Jonathan Taylor, McCain Foods’ Culinary Lead, explains how drawing inspiration from the popularity and operational simplicity of street food can help university caterers to increase custom and compete with the high street.
“To stand out and keep customers coming back you need to be able to keep your menu fresh and exciting, but changing it regularly can make it difficult to maintain profitability and manage your operational requirements.
“The surging popularity of street food offers some simple solutions. We’ve been working with Jon Knight from celebrated street food traders, Original Fry Up Material, to see how putting a street food twist on a menu mainstay such as chips can add menu variety and excitement, increasing new and repeat custom. You don’t even need to make changes to your regular food order.
“Knight uses McCain Original Choice Chips: “We’re all about simple, favourite foods that are made with the best quality ingredients, and that’s what McCain Chips give us - British potato that delivers a perfectly crisp outside and creamy soft potato inside.
“For the toppings, we’re not trying to re-write the rule book, we’ve been focusing on classic favourites, steak and ale, and ham, egg and chips. We then finish it with dressings such as pickled radish to add a hit of colour, flavour and that perfect mix of textures. The feedback has been smashing. Because topped chips are so quick and easy to prepare and serve, they also help you manage the busy periods.”
“If you want to maintain your existing food offer but introduce something different on a short term basis, maybe even on a term by term basis, topped chips offer a great solution.”
T: 0800 146 573 (GB)/1800 409 623 (ROI)
Matthew Clark are showcasing their new beers and ciders range with a tasting session at Hyde Park on Wednesday 5th July!
There will be over 200 cold Beers and 60 refreshing Ciders, ready and awaiting you at this summer's must attend event. Click here to register.
Matthew Clark' Boutique Beers range covers more beer styles and more brewers from right across the world than ever before. With a thirst for new and interesting styles, the beer market has continued to thrive in the UK with amazing home grown beers and a demand for beers from overseas. Statistics tell us that world and speciality beer volumes are up 5.2% in the UK On-Trade. This has been driven by the growing interest in Craft Beer. However you wish to define it, this revolution is here to stay. What better way to discover some great new beers for your bar than enjoying a cold one, along with some delicious bites and live music!
You'll also get to experience our brand new premium cider range, Cider House Collection. Matthew Clark' product experts have once again searched the globe to bring you the best of the UK and beyond for a category that has gone from strength to strength in the last 12 months growing 2.2% in volume with premium cider making up over 30% of the market.
The people who make up TUCO have come from all walks of life.
This month, we catch up with David Nuttall, catering manager at Harper Adams University, to learn more about his career experiences...
HOW LONG HAVE YOU WORKED AT THE UNIVERSITY?
Coming up to 12 years now. Harper Adams is a fantastic university with a great ‘roll up your sleeves’ attitude from all the staff. It’s a small university, which makes us nimble and able to react quickly to whatever is thrown at us. In particular, the catering team that work tirelessly in a constant drive to deliver the best sustainable service and food we can and I’m sure this has helped us gain first place in ‘student experience’ in the Times Higher Education Survey this year. I’m really proud of all the catering staff here and their ability to strive for excellence in delivery to students and conference guests and again I’m sure the team members helped the university win What the University of the Year twice in a row.
WHAT’S ON YOUR CV?
After completing my catering qualifications I travelled the world for six years working in 12 countries until settling into the university sector at the University of Central Lancashire for three years then as an executive head chef
at Bradford University for six years.
WHAT HAS BEEN THE PROUDEST OR MOST MEMORABLE ACHIEVEMENT IN YOUR CAREER?
I’m really proud of completing a couple of master’s degrees in my spare time while working in this challenging hospitality sector. This has led me to advise the government on food safety issues within our industry.
I’m honoured to be a board member of TUCO and shout about the benefit of in-house caterers. The biggest highlight at Harper was collecting a Catey award on behalf of all my team, which is an amazing achievement for such a small team but great recognition for their hard work.
WHAT BROUGHT YOU TO UNIVERSITY CATERING?
First and foremost, university catering brought me home to Preston, but I soon realised the sector had so much more to offer in terms of challenges. The sector does benefit from a better work-life balance compared to restaurants and hotels. Other than spending five years studying in universities and colleges I knew very little about the sector, yet it’s been a thoroughly rewarding 21 years.
WHAT DO YOU MOST ENJOY ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY CATERING SECTOR?
At Harper Adams, it’s the people – team members, vibrant young students and diverse conference guests. As a sector, the TUCO family who embrace each other with great ideas, support, and an ongoing drive to raise the bar.
We Will be carrying out two surveys to get your feedback on the level of service you are getting from the supplier(s) that are supplying you as part of the Sandwiches and Vending Supplier Framework Agreement.
(Closes on Monday 26th June 2017)
(Closes Wednesday 28th June 2017)
Palmer & Harvey
Innovative Food Concepts
Milk & Bread
Chef in a Box
Please note there are amended product files for the below suppliers
Catering Disposables & Kitchen Chemicals
Frozen & Chilled
Meat & Poultry
Alcohol - Updated contract review notes
Catering Light & Heavy Equipment - Contract Review notes
Oliver Kay - Gluten Free products, Crop Report
Arthur David - Produce Report
Birtwistles - Specials, June Market Report, Burger Case Configuration
We have travelled to universities in the US on the TUCO Study Tours we are often surprised to discover just how commercial the catering over there has become. Food courts resemble the catering outlets one would fi nd in a shopping centre, with numerous brands all in one place and little in the way of own-brand, in-house concepts. This trend is slowly but surely making its way over here, with some brave TUCO members dipping their toes into this market before anyone else.
“Spring being a tough act to follow, God created June,” said Al Bernstein. I don’t know who June was but I did once meet a girl named June in June.
It’s only another month and the academic year will be over again. It’ll soon be Christmas! Until then it’s summer schools, conferences and proms – how soon the year flies by. Planning for the students’ return was high on the agenda in March so we’ve been cooking some new street food menu ideas for later in the year and here are a couple of dishes from our test kitchen. I’m using mackerel and nectarines, which are in season this month, then a non-meat offering of lentils and spinach from Lebanon. All pretty healthy stuff and good for the brain, perfect for the theme of the TUCO Conference.
Raynor Foods has won the British Sandwich Association (BSA)’s 2017 Technical Excellence Award at the Sammies, the sandwich industry Oscars.
NPD manager Debbie Shand won the award in partnership with Lynda Breeds of Green Gourmet, a Raynors customer supplying frozen products into the travel and education sectors. They worked together on a project to make gluten-free tortilla wraps from scratch, so that they could be turned into a range of glutenfree burritos, suitable for anyone to eat.
As Raynors is an established gluten-free food supplier, making gluten-free products for their own branded range, Green Gourmet came to them for help in making their gluten-free concept a reality. Shand said: “The project was challenging as we had a very tight brief, and quite a restricted timescale in which to deliver the procedures and tested over and over again, until we were sure that we could produce a top-quality gluten-free product that met our customer’s needs. “It was a lot of work, with a number of technical issues that had to be resolved, but our close working relationship meant we managed to deliver on time! I am so pleased that the BSA has recognised the work we did.”
Adam Kingl - Executive Director of Thought Leadership, London Business School
We are pleased to welcome Adam as a keynote speaker at Conference this year.
Within his role at the London Business School, Adam is responsible for curating and transforming the School's cutting edge thinking into many formats in order to impact how the world does business.
Adam has also comprehensively researched leadership and the future of business. From a practical perspective, he advises on a variety of topics such as how to improve strategic (business model) innovation, management/leadership innovation, and organisational and personal purpose in work life.
Adam has spoken at conferences including; the Global Leadership Summit, FT-Coca Cola Enterprises Future of Sustainability Summit, HR Directors Business Summit and many more.
Following his extensive research on work and leadership paradigms, Adam's keynote session will cover innovation, management, change and the future of your business.
Click here to watch his session at the European HR Directors Business Summit in Barcelona, May 2015.