Every company has its own identity, but at Compass it’s the 1,500 people who work to satisfy their customers. The figures prove it: these professionals prepare more than 180,000 meals every day and serve 260 companies, administrations, schools and health establishments in Belgium. Not a secret: to remain the largest company in the contract catering market, Compass guarantees impeccable working conditions for its staff. Certified as a top employer in Belgium in 2021, for the fourth year running, Compass knows that happy employees make delicious food.

Quality food is not informing food

Compass has been supplying and managing numerous canteens for many years. High-quality food has kept the customers happy so far. But the demands of one of these restaurants have prompted them to innovate. Alain Krabs, Operations Director at Compass, explains: One of our clients had high demands in terms of the information he wanted to give to his guests. In addition to the nutritional aspects, he wanted to accompany the dishes served with information on the environmental impact. We were already providing information on allergens and certain components of our meals, but this was a new challenge.
The INCO1169 regulation requires information on allergens but some restaurants, in response to consumer expectations, have decided to go further. For example, with consumers becoming more aware of climate change, some are rightly questioning the carbon footprint of their food. Some companies also want to reduce their CO2 emissions. Between the challenges encountered in production and the new challenges, Alain Crabs adds: “We offer a variety of dishes that change every day. Operationally, a recipe may change at the last minute because of a product delivery problem, a change of supplier, stock shortage, juggling these changes is already complicated but giving, in addition, real-time information on the carbon footprint became a real challenge that we took up with Youmeal”.

Case study

Alin Crabs, Compass – Director of Operations

“Youmeal allows us to differentiate ourselves by automatically giving our customers the content of our recipes: allergens, ingredients but also the exact ecological footprint.”


  • Easier management of recipe changes by the teams
  • Automatic management of allergens, ingredients and environmental impact
  • Differentiating arguments when it comes to the competition
  • Well-informed guests

Guests who understand the ecological footprint of the meals

Compass therefore began using the Youmeal software to meet this client’s needs. Youmeal not only allowed the quick and accurate calculation of the environmental impacts of thousands of meals, but also facilitated the automatic presentation of these through comprehensive and didactic dish and menu cards. These cards include allergens, nutrients and labels. This means that diners are informed in real time and without effort. This also provides Compass with a concrete action plan for reducing CO2 emissions.

To provide fast and reliable results on tens of thousands of products, recipes and menus, Youmeal relies on 4 major assets: its giant database, its algorithms, its dedicated interfaces and its team of experts. The database covers 3,500 fully qualified generic products (apples, chicken drumsticks, etc.). It also covers hundreds of thousands of branded products, which can be easily retrieved (based on their EAN, supplier references, names and so on) in order to document the client’s products. Dedicated interfaces allow chefs to easily encode their recipes and menus, based on the customer’s own products, and the algorithms analyse the recipes and menus automatically. As a result, your recipe for cod fillet in a spice crust with baby vegetables will automatically include fish, the required nutrients and even its environmental footprint.

Youmeal’s algorithms can calculate all the results of a recipe: allergens, nutritional values, nutri-score, vegan, veggie, presence of pork or other delicate ingredients, labels (organic, MSC, etc.), material cost, carbon footprint, water consumption, soil, endangered fish, eco-score and even nutri-eco-score.

Sophie Flagothier, CTO of Youmeal explains: “Our algorithms take into account food processing such as cleaning (the bones in 200g of chicken drumsticks are not eaten), cooking (pasta, spinach, etc.) and dilution. Without this, the results are wrong! A final prowess of our algorithms is to put all this together instantly for a pleasing result for the diners”.

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