Delaware North UK, a subsidiary of Delaware North, which operates across three continents and serves over 500 million guests annually, has established itself as a globally recognised culinary and hospitality industry leader. With its roots dating back to 1915, this family-owned business by the Jacobs family is now one of the largest private firms in its sector.
Delaware North is responsible for the food and retail management of some of the world's most renowned sports stadiums, airports, resorts, and casinos. However, with the introduction of a new law in the UK requiring businesses with over 250 employees to place calorie content on menus, Delaware North UK was challenged to evolve its menu data management processes to be more robust, current, and user-friendly.
To delve deeper into how Delaware North UK addressed this challenge, we sat down with Caroline Cox, the UK Procurement Systems Manager at the company. Caroline shared her experiences with us on how Kafoodle has empowered Delaware North to maintain compliance and provide customers with the information they need with easily accessible, up-to-date ingredient information.
to connect a group of sites with the same information that the headquarters can control.
with an integrated ingredient, recipe and menu system that creates a reliable central database.
with a go-to tool for staff to provide nutritional and allergen guidance to customers.
Since 2014, Delaware North had manually maintained an in-house allergen database using spreadsheets. However, this approach proved to be remarkably time-consuming. It lacked central visibility of endpoint allergen data, resulting in each site operating within its individual data silos when managing recipes and not containing nutritional information. It would require another spreadsheet accentuating the challenges already caused by the allergen spreadsheet database.
Caroline told us, "With nutrition legislation coming into effect, we needed to ensure we could provide all the information our customers needed." The new law obligates food providers to openly display nutritional data, including calorie content, presenting Delaware North with a clear need for a centralised, user-friendly database. This new system would ensure up-to-date information across all venues, saving time and guaranteeing reliable information on menu datasheets, internal packs and food labels.
After careful consideration from all levels of the business—from the staff onsite to the executives in the head office—Delaware North decided to deploy Kafoodle's comprehensive ingredient-to-menu system.
The system was populated by leveraging supplier bulk imports, facilitated by the support team at Kafoodle, and manually incorporating ingredients from Delaware North's own database.
Kafoodle provided a unified platform where all Delaware North's operators could access the same information. They can now formulate recipes using live ingredient data, making updating recipes across multiple sites more straightforward.
The nutrition and allergen values of each recipe are automatically calculated within Kafoodle. With seamless integration, any modification to an ingredient triggers automatic updates to the recipe's datasheet, labels, and menu information, ensuring accuracy and efficiency throughout the system.
Everyone at Delaware North now has access to the same repository of information, and according to Caroline, it serves as the "go-to tool for our team when it comes to providing nutritional guidance to our customers." Adding, "It's linked everything together nicely... teams can print the datasheets directly from the software for event day use."
But having access to information isn't always enough. A system's user-friendliness and ease of data discovery are essential if a system is to be adopted at every level. "I would find it hard to live without the search functionality inside Kafoodle, no more product reference number lookups. Then being able to filter the information is such a time saver, especially with the tagging system. Users can immediately see all gluten-free recipes, for example, and the user can export all this data in spreadsheet format." said Caroline.
Kafoodle improved the accessibility and visibility of data for internal use giving Delaware North the confidence that their end-users are well-equipped with the correct nutrition and allergen information to tackle any customer query. "We use Kafoodle to manage data, ensuring customers receive correct information at both the menu and item level," Caroline confirmed.
Caroline also mentioned, "Many of our sites even use Kafoodle for food labelling. It helps ensure the information required by law is visible correctly, keeping us compliant, and it's formatted and ready to print onsite."
"Ensure that all relevant stakeholders take part in the discussions during the specification and decision-making stages. We made sure to include representatives from every level, from chef teams to central teams, to guarantee that the end requirements were addressed and the software was evaluated exhaustively.".