University caterers win on student service & sustainability

Vacherin at Regent’s University London has secured top spot at an annual catering awards ceremony, the University Catering Awards, for excelling in student experience and sustainablity. 

The Brasserie cafe

Vacherin, the University’s catering team, works with seasonal, organic produce where possible, sources from local, independent and family-run suppliers, and prioritises animal welfare. Some of their initiatives include: 

  • A focus on healthy eating and vegan and gluten-free and dairy-free options across campus. Students and staff are encouraged to speak to staff about their particular dietary requirements
  • Seasonal produce, including free-range eggs, sustainable fish and ‘wonky veg’ 
  • Coffee sourced from Extract – a sustainable, direct trade roaster based in Bristol that invests in grass-roots projects in coffee growing communities 
  • Seasonal pop-ups and food events for Freshers’ Fair and Wellbeing Week 
  • Working with the Student Union to get feedback and insights on what students want to see. 

When the UK went into lockdown, catering staff stayed on to provide homecooked meals and fresh vegetables, salad and snacks for students who needed to self-isolate in on-campus accommodation.  

Rachel Azzopardi, Head of Catering & Events, commented on the win:  

‘This year has looked so different from everything else – but that makes it even more gratifying to win this award. It really is testament to the sheer amount of effort and care the team has put into their jobs, and into delivering an exceptional experience for all students and staff at Regent’s,’ she said. 

‘It’s a shame we couldn’t collect the award in person, but the virtual ceremony gave us a chance to celebrate together in a very 2020 way,’ Rachel finished. 

About the awards 

Each year, the Public Sector Catering Awards recognise top performers in their field. The University Catering Award celebrates individuals, teams and organisation that have had a major influence on the provision of food service to students. It looks at: 

  • How strategies and actions have markedly improved revenue and profit generation 
  • How the customer experience has been improved 
  • Clear sustainability policies.