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In June of 2023, we were contacted by a first-time client to support with a catering tender for ESPO, involving the supply and delivery of single and multi-portion frozen ready meals.

The buyer’s requirements included:

  • Meals which effectively catered to cultural and religious dietary requirements, such as kosher/halal options and Asian, African, Caribbean and Middle Eastern menu options
  • Vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free meals which supported service users who required free-form diets
  • Texture-modified, and puree options for children, the elderly or individuals with dysphagia
  • Providing a varied range of products and options which appeal to service users and ensure they do not suffer from ‘menu fatigue.’

Our client identified the framework as an opportunity to expand their client base into different areas of the UK – previously, their geographic area was restricted to delivering catering services in the Midlands, Greater London and the South East.

Following an initial exploratory call with the client’s representative, we were confident in our ability to support a high-quality and competitive tender. With the project being short notice, it was essential to begin as soon as possible to maximise the remaining time before the submission deadline.

Main challenges

Our expert team of bid and tender writers have a wealth of experience completing catering tenders, including the provision of off-site and on-site preparation of meals for a wide variety of end users – care home residents, hospital patients and refugees in temporary accommodation.

Specific challenges inherent to this project included:

  • Completing a project for a first-time client with a short-notice deadline, necessitating efficient capture of all information
  • Detailing methods for promoting the framework to new and existing customers, allowing the authority to effectively expand their client base
  • Completing a portal check of all submission documents to mitigate any potential disqualifications, such as missing/incomplete documents.
Bid Details
  • Geographical region: 

    Across the UK

  • Output: 

    7,300 words across six method statements and two social value responses

  • Weighting: 

    30% quality / 60% price / 10% social value

  • Submission: 

    Electronic and portal-based

  • Outcome: 


Project Overview

In order to complete the quality portion of the tender, our scope of works comprised six method statements and two social value responses, which included:

  • An overview of the client’s business structure including their current size, market position, range of products and existing customer base
  • Customer support procedures for ongoing contract management, cost saving options and processes for meeting requirements for various dietary and cultural needs
  • Methods for promoting innovation in service delivery, including staying ahead of market competitors, new products/menu suggestions and keeping abreast of industry and consumer trends
  • Two social value questions providing a detailed description of existing social value policies in place, what will be introduced for the framework and plans for monitoring and measuring commitments.

Ciaran Brass was assigned as the project lead, with Senior Bid Writer Lewis Day and Bid Writer Jack Bowman allocated as support writers to ensure the submission was completed ahead of the deadline. In accordance with our tailored bid management approach developed since 2009 and used across over 7,000 SQ, PQQ and ITT submissions, Ciaran produced an answer plan in accordance with the contract specification and tender documents. This subsequently informed the client interview, where a series of open-ended questions were used to understand the client’s USPs, processes and procedures and proposals for delivering added value.

Our project-specific writing team, each selected based on their strengths and experience in completing catering tenders, promptly began working on the method statements, addressing each aspect of the question in order to receive full marks from the evaluators. One method statement involved describing how the client would market and encourage new and existing customers to the framework, allowing the purchasing authority to expand its user base.

All method statements and responses were subject to a line-by-line review from Quality Reviewer Victoria Hughes to verify compliance with the contract specification, all questions were comprehensively and persuasively answered, there was a clear, logical structure to the content and it was easily understandable to the layperson. Victoria left comments for amendments, efficiencies and improvements for writers to address, ensuring the strongest possible submission on behalf of our client.

Ciaran was also able to offer a final portal check for our client. This ensured all appendices were completed, documents were uploaded in the correct location and there were no outstanding tasks, providing additional quality assurance and supporting a compliant bid.


In August, our client notified us they were successful in gaining a place on the framework, receiving full marks for the quality method statements and social value responses. As it was their first time bidding into the public sector, they were delighted with the result and are keen to use our bid writing services for suitable future opportunities. The writing team was also praised for ensuring all quality responses were ready for submission in advance of a tight deadline.

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