SSP chief executive Kate Swann is facing a shareholder rebellion over her £6.2m pay packet.
Proxy advisor Glass Lewis recommended that investors vote against Swann’s remuneration package at a meeting later this month as the level exceeds the compensation received by chief executives at similar firms.
The note to shareholders also highlighted the fact that Swann’s bonus is only based on one metric – underlying operating profit.
“Given the combination of the chief executive’s high base salary and the high annual bonus opportunity based on a single metric which has consistently delivered high payouts, we are unable to recommend shareholders support the remuneration report at this time,” the note said.
The food and drink giant has outperformed profit expectations every year since it listed in London in 2014.
In November the former WH Smith boss announced she will leave SSP at the end of May and will be replaced by current UK and Ireland regional head Simon Smith.
Shares in the company, which owns brands such as Upper Crust, Millie’s Cookies and Ritazza, tumbled on the news of Swann’s departure.
"Kate Swann and her team have consistently and diligently delivered against a plan that is quite focused, nay dull at times, in its detail but exciting in the amalgam," said Shore Markets analysts Clive Black and Greg Johnson.