Twenty-five years ago, Compass Group PLC startled the stock market. The London-based company announced it was entering the American market. The company’s move into the U.S., which occurred through the $1 billion purchase of Canteen Corp., has proved to be one of the organization’s best decisions.
Today, as Compass Group North America celebrates its 25th anniversary, its annual revenue of $18.6 billion (fiscal year 2018) represents the biggest revenue stream within the global company, and it is the largest foodservice and support services company in North America.
But in 1994 few British companies had been successful expanding into this territory. That’s why the parent company’s stock dipped when it announced it was crossing the Atlantic. Compass Group USA went on to defy the odds by quickly learning the ropes of American businesses, focusing keenly on its employees and client companies, and applying a management concept that had been successful with its parent company in the UK, but was not widely known in the US…