Sodexo Education has introduced a new retail offer for secondary schools called the Social.
The new brand, which uses the proposition ‘best in class', aims to reflect high street trends to help school caterers increase take-up and drive sales.
The Social was launched following a 12-month period of research conducted with students, while three schools were selected to trial the new concept over the last few months. Now the team plans to introduce the brand to all of its 50 secondary schools across the UK throughout the course of 2015.
Rachael Cook, account director for Sodexo's commercial education team, explained the approach: "Getting the presentation of food in schools right is really important. Students want to see well-stocked and well-styled counters, offering food choices which mirror the selection they would see out on the high street.
"Through the Social we have created a really strong style guide for catering managers. This gives practical tips on how food should be presented, for example incorporating lots of wooden boards, white china and lots of colourful displays with fresh produce."
While menus are governed by the nutritional guidance laid out in the Government-backed School Food Plan, Sodexo said it has worked on developing healty grab and go options, such as roast dinner wraps and fruit pots.
Oasis Academy, one of the first schools to trial the concept, saw a 10% uplift in transactions after the concept was introduced. The caterer has also received positive student feedback on the new school's new look restaurant.
Cook added: "Results from the Oasis Academy are very encouraging and we're confident we can help drive sales across all our schools."