Up and coming UK catering equipment buying group, ENSE, has won the backing of foodservice giant Middleby and its plethora of independent brands.
The organisation, which offers the first serious alternative to incumbent buying consortium Cedabond, confirmed that Middleby UK, Lincat, Brittania and IMC will all supply the group.
Bob Adams, managing director of ENSE, told Catering Insight that Middleby’s support is a huge endorsement for what it is trying to achieve.
“We are very pleased to have Middleby on board,” said Adams. “We know that it really helps and solidifies the hot side of the business, and we are going to be pushing them and their brands to show our commitment to them.”
ENSE intends to establish dealer-led sales and marketing programmes for the various Middleby businesses, which also includes brands such as Blodgett, FriFri, Houno and Nu-Vu.
The buying group is keen to help manufacturers create programmes such as carriage initiatives and retrospective rebate schemes to drive dealer loyalty while delivering extra margin in return.
ENSE also used the Middleby announcement to reveal that 13 dealers have signed up to the group to date.
This includes Advantage Catering, Archer’s Catering Systems, CHR Equipment, Contiquip, Cornwall Catering, Court Catering, Francis Catering, KCCJ, Marshall Catering, Peter Cox Catering, Shine Equipment, Stangard Food Service and Utensils Southern.
Adams said he hopes to finish the year with between 15 and 20 dealers on board.
“Ultimately there are still many more [dealers] that we haven’t even talked to yet and therefore we haven’t been able to show how our programme can help them. And it’s the same on the manufacturer side, although as we progress we will make the contact we need to. Obviously the more dealers and manufacturers that sign up, the better it is for both parties. We have to be committed to driving business and profits for both sides — that is the only way the concept will work.”
Lincat’s marketing director, Nick McDonald, said the prospect of having dealers focus on its products convinced it to join the group.
“ENSE’s commitment to dealer support is what initially attracted us to join,” admitted McDonald. “After speaking to their dealers and hearing their resolve, we made the decision to sign up for the scheme. We are looking forward to growing our market share with their dealers.”
It is also understood that ENSE will shortly bring other suppliers on board. First Choice has already joined ENSE as a spare parts partner, confirmed Adams.