Institute of Cancer Research

Institute of Cancer Research

The Institute of Cancer Research, London, is one of the world’s most influential cancer research organisations based in Chelsea, London and Sutton, Surrey.

The catering contracts were reviewed in 2003, 2009 and 2013 with the aim to ensure both sites received the very best service quality as well as ensuring best value was achieved.


The two sites within the Institute provide excellent staff catering services to the researchers and support staff. The Litmus Partnership was appointed in 2003 to assist the Institute to tender the catering services at both sites, provide ongoing monitoring support and ensure that agreed KPI’s were achieved.

Litmus has overseen the services provided to the Institute for 16 years.


The objective of Litmus’ engagement was to:

  • Manage the tender process in conjunction with the Institute’s procurement team in line with OJEU procedures;
  • Understand the requirements for each site and offer strategic direction as to their realistic and achievable future objectives for the service;
  • Provide a forum for raising issues and facilitate problem solving;
  • Act as a consultative body and attend key user group discussion meetings;
  • Ensure best value was achieved; and
  • After the tender, provide ongoing dedicated monitoring of the contracted service to ensure compliance with the contract.


Peter Barber, the Litmus Partnership, said: “The procedure commenced in 2003 with a review of all services at each site. This created a joint catering services strategy to assist the Institute in creating synergies between both sites whilst maintaining commitment between stakeholders.

“We executed a detailed, financial evaluation of all submissions – identifying anomalies and errors and providing a concise ‘user friendly’ like-for-like comparison of the bids. We then hosted presentations with the shortlisted contractors in conjunction with the institute’s  senior management team.”


The catering contract was successfully awarded in 2003, and again in 2009 and 2013 and universally provided both sites with an improvement in the quality of meals delivered along with stronger and more effective management of the services and a significantly reduced cost from what had previously been provided by the former catering supplier.

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“We continued to monitor the catering services at both sites and during the past sixteen years of involvement by the Litmus Partnership there has been a consistent improvement in service to all users whilst ensuring an ongoing reduction in overhead costs to the Institute.”

Peter Barber, the Litmus Partnership