News Fri, 25 Jul 2014 23:02:46 +0000 Joomla! - Open Source Content Management en-gb TUCO and SRA introduce new University Catering Rating

The Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA) and TUCO have worked together to develop the new University Catering Rating, which will help raise dining standards across UK universities.


According to research conducted by the Higher Education Authority and the NUS, over 80% of students consistently believe that sustainable development should be actively incorporated and promoted by universities.


"Working in partnership with the SRA, TUCO has developed a ratings model that is sector specific to our market - a model which recognises the bespoke challenges faced by those operating in the Higher Education sector while retaining its unique integrity through the way it is scored,” says Julie Barker, TUCO Chair.

The rating follows the format that the SRA has used over the last four years to assess the business-wide operation of its 4,000 restaurant Member sites.


The rating is built around the three pillars of sustainability: Sourcing, Environment and Society and membership benefits include a dedicated, expert advice and support service to help them improve year on year.


The universities at Brighton and Plymouth played a crucial role in modelling and testing the new rating. Both received an exceptional score of three stars – the highest rating.


The University of Brighton’s three star rating reflected a number of notable initiatives, including its Marine Stewardship Council chain of custody certification, which ensures all the seafood it serves is from sustainable sources, it’s commitment to selling Fairtrade products at catering sites across campus the cookery classes and its use of renewable energy.

Sun, 27 Jul 2014 14:32:04 +0000
TUCO Conference Highlights Video 2014

The 2014 TUCO Conference was hosted by, and held at The University of Liverpool earlier this week.


The event, which brought together university caterers and industry exhibitors, ran over four days and boasted a huge success for both TUCO and The University of Liverpool.


Click here to see the highlights...



Fri, 25 Jul 2014 09:54:07 +0000
TUCO regional video released

TUCO's regional video showcasing the dedicated work of TUCO's eight regions in the UK is now available for viewing.


The video was exclusively shown in today's Annual General Meeting at the TUCO Conference, in Liverpool. 


To watch the video, visit the TUCO YouTube page by clicking here. 

Wed, 23 Jul 2014 13:09:10 +0000
Today's keynote speaker: Sir Drummond Bone

Professor Sir Drummond Bone is master of Balliol College and Chair of the Arts and Humanities Research Council.


Drummond Bone graduated from Glasgow University, and was a Snell Exhibitioner at Balliol from 1968 to 1972. He became professor of English Literature and dean of the Faculty of Arts at the University of Glasgow, principal of Royal Holloway and Bedford New College in the University of London, vice-chancellor of the University of Liverpool, and president of Universities UK.


He is an acknowledged expert on the poetry of Byron and is president of the Scottish Byron Society. He was a long-time member of the Steering Group of the Council for College and University English, a fellow of the English Association, and an elected Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts, as well as being a member of the CBI Science and Innovation Committee and chair of the Northern Way’s Industry and Innovation Group. 


In 2008 he was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. Professor Bone was knighted in the 2008 Birthday Honours for services to Higher Education and the regeneration of the North West.

Wed, 23 Jul 2014 12:00:22 +0000
Today's keynote speaker: Gordon Robertson

Every organisation has its fair share of energy vampires – they are the ones who are always moaning and unhappy.


They infect others and create colonies of energy vampires. They have low morale and higher absence levels.


They always give a hundred reasons why things can’t be done and they drain you and your organisation of energy, drive and profit. Gordon Robertson will, in his own inimitable fashion, present on how to slay vampires and motivate people.


The presentation will give delegates the opportunity to experience first-hand some of the tools which are used to create a vampire-free environment through challenging negative thought patterns and negative language.    


Gordon will focuses on breaking down the barriers that inhibit performance in your greatest asset, your people. Gordon’s goal is to help your businesses identify, understand and improve the overall health and profitability of your organisation, and to deliver the best student experience without resorting to wooden stakes and garlic.


Wed, 23 Jul 2014 08:00:06 +0000
TUCO exclusive research revealed

The exclusive TUCO Student Eating and Drinking Habits research has today been revealed at the TUCO Conference in Liverpool.


The research, which TUCO commissioned Qa Research to undertake, studied student's eating and drinking habits at a host of universities across the UK.


1,501 students took part in the research which aimed to discover what influences decisions students make in regards to deciding what to eat and where, as well as where to purchase groceries. 


The findings identified two student marketing angles: the diet conscious student and the convenience conscious student.


For both types of students, cost was identified as a big factor and recognised as most important when deciding where to buy groceries and where to eat and drink.


The research showed that nearly half of students look at the fat content of food before purchasing while more than half said they use their campus cafe at least once per month.


Figures showed that a quarter of students do a daily shop, with one in five visiting a supermarket each day.


17% of students said that the opening times of outlets is poor and 53% would like to see outlets open later.


“The objective was to support members not only with their day to day decisions on operational matters but also with longer term strategic decisions," says Elizabeth Crawford, TUCO Board member.


"The outcomes of this research underline the challenges of the high price sensitive market in which university caterers are operating as well as the highly varied choices that students are making each day.


"One of the most striking aspects of the research is about location and opening times and those colleagues who have responded with mobile food offers on campus have started to address this.


"It is important that TUCO sustains it’s research activity as trends are as interesting as snapshots.The next development in our research will be a focus on international students and their eating preferences,” she adds.


To download the TUCO research, please click here. 



Tue, 22 Jul 2014 08:55:28 +0000
Today's keynote speaker: Nick Lynch and Vicky Peace

Nick Lynch


Nick is a director of Qa Research, one of the country’s leading social and marketing research agencies, delivering insight solutions to the private and public sectors. 


Nick is a BA (Hons) graduate in Geography from University of Leeds, with a postgraduate CIM diploma in Marketing. Prior to joining Qa, Nick held various senior marketing positions, including the National Trust and American Express.


During his 16 years at Qa, Nick has managed a wide range of research and marketing projects for a variety of clients including Visit England, Welcome to Yorkshire, English Heritage, The Caravan Club, Best Western, the Science Museum, St Pauls Cathedral and the YHA. 


Recently, Nick has contributed to a number of high profile projects including a review of the future York hotel and accommodation strategy, new audience catering requirements for the National Trust in the North West, a review of catering operations for Betty’s at RHS Harlow Carr, and potential opportunities of group travel for National Trust head office. Nick is also a mystery guest and diner for a number of leading hotels and restaurant brands.


Vicky Peace


Vicky is a research executive at Qa Research within the Children, Young People and Families Team.She graduated from Sheffield Hallam University in 2010 after studying Law and Criminology BA (Hons), going on to complete her MA in International Criminal Justice the following year.


Before joining Qa, Vicky worked in the service industry, supervised a live music venue and at Citizenship First, supported adults with learning disabilities in their own homes and outreach work in the community.


Since joining Qa, Vicky has been involved in many projects designing research materials, conducting fieldwork, analysing and interpreting data; both quantitative and qualitative. Vicky has an interest in ethnography and has recently completed an advanced course in this area.


She has worked with local authorities, charities such as The Barnwood Trust, Booktrust & Tinder Foundation, and a variety of clients including The Caravan Club, Severn Trent Water and Big Lottery Fund.


Tue, 22 Jul 2014 08:00:20 +0000
Today's keynote speaker: Petra Barran

Petra began in the mobile food business in 2005 when she hit the streets with Choc Star, Britain’s only dedicated chocolate van. She fell in love with the road, the community and with selling chocolate to people all over London and beyond.


The next move forward was to consolidate this to create more opportunities for traders to trade and outside eaters to eat. She co-founded in 2009 and then moved on to found KERB in 2012 – with an MSc in Urban Studies from UCL informing and developing her interest in the spaces of food in cities. 


Petra was named ‘One of the 10 People Who Changed the World’ by The Independent in 2011 and in 2014. The Sunday Times claims ‘Barran has changed the face of British cuisine’. 


KERB takes its name from the paving stones upon which they curate street food markets and events across London. With a 50-strong membership of brilliant street cooks they look for spaces where they can make London taste better – and feel better too. 


Mon, 21 Jul 2014 08:00:08 +0000
Expression of Interest - New Frozen Framework

TUCO will shortly be re-tendering the Frozen and Chilled Foods framework. Therefore, please could you complete the Expression of Interest Form by 28th July 2014 and send it to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


The expression of interest form can be found here.

Tue, 08 Jul 2014 11:26:59 +0000
TUCO scoop up four CUBO Awards

TUCO last night scooped up four CUBO Awards at the Royal Holloway.


Amanda Shipley of the University of Wolverhampton, who is featured in this month's TUCO magazine, was last night awarded CUBO Business Manager of the Year.


TUCO are also proud to announce that Board member and Catering Manager at Harper Adams University, David Nuttall, received the Innovation Award for Excellence in Student Experience, sponsored by UPP.


“The CUBO award winners are voted for by members, so it is a true honour to have been chosen as the winner by peers from the UK higher education sector," says David.


“Our entry focussed on the way we put sustainable development and environmental consciousness at the heart of support services at Harper Adams University. Core studies cover sustainable farming, land, animals and the food chain, therefore all support services integrate thoroughly with the overall student experience," he adds.


The Best Catering Service Award, sponsored by TUCO, was presented to Jackie McPeake of Manchester Metropolitan University.


Catherine Anderson of the University of Liverpool, who is this year hosting the TUCO Conference 2014, also picked up the CUBO Lifetime Achievement Award. 


Now in its third year, the CUBO Awards were last night held at the Royal Holloway, University of London. The awards were open to all higher education institutions and businesses associated with CUBO's areas of activity.  


TUCO are pleased to see its members continue to be recognised for their hard work and commitment within catering and innovation.

Fri, 04 Jul 2014 09:27:06 +0000