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2/3 of the meal vouchers to move on card by 2019-end in Romania, Sodexo estimates

Sodexo, the French food services and facilities management company, has marked 20 years in Romania while consolidating its market leadership position and reaching 1.5 million customers, 67,000 retail partners (with more than 10,000 being based in the rural area), while posting a turnover increase of 27% in 2017. There were 1,000 employees working for Sodexo in Romania.

„We have been successful in Romania, still there is a lot of growing potential. We want to reinforce our commitments in terms of diversity and inclusion and to continue our mission to contribute to the local communities,” said Aurelien Sonet, Global CEO Sodexo Benefits and Rewards in a press conference in Bucharest on Wednesday.

If the company entered the local market 20 tears ago issuing paper meal vouchers, with 3.1 billion vouchers released ever since (translated in over 206 million meals provided to the Romanian employees), the plans are now to focus more on investing in digitization and on customizing and diversifying the services and the products, as the growing trend is to give up paper and relocate exclusively on the smartphone.

„We can see the needs of the employers in Romania to motivate their staff. We are committed to investing in further diversifying our products and services. As Generation Z enters the labor market, the work environment transforms, and our global knowledge of consumer needs allows us to deeply analyze the needs of the employees and their organizations. We are one step ahead and we are helping our customers’ needs and design efficient employer branding strategies, which help them meet their business objectives,” Aurelien Sonet pointed out.

High on their agenda is precisely to turn paper vouchers to as many cards as possible and to include as many extra-benefits for employees as possible, such as the tourist vouchers or the culture passes, through which employers can also grant their employees such benefits as trips, sports and wellness subscriptions, but also tickets to theater, cinema, museums or vouchers to buy books.

This is the main reason that, in 2016, Sodexo bought the Romanian start-up Benefit Seven, the largest provider of leisure, sports and wellness subscriptions for Romanian employees.

Sven Marinus, Country CEO Sodexo Benefits and Rewards in Romania, revealed the company’s plan to reach the target that two thirds of the Meal voucher users to move on card by the end of 2019, also noting that there is already a current trend of 50 per cent in Romania that vouchers to be replaced by cards.

At the same time, Sodexo plans that 10-25% of Holiday voucher users to move to digital and that 7Card users to move 100% on mobile. The forecast is that 200,000 Romanians will be benefiting of the tourist vouchers this summer.

They also expect that a new offer to come for digital gift and culture vouchers by January 2019 in line with the new legislative initiatives.

The world changes at fast pace and we are investing in our core business, reinforcing our digital capabilities and strengthening our offer, to create the best work experience for employees. People are now seeking for opportunities for personal development, and attending cultural events is one of the interests of the new generation. We are already offering this type of benefit in Brazil, Belgium, Czech Republic and France, where Sodexo partnered with national Governments in implementing important public policies.  We are ready to bring our experience here in Romania and develop culture pass and to take our customers to an amazing cultural journey,” said Sven Marinus.

On average, Romanians employees receive between 1 and 2 extra-salary benefits and the most common are meal and gift vouchers. The employees prefer receiving their vouchers on digital format, because they are easier to use, and they have better control over their spending, thanks to Sodexo Card app, installed by half of Sodexo’s customers.

Over 10.000 retail partners are based the rural areas Sodexo consolidated its presence in Romania and developed a wide network of more than 67.000 retail affiliate partners, out of which more than 10.000 are also present in rural areas, ensuring the users’ access to products and services no matter their geographical area and catalyzing merchants development.

Sodexo Romania is one of the signatories of the Romanian Diversity Charter Globally, in all 80 countries where it operates, Sodexo develops a wide range of programs aimed at empowering women, making us a unique organization that implemented good practices policies and initiatives on gender equality that became a reference.

We are strongly committed to support women development, because we are convinced that when we empower women, we also empower the individuals and communities around them. When women do better, we all do better,” declared Aurelien Sonet, Global CEO Sodexo Benefits and Rewards.

Sven Marinus and Aurelien Sonet have signed The Romanian Diversity Charter on Wednesday, reinforcing the company’s’ commitment to fostering and promoting a culture of diversity, non-discrimination, inclusion and equity in the work place.

Sodexo worldwide has a deep commitment to women empowerment and gender equality. In Romania, we continue to be engaged in empowering, working for gender balance and promoting quality of life for everyone. We are all aware that gender-balanced teams are more innovative, productive and successful. We can be proud to say that in Sodexo Romania, women represent 58% of our total number of employees, with a representation of 41% in the management team. When women are empowered, we’re all empowered, therefore we have the mission to support women development both in our teams, as well as in the communities where we operate,” added Sven Marinus, Country CEO Benefits and Rewards Sodexo in Romania.

300.000 euro invested in Stop Hunger

Sodexo invested EUR 300,000 in Stop Hunger NGO which militates for a hunger-free world, reaching 2,485 beneficiaries in Romania. Some of the projects carried on by Stop Hunger in Romania is „Let’s grow healthy”, which promotes a healthy lifestyle for children, but also „Empowering Women” to support entrepreneurship of women countryside. During the academic year 2017-2018, over 1,900 pupils discovered they should follow in order to grow harmoniously.

About Alina Grigoras Butu