ESS collaborates with Staffordshire military base to renew retail & dining areas

ESS, the Defence, Energy and Government Services sector of Compass Group UK & Ireland, has worked with Defence Medical Services Whittington and the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) to revitalise the retail and dining environment at the heart of the site, with the shared objective of enhancing the welfare of service personnel.

The hybrid facility incorporates a new retail store with café offer, refurbished restaurant and comfortable seating so customers can relax and socialise. A spacious layout and light, bright décor give users a high street style experience.

The new Community Store provides hot and cold food for now, made in house under the Deli Delicious brand, including breakfast baps, pastries, sandwiches, pizzas and salads.

There is a barista serving hot drinks alongside self-service hot and cold drinks. Those wanting food for later can choose from extensive ambient, chilled and frozen ranges, with fresh ingredients to cook from scratch and meal deals from around the world. Carefully selected non-food items complete the offer.

Eye-catching screen media supports the customer journey and digital shelf edge labels display product and offer information. Two self-service tills enable the ESS team to host people on the shop floor, answering any questions and assisting with purchases. Integration with the ESS App means customers can order grab and go products in advance for collection later and ensures offers and loyalty rewards come as standard.

The Junior Ranks restaurant has been refreshed with a new counter, digital signage, enhanced décor and a video wall. Customers can enjoy exciting food concepts across breakfast, lunch and dinner, including traditional favourites and a range of global cuisines. Plant-forward dishes are integrated into menus for those wanting a healthier, more sustainable meal.

A range of furniture, including soft seating and external tables and chairs provide store and restaurant customers with a choice of how they want to use the facility.

The project has delivered a significantly enhanced offer to the wide-ranging consumer base at DMS Whittington, from young trainees to senior officers and civil servants. Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive so far.

Wg Cdr Jayne Arscott, Commanding Officer – HQ Defence Medical Services (Whittington), said, “We are absolutely delighted with the new hybrid shop, café and restaurant area at DMS(W). This investment demonstrates the commitment and strong relationship ESS has with DMS(W).

'We will continue to strive for a range of options to offer our personnel working and living on the site, and we have even more plans for the future. Our people are our greatest asset, and improving the lived experience is top of our agenda. ESS has delivered a fantastic retail space for everyone to utilise.”

Bob Gray, Managing Director - ESS Defence, commented, “ESS has worked with the client at DMS Whittington to overhaul the retail and dining offer on site. We’ve delivered a contemporary hybrid space that meets a variety of requirements, from people wanting a hot drink, a quick bite to eat or ingredients to cook from scratch to those joining us for a meal.

'Technology enhances the customer journey, while the ESS App supports order and collection. We’re committed to collaborating with our clients to enhance the lived experience for service personnel – delivering a modern, one-stop facility at DMS Whittington aligns with this overarching objective.”