Countering many servery issues

Modular units give operators greater flexibility, supplier says


WHEN it comes to catering equipment, servery counters are the units that can make the biggest impression on customers.

A hot plate or rotating ice cream stand can make the difference between a customer staying for a coffee or a full meal.
But with margins under increasing pressure, and securing funding still problematic, replacing servery counters is not an option for many operators.
There are, however, ways to avoid a complete refit.

Modular serveries can be adapted to fit in with the units that are already there.

Modular service units allow operators to add to or alter their existing servery counters, bringing greater flexibility in terms of cost and layout.
“There’s no point having an ice-cream servery dominating your venue in the winter, you need to be able to move it around,” said Sandro Formisano, chairman of New Concept, the Clydebank-based supplier of catering equipment and modular service units.
“Space is often at a premium in venues, so if operators want to add a ventilated refrigerated counter, for example, they want it to fit in with what they already have.
“They [modular serveries] all come with neutral frontages so we can adapt them to fit what’s already there.
“Most of the time customers won’t immediately notice the difference, they’ll just be pleasantly surprised by the new food offering.
“Plus owners are often very pleased with the low cost of simply adding to what’s already there.
“The overall effect looks much more expensive than it is!”
The firm also supplies units in a range of designs, from modern to traditional, in a bid to offer versatility to operators considering overall aesthetics.
When Ian Milton, owner of the Best Western Inverness Palace hotel, was fitting out the bar and restaurant in his Milton Hotel in Glasgow, he even hired a Feng Shui expert to advise him.
“We wanted to do the opposite of all the big chain hotels around us, so we wanted to stay away from straight lines and right angles,” he said.
“Servery counters aren’t cheap, but they are a key feature, so we made sure we had everything curved.
“We had all the different types of servery counters – hot plates, refrigerated areas – they’re so important because they are what the customer sees.
“You need to think ‘are they going to be happy with that, or will they not like it?’. They’re key to the room.
“I decided to go with a company that would provide a maintenance contract, too, so that I would have the back up of regular services for the equipment.”