Edinburgh Zoo, the largest wildlife attraction in Scotland, and its catering partner Levy Restaurants has been awarded the highly regarded Food for Life Catering Mark, becoming the first zoo in the UK to achieve this accolade. 

The Catering Mark, awarded by the Soil Association, recognises the steps food providers take to ensure they serve the highest-standard of food, using fresh ingredients which are free from undesirable additives, and better for animal welfare.

Edinburgh Zoo was awarded a bronze Catering Mark for the breakfast, lunch and snack menus in the Grasslands, Penguin Coffee Shop, Jungle Food Court Coffee Shop and the staff restaurant. These outlets have met the standards set by the Soil Association, which includes; ensuring at least 75% of the food is freshly prepared onsite, a range of seasonal menus are provided with in-season produce highlighted, and the catering team is supported with skills training in fresh food preparation and the requirements of the Catering Mark.

Levy Restaurants, the sports, leisure and hospitality division of Compass Group UK & Ireland, has been the official catering provider at Edinburgh Zoo for three years. During this time they have developed a range of catering concepts to ensure the food and drink available provides a point of difference for the popular attraction and supports the team’s focus on achieving the Food for Life Catering Mark. This has included providing Farm Assured meat, working with local suppliers such as Mackies ‘s of Scotland, McGhees’s Bakery and Campbells Meat, to source a range of fresh produce, and introducing gluten-free, wholemeal and freshly baked quiche and breads.

Anne Greenlay, general manager for Levy Restaurants at Edinburgh Zoo, said: “Achieving the Catering Mark is something that I am really passionate about. This has been a fantastic process for the team and one which reflects the ethos of Edinburgh Zoo and the importance it places on animal welfare. We are continuing to adapt the menus and introduce new products aligned with the Catering Mark criteria, enabling us to really focus on maintaining the award and work towards the next level within the accreditation.”

Laura Stewart, director of Soil Association Scotland said: “We are delighted that Levy Restaurants at Edinburgh Zoo has achieved the bronze Food for Life Catering Mark for some for their food outlets, and we congratulate them on being the first Zoo in the UK to do so. Being one of only a handful of visitor attractions in the UK to hold the Catering Mark, means Levy Restaurants is leading the way in ensuring their food offer is fresh, healthy, seasonal and traceable, free from trans fats and additives, and better for animal welfare.

“I’d like to congratulate Levy Restaurants and Edinburgh Zoo for all of their hard work and dedication in achieving the award, and we look forward to working with the team to extend their award to all dining outlets at the Zoo, and to support in their progression to Silver and Gold Catering Marks in the future.”

Levy Restaurants is an official catering and hospitality provider for prestigious clients from The O2 Arena, Chelsea Football Club, Somerset House and Twickenham Stadium to Liberty in London and the SECC in Glasgow; all of whom have different demographics and business needs. Levy Restaurants creates individually tailored concepts, focusing not only on the food and drink, but the local suppliers used, customer service and the design of the venues.


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Notes to editors
Levy Restaurants, a leading provider of premium quality food and drink experiences, is part of Compass Group UK & Ireland. It operates within some of the UK’s most recognised sporting, leisure and culturally significant buildings including The O2 Arena and Chelsea Football Club. Levy Restaurants specialises in the creation of tailor-made concepts, service standards and designs to appeal to differing target customer bases in public, hospitality and banqueting areas.

  • Website: http://www.levyrestaurants.co.uk/
  • Twitter: @UKLevy 
  • Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LevyUK
  • Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/levyuk/
  • Tel: 01895 554300

Levy Restaurants Compass Group UK & Ireland Ltd, Parkview, 82 Oxford Road, Uxbridge, UB8 1UX, Parkview, 82 Oxford Road, Uxbridge, UB8 1UX

The Food for Life Catering Mark
The Catering Mark is the Soil Association’s prestigious national food award, and the only UK-wide certification scheme that provides a guarantee that food is fresh, seasonal and better for animal welfare. Bronze, silver and gold tiers encourage caterers to make step-by-step progress towards using more local, free range, fair trade and organic ingredients to produce healthier menu
The following details the standards which have to be achieved to attain each level of the Food for Life Catering Mark. Food for Life Catering Mark menu criteria include:


  • Meals contain no undesirable food additives or hydrogenated fats
  • 75% of dishes are freshly prepared
  • All meat is from farms which satisfies UK animal welfare standards 
  • All eggs are from cage-free hens
  • Menus include seasonal ingredients
  • Training is provided for all catering staff 
  • No GM ingredients are used
  • Free drinking water is provided
  • No fish are served from the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) ‘fish to avoid’ list.
  • Information is on display about food provenance.
  • All suppliers have been verified to ensure they apply appropriate food safety standards.

The silver and gold Catering Mark standards are assessed on a points system. Food providers are rewarded for every percentage point of their ingredient spend on items including organic and free range animal products, locally sourced ingredients and steps to offer healthier menus.
Today, more than 51,000 Catering Mark meals are served each day across Scotland in 656 sites.
For more information about the Food for Life Catering Mark, visit www.sacert.org/catering
Edinburgh Zoo and its catering partner Levy Restaurants receive Food for Life Catering Mark