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The Last Mile Delivery Challenge: Public Sector

Part 1

Many schools across the country face the challenge of providing their students with meals for various reasons. One of the common issues that smaller schools may face is the difficulty to prepare food for their students due to a lack of suitable kitchen facilities and preparation areas.

Platebox offer solutions to this issue through our services. We prepare and deliver hot meals with reusable utensils to schools that have these issues across the country. We also provide our services for local councils, holiday clubs and hospitals.

What is last mile delivery?

Last mile delivery refers to the final stage of the delivery process, which involves the transportation of ordered goods from the wholesaler to the doorstep of the customer. Organisations aim to make this stage as efficient as possible to ensure customer satisfaction, this desire to maintain satisfaction is one of the key reasons for the high costs incurred in this stage.

Food production issue for schools

Preparation facilities

As mentioned previously, schools without suitable kitchen facilities and preparation areas face the challenge of feeding their students. Smaller schools that struggle with insufficient space are more likely to have the difficulty of accommodating a suitable kitchen area, this means the schools are required to outsource their food preparation.

Financial difficulties are also another reason why some schools are not able to accommodate food facilities, the better economic alternative may be to avoid the installation fees. In turn, schools with these issues may look to last mile food delivery services like Platebox to provide hot and chilled meals along with kitchen equipment as a suitable solution.

Kitchen on fire

In 2020, there was a reported figure of over 15,000 kitchen fires started, nearly half of these were caused by cooking equipment and faulty kitchen appliances. This is also an issue that occurs in educational institutions across the country, which ultimately results in schools temporarily being unable to feed their students.

Typical kitchen dilemmas that schools may also be affected by include, electrical and gas issues which prohibit the ability for kitchen staff to heat and store chilled food items. This often leads to the temporary closure of kitchens to solve the issues or a potential refurbishment of the facility. The closure of these kitchens produces the same difficulty to provide meals for students.

How are the food items and appliances transported?

The simple answer for this lies in the modification of the transport vans and the use of thermo-boxes. Our vans are fully equipped with refrigerating systems that allow the chilled goods to be delivered at the suitable temperatures.


Ambient goods are the food items that can be safely stored at room temperature (20-22 °C) and will remain suitable for consumption. Fruits and vegetables such as apples, oranges and potatoes are the common type of food items we transport in this condition.

We provide kitchen equipment and cleaning appliances as part of our service for temporary use. Items such as cutlery, plates, chemicals and more is also safely transported in our vans with the ambient food items we deliver. These appliances and equipment are picked up by our drivers after the school lunchtimes to be cleaned and prepared to be used for the following day.


Chilled food items such as dairy products need to be transported with more care than ambient foods due to the temperature requirements for chilled foods. The Food Safety and Hygiene Regulations 2013 state that chilled goods must be transported below 8°C to “inhibit or prevent harmful microorganisms from multiplying”.

We ensure all of our chilled goods are transported between 2-5°C to maintain optimum conditions for our clients. This is easily achieved by placing the goods in the refrigerated section of our vans where they are ready to be served chilled or suitable to be reheated.


The hot meals we deliver are stored in thermo-boxes as shown in the image above; these boxes insulate the food items to maintain their optimum temperature. The hot food we transport must be kept at 63°C or above to remain suitable for consumption. To reduce the effects of the inevitable heat loss, we schedule our deliveries to be transported just before meal times to be prepared and served hot for the students.

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Jose Mourinho shares support for Long Lane JFC

An inspiring short motivational message from ‘The Special One’ #josemourinho was shared with the grassroots football team, Long Lane JFC Lions that Platebox continues to sponsor.

The team recently won the SE London Kent Youth league cup, an amazing achievement for the young players.

We look forward to sponsoring the Long Lane JFC next season and supporting young children through our food delivery services that we provide to schools and public sector caterers across the country.

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Platebox CEO Tevin Tobun shares business journey with The Times

The CEO of Platebox, Tevin Tobun recently spoke to The Times enterprise network, sharing his personal business journey and the growth of his subsidiary companies.

Tobun graduated from Middlesex University London with a degree in health studies and a desire to take the unconventional route to becoming an entrepreneur. After being denied funding by The Prince’s Trust, a charity founded by Prince Charles to help disadvantaged young people with opportunities, Tobun shared how it affected him. “I started to think maybe… I better should just get a job like everyone else. But by the time I got home I’d decided I was made for this and was going to go for it anyway”.

Despite facing an initial rejection for investment, Tobun persevered and was determined to gain financial support elsewhere. He was granted funding by the Walworth Academy principal, Elizabeth Hanham at the time. This opportunity strongly influenced his decision to establish The Tobun Foundation, which is a charity part of GV Group that organises scholarship programmes and supports disadvantaged young people in their education and career opportunities. Tobun stated “I was 22… There were groups of men in their 40s and 50s huddled together in groups”. He went onto explain to the investor “If you’re looking for experience, I clearly don’t have as much as everyone else. What I do have is the desire to win”. The school’s principal granted a young aspiring Tobun a chance with his business idea and this is mirrored in the work of his foundation that was established in 2020. “As a leader, it’s incumbent on you to create future leaders.”

Tobun’s first business venture was a one-stop-shop service supplying building maintenance and support services for schools. After acknowledging the dilemma distribution firms faced in transporting meals to schools around central London, due to the lack of mobility of the large HGV’s, Tobun moved into the food transport industry. As an entrepreneur does, Tobun identified a problem and created a profitable solution. Platebox now delivers over 10 million school meals across the country using smaller 3.5t vans which enables the service to remain agile and more suitable to deliver in urban areas such as Central London. The decision to use smaller sprinter vans proved again to be beneficial during the pandemic due to the shortages of HGV drivers..

Tobun suggested one of the factors of success of the Platebox was based on the flat organisational system that “helped the firm to stay nimble”. He also went onto to say “the idea doesn’t have to doesn’t have to come from the guy at the top because you’re not the only one that has all the ideas… so you create an ecosystem where ideas can flow very quickly and people are not afraid of trying”.

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Prince Charles hosts GV Group CEO and Powerlist delegation at Clarence House

Tevin Tobun discusses Platebox with Prince Charles at Powerlist reception

This week, Tobun alongside other notable awardees – Baroness Amos, David Harewood and Kwame Kwei Armah to name a few – were invited to attend a Powerlist reception hosted by The Prince of Wales at Clarence House.

During the reception at Clarence House, The Prince of Wales made a keynote speech addressing attendees, networked with guests and spent some time speaking with Tobun about GV Group and his Tobun Foundation.

Tobun shared how GV Group subsidiary company Platebox, supported Bidfood to deliver over 350,000 food parcels to clinically vulnerable people who needed to shield during COVID enforced lockdowns. Prince Charles also seemed surprised to know that Platebox safely delivers over 10 million lunches to school children across the UK annually.

The Powerlist celebrates 100 of the U’s most influential people of African, African Caribbean and African-American heritage, who act as a role model for young people.

Now in its 16th year, the network honours people across a wide range of industries including business, science, technology and the arts.

#diversityandinclusion #leadership #entreprenruship #EvaOmaghomi #ClarenceHouse #PrinceCharles #PrinceofWales

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Celebrating International Womens Day

Women are the real architects of society

As part of International Women’s Day celebrations, we are taking the opportunity today to admire our amazing women at #Platebox who are vital for our day-to-day operations.

We are proud to say our entire management team at Platebox are ran by women and more than a third of our drivers delivering school meals across the country are women!

We are wishing women across the world a Happy International Women’s Day

#internationalwomensday2022 #womenempowerement #platebox

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Platebox continues to support grassroots football through sponsorship of local football club, Long Lane Lions.

Long Lane Lions, which recently named Hayden Mumford (under 9’s) as their player of the year, makes up part of Long Lane JFC, a charted standard club recognised by The FA, comprising over 40 different teams and more than 350 players.  

The club, which is also a registered charity, has a rich history dating back to 1981 and has since developed its facilities into some of the best in the southeast. 

During the London 2012 Olympics, the club was chosen as a training facility and hosted many of the world’s best footballers. 

Emma Watkins, divisional business director, Platebox, said: “We are proud to sponsor Long Lane Lions for another year as we know the value that sport and physical activity has on the wellbeing of young people.” 

Tevin Tobun, CEO of GV Group, the parent company behind Platebox, said: “As a company, we believe in and are proud to be able to support grassroots football as part of our impact on the wider community.  “Although a lot of supporters are missing games due to COVID restrictions, we are looking forward to welcoming fans, parents and children back to cheer on the next generation.” 

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Tobun Foundation supports youth organisation at House of Commons debate

A number of high-profile business leaders spoke to young people at a special event held at the House of Commons last week.

Introduced by Diane Abbott MP, the ‘Young Men – Letter to My 15-Year Old Self’ discussion focused on the career paths of professionals in competitive industries, including legal, tech and entertainment.

Produced by London-based social enterprise Inspirational YOU, of which Tobun is chair, the event was aimed at students and graduates aged 14 and over.

Tobun was selected to offer advice on how to climb the ladder and succeed in business, as well as insight into what it’s like to work in the hospitality industry.

The young delegation also heard tips on balancing work, personal life and wellbeing and the importance of having a career mentor and sponsor.

Formed in March 2010, Inspirational YOU is an award winning provider of inspiring, educational, informative and networking events.

Its programme of activities are designed to motivate and inspire participants by connecting them to leaders and businesses, with events attended by SME’s, community groups, enterprise agencies, charities, schools, colleges, universities and regulatory bodies.

GV Group works across the commercial and public sectors to deliver food and food-related based supplies to restaurants, cafes, hotel groups, as well as schools and healthcare establishments.

Tobun said: “I welcome any opportunity to help young people achieve their career aspirations. It is really important for business leaders to spend time with young people to show them that there are a multitude of roles within hospitality which can enable them to build and develop a successful career.”

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