Education catering…The essentials


June 24, 2016

When designing a kitchen for the education sector what are the primary pieces of equipment common in most applications?

Equipment such as combination ovens, servery counters, bratt pans and blast chillers form the bulk of the equipment generally required for an education sector kitchen/catering design. The need to provide large quantities of standardised produce is the reason behind this and the equipment mentioned ensures that kitchen staff have the ability to meet this demand. The need to cook, chill and hold food in an hygienic and safe way is also a key consideration when planning and designing a new kitchen.
We are seeing a shift in trends in education sector catering as legislation and utility costs become a huge part of the purchasing decision. Equipment such as energy efficient induction hobs as opposed to gas burners are a great way for caterers and school kitchens to reduce cost in use figures dramatically and save money.

Caterers and schools are now looking further into the future when selecting equipment due to legislation changes, waste management being a prime example of this. Equipment such as food waste dewaters and composting equipment are becoming more and more popular as the cost of food waste disposable increases year on year. Legislation around the topic of waste to drain and FOG (fats, oils and greases) being a key driver in the shift in approach many establishments must now consider.

When working in the schools, colleges and universities are there any specific challenges that come with working in the sector?

The obvious challenge has to be budgets, this is universal across most sectors when working on a project and companies like ours have to be mindful to remain on budget whilst offering the best possible solutions. By selecting equipment that is fit for purpose, kitchens and catering areas are optimised with the right tools for the job.

Specifically to schools, patterns of flow has to be considered when designing dining areas and in consideration of ages, timetable sittings etc. Diners arrive in waves and the servery, kitchen and staff have to be primed and ready to take these bursts in demand. When studying dining patterns and student behaviour we see large numbers of students at pick up stations and clearing areas so the equipment and layout are extremely important to keep the operation flowing as smoothly as possible.

Why should a school or similar choose ABDA design for their next refurbishment or new build project?

Our experience in the public and private sector spans many years with both contract caterers and independent in-house catering, so we are able to use our previous projects as reference to show new clients the benefits of doing things in proven way.

Where we stand out and differ from other companies is that we offer the complete turn key solution by delivering concepts for both interiors and catering requirements back of house. This gives our clients the piece of mind and detailed visual insight into what the end project will look like, this is something we pride our business on.

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