Elior has rallied its troops to address the current sanitary crisis and its catering and services teams are fully engaged to help caregivers and other vital support teams in their daily fight to stop the spread of COVID-19. In France, Italy, Spain, the UK, the USA and India, Elior and its 110,000 employees are working hand in hand with its guests, clients and partners to address both this sanitary crisis and its economic and social impact. As a responsible and supportive caterer, Elior lends support to caregivers as well as to the most vulnerable local communities.

To address those challenges, the Group has put into place the following actions:

  • Teams working on the frontline to support members of the medical corps and other vital forces who are fighting to curb the spread of COVID-19
  • Security measures reinforced for our teams, our customers, and our guests
  • Constant customer support during the crisis to implement their business continuity plans
  • Permanent dialogue with our partners and suppliers
  • A supportive commitment in the countries where we are established
  • Constant attention paid to the teams impacted by the adaptation of our organizations: priority given to maintaining employment and mobility
  • A support fund set up for employees most exposed to the consequences of the crisis
  • The Board of Directors will submit a proposal at the next Annual General Meeting that the Group does not pay out shareholder dividends for the 2019-2020 financial year

More than ever, this crisis demonstrates that Elior is a large company with solid fundamentals, which were reinforced by its recent withdrawal from the concession business. Above all, our Group benefits from its rich diversity in terms of its catering and service businesses, its know-how, its expertise, and the values ​​of the women and men who make Elior what it is every day.

— Gilles Cojan - Chairman of Elior Group

Since the beginning of this global health crisis, multiple initiatives have been taken to mobilize our teams in   all of the Group’s operating zones around the world. Elior is a responsible and supportive caterer. Faced with this unprecedented crisis, we can all be proud of the exceptional commitment demonstrated by our teams to accomplish their missions of general interest. I am referring to our employees mobilized in healthcare establishments and central kitchens, as well as to those who have volunteered to join them, not to forget our support staff, some of whom are tele-working from home. My thoughts also go out to our teams who have been forced to stop working because of the necessary implementation of containment measures, particularly in the business and education sectors where we had to rapidly adapt our organization to cope with a significant slowdown in activity. In catering as in services, our teams provide the essential link in the incredible chain that has been deployed everywhere to support caregivers.

— Philippe Guillemot - CEO of Elior Group

Teams on the front line, supporting members of the medical corps and other vital forces who are fighting today to curb the spread of COVID-19

Elior’s health sector activities are fully mobilized to support catering in all of our countries, as well as services in France. The current crisis underscores the essential character of our missions in support of the public services of governments and local authorities, particularly in hospitals, clinics, retirement homes, and institutions for disabled people, as well as providing home meal-delivery services to isolated elderly people and lending support to those involved in vital activities (army, police, fire-fighters, defense, etc.).

  • Throughout the world, more than 25,000 Elior employees in the health sector are working in more than 3,000 sites alongside healthcare staff.
  • Several dozen of our central kitchens have also been mobilized to provide meals to healthcare personnel currently requisitioned by the authorities, as well as to fragile, isolated people. 

Security measures reinforced for our teams, our customers, and our guests

Since the end of January, all sites operated by Elior have scrupulously followed the recommendations of the healthcare authorities intended to stem the spread of the virus. Briefings are regularly reiterated and updated to remind employees of these instructions. 

  • For example several weeks ago, each of our subsidiaries, both in France and globally, set up a dedicated internal telephone line to keep our employees informed and to answer their questions.
  • A dedicated information board has also been installed at all of our sites to communicate best practices and barrier gestures which, since the beginning of the crisis, are systematically reiterated in the safety briefings given on-site before each shift change.
  • In our central kitchens and all of our restaurants, the rules of hygiene, security and traceability have been further strengthened in strict compliance with the instructions of occupational medicine and in accordance with the Health Control Plan (use of bactericides for dish washing, food spill storage, handling plates and cutlery with gloves, treating work surfaces with bactericide, debacterization of work clothes, etc.).

All employees responsible for safety and health at the workplace, as well as our teams in charge of human resources, have been mobilized to support our teams, notably to ensure the supply of protective equipment adapted to carrying out their specific missions.


Constant customer support during the crisis to implement their business continuity plans

Elior teams have rapidly organized themselves to offer suitable solutions to our customers by providing them with all the necessary support to implement their business continuity plans, while respecting strict health and safety conditions. 

  • We offer specific provisions such as staggering work shifts, the preparation of individualized meals, preparing standard self-service dishes, and pre-packed lunches, etc.
  • Several of our central kitchens usually dedicated to the Education sector have been reallocated to the production of meals intended for emergency services, hospitals and retirement homes, as well as for home meal delivery.

Constant dialogue with our partners and suppliers

Being a responsible caterer also means maintaining a constant dialogue with our supplier partners (distributors, producers and manufacturers) in order to anticipate and limit logistical and financial risks.

At the beginning of the crisis, Elior set up a system to monitor the impact of the slump in its suppliers’ activity (invoice management, payment terms, etc.). This individual monitoring system is also aimed at aligning continuity plans and promoting the joint management of the impact of this crisis on the supply chain: destocking of fresh products, revision of delivery schedules, substitutes etc.

  • To limit food waste, Elior - in collaboration with Danone and Bergams, on the one hand, and Pomona on the other - have for example reduced their stockpiles of fresh products by making donations to healthcare establishments. 

A commitment to solidarity in the countries where we are established

Faithful to their regional roots, Elior teams are mobilized wherever they are present to carry out solidarity actions for local populations in need, for example:

In France, Elior and its subsidiaries “Ansamble” and “Alsacienne de Restauration”  offered more than 3,000 meals to the Red Cross to provide emergency aid for the people most in need.

  • In Italy, over the past 3 weeks in the municipality of Casalecchio di Renoour, our teams have donated more than 5,000 meals to families on public welfare and in particular to housebound people aged 65 and older.
  • In Spain, the closure of all school structures has placed scholarship students from the most modest backgrounds in a highly precarious situation. In collaboration with the Junta de Andalucía and other collective catering companies, Elior’s Spanish subsidiary, Serunion, will guarantee the distribution of meals to 18,000 Andalusian students during the confinement period.
  • In Great Britain, in order to reduce food waste and to support local communities, Elior UK has teamed up with Olio and already organized nearly 50 collections of surplus food that has been redistributed to the most underprivileged.
  • In the United States, while public schools are closed the Elior NA teams in Saint Peter (Minnesota) have implemented solutions to continue distributing meals to the thousands of students who are very often dependent on school meals offered free or at reduced prices.
  • In India, Elior India ensures the delivery of meals prepared in the central kitchens to the most underprivileged in collaboration with the government. 

Constant attention paid to the teams impacted by the adaptation of our organizations: priority given to maintaining employment and mobility

Containment measures, the closure of nurseries, schools, colleges, high schools and universities, as well as the obligation to work from home implemented to counter the spread of COVID-19 have caused a significant decrease in activity in the education and business markets. 

To cope with this major slowdown which is impacting all of our operating countries, Elior is adapting its organization. The Group now uses all existing mechanisms (imposing days of annual leave, internal mobility, short time working, training, and maintaining medical insurance in the United States, etc.) as well as additional country-specific regulatory measures, aimed at minimizing the economic and social impact of this crisis on the teams.

In this context, Elior is also giving priority to internal mobility to strengthen its highly solicited Health sector teams, and those in the central kitchens, particularly to respond to a sharp increase in the supply of meals.
Our operational and HR teams are therefore fully mobilized to find mobility solutions that allow us to adapt on a daily basis, while keeping the maximum number of employees in employment.

  • In the United States, our Prepared Meals activity has increased its workforce by several dozen of employees, coming from our other entities, to meet growing demand for meal deliveries to vulnerable and isolated people.
  • In France, more than 300 employees from the Education and Business sectors have already volunteered to lend support to their colleagues in the Health sector to meet the sharp increase in the needs of hospitals and nursing homes.
  • To better organize the mobility of employees from one activity to another, in 2016 Elior notably teamed up with Andjaro, a French platform enabling restaurant managers to second employees to strengthen teams on sites requiring additional staff. This platform is currently deployed at nearly 2,000 Elior sites in France, as well as in Great Britain.

A support fund for employees most exposed to the consequences of the crisis

Aware of the potential impact of this crisis, Elior decided to create a solidarity fund to support the most vulnerable of its employees. To finance this fund:

  • Group directors decided to reduce their compensation packages by up to 25% for the 2019-2020 financial year.
  • Gilles Cojan, Chairman of Elior Group, and Philippe Guillemot, Chief Executive Officer of Elior Group, decided to reduce their compensation by 25% during the crisis.
  • After consultation, the members of the Group Executive Committee all voluntarily agreed to reduce their compensation by 20% in the coming months.

In the United States, a dedicated fund is already in place to assist employees whose jobs have been affected by this crisis. This specific solidarity fund will be financed by the Group and by exceptional contributions from the CEO of Elior NA and all the members of the Elior NA Executive Committee who have collectively taken the initiative to reduce their compensation in the coming months. 

At Elior’s next Annual General Meeting the Board of Directors will submit a proposal that the Group does not pay out dividends to shareholders for the 2019-2020 financial year

At the Board of Directors meeting on April 3, 2020, Elior’s four key shareholders (BIM, Emesa, FSP and CDPQ) stressed their support and confidence in the Group and in the strategy implemented by the management team.

To underscore this commitment, they decided to submit a proposal at the next Annual General Meeting in March 2021 that the Group does not pay out shareholder dividends so that these funds may be kept in the company to finance its development and its jobs over the long term.