London Borough of Havering: Catering Service Review

Havering London Borough Council is the local authority for the London Borough of Havering in Greater London. The Council provides a range of services to over 200,000 residents living in the borough. Havering Catering Services is one of the Council’s traded services providing meals to over 60 state-maintained schools and academies.

The Council required a specialist consultant to undertake a detailed service review of its catering services against industry best practice and, to submit the findings to senior executives. Following a successful implementation of the Council’s Universal Infant Free School Meals Programme, CMI were well placed to conduct the review having worked alongside the team for several months.

In order to plan the review activity and structure the findings in a logical manner, CMI used dependency modelling techniques to map out the review areas. The comprehensive review process looked at all areas of the business. CMI worked closely with the new interim head of catering who provided catering specific subject matter expertise to supplement the knowledge of CMI’s consultant.

Throughout the review, findings were categorised into themes and given a RAG (Red, Amber, Green) status to highlight any high risk areas such as statutory non-compliance. 

The findings were pulled together into a dependency risk model together with recommended actions to address any key issues. A covering report summarising the findings and key recommendations was written to share with relevant members of the exec team.

Following acceptance of the findings, CMI were retained to develop an options appraisal on potential operating models for the catering services.


London Borough of Havering Director, Mary Phillips stated,

‘CMI’s recommendations included a complete service restructure, more support and training for school-based catering staff, better equipment and engagement with internal Council services leading to kitchen infrastructure support investment’. She continued, ‘the outstanding changes CMI helped us achieve enabled us to U-turn our service financial performance and steer away from a £1.5m annual subsidy.’

Skills Used



Business Analyst



Report Authoring

Stakeholder Management