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STUDENT CAFE B


“I am very pleased with the look and feel of the space now, which is lighter, less busy and much more focused”


the CEDA FCSI Award for excellence in project management for the project. “This was not a massive job


financially,” recalls Marios Poumpouris, managing director of Chiller Box, “but it needed hands-on attention because of the relatively short time span for the work on site and the short lead-in time for what is a logistically difficult site.”


No time to lose


While the existing café was in need of an overhaul, it was also becoming more popular with students. The refurbishment needed to ensure the space could cope with increased footfall, which called for a redesign of the kitchen and display space. To achieve this, experts in design, construction, project management and logistics were brought in. The team then had to identify all potential issues that could have an impact on the tight schedule and come up with solutions. “The site is on a red route [meaning


vehicles cannot stop outside] and there is no on-site parking, which meant we had to be very careful with the timing of deliveries. The counters were manufactured in Liverpool by Counterline, and we had to ensure that when they were delivered, along with all of the other pieces of equipment, they went together like a jigsaw. The timing of deliveries was key to getting the project completed on time,” notes Poumpouris. “We had an established relationship with the contract caterer Lexington Catering, which introduced us to the London Business School. We knew Kevin Barnes [the consultant]. The quality of the relationships was important because we needed to ensure that quick decisions were made about colours, designs and finishes. We kept the decision-making process moving forward with all of the stakeholders,” he adds.


Lexington Catering was a key initiator of the project, and took the unusual


move for a contract caterer of investing a significant amount of money in the refurbishment.


“The facility was tired and it wasn’t competing with the alternatives in the high street in terms of serving grab-and- go food and beverages. We decided that we would invest the bulk of the money in the renewal project, but we needed it to fit with the school’s broader refurbishment programme,” says David Brown, operations director at Lexington Catering. This is proof of the company’s enthusiasm for the project, and highlights the strength of conviction among all parties that the facility could be improved. Brown adds: “A lot of time was spent on the layout of the counters and pick-up points – perhaps more time than such a small project would normally require. But as a result there is less queuing, so it has paid off.”


Part of the process of change involved the incorporation of new technology


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