The special Catering Insight Distributor of the Year – Nationwide Award, sponsored by Rational, will recognise a major distributor which has completed mammoth commercial kitchen projects to a high standard, up and down the country, while still offering a personalised, sterling service.
The shortlist is therefore:
Chain outfit expert Advance Group has had a record-breaking year, posting its highest ever turnover of £18m. Part of the reason for its popularity with major high street names such as Pizza Union and Leon is its bespoke asset management system, IntEquip, which tracks over 30,000 pieces of equipment tracing as far back as 20 years. This is the backbone of Advance’s recently launched Smart Kitchens package, a lifecycle kitchen solution which covers the design, installation, maintenance and asset management of casual dining group kitchens.
Airedale Catering Equipment
The Airedale Group has had a hugely busy 12 months, bringing yet another business into the fold in the form of installation specialist Sleaford Catering Services, which merged with the Airedale Technical Services division. New MD Paul Woodford, promoted from sales and marketing director, has helped to drive the overall group turnover up to £42m, with Airedale Catering Equipment alone bringing in £28.7m. Major projects this year have included the spectacular Commission for Drake & Morgan at Heathrow’s Terminal 4.
C&C Catering Equipment
C&C Catering Equipment continues to go from strength to strength, growing its profits by 17.3%. It has invested heavily in its staff and systems during the past year, including adding a new project manager to cope with its increasing large scheme work. The distributor has demonstrated its project expertise at Google’s London offices, Everton Football Club’s training ground in Merseyside, the five star Ampersand Hotel in Kensington, Hewlett Packard’s base in Erskine, Scotland and First Choice Group’s new headquarters in Cannock.
Space Group’s storming year means it has invested in six new project/account managers across the UK to improve its coverage and account support network. It has completed the full interior fit out and demonstration kitchen at the new National Catering Equipment Centre in Bristol and a full turnkey fit-out at The Hut Group in Warrington, which it turned into a video case study. Furthermore it introduced regular industry update sessions for staff and invested in the latest visualisation rendering software to deliver high quality walkthroughs to customers.
Vision Commercial Kitchens
Vision has gone overseas this year for the first time, working on a Silver Sands resort in the West Indies, plus undertaking design and specification work for clients in Norway and Doha. At home, the distributor worked on its biggest project to date, outfitting nine restaurants at The Ned Hotel in London. Implementing a whole new sales team in the light equipment category, the firm also invested in its service department. Furthermore it launched a new user-friendly website featuring sector sub-sites to specifically cater to different clients.