Bryanston School, Blandford, Dorset, has installed the first of a new type of food servery system, transforming school mealtimes and bringing this school’s catering well and truly into the 21st Century.
Up to 900 meals can be served at one sitting to pupils, aged 13-18, 800 within 40 minutes.
Because any of the five serving sections in the dining hall are not limited to just holding or cooking but can be both, the shape of the food offer can change when required. On a Friday to serve fish and chips for example, three areas of the servery convert to serve just this, at a rate of 370 meals served in 15 minutes.
Key to the new system is its ability to cook food in front of the customer, as well as holding hot food ready for service. Bryanston chose a Moffat servery system incorporating Rieber’s EST Ceran module, which can hold food and cook anything from fried eggs to noodles. It also simmers dishes such as curry sauces, while holding them ready for service.
Bryanston is also using two of Rieber’s Varithek mobile induction front cooking units. The Varithek provides options which can change daily to suit the menu: stir-fry, noodle, crepe, wrap bar, omelette bar. They can be moved to other function rooms, or even outside in the summer to cater for event business. The Varithek section can serve 180 stir fry meals in 40 minutes.
Catering Manager Mike Thorne toured other schools and high volume food sites (including Wembley and major retail sites/shopping malls) to see how food service had evolved and what lessons could be learned. “We had been stuck in a time warp with either wet wells or flat hobs with gastronorms on top,” he says. “There was no versatility with that system. You can’t cook with it; all you can do is serve food.
“I was staggered not to have seen more Rieber equipment in use in the wider market. With the Rieber EST system you can cook or hold food hot at any service point and, because you can alter the height, GN serving dishes of varying capacities sit flat and present perfectly.
“No-one knows where food is going to go,” he says. “Think back a few years and who would have thought we would now be serving ‘warm salad’ – unbelievable. I got the idea for this style of service from looking at places like Waterloo and Bluewater. We care about the food we serve and that is why the school has supported the new system.”