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:
Archer Catering Systems
Specialist installer Archer Catering Systems (ACS) is a company which strives to learn and help. It goes above and beyond to ensure the end user, other distributors and manufacturers are happy. ACS is always a source of information and stays until the job is done. If help is ever needed then Nick Archer and his team are the ones to contact. As an installation company it is an unsung hero of this industry, said to always be cleaning up people’s mistakes, but often without receiving the recognition it richly deserves.
Chain hotel business has brought much recent success for Blackpool distributor Caterware as it passes 40 years in business. Among these is a major £500,000 project it finished for Crowne Plaza in Manchester. The distributor designed the main restaurant, which doubles up as production kitchen, plus a banqueting kitchen for 400 covers, an executive lounge kitchen, and various break-out areas. Currently the distributor is helping to develop the second Wood restaurant, owned by Masterchef winner Simon Wood, which is to open within Hotel Indigo in Chester next year.
GastroNorth has boosted its online Gastro-Direct division with an additional field sales executive to focus on the sale of light equipment, while the main part of the business itself unveiled an updated website to show the style and vision of the company. Major recent projects include a £170,000 development of Middlesbrough Town Hall’s catering and bar facilities, comprising the supply and installation of two kitchens, three bars and a cellar over three floors, as well as overhauling the kitchen and servery areas of Durham University’s St. Chad’s College.
Lakes Catering Maintenance
Lakes’s 2018 has seen it increase its staff roster, including an experienced engineer and at the other end of the scale a young trainee. On the design and installation side of the business, the distributor excelled in a £270,000 project in Windermere to transform the former Lighthouse Restaurant into what has been renamed Brown Sugar. Successfully navigating the challenges of a basement kitchen installation, the scheme also involved fitting the bar equipment and fabrications for the top floor and ground floor bars.
Restaurant Design Associates
This year RDA became one of the first in the entire design and construction industry to be accredited with the new ISO 45001:2018 Occupational Health and Safety Standard – 3 years ahead of the migration deadline. In a turbulent market, the firm has adapted to reduced budgets whilst still providing innovative solutions such as offering shipping container kiosks as an alternative to a full site installation. Opening a London office to cater for increasing client demand, the distributor has also invested in staff, ensuring it has specialists in all areas.