Porridge.jpgHead of Prison Service Catering and Public Sector Catey winner Alan Tuckwood was in full comedic flow at this week’s CESA Conference at the Cotswold Water Park Four Pillars Hotel.
Appearing onstage immediately after an in-depth global overview by an economist, Tuckwood announced that he had no slides, only a “mystery toy” which he asked delegates to pass among themselves. “There’s a weekend away, all expenses paid, for the person that guesses what it is”, he promised.
“I run the largest hotel group in the country”, Tuckwood continued. “we’ve got 71,000 beds, a negotiable rack-rate and 105% occupancy.”
The audience knew, though, that he had Strangeways or Wandsworth in mind, not Gleneagles or a Four Seasons.
Tuckwood raised the issue of kit maintenance, and said he insists on five-year warranties on all purchases. “I’m prepared to pay, but I expect you to absorb some of the risk”, he told his audience of kitchen equipment manufacturers. His message was echoed later by Neil Watson-Jones, head of the Hospital Caterers Association, who challenged manufacturers to offer more innovative ways of building maintenance into packages, now kit is becoming increasingly complex.
The mystery toy turned out to be a prison services butter pat, by the way. No one guessed correctly.