Capturing coffee culture at Warwick University

Foodservice solutions for Warwick University by Interior fit-out specialist The Alan Nuttall Partnership Ltd

Home to 25,000 students and 5,501 staff from over 120 countries, the University of Warwick’s main campus is an invaluable resource, not just for its students and staff, but also for the local community, with facilities including Warwick Arts Centre and University Sports Centre.

While the university as a whole continually enhances its overall estate, Warwick Retail, which runs the university’s cafes, bars, restaurants and shops on campus, also regularly looks at re-examining and enhancing its offering.

Mark Potter, Head of Service Delivery for Warwick Retail Campus and Commercial Services Group, said:

Three years ago we decided it was time to take a really good look at what we offered, not only in terms of food and drink, but the environment we provided. Students and staff were spending a lot of money on campus, and we needed to meet expectations and deliver environments like those they sought out on the High Street.

Overall, the entertainment and food cultures in the UK have changed massively in the last decade. This has changed the way we deliver things at the university. The Students Union is now not just focused on big nights out, and students spend a lot more time doing group work, not sitting in a library alone. The coffee shop culture lends itself perfectly to that; five or six students around a table drinking coffee and eating a cake or snack, but still working.

Nuttalls has already completed the refurbishment of the Humanities coffee shop’s counter and display area and the development of a new coffee shop in the atrium of University House.

Project-managed by Nuttalls, the latter boasts a servery counter incorporating a bespoke, ‘L’ shaped coffee counter with pick up area, designed with the baristas’ needs in mind, and a servery counter with a Belfast sink, inset soup well with glass bread display shelf and counter top ambient glass cake display unit. These features are all set off by stunning haiku silestone worktops complemented by Losán Benelux oak rough-laquered valances.

Mark Potter adds:

The baristas wanted neat work spaces built into the counter design and Nuttalls delivered this to a ‘T’. To ensure customer flow is optimised, the counter configuration itself is quite simple, but with beautiful and bold solid worktops to fit in with our new style.

We also wanted quirky touches, like the Belfast sink in the middle of the servery. Nuttalls said, absolutely no problem. From beginning to end, they spent time talking us through the options and took us to places where they could show us examples of their work.

Nuttalls also worked brilliantly in a live environment. “University House is the main administrative headquarters at Warwick, with lots of activities going on and 650-plus visitors passing through every day. Nuttalls understood the important of minimising disturbance and liaised with our security, estates and library staff to deliver a complete service; another reason why we will continue to work with them.

Already recognised as one of the UK’s leading shopfitters, The Alan Nuttall Partnership Ltd specialises in interior fit-out, main and principal contracting, retail display design, manufacture and installation of fixtures, signage, foodservice and refrigeration equipment for retail, commercial, hospitality, leisure, foodservice and the public sector.