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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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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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Platebox announces Emma Watkins as the new Divisional Director

Platebox, a leading transport and logistics solution for the education and public sectors, is pleased to announce the appointment of Emma Watkins as the new Divisional Director.

Watkins has worked within the contract catering industry for 25 years, handling contracts totalling in excess of £25 million. Watkins will be overseeing the operational delivery and strategic growth of Platebox nationally.

Watkins said: “I am excited to start my role with Platebox to support education catering companies up and down the country by ensuring their lunches are delivered in the best condition so the children can enjoy healthy nutritious lunches to help them learn. After working in the education sector for so many years, this ethos has always been close to my heart and has cemented my views on the importance we should all place on good food. To now be in a strategic position to ensure this happens nationally is an exciting journey I’m looking forward to begin through Platebox.”

Tevin added: “As an agile business, we are constantly reviewing our operational procedures to ensure we are well positioned to provide an efficient service for our clients and customers. Emma’s years of experience and diverse background within the industry will be invaluable as we seek to grow our business to help ensure more schools nationally safely receive their lunches in a timely manner.

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