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A counter supplied by Moffat Catering Equipment is helping a London Borough to change the way its staff work

The London Borough of Barnet is encouraging its staff to change the way they operate. By taking a more flexible approach, for example using Wi-Fi and having less formal meeting areas, staff are encouraged to modernise the way they work.

The Atrium is at the heart of the council's new strategy. Formerly used by Middlesex University, the building houses an airy and attractive open plan area with meeting rooms and offices attached. The catering facilities are a vital part of the strategy, since staff are encouraged to use the cafe area to work and hold meetings, as well as for networking and relaxing.

"There's a choice of meeting areas - from conventional private rooms to coffee-shop-style soft chairs and sofas," explains Teresa Goodall, Head of Catering for the London Borough of Barnet. "We needed the facilities to both attract staff and encourage the flexible approach to work - so there are plenty of work stations as well, plus Wi-Fi and network access."

The foodservice facilities were completely redeveloped and are based around a striking new counter, supplied by Moffat Catering Equipment. The counter top is black granite, while the facia incorporates the Borough's official colour, teal. "The granite goes really well with our colour - Moffat did a good job in designing the counter as a focal point that looks great but is also practical."

There are two counter areas - one for grab 'n go foods, such as snacks and sandwiches, the other for hot and cold meals. According to Teresa Goodall, two of the most popular sections are the fresh fruit bar and the salad bar. There's also a variety of hot and cold display areas built into the counters, including a soup servery, and two cash points. The counter's gently bowed front is both attractive and practical, since it allows customers to see more of the food offering.

"We're delighted with the counter and it's clearly a hit with our customers - since we opened in October, takings have increased every week," says Teresa Goodall. "More people are using the facilities, including staff from other civic buildings.

"The counter was a significant investment for us. It's proving its worth and the robust construction will give us many years of service."

Posted on Mon 4th Feb 2008