Czech combi oven brand rekindles interest in UK

Czech combi oven maker Retigo has relaunched its UK business in a move that will involve developing a comprehensive sales network throughout the country, Catering Insight can reveal.

The company, which also manufactures regenerators, blast chillers and beverage machines, has previously supplied product to the UK through a handful of dealers, but it has tended to be on an infrequent basis.

However, it is now looking to take the market more seriously after appointing ex-Hobart catering specialist Adam Robertson to run the operation.

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He is tasked with finding distribution partners as Retigo bids to go from selling 40 units a year in 2012 to a couple of hundred within the next two years.

While Retigo finds itself pitched into one of the equipment industry’s most competitive sectors, Robertson insists it can bring something different to the table — and at a more attractive price point than its major competitors.

“We are using very proven technology with a few unique twists in the manufacturing process, but the main thing is it is made in the Czech Republic, which is a country known for manufacturing,” said Robertson. “As the Czech Republic is out of the euro, the manufacturing costs are considerably lowered. So you have the same technology as in the German-manufactured machines, but you are getting it for less just because the overheads of the factory are less.”

He continues: “We have a special process that our cooking chamber goes through. It gets pre-fabricated in the factory, then shipped away to go through a special acid treatment to prevent corrosion inside it. Then it comes back and the whole unit is assembled. But the main advantage is that we can be cheaper but retain the quality.”

Robertson — who most recently worked for Retigo’s biggest UK dealer Gratte Brothers — says the manufacturer does not carry stock in the UK, but popular models held at its Czech factory can be delivered to the UK in three days.

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