Florendine Primary School

  • Vicki Broad - Business Manager Florendine Primary School

In-house catering brings results on the plate and on the books

At Florendine Primary School in Tamworth, they have a common philosophy of caring for the independent child and ensuring that the best outcomes for their children are achieved. In 2018, when their catering contract came up for renewal, they used this philosophy to shape their decision to take the school’s catering service in house.

The school wanted to be independent from local authority and contract caterers but felt they lacked the experience to manage the service on their own. Having an expert to ensure that they could operate safely and meet all the legal requirements was essential. The school’s Business Manager, Vicki Broad, remembered hearing of CMC when she’d worked at a previous school and felt that “the ability to work independently but at the same time have support for the kitchen staff” was exactly what the school was looking for. CMC were asked to tender for the service and were awarded the contract in February 2019.

The contract started in April 2019 and CMC Consultant, Diane Chalkley, was appointed to work with the school. “The support during the change over was great, the knowledge and experience of Diane was a great advantage to me and the staff in the kitchen. The initial menus we used were a refreshing change and CMC helped us to purchase and set up a salad bar and also new suppliers, allowing us to forge relationships with two local suppliers which we love,” says Vicki.

Before going in house the catering service was operating with a budget deficit but with the freedom to source better food, set their own meal prices and make changes to the menu to suit their school’s needs, the school’s catering budget now breaks even. “We have healthier food, more choice, less waste and higher pupil numbers engaging, as our food is tastier,” says Vicki. “We can also run more theme days to tie in with our curriculum.”

The safety and legal compliance is ensured through the use of the CMC safety systems; Tracker Risk, Allergen, HACCP and COSHH which are trained into school directly by CMC Trainers and through our online training courses. The school’s CMC Consultant Diane, audits the legal compliance within the kitchen on a termly basis, ensuring the service always operates within CMC’s stringent guidelines. The findings are then reported back to the client Vicki and the school’s Catering Manager, Kay Putman, and any areas of concern addressed.

Eighteen months on and the school now have the catering service that they feel best meets their needs. Says Vicki, “ I have worked in the education sector in primaries for over seventeen years and experienced both council and contract catering at its worst and best. CMC are a breath of fresh air; they welcomed our ideas and helped the catering team reignite their passion for food. Having the freedom to choose and the support to succeed has been key to our success. It feels like we have always been in house here at the ‘Floren-Diner’. Thank you Gary, Diane and all at CMC for helping us make our pupils lunchtime experience a positive one.”

 

"CMC are a breath of fresh air; they welcomed our ideas and helped the catering team reignite their passion for food. Having the freedom to choose and the support to succeed has been key to our success. It feels like we have always been in house here at the ‘Floren-Diner’. Thank you Gary, Diane and all at CMC for helping us make our pupils lunchtime experience a positive one.”

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