London-based kitchen design house Chiller Box has completed a staff dining project for Watford-based IT reseller Storm Technologies.
Storm wanted to create a staff restaurant as part of a bigger extension project, 2 years in the making, in order to attract and keep employees to the growing company, which is based on an industrial estate a way away from the nearest high street.
The overall construction’s project manager’s had previously worked alongside Chiller Box MD Marios Poumpouris and so brought in the distributor to assist with the kitchen and catering side of things.
The brief called for a facility that could provide both breakfast and lunch for staff and could cater for corporate events and breakout areas for meetings.
Poumpouris said: “When we first got involved with the design there was no chef onboard and the nature of the offer was not clear.
“The kitchen and servery had to have flexibility for different food types, and the functionality had to be accommodated within tight space. During the project the design chopped and changed so we had to work closely with architects to create functionality to service the needs for staff and extra functions.”
He continued: “To product a fully functional restaurant and front of house we had to think about how staff would be served at the counter, how meals would be plated up and allowing for staff to put dirty trays in certain areas.
“But making it all work was not problematic. We filled a knowledge gap filled in the project and fitted in with the rest of the design team.”
Poumpouris reported that Chiller Box helped to specify catering equipment that was mid-range, as it was not for high intensity usage, but the end user wanted quality, value for money brands. Therefore the main cookline was from Blue Seal, with other cooking equipment including Lincat induction units and two Rational combi ovens.
Other appliances used included a Foster blast chiller, Inomak gastro fridges from Pentland Wholesale, Sammic vaccum packer, DC Warewashing dish- and glasswashers, and Mechline GreasePak, pre-rinse spray and insect killers. Plus Counterline provided the servery.
The distributor originally secured the job just before the pandemic outbreak, but the schedule was delayed because of the first lockdown. Works were eventually completed during the second lockdown and over Christmas, with final commissioning and training just after Christmas, and the chef beginning to use the kitchen in the last few weeks.
Poumpouris underlined: “We were very flexible and despite lockdowns we were nimble. The contractor was pleased with how we responded and our communication. The ultimate client was happy too and any minor teething problems have been dealt with quickly.”