How an Experienced Team Supported a Successful Turnaround in Ponca City

Published on : 1/10/23
  • Overview

    In the fall of 2018, Sodexo executed a successful turnaround at a refinery in Ponca City, Oklahoma, serving over 72,000 meals in a 90-day period. With a focus on speed of service and maximizing productivity, the turnaround included tailored food services for both day and night shifts through catering and food trucks.

    Planning for the upcoming 2023 turnaround — the largest to ever happen at this refinery — has begun, and the decisions are highly influenced by the successful 2018 event.


    Sodexo has been providing services to this Ponca City refinery for over 30 years. With a cumulative 100 years of experience in the oil and gas industry, our team is part of a well-oiled machine, capable of understanding and anticipating the needs of the client.

    In 2018, the turnaround lasted 90 days, with services reaching their peak in the oil in/oil out period, during which the Sodexo team provided about 800 meals a day. With an understanding that speed of services is imperative to maintain the highest levels of productivity, our teams guaranteed the service within the allotted break time for the workers.

    By the Numbers

    • 90 day turnaround
    • 2,500 acres refinery
    • 1,300 additional workers for the turnaround
    • 8 full-time Sodexo team members, with an additional 10 temporary employees
    • 30 minutes of service time
    • 800 meals served per day
    • 72,000 meals served total
    • 3 foodservice tents


    Dining Solution to Maximize Speed of Service

    The key to a successful turnaround is the level of productivity from workers. Schedules are tight and must be followed to stay the course. Therefore, the speed of service is critical.

    During this turnaround, the team was to provide ready-to-eat meals to workers within their 30 minutes allocated break time. The service was developed around speed and efficiency. The two food service shifts — 11 a.m. and 11 p.m. — in the three major service tents provided access to simple and hearty grab-and-go meals such as cheeseburgers, deli sandwiches, and salads.

    Accessible version


    Reliable Service as Differentiator

    As the industry is vying for a reduced pool of turnaround contractors, the key to attracting the best talent is to provide quality services for these workers. And food services play a significant role. Providing healthy, well-prepared, reliable, and efficient food services is critical.

    Sodexo has a proven track record for reliability when it comes to turnaround services. Whether food service, janitorial or facilities management services, we provide a one-stop-shop quality work environment.

    Each turnaround is assessed according to the specific refinery and the clients' needs. At Sodexo, our employee retention rates are industry-leading, with an average tenure of over eight years in 2021. Thus, we can pull from employees’ expertise, both in the oil and gas industry and elsewhere, to adapt and meet clients’ requirements.

    Sodexo has been a service provider to this Ponca City refinery since 1997. With planning for the 2023 turnaround well underway, the trusted team is preparing for a successful event, adapting to the new COVID-19 reality, and improving an already efficient service.

    We are raising the bar on turnarounds. Ask us how.