Light equipment distributor consortium Caterbar is organising its second annual Supplier Forum, which coincides with the 20th anniversary of the buying group.
To be held at The Assembly Rooms in Newcastle upon Tyne on 25 June 2015, the event will also feature an awards dinner to honour suppliers’ work in several categories.
There will be one winner and two commended suppliers for each award: bar and tabletop, hygiene, innovation, plus a chairman’s special recognition award which goes to a person or supplier within the industry whom Caterbar’s 11 members feel is of particular mention for their contribution to the HORECA sphere. In addition there will be an overall award winner, coming from either the bar and tabletop or hygiene categories.
The members have been voting for the award winners based on the following criteria: product range, product innovation, Caterbar terms, price competitiveness, delivery, ease of dealing with the company, problem resolution, sales representation, staff training and returns statistics.
During the day, the Supplier Forum will see 31 appointed or perspective suppliers exhibiting their wares, with the directors and sales staff of every Caterbar member visiting each stand for 15 minutes in a ‘speed dating’ format. The suppliers will be able to pitch new ideas, products, and promotions to the small groups of two or three.
Richard Agnew, Caterbar’s executive officer, commented: “The supplier forum gives companies the opportunity to show the complete range of their products and services to the membership. It also serves as a test bed for new and in-development products.
“Caterbar members are placed strategically throughout the UK and Ireland, and are the ideal vehicle to quickly disseminate the information and ideas presented to the catering industry, directly at an end user level. We’re also proud that members are exposed to new and potential suppliers in a relaxed, informal setting.
“The awards evening is again kept deliberately informal and relaxed, and many of the relationships fostered during the day are cemented in the evening. Members are placed at every table to add to the welcoming atmosphere. Caterbar is keen to promote true partnerships with their suppliers and the forum and awards are our way of exemplifying and rewarding that.
“We also hope that the awards are a means to drive excellence through our suppliers and motivate them to fully exploit their potential with the group.”
To mark the 20th anniversary, Roger Crosby from Crosby’s in Newcastle will be entertaining attendees with his own eclectic song collection after the awards, both in the VIP bar in The Assembly Rooms, and the nearby Hotel Indigo, which has its own Marco Pierre White restaurant.
On reaching the milestone, Agnew added: “Caterbar has lasted so long because members have a genuine passion for both their own customers and the products they sell. All the trends we have seen in our great industry over the last 20 years whether it be cooking with Josper grills, presenting food on bespoke boards, the latest designs for five star kitchens, will have been an offered service from our members.
“The member companies are at the heart of their areas, with full customer support. This is reflected in a cumulative and growing group turnover in the region of £100m. Companies have invested in staff, training, catalogues, internet, etc and continuously strive to offer end users best value and innovative products.
“Caterbar membership itself, in addition to providing access to great deals and products, also serves as a vehicle for vital information exchange both at an inter-company and national level. This is reflected in some of the great industry names we have supporting the supplier forum such as SCA, Churchill China, Parry, Classeq/Winterhalter and Neville UK.”