Principals by CH&CO starts school year with new openings worth £7.5m

Principals by CH&CO has had a strong start to the new school year with more than 16 new schools opening this term adding to the current established portfolio.

The new partnerships have a total value in turnover of £7.5m for the duration of the contracts and will see the specialist school caterer strengthen its foothold in its homestay of Kent and break into London and Surrey. This success has been built on the team securing both individual schools and small clusters through recommendations and network.

According to client feedback, Principals by CH&CO was successful because of its reputation to develop unique solutions for each school, for growing uptake and for generating interest in food in the classroom, dining hall and home.

Great tasting, nutritious food on the menu is a given, but it’s the way that the on-site Principals by CH&CO teams engage and excite children, staff and parents to create a joyous, positive food culture that stands out.

Initiatives and innovations that have captured imaginations and enhanced food experiences include street food pop-ups to introduce new flavours, tastes and textures and an interactive ‘family service’ concept that empowers children to serve themselves at the table, assisted by an adult, helping them build social skills and confidence and teaching appropriate portion size, as well as adding enjoyment to meal times.

Through food, Principals by CH&CO also supports school life throughout the year. From school gardens that inspire children as they follow the life of food from seed to the kitchen and plate, to sports, school events and special calendar occasions, food has an important role to play and is linked with the curriculum wherever possible.

Peter McKenna, sales director for Principals by CH&CO, said, “It’s been an incredible start to the new school year and we’re thrilled to be extending our reach into London and Surrey.

'Principals by CH&CO is in a strong position and this is down to our innovative, creative approach that enables us to build genuine partnerships with the schools we work with and be a positive part of a school community.

'I’ve been into the kitchens of our new schools and the atmosphere is brilliant and the teams’ dedication to creating exciting food experiences is palpable – there’s a real buzz! This is a new, exciting chapter for the business as we enjoy continued growth and move into new areas.

'We also benefit from great support from the wider CH&CO business in the form of outstanding nutrition and culinary expertise and excellent support in marketing, procurement, finance, training and development, to name just a few!'

McKenna continued, “Our ethos is to work with the right schools that we can build true partnerships with, and not growth for growth sake. We have great people in our teams who want to make a real difference to the children and school communities we work with, beyond what’s on the plate. Take our new family service concept, for example.

'In modern society, not every child sits down for family meals at home and important development and life skills are in danger of being lost. We’re in a position to give children experiences in the dining hall that they can take with them throughout their lives, and it’s important that we do this.”