Meet your 100 Greats: Business Developments, part 4

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Catering Insight is celebrating its 100th issue with a run-down of 100 UK catering equipment industry greats, comprising people, projects, equipment and business developments.

Today we take an in-depth look at the fourth tranche of business developments: Millers Group formation, Winterhalter Carbon Trust carbon footprint label, CCS and GEV’s merger, Nisbets’ National Catering equipment centre and Dawson demise opportunities.


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Millers Group formation

London dealer Millers Catering Equipment has slowly been building up an empire of quality companies to form a full service network. The move towards a complete group operation began in 2017 with the purchase of Imaco Catering Supplies, which specialises in branded products such as coasters, matchboxes and toothpicks.

Next up, the Millers Group then bought the assets of Camberley-based servicing company, Allround Catering Engineers, in October 2018. And the most recent purchase that made waves in the UK catering equipment supply chain was of Surrey’s Equipt to Cook, finalised last December. All three entities complement each other, covering restaurants, facilities management and hotels.

Winterhalter Carbon Trust carbon footprint label

Winterhalter is the only catering equipment company to achieve carbon footprint certification through the Carbon Trust. The Carbon Footprint Label has been supported by the development of a new tool, meaning that buyers can use a simple calculator to compare the lifetime carbon footprint and expected energy costs of any Winterhalter model, based on their anticipated levels of actual use.

The Carbon Trust worked with Winterhalter over 18 months to develop the calculator. In order to ensure it accurately predicts the life cycle carbon footprint and energy use, it incorporates a wide range of factors: from manufacturing and transport, through warehousing and distribution, to energy use and total operating consumption.

The Carbon Trust certified the carbon footprint of all Winterhalter UK warewashers, finding that under normal usage, well over 90% of the carbon footprint is associated with energy in use.

CCS and GEV merger

2017 was a year of massive change in the spares supplier sector. German group GEV acquired UK-based competitor Commercial Catering Spares (CCS). This saw GEV’s UK branch subsumed into CCS’s Heywood headquarters, with the latter’s Jonathan Booth heading up the team.

The companies felt the move provides the largest spare parts stock-holding availability for delivery next day anywhere within the UK.

Just a few months later in spring 2018, this empire increased further, as private equity firm Riverside, which already held a majority stake in GEV, also acquired Italian-headquartered LF Spare Parts.

In the new partnership, LF and GEV now operate under the same holding company but remain independent, retaining their brands and own commercial organisations whilst cooperating to increase product ranges, improve spare parts availability and ensure the highest levels of service to spare parts distributors and maintenance engineers.

Nisbets’ National Catering Equipment Centre

The National Catering Equipment Centre (NCEC), a new brand in the Nisbets group, was conceived over 18 months as a centre that everyone within the catering industry could use – dealers, operators, suppliers and associations. Opening its doors in September 2017 as essentially a permanent catering equipment exhibition, the NCEC features a 10,000ft2 showroom as well as a 9,000ft2 retail store.

The 60,000ft2 building used to be owned by Wincanton and was bought by the Nisbets group, which demolished the front third of the space to construct the NCEC.

The majority of the showroom comprises exhibition-type stands for over 40 supplier brands. The centre is open to attend 6 days a week and hosts regular demonstrations in its purpose-built kitchen, designed and outfitted by Nisbets group company Space Catering, for dealer and operator training, and chain end user menu development.

Dawson demise opportunities

When Ali Group decided to close UK supplier Dawson in 2017, there was a whole stable of the massive manufacturing group’s brands left temporarily homeless.

But as other manufacturers and suppliers gradually snapped up these well-respected marques, it seems as if Barnsley-based Dawson’s demise has actually opened up new and exciting avenues for these brands.

For instance, Italian cooking equipment manufacturer Mareno now works with Grande Cuisine, while French counterpart Rosinox is now brought to market through Jestic Foodservice Equipment. Another former stablemate, warewashing manufacturer Comenda, is now available in the UK through HTG Trading Ltd under its Hubbard Systems business division, and Lainox combi ovens headed into the Falcon Foodservice Equipment portfolio.

Food waste handling equipment brand Rendisk is the only ex-Dawson brand still supported in the UK from factory direct sales and business development.

Tags : Catering InsightCatering Insight 100 Greats
Clare Nicholls

The author Clare Nicholls

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