and find untapped opportunities that Frontline could help fill.
One such opportunity would be offering 24-hour food options for those in healthcare working overnight shifts.
“As a result of being cashless and contactless, potentially, we could provide a new product or service delivery mechanism that meets the needs of a location that's open 24 hours a day,” Kitabwalla says,” and formerly, maybe we could not have been able to do that.”