Pret A Manger equipment buyer to outline challenges of equipping 400 stores

Pret A Manger interior

Pret A Manger’s senior equipment manager Dirk Wissmann will be sharing the secrets of how he equips a 400-strong store estate today, when he takes part in a special on-stage interview at the Commercial Kitchen show.

Mr Wissmann will be interviewed by FEJ editor Andrew Seymour during an exclusive ‘in conversation’ session at the show’s Keynote Theatre, starting at 11am.

As one of the country’s most experienced catering equipment buyers, he is set to provide insight into the growth of Pret’s network of food-to-go stores and share his outlook for the industry.Dirk Wissmann, senior equipment buyer

Pret A Manger has seen many changes in the foodservice market since it launched its first store 30 years ago. Now one of the leading high street food chains in the UK, it operates over 400 units worldwide.

Mr Wissmann will be offering his perspective on the challenges of designing, procuring and installing new kit across an ever-increasing number of sites.

Speaking to FEJ in the past, Mr Wissmann said that any decisions Pret takes on new kit must be done with consistency and simplicity in mind.

“The ideal equipment is something which is easy to clean, meets food safety requirements and is simple to operate — we obviously don’t want to introduce something to our stores which makes the operation more complex,” he said.

Mr Wissmann says that one of the most important aspects for his team is to make sure that mission-critical equipment is running to its optimal levels. In Pret’s case, cold storage is key.

“We are using quite a lot of refrigeration because it is important to keep our stuff fresh,” he said. “We pretty much get daily deliveries, so we need a decent-sized walk-in fridge and sufficient upright fridges.”

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