Food That Works Where You Work

FOODWORKS creates community through food by partnering with the best local restaurants and bringing them to where you work. With FOODWORKS, you enjoy the flavors of different neighborhoods under one roof—and we all help small businesses thrive. We launched in Chicago in 2018 and have since brought our incubator program to more than a half-dozen cities, with more to come.

The FOODWORKS mission
FoodWorks Mission
Support local business

Support local business

We partner with small restaurants and women- and minority-owned food businesses who are the heart and culinary soul of their communities. They’re the trendy chef-driven spots, the the up-and-comers with unique menus you can’t wait to try and the neighborhood mainstays you know you can count on.

Foster and feed community

Foster and feed community

We bring creative food of the highest caliber to our guests in a place where they enjoy coming together. Lunch is never boring. It’s made and served fresh, on the spot, so you’ll be ready to go where you need to go next. And it’s always delicious.

Meet our team
Jim Caldwell

Jim Caldwell

When Jim isn’t visiting FOODWORKS locations in other cities (or traveling to his son’s hockey tournaments), he’s leading the Chicago-based team in expanding the company’s reach as a community-focused incubator for small businesses across the country. As a chef who came up through the hospitality ranks before helping launch FOODWORKS, Jim speaks the language of profit-and-loss statements as well as he does prix-fixe menus. He makes a mean Sunday gravy over fresh pasta with help from his little sous chef (and daughter) Zoe.

John Coker

John Coker

A 30-year hospitality veteran, John has held strategic and creative leadership roles at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, Marriott International, Sodexo and AVI Foodsystems. He got his start at Restaurant Associates, the Kennedy Center’s exclusive caterer, and is thrilled to come full circle with FOODWORKS. Passion drives everything John does, from helping build FOODWORKS into a scalable model of success nationwide to creating a farm education nonprofit for youth on the organic farm in northeastern Ohio, where he lives. John loves to drive, literally. He is an avid auto-cross racer, a sport that pits the driver against his own best time. 

Troy Waller

Troy Waller

What started for Troy as a part-time gig at a small restaurant in South Africa, where he grew up, led to him helping grow it into a 60-unit franchise—and sparked a career in hospitality that’s taken him over the past 25 years to London, Philadelphia and New York City, working for such companies as Aramark and Sodexo. At FOODWORKS, Troy takes a similar entrepreneurial approach to growing the program, itself a startup within a multi-billion-dollar corporation. Now settled in New Jersey, Troy is married with three sons. His down time almost always involves sports.

Bradford Heath

Bradford Heath

Bradford has played hockey all his life and enjoyed cooking for nearly as long. (Anaheim Coconut Chicken “Chili” is his signature, yet-to-be-famous dish.) After culinary school at Robert Morris University, he worked in kitchens across the Great Lakes region and as far away as Montana. Bradford considers music his essential fuel during the workday and helping small businesses grow with FOODWORKS the most gratifying part of his work.

Erika Ruiz

Erika Ruiz

Seeing a small business flourish is the best part of Erika’s job as a Chicago-based FOODWORKS restaurant scout. She’s flourished right alongside the company, joining Compass in 2009 as an executive assistant in the healthcare division and eventually working her way up at Eurest from front of house manager to general manager to her current role. For inspiration, Erika loves the podcast “Restaurant Unstoppable”—and the occasional karaoke night with pizza and beer at her favorite dive bar.

Kate Adams

Kate Adams

Kate has worked just about every food industry position there is: bartender, pastry chef, dining services director, among them. (She has not yet been a restaurant reviewer, but that is her dream job.) The Indiana native and still avid baker sums up her role at FOODWORKS as a fixer/problem-solver in charge of welcoming new restaurants and onboarding managers into the program, and she relishes working with the people who keep restaurants running. True service in action, she says, is like watching a beautifully coordinated play.

We’re backed by Compass

FOODWORKS is a division of global hospitality leader Compass Group/Eurest. Like our parent company, we take a food-first approach. We care deeply about quality, sustainability and integrity in sourcing, and deliver that to our guests daily across our dining venues.

What's New

Food Management

FoodWorks is now in about two dozen markets and growing fast by deploying pop-ups of local concepts in business, institutional and retail settings.

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Crain's Chicago Business

Another alternative to the sad desk lunch coming to an office near you - Foodworks' niche is local, independent restaurants

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Denver Business Journal

Foodworks expands Denver's alternative to sad desk lunches - In an era of food trucks and pop-up restaurants, Foodworks is taking the corporate-lunch options to the next level.

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Foodservice News

Foodworks Helps Feed Office Workers - “Marketing, plus a revenue generator.” That’s how Jason Adamidis describes Foodworks, a new program from Chicago-based Compass Group that recently launched in Minneapolis to partner with local restaurants and place them in prime locations in office buildings, retail complexes and other high-visibility sites

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In Business Magazine

Serving Food Service - Foodworks is committed to quality, sustainability and community involvement, and seeks partners who share those values.

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Time Out Chicago

Amazing Chicago Food Halls You Have to Visit - The food hall is also an incubator for women- and minority-owned food startups and restaurants, offering space for owners to introduce their products to customers.

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USA Today

Chicago's Best Food Halls: Local, Authentic Bevy of Options - There's a grab and go marketplace and two incubator programs, Apron Exchange and FOODWORKS, offering food startups and neighborhood restaurants space on a rotating basis to introduce their menus.

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