Catering Insight Awards 2021: Supplier of the Year – Training & Education shortlist

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The Catering Insight Supplier of the Year – Training & Education award, sponsored by FEA, is aimed at those manufacturers who have invested extensively in education programmes for the benefit of the industry over the past 12 months, particularly vital in pandemic times. This could be for their own staff, dealers or the wider sector.

Therefore, the shortlist for 2021 is:


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First Choice Group

Training runs right to the very heart of the First Choice Group business model. Throughout the various national lockdowns, the firm adapted its services to a virtual setup, particularly for candidates learning through the Managed Learning Programme (MLP) for new gas engineers. Even when restrictions began to ease, the need for social distancing remained at the company’s state-of-the-art training facilities in Cannock, therefore the training team reduced group sizes. For elements that could be taught using video content, the team developed a complete library of their own resources.

Foster Refrigerator

Foster and sister brand Gamko bolstered their dealer education offering this year with the launch of an online immersive showroom that allows their customers to interact with their full range of refrigeration products online. The digital showrooms feature convincing photo-realistic 3D virtual kitchen, bar and front of house set ups and allow users to interact with a wide variety of refrigeration products in their natural environments. Visitors can open doors, drawers and explore information hotspots to learn more about each product through videos and other media.

Ki-Tech Solutions

Ki-Tech Solutions has concentrated on making the distributor network aware of the Sicotronic Energy optimisation system, which can reduce a project’s connected load by anywhere from 30-60%. Ki-Tech has underlined how the energy optimisation system can influence and inform the design process and supported those distributors with significant involvement at all stages of the project development. Future initiatives include proposed engagement with those new to the sector in the form of educational forums and significant involvement within the FEA Net Zero Carbon and Connectivity working groups.


Rational first developed online training programmes for its dealers and service partners last year, ensuring that they would be fully up to speed with the newly launched iCombi Pro and iVario Pro cooking systems. Thereafter, a series of webinars and videos introducing the new products were made available. Rational has continued to develop its training for distributors, both online and face to face, including its ongoing programme of regular, quarterly training sessions with its Deal dealer network. Furthermore it has refreshed its in-house education programmes for staff, including expanding its e-learning.


In addition to providing virtual support to UK dealers either over the phone, via email or through video call, Wexiödisk has also made its engineer training more accessible by partnering with First Choice Group where it was able to utilise its state-of-the-art training centre. For example, Wexiödisk has hosted regular UK service training events at the facilities. Here, partners undergo in-depth training across the most popular Wexiödisk warewashers. The easy-to-navigate Wexiödisk website also boasts a library of user manuals, quick guides and training videos which demonstrate how its technologies work and the benefits that they provide.

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.

Tags : Catering Insight Awardstraining & educationtraining and education
Clare Nicholls

The author Clare Nicholls

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