Catering Insight Awards 2021: Distributor of the Year – Project Management shortlist

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With the diverse challenges that distributors can face in designing and installing kitchens, it takes a special firm to balance all the spinning plates simultaneously to a first-class standard while considering extra health and safety measures during the pandemic. Therefore the Catering Insight Distributor of the Year – Project Management award, sponsored by Blue Seal, recognises a company that stands out for delivering very special projects.

The 2021 shortlist is:


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Advantage Catering Equipment

This year, Advantage Catering Equipment celebrated tying up operations on its biggest combined project to date. The Folkstone-based equipment specialist completed work on four of the outlets at the new Elwick Place leisure, retail and restaurant development in Ashford, Kent. The company impressed site developers Stanhope so much on the first onsite project to design and install Macknade, a food hall, dining, deli, drinks and butchers’ concept, they gave Advantage three more contracts: The Gastronomist Club modern event space, the Unita 4 Italian restaurant and a retail space.

Gratte Brothers Catering Equipment

Stevenage-based Gratte Brothers Catering Equipment continued its strong project pipeline. Notable schemes included completing works for the Royal Borough of Greenwich’s £31m landmark project to turn 5 Grade II listed buildings on the Royal Arsenal into a new cultural hub, supplying and installing the commercial catering equipment required to bring the facilities to life; plus delivering a full rebuild of the C3 Church Cambridge’s kitchen. In the leisure sector the distributor is helping to open the flagship London outlet of BigShots Golf, designing and installing the full kitchen suite.

Hallmark Kitchens

Kent-headquartered Hallmark Kitchens maintained the high project standards it is renowned for, beginning the year by finishing a series of major London kitchen projects worth in excess of £1m: an Asian restaurant in Covent Garden, a French restaurant repeat customer in Mayfair and a Knightsbridge steakhouse. The firm used lockdown to continue to design quality kitchen facilities and work through a forward order book of circa £7m. A jewel in the crown was Amazonico London, a Latin American-inspired high end restaurant, bar and sushi counter.

QCM Equipment

Bristol’s QCM Equipment is maintaining its south west expertise, refurbishing Mediterranean-influenced bar and restaurant The Olive Shed on the city’s waterfront following a recommendation from longtime collaborator Josh Eggleton. Taking place during lockdown, the open kitchen refit included a move away from gas cooking equipment to induction, and the design improved kitchen workflow. Earlier in the year it had to accommodate the challenges of outfitting a historic hotel, during a project for the luxury No 15 Great Pulteney in Bath.

Sprint Group

This year, Sprint Group completed a wide range of projects across different sectors including Flourish Foodhall and Kitchen in Bristol, The Ivy in Exeter, and rolling out a new Burger King format at Parkdean in Porthcawl. The Pershore-based firm ensured its employees and customers were Covid-safe during the various restrictions and maintained clear lines of communications to its project customers throughout the pandemic. More recently, Sprint has strengthened its projects team with a new project manager and invested in additional CAD design capability.

The winner will be announced at the gala ceremony on Thursday 18 November at London’s 8 Northumberland Avenue. Buy tickets to the event HERE.

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Clare Nicholls

The author Clare Nicholls

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