Modernised service, consumer research and effective marketing have seen Accent Catering achieve school meals take-up lifts of 32% at its Kent girls' school contract.
Since the company won the contract at Weald of Kent Grammar School for Girls in 2007, uptake of school meals has risen by almost a third, reducing the need for subsidy by 100%, which Accent attributes to good communications with its audience.
Gordon Haggarty, the firm's managing director, said that like any other business catering needs to constantly promote itself. "For us, effective marketing means we communicate the daily menu and special events to students throughout the year.
"We also meet with representatives from the student council every two weeks to hear their views and ideas about the catering service. The 6th form students meet with us every week to discuss ideas and suggestions for new products and special days."
Special days include Comic Relief Red Nose Day and Chinese New Year and, in addition to regular food showcase events at schools sports days and parents evenings, Accent invites prospective and current parents to the school for food tasters and brochures.
By Janie Stamford
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