Service and maintenance is absolutely critical in the world of catering equipment, and the Catering Insight Service & Maintenance Provider of the Year category, sponsored by the First Choice Group, will reward those that are blazing a trail when it comes to repairing, maintaining and servicing kitchens. This award is open to both specialist service companies and distributors that operate dedicated service businesses.
The shortlist is:
Servicing specialist Crystaltech increased its engineer team by 30% earlier this year and expanded its training facility in its Essex headquarters. The £30,000 investment has doubled its floorspace and increased capacity for specialist in-house engineer training services. MD Derek Maher understands the importance of face to face communication and each year visits his engineers across the country to ensure all training and accreditations are up to date and to maintain consistency in operations. The company now has technical resources to detect the most obscure warewashing issues.
Refrigeration and air conditioning specialist servicing company Flowrite has developed its 24/7 scheduling system including linking documents electronically directly to work requests and asset information through the use of PDAs and automated emails to notify of fault resolutions. Its remote monitoring product has allowed it to provide real time information about the operating parameters of customers’ equipment. A new van fleet has been designed by its own engineers and a new training room at its Maidstone head office houses regular staff training courses.
Hatherley Commercial Services
Hatherley Commercial Services has maintenance expertise running through its DNA, with servicing comprising 65% of its business. The family firm ensures it home-grows engineering talent, regularly taking on new apprentices, including one recent joiner specialising in gas appliance installation. Underlining its training commitment, the company’s refrigeration engineer has just completed a course on hydrocarbon refrigerants. Plus it is keeping its engineers happy with a fleet of brand new vans recently delivered, while MD Kirstin Hatherley has recently been voted in as chair of CEDA’s Northern Region.
Lakes Catering Maintenance
Lakes Catering Maintenance underwent a major rebrand this year, developing a corporate identity that is more inclusive of the company’s entire service proposition. A revamped website has also been created, detailing the extent of its offering and its successes serving local restaurants, schools and hotels in Cumbria and North Lancashire. The new look has been accompanied by an investment in enhanced design and installation capabilities, which are complementary to the flagship kitchen maintenance and repair work that the business has built its foundations on.
A £1.8m investment in new premises has been one of the highlights of Marren’s year, capping a period of expansion that has seen the number of directly-employed field service engineers increase to more than 60 and allowing it to cover all parts of mainland Britain. A focus on growing spare parts stocks to ensure a higher first-time fix has bolstered service levels, with the company now implementing a daily van stock replenishment policy and running weekly in-house training classes on all of the specialist equipment it maintains.