TUCO Conference – driving commercial success

By Matthew White, chair of the University Caterers Organisation (TUCO) and director of catering, hotel and conferencing at the University of Reading

Universities often rely on their in-house catering services to provide a surplus for continual investment, yet catering outlets and bars on campus must also offer great value, choice and innovation. So, as caterers, how do we continue to drive commercial success?

At TUCO, we take pride in sharing best practice. And one of the ways we do this is through our annual summer TUCO Conference, where we offer valuable knowledge and support for our members and guests. During these events, delegates can learn about new initiatives, research and latest updates to our TUCO Procurement services.

‘Driving commercial success’ is the theme for our upcoming annual TUCO Conference. Hosted by the University of York on 29–31 July, we are excited to showcase our exceptional lineup of speakers and supplier exhibitors.

This year, our main stage will be hosted by writer and TV presenter Stefan Gates. 

Gates will be joined by keynote speakers Lord Stewart Wood, Justin King, Brad Burton and KD Adamson, to name but a few.

Last year, during our TUCO Winter Conference, Wood presented an insightful presentation about Brexit and UK universities. As previous senior special adviser to both prime minister Gordon Brown and leader of the opposition Ed Miliband, he spoke about what was next for higher education after March 2019. He will now return to our summer conference to give us an update on the next phase of Brexit and will talk about the transition, treaties and the impact on higher education in the UK.

It is important for us to recognise the outstanding work and achievements by our colleagues and members. 

We do this through our TUCO Awards, presented on the last night of the conference. This year, as in previous years, the standards are extremely high, and I am constantly impressed at the achievements made by our sector.

At the time of writing, a review of the entire UK food system has been announced by the National Food Strategy. Led by Henry Dimbleby, it sets out to explore and establish a sustainable farm-to-fork strategy. We very much look forward to engaging in this exciting project, and where we can, helping to lead the way on the national agenda.


For conference tickets or more information, visit: www.tuco.ac.uk