As we come to the end of the 2016-17 academic year, when we can hear the sounds of thousands of corks being popped open for graduation ceremonies across the country, it can only mean one thing, the TUCO Conference! I can’t wait to see you there and raise a glass or two of our own in Nottingham.
You may have already noticed that if you fl ip us upside down you will fi nd the TUCO Conference programme. I’m sure you’ll agree that there will be plenty to pack in over three days and we have some great speakers lined up. Back at home, and as the students leave and the conference season really kicks in, many of you will be busy costing up your menus for the new year, sourcing new products, introducing new food concepts and maybe even refurbishing an outlet or two. The TUCO Study Tours can offer you so much inspiration, from sprucing up your back bar bottles to creating a totally authentic international menu. Already this year TUCO members have been jetting off around the UK and Europe and we’re so looking forward to hearing from the TUCO Study Tour teams when they return from India, New Orleans and Milan over the coming months.
These are a brilliant benefi t to your TUCO membership and if you need any more convincing, turn to page 24 where we have reports from three of our recent trips to San Sebastián, Edinburgh and Rungis. You’ll be signing up in no time. We have a packed issue this month, with a look at how Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge is transforming its menus to focus on non-meat options (page 12), highlights of our latest research into Business Models for Higher Education Catering (page 20), and we take a look at Thai food concept Thaikhun in Nottingham (page 54) – if you have the time to go!
Chair of TUCO
Please note there is revised pricing on the following agreements
Fish & Seafood
Fruit & Veg
Meat & Poultry
Milk & Bread
Please note there are amended product files for the below suppliers
Catering Disposables & Kitchen Chemicals
Fruit & Veg
TUCO is delighted to be a supporter of Food Matters Live 2017.
Food Matters Live is the UK’s fastest growing cross-sector event showcasing innovation in the food and drink industry and it returns to London’s ExCeL from 21 - 23 November 2017. Register for free entry.
New highlights for 2017 include the Awards designed to celebrate inspiring innovation and creativity from across the food and drink industry, a matchmaking service offering both exhibitors and visitors the opportunity to pre-arrange meetings onsite at Food Matters Live, and the Future of Food Retail seminars in which industry experts will explore drivers for growth, new product trends and insight into the modern shopper.
Join 800 exhibitors and 400 speakers at Food Matters Live 2017, providing you with everything you need to keep your business at the cutting edge of innovation, in an unmissable three-day event. Find out more www.foodmatterslive.com
As with any type of food, there are pros and cons when it comes to fresh and frozen meat. However, more caterers are relying on frozen products with great success. In fact, according to the British Frozen Food Federation’s Frozen Food Report 2 (May 2016), the frozen food sector’s value has increased by £650m in the last fi ve years. “Frozen food has had a poor image over recent years, but freezing doesn’t damage food it preserves it and it makes life easier for caterers and all end users,” explains Mandy Clinch, marketing manager for Riverside Foods.
There are numerous benefits of using frozen meat and poultry products, but low cost is one of the major benefits for university caterers working to tight budgets. It also means less wastage which means profits aren’t literally being thrown in the bin. “Speed and ease of preparation mean that no matter the level of experience in the kitchen or how busy the service, caterers can bring together innovative and fresh dishes with the minimum of effort to feed hungry students,” points out Frannie Santos-Mawdsley, senior customer marketing manager, European foodservice at Moy Park.Frozen meat and poultry offer university caterers flexibility and consistency as it can be ordered in advance of when it’s needed and simply defrosted when required. It also offers consistent quality and allows operators to better control portions too. “Frozen products are also cost-effective, which does not mean that quality should be compromised,” says Tom Styman- Heighton, development chef at Funnybones Foodservice. “ The biggest advantage of a frozen product is that it can come ready prepared, cut to the size that you wish and ready to serve with a sauce or a marinade that will have been enhancing the flavour of the meat during the freezing process.”
Consumers are always on the look-out for the next best thing and university caterers can easily meet this demand with the multitude of cuts and cooking methods available. By introducing the cheaper cuts of meat and poultry to students, university caterers will satisfy the need for new while increasing their profits per head. With minimum outlay for maximum appeal, everyone’s a winner.
Kim Ashley, the category manager at TUCO, reveals the benefits of using the Meat and Poultry framework agreement:
• The framework agreement is OJEU compliant which saves members the time and cost of carrying out the procurement procedure themselves.
• It offers members robust terms and conditions for the supply of goods, as well as food safety, assured suppliers.
• Food safety is monitored throughout the life of the framework agreement and members are notified if there is any area of concern with any of the suppliers.
• Savings can be made by purchasing through the framework due to collaborative procurement
University and college catering facilities have a vital role to play in enhancing this experience. They are much more than just a place to ‘refuel’ and can be vibrant, cultural hubs where students mix with peers and academic staff, and engage with the broader university and college community. But if they want to realise the potential of these spaces, members should create a welcoming environment where catering services and dining/seating arrangements encourage students to use the facilities to meet colleagues, study and work in groups.
And as students become ever more sophisticated consumers of food and beverages, the university catering teams need to understand and keep pace with expectations and high street trends.
WHY TUCO COMMISSIONED THIS REPORT ?
To gain greater insight into this important area, TUCO commissioned The Litmus Partnership to research the sector’s various business models for delivering catering, hospitality and retail services. Litmus is one of the UK’s foremost catering consultancies and works with a diverse range of organisations in the education, corporate, healthcare and commercial sectors both in the UK and internationally. It has an excellent track record in helping clients deliver longterm, sustainable change and has carried out numerous benchmarking studies. For this report, 48 members and colleges completed an in-depth, online survey and the results were augmented with visits to 7 member locations, additional telephone research with a further 4 institutions, as well as dialogue with the 4 leading contractors in the sector: Baxterstory, Chartwells, Elior and Sodexo.
Adding to this year's spectacular speaker line up is Linda Moir, who was in charge of the front-line events and customer services at the 2012 London Olympics.
Linda was responsible for planning and implementing a customer service strategy, whereby she organised 15,000 volunteers known as 'Games Makers', private sector contractors and facilities to welcome over nine million spectators.
London 2012 was the first Games to view ticket-holders as customers and as a result, it is widely regarded as the most successful and best-run Olympics in the modern-era. The use of Games Makers was seen as crucial to the success as their approach made attendees feel part of something special.
Linda's previous roles have include Virgin Atlantic's Director of Customer Service and HR Director for the National Air Traffic Services (NATS).
Linda's talk forms one of our Breakout Sessions on Tuesday 26th July. She will be discussing the culture of a customer focused organisation and how change can be implemented to benefit the business and individual employees.
When research showed that the use of disposable coffee cups could be reduced by up to 300 million a year, it was TUCO members that helped to find a way to encourage customers to use a reusable alternative, Morag Wilson.
An estimated 2.5bn disposable coffee cups are used in the UK each year which creates around 25,000 tonnes of waste. How many coffee cups are you responsible for sending to landfill through your customers? It's probably a rather terrifying figure and is the reason why coffee roaster Bewley's chose to commission research into the extent of the problem and to find a solution. How can we encourage customers to reduce their use of disposable cups?
Many people would be forgiven for thinking that their disposable cup was recyclable. But when Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall reported in his TV documentary that many of the takeaway cups we use aren't fully recyclable, consumers and the industry were surprised. It just so happens that the programme was aired shortly after the 2016 TUCO Conference.
Louise Whitaker head of marketing at Bewley's saw the programme and, having spoken to TUCO members who shared her concerns, was spurred on to do something about it. Louise recruited four universities to be part of the pilot study: University of South Wales. Cardiff University, the University of Winchester, and Imperial College. They also chose to look at the B&l sector to see if office workers would have different behaviours to university staff and students, so worked with contract caterer Bartlett Mitchell as well (there was no marked difference).
The research was conducted from September to December 2016 and found that financial incentives, reusable alternatives, and clear messaging reminding customers of the environmental impact of single-use coffee cups all had a direct impact on consumer behaviour. The results were notable: a charge on disposable cups. increased the use of reusable coffee cups by 3.4%, environmental messaging in cafés increased the use of reusable coffee cups by 2.3%, the availability of re-usable cup led to an increase of 2.5%, and the distribution of free reusable cups led to a further increase of 4.3%.
The study found that the provision of free reusable alternatives combined with clear environmental messaging and a charge on disposable cups increased the use of reusable cups from 5.1% to 17.4%. Bewley's provided 200 free reusable cups for all study participants at the start of the trial and in February, Winchester gave away a further 3,00 Gum-tec reusable cups - made from recycled chewing gum collected around campus and nationwide during Recycling week. "Our plans for September is that all first years will be given a Gum-tec cup and hopefully they'll keep it and bring it to the coffee bars," says Dave Morton, catering operations manager at the University of Winchester."We think if we can get them from day one we'll get a better uptake on it. If we reach 50%, which I think we could do, that would be fantastic progress.
" The report has now been submitted to a government waste inquiry into paper cups and the research provides a framework for TUCO members and others to make their own decisions - the findings made national news and pret and Paul stores have put reward schemes in place. "at the end of the day it's down to personal choice," says Louise. "But if people keep reusable cups on their desk it does have a positive influence while the industry works to find an alternative to the existing disposable coffee cup."
Jonathan Taylor, McCain Foods’ Culinary Lead, explains how drawing inspiration from the popularity and operational simplicity of street food can help university caterers to increase custom and compete with the high street.
“To stand out and keep customers coming back you need to be able to keep your menu fresh and exciting, but changing it regularly can make it difficult to maintain profitability and manage your operational requirements.
“The surging popularity of street food offers some simple solutions. We’ve been working with Jon Knight from celebrated street food traders, Original Fry Up Material, to see how putting a street food twist on a menu mainstay such as chips can add menu variety and excitement, increasing new and repeat custom. You don’t even need to make changes to your regular food order.
“Knight uses McCain Original Choice Chips: “We’re all about simple, favourite foods that are made with the best quality ingredients, and that’s what McCain Chips give us - British potato that delivers a perfectly crisp outside and creamy soft potato inside.
“For the toppings, we’re not trying to re-write the rule book, we’ve been focusing on classic favourites, steak and ale, and ham, egg and chips. We then finish it with dressings such as pickled radish to add a hit of colour, flavour and that perfect mix of textures. The feedback has been smashing. Because topped chips are so quick and easy to prepare and serve, they also help you manage the busy periods.”
“If you want to maintain your existing food offer but introduce something different on a short term basis, maybe even on a term by term basis, topped chips offer a great solution.”
T: 0800 146 573 (GB)/1800 409 623 (ROI)
Matthew Clark are showcasing their new beers and ciders range with a tasting session at Hyde Park on Wednesday 5th July!
There will be over 200 cold Beers and 60 refreshing Ciders, ready and awaiting you at this summer's must attend event. Click here to register.
Matthew Clark' Boutique Beers range covers more beer styles and more brewers from right across the world than ever before. With a thirst for new and interesting styles, the beer market has continued to thrive in the UK with amazing home grown beers and a demand for beers from overseas. Statistics tell us that world and speciality beer volumes are up 5.2% in the UK On-Trade. This has been driven by the growing interest in Craft Beer. However you wish to define it, this revolution is here to stay. What better way to discover some great new beers for your bar than enjoying a cold one, along with some delicious bites and live music!
You'll also get to experience our brand new premium cider range, Cider House Collection. Matthew Clark' product experts have once again searched the globe to bring you the best of the UK and beyond for a category that has gone from strength to strength in the last 12 months growing 2.2% in volume with premium cider making up over 30% of the market.
The people who make up TUCO have come from all walks of life.
This month, we catch up with David Nuttall, catering manager at Harper Adams University, to learn more about his career experiences...
HOW LONG HAVE YOU WORKED AT THE UNIVERSITY?
Coming up to 12 years now. Harper Adams is a fantastic university with a great ‘roll up your sleeves’ attitude from all the staff. It’s a small university, which makes us nimble and able to react quickly to whatever is thrown at us. In particular, the catering team that work tirelessly in a constant drive to deliver the best sustainable service and food we can and I’m sure this has helped us gain first place in ‘student experience’ in the Times Higher Education Survey this year. I’m really proud of all the catering staff here and their ability to strive for excellence in delivery to students and conference guests and again I’m sure the team members helped the university win What the University of the Year twice in a row.
WHAT’S ON YOUR CV?
After completing my catering qualifications I travelled the world for six years working in 12 countries until settling into the university sector at the University of Central Lancashire for three years then as an executive head chef
at Bradford University for six years.
WHAT HAS BEEN THE PROUDEST OR MOST MEMORABLE ACHIEVEMENT IN YOUR CAREER?
I’m really proud of completing a couple of master’s degrees in my spare time while working in this challenging hospitality sector. This has led me to advise the government on food safety issues within our industry.
I’m honoured to be a board member of TUCO and shout about the benefit of in-house caterers. The biggest highlight at Harper was collecting a Catey award on behalf of all my team, which is an amazing achievement for such a small team but great recognition for their hard work.
WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO UNIVERSITY CATERING?
First and foremost, university catering brought me home to Preston, but I soon realised the sector had so much more to offer in terms of challenges. The sector does benefit from a better work-life balance compared to restaurants and hotels. Other than spending five years studying in universities and colleges I knew very little about the sector, yet it’s been a thoroughly rewarding 21 years.
WHAT DO YOU MOST ENJOY ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY CATERING SECTOR?
At Harper Adams, it’s the people – team members, vibrant young students and diverse conference guests. As a sector, the TUCO family who embrace each other with great ideas, support, and an ongoing drive to raise the bar.
We Will be carrying out two surveys to get your feedback on the level of service you are getting from the supplier(s) that are supplying you as part of the Sandwiches and Vending Supplier Framework Agreement.
(Closes on Monday 26th June 2017)
(Closes Wednesday 28th June 2017)
Palmer & Harvey
Innovative Food Concepts
Milk & Bread
Chef in a Box
Please note there are amended product files for the below suppliers
Catering Disposables & Kitchen Chemicals
Frozen & Chilled
Meat & Poultry
Alcohol - Updated contract review notes
Catering Light & Heavy Equipment - Contract Review notes
Oliver Kay - Gluten Free products, Crop Report
Arthur David - Produce Report
Birtwistles - Specials, June Market Report, Burger Case Configuration