Gratte Brothers’ First Choice training helps staff retention

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Gratte Brothers Catering Equipment has praised First Choice Group’s role in its engineer training.

Stevenage-based distributor, Gratte Brothers Catering Equipment, believes that the engineer training it has taken advantage of at the First Choice Group has played a key part in staff retention.

Gratte Brothers works in partnership with First Choice on both spare parts supply and also to deliver a level of staff training that the dealer prides itself on.

MD Colin Barden analysed: “Gratte Brothers has built a nationwide reputation for exceptional customer service standards, unparalleled expertise, technical know-how, and a can-do attitude. We employee over 600 talented individuals across the country, with each and every person playing a key role in making our business what it is today.

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“With an average staff retention rate of 17 years, our secret to success is the way we have been able to seamlessly blend the knowledge and experience of our long-serving members of staff, with the enthusiasm and desire to learn of the newer members of our team. Aside from our own team, Gratte Brothers works with a network of supply chain partners who share our high standards.”

He detailed: “Our relationship with First Choice Group started around 3 years ago when we made the company our preferred partner for spare parts supply in the UK. A company with a great ethos and a commitment to high standards of customer service, we knew First Choice would be able to help us deliver the standards of aftersales service that our customers expect.

“Soon after, we also identified that First Choice Training, the specialist training arm of the business, would be able to support us further by delivering specialist training, including electrical and gas compliance and specific equipment experience for our own engineers.”

Having invested heavily in facilities and industry-specific certifications, First Choice Training hosts a comprehensive calendar of events throughout the year. This commitment has seen the company become an approved training partner for many major foodservice equipment sector brands, including Gratte Brothers.

On the specifics of the training Barden explained: “First Choice Training is a fantastic support, helping us to maintain the skill and ability of our network of engineers. Delivering courses for both our new joiners and our existing engineers alike, the company’s team of expert teachers provide ACS gas training, GasSafe registration, electrical safety compliance and even a managed learning programme for the newest members of our team.

“The facilities at First Choice are exceptional. From the flexible setup and the ability to train on the latest equipment from many of the industry’s leading manufacturers, to the state-of-the-art facilities, including complete presentation and conference rooms, First Choice has it all. As you would expect from one of the industry’s leading training providers, the competence and capability of the teachers and trainers is also second to none.”

With engineers operating remotely across the country and often working with electrical and gas-powered appliances, high-quality training is crucial. Barden goes on to say: “As a service provider, we place a huge amount of importance on the ongoing high-standards of training and education that our engineers undertake. We pride ourselves on ensuring that each of our engineers is trained to be safe, competent, and that they are multi-skilled to work with a wide range of equipment.

“Having these high standards are vital to our ongoing service and maintenance strategy at Gratte Brothers. Using a training partner who regularly trains engineers from across the industry, helps to ensure the very best standards, which in turn, ensures our customers receive the same great technical service every time, irrespective of which engineer attends.”

He concluded: “First Choice Group has provided Gratte Brothers with a friendly, collaborative and professional training service and spare parts supply for several years. As such, I would have no hesitation in recommending their offering, whether to a service provider or to a manufacturer looking for spare parts and accessories supply.”

Tags : First Choicefirst choice groupgratte brothersGratte Brothers Catering Equipmentservicingtraining
Clare Nicholls

The author Clare Nicholls


  1. Should check your facts, loads redundant over 150 years experience gone in 18 months., How much they paying you for this article and Leroys, you should listen to the trade fully , Plus 600 employees I think not on the catering arm

    I use to believe in this magazine but all about the money

    1. Hi, thank you for your comment. We do our best to verify all information received, so if you have any contradictory information, please feel free to contact our office at any time so we can investigate it further.

      For clarity, neither this piece or Leroy’s opinion piece were part of any commercial package.

    2. joe Bloggs your spot on

      most people I know in the trade gave up on Catering Insight ages ago hence so few comments nowadays. It’s all about the chosen few but you can’t blame them with so much advertising coming from their friends at Ceda and Cesa or whatever they call themselves nowadays.
      But as we were always told no such thing as a free lunch.

      Guess now the responses will be from the usual suspects if this get posted of course.

      1. Hi Bratva,

        We welcome all feedback on how to improve our offering, so please don’t be afraid to contact us if you have any comments.

        I hope you can see how open and transparent we are by the fact that we enable comments like yours to be made.

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        I hope this clarifies our processes for you.

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