The Catering Insight Distributor of the Year – North of the UK award, sponsored by Blue Seal, will be presented to a catering equipment dealer based anywhere from the Midlands northwards in England, and across Scotland and Northern Ireland, who has shone in 2019. 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 is:
Acme Facilities Group
Blackburn-based Acme has motored on this year, accomplishing everything from securing a place as a supplier to Surrey County Council to completing a major project for chef and former Gordon Ramsay Group CEO Stuart Gillies at the Bank House restaurant in Chislehurst. With new recruits in its service desk, engineering and health and safety teams backed up by Constructionline Gold accreditation, the distributor is also now an Institution of Occupational Safety and Health-approved training provider for ‘Managing Safely’ and ‘Working Safely’ courses.
Archer Catering Systems
Specialist installer Archer Catering Systems (ACS) continues to impress, being one of the first companies to become CEDASAFE accredited for health and safety. Working alongside dealers this year including Aggora, CDS Wilman and ABDA Creative Design & Build, the firm has underlined its ‘nothing is too much trouble’ attitude. Furthermore, the business has instituted a regular programme of manufacturer visits for its service team (including staff at its sister firm Contiquip Commercial Catering Engineers) to ensure the engineers have a better understanding of the products they install.
Garners Food Service Equipment
This year, Nottingham-based Garners Food Service Equipment handed over one of the largest schemes it has ever undertaken. Within the Advanced Skills Centre owned by Tameside College, part of the multi-million Pound VisionTameside development, the distributor was tasked with outfitting 7,000metre2 of catering areas across 10 specialist kitchens, commissioning more than 650 items in one venue. Earlier in the year the firm promoted Jonathan Meats to board level, to help deliver strategic company goals and oversee new BIM developments and visualisations through VR technology.
Scottish dealer Instock Group started the last 12 months off with a bang by clinching a £750,000 restaurant refurbishment contract for Kieran Fagan, near his successful Louie Browns restaurant and coffee shop operation in Dalgety Bay, Dunfermline, transforming the former Bay Inn venue into an Italian restaurant. Elsewhere, the distributor designed and outfitted a new kitchen for popular Edinburgh restaurant, Loudons, as well as completing a high profile refurbishment of Vittoria Group’s Italian restaurant, Vittoria on the Bridge, in the same city.
Restaurant Design Associates
RDA has proven itself to be a true northern powerhouse in 2019, completing a number of large-scale, innovative commercial catering projects right across the region, including HSBC’s new building in Sheffield, at Auckland Castle in County Durham, and as far north as Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen. The distributor appointed three more apprentices and increasing staff numbers to 28, while it is currently supporting three team members to achieve the CFSP qualification. RDA has also maintained new environmental management and sustainability credentials, including ISO 9001:2015, ISO 14001:2015 and ISO 45001.