The Catering Insight Distributor of the Year – South of the UK award, sponsored by Hobart, honours an outstanding dealer in the south of England or across Wales. This is a busy market, right from Pembrokeshire to East Anglia, and including the ever-competitive London market, so it is close competition as to who has excelled as a business or overcome challenges to design and install incredible commercial kitchens.
Therefore the shortlist is:
Court Catering Equipment
Court Catering Equipment has had a reshuffle at the top, following last year’s buyout by Unitech Group. Now led by the long-serving Andy Fitzwater, the London-based dealer continues to thrive, including its completion of a major £1m project The Langley Hotel in Iver, Buckinghamshire. The firm’s design and installation team had to contend with immense technical challenges involving restricted space in this basement kitchen, as well as several major revisions requested by the client over a 3-year period, but Court’s flexibility and expertise saw the scheme come to fruition in spring.
Dentons Catering Equipment
In a challenging economic environment Dentons has maintained its presence as one of London’s leading distributors. It has not only maintained the groups that it designs, supplies and installs into, but added some significant one-off projects. Continuing to update its website with examples of completed project work, the distributor has also invested in further technology to allow customers to track their orders and access reports showing their buying history. It has again increased its spares stock holding and its customers’ everyday lines, ensuring it can offer a 24 hour delivery service.
Gratte Brothers Catering Equipment
In Gratte Brothers Catering Equipment’s 70th year in business, it has finished a £1.5m refurbishment to its Stevenage headquarters, demonstrating its employee commitment. Undertaking projects across the country this year, the firm has also completed its largest single catering scheme. Stock availability is described as “second to none” by industry colleagues, who lined up to praise the distributor for its “fantastic” service before and after sale, being a complete consultant and putting its customers first rather than profit. The firm’s cutting edge technology also enables it to monitor products and the life expectancy of components.
iFour Hospitality Design
iFour Hospitality Design has continued its run of spectacular bar and restaurant work in and around London. Starting 2019 by delivering two design-led bars inspired by the novel ‘Around the World in 80 Days’ for the Inception Group, the company also overcame contractor delays at specialist wine bar Grays & Feather in Covent Garden to create a highly detailed bar and kitchen. Also completing two multifunctional bars and a kitchen for large restaurant and café Fare in Clerkenwell, with clients lauding the company’s easy and efficient partnership, iFour became a Lincat Select Partner this year too.
TAG Catering Equipment
One of TAG Catering Equipment’s recent crowning achievements was to complete a major project for a luxury 5 star hotel in London to make it an ultra-efficient kitchen of the future. Taking on four apprentices to support its leading service and maintenance team, the distributor also invested in new more centrally-located premises in Stevenage, which allows its project and engineer teams to travel to its core London business area quicker and with a reduced carbon footprint. TAG goes beyond its customers’ expectations by asking questions based on their operational requirements as well as working out of hours.