Sodexo Launches New Employee, Customer Reward Program in the U.S.

November 04, 2008

Esteem Pass (TM) Gift Card incentive program offers unique recognition and reward solution; can be redeemed at more than 20,000 retail locations nationwide

Sodexo Launches New Employee, Customer Reward Program in the U.S.

GAITHERSBURG, Md., November 4, 2008 — Sodexo, a leading global foodservice and facilities management company, has announced the launch of Esteem Pass™, a new U.S. gift card program that provides a unique way to recognize, reward and motivate employees, clients and customers, while offering new features in the gift card sector. The move marks the first offer in North America by Sodexo’s successful global Service Vouchers and Cards business, Sodexo Pass, which posted $10 billion in issue volume recently.

Offering flexibility and choice to consumers, Esteem Pass gift cards are different than typical gift cards because users have one single card that can be used at over 20,000 locations operated by 35 well known and popular retailers. Sodexo’s Esteem Pass program offers companies competitive pricing and customization to meet the different criteria that businesses have for reward and recognition programs.

Esteem Pass gift cards can be redeemed at leading retail locations nationwide operated by Sodexo’s growing list of retail partners, which represent world class companies including Macy’s, Borders®, Gap, Inc., The Home Depot®, Bath and Body Works®, Marriott®, Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba’s and Bonefish Grill. 

According to Vincent Hillenmeyer, president of Sodexo Pass USA, the Sodexo subsidiary company operating Esteem Pass, gifting solutions such as cards are especially important this time of year due to holidays and bonus periods. He says that gift card incentives are becoming more popular in all types of organizations, including non profits, government and corporations, and that the use of gift cards by businesses in the U.S. exceeds $20 billion and is growing by more than 40 percent yearly.

According to a recent Sodexo human resource study, reward and recognition have been shown to be key factors in employees’ decisions to stay with an employer. “Today’s challenging economy means companies have an almost unprecedented need to motivate their employees and to reward customer loyalty in order to remain competitive,” said Hillenmeyer. “Companies are eager for programs that are innovative and provide real value back to their employees.”

Esteem Pass gift cards are a Discover® Network Prepaid Gift Card issued by Palm Desert National Bank, a federally chartered bank and sold business-to-business by Sodexo as a corporate reward and incentive and gifting solution. The cards are fulfilled and managed by Sodexo Pass USA.

About Sodexo in North America and Sodexo Pass
Sodexo in North America (www.sodexoUSA.com) is a leading integrated food and facilities management services company in the United States, Canada and Mexico, with $7.3 billion (USD) in annual revenue and 120,000 employees. Sodexo in North America serves more than ten million customers daily in corporations, health care, long term care and retirement centers, schools, college campuses, government and remote sites. Sodexo in North America, headquartered in Gaithersburg, Md., is a member of Sodexo Group, which owns and operates Sodexo Pass. Sodexo in North America funds the Sodexo Foundation, an independent charitable organization that, since its founding in 1999, has made more than $11 million in grants to fight hunger in America.

Sodexo Pass, currently ranked second in the world in the prepaid card sector, offers meal and food vouchers, childcare vouchers, prepaid gift cards across 30 countries with additional tailored gift programs in 24 countries.

About Sodexo
SODEXO, founded in 1966 by Pierre Bellon, is a world leader in Food and Facilities Management services, with more than 342,380 employees on 29,000 sites in 80 countries as of August 31, 2007. For Fiscal 2007, which closed August 31, 2007, SODEXO had revenues of 13.4 billion euro. Listed on Euronext Paris, the Group has a current market capitalization of 6.8 billion euro.

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