Increased Running Costs? How We Can Help

3rd October 2022

With many of us still feeling the impact of the pandemic and now the pressure of increasing energy prices as a result of the war in Ukraine, we are all looking at ways in which we can cut costs. And it’s not just energy prices that are increasing, food costs are also drastically rising. We have all seen the change in our weekly shopping bills as supermarkets push their prices up.

With the cost of living increasing so rapidly, employers are under pressure to increase salaries in order to attract and retain staff, and there are also increases in the minimum wage and employer national insurance contributions to contend with. The Early Years Alliance, which represents around 14,000 childcare providers in England has said that the sector is facing its worst crisis in recruitment and cost increases in 20 years.

When it comes to reducing costs, it seems to make sense to look at what aspects of the business usually outsourced can be brought in-house and catering might be one of those things on the list. Or perhaps you are already cooking your own food, and outsourcing does not seem like a cost effective option. However, taking all of the expenses involved in cooking at nursery into account, such as chef’s wages, ingredient costs, gas, electricity and water used in cooking and washing up, not to mention equipment costs, Zebedees can actually save you money.

To demonstrate this, we have put together a cost comparison between weekly cooking costs for a nursery that is catering in house, and a nursery using Zebedees as their meal provider, and this is what we found based on 25 children per day:

Costs per week based on 25 children a day  
In House  
Chef's wages£312.50Including Employer NI and Pension Contributions
Shopping time£  30.00 
Food cost£193.75 
Equipment costs incl. maintenance, cleaning etc£  18.00 
Utilities£124.20Gas, electricity and water used in cooking/washing up
Cost of in-house catering£678.45 
Lunches purchased x 125£347.50Price includes VAT
Savings per week with Zebedees  =

 As well as cost savings, there are many other benefits to using our professional nursery catering service:

  • Stress free – We know how stressful nursery meal times can be. Through saving you time in menu planning, checking for allergens, shopping for ingredients, meal prep and cooking, we are leaving you to focus on providing expert childcare.
  •  Reduce recruitment – We work with 300 nurseries throughout the South East and we hear first-hand how difficult it is in the current climate to recruit nursery staff. By using our service you are removing the time and costs involved in recruiting a chef. Our meals arrive hot and ready to serve, requiring minimal staff and training.
  • Food safety – We maintain the highest food and kitchen hygiene standards and are independently audited every quarter. We have a strict allergy policy and control procedures in place, meeting UK food safety regulations. Our kitchen staff receive specialist training in cross-contamination and allergy awareness.
  • Our menus are developed in collaboration with the Child and Baby Nutritionist, Charlotte Stirling-Reed, to ensure we are not only meeting the recommended government guidelines but that we are going above and beyond these guidelines to achieve a standard of excellence in early years nutrition. This is reassuring for parents and a great selling point for your nursery.
  • Quality Dishes - You are not compromising on freshness by using our service. All of our meals are freshly cooked each morning, arriving hot and ready to serve. Most importantly, children love to eat them!

If you are not currently a client of Zebedees but are interested in trialing our service, why not book a free taster or contact us to find out more about how we can help.

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