News Sat, 31 Jan 2015 00:41:43 +0000 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb Deadline extended for TUCO Comps entry

The deadline for the TUCO Competitions 2015 has been extended until January 30th. 


Over the past month entries for the TUCO 2015 competitions have been rolling in, if you haven’t already done so then register today and take the opportunity to get involved and showcase the work of your talented staff.  


Taking place in Blackpool on Monday 16th and Tuesday 17th March, the competitions will once again bring together the university catering world to compete for the highly respected TUCO titles.


This year will see the addition of:


The Bartender of the Year - where entrants will create a ‘round of drinks’, a signature cocktail and two two-pint pitcher drinks – showcasing their mixing , pouring and general service skills at specially installed bars. 


Sustainable Initiative of the Year – seeks to recognise and celebrate member institutions that have successfully demonstrated that they offer healthy sustainable catering services and that they are trading in ways that contribute to local economies and in a sustainable manor.


Student Experience Initiative of the Year – seeks to recognise and celebrate member institutions that have successfully demonstrated that they have implemented an initiative that has a positive impact on the Student Experience within their institution.


You can find out more about the TUCO Competitions 2015, the different categories, how to enter, what to expect and the specific rule by clicking here.To make the registering process easier, entrants can now book online.


For the latest TUCO Competition 2015 news and updates then follow on Twitter using #TUCOComps


We look forward to receiving your booking and seeing you at Blackpool.

Mon, 26 Jan 2015 10:39:53 +0000
Notice of General Meeting

Notice is hereby given that a General Meeting (Meeting) of The University Caterers Organisation Limited (Company) will be held at BMA House, Tavistock Square, London WC1 9JP on 22 January 2015 at midday to transact the following business:


To consider and, if though fit, approve the following resolution as a special resolution of the Company:


THAT the draft articles of association produced to the meeting and, for the purposes of identification, initialled by the Chairman be adopted as the articles of association of the Company in substitution for, and to the exclusion of, the existing articles of association.

Documents have been sent to all members, if you have not received your documents for this meeting, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


By order of the Board:

Mrs J Barker
Director and Chair
The University Caterers Organisation Limited
20 Dale Street
Manchester M1 1EZ

Wed, 21 Jan 2015 16:15:17 +0000
TUCO Competitions 2015

The 22nd annual TUCO skills competitions will take place in Blackpool on the 16th and 17th of March 2015 and will showcase the work of some of the most talented people in university catering sector. 


New for 2015 is the Bar Skills Competition, giving bar staff the opportunity to show off their mixing, pouring and general service skills at our specially installed bars. Also new for 2015 are the two initiative competitions, which are to be submitted via document form prior to the competitions taking place. 


Catering staff from universities across the UK are also invited to a range of other competitions, including Chef of the Year, Culinaire Skills, Service Skills Challenge, Chefs' Challenge and the Barista Skills Challenge.


As always, the continued success of this event is in part due to the support from our sponsors, both new and old. 


For more information, please follow this link. 

Fri, 09 Jan 2015 17:25:13 +0000
TUCO announces latest research

TUCO has commissioned several pieces of research following the success of its 2014 Student Eating and Drinking Habits research. 


The research includes Food Trends from the USA, Global Food Trends, Catering for International Students and a Benchmarking Pilot.


Food trends from the USA


As a comparison to the UK eating and drinking trends research, TUCO will be assigning Technomic to investigate additional insights into that of US student trends, usage, attitudes and behaviours. They will then compare and contrast their findings against the earlier UK research to explore the following key objectives:


  • Similarities and differences between US and UK university student eating habits
  • Compare and contrast food offerings and marketing, including merchandising approaches
  • Uncovering key changes in student usage
  • Identifying US trends likely to gain traction in the UK
  • To share any relevant macro consumer trends


The research will examine significant questions such as:


  • Where are students sourcing food and drink?
  • What proportion of food sourced is from retail and what proportion is from foodservice?
  • How often do students prepare their own meals?
  • How often do students visit university and non-university outlets?


Global food trends


TUCO has assigned thefoodpeople to investigate and identify the trends in global food that will be impacting our members over the next five years. Thefoodpeople are a unique global trend and idea agency that specialise in food expertise, trendspotting, reporting and predicting. They will explore:


  • Macro food trends
  • Food delivery concepts
  • Trending cuisine and ingredients
  • Supporting macro and socio cultural evidence
  • Trend life stage and span


The aim of this report is to provide members with directional insight on which to make evidence-based decision to grow their business. Enabling members to inspire change within their institutions, providing the knowledge that puts members at the cutting edge of food trends and foresight; creating greater customer relevance.


Catering for international students


Attending university can be a very challenging time, for some young adults it often the first time they will have been away from home. At times like this the importance of providing home comforts is imperative and can be the defying factor when measuring international students’ satisfaction levels.


Once again TUCO will be working with QA Research to bring this important information to the forefront of our members; the report will help members understand:


  • What food international students eat at home and their opinions on the availability of these foods in university outlets
  • The importance of replicating authentic menus and cooking methods
  • International student satisfaction with current university outlets
  • Religious dietary requirements
  • International student spend
  • Frequency of visits to university catering outlets
  • Food purchasing patterns


The piece of research aims to inform and impact on university catering strategies. There are four main aspects that we hope to deliver – nationality, UK trends relating to geographic location, that universities can access their own findings and to highlight how satisfied/dissatisfied International students are, together with identifying best practice.


Benchmarking Pilot


Benchmarking is a systematic process of comparing business performance or processes in an organisation, or between groups/members of an organisation, to learn if and how things can be done better.


TUCO will be working with QA Research to undertake a pilot benchmarking survey. The aim of the pilot is to allow members to look at data from comparable institutions, giving members the ability to benchmark themselves and their ability against top, average and median responses. We hope the pilot will also highlight best practice and strengthen TUCO’s belief that providing in-house catering provides better value for money than outsourcing.


The main areas of focus will be personnel and operating performance, covering elements such as pay, pensions and terms and conditions.

Fri, 09 Jan 2015 14:24:48 +0000
University of Exeter introduces nutritional information to menus

As of this month, the University of Exeter will bring in nutritional information across all menus in its campus catering outlets.


The development follows a survey last May which found that more than two thirds of Exeter students were concerned about a friend's eating habits.


While the movement has its obvious benefits, especially to those with specific dietary requirements, it has also raised the argument of whether this kind of information brings with it the risk of encouraging fixation on calorific values.


An opinion piece on the Independent's website recently asked the questions, do the benefits of displaying calorie information outweighed potential risks? And should outlets cater for both wanting to see this information and those who don't? 


This news also follows in the footsteps of the recent updates in the US claiming that this year will see calorie counts of menus and menu boards all over the country. 



Tue, 06 Jan 2015 10:34:41 +0000
TUCO Allergen Labelling Guide
The TUCO Allergen Labelling Guide, which is now available to download, details practical steps to deal with the changes to food labelling regulations that come into effect on the 13th December 2014.

Food providers will be required to identify the 14 Allergens, as detailed by the legislation; the TUCO Guide offers clear and simple steps to help ensure compliance and customer safety.

Supplementing the guide is a presentation which is available, free of charge, on the Learning and Development page here. (Please note you must be logged in to view this in the toolbox at the bottom of the page).
The presentation covers:
•Why we need to be aware of Allergens & Allergies
•What are the effects of consuming or contact with allergens
•What we need to tell our customers
•How can we communicate this information to customers & colleagues
There are also additional sources of information available on the Food Standards Agency website  

TUCO would like thank the University of Birmingham and The University of Reading for their involvement which has allowed TUCO to provide these resources to our community.
Fri, 12 Dec 2014 17:21:08 +0000
L R Suntory and GSK separate

LR Suntory has advised that the final transition of systems from GSK to LR Suntory is occurring during 12th December and 12th January.


As a new business, L R Suntory are creating new systems and processes to make its business work and operate independently of GSK.


However, this means orders cannot be placed during this time. Members will need to either order accordingly or find alternative provision. 


1. Until 9 December 2014

• Continue to place orders against the current GSK account number you use

• Deliveries will take place at the latest on the 12th December 2014


2. From 10 December until 11 January 2015

• We will not be processing orders for delivery out of Palmer & Harvey (P&H)


3. From 12 January 2015 onwards

• Place orders with the same customer services team you currently contact

USE YOUR NEW LRS account number

• Deliveries will take place from no earlier than 14 January 2015


Please download this guide which will give you an overview of the changes you need to be aware of. 


Thu, 11 Dec 2014 10:04:47 +0000
Harper Adams releases 'Attitude to food' survey

A survey has been distributed as part of a study carried out at Harper Adams University.


This survey is about gauging peoples' attitude towards new foods and sustainable food supplies with a hint towards alternative food sources.


Participation is entirely voluntary and all responses can be entirely anonymous.


Completing the survey takes approximately 5-10 minutes.


All you have to do to get to the survey is to follow the link below:



If you have any questions or remarks regarding this survey you can always contact the researchers on:


This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Wed, 10 Dec 2014 17:12:51 +0000
TUCO Regional Merchandising Courses a success

A TUCO learning and development course on merchandising, held in June and October this year, have been a huge success.


Open to front of house supervisors, assistant managers and others in similar roles, the Regional Merchandising Courses took place in London and Swansea.


The free one-day workshops focused on contemporary merchandising techniques. Delegates took time to understand how customers look at displays and counter layouts to decide what items they will buy.


These decisions are frequently taken based on how items are placed together rather than a conscious decision.


Feedback of the courses has been excellent, with all delegates commenting on how relevant this one-day workshop is to their daily work.


The courses were funded using the TUCO Regional Training Grants which are available to every region each year. The company has committed to £3,000 per region to be used to provide any training which will benefit TUCO members and their teams.


Wed, 03 Dec 2014 09:41:05 +0000
UK teenagers ‘want to see more Fairtrade products’

Nearly two-thirds of teenagers would like to see more Fairtrade products at home and three-quarters want to buy more ethical and sustainable products, according to a new survey.


The research, commissioned by the Fairtrade Foundation to marks its 20th anniversary, revealed that 82% of UK teenagers think companies to act more responsibly and just one in 10 believe governments and companies will improve conditions in the future.


Encouragingly, almost all (97%) of the teenagers surveyed said they see the Fairtrade mark sometimes or often, making it the most widely-recognised ethical label among UK teens.


“Young people are highly engaged and they want to have a say on the role of companies and organisations like Fairtrade as they step into adulthood,” said Caroline Holme, director at GlobeScan, which carried out the research.


Other findings showed that nine in 10 teens say they are willing to take action on issues they care about, with buying an ethical product being their most popular course of action. 

Fri, 28 Nov 2014 17:26:29 +0000