Bath & North East Somerset Council

Delivering sustainable school catering services

An early adopter of NEPRO, Bath and North East Somerset Council has worked with Bloom for many years. To date, the Council has tasked Bloom with the procurement of more than 480 projects across 18 categories of spend. This includes Education and Curriculum and Facilities Management.

The Council required Bloom to find a supplier with the right knowledge and proven experience to support the procurement and on-going provision of a high quality and cost-effective school catering service.

AVL Consultancy Ltd, is a Surrey-based SME who specialises in the food service sector. The company has extensive experience in assisting Public Sector clients, particularly schools, to deliver practical and sustainable catering solutions.

“Through Bloom and NEPRO we were able to access the right supplier in a short time frame.”
Richard Howroyd, Head of Strategic Procurement & Commissioning, Bath & North East Somerset Council

The challenge

The Council required a specialist catering consultancy supplier to develop practical strategies and support the delivery of training to head teachers, school business and finance managers and governors on best practice relating to school catering contracts.

The project was separated into two distinct phases. Phase one involved the delivery of a food contract and Phase two was the investigation and recommendation report for the delivery of a long-term operating model.

The selected supplier was required to:
• Review current internal school catering services
• Provide and issue specification
• Work with neighbouring Local Authorities on potential joint procurement
• Develop a business case for a future operating model of the catering service
• Deal with long-term implications of legal changes on a school by school basis
• Provide detailed financial analysis to the Council

The solution

The Council turned to Bloom and NEPRO for support finding the right supplier to deliver the project within budget and the required timescales.

Bloom advised the Council to run the procurement as a competitive tender to encourage competition, value for money and to ensure the awarded supplier held the right
knowledge and experience to successfully deliver the desired outcomes.

The outcome

The supplier, AVL Consultancy Ltd, was awarded the project as a result of their expertise and proven experience working with other Local Authorities as specialist catering and hospitality consultants.

Their knowledge of different methods of service delivery and public sector procurement and their ability to benchmark cost and quality meant that AVL Consultancy Ltd was able to successfully deliver both Phase one and Phase two.

The project was delivered both below cost and within the necessary timeframes. They were able to identify where the Council could deliver significant savings whilst retaining a high quality of food and service.

Following the completion of the service all schools were able to make their own arrangements for school meals.

AVL Consultancy Ltd helped the Council deliver ‘Food for Life Silver’ across majority of schools within the region and increase the use of locally sourced produce. They also
investigated and recommended a long-term operating model that would continue to deliver best practice catering solutions for schools and for the Council.

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