Close up of glass building


“The Neller Davies team provided excellent guidance, support and expertise throughout the project and I cannot recommend them highly enough. Their support extended not just to the initial preparation of specifications and tender documents and managing the tender process but also gathering customer feedback on the services to ensure that the new service met the needs of the business. A key element of their end to end service was their post implementation follow up to ensure that the quality of services provided met the needs of our staff.”

Les O’Gorman- Director of Facilities

The Scope

Pharmaceutical core business

Global organisation

Catering & hospitality services

750 staff in Slough

3 sites

The Brief

Holistic review of workplace catering services

Create new workplace catering strategy

Alignment of contract documentation to client and customer needs

Re-tender of catering and hospitality

The Outcomes

New workplace catering strategy

New catering provider

Focus on fresh, locally produced food

Offer more attuned to transparent customer preferences

Significant increase in customers and spend


UCB is a global pharmaceutical company focussing on disorders of the immune and central nervous systems. Across the world they can be found in over 40 countries, everything they do starts with one simple question: “how can we create more value for people living with severe diseases?”.  The UK premises of UCB are located in Slough, Berkshire.  The site houses the immunology research hub and the head office for the British and Irish Isles (BII) commercial organisation.  Antibody research and early antibody development functions are also located here alongside some manufacturing and corporate functions.  UCB employs approximately 750 people in the UK and Ireland with the majority engaged in Research and Development.

Neller Davies was engaged by the Director of Facilities to undertake a full review of its catering strategy prior to a re-tender exercise.  The site at Slough provides a traditional workplace dining facility however, despite being subsidised, it was failing to deliver against customer expectations and uptake was lower than we would normally expect. Staff seemingly were choosing not to use the facility, and were instead, opting to purchase lunch at off-site locations or eat their own food at workstations.

We undertook a detailed customer survey to determine what was, and what was not, working from the staffs perspective.  From this survey and parallel discussions with budget holders and other key stakeholders we were able to craft a catering strategy that best met the needs of UCB and the expectations of the staff.

Once the strategy was adopted we managed a full catering re-tender project with  a bespoke specification aligned both to the new strategy and with a clear contract mechanism targetting the provider to meet a set of KPIs formulated from the customer survey and stakeholder discussions.

Following a market review and tender exercise a new service provider was appointed.  Services are now reinvigorated, offers are focussed on fresh food produced on site rather than through a CPU and services are tailored to the customer base.  The results are clear to see; increased takings, increased spend per head, a more vibrant dining space with more staff choosing to stay on site to eat with colleagues.  With a clear focus on staff wellbeing and achieving a good balance of taking regular breaks throughout the day the success of the new catering contract is being felt throughout the organisation.