36 Hours in the City

October 17, 2015

Working at Compass Group’s North American headquarters in Charlotte, it’s sometimes easy to forget that our business doesn’t really exist in our office building, but in our accounts across the nation. We connect with those accounts by hosting six Compass Community Councils (CCC) in different U.S. cities each year. The final CCC of 2015 took place in Jersey City. While in town, I had the opportunity to visit three showcase Compass accounts in Manhattan, attend a charity concert to end forced labor around the globe, and take part in the largest gathering of Compass associates I’ve seen. It was an exciting and exhausting day and a half, but I wouldn’t have missed it for anything.

House-made pizza bar

House-made pizza bar

Our account tours began at the flagship office for a New York City law firm in Times Square. With a beautiful cafe operated by Restaurant Associates, dining area overlooking the city and an expansive wine vault to make any connoisseur jealous, one can’t help but be impressed by the account, and that’s without having tasted any of the food (which we eventually did, and the custom pizza bar with house made dough and burrata was out of this world). But beyond the cafe and the food, the most resonating part of our visit came while we enjoyed our late morning snack and conversed with Larry Scagnelli, the account director. He described the associates there as a family and that their closeness extended beyond their 30 person team, but to all those who work at the firm.

NYTimes Dining Room

NYTimes Dining Room

The next stop on our tour was a short walk across 41st street to the headquarters of The New York Times. Their two story cafe and dining room serve as an innovation center for Restaurant Associates accounts in NYC. The NYTimes cafe has tested and developed stations over the years including; Qbowl, Super Salads, Dawg House, Global Street Food in partnership with Chef Marcus Samuelsson and BIRD. The BIRD and Super Salads concepts were awarded Best of Show from Food Management in 2014. In addition to a passion for culinary innovation, the NYTimes RA team also focuses on food diversity. Over the years, they have partnered with The New York Times Diversity Affinity Networks to develop festival menus in the cafe for cultural and religious holidays.

Not a bad view from Google's outdoor dining area.

Not a bad view from Google’s outdoor dining area.

Our final stop on the tour was to Google NYC. The Google Food Team’s vision is to inspire and enable Googlers to make food choices and use food experiences to develop more sustainable lifestyles and communities which is why they offer a variety of food and food experiences like cafes, micro-kitchens and mobile offerings.

 Questlove DJ's all the best parties.

Questlove DJ’s all the best parties.

That evening, my team was invited to the Rock in a Free World VIP event and concert at the Highline Ballroom in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood for Compass Group’s work and partnership with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW). CIW’s mission is to end slavery in Florida’s tomato fields and ensure fair pay for laborers. Hosted by Ariba and Made in a Free World, the event served as a call to action for businesses around the world to eliminate modern day slavery in their supply chains and also as a celebration of the progress made so far. Natasha Bedingfield lent her voice to the cause along with DJ Questlove’s talents headlining the night.

COO Rick Post showcases Compass' footprint in the region.

COO Rick Post showcases Compass’ footprint in the region.

Our whirlwind adventure wrapped up with the event that brought us to the city to begin with, the sixth and final Compass Community Council (CCC) of 2015 at the Liberty Science Center. Having already visited Phoenix, Fort Worth, Cleveland, Indianapolis and Atlanta this year, the New York/New Jersey CCC was by far the largest with nearly 800 attendees. Along with Compass officers sharing financial and market information on the company, we also take this opportunity to recognize associates who go above and beyond with the great service they provide every day. We also recognize associates with over 25 years of service with Compass Group. In the New York/New Jersey area alone, we have over 440 associates with more than 25 years of service! As each name appears on screen, cheers are heard across the audience from fellow associates.

Days like these serve as a nice reminder of what working for Compass Group is really about and makes me look forward to the day my name scrolls on screen at a CCC. We’ll be visiting six cities again next year and look forward to seeing you there!

– By Jonathan Squibb, Communications & Engagement Specialist, Compass Group USA