Compass Group Canada, a leading food service and support provider in Canada, has announced the launch of an innovation division.
The move supports what the company calls its pursuit to become the industry’s most innovative food and support service company and doubles down on its commitment to stay ahead of industry trends by investing in state-of-the-art technology, new culinary concepts, sustainability and frictionless experiences.
Compass Group Canada already has a tech division, Compass Digital Labs (CDL), which was established in 2016. While technology will no doubt be a continued priority for the innovation team, their scope will be broader, focus on thinking about the customer of the future, and plan for their experience in food and hospitality.
“By devoting a division to innovation, we are investing in future-proofing the industry for our guests and clients,” said Heather Wilkie, vice president, innovation. “We hope to tap into the real needs of our customers and find those true value-add and exciting experiences that offer something new. We don’t want to be different just for the sake of it – we want to respond to real inefficiencies, real needs, and real wants.”
The innovation team, led by led by Chief Innovation Officer, Michael Hachey, and newly appointed Vice President of Innovation, Heather Wilkie, includes subject matter experts across multiple fields, from user experience design, AI consulting, technology transformation, go-to-market, consumer research, and sustainability.
The team is already moving forward with over 30 potential new innovations to test run over the next few years. Their intention is to continue partnering with new start-ups and entrepreneurs who are looking to leverage Compass Group Canada’s scale as a place to pilot their offerings and help elevate the customer experience.
“Innovation is, at its core, a trial-and-error process. This team is casting a wide net, looking at several potential game-changers across multiple fields, and trying them out,” said Michael Hachey, chief innovation officer. “We aren’t afraid to test and try lots of concepts – knowing not everything will stick. The reward is in the challenge and finding those key pieces that truly elevate our guest experience.”
Compass Group Canada has over 20,000 associates working in more than 2,200 locations throughout the country. The company specializes in providing food services and support, including facilities management and vending services. It works across core sectors including leading sports and leisure venues, executive dining rooms and cafes, schools, universities, seniors’ residences, and hospitals, as well as remote camps and offshore oil rigs.