Vertas has been successfully shortlisted for two awards at the upcoming Cost Sector Catering Awards 2017.
The event which takes place at the Hilton, London Metropole on Thursday 20th April 2017 has been dubbed the ‘highlight of the foodservice and catering calendar’.
The prestigious annual awards ceremony offers a fantastic opportunity to celebrate industry innovators.
Vertas made two successful submissions, one in the Innovation category and another in the Education category, both of which focused on the success of Vertas’ primary school ‘Pick & Mix’ offer.
Following the introduction of Universal Free School Meals and the identified need to encourage more pupils to enjoy school meals, Vertas was first to the market in East Anglia with the establishment of Pick & Mix; This alternative offer runs alongside the classic ‘hot dinners’, complementing it by providing a variety of lunch options; therefore, reducing long queues during the lunch period.
Developed under the Eats primary school catering brand, Pick & Mix allows pupils to choose from a range of hot and cold food items to create their own packed lunch. The meal consists of a main, such as a filled roll, wrap, baguette or pasta pot, a side, such as a cheese straw or pot of cheese and grapes, a fresh fruit or vegetable pot and a dessert, such as flapjack or homemade cookies, yoghurt or real fruit jelly. This innovation has seen an increase of meal uptake in primary schools by up to 50%.
Pick & Mix has not only been popular with pupils – parents and teachers have praised the new service because of the autonomy it places on the pupil to make their own decisions about what they have for lunch.
The offer is based on a packed lunch but ensures a balanced & nutritious meal, removing chocolate bars and fizzy drinks that sometime appear in a packed lunch brought in from home. This maintains the pupil’s concentration for an afternoon of learning.
Ian Surtees, CEO for Vertas Group Limited, said:
“I am delighted that we have been shortlisted for two prestigious Cost Sector Catering Awards. We are constantly striving to find new and exciting ways to cater for our most important customer base – the region’s young people, so to be recognised for our efforts in doing this is fantastic news.
“It is important that we regularly introduce new innovations when it comes to school meals to ensure we stay ahead of the curve. Pick & Mix allows us to provide a healthy alternative to ‘hot dinners’ whilst introducing a bit of fun and more choice at lunchtime.
“We have had some fantastic feedback from the schools who have introduced Pick & Mix and we are delighted to have launched it in over 50 schools across Suffolk, Norfolk and Essex; with more to follow in the coming months.”