Virtually overnight, Marriott Management Services and Sodexho USA went from an industry leader and a runner-up to the undisputed onsite giant. With 4,800 clients and 100,000 employees, the merged company is one of the country’s 50 largest employers and serves an unrivaled 4 million contract meals to North Americans every day. The company’s volume is such that its Gourmet Bean service, included in more than half its food accounts, is the fifth-largest coffee brand in the United States.
Having combined names, the company’s first task was to merge operations, which meant blending two sets of employees, two sets of accounts and two sets of operations ranging from purchasing to payroll.
Of the two companies, Marriott clearly was the power hitter, with $3.3 billion in sales compared to Sodexho USA’s $820 million. Marriott also brought to the table a robust hospitality brand and highly developed business systems such as procurement and R&D. With its French roots, Sodexho offered a …