Front of house equipment is vital to make food appealing and transactions easy, particularly for cafes, schools and small independent chains, which are the most likely to require counters and server units.
Considering the smaller spaces and tighter budgets available, many manufacturers and distributors laid out their current developments to Catering Insight, as well as naval gazing as to the market’s future direction.
How is your product portfolio likely to develop in 2015?
Peter Brewin, marketing and communications manager, Victor Manufacturing: We have plans to re-launch our Jamaican modular counter range during 2015. It comprises hot and cold food service modules geared for the education, contract catering and general purpose markets. This will enable the caterer to customise each unit to meet their requirements, and through the application of CAD/CAM technology we plan to achieve this without having to increase manufacturing lead times.
Kurran Gadhvi, marketing manager, Valera: We have recently added a new range called the Twist, specifically for coffee bars. This range will offer the option of either a straight or curved front décor and can incorporate hot, cold and ambient sections as well as a support counter.
Sam Starling, group marketing co-ordinator, Parry: We have no plans to add any new ‘stock’ products to our portfolio. However with the space put aside for new and refurbished kitchens getting smaller all the time we do expect to see continued interest in our bespoke fabrication service.
Peter Wills, sales director, Counterline: We are in the process of setting up a full new marketing department in early 2015 to promote our products by the introduction of a new website, updated product catalogues and a more focused presence on social media platforms.
Shahida Bibi, marketing and media communications, Pentland Wholesale: 2015 will see the launch of the new Blizzard Sigma fresh meat counters, Blizzard hot and cold counter top displays, floor standing merchandisers, and many more products planned for later in the year. We will be offering new ranges from Mafirol – all available from our 2015/16 catalogue, effective from May 2015.
Heather Brooks, sales director, Primeware: Our new for 2015 ‘wood effect’ Hot Tiles butt up together like floorboards and can give counters a fresh look. Hot Tiles and our new Hot Trays for solid top counters present food well, plus offer long term value for money. These new products come hard on the heels of the launch of our silicone GN Flexepans. These display dishes are unbreakable, non-stick and can be used to freeze, bake and serve. We are adding two sizes to the range: GN1/1 20mm and GN1/3 65mm.
Yunus Sahin, director, DWM: We have now launched the Pico and Luzon ranges of refrigerated display equipment. These use straight glass held together by chrome brackets, fixing the top and side glass together to reduce accidental breakage. We have also launched a new line of serve overs called the Sumba. Slim at 94cm, the model has separately cooled under storage that is suitable for meat and a bigger display area that is cooled separately. Furthermore, we have introduced Gastroline Cube patisserie displays.
Mick Steele, technical director, Alan Nuttall: We are continuing to develop our Flexeserve portfolio, which includes enhancing our modifiable and interchangeable Flexeserve intelligent chassis counter system and an additional model of the Flexeserve Zone cabinet, our heated multideck which can offer a range of self-serve hot merchandising solutions in one cabinet.
Heather Beattie, Zoin brand manager, RB-Distributors: 2015 sees several additions to the Zoin brand portfolio, including the extended Harmony range. Harmony models are now available in a silver finish – offering an alternative to the more traditional wood-effect front panelled models. Available as both refrigerated and ambient serve over counters, Harmony comes in three different widths (GL591-GL596). Features include lit shelves for attractive display, an automatic defrost and evaporation system and two rear sliding doors for easy access and serving.