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 competitive London region, so it is close competition to see who has excelled as a business or overcome challenges to design and install incredible commercial kitchens.
Therefore this year’s shortlist is:
Catering Design Group
Daventry-based Catering Design Group has had quite a 12 months after being acquired by Interefurb at the tail end of 2020. Not only does the kitchen design house have a growing ‘post-pandemic’ orderbook, it recently refreshed its personnel, making four key appointments to drive the business forward from a sales, marketing, operations and commercial perspective. This means the distributor is now able to offer a true ‘turnkey solution’ to clients in the foodservice, hotel, leisure and retail markets, and push forward into new sectors and territories.
South west-headquartered GS Group has been reaching out far and wide with a project boom that saw the distributor working continuously throughout lockdown. One stand-out scheme was for the Birmingham Symphony Hall, flexibly working around accessibility issues onsite to deliver exceptional bar and catering areas. GS also shone in the care sector, including at a newbuild high end facility in Otterbourne, Hampshire, for Barchester Healthcare. Furthermore the distributor recently joined ENSE and won the consortium’s Newcomer of the Year award for using more of the group’s suppliers than any other new member.
HCE Foodservice Equipment
Hampshire’s HCE Foodservice Equipment has had a busy and productive 12 months with the completion of a broad range of projects spanning fast food, contract catering and fine dining operations. Despite the pandemic’s challenges, HCE has continued to invest in its people and processes in order to provide its clients with exceptional service levels. This includes recruiting an in-house designer, project manager, and sales executive, as well as investing in the latest BIM technology and software including 3D modelling, which allows clients to walk through and experience a virtual built environment.
Kent distributor KCCJ has continued to augment it sporting stadium expertise even throughout the pandemic period, with Brentford FC’s new state-of-the-art 17,250-seat community stadium proving to be a jewel in the crown of its 2021 project slate. Working alongside Tricon Foodservice Consultants, KCCJ outfitted kitchens for five hospitality lounges, a premium GA bar and varied concessions. The firm also kept its hand in the hotel sector, continuing to deliver high quality fit-outs for the Travelodge chain, including in sites at Poole, Dorset and Sandwich, Kent.
Millers Catering Equipment
London-based Millers Catering Equipment has put into place an ambitious growth strategy, aiming to expand by 20% each year. Continuing its determined push, which saw it acquire fellow distributor Equipt to Cook in 2019, this year the company recruited a dedicated sales director with a remit to bolster the business’ presence in the capital. Millers navigated the pandemic period hugely well and is now aiming at more recruitment, as well as further acquisitions and organic growth to become one of the most sizable distributors in the market.
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.