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Canford School is a leading coeducational independent school for day and boarding pupils, in the village of Canford Magna, near to the market town of Wimborne Minster in Dorset, south west England.
Canford is a full boarding school – there is no weekly boarding – and there are 635 pupils, 70% of whom board with a 60/40 boy/girl split. There are over 100 teaching and support staff, making the staff/pupil ratio 1:7.5 (which compares to a figure of 1:17 in the state school sector, according to the DofE in 2012/13).
Canford’s main building is Grade 1 listed and forms the nucleus of the school including the dining facilities. It was designed by Edward Blore and later added to by Sir Charles Barry in the mid-19th century. Here, nearly 14,000 meals are served to pupils and staff every week by a 45-strong full and part time catering team, which includes 13 chefs.
The kitchen also provides catering for the school’s sporting events and societies and, out of term time, for weddings and civil ceremonies. Some 30-40 events are held weekly at peak times, which involves serving hot drinks and snacks to full service dining and match teas for the school’s sports teams.
Two years ago catering equipment distributor CKE Service refurbished and redesigned the main kitchen, incorporating the latest generation of combi ovens and high-pressure bratt pans.
“CKE’s work had helped to enhance the food offer and level of service,” says Jane Giddy, Head of Catering Operations. “What we were especially keen to see from the dishwashing supplier was good support over the long term in terms of maintenance and spare parts. “Availability of spare parts had been a problem in the past, so we were keen to engage a company which offered an efficient and quick replacement service when needed.”
CKE recommended Meiko as the new supplier for the school’s ageing rack transport dishwasher, noting in particular, Meiko’s reputation for after sales service and maintenance support.
The urgency for replacement meant that the M-iQ rack transport dishwasher was installed as soon as possible. A few months later, the machine was taken out and then re-installed to accommodate a new floor for the dishwash area, work that could not be completed during term-time.
“We would have liked to have a flight machine but were restricted to the existing space,” continues Giddy. “However, the rack machine ticks all the boxes in terms of ease of use and wash quality – it handles all the dishes and trays. We also had a DV 80.2GiO pass-through dishwasher installed to handle the glassware and cutlery as a separate process. That combination works really well in a small area and, with the two machines working together, we have noted a definite improvement in quality.”
Canford has also taken a full service and maintenance contract, in line with its policy of having key items of equipment maintained by their respective manufacturers.