Pret’s equipment buyer to share kitchen procurement secrets

Pret barista in Lafayette shop

Pret A Manger’s senior equipment manager Dirk Wissmann has been confirmed for a headline Keynote Q&A at a new trade show exclusively for the catering equipment industry later this year.

Wissmann will take part in an exclusive ‘in conversation’ session during Commercial Kitchen at the Birmingham NEC, where he will share his observations and expertise of the industry and the growth of Pret’s network of food-to-go stores.

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.

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 recently, Wissman 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.

Wissman 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.”

Online visitor registration for Commercial Kitchen, which takes place on 7-8 June, is now open. A “who’s who” of leading equipment purchasers and specifiers from across the foodservice sector are expected to attend, according to show organizers Diversified Communications.

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