Contract caterer Cucina has been awarded three new school meals contracts worth more than £5m in total turnover.
The company, which launched three years ago, has picked up three-year deals at The Basildon Academy in Essex, Beaumont School in St.Albans and Queens' School in Bushey, Hertfordshire, covering 5,000 pupils and staff.
The new Cucina restaurants include pizza ovens and a new service pod at The Basildon Academy, where breakfast and after school meals can be bought in addition to the Cucina Kitchen food.
Bob Rymarz, director of support services for The Basildon Academies, said: "The new Government nutritional guidelines mean contractors must cook food from scratch on the premises making them more nutritional for the students.
"Cucina's emphasis is on the students having the most attractive meals possible which meet all the nutritional guidelines and compete favourably with the high street both in terms of quality and price. Working with Cucina we have provided a restaurant environment for our students, staff and visitors, moving away from the traditional school dinner environment."
Steve Quinn, managing director of Cucina, said: "We are keen to try new ideas, providing more opportunities for pupils to learn about food nutrition. Our chef's theatre shows pupils their food being made and gives them the chance to take part.
"We have seen sales as much as treble at our many new school contracts and it's nice to be enticing so many new customers and bucking the decline being seen nationally."
By Daniel Thomas
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