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Mark Bourne, Catering Manager at Beacon High School, discusses his challenges and how partnering with Pelican, they were able to resolve them as well as enhance their offering while reducing costs.

I run the catering at Beacon High School based in North London. This co-educational secondary school has over 400 students, and 75% are entitled to free meals. So, the catering function is essential to overall school service offerings.

Before starting to work at Beacon High School in September 2021, I worked for 21 years at another London school, and overall, I have over 35 years of experience in the sector.

Supply chain challenges

As I arrived at Beacon High School, the industry was experiencing driver shortages, causing many supply chain headaches. We had missed deliveries, and supplies were frequently short.

It was a nightmare, and we had to find solutions to solve it. As I have been working with Pelican at my previous school, I knew that I could reach out to them to support us and overcome these challenges.

Swapping suppliers

I contacted Matthew Hawkins, my Account Manager at Pelican, for help. Matt provided a benchmark against our current suppliers and identified 13% savings by moving to an alternative supplier.

The move to this supplier generated savings, but more importantly, a noticeable improvement in the level of service. They have been incredible to work with. Service and delivery are fantastic. We have the same driver each time who is really friendly and delivers at the same time each week!

the Beacon High School catering team

Procurement partnership benefits

Pelican’s Pi system is also an excellent online tool – I use it to check invoices and cross reference against the school’s stock system.

During my 35 years of experience, I have seen many initiatives and proposals for new ways of increasing efficiencies and delivering better food for pupils – some more successful than others.

But working with a procurement partner stands the test of time. I would recommend Pelican, their set-up and systems, to anyone.

We are here to help.

If you need support to mitigate your staff or supply chain challenges, please get in touch with your Pelican account manager, call us at 01252 705214 or email

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