Balancing the equipment budget comes with the territory for expansive caterer

Mark Frankl

The food and beverage director of one of the UK’s fastest growing caterers has described the challenge of balancing catering equipment expenditure with the operational requirements of a rapidly diversifying customer base.

Marc Frankl, who oversees the kitchens for Birmingham-based Amadeus, is part of an executive team brought on board a few years ago to help the company expand beyond the work that it does for the NEC Group, its parent company for more than 35 years.

Clients using its services now include the likes of Cadbury World, Coventry Cathedral, Kenilworth Castle and the National Sealife Centre, while it provides catering for many major independent events.

Frankl says the group has had to devise a clear policy for managing the equipment inventory it needs to deliver the food proposition at each site, starting with specification.

“I will work either with our own staff or with the client to come up with kit that we believe is going to work and then establish from a mobilisation perspective when it needs to be installed,” he explains. “From a budget perspective I need to make sure we are not spending more than we promised, while operationally the challenge is usually to put as much in as we can while obviously being very mindful of power loadings, heat dispersion and other technical issues. We need to work within those boundaries to maximise what we have in our [catering] areas.”

Although its so-called ‘home venues’ — namely the NEC, the ICC, the LG Arena and the Barclaycard Arena — deliver the majority of sales, Frankl says Amadeus is working hard to pick up additional contracts where the fit is right.

“It is obviously an ambition of ours to continue that because we need to grow outside of the group. We are involved in new tenders and have clear aspirations to grow.”

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