Catering Insight Awards 2021: Service & Maintenance Provider of the Year shortlist

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Service and maintenance is absolutely critical in the world of catering equipment, and the Catering Insight Service & Maintenance Provider of the Year Award, sponsored by First Choice Group, rewards those that are blazing a trail when it comes to repairing, maintaining and servicing kitchens, either specialist service companies or distributors that operate dedicated service businesses.

This year’s shortlist is:


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Advance Group

Dunstable’s Advance Group reaffirmed its customer focus by introducing a new service level agreement structure to monitor and maintain its industry-leading service levels. Retaining 100% of its national account business, worth in excess of £4m a year, the group also won new contracts including a major national care home chain. Furthermore it launched and implemented a bespoke end to end service management system, which is used internally to manage everything from call logging, quoting and invoicing, and by customers to track outstanding repairs, spend on assets and various other key data.

Clan Engineering

Clan Engineering has continued to give its loyal client base in Scotland’s central belt the high levels of service that has helped create the brand throughout the whole pandemic to date. This is reflected in operators signing multi-year renewal contracts, expanding its customer base to 197 clients and a total of 1,870 individual sites. Investments include a full new van stock for engineers to allow for more first time fixes and new long wheel base vans in order to hold more stock. Clan has also expanded its staff roster and is looking to take on apprentices.


This year, Crystaltech has invested in larger van stocks to achieve higher first-time fix rates for warewashing machines and to reduce the need for ordering parts and repeat visits. New protocols were introduced to provide assurances to the care sector, including enhanced safety practices and introducing monthly ID badges showing testing and results of engineers. Crystaltech has acted to preserve its high staff retention rate by investing heavily in ongoing training. Separately, it has recruited outside of the warewashing industry in order to attract new talent from the white goods sector.

Hatherley Commercial Services

Newark-based Hatherley Commercial Services has rewarded its engineers for their hard work, keeping a number of regional public sector and healthcare clients operating throughout lockdown, by giving them a new efficient fleet of vans. Subsequently, maintenance and repair work has skyrocketed for the firm and it is in the process of expanding its team. Furthermore, MD Kirstin Hatherley-Bramwell was instrumental in encouraging more talent into the industry overall by spearheading the development of the CEDA Catering Equipment Service and Installation Technician Apprenticeship, the first cohort of which has resumed in-person.

Total QSR

Over the last 12 months, Total QSR has adapted its engineer training with a mix of virtual and face-to-face education, to ensure it retains its high first time fix rate of 92%. Its recently-upgraded Melksham office carries £1m of stock, which it audited during lockdown to identify required parts and react quickly at the point when suppliers have long lead times. The company’s efforts to promote its business and build relationships has resulted in four new major service contract wins, equating to around £1.5m of new custom.

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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