OCS has chosen the grocery and fresh food company Brakes as its new supplier of frozen and grocery foods including fruit and vegetables, which will be used by all OCS sites across the UK.
The contracts with the current catering suppliers 3663 and Reynolds expired earlier this year. Since then OCS has been in negotiations to re-tender the supplier base with the goal of saving money and improving food quality.
By awarding the contract to Brakes, OCS expects to demonstrate a cost saving over the course of the three-year contract. Brakes’ product quality is also expected to outperform that of the current suppliers.
OCS director of catering, Mark Nelson, said: “In addition to the forecasted financial benefit we have also conducted a series of taste tests with a group of our chefs when looking at ‘like-for-like’ products, and several depot visits to examine the quality of picking of the fruit and veg.”
The phased roll-out of the contract will begin in mid-August for around one third of the business. Everywhere else will be moved across from mid -September following the Olympic Games.
With this contract, OCS will be able to better manage raw material costs and hence gross profit due to the fact that Brakes is to operate on a closed purchasing list. This means that sites will only be able to buy products from a restricted list, which OCS will be able to closely manage.
Duncan Gibson, Brakes divisional director – national, said: “As well as reducing the operational demands on their business and helping the environment by consolidating deliveries through Brakes, we’ve been able to demonstrate how we can adapt and add value for OCS. We are committed to delivering excellence in everything we do – whether that’s our insight and understanding of the foodservice market and helping our customers find the right mix of products for their business or the passion our staff demonstrate in delivering consistently great service. Our teams are looking forward to delivering great food and more added value benefits to OCS as our relationship progresses.”