OUR STORY SO FAR...
The Bus Stop Canteen Ltd has been going now since May 2012. It was set up by Luton Union committee members to ensure that staffs at Arriva’s Luton Bus Depot and Head Office get good quality food at reasonable prices. As a non-profitable business, often called an NPO or simply a nonprofit and non-commercial organisation; it is an organisation that uses its surplus revenues to achieve its goals rather than distributing them as profit or dividends.
Whist TBSC is a not-for-profit organisation and are permitted to generate surplus revenues, they must be retained by the organisation for its self-preservation, expansion, or plans. TBSC (The Bus Stop Canteen) has controlling directors who are Rob Petrie, Steve Blake & Pete Harrison who work for TBSC for no compensation what so ever. The background staffs are the backbone into ensuring that the canteen remains open for all that uses it. TBSC also has paid staff including the Canteen Manager Marie Hastings, canteen assistant Elaine Glancey, Matthew Burley & Dipesh Patel; however Matthew and Dipesh started as just unpaid volunteers. TBSC has worked closely with New Horizons and Shaw Trust and we are proud of the fact we have both Matthew and Dipesh who are now both paid employees of TBSC. All staff employed with TBSC gives 110% to everybody that use the facility and work tirelessly at making sure those standards are kept high.
2013 is the first completed year that TBSC has been through and with varied achievements, some high points and some low points. In July 2012 it was awarded a Food Hygiene Rating of 5, one the highest accolades you can get for a food business. In December 2013 came another visit from the Environmental Health and upon inspection acknowledged the hard work that had gone into keeping the standards up high and TBSC retained its 5 rating.Having secured the basic and fundamental needs of the business over the last 18 months, 2014 will be a year of moving the business onto the next level of generating surplus revenue. Keeping the high standards of food hygiene up will be the staff that will all be regularly trained and up to date with food & hygiene certificates. Food sources will be looked at for competitive costs of food as the quality of food will not be compromised but obviously as a business we want quality at fair prices. With the ever increasing prices of food this has to be reflected occasionally with a price increase. New prices will start at the beginning of 2014, the first price increase since TBSC opened in 18 months so not bad going. Costs will be monitored at all times and new business to hopefully be generated.
It is fair to say that the buffets we supply to Arriva are a massive source of income for the business and without them it would not be possible to keep prices down, so new menus for buffets will be looked at so people who experience our buffets can expect different things. 2013 we had an outside company pay to use Arriva’s conference room facility and TBSC also supplied them with a buffet, revenue hopefully repeated again one day. Also with Evans Halshaw next door we hope to entice their workers to use TBSC for their breakfast rolls. A Halal supplier will be generated and a delicious chicken and chips and Pizza’s will hopefully be regulars also.
2014 will be the year to exceed in everybody’s expectations of a small run canteen. Buffets will be an integral part in keeping TBSC operational and new business will generate much needed revenue so that we can look at putting back into the business. At the moment we are just about self-preserving the business however the visions of new décor and booths to sit at are in mind but this can only happen if we generate surplus revenue to achieve these goals.