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.