Commercial Kitchen 2017 to feature FCSI expert panel session

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Leading FCSI UK & Ireland professional members will address the topic 'How much value can the right consultant add to a foodservice project?' at the show

FCSI are a new association partner for Commercial Kitchen 2017, which returns to the NEC Birmingham on 6-7 June 2017. The Society will host an exclusive panel session focusing on the topic of ‘How much value can the right consultant add to a foodservice project?’ and will feature five of the country’s leading foodservice consultants. Chaired by Michael Jones, editor of FCSI’s Foodservice Consultant magazine, the session will offer some great insight into best practices, standards and the tangible things that even the best consultants can do to become even better partners to their clients (1.15pm, 7 June).

FCSI panellists include Julian Edwards FCSI, chairman of FCSI (UK&I) and owner of GY5; Paul Arnold FCSI, project director at Tricon Foodservice Consultants; Roz Burgess FCSI, owner of Intelligent Catering; Duncan Hepburn FCSI, principal consultant at Hepburn Associates; and Radford Chancellor FCSI, director of Radford Chancellor.

“With such a wide choice of innovative equipment under one roof, and leading industry keynotes from across all sectors of the foodservice industry, it’s a must attend event for consultants and end-users looking to stay ahead of the latest innovations and trends in this dynamic industry,” says Edwards.

“Commercial Kitchen offers the industry something unique, not only commercial catering equipment but also excellent, relevant seminars. Our consultants, and a number of our clients, are looking forward to attending this exciting show,” says Chancellor.


The event has also confirmed its Innovation Challenge Awards entries for 2017.  The awards recognise the best new catering equipment, devices and tech for kitchens of the year.

Middleby UK, Electrolux Professional, Interflow UK, rexmartins, RATIONAL UK, and TME Thermometers are among the 22 manufacturers and suppliers looking to win over visiting buyers (including leading operators from across the foodservice and hospitality sector) to secure their place in the show’s Innovation Challenge final.

Voting opens at the Innovation Challenge Gallery from 10am on opening day and will run until 4pm (6 June).  The exhibitors that have secured the most visitor votes will then be invited to ‘pitch’ their new innovations in the live final the following day.  They’ll have just 90 seconds to impress this year’s expert industry judges, plus a packed audience of visiting buyers. Pitches start at 11.45am on Wednesday 7 June, with the results to be announced at 2pm.

Top speakers

The Cinnamon Collection’s executive chef and founder Vivek Singh has been confirmed for a headline Keynote Q&A at the show. Singh’s ‘in conversation’ session, with fellow chef and restaurant consultant Jay Morjaria, is set to reveal exclusive insights into the inner workings of the kitchens and kit at the heart of his top London restaurants; including The Cinnamon Club (launched in 2001 and now considered a benchmark for fine dining Indian restaurants around the world), Cinnamon Kitchen, Cinnamon Soho, and Cinnamon Bazaar.

“Commercial Kitchen is an important trade event, as it shows chefs the latest innovations and possibilities for their kitchens,” says Singh. “I’m really passionate about the equipment that makes our kitchens work for our teams and customers, and I look forward to seeing my colleagues and peers at this inspiring industry event.”

Singh isn’t the only professional chef lending his specialist expertise to speaker duties at Commercial Kitchen. Previously confirmed big names include world-renowned pastry chef Claire Clark MBE – the first person in the UK, and only female recipient, to be awarded the Master of Culinary Arts for outstanding craftsmanship (formerly known as the ‘Meilleur Ouvrier de la Grande Bretagne’); Chris Knights, group executive chef at Young’s Pubs and Geronimo Inns; Kumour Uddin, group executive chef at Anglian Country Inns; and Robert Quehan, formerly of The Ivy and now head chef at The Redwood Bistro at Bishopstoke Park (the UK’s first retirement village to be awarded an AA Rosette for its food).

Other new speakers, announced today, include James Douglas, co-founder and director at Red’s True Barbecue, Adele Hing, development manager (kitchen, equipment & food operations) at Nando’s UK & Ireland, and Chris Webb, catering operations manager at Punch Taverns. Douglas and Hing will be appearing in the ‘Multi-site restaurant kitchen panel’ alongside MEATliquor’s MD Scott Collins and, session chair, Peter Martin, VP of CGA Peach. While Webb, who heads up the team responsible for menu development, kitchen design and menu implementation across Punch’s estate – joins Knights and Uddin in ‘The pub kitchen panel’, which is to be chaired by Steve Dann, director at Fleet Street Communications.

Graeme Loudon, commercial director at insights firm CGA Strategy, will also be making his show debut.  His session will give an overview of the current challenges facing operators across the market and how they are adjusting their offer and plans in response to the continued fallout from the Brexit vote.  He’ll also be revealing the key trends to watch and their potential impact on the size and shape of the market in the months to come (3.30pm, 6 June).

Cutting edge commercial kitchen design and execution

CEDA – the show’s lead partner, will feature prominently in the seminar line-up.  he CEDA panel (12.30pm, 6 June) sees five of the association’s former chairs appearing together for the first time (including Mark Drazen, MD of Caterware; Nick Howe, MD of Court Catering Equipment; Peter Kitchin, MD of C&C Catering Equipment; Iain Munro, MD of ScoMac Catering Equipment; and Jack Sharkey MSc, MD of Vision Commercial Kitchens).

CEDA’s Foodservice Kitchen Design Panel (2pm, 6 June), also led by Clare Nicholls, editor of Catering Insight, unites the CEDA Grand Prix Award winners of Best Small, Best Medium and Best Large Projects – Clive Groom, MD of CNG Foodservice Equipment, Paul Gilhooly, head of sales at Gratte Brothers Catering Equipment, and Nick Howe, MD of Court Catering Equipment (respectively) – to discuss their cutting edge commercial kitchen design and execution.

While Adam Mason, CEDA’s director general, will also be appearing alongside senior representatives from The ALMR (Kate Nicholls), FCSI (Julian Edwards), and HCA (Philip Shelley) in a joint association panel discussion at 3.30pm on 7 June.

Free registration

For further information, and to register to attend Commercial Kitchen 2017, visit www.commercialkitchenshow.co.uk and enter priority code CK10 (alternatively, use direct link: https://registration.n200.com/survey/3d80hw89gt3j0?actioncode=CK10).

The event, for both FCSI members and non-members will be on 20 June 2017 at Senate House, University of London, UK

FCSI UK & Ireland has invited members and non-members alike to join an inaugural FCSI Education Day, to be held at Senate House, University of London, UK, on 20 June 2017.

Starting at 10.30am, the day will cover topics such as energy efficiency, waste reduction, technology, new regulations and sustainability and is set to be the first of many events under this banner for FCSI UK & Ireland members. The outline programme is:

10.30 – 11.00am   Reception and coffee
11.00 – 11.30am   Foster Refrigerator: ERP regulations for refrigerated cabinets
11.30 – 12.00am   bio-bean® discuss the process of recycling waste coffee grounds into advanced bio-fuels and bio-chemicals, saving money on waste disposal and displacing fossil fuels
12.00 – 12.30pm   Frima: Energy efficiency in modern kitchens
12.30 – 1.15pm     Lunch
1.15 – 1.45pm       Restaurant Associates reveal how Winnow helped them cut food waste and boost their kitchen profits
1.45 – 2.15pm       Green Cooling: efficient and environmentally focused refrigeration system design and specification
2.15 – 2.45pm       Brita Water: water quality within the catering and beverage sector and the effect water  has on end products and their equipment
2.45 – 3.30pm       The day ends with a short networking session with tea and cakes

Informative and educational

The chair of FCSI UK & Ireland, Julian Edwards FCSI, feels this will be a particularly interesting trip for members because the event “is the first of a series planned, aimed at giving our allied members the ability to present information on their sectors of the industry in an informative and educational way,” he says. “The day is open to all FCSI members, together with other industry association colleagues in a bid to share information and boost our collaboration. This won’t be a sales pitch.”

Attendees, says Edwards, will be learning about “a different side to the equipment and how it is used. For example with Brita, they will learn about how water quality effects the end product, and interspersed with these presentations, will be talks from up and coming companies with new and innovative ideas, all designed to get our members thinking in new ways when they are designing a kitchen.”

Edwards himself says he is most looking forward to “the chance to learn something new, network with members and non-members alike, and hopefully create some new discussions and perspectives.”

Further information:

The FCSI Education Day is £20+VAT per person and tickets can be booked by emailing Louise Willis at louise@fcsi.org or calling 07425 167627.

Michael Jones

Alain Passard's lauded restaurant comes top of the Opinionated About Dining list for the second year running while Italian Luigi Taglienti's Lume was named best new restaurant

Fine dining food blog Opinionated About Dining (OAD) has unveiled its list of 100 best restaurants in Europe for 2017 at an awards dinner in Paris. And the restaurant topping the list was Alain Passard’s L’Arpège ahead of Andreas Caminada, in Furstenau, Switzerland in second place and Sweden’s Faviken in third. The Best New Restaurant was won by Luigi Taglienti’s Lume in Milan.

L’Arpège topped the list, which has been published by fine dining expert Steve Plotnicki since 2012, for the second year in a row.

“The reason that it can win twice is that even in its thirty-first year of existence, Alain Passard’s cooking manages to be modern yet timeless,” says Plotnicki. “His eye for how to view an ingredient and how to figure out the best cooking method in order to capture its features is unparalleled. No wonder there are nine different restaurants on our 2017 list run by chefs who trained in his kitchen.”

Passard became famous outside of fine-dining circles for taking red meat off his menu in 2001 during the mad cow crisis despite being a master rotisseur. Following that his focus has been on elevating vegetables to a higher plane, creating dishes such as a “radishotto” a risotto made from radishes, and beetroot sushi. All the vegetables in his restaurant are grown in the restaurant’s two bio-dynamic gardens, which have different terroirs and micro-climates.

“He created an approach to cooking that was a variation on minimalism and deconstruction,” says Plotnicki, “using cooking methods that were then copied by other chefs.”

The award was made at the OAD dinner at Maison Blanche in Paris, where chefs including Rasmus Kofoed, Quique Dacosta, Atsushi Tanaka and Alexander Couillon prepared a meal dedicated to ‘La Cuisine de Grand-Mère’ for assembled reviewers, journalists and chefs. Kofoed, from Copenhagen’s three Michelin-starred Geranium even worked with his grandmother on the meal.

Progressive cooking

The New Restaurant award was picked up by Lume in Milan, an open kitchen restaurant in an old factory district, which features light as a key part of its design. Chef Luigi Taglienti had worked at Palazzo Trussardi and also in Paris before opening his own restaurant last year and winning a Michelin star within months.

“Given that in 2016 there were three restaurants from Italy who were nominated for the Best New Restaurant Award, followed by another three in 2017, it is fitting that this year’s winner – Lume – is based in Milan,” adds Plotnicki. “Luigi Taglienti has done a superb job of melding modern culinary technique with classical Milanese cooking, and this award is another significant piece of evidence that Italy is where some of the most progressive cooking in Europe is happening at the moment.”

He also had words for the highest new entry on the list, Cadiz restaurant Aponiente, which came in at number 36.

“Due to its location in the extreme Southwest of Spain, a part of the country that is off the typical destination diner’s itinerary, it took a little bit longer than usual for our reviewers to discover Aponiente,” says Plotnicki. “But once word got out about Ángel Leon’s restaurant, it quickly became one of the most important places to visit in Europe.”

Plotnicki, who began his working life by starting a rap record label and discovered hit rap group Run DMC, hoped everyone would walk his way when he started OAD after becoming frustrated that food was not talked about in an analytical fashion.

“It came from a realisation that people don’t know how to talk about food,” he says. “There was no set, academic way of talking about food like you would talk about cinema or literature.

“What makes a restaurant different is the chef’s technique and then the quality of ingredients. How they manipulate ingredients. How they apply heat to the ingredients. Otherwise it’s just shopping. Service comes into it but that just doesn’t interest me.

“Say you have a lamb shoulder. There’s lamb shoulder for 6 bucks a pound, there’s lamb shoulder for 12 bucks a pound and there’s lamb shoulder for 100 bucks a pound. What makes the difference? We should be able to know instantly and explain why easily.”

He admits that OAD’s list is far from in a field of its own when it comes to fine dining surveys but he believes that the website’s algorithm, which means that reviewers’ opinions gain more weight depending on their experience and a host of other factors, gives them the edge. He’s also sure that OAD is a faster moving site.

“Michelin and 100 Best Restaurants are fine so long as they give new information,” he says. “But how often do they do that? They’re talking about the same restaurants every year. I just don’t think it’s that exciting or interesting. They’re congested, for want of a better word. OAD finds more to talk about every year, I think.”

Jon Horsley


UK's only dedicated commercial kitchen industry show releases its first preview of new products on show at the NEC Birmingham, UK, on 6-7 June

The Commercial Kitchen trade show 2017 has unveiled its first preview of some of the new products on show at the NEC Birmingham next month, on 6-7 June 2017.

The UK’s only dedicated trade event for the commercial kitchen industry will feature 100 companies exhibiting the complete range of innovative equipment, devices and services required to run, refurbish or build a commercial kitchen; including cooking equipment, refrigeration, storage, warewashing, fit out and design.

Recently confirmed suppliers include Middleby UK, Meiko UK, Jestic Foodservice Equipment, QCR Recycling Equipment, The Professionals Choice, Sous Vide Tools, My-kaboodle, Commercial BBQ Smokers, and Sterling Foodservice Design.

Key buyers and decision makers

“Commercial Kitchen was a great success and we were very pleased that the quality of visitor matched the quality of exhibitor. We’re looking forward to creating even more exciting opportunities with key buyers and decision makers this year. There are other marketing avenues available but nothing beats the face to face opportunities that a good trade show can offer,” says Kenny Smith, sales director at Middleby UK.

“The decision to exhibit at Commercial Kitchen was an easy one. Having attended the first event, I was pleased with the quality of visitors, and the decision to showcase the support that we, at Meiko, can offer our industry was swiftly sanctioned. I’m delighted to present our latest models, ware washing technology and our passion for energy efficiency,” says Paul Anderson, managing director of Meiko UK.

The following are just some of the new innovations on show for 2017:

Aqua Cure is previewing the new Conserv 75S, a high efficiency reverse osmosis system from Pentair, specifically designed to protect combi ovens and small steamers.

Panasonic UK is launching its new Speed Convection Oven SCV-2 at the show. It offers an affordable and cost-effective alternative to the accelerated cooking options already available.

Interflow UK is launching ecoAzur from GIF.  It monitors heat and vapours from cooking (using optical and thermal sensors linked to the BMS) to adapt airflow and ensure optimal air quality and ergonomics.

Middleby UK’s HOUNÖ brand is presenting its Let’s Cook cloud ecosystem, which enables operators to access and monitor their ovens anytime, anywhere, on any device. Also showcasing: Perfect Fry’s PFA7201 fully automated frying system.

Degafloor is showcasing its latest range of ultra-fast curing and totally seamless resin flooring systems. Each option provides outstanding slip resistance and is available in a wide range of bespoke colours and surface textures that can be tailored by area of use.

Goodflo is exhibiting its recently launched 100 litre gt underground grease trap. Manufactured, supplied and maintained by Goodflo, it offers an effective in-kitchen FOG management solution for commercial kitchen operators. Also showcasing: its innovative G-bag Grease Trap system.

Catering Equipment is showcasing the latest range of Dometic powered, and non-powered, food transport boxes, which feature some major improvements for 2017.

Sterling Foodservice Design is demonstrating its new software, which can produce 3D elevations and full colour renderings of their designs to illustrate realistic representations of finished installations.

Glen Dimplex Professional Appliances is showcasing Burco’s new Titan Induction Range Cooker. Features include a 2/1 GN oven, heavy-duty 6mm glass hob with five induction cooking zones, single or multiphase connectivity, and an easy to clean filter system.

Electrolux Professional is showcasing SpeeDelight, a new accelerated cooking solution. The unit’s contact plates combine with infrared and microwave technology, whilst the upper plate is designed to settle on food with just the right amount of pressure – opening automatically when ready.

Jestic Foodservice Equipment is showcasing the Winston CVap CAC503. Offering the latest in slow cooking technology, it provides precision control over the temperature, moisture and texture of the food.

Rexmartins is showcasing its recently launched, versatile RMB range. The RMB series of cooking equipment ranges from single zone induction units, fryers, and pasta boilers up to full working commercial kitchens.

Cuisinequip is showcasing Bottene’s fresh pasta makers (as used by Jamie’s Italian) and heritage slicers from Omas Food Machinery, which benefit from decades of Italian family engineering.

Induced Energy is showcasing the QuadroChef – its latest product development, which incorporates a four zone induction hob that delivers perfect controllability and unrivalled energy efficiency when compared to traditional gas burners.

R H Hall Foodservice Solutions is launching the first models from a new range of Smeg ovens, featuring new user friendly controls and enhanced specification.

Target Catering Equipment’s new British-made commercial induction ranges include the T8-2 Zone induction wok range, and the Target Restaurant Range, with induction plancha, combined with four zones of 3.5kW heavy duty induction and E31D4 Blue Seal convection oven.

Exclusive national exhibition

“We are thrilled to have chosen Commercial Kitchen as our exclusive national exhibition of choice. To have an industry show dedicated to commercial catering equipment gives us, a small British manufacturer, a central platform to showcase our products to the ‘who’s who’ of the equipment buying world from across the UK,” says David Pedrette, managing director of Target Catering Equipment.

That ‘who’s who’ includes leading equipment buyers, specifiers, distributors, and consultants from across the foodservice and hospitality sector. Including senior representatives from AB Hotels, Anchor Care Homes, Anglian Country Inns, Aramark, Benugo, Bidvest, Bourne Leisure, Bridgwater and Taunton College, Brunning and Price, Cardiff Council, Daniel Thwaites, Debenhams, EAT., Enterprise Inns, Five Guys, Gala Leisure, Gate Gourmet, Gather & Gather, GBK, Gold Care Homes, Greene King, Hampshire County Council HC3S, Hilton, Hospital Catering Association, Longleat, Marstons, Merlin Entertainments, Mitchells & Butlers, Nando’s, National Trust, Newcastle University, NHS, Prezzo, Punch, Redcomb Pubs, Revolution Bars Group, Sainsbury’s, Sodexo, Star Pubs & Bars, Starbucks, Subway, Sunrise Senior Living, Tesco, The Pub People Company, TRADE, University of Nottingham, University of Warwick, University of West London, Warner Leisure Hotels, Wm Morrisons Supermarkets, Young’s Pubs and Geronimo Inns, Zizzi, and thousands of quality independents.

Further details:

Commercial Kitchen returns to the NEC Birmingham on 6-7 June 2017. The show features include a free two-day seminar programme, the Innovation Challenge Awards, and CEDA Awards Gallery. For further information, and to register to attend Commercial Kitchen, please visit commercialkitchenshow.co.uk and enter priority code CK10 (direct link: https://registration.n200.com/survey/3d80hw89gt3j0?actioncode=CK10).


New study from Culinary Visions Panel reveals French consumers have high and varied expectations for healthy dining and snacking

A new report into French consumer dining published by Culinary Visions Panel in its 2017 series of Global Dining Studies has revoked that French consumers are actively seeking dining and snacking healthier options and are seeking out greater variety. In tandem with the SIAL Innovation Conference in Paris, France, research firm Culinary Visions Panel surveyed over 1,000 French consumers about their attitudes and behaviours relating to meal choices at home, in the workplace and in restaurants. The study finds that French consumers have high and varied dining expectations when it comes to healthfulness, such as desiring healthier snack options as well as dining choices that are both healthy and delicious.

“While French consumers are very interested in healthy meal options, their dining expectations vary with each situation,” says Sharon Olson, executive director of Culinary Visions Panel. “We learned that many of French consumers’ dining priorities centre around healthy eating and a majority are willing to pay a premium for quality ingredients in restaurants, delis and supermarkets.”

There are several major takeaways from the 2017 study on French consumers’ attitudes towards dining. The first is French consumers’ desire for healthfulness in dining choices. 58% of the consumers surveyed believe that healthfulness is important in everyday dining. However this doesn’t mean consumers will automatically accept all food with healthy claims. 44% of the French consumers surveyed believe that items billed as “healthy” usually don’t taste great and 50% stated a desire to order food that is both healthy and delicious.

In the balance

The survey also found that French consumers adjusted their expectations for healthy foods in the context of whether they were eating at restaurants, work or at home. 49% of the consumers surveyed admitted they prefer restaurants that offer a balance of healthful and indulgent items while 61% of them said that when they are at restaurants, they tend to indulge in foods they enjoy. However, when shopping for food at home or for work, 47% of French consumers surveyed believe that the deli is a great place for healthy and delicious foods. At work, quick and easy drives 48% of French consumers’ choices when eating.

Given their high emphasis on healthy eating, French consumers are greatly interested in the quality of food ingredients. 58% of the consumers surveyed said they care about the quality and pay attention to food ingredients. 56% of them also said they are willing to pay more for better quality foods.

Another high expectation from French consumers is food trust. Trust of chefs, restaurants, supermarkets and delis is important to consumers in France. 71% of those surveyed felt it was important they trust restaurants to purchase high quality ingredients and 74% of them felt it was important they trust their local deli to purchase quality ingredients.

Besides healthfulness in everyday dining, French consumers have a great interest in global and ethnic foods. 57% of the consumers surveyed said they often have a taste for authentic international cuisine but have no time to prepare them at home. 45% of those surveyed also added that they believed that the deli or prepared foods section gives them an opportunity to try new foods they would not be able to prepare at home.

Healthy snacking

Finally, the study highlighted French consumers’ desire for more snacking options. 68% of the consumers surveyed wished for more healthy snacking options and 52% of those surveyed said they like taking a break in the middle of their day to get a treat or snack. 48% of the consumers surveyed said they do think of the supermarket deli as a place grab a meal or snack. Snacking seems to most dominate in workplace settings where 65% of the consumers surveyed said they prefer to bring something (a meal or snack) from home when at work.

The 2017 Global Dining Survey of France shows market opportunities for healthy, global and snacking foods. It also reveals that the French consumer is not tied down to one type of food trend. French consumers’ interest in healthy and delicious foods is not in conflict with their desire for indulgent foods. Their dining choices depend on the context of each meal situation.


About the Survey

Culinary Visions Panel’s latest consumer dining study Global Dining Survey 2017: France was released in May 2017 and explores France’s consumer dining preferences. Over 1,000 French consumers were surveyed about their attitudes and behaviours related to meal choices at home, in the workplace and at restaurants. Topics included healthfulness, food trust, quality ingredients and snacking. To purchase a complete copy of the report contact info@culinaryvisions.org.

About Culinary Visions Panel
Culinary Visions Panel is a research and trend forecasting firm that conducts surveys in more than 30 countries, exploring a wide range of culinary topics with food industry professionals and consumers. The Culinary Visions Panel is a division of Olson Communications (www.olsoncom.com), which is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, US. For more information on Culinary Visions Panel, visit culinaryvisions.org or email info@culinaryvisions.org.

Picture: Culinary Visions Panel


The UK business Dawson MMP will cease to operate in the next six to seven months, while the Ali Group brands it distributes will to sold through other channels

Global foodservice equipment manufacturer Ali Group today revealed plans “to reposition” the British distribution of its Comenda warewash products, alongside those of combi oven and cooking equipment brands Lainox, Mareno, Rosinox and Rendisk waste management systems.

Ali Group’s wholly-owned subsidiary Dawson MMP Ltd, which is based in Barnsley in the North of England, currently distributes all five brands in the UK. The Group announced in a statement to the media it has “decided to refocus distribution of the five equipment brands through alternative UK market channels and as such will commence an orderly closure of Dawson MMP over the next six to seven months”.

Dawson will continue to trade as normal during this “repositioning” period and the company’s Dawson leadership team will still be headed by managing director Nick Falco and financial and operations director Michelle Frost.

New distribution channels

The statement from Ali Group revealed Comenda warewash equipment brand will now be exclusively distributed in the UK by Ipswich-based HTG Trading Ltd, under its business division Hubbard Systems. Hubbard also distributes the Group’s ice machine brand Scotsman in the UK. Lainox combi oven products will be distributed in the UK by Ali Group company Falcon Foodservice Equipment, which is based in Stirling, Scotland.

Both Hubbard and Falcon, says the statement, “have strong existing sales and distribution channels backed by national after-sales service that offer an ongoing assurance and commitment to the end user”. The Group also announced Rosinox, Mareno and Rendisk will continue to support the UK market via “factory-direct sales and business development activity”. 

Warranty support and after-sales service

The Group stated it “fully recognises its commitment to the UK market” and will uphold all ongoing warranty and after-sales service and maintenance obligations currently provided by Dawson. “The new distribution partners will coordinate customer service for both existing as well as new product warranty, service and maintenance requirements,” it said.

Dawson’s current field service engineer team, whom the Group acknowledged as “skilled and experienced” in supporting both the Ali Group warewash and cooking appliances, will transfer to Ali Group business Serviceline, “thereby further expanding our national network and response capabilities.”

Michael Jones

Higher Education Purchasing Consortia set standards with new national Catering Consultancy Services Framework

London Universities Purchasing Consortium (LUPC) has announced an exciting, new opportunity for catering consultants within the higher education (HE) and wider not-for-profit sectors.

In collaboration with the other regional HE purchasing consortia, LUPC is tendering for the first national Catering Consultancy Services framework for the sector.

This broad framework will assist consortia members from across higher education, and LUPC members from wider not-for-profit membership organisations, museums, and galleries, with their in-house or outsourced catering requirements.

LUPC’s aim is to create a framework of high calibre consultants that can be appointed by HE purchasing consortia members in a quick and easy manner, using best-in-practice tender documentation.

The framework will cover the following catering consultancy services: catering reviews; facilities strategy, tender management; capital projects (design & planning/ investment); projects (project management, design and equipment); menu design; outlet branding; recruitment; compliance; and mystery shopper programmes.

The tender opportunity was sent on Friday 28th April to be published in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU), with the aim of the framework going live in September.

FCSI expert advice

Foodservice Consultants, GY5 Limited have provided advice to LUPC on this tender, to ensure that the sector’s requirements are fully met and LUPC can deliver a relevant, high quality framework for both members and consultants alike. This precludes GY5 from bidding for a place on the framework.

Member organisations are also at the heart of the tender, providing input and guidance on the tender documentation and carrying out evaluation of the bids to ensure this new agreement fully meets the needs of the sector.

The tender involves a two stage process: consultants will be required to demonstrate their experience and technical ability at the PQQ stage. Bidders will then be shortlisted to the ITT stage, which will include responding to questions on, and pricing a ‘live site’ which is one of LUPC’s current member institutions’ actual requirements, as well as outlining how bidders will meet elements of the consultancy services detailed in the framework specification. The live site intends to appoint the successful bidder as part of this process.

During the ITT stage, bidders will have the opportunity to attend a Bidders’ Conference in London where they will be able to find out more about the university purchasing consortia, and to visit the live site to enable them to bid accurately on this contract.

In total, it is intended that 10 consultants will be awarded a place on the framework. In addition to LUPC, participating consortia include Advanced Procurement for Universities and Colleges (APUC); Higher Education Purchasing Consortium, Wales (HEPCW); North Eastern Universities Purchasing Consortium (NEUPC); North Western Universities Purchasing Consortium (NWUPC); Southern Universities Purchasing Consortium (SUPC); and The University Caterers Organisation (TUCO).

“There is a huge disparity in consulting methods in the UK and Ireland. This project provides an excellent opportunity to set new standards, invite innovation and recognise those professional consultants, who operate with integrity and true independence for this and other sectors,” says Julian Edwards from GY5.

Full details of the tender opportunity can be found on BravoSolution, the Sourcing Solution used by LUPC for their tenders, by looking under “View Current Opportunities” https://lupc.bravosolution.co.uk/web/login.shtml

Consultants already set up to receive alerts from OJEU contract notices will automatically receive notification of this tender opportunity.

Following the award of the Catering Consultancy framework, LUPC will be tendering for a national framework for Outsourced Catering Services later this year.

For more information:

Contact Suzanne Picken, senior contracts manager, LUPC, at s.picken@lupc.ac.uk.

It is vital FCSI reflects on the past in order to understand what lies ahead. Former president of FCSI Worldwide Ken Winch FFCSI (PP) explains

Friday is the day I pick up Joseph, my grandson, from school. I ask him how his day has been, what he learned and what he might be able to teach me. I have learned many things from him but following one of his recent history lessons he informed me, “You must know your history because it affects your future”.

It got me thinking about our own Society and how we need to develop in a way that guarantees and enhances our future, and, perhaps, even our survival, on an international basis. The more I thought, the more concerned I became before drawing the following conclusions.

Taking the 60 years of FCSI’s history into consideration and repeating all that is current and right at the time has always been ill advised. We must never be guilty of repeating the past without continuously identifying and overcoming its mistakes, or identifying its successes, if we are to reflect the ever increasing and different needs of tomorrow

Input needed
I liken our Society to an engine where the old adage of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” should never apply. It needs regular maintenance or it will break down, which will become more a frequent occurrence until it is too late and it will be consigned to the scrap yard.

To ensure this situation never occurs we must question ourselves as responsible members of this great Society. We need to get involved with its future and the legacy we will ultimately leave to the next generation and our long-term successors

My membership commenced in 1981 and, having served as chair of EAME and as president of FCSI Worldwide, my historical memory acknowledges occasions when boards fail to respond, perhaps due to time or monetary constraints. However, boards are made up of dedicated volunteers who also need to run businesses, and who need input from the membership if they are going to succeed.

Reality check
History again reminds me there are those who concern themselves with only “what is not being done for them”, who continually ask what benefits their membership provides, but rarely, if ever, propose alternative ideas and suggestions to their boards.

Yet a single suggestion that sets us in a different, and better, direction could become more critical as time passes. Certainly, it is the responsibility of each of the boards to be creative, to listen and react to the membership, to direct the Society and constantly consider the impact of their decisions

But do we, as members, argue that we are too busy, suggest that this is what the boards are for, that the Society is fine as it is and there is no need for maintenance? I sincerely hope not. Any organisation relies on involvement and change. What you get out of any Society is, at the very least, equal to what you put in. We are equally reliant upon each other and our future succession depends on our attention to our past.

This is my own personal reality check, which I believe will resonate with other members whatever category of membership and level of responsibility they enjoy. Are we getting everything right? Could we be doing it better? In my opinion the answer is ‘no’ to the first question and ‘yes’ to the second and I would like to engage with you to look at the future with an ever-watchful eye
on the past.

As for Joseph, who is 11 years of age, well, I will always look forward to hearing his teachings, but I will listen especially to his wisdom.

Ken Winch FFCSI is director of Ken Winch Design. He can be contacted at: KenWinchDesign@hotmail.com

FCSI EAME’s 2017 conference in Vienna, Austria was as fun and varied as it was enlightening and educational, reports Michael Jones

The 230 consultants, manufacturers and operators who attended the FCSI EAME 2017 annual conference were able to take part in a comprehensive, and frequently interactive, educational programme as well as some entertaining networking sessions throughout.

Held at Vienna’s landmark Meliá hotel on 6-8 April 2, the conference was themed ‘Food and Hospitality in the future’ and the programme featured 17 speakers, from across Europe, China and the US, addressing core, technical topics for FCSI members, such as BIM and hospitality hygiene, as well as big picture strategy issues such as China’s current and future food trends and ‘Food in 2030’.

A comprehensive programme

“I am delighted to report the 2017 conference was a great success,” said Martin Rahmann FCSI, chair of FCSI EAME. “The educational programme was comprehensive and with a mixture of roundtable discussions, interactive workshops and speeches delivering real value to attendees.”

At the end of the event, Rahmann reserved “special thanks” for conference chair Serdar Sağlamtunç FCSI “for putting together a fantastic programme this week. I had so many positive comments about how good the show was,” he said. He also praised conference host Josef Merringer FCSI for doing “a wonderful job” as well as Sabine Wagner, who will leave her role as executive director for FCSI EAME later this month, for “her big contribution, not just for today but across many years of service. It a big heartache for me that tonight is the last day we will work together,” he said.

Achieving excellence

On Saturday 8 April at the Vienna Celebration Dinner, awards were bestowed to those in the industry who had, according to Rahmann, “achieved excellence” within the last year. The Hobart Flight Type dishwasher was the winner of the Manufacturer of the Year award, while the Excellence in Foodservice Design award was presented by brand new chair of FCSI EAME Remko van Der Graaff to Gerben van der Molen FCSI for his work on the Post-plaza project in Leeuwarden, The Netherlands. “I just have a small team in Rotterdam. To win this is such an honour. I am a little bit speechless,” said van der Molen.

Bjorn Grimm FCSI, owner of Grimm Consulting, won the Excellence in Management Advisory award for his mystery cooking consultancy concept. “After we founded mystery cooking I suffered an illness last year and the team really delivered. I’m very proud for them,” said Grimm.
The FCSI Council of Fellows, which was established in 1981 to recognise significant contributions to the industry and FCSI, honours inductees deserving of great recognition for their service. This year, Jean Pierre Grossi FFCSI, a member since 1993 and an EAME board member from 1993 was honoured at the dinner, with the creation of FCSI France in 1999 and FCSI Italy in 2000 cited by Rahmann as particular highlights of his longstanding contribution to FCSI.
Josef Merringer FFCSI was also inducted to the Council, with Rahmnan describing him as “a titan of the foodservice industry”. Ken Winch FFCSI took to the stage and spoke of his respect for both men. “I’m so proud and honoured to be serving with them today with this great honour,” he said.
From Left: Remko van Der Graaff FCSI, William Taunton FCSI, Jean Pierre Grossi FFCSI, Josef Merringer FFCSI, Ken Winch FFCSI, Martin Rahmann FCSI
New beginnings 
In accepting the role of FCSI EAME chair, van Der Graaff praised the contribution of his predecessor. “Martin you have been working very, very hard,” he said. calling for applause for  “the excellent job he has done”. He also thanked the new executive director of FCSI EAME, Elonique Dalhuisen, who has supported FCSI The Netherlands for many years. “I praise your excellence. She will do a great job,” he told attendees.
Van Der Graaff himself has spent six years on the FCSI EAME board and 24 years in the business. “I wanted to join the best consultancy organisation. That’s why I joined FCSI. That’s why I’m here today,” he said, encouraging members to sign up for the next FCSI EAME conference in Rotterdam in Spring 2018. Watch this space, or contact elonique@fcsi.eu for more details.
Michael Jones