Future-proofing for legislative changes with Nutritics software
Holroyd Howe is one of the UK’s fastest growing catering companies, operating exclusively within the independent schools market. The award-winning business was named ‘Education Caterer of the Year’ in 2016 and won the Catey ‘Food Service Contract Caterer of the Year’ in the same year. Outside of catering, Holroyd Howe runs a number of education initiatives, all aimed at encouraging students to gain a better understanding of nutrition, improve their cooking skills and build healthy relationships with food. Today the business still focused on the same principles it was founded on: fresh food, talented and enthusiastic people and tailored solutions for Independent schools.
Amy Roberts is Managing Director Of Operations at Holroyd Howe, a position she has held since August 2020. Before being appointed to her latest role, Roberts had worked at the company for over four years. During this time she implemented a health and wellbeing strategy for over 150 schools and introduced an industry accredited programme, enabling over 10,000 pupils a year to be educated on the importance of nutrition.
In the middle of 2020, Amy Roberts reached out to Nutritics. The UK Food Information Amendment (also known as Natasha’s Law) was coming into effect on the 1st of October 2021. The amendment required food businesses to provide full ingredient lists and allergen labelling on foods prepackaged for direct sale on the premises. For many companies Natasha’s Law meant that a host of new processes and technologies needed to be put in place in order to become compliant.
“As independent school caterers, allergens have always been high on our agenda. Over the years we have seen an increase in allergies and intolerances required to be managed at school level. There is nothing more scary than a child having an allergic reaction.”
Adopting a system that would support future change
While Roberts was focused on compliance with Natasha’s Law, she also had an eye on further legislative changes coming down the track. This included legislation related to calorie labelling, obesity and sustainability.
“When I reached out to Nutritics, my goal was to have a solution in place by the end of 2020 that would help us comply with Natasha’s Law. But we were already thinking beyond that and wanted to prepare for future change. We wanted a fully integrated system that would allow us to handle food costs, menu costs, recipe development, nutrition and allergen information, menu planning and calorie labelling, all in one place.
Roberts also spoke of the importance of having an automated system that connected all corners of the company’s supply chain.
“It was also critically important that we had a system where all the parts were working in harmony with one another. The whole point of having an integrated solution is to have real-time information being passed through from suppliers to chefs to the final customer. So any changes at the supplier level will impact the nutritional information that we communicate with our customers.”
From the beginning, Nutritics took a holistic approach to improving Holroyd Howe’s nutritional processes. Nutritics recipe and menu management software, as well as our food labelling software, have helped Holroyd Howe to comply with Natasha’s Law.
Although being compliant with Natasha’s Law was the immediate goal, it was far from the final destination. Our Account Manager worked closely with Roberts, gaining a full understanding of future goals and the company’s direction.
“Grainne (Account Manager at Nutritics) was with us every step of the way. If there was a challenge we were trying to overcome or anything we couldn’t quite figure out, she was always there to offer advice. Rolling out Nutritics across the board was made super simple. The challenge was getting chefs and suppliers used to a new way of doing things and changing their behaviour. Up until then, we’ve always encouraged our chefs to have autonomy and create their own recipes. Our chefs needed to start planning differently, writing recipes, and planning their menus. But it’s all part of being a more compliant, robust business.”
Holroyd Howe are now using Nutritics software to capture information, from the initial ingredients list from suppliers down to generating food labels. Nutritics focused on getting the right technologies in place but also placed a lot of emphasis in engaging with suppliers and training staff.
“Getting ready for Natasha’s Law was not just about understanding the legislation but also considering everything around it and unpicking it. For us, that process of supplier engagement has been really educational. This goes especially when working with some very local and small suppliers who haven’t been required to provide this level of detail before and aren’t aware of how to approach it. The knowledge that we’ve been able to pick up from working with Nutritics, has been really valuable in terms of putting all our processes together.”
Roberts also spoke of a level of automation that wasn’t there before which has helped in the recipe building process.
“The automated element of Nutritics software helps us take away some risk, particularly around the substitution process. We know that will be flagged to us and can then be managed. We can do the double checks that we need to do to keep students informed and safe.”
Looking ahead with Nutritics
Nutritics has not only helped Holroyd Howe prepare for Natasha’s Law but it’s also set the company up for future legislationary changes. Holroyd Howe is now in a much better position to comply with new laws around calorie labelling and obesity, as well as augmenting its current processes.
“This is only the start of the journey. Of course, Natasha’s Law was very important to us and we’re delighted that we are now compliant. The next stage is that we've got some schools that will need to comply with the latest calorie labelling legislation. We plan on using Nutritics for that. After that, we want to use the Nutritics system in building out the menu and food costing. Our goal is to become even more consistent with the recipes we produce throughout the business. There are many benefits to come, we just need to look at it slowly and roll it out.”
Nutritics can be customised to meet your needs. Easy to use, cloud-based, and with the most comprehensive set of food reference databases available, Nutritics is developed by technologists and regulatory experts, specifically for use within the food service industry. Click below to try Nutritics for free for seven days, or to speak to one of our expert advisors.