Frosts in Abingdon has become the first garden centre in the UK to install a permanent modular kitchen from portable catering equipment specialist PKL.
PKL’s ‘KitchenPod’ is a modular facility which is fitted with catering equipment and can be easily dropped into a customer location. It is largely targeted at establishments with no current kitchen or those looking to upgrade their existing catering facilities.
Frosts’ Abingdon branch is located on the Millets Farm Centre and it required catering facilities to reflect the fact that it prides itself on being a family destination.
Simon O’Shea, group catering operations manager at Frosts, says the installation has completely changed the way it goes about managing its food offering.
“Before working with PKL we didn’t have any kitchen facilities at all,” he revealed. “The benefit now is that we can provide a full service onsite to our customers. Before, the current contractor pre-cooked all their food off-site and had to heat it up again one at a time. This was much better than building a new kitchen from scratch and was much more convenient.”
O’Shea expects the KitchenPod to “pay for itself in no time” as it means the company can rapidly increase the volume of food it offers.
“We’ve budgeted to double the sales of the cafe based on the fact that we can produce the food straight away, right on the doorstep and it’s enabling us to improve our menu so we can increase the spend per head as well,” he said.
Cheltenham-based PKL delivers the KitchenPods to sites fully equipped and ready to connect to services. The units are available in three standard sizes and can be configured for regeneration of pre prepared meals, cold preparation of meals and hot production of freshly cooked meals.
The concept was originally developed in response to achieving government-based nutrition standards in primary school meal provision, but has grown to fit the needs of commercial customers as well.
Lee Vines, sales and marketing director for PKL, said: “Our KitchenPods are incredibly versatile in their application and Frosts is just another example of how they can be used to increase revenue for our customers.”