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London Borough of Sutton

The London Borough of Sutton delivers the mid-day meals service to some 40 primary and special schools and children's centres located across the borough.

With the advent of Universal Infant Free School Meals in September 2014 and the introduction of new School Food Plan standards, specialist external advice has been sourced to ensure that future catering services are delivered in a cost effective and fully compliant manner.

Project Brief

Our initial appointment was to undertake a strategic review of the in-house catering provision, the establishment of a new commercial/financial trading model and the production of a tender template document.

We were subsequently employed to manage the tendering of the catering services. The process was expected to follow the full OJEU tendering procedure, using the Council's online portal.

Our input required the production of a full set of tender documents including writing a complete set of 4 new service specifications and establishing the evaluation criteria.

We were then retained to coordinate and manage the entire process of issue and return of tenders, bid evaluation, shortlisting, presentations and pre-award negotiations.


AVL produced a robust and far reaching report highlighting where best practice was currently being delivered, and identifying where cost and operational efficiencies and improvements could be achieved. The content was underpinned with highly qualified benchmarking data and information.

The findings of the report were used to influence and guide future Council thinking and strategy.

When the decision was taken to market test the catering service, AVL Consultancy was again appointed to consult with stakeholders and manage this competitive process.

At the time of writing, we have prepared delivered new Service Specification that refocuses on the quality of food and service expected in today's marketplace. The full tender process will begin in September 2014.

Client Contact

Kathy Crosthwaite
Client Catering Officer
London Borough of Sutton

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