As the coronavirus pandemic continues to severely impact everyday life across the country and much of the rest of the globe, UK catering equipment dealers and servicing companies are accordingly responding to the enforced national lockdown announced by the government last Monday (23 March).
Major sector name, the C&C Group, has closed its Chester offices with just a skeleton staff overseeing its three divisions: C&C Catering Equipment, C&C Engineers and C&C Fabrications, with the latter’s production facility also furloughed. C&C Engineers’ skeleton team will only be providing service to clients in the nursing home, schools and hospitals sectors.
Likewise, Stevenage-based TAG Catering Equipment’s technicians will be providing emergency catering equipment repairs to key worker industries and takeaways that are helping to feed the nation. The dealer posted on Twitter: “We are continuing to provide emergency breakdown repairs for catering equipment and refrigeration, following strict measures of spatial-distancing & hygiene.”
In the East Midlands, Hatherley Commercial Services has also temporarily closed its office to protect its staff and customers, though tweeted that it is available on an emergency basis for essential work.
On LinkedIn, Caterfix MD Ajaz Akhtar posted that the Peterborough-headquartered dealer will be closed for all business with immediate effect. “The warehouse and offices will be closed until further notice and we will only take emergency service calls from designated key locations like hospitals, care homes and other health institutions,” he wrote.
Elsewhere, Swift Catering Equipment director Ashley Munro wrote: “As a responsible supplier, manufacturer and employer we have decided to close the offices and warehouse with immediate effect.
“We will be taking emergency calls only from critical service providers. These include hospitals, schools, care homes and any other sites caring for our NHS staff and other key workers.”
RDA’s latest social media posting stated: “We have taken the decision to put all onsite works on hold until further notice and have therefore closed several of our sites where works were ongoing.
“Please note, whilst we are now fully adhering to home-working instructions, we remain open for business with regards all elements of our design and consultancy services.”
While South Coast Catering Equipment underlined: “We are still open for business with emphasis on supporting the schools, care homes and other businesses supplying food to key workers.”
GS Catering Equipment put out a LinkedIn post saying: “Following government guidelines in order to protect our staff and support the NHS we are now working from home.
“Rest assured it is business as usual so please continue to contact us via phone or email for a professional and reliable service.”
And on the same social media channel, Northern Catering Equipment MD Muhammad Romanowicz wrote: “After careful consideration, NCE has decided to cease operations until further notice. Due to the coronavirus outbreak we feel that the safety of all NCE staff, their families and our customers is the top priority.
“NCE understands that we have ongoing projects, but we feel that these will unfortunately have to be put on hold. All outstanding jobs will continue on our return.”
He concluded: “We will be looking at re-launching our operations as soon as we feel or we are advised it is safe to do so, and we hope that all our customers and suppliers can understand and support us in this decision and we can all get back to business as soon as possible.”
Other dealers and servicing companies confirming remote working include Fulcrum Kitchens, which stated its engineering team is available around its local Marlborough area; Dawnvale, and Alecta Technical Solutions.