Education caterer Cucina has won six new academy contracts that are expected to increase the company's annual turnover by £1.2m.
The five-year contracts at Highdown School and Sixth Form in Reading; Leigh Technology Academy in Dartford; Longfields Academy, Wilmington Academy, and special school Milestone Academy, all in Kent; and a three-year deal at Stockley Academy in Middlesex, gives Cucina access to almost 7,000 new customers.
School meal take-up has already tripled at all six sites, with takings increasing at one school from £350 to £2,200 per day on some days. The latest company accounts show a turnover of £4.8m.
"It's great to have happy clients who can see sales shooting up already," said Steve Quinn, managing director of Cucina. "Our ‘stealthy eating' approach has helped us more than double the uptake of school dinners in our restaurants across England. It has also enabled our partner schools to significantly reduce their catering costs."
He added: "At Highdown we are adopting a ‘seeds to plate' philosophy for the kitchens, growing vegetables in the Victorian Walled Garden there.
"Wilmington has its own garden too and, in line with the horticulture curriculum there, we are using ‘academy grown' butternut squashes, courgettes and other vegetables in the soup. We have tripled takings there and at Longfields. Student spends have quadrupled in the restaurant."
By Janie Stamford
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