Case study: School Catering
Client: Bedford School
Transforming quality, efficiency, and compliance
Checkit provides Sodexo’s Bedford School catering team with greater operational visibility and efficiency as they serve over 1,000 hungry students each and every day.
The mammoth task of feeding those hungry mouths falls to Caitlin McArthur and her contract catering team at Sodexo. Caitlin is using Checkit’s Real-Time Operations Management solution for Work Management and Automated Monitoring to see the difference it could make to Sodexo’s daily duties including:
- opening and closing;
- hot hold, chilling, and cooking;
- cleaning and deliveries;
- food hygiene and food standards inspections;
- training and management.
By the numbers:
- 52 catering staff;
- 1100 students, including 300 boarders;
- 400 staff;
- 1400 lunches on weekdays;
- 400 breakfasts and evening meals daily;
- 10 on-site fridges and freezers.
Work Management soups up efficiency
Previously, Caitlin and her team had been carrying out temperature monitoring, general food safety, and other compliance checks manually. Each was recorded separately, the old-fashioned way: with a pen and paper.
Full, in-depth checks were carried out weekly and any outstanding compliance or safety issues were addressed as and when they were discovered. If simple human error meant something got missed, it was potentially days before it could be identified and fixed. The team agreed a two-week handover period where their existing processes would continue alongside the newly introduced Checkit Work Management Solution. The difference was clear right away.
Those weekly checks are now able to be carried out hourly, with pinpoint accuracy. Potential issues can be spotted right away, long before they become problematic. Frontline staff are alerted when checks are due, so nothing gets missed out. Best of all, centralised dashboard reporting means all that operations data is kept safe and easily accessible in the cloud. The need to store masses of cumbersome paperwork has been completely eliminated.
“We put the new systems in place on the 7th of March. Our EHO (Environmental Health Officer) visited on the 9th, during the handover, so he got a chance to see the two systems side-by-side. He was very impressed!”
“Checkit creates loads more efficiency and effectiveness and is also environmentally friendly as all the information is held in the cloud.”
Caitlin McArthur, Contract Catering Team
Manager – Sodexo
Automated Monitoring saves the day
It wasn’t long after being installed that Checkit Automated Monitoring got its first chance to shine. A power cut led to one of the site’s fridges breaking down over the weekend, when fewer staff were on hand to spot the issue.
With upwards of 1,000 mouths to feed, those fridges can potentially store thousands of pounds worth of food. Not only would losing it all be a big financial hit for Sodexo to take, there’s a reputational impact to consider if they found themselves unable to provide a square meal.
Caitlin’s team couldn’t have predicted a loss of power, but thanks to Checkit they could respond to it in no time. All it took was one alert and staff were redirected to move the food with minimal disruption to their duties, not one crumb was lost.
“It allows us to be much more proactive than the old paper-based system, as previously we wouldn’t find out about an issue until after it happened, or even a few days later. With Checkit we know exactly when it is happening and we can take action straight away.”
The recipe for a better team
The benefit of Checkit can be felt by the entire contract catering team. From a management perspective, it’s now possible to unlock unprecedented insight into the team’s performance and identify areas which could be developed.
Frontline staff, meanwhile, have had their workloads significantly streamlined. Routine checks are faster and more accurate, meaning they can spend less time worrying about compliance and more time providing delicious food and a great service experience for pupils and staff. Thanks to this increased efficiency, staff have more time to look past the next compliance check and into the customer’s needs. If a good idea comes up, the team can back it with the reporting and due diligence it deserves.
Checkit: In Caitlin’s own words
Caitlin McArthur, Contract Catering Team
Manager – Sodexo
“We view Checkit in terms of efficiency. The work still needs to be done, but it’s now done in a way that makes every second count. Once we input the data into Checkit, it’s there for everyone involved to make the best possible use of. Whether that means reporting, analysis, or spotting ways to improve how we work. You just can’t do all that using files full of spreadsheets.”
“It’s good to innovate, so we don’t feel like we’re standing still. Checkit lets us do that.”
“Checkit made us more compliant and able to produce our due diligence documentation faster.”
Checkit: In Bill’s own words
Bill Hui, Group Head of Safety and Risk –
Sodexo Justice UK&I
“When the unforeseen happens, like a power failure for example, Checkit allows the Sodexo team to implement ‘Hold, Plan and Act’ timely resilience plans.”
“Checkit provides lots of data helping to support temperature based monitoring of key catering assets. Managers can now fix emerging issues before any breakdown creates crisis, like a fridge malfunction for example”
Checkit gives you top to bottom control, management and visibility of operational and business performance in real-time.
Checkit Work Management and Automated Monitoring capture millions of data points on how people, processes and equipment are performing against your operational strategy. Operational Insight pulls this data together into usable information that gives an unprecedented view on the health of your organisation.