FEJ AWARDS PARTNER INTERVIEW: Meiko gears up for a greener future

Paul Anderson, managing director of Meiko, explains how an emphasis on premium quality warewashers and an unbeatable service offering is bringing simplicity and efficiency to one of the more demanding parts of a catering operation.

What’s on Meiko’s agenda in 2018? Where’s the big emphasis from a strategic point of view?

With the launch of the new Mi-Clean range and our focus on enhancing operator use, we are pleased to add more value to our premium models. From a strategic view point more additions will come during the next 18 months, with a brand new separate operation coming to us, which I trust is later this year. In summary, we keep going as we are and focus towards end-user benefits at all times.

This year marks a significant anniversary for Meiko as an organisation (90 years in business). What should operators deduce from that?

Well if anything the longevity shows we have established ourselves as a solid manufacturer, which highlights we are here, we will still be here and we can support everyone for many years to come, globally. 

You work with a lot of multi-site operators and caterers. Are their warewashing priorities changing?

There has been some shift and in reality, I couldn’t pinpoint the preferred direction. It varies upon operator, whether its budget, support, service, but in reality we try and match what we consider to be the best total package, backed by focused service and support.

Meiko has invested heavily in its M-iClean machines, which are now available in the UK market. Given that manufacturers are always working on new product developments, can you put the significance of this launch into any sort of context?

Having successfully made premium quality ware washers, where on earth could we improve? Well in fact we have – by giving the operator the best user benefit in an automatic system. It is ergonomically efficient, easier to use and offers less stress for the user, which in return gives better and faster results with maximum efficiency.

“Food waste systems were always a reactive enquiry, but now they are a proactive focus”

It has been proven that, on average, the lifting weight (80 newtons) of a pass-through dishwasher is equivalent to lifting a heavy dumbbell. Now, when you consider how many times the operator does that a day, it’s quite frightening. So, by taking that stress away you have a more relaxed and calming environment, that adds benefits to the kitchen operator. 

There are some notable premium warewashing brands operating in the UK. What do you regard as Meiko’s main USPs?

Focused design and high-quality materials, offering great results and longevity of build, all backed by a leading technical services division.

Energy and sustainability have been at the heart of your product development activities in recent years. Is the message getting through to end-users?

Yes, but this is not a five-minute fix. You have to look at ‘future proofing’ from now on. What is the best dishwasher to install now that also gives the operator optimum use for the future?

Unlike other warewashing manufacturers, you’ve also got a food waste string to your bow. What’s the future of that?

Well, I’d like to say more but this will heavily follow during 2019, so watch this space. Having absorbed the culture of Meiko UK it was clear that the food waste systems were always a reactive enquiry, but now it is a proactive focus, ensuring as many people are aware of how we may be able to offer tailored food waste solutions of any size and volume.

Meiko is sponsoring the Operator of the Year for Energy Efficiency & Sustainability category at the 2018 FEJ Awards. Find out more at www.meiko-uk.co.uk or follow @MEIKOUK.

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