Transparency is not an objective, it’s a starter for designing success

Maria James, founder of SanusVita, details how the food service consultancy has strengthened its position by partnering with experts such as The Space Group

It was the year 2000 and Virgin Atlantic had recently been awarded the London to Shanghai flight route. It was the time when British Airways and Virgin Atlantic were at the height of their competitive era, and I was executive director for the British Chamber of Commerce, Shanghai. Securing both British Airways and Virgin Atlantic as lead auction sponsors for a Chamber Ball (the Chamber’s biggest annual fundraising event), was quite a coup, getting both companies in the room on the evening of the ball, was quite frankly, unbelievable!

The ball was a huge success; it raised more funding for fantastic local Shanghainese charities than had ever previously been achieved. Bringing those two wonderful companies together for one night, for incredibly worthwhile causes, left me with skills in the art of negotiation that any politician would envy. Moreover, it strengthened my ability to listen and reinforced everything I learned whilst bringing the Chinese and British business communities together, supporting joint venture pathways for two great nations.

My time in Shanghai and everything since has culminated in the formation of SanusVita Consulting, a food service consultancy specialising in the independent school sector. 25 years of working in the catering, contract catering, events and hospitality industry, in operational and business development roles, places me in the quite unique position of having the experience and knowledge of every facet of catering that touches schools.

SanusVita has strengthened its position by partnering with industry-leading experts to provide a fresh approach to working with our school clients’

SanusVita has strengthened its position by partnering with industry-leading experts to provide a fresh approach to working with our school clients’. The most exciting of those partnerships is with The Space Group. The Space Group are one of the UK’s most respected design, build and supply companies for the food service industry. Some of their independent school design and build projects include Cheltenham College, Clifton College, Cheltenham Ladies College and Bromley High School. Managing director Ian Bidmead and I are very excited by this informal collaboration and the tangible benefit it brings to our clients, engineered to provide a complete and unified level of service and transparency, in a way not previously seen.

Similar partnership collaborations with leading dieticians, graphic designers and catering equipment supply companies round out the level of support and expertise that using SanusVita as your food service consultancy will bring to your school.

Using this experience, these partnerships and utilising the SanusVita 3 R’s Approach of Review, Report and Recommend, we analyse, scrutinise and deliver in-depth, robust changes and improvements to a school’s catering performance and delivery in a sensitive and empowering manner. The beauty of the approach lies in its systematic simplicity and we rigorously and diligently form a clear picture and understanding of any catering operation.

We work with in-house catering teams and with schools who outsource. We can help you in all areas – whether you seek financial ratification, a complete food strategy, a kitchen and dining space design, implementation of robust allergen procedures, front of house training, finding your perfect Chef, procurement and full tender management.

In this era of being ‘nutritiously aware’, we know the importance of children and young adults eating the right foods, however, the key to an engaged dining room is more than the right foods, it’s about balance, education and fun!

I knew the skills I perfected in Shanghai would stand me in good stead and never more than now. Whether Thomas Franks, Palmer & Howells, Independents by Sodexo, Holroyd Howe, Chartwells or relative newcomer The Pollen Partnership, to name only a few, there are some fantastic catering companies out there, but it’s vital that your chosen partner mirrors your core values and ethos, that they enable your school to flourish. We will help you find them and will be on hand to ensure, contractually, they keep their promises and deliver beyond your expectations.

Maria James

To find out more about SanusVita Consulting:

T: 01745 607 181
Twitter: @SanusvitaC

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