Frequently Asked Questions

We are listening to our customers and are committed to providing you answers to the questions you raise.

1. Why did core meal prices increase on 1st October 2016?

2. Is it true you don’t make profit on core meals?

3. How much do service personnel pay for their meals?

4. Why do you need to ask me more questions after I have made a complaint?

5. What are you doing on sites where you operate to ensure the best standards are delivered?

6. What are the actions taken to answer concerns shared on social media?

7. What if I don’t feel like I can complain on-site?

8. Are the pictures I have seen on social media from sodexo sites?

9. Would Sodexo take legal action against comments / photos circulated on social media?

10. Why won’t Sodexo let service personnel have more cooking facilities in their accommodation blocks?

11. What should I do if I have a problem with a Sodexo employee?

 

 

1. Why did core meal prices increase on 1st October 2016?

The price rise has been mandated by the MoD following a recommendation by the Armed Forces Pay Review Body. Sodexo has not made this decision.

These key points have been provided by the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO):

  • The Armed Forces’ Pay Review Body (AFPRB) has recommend in their 2016 Report that the daily price of the Core Meal, net of Value Added Tax (VAT), under Pay As You Dine (PAYD) will become the same as the Daily Food Charge (DFC).  This will be set at £4.79 and is already the case for overseas Catering, Retail and Leisure (CRL)/PAYD units in Germany and Cyprus. Therefore on 1 Oct 16 the Core Meal price will become £5.74 inclusive of VAT. This was initially announced to Defence in Defence Information Bulletin (DIB) 10/6.
  • This change will enable Industry Partners (IPs) to provide a nutritionally balanced Core menu which meets the MOD nutrition policy as recommended by the Institute of Naval Medicine (INM).
  • For the first time since the introduction of PAYD, the right amount of money will be available to IPs to ensure their Core Meals receive funding to the equivalent value of the Daily Food Charge. This change reflects the feedback that Service Personnel (SP) are willing to pay the right amount of money for the right quantity and quality of food and will improve confidence in PAYD.
  • As the MOD pays our IPs to provide three Core Meals per day and the full cash value, less VAT is spent on food produce and ingredients, we can be sure that no profit is made on the Core Meal.
  • Details of enhancements to the Core Meal offer will be provided by local IPs through a Core Meal Charter ahead of the change to Winter menus on 1 Oct 16.
  • To ensure the increased value of the Core Meal reaches the plates of SP, an Integrated Meal Assurance Strategy has been developed which will provide regional Food Services Warrant Officers (FSWOs), in addition to regimental catering Warrant Officers (WOs) and Senior Non Commissioned Officers (SNCOs) to reinforce the Defence Infrastructure Organisation’s (DIO's) regional assurance teams to closely monitor the IPs’ performance and ensure that the improvement to the Core Meal on the plate is delivered and sustained.

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2. Is it true you don’t make profit on core meals?

As part of all catering, retail and leisure contracts with the MOD there is no profit on core meals at all. This is the same for all service providers.

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3. How much do service personnel pay for their meals?

In line with the Join Service Publication (JSP) 456 and the Core Meal Charter introduced on 1 October 2016, we provide core meals that are a minimum of 3000 kcal over three meals, with a 140g uncooked weight for single portioned protein dishes (chicken portion, fish fillets, carved meats etc.) and 120g uncooked weight for other protein dishes (bolognaise, fish pie etc.) and self-service carbohydrates (pasta, potatoes, rice etc.) and vegetables. We make no profit on these meals which are priced as follows:

  • Breakfast       £1.44 (six items plus two slices of bread with spread and preserve and a hot/cold beverage)
  • Lunch             £1.94 (one course and a hot/cold beverage)
  • Dinner            £2.36 (three courses and a hot/cold beverage)

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 4. Why do you need to ask me more questions after I have made a complaint?

We promise to investigate every complaint brought to us. To do this we need to substantiate that the complaint is genuine.

Unfortunately, we have examples of people contacting us and making false claims or using photos of food that we know was not served at a Sodexo site, was not served to them or where the photo was taken many years ago before service personnel moved to wear the current uniform.

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5. What are you doing on sites where you operate to ensure the best standards are delivered?

We have put a range of measures in place, including regular audits, to ensure that the food served by Sodexo meets the best standards possible and any complaints made at our sites are looked into and addressed straight away. Measures include:

  • Robust internal quality management procedures underpinned by ISO certification;
  • On-going training in food safety standards for all catering employees;
  • Daily review of comments books and responding appropriately;
  • Photographic evidence of our hot plates in every eatery at every sitting (to be held locally at contract level);
  • Internal quality sign off of packed meals;
  • Monitoring by the MOD including regular meetings to discuss any issues;
  • Inspections from Environmental Health resulting in four or five star food safety ratings at all our sites;
  • Audits by food and health & safety specialists resulting in a ‘green’ audit rating of 93.5% across all sites.

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6. What are the actions taken to answer concerns shared on social media?

We take seriously and continue to listen to comments on social media and through the comment books on site.

The CEO of Sodexo Defence has visited a number of military sites where we provide food. We have asked customers to log their complaints in the comments books or with Sodexo employees on site, or to contact us through this site.

There are more details on the actions that we have taken here.

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7. What if I don’t feel like I can complain on-site?

Customers can contact us directly via the by email from the contact section of this website.

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8. Are the pictures I have seen on social media from Sodexo sites?

Like everyone, we have been dismayed by the photos being shared on social media. The authenticity of those photos is in question and there is a lack of clarity when and where the pictures have been taken.

We know categorically that a number of the photos being circulated have been taken from sites where we do not operate.

We are keen to investigate complaints properly but we can only do so if customers inform the Sodexo team where they purchased the food at the time so that the issue can be looked into straight away.

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9. Would Sodexo take legal action against comments / photos circulated on social media?

There have been false statements made on social media that Sodexo intends to take legal action against people posting comments on social media. This is categorically untrue.

We do urge customers to get in touch face to face; via email or by logging their concerns in the comments books as for us to properly investigate it is important that customers inform us of the specific details of their complaints.

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10. Why won’t Sodexo let service personnel have more cooking facilities in their accommodation blocks?

The MOD is responsible for deciding which facilities are available to service personnel living in military accommodation blocks, not Sodexo or any other service provider.

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11. What should I do if I have a problem with a Sodexo employee?

There have been incidents where photographs of our employees have been posted on-line and humiliating comments written about them. This is not fair. If you have a complaint about our staff please contact us privately where we will investigate and update you. However, public shaming of employees will not be tolerated.

Similarly, we‘ve had a few negative comments put on our posts on our employee Facebook page.  These comments are completely unrelated to the post – often placed on celebratory stories about employees (charity fundraising events, anniversaries or things that people have done really well) –and it is not acceptable that people should be ridiculed – they are just doing their jobs. We will remove these comments if we feel that they are not appropriate.

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