Heavy Hitters: CESA stages inaugural Heavy Equipment Forum

More than 50 suppliers and key industry purchasers attend the first CESA Heavy Equipment Forum

The UK’s Catering Equipment Suppliers Association (CESA) have staged their inaugural Heavy Equipment Forum in association with industry bodies CEDA, CEDABOND & ENSE. Taking place at Whittlebury Hall in Northamptonshire, UK, on Wednesday 15 October, the forum brought together more than 50 suppliers of heavy duty equipment with senior buying executives from leading companies such as Tesco, Waitrose, Compass, Aramark and Baxter Storey.

The format for the day was a series of 30-minute presentations from suppliers and manufacturers of catering equipment to key buying personnel. The relatively short, sharp sessions worked well with some lively presentations and insightful, engaging product showcases. “We have received positive feedback and many suppliers have commented on the positive way in which their information was received. We expect to be able to repeat the event in 2015.” said Debbie Reeves CFSP, assistant director of CESA.

The day was topped off with an awards dinner in the evening where Bunzl Lockhart’s Ryan Clark was named the ‘Heavy Equipment Sales Person of the Year’. Clark is responsible for the restaurant sector team in the company’s design and projects division and has been “instrumental in securing considerable unit sales with Whitbread and Café Rouge this year”, according to CESA chairman Nick Oryino. As a result, over 180 ten-grid ovens and accessories are set to be installed in Whitbread and Café Rouge kitchens in 2014 and the first quarter of 2015.

“Both customers wanted to introduce new menus and consequently cooking methods into their estate to drive sales for them. Ryan worked closely with both sets of development chefs to establish the pieces of equipment required, including all the accessories, in order to finalise the specification,” said Oryino.

3663 Catering Equipment won the award for the ‘Distributor Initiative of the Year’ title having demonstrated “increased sales growth, quality of business support for heavy equipment and breadth of product range” according to Oryino.

The award for Outstanding Sales Initiative of the Year also went to Lockhart Catering Equipment for the expansion of its annual supplier and customer event at Wembley Stadium.

CESA’s annual conference will take place between 13–14 November 2014 at Heythrop Park Resort, Oxfordshire, UK, while the CESA Innovation Zone will be hosted at Hospitality 2015, held at the NEC, Birmingham, UK, 19-21 January 2015.

Michael Jones

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