Red Kite Alliance schools make vending a soaring success!

RKA_2014The excellent relationship which has been created between Livewell® and members of the Red Kite Alliance was further consolidated with recent visits to secondary schools by the Livewell® team. Harrogate Grammar School and Rossett School are leading figures in the Red Kite Alliance, a partnership of schools and institutions sharing skills, expertise and experience in schools across Yorkshire and the Humber. Both schools have worked closely with Livewell® over a number of years and are interesting examples of the benefits of vending for schools, both in terms of supporting the catering service and providing financial rewards.

Rossett School
As an Ofsted rated ‘Outstanding’ academy, Rossett School has 1500 students on site and provides catering for students and staff within 45 minutes at busy lunchtime sessions. The school acknowledges vending as an integral part of their catering service. As Betty Davidson, Catering Manager comments “vending really takes the pressure off the catering team during our peak times, so we can concentrate on providing quality meals for the students.”

As part of their commitment to healthy eating and hydration, the school commissioned Livewell® to install a Hydration Station providing a high quality range of cold drinks and a Small Space Coffee Shop, offering high street quality hot drinks on a fully managed basis. The machines, which have combined total weekly vends of 900, earn the school an estimated £4000 in annual royalties and champion the school’s beliefs in high quality and value for money for the students, providing the latest advances in fast delivery and interactive technology. Finance Director Joe Joyce was keen to praise the cashless payment system of the Hydration Station, stating that “cashless vending is vital for our school and Livewell® were able to provide a smooth switchover with their modern approach to vending.” Since switching to cashless in February 2014, sales have almost doubled and the revenue raised will then be re-invested into the main kitchen facility to help improve quality and service.

Harrogate Grammar School
An Independent Academy Trust, Harrogate Grammar School has overseen the total refurbishment and extension of its kitchens. Its catering services are overseen by an award-winning chef, credited as ‘Newcomer of the Year 2013‘ by Educatering Magazine. With over 1850 students, pressure on the catering service at peak times is great and vending has assisted in meeting peak demands at busy times, enabling the catering team to concentrate on producing quality food. As Dave Carrack, Catering Manager observes “it’s all about getting a quality product out in a very short space of time, so vending has taken the pressure off us enormously.”

Unlike other schools which opt to lease machines, Harrogate Grammar School’s management team were keen to control the vending facilities and worked with the Livewell® team to develop a ‘Buy Option’ with self fill for the school. A total of six machines were installed across the campus to deliver a total vending solution. Finance Director Steve Howell reported that “vending has been a total success story for the school…accounting for more than 10% of our total catering turnover this year.” Total vending sales across the various machines – which include Hydration Stations, Healthy Snack stations and Small Space Coffee Shops – amount to approximately £2000 per week and revenue in 2013/14 will exceed 100K. As Richard Sheriff, Headteacher reflected “the revenue that the school receives from vending is all re-invested for the benefits of the students, so it’s a win-win all round.”

The two examples of Rossett School and Harrogate Grammar School demonstrate powerfully how a shared vision means vending is able to support existing catering services whilst providing schools with a valuable revenue stream.

These case studies will be shared with members of the Red Kite Alliance at a conference at Harrogate International Centre on Friday 27th June and have already been shared with members of the Lead Association for Catering in Education (LACA) at a recent event at Fountains Abbey.

For more information about our Vetail™ Revolution at Livewell® Vending Ltd, please contact Liz Hines, Business Manager on or call 01423 876352.

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