Blackrock College Case Study

Blackrock College, Dublin

A long term partnership in sustaining a contemporary food offer

Blackrock College is an all-boys fee-paying school established in 1860 set in a 56 acre campus of rolling parkland just four miles from Dublin’s city centre. Around 90% are day students and 10% boarders.

As part of our catering offer, we prepare up to 750 meals a day for the students and to the community of priests working and living at the College, manage vending and provide the hospitality for sports days, celebrations and events throughout the year.

Blackrock College has a long association with Sodexo with has gone from strength to strength with each passing year. As a company they provide staff of the highest calibre. Their management team are extremely committed, loyal, open and innovative. The new evolving fresh food and healthy eating initiative is ground-breaking in Irish Education.

Brian Herlihy,
Deputy Principal at Blackrock College

The joy of food

Our team genuinely enjoy working with the students through regular food committee meetings where we have a chance to listen to day and boarding students to understand their food preferences. We’ve picked up the baton by building on our fresh from scratch range of food that includes a diverse lunchtime salad bar and a wide selection of home baked fresh breads and bakery items created by our outstanding head chef.

To keep students interested and engaged in the food choices, we’ve also introduced a successful pop-up for day students where they can try new flavours like posh pot noodles and Thai curries in a bowl through to a range of filling and grab ‘n go traditional sandwiches.

Blackrock College has embraced the idea of eating for sport and eating for learning. To help promote this among the boys, we’ve created a student guide to healthy food choices and have a programme of healthy eating talks. We’re always proud when Rock boys represent the College at the highest level in sport and learning!

A better enviroment

We've taken a number of non-food initiatives, like our move away from single use plastics, the introduction of recycle stations for food waste, and using fully compostable packaging for our handheld food on the go range.

In recognising that the dining environment strongly influences the perception of the food offer, we’ve made a significant investment in the refractory, transforming it through a complete refurbishment. Today, the boys can easily see the daily menu and feature items on digital screens, enjoying selecting their meal from a contemporary counter display and relax at a comfortable dining table with their friends.

Our services aren’t only about delivering food – we put a lot of emphasis on looking after the borders who, living away from home, we see every day.

Partnership with Blackrock College

We’ve been honoured to enjoy an association with Blackrock College for over 30 years, where we believe our success has hinged on their leadership’s openness to partner on the development to the catering service. By being part of the community, we’ve easily engaged with students and staff to get an in-depth understanding of how food matters to them.

Joined with our expertise in the industry, we’ve been able to make investments in creating the most modern food experience that helps to distinguish the College as an outstanding institution.