Catering Services in the House of Commons

Written evidence submitted by Ann Nixon, Parliamentary Clerk, Ministry of Justice

The Ministry of Justice does have on-site catering facilities. These are described in further detail below.

The services are provided by a contractor – Eurest Services. Eurest Services recently acquired the contract at Ministry of Justice Headquarters (102 Petty France, London SW1H 9AJ) and at an additional 74 sites across the Ministry of Justice estate. Previously, catering services were provided by another contractor – Compass.

The contract will be run as a nil subsidy contract, which means that all costs incurred on catering will be paid by Eurest Services. The Ministry of Justice will not subsidise the catering contract in any way.

A rigorous bench-marking exercise has been undertaken to ensure that Eurest Services fulfils its commitment to a nil subsidy contract for the Ministry of Justice estate. This means that there will be some increases in prices, but prices will remain at a level that is both competitive with the high street and that will provide value for money. Eurest Services will also review the opening hours of both the restaurant and Costa café (see further below) to ensure the services are meeting the needs of staff in 102 Petty France.

As part of the new contract, Eurest Services have planned a re-branding of the catering facility in 102 Petty France in conjunction with the onsite facilities team. They will be introducing a new food offer under the banner of Whittington’s.

Catering services at Ministry of Justice Headquarters, 102 Petty France, currently consist of the following:

Coffee bar

A Costa operated coffee bar, open between 7:30am and 5:30pm, Monday to Friday. The coffee bar serves a selection of hot drinks and confectionary throughout the day, and is very popular with Ministry of Justice staff.

Cafeteria

A cafeteria serving hot and cold food, open between 8:00am and 11:00am for breakfast, and then between 12:00pm and 2:30pm for lunch.

The cafeteria’s breakfast ‘offer’ consists of the following:

· full English breakfast with a selection of 10-12 hot breakfast items;

· omelettes, fried eggs and poached eggs, made to order;

· a smoothie and yoghurt bar;

· continental breakfast;

· cereals and hot porridge; and

· a variety of ‘grab-and-go’ items suitable for breakfast.

The cafeteria’s lunch ‘offer’ consists of the following:

· a choice of three hot meals, of which one is vegetarian;

· a selection of vegetable accompaniments;

· jacket potatoes, soup, and pre-made sandwiches;

· a ‘chef’s theatre’, where staff can have specific meals cooked by an experienced chef while they wait (e.g. stir fries, pasta dishes);

· a deli with sandwiches made to order;

· a self service salad bar; and

· a variety of ‘grab-and-go’ items suitable for lunch.

The cafeteria also has a selection of cold beverages and confectionary items, available throughout opening hours.

Hospitality

Ministry of Justice catering services also offer a hospitality menu for customers, available on a daily basis.

The menu consists of the following:

· a selection of beverage trays;

· breakfast options;

· lunch options that range from sandwich platters to hot fork lunches and finger buffets;

· three course sit down meals; and

· a selection of cold beverages, snacks and nibbles.

Catering services can also offer a bespoke menu for customers who have specific preferences.

Most hospitality functions take place within working hours; however, out of hours hospitality services are also available with additional labour cost.

October 2010