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Food as an essential part of student life

How Chartwells transformed TFS’s food service experience

Food and dining isn’t just a school accessory—it’s an integral part of student life. TFS—Canada’s International School—used this principle to guide their search for the right food service provider. “We truly believe that food and the way it’s delivered are vital parts of the educational experience,” says Shyrose Janmohamed, Chief Financial Officer at TFS. “They affect the community and culture of a school, and the way kids interact, in class and out.”


Chartwells, one of Canada’s premier food service providers, firmly grasped and embraced this way of thinking. “They knew exactly what we were looking for,” says Janmohamed. From the outset, it was clear Chartwells was far ahead of the curve in understanding TFS’s food service needs. “They were the only ones who came in with an actual plan. Quite early on in the process, they helped us envision how we could transform the food service experience at our school to align with some of our core objectives, such as cultivating a warm, vibrant, and family-like school environment.”

It’s no small feat to transform a school’s food service experience, and TFS’s unique makeup made this even more challenging. TFS has a large population with a wide age range: 1500 students, from nursery school toddlers to Grade 12 high schoolers. It’s also an international school, with students and staff coming from all corners of the world. “We wanted more than fast food,” says Shyrose. “We were looking for nutritious, creative food options and a well-balanced menu with international food, flavours, and experiences, to match our diverse student body. Chartwells helped us figure out how we could do all this.”

Chartwells’ innovation, creativity, and knowledgeability inspired confidence they could achieve TFS’s ambitious food service objectives. “They have incredible experience in terms of design and production,” says Shyrose. “Chartwells created a diverse menu and worked with our leadership team to help commemorate key events and dates—both local and international.”

TFS required a hands-on, solution-oriented food services provider, and Chartwells fit the bill. “They helped us design the kitchen,” says Shyrose. “They designed a more efficient flow process for students.” Since TFS is a French school, Chartwells, naturally, hired French chefs and sous chefs. But they also hired an international team to provide a culturally diverse menu offering a wide range of international cuisines and dishes.”

Chartwells was an exceptional partner. Their degree of support went far beyond what’s normally expected from a food service provider. Says Shyrose, “They would ask: ‘Is there anything else we can do?’ And we might say, ‘Sure, how about this?’, to which they would offer a helpful reply.” This kind of assistance and collaboration is not easy to find, even in the most professional corporate relationships. “We really felt like it was a constant and open-ended dialogue between two parties that wanted the best for each other.”

Chartwells’ innovative and creative transformation of TFS’s food service proved especially crucial over the last couple of very challenging years. Says Janmohamed, “We have purchased a mobile pasta station, so food doesn’t have to be just in La Terrasse. They implemented Nutrislice: A lunch-ordering system that we were able to use to allow food services to continue during COVID. You can pre-order lunch and then get it delivered to you. It can be delivered to classrooms and designated locations.”

Shyrose is effusive about how Chartwell’s values aligned with those of TFS. “They have a strong commitment to diversity, which is obviously extremely important to us. They also have sustainability initiatives, which corresponds to our commitment to the environment. And the fact that they give back to the community, over two million meals in the last year or so, is something we truly admire.”

This is as important as anything, and something the TFS team was thrilled about. Says Janmohamed, “we wanted a partner in the strongest sense—someone who not only could satisfy our food service needs but who had similar standards, beliefs, and values.” Chartwells, it’s safe to say, delivered on both fronts, and offered everything TFS was looking for in a food service provider.

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