close gets Swift makeover

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The cookline Swift helped to specify for’s staff dining in Cambridge.

Essex-based distributor Swift Catering Equipment has completed the refurbishment of well-known online travel agent’s staff dining facility in Cambridge.

Sales manager, Matthew Francis, took the lead on the project after Swift was originally asked to manufacture five stainless steel tables for the commercial kitchen.

From there the distributor found itself increasingly involved with the design and specification of equipment, working with design firm Artemis Interiors, main contractor CBRE and’s executive chef, Fernando Mendonca.

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Francis helped to improve the design, opening up the space to speed up production sustainably for the 300+ daily covers the kitchen would have to serve.

Around 14 amendments along the way included removing the internal walls and separating the cookline and food preparation areas to avoid cluttering. Francis also helped to add a dedicated space for the refrigeration, accommodating everything from counters to blast chillers, all from Foster Refrigerator, which he feels are “the best on the market at present”.

Swift worked with the other project partners to extend the servery and improve the flow. This meant the servery had the option of a coffee machine as well as more heated ceramics with gantries, plus a a chilled well with a refrigerated multideck at the far end.

Francis detailed: “Whilst discussing the client’s needs we decided to increase the free standing self-service counter and placed two induction soup kettles for a better offering to the client’s end consumer.”

The project timeline was tight, but Swift and its partners completed the kitchen and servery two weeks ahead of time. The distributor’s fabrication team originally recommended an 8 week lead time for completion, but managed to complete it within 6 weeks.

Francis reported: “Services were the biggest aggravation on this project. The M&E team that were connecting up to our bespoke manufacture canopy originally had plans to drill the slab of the building and at the last possible moment the landlord of the premises declined this option, putting the connection back. This was quickly resolved with all parties involved and an alternative route was found.”’s executive chef Mendonca and Swift discussed the equipment requirements and subsequently specified a 10 grid Unox ChefTop combi oven, a Nayati six ring oven range and a Frima multifunctional cooker. These were all electric as gas is not allowed on this site.

The warewashing was from the Ecomax range by Hobart Independent, which Francis has been specifying for several years as he says they have “the ability to nigh on never break down”.

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Clare Nicholls

The author Clare Nicholls

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