The catering arm of Mitie, Gather & Gather, has landed its first FEHE sector contract, a long-term deal with Edinburgh College to handle student and staff catering across four campuses.

Edinburgh College, which has 24,000 students, has benefited from an upfront investment of £300,000 by Gather & Gather to transform the catering environments by improving the equipment, furniture and facilities in the college’s shops and food courts.

The company will also launch a street food van, which will travel around the campuses hosting pop up street

food menus from around the world, a ribs and wings menu, noodle bar and regional dishes, throughout the year.

The caterers will introduce digital technology, including menu screens, contactless payments terminals and the YoYo app to allow students to pay for their food in the most convenient and speedy way. The YoYo app allows food to be pre-ordered and paid for without the need for cash or cards.

There will also be a new visual brand identity for the college’s catering outlets, which will be consistent across all four campuses. This revamp is designed to create vibrant spaces where students can meet and collaborate.

The company has also pledged to support the college’s hospitality curriculum by providing students with extra learning opportunities, as well as access to industry events and culinary demonstrations to inspire future graduates.

Allister Richards, Managing Director, Gather & Gather, said: “We are very pleased Edinburgh College has chosen Gather & Gather to transform its catering offer and are looking forward to bringing our contemporary approach to food, service and technology to refresh the experience for students and staff across all four campuses. We’re also delighted to be supporting the Hospitality curriculum to provide learning and development opportunities.”



Independent caterer Vacherin has announced that in its second full year under a new management structure, turnover increased by 33% to £26.2m, far exceeding the predicted 20%.

The London-based hospitality specialist has added eight new contracts to its portfolio worth an annualised turnover of more than £2.6m.

Operating profit growth kept pace with turnover growth thanks to Vacherin’s industry-leading record of contract retention, allied to keen cost awareness and despite a bad debt provision of £105k as a result of the failure of Carillion for whom Vacherin operated one significant contract.

The company has significantly invested in research and development this year, creating bespoke communications apps for both its customers and employees. The former enhances the customer experience by presenting them with the site-specific range of food and beverage choices available to them and informs them of nutritional and allergen content.

The employee app ensures that every team member is provided with information that concerns them in the most innovative and timely fashion.

Phil Roker, Owner and Managing Director, said: “We are thrilled with these results. The head office appointments we’ve made have enabled us to remain committed to our clients and core values, while benefitting from consistent growth. Our other key performance measures including contract and staff retention, turnover and cash generation remain extremely robust.”

The company’s financial year, which began again in September, kick- started with the opening of two new contracts. The first was with the Royal College of Pathologists in Aldgate at a purpose-built new location and the second with a global advisory firm whose London team has recently relocated to Victoria. The combined value of the contracts is £4m.

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