About Us

Since 1924, we’ve been passionate about catering. With over 200 years combined experience in software design and a wealth of knowledge, the Fretwell Downing Hospitality team brings you the market leading software, Saffron.

Our passion and knowledge enables us to continue to develop Saffron to support the demands you face  in the hospitality industry, whatever your sector. Home grown and still based in Sheffield, we’re proud to be supporting catering operations worldwide; including customers here in the UK and as far afield as the Middle East.

We pride ourselves on knowing the hospitality and software industries inside and out. And  we apply this knowledge and proficiency in everything we do, every time.


In 1924,  Mr Francis Fretwell-Downing opened his first bakery on Rustlings Road, Sheffield.

Over the years, Mr Fretwell-Downing’s drive and determination saw him go from a small bakery in Sheffield to catering for the likes of Winston Churchill and Her Majesty the Queen at events all over the UK. During the 1970’s, the Fretwell-Downing family diversified into computing and by 1984, the company’s first catering computer system had been installed.

1997 saw Fretwell-Downing Hospitality established as an independent IT company and three years later, Saffron was launched as the market leading solution.

2020 Fretwell-Downing Hospitality