Cooking equipment manufacturer Rational put in place a support package to enable dealers to give foodservice sites practical help as they reopen after lockdown.
Rational’s focus is on training and menu development and includes an extended team of over 30 chefs nationwide who can offer a variety of different levels of support, from answering simple questions to helping develop and roll out new menus across an estate.
The manufacturer’s experts are also working with customers to develop and create bespoke programs for specific recipes for the iCombi Pro and the iVario cooking systems. For example, one of the food trends the company expects to keep growing post lockdown is the interest in Korean cuisine. Already its team has helped various customers to program their cooking systems with a variety of Korean specialities.
Plus the company’s UK-specific training app has recipes and ‘how to’ videos, so that chefs and their kitchen brigade can instantly access advice and training, covering everything from recipes to day to day maintenance, via a smartphone, within the kitchen.
Rational has also launched virtual expert seminars where high profile speakers discuss a variety of current topics, such as ghost kitchens and food to go, and look at the latest challenges, solutions and opportunities that develop as lockdown is eased.
And the Live online series of seminars enables virtual experience of Rational cooking systems, demonstrating how the technology can enhance kitchen operations. Many of them are sector-specific, including focuses on pubs, care homes, hotels, hospitals and, coming soon, food to go and convenience foods.
Wherever possible, Rational’s programme of on-site training continues and the company has put in place Covid-19 protocols to ensure that its staff, and the kitchen brigade they are visiting, are safe and protected. The company is also offering customers the use of its training kitchens and facilities at its Luton HQ, again under strict Covid-19 protocols.
Rational is continuing to develop its ConnectedCooking kitchen management system, which allows operators to monitor and update cooking systems remotely. It should reduce the need for extra visitors to come in, as data like HACCP can be downloaded, and new programs can be uploaded from anywhere in the world. It should also reduce downtime, since accredited Rational service partners can see if there’s an issue and fix it before it becomes a problem.
Adam Knights, marketing director at Rational UK, said: “Customers are at the heart of our business, and we are looking forward to further supporting them as the new normal returns.
“With the prospect of staycations, and the easing of restrictions, the industry is hoping for, and preparing for, a really busy summer – and beyond. We’re here to help in any way we can.”