Palmer & Howells has an exemplary track record in providing catering in independent schools and the specialist education sector.

Our approach starts with understanding each client’s priorities and making sure that we design a personalised service commensurate with each individual school we work with. The result is we work with schools ranging in size from 80 to 1200 pupils, we serve over 9000 meals a day!

Providing a nutritious and healthy diet whilst establishing good eating patterns and habits are core to our principles, especially in catering for the youngest children within school. We cater with ease for the many and varied dietary requirements that today’s discerning parents demand.

We encourage a healthy and varied diet that ensures pupils receive all the necessary nutrients that are needed to develop, grow healthily and keep energised.

As caterers, we believe that providing fresh, nutritious food feeds not only the body but also the mind.

From a young age we start to inform pupils about healthy eating by encouraging them to select vegetables and fruit regularly, establishing positive eating habits for life.

We make sure that there are choices that all pupils will enjoy eating and we work closely with staff and pupils, ensuring that we deliver the appropriate style of food to suit the tastes and age group.

As the pupils grow more discerning in their tastes it is important that we continue to develop our offer. We plan menus taking into consideration the school’s culture, locality, preferences and above all the individual development needs of the pupils.

We provide traditional dishes interspersed with some slightly more adventurous offerings, encouraging the pupils to experiment with new ingredients, textures and flavours, thus expanding their tastes and knowledge.

Overall, we aim to provide a healthy, flavoursome and nutritious balance of freshly-made, home-cooked dishes that pupils and staff alike are eager to eat – dishes that can provide energy for brains and sporting activities alike.

We take great pride in providing a first-class service with meals from fresh, locally-sourced ingredients that are prepared from scratch wherever possible. By assisting in the pupils’ education on sustainability and the origin and provenance of food, we enrich food experiences and enhance learning in these areas.

For sixth formers, we take inspiration from the high street with a more laid-back but sophisticated café experience.

We recognise that these young adults need areas to feel comfortable in, where they can relax and socialise over food, getting ready for the world beyond school. With our healthy, balanced and innovative recipes, we offer dine-in possibilities for those who like a more mature food offer and a decent coffee.

We also offer training days to prepare pupils for university; these are always very well received. We recognise that some pupils are brought up learning how to cook healthy food on a budget, but there are many who have not experienced this.

We run training days for sixth formers which include: information on how to prepare at least three easy dishes on a tight student budget; some basics about food hygiene; and even ways to prepare snacks they can take to college, to save money buying sandwiches.

Boarding Schools

We understand the huge part that food plays in the pupils’ daily lives, and through our food and warmth, we aim to ensure that they feel at home whilst away from home. We offer a reasonable amount of choice so that everyone has something that they like to eat, along with a variety of dishes and themes to add some excitement and interest throughout the term. We offer flexibility at the weekends, with food arranged around sports matches and school commitments but typically reflecting what would be expected when at home.

Our Street Food dishes fill the takeaway niche perfectly, and who doesn’t love a traditional Sunday Roast? We work together with the school and pupils alike to cater for differing tastes whilst still providing a delicious and nutritious range of food.

Some of our school partnerships

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