10 Nov 2021
Oxford Bus Company is part of the Go-Ahead Group, a publicly listed company specialising in transport in the UK. Founded in 1881, the Oxford Bus Company now operates a fleet of 160 buses and coaches around Oxford and on routes to Gatwick and Heathrow Airports. The organisation operates 24/7 and their food and beverage needs of their staff need to be considered fairly, especially for those working unsociable hours.
An agreement between Unite Union and the Go Ahead Group was made to reduce canteen facility costs in order to achieve the 2014 payment award scheme. This inevitability gave rise to a review of the existing solution and its benefits both commercially and practically.
In 2016, the Oxford Bus Company were operating a cafeteria operation which, following the decision in 2014 to reduce costs, was being staffed by a small team on reduced hours of 7am to 3pm.
The canteen setup provided staff with a selection of fried cooked food from breakfast through to lunch, which despite being relatively popular amongst staff, did not offer much flexibility with regards to special dietary requirements or healthy options.
With meals being prepared in the main during peak times, this also meant that meals were not readily available during less popular periods, which disadvantaged those in a shift work pattern who were not consuming food and drink during typical breakfast or lunch periods.
Oxford Bus Company were also managing a dated, under-utilised canteen space which was not welcoming to staff and did not encourage the team to use the space as frequently as the company hoped.
With all these challenges, it was time for Oxford Bus Company to consider whether their existing catering setup was the best solution for their business moving forward and entered discussions with Connect Vending around developing a new unmanned retail environment that would overcome their challenges.
Following discussions between Oxford Bus Company and Connect Vending, and with a clear view of the challenges facing the staff when it comes to food and beverage provisions, a Deli Café solution was proposed.
Deli Café is a modern micro market solution designed to provide a broad range and high volume of fresh food, snacks and beverages without the need for in-house stock and POS management. Given the dynamic nature of the Oxford Bus Company work schedules, this was seen as an ideal solution which would give consistent food and beverage options to all staff regardless of their shift pattern, at any time of the day.
We have had a great relationship with Connect Vending for the last five years and we have always been impressed with the service and support we receive from the team.Lesley Pace, PA to the Directors at Oxford Bus Company
Feedback from our team has been extremely positive and everyone has been complimentary about the range and availability of the items Connect Vending stocks in the Deli Café.
This solution also offers Oxford Bus Company improvements to the aesthetics of the space, bringing a modern, sleek retail construction that has revitalised the environment for staff and encouraged them to use the facilities available to them.
As part of the agreement, Connect Vending will operate the site and rotate, restock and remove stock regularly, whilst also offering maintenance and technical support for the Deli Café, giving Oxford Bus Company complete peace of mind and eliminating in-house management.
Our relationship with Oxford Bus Company has been excellent right from the beginning. They are passionate about giving all employees access to great quality food and beverages, and as a leader in the bespoke vending space we knew this would be a great partnership.Elyas Coutts, Managing Director at Connect Vending
It’s been a pleasure to work with the team and provide them with something that their staff genuinely love.