Tom’s Kitchen, Birmingham: busy with customers, fast with warewashing

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Latest Tom’s Kitchen relies on speed and reliability of Winterhalter dishwashers and glasswashers

Tom Aikens’ latest Tom’s Kitchen, in the chic Mailbox Centre, Birmingham, has a busy restaurant, a separate deli, two private dining rooms and it runs functions in the large foyer area. It’s open seven days a week, all year, from breakfast till midnight. The Kitchen’s kitchen is compact but has to produce not only big volumes of top quality food, but also cope with a wide selection of dishes.

“We have a broad range of customers, that’s why we have such a varied menu,” says Aikens. The combination of volume and menu diversity puts enormous pressure on the warewashers. Because he needed reliability, speed and perfect wash results, Aikens chose Winterhalter dishwashers and glasswashers.

Quick and clean

“Winterhalter warewashers are amongst the most vital pieces of equipment the bar staff and kitchen can have,” says Aikens. “Here they are used pretty much non-stop.” With a menu ranging from Aikens’ signature shoulder of lamb, slowly braised for seven hours in balsamic vinegar, thyme and onions, to fruit pots and yoghurts, the dishwasher has to cope with all sorts of sauces and residues. “It has to handle light ware, plastic containers, and heavy pots and pans, as well as service-ware. It’s vital it cleans things well and quickly. I know that with the Winterhalter dishwasher I can put in a filthy pan and it’s going to come out quickly and cleanly.

“Winterhalter machines are very easy to use. In the kitchen we use the hose first for pre-rinsing and to remove large pieces of food, then it’s just a case of loading the item in the rack, putting it in the machine, and it’s done within minutes.”

Clever energy control system

Aikens’ is highly aware of sustainability, “It’s an important part of what we’re about,” he says, but in a kitchen as busy as this speed is essential, too. The dishwasher at Tom’s Kitchen is a PT passthrough machine.  The PT range is the first passthrough on the market to feature heat exchanger equipment as standard, saving 10% or more on energy use, by recycling the machine’s waste heat to heat up the incoming water supply. Despite this, it’s a super-fast warewasher, as well. Its clever energy control system speeds up the washing process, increasing rack capacity per hour by 28% and reducing heat-up time by 50%.  The speed of the system means the PT is ready for action faster than conventional passthroughs, allowing back-to-back rack washing, which is a huge bonus in a kitchen as busy as Tom’s.

The glasswasher in the bar is a Winterhalter UC undercounter machine. “We have a range of glassware, some of which is fragile and needs that extra bit of special care and attention,” says Aikens.

“I know with this machine the washing cycle will not break the stemware. You can even put in glasses with red wine stains and they’ll come out clean.”

Brilliant results

This adaptability is down to Winterhalter’s VarioPower washing system. It uses a brand new design of elliptical wash arms that creates a ‘wash-field’ of cleaning power and that delivers brilliant results. VarioPower also allows the user to adjust the power and pressure to take account of how delicate or dirty the glasses are, at the touch of a button.

“When you’re washing glasses time is important,” says Aikens. “The Winterhalter offers a short wash programme, and you know you’re still going to get the results – it still does a great job and, in terms of sustainability, it saves on water and energy, too.”

Both the Winterhalters have integral water softeners, which protect the machines and ensure they deliver brilliant results. “The equipment we have is fully operational all day – and it’s a long day. In the kitchen we need speed and reliability and I know I’m going to get them with Winterhalter.”

Warewashing at Tom’s Kitchen, Birmingham

The Winterhalter PT passthrough dishwasher is the PTL (large size) model.  It can wash up to 44 racks per hour, or 72 per hour on the short programme. The rack size is 500mm x 600mm. The machine measures 735mm wide x 750mm deep x 1515mm high (1995mm with the hood open).

The Winterhalter UC undercounter glasswasher is the UCM (medium size) model. It can wash up to 48 racks per hour, or 77 per hour on the short programme. The rack size is 500mm x 500mm. The machine measures 460mm wide x 637mm deep (including detergent container) x 715mm high.

Salix was responsible for the Tom’s Kitchen project. “In terms of their technical approach they can work wonders within design parameters, making sure the equipment you want to get in will get in, making it all work without compromising one part of the kitchen,” says Aikens.

Further details:

For more on Tom’s Kitchen visit

Salix aims to provide the full ‘one stop shop’ for chefs looking for help with their professional kitchen. The company’s service includes site visits, kitchen planning and design, technical and project management, delivery, install and after-care – closing the circle for complete care. For more on Salix visit

Winterhalter provides a total solution for warewashing, from pre-sales advice to after-sales service, training and maintenance. Alongside its market-leading dish and glasswashers, the company’s range includes utensil washers, advanced water treatment machines, cleaning chemicals and detergents. For further details, call Winterhalter on 01908 359000, see, or or email