Ramco Food Services, which specialises in the management of surplus catering equipment, has helped deliver a pioneering kitchen reuse initiative, diverting numerous pieces of catering equipment from the UK’s shrinking landfill sites.
Skegness-based Ramco, is working with Mitchells & Butlers, one of the country’s largest restaurant, pub and bar operators, to recycle surplus kitchen equipment.
Established in 1898, Mitchells & Butlers runs around 1,700 foodservice businesses including All Bar One, Harvester, Toby Carvery and Stonehouse Pizza & Carvery.
Each year the company makes around 250 investments in refurbishments and new kitchens, leading to significant volumes of surplus equipment which can no longer be used by Mitchells & Butlers.
Previously this equipment ended up in landfill, but as a result of a heightened focus on improving the sustainability of its operations, Mitchells & Butlers found ways to ensure the equipment was reused within the business where possible and now, through working with Ramco, ensures that no items go to landfill.
As part of a wider sustainability programme, the potential for reusing this equipment was recognised by the pub chain’s kitchen design, equipment and capacity manager, Ellie Wrighton.
She commented: “I realised most of the kitchen equipment we disposed of was not broken, it just did not fit into the new offer post-investment.
“Motivated by the madness of disposing of kit that was still working, as well as chief executive Phil Urban’s mantra of ‘treat this like it’s your own money’, I designed a process by which previous redundant kit was assessed, stored, cleaned, tested, and serviced for use elsewhere: reducing our use of landfill and saving the company some money.”
The process involves kitchen design managers grading the relevant equipment from 1 to 4, with anything graded 1–3 deemed as fit to be reused elsewhere in Mitchells & Butlers’ estate and anything graded 4 being stripped down for spare parts.
Equipment that is surplus to requirements due to menu changes is collected by Ramco Food Services and sold to other foodservice operators via dedicated catering auctions. The income from the sales is shared with Mitchells & Butlers.
Paul Fieldhouse, who leads Ramco Food Services business development said: “Working in close co-operation with Mitchells & Butlers we have been able to support the delivery of its ambitious sustainability programme and help recover some of the financial value of surplus equipment.
“Our approach to working with organisations is flexible and we offer several reuse options including simply purchasing unwanted assets, selling them on a client’s behalf and managing the complete process of evaluation, marketing and sales.”
The Ramco partnership has already led to over 50 pieces of surplus kit including combi ovens, dishwashers, potato peelers, pizza ovens, ice machines, fryers, range cookers and griddles, finding new homes in the catering and hospitality sector.
Amy de Marsac, head of investor relations and sustainability at Mitchells & Butlers added: “Working with Ramco ensures that kitchen equipment which we cannot reuse finds a new and productive home. Our sustainability programme is focused on minimising the negative impact our operations have on the environment and this partnership is an important part of our efforts.”