Tabor Science College
During September 2010, before a major refurbishment of the kitchen and servery area by Brakes Catering Equipment (‘BCE’), the refectory at Tabor Science College in Braintree, Essex took just £7,500 in revenue. In September 2011, after a summer refit, that figure had nearly doubled to an impressive £13,400.
‘Pre refurbishment the main problem was getting the pupils through fast enough,’ says Estates Manager, David Wiles. ‘With just one door in and one door out long queues formed and inevitably this put the pupils off. BCE’s layout dispensed with the 'in and out' system and the kitchen area was redesigned to allow a much larger servery area. Combined with a fingerprint payment, system we are now able to get everybody served much, much faster and there has been a 62% increase in the uptake of school meals.
So, what made David choose BCE? ‘They provide just about everything else in the kitchen and have never let me down, so they seemed the obvious first port of call. We had three companies in to quote and BCE were not only the first to come back with a proposal, but also the company who seemed to interpret what we wanted best of all.
‘During installation we had great support from BCE with our local representative constantly visiting to make sure that everything was running according to plan. There were small issues along the way, as there are always likely to be on a project of this size, but because of the constant contact they were quickly resolved and this led to a smooth installation.
‘The effect on sales has been dramatic. Each child is limited to a maximum spend of £5 per day and I would say that around 80% of them now use the full allowance. In addition, children who previously brought in packed lunches are now choosing to buy our freshly prepared sandwiches instead. And where we previously had a free school meals uptake of around 60%, this figure has risen to an amazing 98%.
‘Going forward the new facility opens up a world of possibilities. We are now in a position to offer catering facilities for local clubs and evening classes that use the school hall and, looking further ahead, we could even cater for parties and other functions. With the old facility I could never have contemplated serving a three course meal for 100 people, but now that is a very real possibility.’
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