Time to invest behind the scenes: Improving kitchen operations to meet customer expectations

The news that the UK food service industry is set to grow by 83 million visits in 2018 (up +0.7% on 2017) is great news… for those willing to invest in the future of their business!

Although the forecast for Europe’s Big Five (Germany, France, UK, Spain, and Italy) points to overall traffic improvement in the out-of-home (OOH) market, the NPD Group warns that this growth will not be automatic. Operators need to recognise that consumer habits are being shaped by factors including technology, innovation, experience and competition, and adapt to/invest in these accordingly. With statistics also showing that consumers in the UK are favouring Quick Service Restaurants (QSR) – the only segment to grow traffic in this quarter (+2%) – and delivery (+26%), operators will be well placed investing in quality products that can improve efficiency and minimise downtime, meeting demands for instantaneity in an ever-increasing convenience culture.

Unfortunately, however, when it comes to any budget constraints it is often the kitchen design that bears the brunt, with specified equipment being swapped out for cheaper alternatives to improve costs – as opposed to those elements front of house. This sort of value engineering may save money in the short term, and even satisfy customers’ initial perceptions, but will not save money or give the same results, in terms of efficiencies and customer experience, in the longer-term.

Mechline offer quality products to make the lives of the kitchen operators easier, manufacturing highly functional products, built to last and which require minimal maintenance and installation effort. This increases the time that food service outfits can dedicate to actually running a kitchen and ultimately meet the needs of increasingly demanding customers.

For example:

The all-New BaSix range of hand wash basins is manufactured using a unique combination of high grade polished 304 Austenitic stainless steel for the bowl and deck, and a high grade, high strength injection moulded ABS-Polycarbonate for the skirt. Incredibly robust, and with a unique rounded design, they save space in the kitchen and are able to sustain knocks and bangs typical of a busy commercial kitchen (to see just how strong, see video here). The mounting bracket even comes supplied with an integral spirit level, to make installation almost as effortless as the use itself!

The ergonomics and strength of Mechline’s AquaTechnix pre-rinse sprays promotes optimal functionality in a busy kitchen. Its dome and lever tap heads are angled forward for maximum ease of use, its rotating gun hook suits both left and right handed users and they come preassembled to specification in order to simplify installation. The inbuilt patented ‘PosiStop’ is a device which prevents the lever or handle being turned or knocked too far and transferring stress to the valve, thus further protecting the operator from future issues.

Unseen equipment is often more susceptible to being ‘value engineered’ and swapped for cheaper alternatives, as is the case for gas hoses, as they remain hidden behind equipment – at least until there is a problem…! Often cheaper products ‘do the job’, but to the bare minimum, and have not been designed with real use in mind. Mechline supply Dormont gas hoses as they are engineered to cope with the rigours of the professional food service industry, such as high temperatures, wear and tear from heavy duty use, cleaning, and are off the highest quality and durability available in the market. Gas engineers specify Domont into sites as they know they will not have to return to site once installed.

Jonathan Mottram, Engineer at Signature Gas Services, explains: “we specify Dormont hoses into most sites as a preventative measure, as they are in a league of their own quality wise. Different hoses we have used in the past they have not withstood the movement of kitchen equipment and have ended up faulty and no-good. With Dormont we particularly use SwivelMAX as their rotational movement decreases stress on the hose and enhances longevity. They are very resistant.” It is not in anyone’s best interest to choose a cheaper alternative at installation if this results in the need to return to site and redo/replace anyway. However, even if engineers do need to return to sites with Dormont gas hoses, its Quick Disconnect valves make installation and reconnection simple, which saves time regardless.

The list goes on…

GreasePak keeps drains clear of Fats, Oils and Grease (FOG) yet requires minimal maintenance, no service engineers and no timely cleaning jobs; Quicklink enables easy cleaning behind equipment which makes maintenance easy and ultimately saves time …

Investing in quality products is an upfront expenditure worthwhile when you consider the operational savings made on a daily basis and longer term. This enables maximum output from a kitchen, which ultimately passes onto the experience had by customers – particularly important for the increasingly popular QSR and ‘I want it now’ attitudes. Through investment, operators can minimise downtime, maximise efficiency, and welcome a share in the increased number of visits expected this year.

For the full portfolio of products on offer from Mechline, please view our product catalogue.


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