Catering equipment distributor Bournville has installed a full dishwashing area at Woodland Grange conference and leisure centre after Meiko won the contract to transform the existing warewashing space.

The brand – and at least two of its rivals, according to the firm – were invited to improve the design of the dishwash area and given ‘carte blanche’ to propose any lay-out they wanted.

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All companies were issued the same brief, but Meiko’s proposal emerged as the most practical design because of the way it improved workflow. 

Regional sales manager of Meiko, Craig Barnett, who helped to provide the solution, said the project was then carried out by Bournville Catering who also supplied the fabricated dump section and tabling and fitted the hygienic wall cladding.

“The installation of the dishwash was a testament to the professionalism of the catering equipment distributor involved,” he said. “The project ran on a tight schedule and John McEvoy and his team went out of their way to help even though they had very little room for manoeuvre. Starting on a Friday afternoon, they had to be complete and out of there on the Sunday evening, ready for me to train the staff early on Monday morning ready for service lunch time.”

Bournville also took on additional tasks, such as providing extra cladding, to ensure the kitchen was finished to the highest standards.

Executive chef of Woodland Grange, Matthew Parsons, said the old dishwasher it used was one foot from the wall, so things fell behind and it was difficult to keep clean. He also noted that Woodland Grange has grown over the years and the dishwash struggled to cope with the numbers, being particularly short of space to ‘dump’ glassware and crockery prior to washing.

“The area needed to be redeveloped to cope with the expanding numbers and I asked each of the three suppliers to design me a new system; everyone got the same brief and they knew exactly what I wanted,” he said.

The new equipment it has deployed can cope with 150 racks per hour, and includes heat recovery and pre-wash options. Meiko’s design also included extra features such as the fold-up shelves which provide one third more space for the dump section.

“Tweaks were made to improve the design. The water softeners and all the tabling are mounted on wheels, making it easier for cleaning and the scrapping holes in the dump section were changed from round to square, which actually helps a lot when it gets busy,” said Parsons.

He noted that Meiko’s solution also included the addition of a drying section into the dishwasher, whereas other suppliers that tendered for the project did not.

“Given the ‘extras’ that came with the Meiko system, I had anticipated it to cost more than the other suppliers. The surprising thing was that Meiko provided the cheapest solution,” he said.