Get the most out of your catering contract
Catering is one of the most important contracts a school or trust will procure due to the level of spend, the opportunity to generate a profit, and the direct impact it has on the health and wellbeing of children and staff.
We’ve put together some top tips to help you secure your perfect catering contract:
- Prioritise your catering contract and ensure you dedicate the appropriate amount of time to undertake a thorough tender process. We would recommend starting to look at your catering contract renewal at least 8 months before your existing contract expires.
- If you need to seek approval from other stakeholders such as governors, factor in extra time to account for this.
- Have your data ready before starting the process. This includes pupil numbers, universal free school meal numbers and uptake data. Also make sure you have your workforce data ready for the TUPE process to ensure the bidders’ costing are accurate.
- If you are a larger school or trust with higher levels of uptake, explore opportunities for delivering meals for other local schools if there is spare capacity in your kitchen.
- If you are a smaller school, explore opportunities to group together with other local schools and run a joint contract, whether this is cooked-on-site meals for those with a kitchen, or delivered-in meals from another school in the area with capacity
Schools’ Buying Club can help your school find its ideal catering provision, whether that means all-organic produce, vegan options or meat free Mondays. We offer three compliant routes to market – direct award, mini competition and full tender, all designed to help you achieve best value. We can provide you with a personalised timeline to keep you on track and even undertake a financial assessment of your catering service to help work out if you are currently paying a fair price, simply email us here for more information.