CaterQuip GB knew it had its work cut out when it found that the staff catering facility it had been charged with refreshing was in a difficult-to-access location on the second floor of a factory premises.
But it was determined to overcome these issues for its client, American Air Filters. The filtration system company approached the Blyth, Northumberland-based distributor to quote for a new catering facility, as its existing canteen at its nearby Brassington offices required a major upgrade.
The restaurant already had a small existing kitchen and timber servery, which was to be replaced with an open plan kitchen and a modern servery that could cope with more than 300 factory staff. The original kitchen provided breakfasts, lunches and afternoon meals, but the end user felt the time had come to improve the menu, food quality and service, so the new kitchen and servery was proposed.
Howard Kell, CaterQuip’s MD, detailed: “American Air Filters is a large international company, and provided us with a brief of what it wanted to achieve, together with the menu. With that information, we were able to design the kitchen and servery and propose the equipment to use.”
CaterQuip was actually one of three companies quoting for the work, but Kell believes the dealer was awarded the £49,000 contract “on the merits of being the best design, equipment layout, price and the customer’s knowledge that CaterQuip delivers the right package”.
Michael Kell, projects and technical director, worked closely with AAF to come up with a scheme that fitted its requirements and budget.
The end user preferred Falcon equipment for prime cooking, so this was incorporated into the design. Howard Kell commented: “We also opted for combi cooking with a Rational Self Cook Centre, as this would provide all the breakfast items, plus their baking and steaming requirements. This was much better than the old way of doing things, using boiling and frying pans on the stove.” [[page-break]]
Other manufacturers specified included Foster for refrigeration, Maidaid Halcyon for dishwashing, plus a Lincat water boiler and toasters and a Victor Manufacturing servery were installed. CaterQuip also fitted an extraction canopy with gas interlocking as well as general fabrication, sinks, benches, shelving and racking.
“The deciding factor for the client in using these equipment suppliers was that the manufacturers all offer a 2 year warranty,” explained Kell.
During the installation, CaterQuip managed to overcome the major access problems of the second floor location, despite the fact that stairways were not an option. “Door openings had to be enlarged for getting equipment in and out,” recalled Kell. “With the use of specialist lifting equipment we were able to achieve access and install the equipment safely.”
From CaterQuip’s original discussions with AAF to final project completion, the timeframe was just 12 weeks. Nevertheless the dealer comfortably met the opening date within this period.
AAF’s facilities manager, Steve Brett, said: “CaterQuip was awarded the contract because we were confident it was the best company to offer AAF an updated solution to our eating facilities, with the provision of a new catering facility and food servery within our restaurant. We worked closely with Michael Kell, who managed the contract seamlessly from start to finish.
“We also now use CaterQuip for ongoing service and maintenance projects elsewhere within our facility, as CaterQuip is able to offer comprehensive support in equipment servicing, maintenance and repairs.”