The winner of the Operator of the Year for Equipment Innovation award is Costa Coffee.
The introduction of new equipment to a kitchen — be it in the form of cooking, refrigeration, warewashing, beverage or any other category — can have a profound effect on a foodservice business’ operations. This award, sponsored by Jestic, recognises the time, investment and sheer hard work that goes into rolling out innovative equipment across multiple sites.
Costa has stepped up its hot food offering in the UK following a major roll-out of MerryChef ovens and microwaves across its estate.
Installation of the high performance cooking equipment has enabled the introduction of new ranges and supported its need to serve hot food quickly.
Investment in new kitchen equipment forms part of a broader strategy to ensure the company meets changing customer tastes.
A new product innovation team created by Costa to drive menu evolution is already paying dividends, with like-for-like breakfast food volumes growing 9% in the period since roll-out. Salads and new hot and cold beverages have also been launched.
Steve Murdoch, machine development manager at Costa Coffee (pictured alongside Costa’s category development manager Robert Lugton receiving the award from Jestic’s culinary director Michael Eyre), said: “We have been looking at the issue of speed of service and working with manufacturers to ensure this is the best it can be. It is nice to get some recognition for what we have done on the kitchen equipment side of things.”
– Soho Coffee Co.
– Tesco (In-Store cafes)