A long-serving member of staff at the University of Chester has been recognised for excellence at national catering awards.
Ian White, domestic bursar and director of hospitality and residential services, was presented with the coveted Cost Sector Catering University/College Award at a ceremony attended by 750 industry colleagues in central London.
The award – sponsored by The University Caterers Organisation (TUCO) – recognises people who have achieved increased commercial success in a university catering setting and delivered exceptional service to students and staff.
It is an annual scheme that celebrates the cream of the sector serving schools, hospitals, universities, prisons and the public sector at large, which has made a positive impact on the eating habits of customers.
The judges said: “Ian has balanced the demands of black tie dinners, exceptional student, staff, visitor and conference catering, while launching new catering outlets across multiple sites during the university’s special 175th anniversary year and numerous large scale events to mark this historic occasion.”
Speaking at the awards evening, Ian said it was a ‘real honour’ and dedicated his win to his team at the University of Chester.
He added: “I am delighted to have won the award as this is my 30th year of service with the University of Chester and it’s wonderful to be recognised for my work.
“I am especially proud to have been awarded the Cost Sector Catering Award for all the TUCO North West and North East TUCO members, who do tremendous work and deserve this award as much as I do.”
Julie Barker, chairwoman of TUCO, which has sponsored the awards for the last three years, said: “The challenges faced by university caterers are truly unique; delivering a quality service at great value to a hugely diverse audience, which has a vast array of needs is a mammoth task.
“So many of my colleagues at universities up and down the country tackle this challenge with a forward-thinking and innovative approach that could really teach the catering sector as a whole some important lessons!”
Matthew White, chairman elect of TUCO, added: “Ian and his team deliver excellence, not only at the University of Chester, but are also heavily involved in sharing best practice amongst peers and other TUCO members.”
Professor Tim Wheeler, vice-chancellor of the University of Chester, said: “Ian’s past 12 months have been remarkable: his planning and delivery of the 175th anniversary events impacted extremely positively on the university’s reputation, both internally and externally.
“To steer these many events to successful delivery, in addition to fulfilling his other varied duties with typical flair, is a significant achievement. I am delighted his work has been recognised by this industry-wide award; this is a fitting end to a remarkable year for Ian and his team.”