January Update

January has been an exciting month for Education Catering Support Services. We are experiencing national interest in the service from establishments in Leicestershire, Walsall, Birmingham, Lincolnshire, Rugby and Worcestershire.

An Exciting New Development 

This month, due to our input, we have supported a client to secure funding to build a number of new kitchens. Our involvement in the building of these new kitchens will include meeting suppliers and finalising specifications and quotes. We will be project managers – working ‘on-the-ground’; developing menus, setting new budgets for the schools, recruiting new members of staff and writing job descriptions. Alongside our project management duties, we will be marketing the brand new services to parents at the schools, with the aid of seminars, menu taster sessions and printed literature to take away with them, so that they have the fullest and best understanding of what is going on. The new kitchens are due to be opened in September 2015.

A Happy Customer 

We have seen a huge improvement in our dinners since the start of the spring
term. The new ordering website is up and running and seems a lot more user
friendly, it still needs some tweeks but we are working with the team to ensure
Our uptake in general has improved and once communicated with parents they
have all said how much better the ordering system is. 

Business Manager, Lincolnshire school

For support with the development of your catering service, please contact Karen

Choosing Education Catering Support Services

Happy New Year. 2014 was a busy and exciting year for us, meeting and working with new clients and seeing fantastic results. If you’re new to Education Catering Support Services and what we do, here is what we look forward to being able to do for you this year.

What To Expect from Education Catering Support Services

The first thing that you should know is that we are not a consultancy. Education Catering Support Services is a school partner. We take responsibility for the positive outcomes of your catering service and work with you to ensure that the service works for you and your pupils. Working with us allows for full autonomy of your establishment’s catering service, without the additional investment of school leadership’s time. We offer confidence and peace of mind that your catering provision is operating in a financially viable manner. We pride ourselves on ensuring that you comply with Food Safety and Health and Safety Legislation, which is of the utmost importance.

Our service offers you the means to return any surplus back into the catering service or other educational activities. We work alongside you, for the benefit of your catering service and the pupils that it serves. Working with us allows you to feed children and young people with nutritionally balance tasty meals in a cost effective way without the using valuable leadership time that is dedicated to ensuring their educational attainment is maximised.

Experience beats promises, every time. Here are some quick facts about me (Karen) and my experience to date…

•At 21, I was an Area Manager of Dudley Catering Services and was responsible for the operational and financial performance of 35 units including primary schools, secondary schools, special schools, children’s homes and residential homes for the elderly.

•I have worked in Dudley, Sandwell and Birmingham as an Area Manager, in Local Authority Catering, accumulating over 25 years experience.

•I have also worked in the contract catering sector and also the voluntary sector.

•I am a trained chef and cooked in large organisations, such as schools, large supermarkets, residential homes and hospitals before taking up managerial responsibility.

For the past three years, I have been the Head of Schools Catering for Coventry City Council, operating a fully traded service, with no financial support from the Local Authority. A key achievement from this role was commencement of post service had a £1m deficit. Following my input this sum was turned into a positive sum. Now, we are working to bring these same key successes and successful partnerships to more catering services.

Why Open Education Catering Support Services? 

We exist to provide a solution to the current options that educational establishments have, with regards to their catering service. Currently, they can do one of two things:

•Use a contract caterer –  This has its draw backs, as schools tend to have to pay a management fee and rarely are any surpluses paid back to the school

•Self-manage the catering in-house –  This option uses up a significant proportion of leadership time, which could be better used on the priority of the school, which is the education  of pupils.

At the beginning of this brand new academic term, do your menus comply with the Food Information Regulations introduced in December 2014? Were you aware of the new school food standards launched on 1st January 2015, and more importantly how to meet them? Partnering with ECSS means that you need not worry about the latest regulations, as we work to ensure that your establishment is always up to date and improving.

If you would like to see how a bespoke partnership between your establishment and Education Catering Support Services could benefit you, please contact us.

Again, happy new year

Karen, MD