LLK profits from holiday pizza

LLK supplied the gas living flame Verrocchio pizza oven for CKS’ Ribby Hall outfit.LLK supplied the gas living flame Verrocchio pizza oven for CKS’ Ribby Hall outfit.

As the pizza industry continues to grow in 2017, Oldham-based catering equipment supplier and renowned pizza equipment firm, Linda Lewis Kitchens (LLK) has seen the concept expand into new markets, most recently holiday parks.

In these exciting times, LLK is seeing more and more customers seeking advice on the perfect set-up, citing that “customers want equipment that is reliable, robust and easy to use”.

For instance, in November 2016, LLK was approached by Blackpool-based dealer Commercial Kitchen Services (CKS), looking for the most suitable pizza equipment to go into Ribby Hall Village in Preston. Ribby Hall is an award-winning five-star luxury holiday park and village situated in 1,000acres of countryside. The holiday park recently expanded its popular tapas bar, allowing it to meet demand for Mediterranean cuisine from guests staying at the resort as well as local visitors.

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CEO Paul Green and head chef Simon Ball took the decision to add pizza to the menu in the park’s existing Tapas bar after Italian cuisine was ranked the second most popular cuisine in Britain. They also felt it was the perfect offering to add to the Mediterranean feel of the newly-designed restaurant. Both required kit that would produce consistent results, look the part and most importantly be energy efficient.

After consulting with CKS sales manager, David Holt, who Ribby Hall had worked with on a previous project, he advised the operator to attend a demonstration day at LLK. Holt commented: “I wanted my client to see all LLK has to offer. I think trying the product before investing is a great way to work. I attended the launch of LLK’s new premises and was impressed with the demo kitchen set-up.”

LLK’s demo kitchen offers dealers the chance to bring customers along to test drive a wide range of its pizza equipment. So far, LLK has experienced a 95% success rate on securing dealer sales through visits to the demo kitchen. Jenna Lewis, LLK’s business development manager, who runs the demo days, detailed: “Often, we sell additional equipment to customers who come to look at a specific oven, but haven’t thought of buying complementary items such as a dough mixer or pizza press to make their pizza concept easy and consistent.”

Ball believes that the time spent in the demo kitchen certainly helped Ribby Hall to come to the decision of purchasing LLK’s gas living flame Verrocchio pizza oven. Green’s decision on the oven was based on the tapas bar wanting “to create a piece of theatre within the operation to allow a clear path to be recognised by our guests”.

As consistency was of huge importance to make the operation a success, CKS advised its client that a Cuppone heated pizza press would be an instrumental part of the pizza set up. After using the press designed with bevelled edge plates for several weeks since the launch, Ball said: “We don’t need two members of staff opening dough, which is a difficult skill. This keeps costs down, meaning the press soon pays for itself.” When asked to comment on the end product Ball stated: “The press produces a perfectly authentic Italian pizza base.”

He and his team are ready and eager to get serving up pizzas to their new and existing diners, knowing they have kit that is both reliable and consistent.

Another holiday park embracing the popularity of the Italian concept is the well-known family resort chain, Butlin’s. In February of this year, LLK’s engineers headed over to Ludo’s restaurant situated in Butlin’s Minehead resort, to install a brand new Cuppone Giotto pizza oven and Cuppone heated pizza press.

Working together with YCE Catering Equipment in Leeds, LLK specified the Giotto and press to the restaurant where the staff operating the equipment had previous experience working at Ludo’s predecessor, Pizza Hut. With the Giotto’s revolving base, loading and unloading pizzas is said to be child’s play. Add the Cuppone heated dough press to the set up, and producing consistently good pizzas can be achieved by anyone.

YCE MD Nick Brassett detailed: “Butlin’s recognised it was time to invest in its business, bringing itself in line with the high street. Pizza is a concept that would make its business current.

“Ludo’s needed an operation that would allow it to deliver great food with pace. The Giotto was the obvious choice for front of house cooking as it is an impressive looking oven, adding the press was sure to make the operation effortless. So far all feedback from site has been great, particularly on the equipment – they love it, which is great given they have previous experience with other brands!”

LLK’s technical director Carl Lewis, who was on site to install the kit, also returned to deliver training to the employees at Ludo’s. LLK can offer its customers basic training on the use of its equipment to help reduce any unnecessary warranty calls. “We find that, more often than not, customers avoid reading instruction manuals, so this is usually the cause of many warranty calls. Being able to offer training on the use of our equipment helps customers maintain the oven and operate it correctly from the very beginning,” commented Lewis.

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