Sodexo’s partnership with the International School of Beijing

"Coffee is always a good idea"

The upgrade of ASPRETTO, Sodexo’s coffee bar in Shanghai American School

Shanghai American School (SAS) was originally founded by the United States Consulate in 1912, to provide education services to the children of expatriates in Shanghai. Since then, SAS has grown to become one of the largest international schools in Shanghai. SAS now provides international education from kindergarten through to high school to students from nearly 50 countries and regions at their two campuses, located in Pudong and Puxi.

For seven years, Sodexo has provided international catering services to over 1,400 students and 200 faculty members at Puxi Campus. Sodexo has upgraded the ASPRETTO coffee bar in the school cafeteria to offer a more rewarding and satisfying experience for clients and customers by enhancing the products as well as services.

ASPRETTO, “more than just coffee”

At the beginning of the new term, when students and teachers entered the school early in the morning, they would find that the original coffee bar had undergone a quiet transformation over the weekend. The most eye-catching new addition was the Grab & Go display fridge that showcased a range of new food and beverage choices. Not only had the facilities been transformed, but also the menu itself – which now included hot food, fresh salad, a range of different cakes, homemade juice and eco-friendly pre-packaged drinks.

All those have brought more delicious options to Shanghai American Schools' teachers and students from all over the world besides lunch and dinner. Previously, ASPRETTO coffee bar had only offered a relatively limited selection of bottled drinks, pre-made coffee and sandwiches.

Talking about the new additions, one student from SAS said, "There are many new options that help us to deal with the changing seasons. It is getting chilly recently and now we can buy hot food at the coffee bar conveniently." Not only are the new additions delicious, but they are also practical and provide a wider range to suit individual tastes and situations.

Speaking of the reason for the upgrade, Laurent Houdremont, Offer Development Manager of Sodexo China's education segment said, “For international schools, the coffee bar service is indispensable. This is a kind of 'necessity'. Many of our clients need similar services. A lot of schools may have this 'service' now, but Sodexo always tries to make it better in a more humanized and customized way. This upgrade made our coffee bar more appealing to our consumers. It also makes our overall service more competitive for our current and potential clients.”

The results of this upgrade are very positive. In addition to great oral feedback, the food and drinks in the coffee bar sells faster, which further indicates the coffee bar’s success and popularity amongst the teachers and students after the transformation.

Green practice through ASPRETTO

According to Laurent, , there are three Sodexo employees deployed at the SAS coffee bar to serve consumers and meet their ever-changing needs which, increasingly, include a focus on environmental sustainability. He said: “The Chinese market is changing fast, which requires us to respond and execute quickly. Sodexo's international platform and diverse expert resources provide us with outstanding samples and benchmarks; the excellent local practice and adaptation of our front-line staff is the key to our customer satisfaction. At the same time, Sodexo's persistence and practice of sustainability as well as the respect towards our surroundings also show in daily operation of each site."

When the Shanghai local government introduced new requirements of garbage classification and plastic reduction, Sodexo were able to actively and promptly respond. Through efficient teamwork, Sodexo quickly found a variety of substitute solutions such as equally delicious drinks with plastic-free packaging and put them on the shelves immediately. These initiatives fully demonstrated Sodexo's active commitment to corporate responsibility, and won praise from customers. Environmental protection is not only Sodexo's corporate responsibility, but also an important part of its sustainable development strategy.

Every employee is committed to implementing Sodexo's vision "Better Tomorrow 2025" in their daily work as Sodexo believes that even the smallest, everyday moments have the power and ability to positively impact our health, our communities, and the world around us. Corporate development and social responsibility both require us to consistently implement actions that are better, safer, healthier and more environmentally sustainable – from the food we serve, to the packaging it is served in. Thus, the switch to environmentally friendly packaging at the SAS coffee bar was made, which resulted in reducing our ecological-footprint and increasing the quality of life for our consumers and planet. Ultimately, our goal is to help build a better tomorrow with the actions we take today.

Strengthening the bonds of community through ASPRETTO

“Our teachers and students have benefited from the upgrade a lot," said the client  General Affair manager, Yvonne Zhu, from SAS. "We are not just a school, but a community. In addition to providing the required products, Sodexo's coffee bar service provides an independent space for students and faculty that strengthens the connections between individuals in the campus.

Adrian Copeland, Segment Director of Education of Sodexo China, said the impact of the coffee bar upgrade was highly significant: "the success of this project goes along with our long-term plan that we have to think ahead of our customers to meet their needs and even lead the trend." And this is a prime representation of Sodexo's core values and competitive "quality of life services".

By the end of 2020, Sodexo will have upgraded more than 30 coffee bars in schools and universities across China to bring a higher quality and standard to our clients. Sodexo’s coffee bar services will continue to play an important role in various organizations and communities to strengthen bonds, support environmental protection and, of course, provide delicious food and beverages.