Skip to main content

Root Kitchen Pop-Up Event Helps Leicester Royal Infirmary to Save 10% on Procurement Costs and Increases Sales by 10%

31 March 2023

We put the NHS at the heart of everything we do, and always want to add value within the work that we do. Their hot food offer had become a bit stagnant at the site, and they wanted to inject some ideas and innovation into their offer.

Culinary Specialist Michael Sharp from NHS Supply Chain: Food.


Key Facts:

  • Successful Root Kitchen pop-up event delivered in August 2022
  • Staff and customers re-energised by the new offer at the hospital
  • Increased customer satisfaction, as well as an increase in revenue for the trust.

As part of their commitment to becoming an exemplary trust, Leicester Royal Infirmary, alongside Culinary Specialist Michael Sharp from NHS Supply Chain: Food, identified that a potential area of improvement was their onsite hot food offering for staff and visitors.

Root Kitchen Banner with LRI team showcasing food prepared at pop-up event.


By working closely with the Culinary Team at Leicester to reignite their passion for food and enhance their skills and confidence, NHS Supply Chain: Food was able to help the trust to realise its ambition.

Back in the summer of 2022, NHS Supply Chain: Food Account Manager Kesley Hull, alongside Michael and Culinary Ambassador Nick Vadis, visited the site to understand the existing offer better and scope out how potential improvements could be made.
Following an initial, detailed site evaluation documenting everything from storage capacity, the servery and direct insight from the onsite culinary team, they quickly realised there was potential for the team to go in and teach one of their Culinary Concepts.

The Culinary Concepts programme was devised to increase support for hospital-based catering teams, by sharing recipe ideas that offer healthy yet innovative food options for staff and visitors.
Our experienced in-house culinary team designed a range of recipes centred around 7 themes, using insights from consumer trends and our work with the NHS, all designed to inspire NHS chefs across the country.

The objective was to empower and inspire the team to adopt the recipes into their upcoming menu plans, by providing them with the skills and confidence to replicate the popular dishes for staff and visitors in the future.


The event planning wasn’t without its challenges; the client base was demographically diverse, the footfall was still low post-pandemic, and many were unsure about trying. Leicester was enthusiastic about the concept and eager to get customers and staff plant-based meat alternatives.

The Process

A one-day pop-up event was chosen as the perfect solution for Leicester Royal Infirmary, where the culinary team would be shown how to prepare, cook and serve the culinary concept ‘Root Kitchen’ – a collection of plant-based dishes to cater for different dietetic requirements.
The pop-up kitchen event took place in August 2022 and was a resounding success.

Huge thanks to the NHS Supply Chain: Food team. A fantastic Root Kitchen pop up event at the Leicester Royal Infirmary. Demonstrating how great vegan food really is. We are looking forward to my team visiting the Chefs Academy event to learn more soon.

Nick Lee Retail Catering Facilities Manager at Leicester Royal Infirmary.
LRI Catering Team alongside NHS Supply Chain Food Culinary Specialist Michael Sharp and Nick Vadis.

The Results

  • A saving of close to 10% across our procurement
  • They have had a 10% increase in sales on the concept items
  • Collaboration has proved to be a real asset to the team and working together helped with the day-to-day running of the business.

The Culinary Team is excited about using the restaurant facility again, enthused by the success of the first event in the summer. The team at Leicester went on to host a second pop-up event in October 2022. Not only are the trust enjoying momentum amongst staff, and glowing feedback from customers, but they have also seen an increase in revenue.
Root Kitchen has proved to be so popular that it now outsells the traditional Fish and Chips offer on a Friday.

Food sales boosted by 10%

Procurement costs reduced by 10%

Another hugely successful plant-based Root Kitchen pop-up at the Leicester Royal Infirmary. Keep an eye out in the restaurant, as this is now going into our 12-week concept rota across our three acute sites. Thank you as always for your help and support everyone, let’s continue working together to make these plant-based pop-ups a huge success.

Sam Farnell, Retail Catering Development Supervisor for University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.

Pulling the knowledge of NHS Supply Chain: Food, and the added value they offer, has been a real journey and we look forward to working together soon.

Nick Lee Retail Catering Facilities Manager at Leicester Royal Infirmary

Both sales data and customer feedback have been hugely positive, and as part of an ongoing collaboration, the NHS Supply Chain: Food team will be re-visiting Leicester soon to see how things are going, and what will come next. They are continuing their journey to becoming an exemplar trust, and this pop-up sent them in the right direction.