Blackpool-based distributor CKS is aiming to assist in its local area’s regeneration, following incoming investment in a new multi-million pound conference centre at the Winter Gardens, new sea defences, modernisation of the iconic tramway and proposals for a new leisure complex in the heart of the town.
CKS believes the guest house and small hotel market in Blackpool could also do with a helping hand to invigorate and revitalise it, as the dealer has over recent years seen these venues squeezed out of providing meals. Director Diane Moden commented: “From concerns with expensive legislation to a general slump in visitor numbers, the lack of impetus and inward investment have all taken their toll on the catering industry in this North West resort.”
She spent considerable time during 2018 talking to customers and manufacturers to investigate how to help small local businesses overcome their catering issues.
After much research and assisted by attending the Welbilt MasterChef event, CKS partnered with the manufacturer, focusing on the Merrychef range of compact high-powered ovens. Moden said: “After many months of talks and meetings we are delighted to launch a series of cooking workshops in our showroom starting February 2019.”
These workshops, with the first to be held on 5 February at 12pm, will include guidance on how to provide a cooked breakfast to customers, as well as increasing evening turnover by offering a range of hot bar snacks. The demonstrations are designed to be ‘hands on’ and include customer participation to show at first-hand how the units are operated.
To complement the cooking workshops, CKS has spent the last few months updating an area of its showroom to mimic the proportions of a small kitchen and as such illustrate to customers what can be achieved on a tight budget and within a small space.
The test kitchen fits within a space of 10’ x 8’ and includes a dishwasher, sink, wash hand basin, fridge, freezer, boiler, oven and storage.
Moden concluded: “We are excited to be starting this venture for Blackpool. As a local company with over 40 years trading in the town we have seen many changes and now firmly believe we are in the middle of what can be only described as ground-breaking times for our town.
“Blackpool is one of the top family beach destinations in the UK offering holidaymakers something for all ages, and boasting a world-famous tower, three piers, theatres, Pleasure Beach and amusement arcades, a recently modernised tramway and 7 miles of golden sand. All this needs to be supported by a robust accommodation and culinary choice for all our visitors and CKS Ltd will be there to provide affordable and workable solutions to delivering a quality food service.”