The owners of a Gloucestershire coffee chain that is due to open its fifth site this month have told how the growth of their brand has reaffirmed the need for a consistent approach to kitchen equipment specification.
Ed Brown and Griff Holland, the duo behind Bristol-based Friska, said their views on sourcing equipment had changed considerably since they launched their concept in 2010.
“When we opened our first store five years ago we had a very limited budget and really just made do with whatever we could find, largely from the catering auctions and other second-hand sellers,” explained Brown. “This was a combination of limited funds and also limited understanding of what our requirement would be. We were aware of some brands, such as Fosters and Williams, but aside from that we were buying whatever was cheapest rather than any strategic approach.”
Brown added that the expansion of the chain had brought about a “need for consistency in terms of common equipment.”
He said: “This has been very important for us. It makes sense from building supplier relationships, enables the team to interchange between store much more easily and keeps managing maintenance issues that little bit easier.
“Also as we have added scale to the existing store the need for equipment which is robust, fit for purpose and can handle that scale has been paramount. We often handle over 160 transactions over a busy lunch time, so we need equipment which can cope with that intensive use over our peak period of demand, and importantly is also reliable.”
Brown said that suppliers of key equipment included Rational, Foster, Control Induction and Norpe, while it works closely with kitchen contractor QCM on the design and build of its kitchens.