Lin O’Brien, Chief Executive of HCL, said: “I’m so proud and excited on behalf of everyone in HCL. To be named as Catering Business of the Year really is an honour and it wouldn’t have been possible without every member of HCL’s hardworking and dedicated team. This is an outstanding achievement and it demonstrates the calibre, expertise and professionalism we have within our team. Our business is all about excellence in education catering and it’s fantastic that the judges recognised we’re delivering just that.”
HCL’s award submission focused on its substantial successes in the last year, which included an increase in turnover of 5% and securing 18 contracts to deliver services over the next 3 and 5 years. We’ve seen increases in the number of meals being served in primary schools in the last year and students in secondary schools are spending more on the healthy food we provide on-site – the average spend per student has risen by 12.2% in the last year. HCL provides catering for 94% of all schools in Hertfordshire and last year served more than 15 million meals.
Our submission also showed how we have thrived since branching out from Hertfordshire County Council by becoming a limited company in 2013. The council retains 100% of the shareholding and this year we will be returning a dividend to the council as shareholder, making an important contribution to the council’s funding of vital front line public services in Hertfordshire.
We are delighted to have received this accolade at the national LACA (Lead Association for Catering in Education) Awards for Excellence 2017.