(Superintendent: Alfio Bibbiani)
The Department has responsibility for the provision
of catering facilities to Members, Officers and their guests,
staff and Counsel. It also provides a private function service
to Members and Officers of the House, and retails House of Lords'
gifts and souvenirs.
The Department employs 92 staff, of whom 14 are in
managerial positions and 4 are in a clerical capacity. Five additional
full-time members of staff are expected to be recruited for the
new satellite unit in Millbank House, which will open in October
The Department makes use of casual labour to mitigate
the effects of unfilled vacancies, variations in demand, staff
sickness and absence.
3 Activities and Financial Performance
The Department provided catering services through
8 trading outlets, a private function service and a gift shop.
The trial visitors' tour (Line of Route) in the summer recess
2000, which involved a major merchandising outlet in Westminster
Hall, made significant demands on the Department; there will be
more time to devote to the planning and organisation of the operation
Turnover for the year was £2.83m, representing
a 0.6% increase over the 1999-2000 results. Gross profit on turnover
was £1.44m (£1.44m in 1999-2000). These figures suggest
that the Department has exploited its full potential within the
constraints of its current accommodation.
The performance of each outlet continued to be monitored
with reference to specified percentage profit targets, set and
reviewed annually by the Refreshment Sub-Committee. All internal
and external performance targets were met, with the exception
of the Peers' Dining Room, which was 2.3% under the gross profit
A major IT upgrade and development programme, comprising
the installation of an EPOS system, Stock Management system, a
Banqueting Diary and a new Accounting software package began in
September 2000. Whilst the Accounting package and Banqueting Diary
projects came to successful conclusions, there were some initial
difficulties and delays in the EPOS project.
The Department has continued its policy of bearing
certain costs on the Trading Account, which, in the past, were
borne on the House of Lords Votes.
During 2000-01, the sum of £650,000 of realised
trading profits was paid to the House of Lords' Vote (£580,000
Refreshment Department expenditure falling on the
House of Lords' Administration Vote (chiefly wage costs of staff
other than functions and retail) amounted to £921,311 net
(£792,809 in 1999-2000).
4 Future Activities
- The new catering outlet at Millbank will open
in October 2001. It will provide a breakfast, lunch and afternoon
tea service to Members and staff, and the outlet will be open
during recesses from Summer 2002.
- A feasibility study will be undertaken in Summer
2001 on the viability of improving existing facilities within
the kitchens, staff changing and rest rooms, and the provision
of an informal eating area for Members and staff.
- Full development and implementation of the IT
programme mentioned above.