Ease of maintenance is one of the biggest challenges that many catering equipment suppliers could do better at.
That’s according to David George, heads of catering development at The Pub People Company, who describes maintenance as one of his main kitchen bugbears.
He specced out hundreds of pub kitchens during his more than 25 years in the trade and seen the sophistication of catering equipment improve tremendously. But if there is one thing that irritates him it’s the ease — or rather lack of — with which appliances can be maintained.
“They need to be pretty much idiot-proof because the harder manufacturers make maintenance and cleaning of products, the less likely they are to get cleaned and maintained,” he argues.
”Quite often when I look at specification of kit I’ll put my chef’s hat on and I’ll think, ‘right, how easy can I actually clean it, how long will it take me to do it, how labour-intensive is it, is it automated?’ So from my point of view I think it is an area that still needs improving.”
Following on closely behind is the issue of running costs.
“Is it green? Is it low energy? I am a big fan of that,” he says. “One of the products I designed for Greene King was a big pass unit and in there I wanted to make sure that even the Halogen lamps were all individually lit so at a down-trading time of the day you could just have one lamp burning energy instead of a whole row of them. With the constant rising cost of gas and electric, energy efficiency is important.”