Carluccio’s mission statement is to provide great quality, authentic Italian food at sensible prices with excellent service. So it’s safe to say it needs a kitchen infrastructure that can meet those goals on a daily basis. FEJ reports.
Vincenzo Rinaldi, head of maintenance for Carluccio’s nationally and a 25-year veteran of the catering industry, is the man tasked with making sure all of the chain’s kit is up to scratch and properly serviced.
One of the focus areas for him has involved evaluating the company’s dishwasher estate, as he sought to tighten up on some of the issues that it faced. “One thing that let us down was the service provided by our dishwasher suppliers,” he explains. “So we tried four of the leading brands; bought a few of each and ran them in our restaurants.”
The chain opted for Meiko after being impressed by its results and Rinaldi insists it is pleased with the performance so far. “We have now changed our specification to include the new GiO machines — the DV80.2 hood-type and FV40.2G-GiO undercounter machine. We are a national chain but no matter where we operate and what quality the water, we have great warewashing results.
The new GiO machines themselves require much lower maintenance, apart from changing the filters on the reverse osmosis units. We have tested them in our high volume sites — Brighton, St Pancras, Reigate and Brunswick [London] — and so far our managers love them, but more importantly, the KPs also love them.
Rinaldi says he was also swayed by the service package that came with the machines — “the first-time fix rate is excellent, when I place a call I am very confident the machine will be running the next day” — while he says that when it comes to machine maintenance, the notorious warewashing problem of hard water and lime-scale build is taken care of.
“Fixing the damage caused by lime-scale is expensive, but Meiko has made that redundant. And now the KP does not have to worry about salt, which takes out that unpredictability. For a restaurant chain employing so many people, it is one less thing to tell and teach,” he says.
Bill Downie, managing director of Meiko, believes Carluccio’s experience is typical of a casual dining sector where the leading chains are looking very closely at new technologies associated with reducing running costs and the maintenance support that comes with them.
“Features that reduce running costs are obviously high on the agenda, but probably the key factor for Meiko has been the introduction of the ‘No-Bills’ guarantee for either three- or five-year terms, coupled with rapid response to breakdown support calls,” he says. “This has proved to be the tipping point for the new casual dining accounts that we have brought on board during the past 12 months.”