EAT: 5 things that make our kitchens flourish

EAT store

As one of the original fresh food chains and a well-recognised fixture on the high street, EAT is synonymous with hot, healthy food and original recipes. With more than 110 stores and counting, brand development director, Ed Grimes, explains the significance of a scalable and consistent kitchen set-up to the company.

1. Each kitchen is built to optimise the equipment within it

“Our kitchens are all designed to enable us to deliver first-class customer service, with efficiency and ease of use at the forefront of design. We have a model shop template, included in which is the split between front- and back-of-house. We also have a model kitchen lay-out that includes where our prep benches, cooking equipment, walk-in fridge, sink and oven should be placed for maximum efficiency.”  Ed Grimes - PLEASE CUT OUT - Copy

2. The delivery of great customer service drives the design

“The kit has to be easy to use so that our shop teams can use it safely and quickly. Equally, we only want to use a certain amount of space for the kitchen, so footprint is also important. We manage to have the same kit in each of our kitchens, though. The walk-in fridge is generally the only piece of kit that varies in size on a site-specifc basis.”

The walk-in fridge is the only piece of kit that varies on a site-specific basis”

3. We stick to the kitchen template as much as we can

“Where possible we stick to this lay-out but, invariably, the sites that we take are not configured to accommodate our model kitchen lay-out without some variation. The kit that we put into each kitchen is standard with some flex upwards for very high volume stores.”

4. Equipment can never compromise customer space

“Due to the wide variety of fresh product that we sell and make on site, we need to have a decent-sized walk-in fridge to accommodate the extensive amount of ingredients. Having said that, front-of-house space for service and seating is at a premium, so we are careful that we limit the amount of back-of-house space we use.”

5. New equipment will always be put through its paces

“We are fortunate that, having been in business for 20 years, we have identified the equipment that works for us, is reliable and is easy to use. We do bring new kit into the business and when we do we make sure that it is rigorously tested in a live environment before being launched across the wider business.”

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