New caterers at Newstead Wood: hit or miss? They can’t please everyone but they can certainly give it a good try.

This academic year, starting from September, Newstead Wood school has replaced their caterers. Independent Catering is no longer available at Newstead. When the word broke out in summer that the school was saying goodbye to the days of undercooked chicken strips, buckets of oil in the pasta, hair in the food; everyone was ecstatic. The students were buzzing with excitement as they rejoiced in the idea of eating tasty food for the first time at school. 

 When we saw the new caterers, Caterlink, we were excited. Especially because they replaced the faded cards with new, impressive fobs, they also brought back the much loved canned suso fizzy fruit drinks. Another impressive feature was the new slushi machines. However, when served food almost everyone noticed the lack of food on the plate. Simi Oguntimehin said - “my baby brother gets more food than this”. Needless to say, everyone was extremely disappointed. Caterlink received numerous complaints from the angry student body. It took them roughly three weeks to slowly increase the portion.  

In addition, these caterers introduced the concept of meat free Mondays. This did not bode well with many students. As it is most pupils love their meat that the caterers were eager to get rid of but they didn’t exactly replace it with a mouth-watering alternative. Many meat eaters were abhorred with how they replaced regular meat with quorn meat. Annabelle Boamah has said, “this is not encouraging me to not eat meat, this is encouraging me to not eat school food in general”. I think the concept is great to get all of us to eat more vegetables and vegetarian food but there are so many better options for example our school serves a delicious falafel. Molly Abai says, “I wish they served falafel everyday”. Whilst that statement might be a little far- fetched, I certainly think they should have tastier vegetarian options available more frequently. 

On the other hand, as a school we all love Caterlink’s ability to act on feedback. They really do listen what students have to say about the food and really work on that. This amazing ability is what sets them apart from Independent Catering. In the long run, this is what will help them excel and make students happy. Furthermore, the snacks available at break time have improved and are certainly better.  

Overall, they did have a rough start but they have adjusted well and they prepare good food. The response to feedback is exceptional. As time goes on, I have full faith they will continue to improve until everyone is pleased and satisfied with their service.