IFSE transforms London university’s kitchen

IFSE completed London Southbank University’s kitchen refurbishment in 5 weeks.

Croydon-based International Food Service Equipment Ltd (IFSE) has overhauled London Southbank University’s (LSBU) existing kitchen and relocated its cafe.

The catering service, run by Elior, has to feed 5,000 students every day and so the only time available for IFSE to carry out the renovations was over the 5-week summer break.

The dealer had to completely redesign, rebuild and refurbish the university’s main kitchen, and at the same time create a new coffee shop offering in the main concourse.

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IFSE associate director, John Moore, detailed: “It was a tight timescale and we knew everything had to be complete and up and running for the beginning of the new academic year.

“The old kitchen had to be completely stripped out and the new one installed right from the ground up. That included new M&E services and building work including the renewal of all flooring, ceilings and hygienic wall cladding.”

Ernst Weisbrod, estates contract manager at LSBU, said: “Ifse completely transformed our old kitchen and created a bright, modern, high spec environment which our chefs love to work in.

“It also delivered the project on time and budget, which doesn’t always happen nowadays!”

The kitchen’s new ventilation system uses a dual-skin hood to extract and to supply fresh air, while most of the prime cooking equipment is from Electrolux.

The installation included food preparation, storage shelves, refrigeration/freezers, beverage machines, cooking ranges, fryers, convection ovens, salamander grills, hot-cupboards and combination ovens, plus ancillary equipment such as tray collection trolleys.

The kitchen’s waste compactor was provided by IMC, while Winterhalter PT Energy warewashers are installed in the washing area.

IFSE also had to convert what had been the old sports centre reception area into a casual eaterie.

“The relocation of the Campus Express was part of a bigger project to make better use of space on campus,” said Weisbrod. “The new location is ideal, as it is right at the entrance of the London Road building where our biggest footfall is.”

Ifse designed a self-service area adjacent to an informal coffee-shop style seating area, allowing customers to choose to either ‘grab and go’ or stay and eat.

The equipment here includes a chilled, freestanding multideck, a servery counter with ambient and heated sections, a freestanding central salad bar, beverage machines, hot-cupboards, refrigeration and a cashier counter.

“The addition of a café in this area has transformed the main concourse of the building into a buzzing hub that students, staff and visitors love to use,” said Weisbrod. “It has also increased sales by over 20% compared to the old café for the same period last year.”

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