Southampton Parents Welcome Schools’ Olympic Legacy Catering Equipment
Feeding 10,000 school children every day is no easy task, especially when dealing with a variety of different school buildings and layouts. Southampton school meals service uses Versicarte trolleys, from British manufacturer E & R Moffat, throughout its foodservice operation. Recently, when more Versicartes were needed for the ‘fleet’, Southampton struck lucky: they were able to get them at less than half price, thanks to the Olympic Legacy agreement.
The Versicartes had all been used during the London Games, then returned to Moffat for refurbishment before being offered to schools and other public service caterers. “The agreement with LOCOG was that they should be offered to ‘suitable homes’ at list price less 57.5%,” says Moffat sales director Gary Allen. “They also have a full 12 months warranty.”
Stephen Price is Head of City Catering at Southampton City Council. “We have Versicartes in most of our 68 schools,” he says. “They are very manoeuvrable, so we can wheel them in and out and adjust the layout easily to suit the available space. Their build specification is excellent and they’re easy to clean. We have them serviced regularly and have had no service issue with them whatsoever, despite the rough treatment they sometimes receive!”
The Olympic Legacy Versicartes are a mixture of units for four separate schools. “They showed no sign of wear and tear when they arrived, in fact they’re as good as new.
“Better than new, really, because they have the added kudos of the association with the Olympics. The schools have had really positive feedback from the parents and children because of that.”
Southampton’s’ Versicarte fleet comprises a wide variety of units, including bains maries, refrigerated displays, merchandisers and ambient units. “They look very smart, which helps sell school meals,” says Stephen. “Moffat will also personalise the Versicarte trolleys – for example, some of the schools have their own logos on the fascias, it makes them special.”
Stephen has been impressed by Moffat’s customer support. “They listened to our comments about the first Versicartes we bought and adjusted the design accordingly. That’s the sort of commitment that makes it easy to have a solid relationship with a supplier. We buy other equipment from the company and it’s always very well constructed and lasts a long time.”
The Versicarte system has versatility built in, with innovative features such as glass screens that can be adjusted so that the trolley can switch from self-service to assisted service easily. The wide choice of options allows most modules to be customised to individual requirements. The range is constantly being expanded with new products such as the Versicarte Salad Bar, designed to keep healthy greens looking great and in top condition. Versicarte modules can be butted together to form a straight or angular service counter. Alternatively, stand-alone units can be placed around the dining area to create a free-flow self-service environment.
E & R Moffat is one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of quality foodservice equipment, designing and manufacturing in-house. Based in Bonnybridge, Scotland, the company manufactures standard and bespoke servery, regeneration and storage equipment and runs a full nationwide after-sales engineering team. E & R Moffat is accredited to ISO 9001:2008 and many of the products have gas approvals and are EMC tested. For more information on E & R Moffat visit the website on www.ermoffat.co.uk