Here are 10 things Andrew Seymour picked up from conversations with suppliers at the recent CESA and Cedabond Heavy Equipment Forums:
1. Induction goes mainstream
The restaurant market is still driving induction sales, but according to the guys at Grande Cuisine other sectors are rapidly following suit as they realise the benefits of the technology. Induction buffet systems are a “boom” area, too. Customers also want one counter and work surface with all the induction buffets connected underneath. This means induction chafing dishes can go straight onto the stove, while the top is safe.
2. Small is beautiful for Rational
Rational’s Compact XS model has all the features associated with its existing models but in a 60% smaller footprint. “It is something we have taken a long time to bring to the market,” said Mike Williams, sales director for the south west, explaining that it’s based on a boiler system, rather than spritzer system, which eliminates limescale and keeps the cavity clean.
3. Gram joins the BIM revolution
Gram is now part of the CESABIM database. It means designers can place Gram BIM blocks into designs. “It is compatible with every other system and is easily accessible from our website,” said commercial director Paul Anderson. HoshizakiGram’s UK division continues to grow and accounts for around 20% of its European turnover at the moment.
4. Technicolour cooking suites
Cooking suite manufacturer Charvet believes kitchens are becoming more ’boutiquey’ and this is leading chefs to choose suites in non-traditional stainless steel colour. Blues, blacks and ‘traffic rouge’ are the most popular.
5. Hobart takes care of new market
The use of domestic and semi-domestic machines tends to be prevalent in the care sector, so Hobart is looking to make professional warewashing technology available to these operators at a price they can afford, with its new ‘Care’ machine. The machine offers complete thermal disinfection, but it’s the cycle speed that Hobart thinks will be advantageous.
6. British manufacturing bites back
Craven & Co is flying the flag for British manufacturing and it continues to invest in its factory to remain competitive in the catering shelving space. National sales manager, Neil Fox, said: “We are cost-effective and competitive in price. We offer quality, because deep down we are a manufacturing company rather than a sales-based company. Also we make it locally and we use less energy producing a shelf than we would do in somewhere like China.”
7. The detail is in retail
Retail and foodservice are becoming more entwined when it comes to tableware, according to Churchill. Greys, biscuity-colours and white with patterns are in vogue at the moment.
8. The Virgin of the catering world
Corsair describes its mobile school servery, FlexiKart, as the ‘Virgin of the catering world’. Virgin came in and upset the applecart in the airline space and Corsair likes to think it has done in the same in this market, where traditionally there was only one recognised supplier. The product comes in a range of colours and has individual controls so that each plate can be switched off independently.
9. If the suite fits
According to Hobart Cooking Solutions, decisions on heavy duty cooking equipment continue to be shaped by menu, budget, space, power input and customer expectation. There is a clear trend of people moving away from gas and increasingly towards induction, but that is reliant on how much power is going into the building and, of course, cost, the firm said.
10. Solutions to waste
Increased understanding of food waste is being driven by rising collection and landfill costs, and kitchen workers demanding assistance. IMC commercial manager Gary Barnabus insists that sales of the company’s flagship WasteStation are flying. It is capable of converting 100litres of food waste into 20litres of grey water.
In the spotlight
Other products on show included:
• BGL Rieber’s new Thermoport 1000k, a plastic food transport box container that can handle temperatures up to 140°C.
• Duke hot holding units including the IRHS (infrared heat sink) which combines a heat sink and with overhead infrared heat.
• EuroCave’s new 6000 Series of customisable wine storage cabinets, with choices for doors, shelving, lighting and temperature.
• Glen Dimplex Professional Appliances: its Burco brand’s latest in-built filtration water boilers, and sister brand Lec’s new Platinum range of refrigeration counters, prep stations and cabinets.
• Lincat’s touchscreen EB3FX water boiler, including the predictive ecomode, whereby it learns from usage.
• Mobile UK’s plate dispensers and soup kettles, and its Liqui-Dispose, designed for liquid residues such as coffee dregs.
• The latest version of Precision’s dual temperature refrigerated drawer, which switches from a fridge to a freezer at the touch of a button.
• RH Hall’s updated catalogue including the Maestrowave Combi Chef 7, which combines microwave, convection and grill cooking in one unit.
• Robot Coupe’s Robot Cook, a commercial cooking cutter blender which is accurate to 1°C.
• Synergy Grill’s chargrill featuring hot surface ignition with flame rectification, which replaces traditional ignition systems and thermocouples.
• Victor Manufacturing’s new Evolution display units which are soon to be available in even more compact sizes.
• Williams’ new Value Coldroom range, which sits between its competitively-priced SmartStore and option-heavy Contract ranges.