Engineering a Happy Holiday for Clients and Customers Helps Make the Season Brighter for Those Offshore

Sodexo employees spend holiday time away from their own families in order to create a more festive atmosphere for those working in harsh environments
Dec 22, 2016 1:50 PM ET
Press Release

GAITHERSBURG, Md., December 22, 2016, /3BL Media/- Sodexo, a world leader in Quality of Life Services, will make the holidays special for hundreds of men and women working on the 34 offshore oil rigs that the company serves in the Gulf of Mexico.

Hundreds of Sodexo employees work in support of oil platforms in the Gulf of Mexico year-round to provide housekeeping, accommodation and food services. Home to more than 200 offshore rigs, getting to and from these Gulf operations isn’t easy—it typically requires long helicopter or boat rides—so many employees tasked with shift work aren’t able to go home for the holidays very easily.

“According the U.S. Department of the Interior, the total number of oil rig workers in the Gulf totals approximately 80,000. The people Sodexo serves work hard on the drill floor, and they look forward to returning to a clean room and a hot meal,” said Katy Hurst, energy and resources operations manager, Sodexo North America. “Second only to safety, nothing is more important. We try to make every meal special, but the Christmas meal demands more attention.”

While the average Christmas dinner takes lots of planning and countless store trips, organizing it when you’re 150 miles from shore takes special effort. All food arrives by boat, so weather conditions and loop currents can delay shipments. That is why Sodexo managers begin planning the menu in September so they are sure to have every requisite ingredient. They also get decorations to make the galley look festive. “We always send out pre-lit Christmas trees, tons of ornaments, holiday tablecloths, centerpieces and garlands,” said Hurst.

Every rig has its own special Christmas menu. For example, on the Thunder Horse Platform, where 280 people will spend Christmas this year, Sodexo chefs will serve:

  • 100 pounds of shrimp for shrimp cocktail
  • 30 pounds of lobster for lobster bisque
  • 500 boiled eggs for deviled eggs
  • 50 pounds of Swiss meatballs
  • 255 pounds of Cornish hens
  • 3 hams
  • 6 fried turkeys
  • 276 pounds of tenderloin
  • 90 pounds of sweet potatoes,
  • 100 pounds of potatoes for garlic mashed potatoes,
  • 12 different cakes,
  • 24 pies
  • 120 ginger bread men,
  • 120 cartons of egg nog
  • 60 dozen cookies

To accommodate the varied work schedules, Thunder Horse chefs will serve the Christmas meal for lunch, dinner and as a midnight meal. A full staff of 29 Sodexo employees will work on this rig through Christmas to make the holiday special by ensuring that a sense of the holiday season is present even in such a remote location. “Sodexo teams live and you work with these people,” Hurst said. “It’s their family offshore. They’re making Christmas special for their family.”

Sodexo delivers more than 100 services across North America that enhance organizational performance, contribute to local communities and improve quality of life. The Fortune Global 500 company is a leader in delivering sustainable, integrated facilities management and foodservice operations.

Learn more about Sodexo at its corporate blog, Sodexo Insights.

Samuel Wells
Sodexo, Inc.
+1 (301) 987-4893