We spoke to catering equipment buyers from three leading pub and restaurant operators that attend the show to get their thoughts on the year ahead.  Here’s what they had to say…

Chris Knights, Group Executive Chef at Young & Co’s:

What one trend, challenge or opportunity do you think will impact the foodservice industry most in 2018?

I feel the uncertainty within the market around Brexit, cost pressures of raw material increases, the on-going chef recruitment crisis and the tax on the government levy for apprentices will continue to make operators re-assess what it is they are doing and how they are delivering it.  The strong will survive and the weak will fall.

What piece of equipment is most essential to your kitchen operation?

I’d have to say that there’s not one piece of kit within our kitchens that is essential as it’s all essential.  We spend a good amount of money developing our kitchens but do not go over the top.  Ensuring we have all of the kit, is essential in delivering an offer that delights our guests.

What’s on your equipment wish-list this year?  

A piece of kit that doesn’t break down!

Seamus O’Donnell, Head of Kitchen Operations at The Alchemist Bars & Restaurants:

What one trend, challenge or opportunity do you think will impact the foodservice industry most in 2018?

The biggest challenge that the industry will face will be a shortage of chefs.  The Alchemist is proactive in our approach by using high quality equipment, which matches the high calibre of our chefs, which serves its purpose, and which shares our values by being ‘honest, reliable and trustworthy’.

Trend: The rise of veganism and flexitarians will continue into 2018.  Many more of our guests are choosing to go meat free and we have made adjustments to our menu to fit with this lifestyle choice.

What piece of equipment is most essential to your kitchen operation?

Refrigeration – as it’s responsible for the safeguarding of stock, and ensures the food is safe to use by keeping at the correct temperatures.

What’s on your equipment wish-list this year?

For me at The Alchemist, it’s Ice Cream Machines – as we try and push the menus forward through mixology.  Incorporating our drinks through our food.

Ian Barnes, Head of Building Maintenance at Mitchells & Butlers:

What one trend, challenge or opportunity do you think will impact the foodservice industry most in 2018?

The dining out market is reaching saturation point in the UK, so, for me, the biggest challenge is ensuring that our Service Providers continue to focus on maintaining our equipment.  With more and more competition on the High Street, Service Providers will need more engineers and quicker access to parts.  The opportunity of consolidation of Service Providers will continue in 2018, as it did in 2017.

What piece of equipment is most essential to your kitchen operation?

Kitchen extract, without a doubt.  If this fails, then we can’t cook!

What’s on your equipment wish-list this year?  

Everything that is self-cleaning and self-maintaining.

 

Free registration

Commercial Kitchen returns to the NEC Birmingham on 5-6 June.  Show features include a free two-day seminar programme, the Innovation Challenge Awards, and CEDA Awards Gallery.

To register free in advance, please visit https://eventdata.uk/Visitor/CommercialKitchen2018.aspx?TrackingCode=CK12

Comments are closed.