Dolce's Award Winning Service
Having won both a Catey Award and an EDUcatering Excellence Award, Dolce is establishing itself as an innovative specialist in the schools catering industry.
Our Catey Award
First occurring in 1984, the Cateys, are a UK award ceremony for the hospitality industry. They have been described as the hospitality industry's equivalent of the Oscars. Recipients are nominated, selected and awarded by the industry. Previous winners include John Campbell in 2008, David Everitt-Matthias in 2007, Heston Blumenthal in 2004, Gordon Ramsay in 2000, Brian Turner in 1997 and Raymond Blanc in 1990.
To get an idea of how simple but effective Dolce's Live Kitchen technology has been in streamlining the provision of school meals, allow yourself to be dazzled by the financials for a minute – it generated £200,000 in its first year after being piloted in 2007, easily paying off the development costs of £75,000. This clearly successful technology is the brainchild of Dolce, a facilities management company, owned by the Curtis family since 1999. The £14m-turnover company have over 280 catering sites of which are all operating the Live Kitchen system.
The decision of the company’s catering division to develop and adopt Live Kitchen solved a fundamental problem. One of the biggest issues in school catering is meal numbers and one of the biggest obstructions to increasing meal numbers is the extra administration it creates. As many school meals providers will appreciate, if you don’t serve sufficient meals at the right cost and price, then the subsidy has to increase. Live Kitchen not only solves these problems, it also benefits teachers, parents, pupils and caterers. In a nutshell, the children pre-order their meals, which minimises waste and enables Dolce to keep the average meal price at an affordable rate. This, in turn, helps increase meal numbers – in fact sales have been boosted by 11%.
Additional perks include the fact parents can see what their children are eating, queues are reduced, direct debit systems make payment easier and the burden of administration is taken away from schools, saving secretaries at least 15 minutes a day. The system has helped Dolce to control costs and simplify procedures by linking orders to shopping lists online and then on to authorised suppliers. The software also removes all mathematical procedures from the kitchen, enabling chefs to simply enter basic information and get the calculations of, say, recipe volumes done for them.
“This company showed a true understanding of its clients’ needs and offered a real user-friendly solution, speaking directly in the dialect of today’s dotcom consumer,” said Wrapid director Stephen Minall. Alan Taylor, non-executive director, Ponti’s, added: “A well-defined project with clear objectives that met the needs of the wide range of users.”
The EDUcatering Excellence Award
An EDUcatering Excellence Award is the prestigious accolade for top achievers and are the most sought after acknowledgement of merit through this countries school meal industry. Dolce were happy to receive the EDUcatering Excellence Innovation Award and will continue to innovate and work hard towards more awards in the future.