Our defence sector supports over 250 military establishments across the UK, from Cornwall to the north of Scotland - that amounts to more than 50% of the UK defence estate.  

We deliver a wide range of soft FM services to high profile Army, Royal Air Force, Royal Navy and Royal Marines establishments, as well as the Defence National Training Estate and PFIs.

Creating a home away from home

Our defence clients and customers continually go the extra mile to keep us all safe. We ensure they can rest and re-energise at the end of the day.

We’ve worked with the UK armed forces for over 70 years now and, in that time, we’ve got to know the varied needs and wants of the many service personnel we support.

While it’s been said that ‘an army marches on its stomach’, we know that food service is only part of the picture. It’s about creating a sense of home for our military customers; whether it’s a friendly face at the mess reception, a clean, safe environment in which to relax or a tasty, nutritious meal to enjoy with friends.


Our history stretches back to the second world war and the establishment of Factory Canteens by Jack Bateman. This was a new era of communal dining for the munition factory workers providing tasty well-cooked food that shored-up the health and well being of British workers at a time of rationing.

Introducing new ways of thinking and working remains at the heart of what we do at ESS. We’re not afraid to challenge ourselves and pursue goals that push the market forward and drive our service delivery. From Bateman’s Factory Canteen to the industry leading ESS App, we make our clients’ and customers’ lives easier.


Our customers may be known by their rank and number, but we recognise that they are people too. We deliver on scale, but individuals are at the heart of what we do; people who have good days and bad days, who like things a certain way and who want to be called by their first name. Our colleagues know this and build relationships with our customers to make them feel understood and appreciated.

We understand that our colleagues aren’t all the same, so we treat them as individuals too, training and developing them to reach their own goals, and recognising the service they provide to our business and the value they deliver to their customers and teams.


Our clients are at the frontline of any crisis and their ability to respond quickly and flexibly is paramount.

To provide effective support, we must display the same adaptability.

We’ve proven this capability by delivering a wide range of services to the Armed Forces during national celebrations, military occasions, extreme weather events and the pandemic. Whatever the circumstances, we collaborate with the necessary stakeholders at pace to meet the evolving requirements.