The Catering Insight Distributor of the Year – North of England Award, sponsored by Blue Seal, will be presented to a catering equipment dealer based anywhere from the Midlands northwards in England which has shone over the past year. This could be due to going above and beyond the call of duty in terms of design, service and installation, or because of other commendable ways they have developed their business.
So the shortlist comprises:
CHR uses the latest induction equipment to reduce energy costs for customers. The Preston-based distributor is constantly looking to push the boundaries with its design of bespoke Eco Chef cooking suites. It always pulls out all the stops to ensure that a project is finished on time and offers its customers bespoke training and back up. Its high quality is demonstrated by three of its newbuilds in 3 years being awarded a Michelin star in their first year of opening, including Moor Hall restaurant in Aughton, Lancashire.
Newcastle distributor Crosbys has completed prestigious and varied projects this year including the two Michelin star restaurant The Raby Hunt (installed in an incredible 2 day window), Hotel Indigo in Durham, The Beaumont Hotel in Hexham, and Fenwick’s retail store in Bracknell. Immense recent investment comprises increasing its projects team, van fleet and overhauling its website. Being awarded Select Partner Status by Lincat, and adding over £1m spend through ENSE partners evidences this growth. Plus it has built a development kitchen for chefs with partner Delifresh.
GastroNorth’s soaring 2017 was headed by its £150,000 investment in its restaurant-standard onsite demonstration kitchen, the GastroLab. This provides great training and development opportunities, hosting workshops, demonstrations and menu development, all free of charge to its clients. The Gateshead distributor has completed a record high volume of over 300 projects this year, including the CEDA Grand Prix Award-nominated £3m Glasgow College refit. This inspired the firm to expand its project management team, take on an operations manager and new engineering and design apprentices.
Restaurant Design Associates has transferred management to the founders’ three children, with each one looking after the three core departments of the business – design, commercial and operations. This has allowed for the development of an ambitious 5-year growth plan. As well as being accredited the new ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management Standard, and ISO 14001:2015 Environmental Management Standard, it has invested in additional staff, including an office administrator, a business development manager, and a graduate junior designer. To mark its 10th anniversary it completely refurbished its head office.
Grimsby-based Sylvester Keal has had a flying year for projects and has scrutinised every aspect of its business to take it to the next level. This has resulted in appointing a warehouse manager to oversee its 10,000ft2 catering equipment and supplies warehouse and investing in a business coach to embrace organisational strategies and assist staff. Further investments include sales and service team software packages, engineers going paperless, and a new vehicle fleet. It ensures it listens to customers’ feedback and embraces what they have to say.