Hi there...

Our People Header


When it comes to talking about great food, our people are the ‘unique ingredient'.

They’re not just the icing on the cake or the egg that binds it together, they are the driving force behind the business that deliver unique, award-winning, industry challenging, taste tingling, sensational solutions to you, day after day after day.




Clare’s working career started in a restaurant, which she was soon asked to run; however, a delay in the opening meant that she went to work for Eurest. Although she’d never heard of either Compass Group or Eurest, she loved it and especially the interest that they took in her and her job.

Best of all, Clare loved the scale and opportunities that the role offered and was persuaded to join the Academy development programme for an all-round experience, in order to progress her career for some ‘career rounding’, as it was described. It turned out to be a baptism of fire – with real adrenalin-rush experiences, including one quite unique one working at a large music awards ceremony where Clare learned how to serve three courses and clear the room within a mind boggling 55 minutes.

A further five years at one of our key clients and further support from the academy enabled Clare to become a customer experience champion - fully appreciating the role that excellence plays in both consistency and performance if Eurest is to ensure it meets and exceeds client expectations.

Clare’s current role in Business Excellence is to deliver, along with her seven colleagues, Eurest’s commitments to its clients in terms of health and wellbeing, as well as meeting the broader needs of the business; a considerable balancing act! At present Clare specifically looks after hot beverages - a strategically important component of the business and one that every client and customer demands and expects to be right every time.

Considering the breadth of units across a huge portfolio of clients, with over 1021 individual locations, this is not a mission to be taken lightly; Clare is the two-way link between Eurest and the ultimate customer-facing teams, with the objective of ensuring best practice and delivery of excellence day in, day out.

Clare feels passionately about the level of expertise and detail needed to fulfil Eurest’s desire to get it right – and it’s not about words, but proof through actions.

As Clare puts it, “With the sheer diversity of outlets and individual challenges, needing to meet everyone’s needs – clients, customers (and of course ours) – there’s no shortage of variety or fulfilment – there’s never a dull moment!”

Clare sums up her motivation as being the ability to make a difference every day, and the inspiration that she derives from her colleagues and clients; how the business strives to be consistently the best.


Alison Richardson

Customer Experience Manager

Alison’s deep-seated love of food really took off at the beginning of her career, during her training as a chef. After a few years of satisfying, hands-on creation in the kitchen, she moved into the management side of catering.

As a Senior Catering Manager, Alison relished the challenge of developing her site to become the first Eurest Centre for Excellence in the UK. From there she moved into operations, as a group then a regional manager.

But her desire to drive an outstanding experience for customers led her to a central role within Business Excellence, culminating in her current role as Customer Experience Manager. During her first year in the post, Alison’s proud to have supported the refurbishment process of every catering outlet within the one of our large contracts, and looks forward to building on this success.

Loyal, dedicated and driven to succeed, Alison gets the most satisfaction from the part of her role that supports and develops people in the workplace. She combines a love of getting things ‘just right’ at work with raising her son, Zack — her true lifetime achievement.

Alison’s drive and ambition is summed up in her favourite quote: “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”


Claire Swift

Account Director

Claire started her catering career as an 18-year-old management trainee. From there, she worked through several Chef Manager and Catering Manager roles — she even squeezed in a year running a Sports and Social Club at East Midlands Airport. After many years as a District Manager, she went in to Business Development for 12 months — but couldn’t wait to get back into Operations.

Claire retired in 2016, but it didn’t stick. Looking for a new challenge, she joined us as an Account Director — running one of our major telecommunications and IT accounts. 

In her role, Claire looks after all of her client’s Compass catering services across the UK and Ireland. It’s her responsibility as Account Director to ensure that every one of her client’s people get foodservice that’s the best of the best.

Asked how she would describe herself, Claire says:

“I’m a glass-half-full kind of girl. I love my job, enjoy life and always have a smile for everyone. I surround myself with great people who are equally as passionate as I am. I take the time to get to know my people and will do everything I can to help develop them.”

Her favourite saying?

“Treat people as you would wish to be treated yourself.”


Dominic Donylal

Business Director

After graduating in hotel and business management, Dominic started his career at the Hilton Group, working at its flagship five-star deluxe property at Park Lane in London. After few years with the National Health Service and Sodexho, he joined Compass Group in 2005 and has enjoyed working in several sectors over the past 12 years, learning, growing and gaining a thorough understanding of what makes the overall business tick.
In Eurest, Dominic saw an organisation that shared his values — understanding customers, great and exciting food, a culture of safety and a relentless focus on driving results. It was this that brought Dominic into the Eurest fold, and he started working with us as a Business Director in February 2017.

In this role, Dominic is fully responsible for two of the largest accounts Compass has across the UK and Ireland. He’s responsible for more than 1,000 team members, who in turn look after over 170,000 customers via 135 catered locations and more than 2,000 vending locations across the UK.

Dominic’s a creative thinker, who likes to explore alternative solutions to problems and have an open mind about what will work best. And, at the same time, he’s certainly someone who’s more likely to be controlling a situation than letting a situation control him. So it comes as no surprise that, when asked what his favourite saying was, he chose this:

“Luck is a matter of preparation meeting opportunity.”


Donna Phillips

Head of Operations

It’s fair to say that Donna has seen and done it all. With more than 20 years’ experience in catering, she has worked her way up from a waitressing job to become Head of Operations at Eurest.

Her big break came at Sodexo, where she elevated herself from the position of Hospitality Admin Booking Assistant — through Office Manager, Catering Manager and Group Manager — to Regional Manager, all in the space of four years.

After working as an FM Manager for a blue-chip company, she joined Eurest as one of our regional managers — because she loved the variety in the role. But it wasn’t long before she reached the level of Head of Operations for the South of UK.

In her current role, Donna’s responsible for the operational and strategic direction of more than 60 key Eurest accounts in the south of England. Leading a team of five regional managers, she pushes everyone she works with to deliver an excellent service and build lasting relationships with our clients.

An effective leader, Donna is a warm, approachable character who shares her keenness to develop and coach the people she works with. And her favourite quote illustrates this:

“A person who feels appreciated will always do more than what’s expected of them.”


Gaye Thomas

National Account Executive

Gaye’s love for food has seen her gain more than 35 years’ experience in the foodservice industry. And her varied roles in that time — from Head Chef to Regional Manager — have given her a unique insight into all areas of our business.

Just to prove Gaye’s culinary credentials, she’s an accredited City & Guilds Master Chef. This means she knows exactly how to cook up a storm in the kitchen, and plate up the best food possible. She’s also won a range of Eurest awards, including Driving the Business Forward and We’re Obsessive about Excellence.

In her current role as National Account Executive, she uses her expert food knowledge to manage some of Eurest’s biggest contracts. This sees her looking after more than 35 key sites across the UK — working with clients and onsite teams to deliver the highest standards of food and service to a huge number of customers.

The key to Gaye’s success is that she’s always positive, enthusiastic and relishes a challenge (not to mention a good laugh along the way). And her fondness for food is borne out by her favourite quote: “People who love to eat are generally the best people”.


Simon Law

Regional Manager

Simon’s worked in operations management for 19 years now — so it’s safe to say he knows a thing or two about foodservice.

He has management experience at every level — from site to regional — with his previous roles including time as a Regional Ops Manager role in mainland Europe. During this time, he worked across several territories (including Germany, Gibraltar and the South Atlantic Islands), looking after the strategic direction and delivery of catering, food and beverage services that covered restaurants, coffee shops and fine dining events.

Simon was drawn to Eurest because of our values and commitment to delivering an exceptional experience in what can be challenging environments. He was also attracted by the opportunity for real career development, and the structured learning tools that we offer to help our people achieve their full potential.

In his role as Regional Manager, Simon now leads on client relationships, making sure that we always deliver on our clients’ fundamental needs. He’s also in charge of operational and financial delivery across a portfolio of accounts in the South West.

Simon’s a focused, passionate and committed individual — and we’re lucky to have him on board. Asked what his favourite saying is, Simon replied: “Living the dream.” We think that says a lot about his commitment to Eurest, and his clients.