Bexley Business Academy

"It's playing a strong role in helping to reduce queues at key times and is encouraging pupils to stay on site rather than leave the school at lunchtime."

Tony Ridgwell, Operations Manager at Cucina

Bexley Business Academy

Contract caterer Cucina installed a PKL Food Cube at one of its secondary school sites, Bexley Business Academy, which has 1,500 students.

The Food Cube was installed for 'back to school' in September and proved a hit with both students and school mangers. Installing the Food Cube was the idea of Cucina's Operations Manager Tony Ridgwell, who had come across the Cube when previously working with PKL after a fire at another site, and spotted its potential. Tony pitched the concept to the school's management team, highlighting the simple installation of the Cube, the flexibility on location and the potential revenue it could generate. When the school's vending contract ended, the school readily agreed to install the Cube as a much more flexible alternative.

The Food Cube is located adjacent to a covered outside area and is open at break and lunchtimes, serving a full range of hot and cold snacks and drinks. Since its installation, the Food Cube is proving popular with students as they don't have to go to the restaurant which is some way away. They can grab snack items such as paninis, pasta pots, pizza and a hot chocolate, whatever the weather, using their regular cashless card to make purchases.

Says Tony: "The Food Cube is generating new money for the school and its revenues are building steadily. It's playing a strong role in helping to reduce queues at key times and is encouraging pupils to stay on site rather than leave the school at lunchtime. The Cube has replaced the outside trolley service that we offered and offers much greater variety. The Cube is generating revenues of £100+ a day, where the trolley generated £30. We see the Cube trade building and we know this is additional revenue for us rather than diverting restaurant spends, so generating £500 a week of additional revenue is very positive.

"The Food Cube is particularly suited to this type of site because it is so easy to install. There is no food prepped at the Cube so it just has an electricity supply and is easy to install - and it can be moved at a later date if needed. The school management also liked its construction as it is resistant to vandalism and fire, unlike 'shed' style snack shacks which we've considered in the past.

"It was a simple process to choose the Cube and the livery we wanted it in, have a site survey and proceed to installation. PKL also offers a choice of financing options and this again was helpful. We're now considering the Cube for other schools in our portfolio."