Service & goods lifts: Take service to new heights

The right lift can raise standards, So LA operator says

So LA, on Glasgow’s Mitchell Street, uses a service lift to improve speed of service
So LA, on Glasgow’s Mitchell Street, uses a service lift to improve speed of service

FOR venues set over multiple floors, with kitchens often located in the basement or upper levels, a service lift can not only take pressure off staff but improve speed of service.

SLTN caught up with Martin Gordon, general manager of So LA to discuss the benefits of a service lift in Rusk & Rusk’s latest venue, which opened its doors on Glasgow’s Mitchell Street late last year following a £1 million investment.

Q: How many do you have? What do you use it/them for?

A: We have one lift in the kitchen, which transports food up and down from the main production kitchen to the service kitchen downstairs.

Q: What advantages does a service lift offer your business?

A: The beauty of the service lift is that we can operate over two levels without having to have two large kitchens on both levels, or attempting to transport foodstuffs via stairs.

It is hugely beneficial as we service our functions from this downstairs kitchen and also a lot of the pre-work/mise en place is produced from there and can then be sent directly to the main kitchen. And it allows the quick and efficient transfer of items between floors.

Q: How important is a service lift to the smooth running of your business, especially at peak times?

A: During peak times the service lift can act as another member of staff, cutting transport times dramatically.

Q: What would your advice be to those considering installing a service lift in their premises?

A: My advice for anyone looking at having a service lift installed would be two-fold. Firstly, look at what you are transporting and ensure that the lift fits these requirements, ie. size of gastro trays versus lift size, if transporting hot food does it have hot lamp facilities, etc.

Secondly, an intercom at both openings is crucial.

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Maintaining a service lift


ONCE a service lift is installed, it must be appropriately maintained.

This includes regular servicing, which is required in order to meet the legal requirements of LOLER (Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Requirements 1998).

This places duties on people and companies who own, operate or have control over lifting equipment.

A lift provider can assist operators in the meeting of the obligations. The regulations require that lifting equipment for use at work is:

  • Strong and stable enough for the specific use and marked clearly to indicate safe working loads
  • Positioned and installed to minimise any risks
  • Used safely, for example, the work is performed by trained employees
  • Subject to ongoing thorough examination by competent people