Redefining teamwork on the move
For the 24rd year in a row, Sodexo teams have been ensuring and coordinating the considerable logistics involved in delivering Quality of Life Services on the move to 4,000 Tour de France participants. But as Sodexo teams prove annually, the Tour is not just a chance to prove organizational excellence in difficult circumstances. It’s also a thrilling teamworking experience that is not soon forgotten.
Nuts and bolts planning for a smooth ride
Running from 4 to 26 July, this year’s Tour de France covers a total distance of 3,660 km over 21 stages. But Sodexo teams will cover twice as much ground in their quest to ensure daily hospitality services for the thousands of Tour de France organizers, support staff, motorcyclists, drivers and VIP guests. The fact that this year’s Tour kicks off in Utrecht in the Netherlands adds an extra logistical challenge. Nathalie Szabo, CEO of Sodexo Prestige, Sports and Leisure: “Sodexo’s strength lies in its ability to rise above the logistical challenges of the Tour de France, while offering exemplary culinary creations.”
Four teams operating separately
To handle these difficult conditions, Sodexo organizers start laying the groundwork in December: booking vehicles, recruiting employees, ordering uniforms and more. Menus are tasted and ordered by mid-May. By June, the 45 team members are raring to go. Divided into 4 teams which operate independently of each other, the Logistics, Starting Village, Mid-stage, and Finish Line teams are united only by the spirit.
Pulling together and pitching in
Packing up and moving on to the next site to do it all over again the next day can be challenging, says Isabelle Langolf: “We don’t always know what type of conditions we’ll be greeted with in each village. Once we found ourselves at 4am, with no light for the set up. Luckily, two of the Tour members were early-morning joggers and lent us their headlamps!”
It’s this feeling of pulling together as a team, of everybody pitching in to solve problems and ensure things run smoothly that participants say make the Tour de France such a special occasion. “Every year I’m struck by the way the teams come together,” says Langolf. “The first day, everyone introduces themselves, the second day we’re already more comfortable together and as we advance along the Tour route I’m just amazed at how supportive everyone is. Even if we come from different companies – there’s real teamwork between all the partners. As soon as there’s a problem we help each other out. It really is a big family that takes to the road every day.”