Leading contract catering companies in Europe 2017, based on sales

Sodexo was the leading contract catering company in Europe in 2017, with sales of around 7.8 billion euros. Two of the other biggest players were Compass Group and Elior, both reaching sales of over six million euros respectively. The four largest players, Sodexo, Compass, Elior and Aramark, all operate across several countries in Europe as well as globally. Many of the smaller players are more local/regional, such as CIR Food in Italy, Fazer in Finland, and Groupe API in France.

What is contract catering?

Contract catering is a subsector of the food service industry that concerns companies hired to provide food services to businesses or other organizations on a regular basis. It includes catering in hospitals, schools, and other public sector organizations, plus commercial catering in hotels, at events, sports arenas and other leisure venues. Besides providing food services, some companies also cross into facility management, where they provide additional support services such as cleaning, waste management and reception duties.

Catering and foodservice market in Europe

The leading three contract catering companies in this ranking also generated some of the highest revenues across the European foodservice market, making it one of the most important but often overlooked segments. Other foodservice segments include quick service restaurants (i.e. fast food), fullservice restaurants, travel (airport, rail and highway service areas) and retail/in-store operators (e.g. Ikea).

Leading contract catering companies based on turnover/system sales in Europe in 2017*

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Release date

December 2018



Survey time period


Supplementary notes

* Turnover/system sales without VAT in Europe in 2016.
** Estimate.

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Statistics on "Catering services worldwide"

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