Pay, travel and camaraderie might rank high on the list of ‘pros’ for those lured into a life working offshore, though perhaps few would say the food.
But a revamped menu offering from Sodexo recognises that the route to a happier workforce – and a competitive edge in procurement – may well be through the stomach.
The new ‘Savour’ range is supported by the company’s Kitchen Works division, and has been developed with consideration of current food trends and the profile of offshore workers.
Promising a mix of ‘global flavours’ and ‘familiar favourites’, the group says it’s overhauled its hospitality and catering processes in pursuit of a “best-in-class experience” that will enable crew to “refuel, recharge and regroup.”
One sample menu offers a range of fresh salads and coleslaws (as well as cheese and beans), followed by mains of baked cod with sweet potato puree, chorizo salsa and bacon; a Thai sweet potato and broccoli curry; a chicken and bacon burger; or baked chicken, roasted veg and new herb potatoes with a creamed chicken sauce.
Those with any room left can enjoy lemon pie, strawberry jelly, raspberry mousse or fruit salad with yogurt.
You can see more via the gallery below.
Each dish is accompanied by information on calories and allergens.
Sodexo says the use of local suppliers continues to be a priority, and that Scottish suppliers too make up a wide range of products and produce.
Moreover, new systems for offshore catering teams mean they now have access to a bank of over 2,000 recipes which it says should allow them to spend less time on admin and more time to focus on preparation and delivery.
In 2021 the facilities provider sparked controversy when it pledged to make a third of its meals plant-based by 2025.
The plans formed a key pillar of its roadmap to net zero and decarbonisation efforts, though found a mixed reception from offshore workers.
Nevertheless recent menu updates retain a commitment to sustainability, aligning with other efforts such as a food waste management programme – WasteWatch – and the introduction of carbon-labelled menus using Eaternity, a service which helps calculate the carbon intensity of consumer meals.
Ed Morrow, managing director, Sodexo Energy & Resources UK & Ireland added: “We have always focussed on delivering the highest standard for our offshore clients to provide outstanding service to their workforce who operate in challenging environments. We have taken feedback from our existing customer base and used this to improve and enhance the services we deliver.
“The biggest change we have made is to focus on our new food offer which brings an updated and more extensive range of meals supported by new tools and systems allowing our teams to focus on creating outstanding food experiences.”
While the conditions on North Sea installations can vary, social media has allowed more people to see the realities of life offshore from workers themselves.
In December a Tiktok video posted by user Kailem Donovan offered a glimpse of everyday life on on the Ninian South platform, garnering well over 1 million views.