Family run from the beginning, the third-generation artisan caterers behind Dolce believe in three things: healthy home-cooked meals, modern catering innovations and exceptional service. Combining all three, they’ve made something truly special.

Dan Curtis


Founded in 1999, the Curtis family created a recipe for success. Initially started by Dan with his passion to make school dinners better than anyone else, the legacy continues with his three sons at the helm to add fresh talents to the mix: a dash of the eldest’s operations skill, programming prowess from his middle son and a pinch of the youngest’s sales know-how. Almost 30 years later, Dolce has now innovated some of the biggest school meal developments the sector has ever seen.


We’re proud pioneers. The Dolce story is packed with all sorts of incredible innovations. We were the first caterer to provide allergen protection systems, online recipe access and hotplate touchscreens for total menu transparency for pupils, parents and kitchen staff.


We’ve got quite the trophy cabinet to show for our efforts. Over the years, we’ve been awarded a number of accolades, including a Catey Award – one of the most prestigious awards in the catering industry, alongside an Educatering Award and for the LACA Cook of the Year.


Dan first learnt how to cook during his time spent in kitchens across Italy. It was during this time that he felt inspired by the Italian approach to cooking; passionate about fresh, seasonal ingredients and obsessed with perfecting the taste. When Dan, his brother and their father pooled their experience after managing school catering for both the public and private sectors, they decided to embed the Italian approach to food creation into their business model. This is where the name ‘Dolce’ was born, meaning ‘The Sweet Life’ (La Dolce Vita). From then on, they vowed to turn school dinners on their head – no more bland, dry food lacking in nutrients – instead, schools, for the first time in decades, could enjoy meals cooked fresh from raw ingredients, packed full of taste and nutrients.

And it’s that same commitment to great cooking and innovation that really has made us what we are today. We’re confident in saying the past is what’s inspired Dolce’s present.

From the food that pupils eat to the systems parents use and especially the 2,000-strong employees who make up the Dolce team, everything we do is powered by the vision that the Curtis Brothers had all the way back in 1999. We’re proud to be able to say we’ve helped make the lives of so many easier, healthier and more inspiring. It’s those kinds of achievements that are going to power us on through the next 30+ years – and beyond!

Primary school students enjoying a dolce school dinner
Cottage Pie