Catering at MGS during a pandemic

Posted by System Administrator on 19 Mar 2021

Modified by Rachel Kneale on 24 May 2023


Everyone at MGS would like to thank our Catering Manager Richard Palombella, and all of his team in the Catering Department, for everything they done over the past 12 months to keep our boys, and staff, Covid-secure.

One of the biggest challenges of the pandemic has been for Richard and his team to radically restructure the way we provide food and refreshments to our boys in a safe way.

All of our 25 catering staff have been provided with personal protective equipment, given individual work stations and placed into smaller ‘bubbles’ to minimise contact between the staff. Protective screens have been installed on service counters, drinks are pre-poured so that pupils do not have to all use the same tap, and the Refectory has been divided into two zones, allowing two secure year group ‘bubbles’ at a time – up to 350 pupils – to be seated for lunch without mixing between the two bubbles. A ‘stop and go’ system has been installed so that only pupils from any given ‘bubble’ queue for food at any one time, and once that year group has left, the tables and chairs are sanitised and new cutlery put out for the next year group to be seated safely.

A brand-new marquee has been installed at the back of the pavilion – observing all the same Covid-secure protocols – for Year 12 and 13 bubbles to eat, and the pavilion itself has been transformed into a ‘grab and go’ service for staff to pick up take-out meals. Designated areas around the School allow for staff to safely return food containers and cutlery. The windows of all catering areas are opened to provide good ventilation.

During morning break, hot food and snacks are provided to boys in their secure year group bubbles, including the delivery of fresh fruit to Year 7 and 8 boys who remain in their classrooms. On Saturdays, pasties and a drink are supplied on separate trollies to the various year group bubbles for those boys who come into school to take part in sports.

This has been a huge undertaking for Richard and his team, who have had to go back to basics in order to completely overhaul the way we deliver food and refreshments to our boys. We would like to pay tribute to everything our incredibly hard-working and dedicated Catering Department have done to create a Covid-secure environment for our boys and staff, all the while continuing to provide nutritious food for our hungry boys!


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