Catering Design Group (CDG) has undertaken its largest ever project, completing a transformation of the catering facilities at Millfield, an independent school for children aged 2-18 years, in excess of £1m.
Commissioned by contract caterers, Chartwells, on behalf of Millfield, the brief to CDG was to design, install and completely refurbish the catering facilities. The space was required to cope with large volumes at peak times – 1,000 meals during the 45 minute breakfast service and 1,450 meals over the two hour lunchtime service.
The school dates back to 1935, so it was important that the catering facilities showcased and celebrated its academic, cultural and sporting heritage, whilst delivering an individual and contemporary dining experience. For Chartwells, the brief was to deliver an efficient and flexible catering facility that would showcase the quality and breadth of the food on offer, whilst delivering a great customer experience.
A key part of the brief was to make queuing systems and customer flows as efficient as possible within the servery and dining area. The layout and the route through the space were re-configured, creating separate zones to improve the customer journey and increase operational efficiency.
A modern servery was introduced with new features, such as a theatre station for international cuisine, a ‘grab and go’ area, bakery counter, together with counters to serve hot foods, salads and deli options and a beverage station. To improve speed of service, the counters were mirrored on either side of the bakery.
A bespoke M-IQ Meiko flight dishwasher was installed that has the ability to process up to 19 trays per minute. The manufacturer also supplied a tray washing machine, a mobile cutlery soak sink, a tray return conveyor with cutlery lifting magnet and a pass through dishwasher.
BGL Rieber provided a theatre unit with three cooking zone inserts: induction, induction wok and a hot ceran insert. Manufacturer Mechline supplied a hand wash basin tap, deck mounted mixer taps, a retractable hose reel and a janitorial sink, while Bridge Fabrications created a corner bench in the main server. Furthermore, Trak Hupfer provided a mobile plate lowerator and a double basket trolley and GN trolley.
To add warmth to the space, materials were blended, such as ceramics and timber, with the addition of a grey granite and contrasting cream stone counter tops. A glass screen adorned with the school crest separates the servery and seating areas.
Timber and slate effect floor finishes creates zones and a route through the space, whilst ceiling rafts sweep around the server, mirroring the curves of the counters. Interest and texture have been added to counter fronts with the use of recycled bottles and end grain oak.
Philip Howard, MD, Catering Design Group commented: “Millfield presented many technical, operational and design challenges – however, we hugely enjoyed every minute of our time on site. We found creative and practical solutions to the issues raised by the client to deliver a combination of efficiency, practicality and the ‘wow’ factor. We’re of course especially proud that Chartwells has nominated Millfield as their flagship site within the education sector.”
Chartwells’ general manager, Rohan Slabbert, said: “Millfield is now a flagship site for Chartwells because it was designed with the customer and the future in mind. The design has given us huge amounts of flexibility. Each counter can double up or triple up as something else and we are not limited with what we can do with the counters or the space.
“The feedback we’ve received has been overwhelming. The pupils love the idea that we’re more interactive with them and they enjoy using the space because it feels very new and fresh. I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending CDG.”
Neil Chapillon, estate manager, Millfield added: “We required a catering facility that was truly unique – one that could deliver on so many levels. Catering Design Group delivered in abundance, exceeding our expectations to create a catering facility which answered the brief and is very special indeed.”