Electrolux UK steps up focus on chains

Electrolux Thermaline suite

Electrolux Professional has revealed its ambition to increase the business it does with restaurant chains in a move that chimes with the way its global business is developing.

Darren Lockley, head of the UK and Ireland at the manufacturer, told FEJ that the company believes it is adequately equipped to provide multi-site operators with the infrastructure and service they need.

“Globally, the initiative of working with chains has been accelerated over probably the last four or five years with the introduction of a chain unit. Now, in the UK, we work with them and independently of them. It affords us what we call a ‘glocal’ approach — we have a global chains business but obviously we are also looking to develop our local chain accounts.

“Without being specific on numbers, the chain business is a big part of our planned growth. Ultimately we believe we have a very attractive offer, not just in terms of the products but the people and skills that we have locally to support it along with the back-up of the global chain business unit.”

Electrolux’s UK blueprint for growth is directed from its headquarters close to Luton, which is also home to a £250,000 Centre of Excellence. Customers can view all of its equipment up close and experience its live kitchen facility, while a nationwide network of dedicated distributor partners provide project and fulfilment expertise.

With a solid footprint in the pub sector, significant agreements with coffee shop chains and longstanding relationships with catering and facilities management companies, Electrolux is no stranger to dealing with chain accounts. But it still sees untapped potential in areas such as casual dining.

Lockley insists the company can offer a number of advantages that others can’t — not least the ability to provide a full suite of core kitchen products, including cooking, refrigeration and warewashing, from one source.

“What we are trying to do as an organisation is to make sure we are easy to deal with and we believe we can do that by consolidating all the equipment for any multi-site customer. If we can supply good quality equipment with the right back-up and resources and service and technical support then there shouldn’t be a reason why people wouldn’t want to work with Electrolux. Consolidating with one supplier, through a distributor partner, means that whether it is chef support, technical support or something else, there is only one point of contact.”

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