New UK brand shows plenty of Dutch courage with expectation to "shake up" UK light equipment sector in "two years, maximum"
A press reception held at the Embassy of the Kingdom of The Netherlands, in London, on Wednesday 31 January saw the official launch of Hendi UK. The new business, Hendi’s first foray into the UK, will supply the British market with more than 4,000 product lines from the Dutch-headquartered Hendi Food Service Equipment, one of Europe’s largest, most successful manufacturers of non-food catering equipment, buffet products, kitchenware and tableware.
With presentations preceding canapes created and served by Dennis van den Beld and Tom Lamers of The Netherlands Culinary Team, the attendant Hendi UK team were in an ebullient mood, demonstrating plenty of Dutch courage in their predictions the new company will “shake up the UK market”, according to Alex Shannon, managing director, “within two years maximum”.
“Our products are based on quality, not price. Our staff are foodservice professionals, not telesales operatives. We will offer exceptional sales, service and supply chain security,” said Ben Aird, business development director, Hendi UK.
“Our route to market is that Hendi can offer a total package,” said Aird. “The level of interest has been phenomenal so far because we can offer absolutely everything. We’re offering something completely different.”
With an annual turnover in excess of £125m per annum Hendi already has a significant presence across mainland Europe including The Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Romania, Germany, France and Italy as well as Central and Eastern Europe countries such as Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan and the Baltic states.
Among the many foodservice products Hendi UK will be supplying include professional coffee machines, fryers, buffet equipment, electrical and gas appliances, small kitchen appliances, grills, kitchenware, tableware, porcelain and cutlery.
“There is a well-established status quo in the UK light equipment market and we are here to try and change that by offering UK caterers something different in terms of both quality and service,” said Antony Ward, Hendi UK brand manager. “By supplying innovative products and new solutions that are not only closely tuned to their requirements in terms of quality, but are also more efficient, more hygienic and more affordable, we hope to give caterers in the UK a much needed and genuine alternative in the light equipment supply category.”
Stock in trade
Hendi UK will sell strictly through distributors, not to end-users, signing up as a supplier to the ENSE buying consortium. “We will work with a maximum of 100 distributors from day one,” said Shannon. “We don’t want to let anyone down, so will be holding a lot of stock. Distributors want consistency of supply and availability, but also pricing.”
To that end, Hendi UK will store 500 lines in the UK, available for next day service if ordered before 3pm, according to Shannon, who added all other lines will have a 3-5 day delivery time from The Netherlands, while a “drop ship” service will be available to deliver equipment directly to an operator’s site in urgent cases.
Hendi UK currently has 9,000ft2 of warehousing space in Lancaster, which Shannon stated was already “completely full”, while additional premises in a nearby location will also open in the near future. A showroom will also open in a matter of weeks near Hyde Park, London.