Training may be seen as an optional extra for some multi-site operators, but for Chipotle’s UK operation the support it has had from key equipment supplier Electrolux has proved invaluable. FEJ caught up with Laura Abbott, Electrolux’s business development manager for the UK and Ireland, to get her take on why the brand sees training as being so important for chain operators.
How relevant is product training for modern-day foodservice chains?
We know that the focus for all chain operators is to provide quality, consistency and value for money to its customers so that repeat custom is secured for continued growth. Therefore, chain operators look to partner with suppliers that not only understand these values, but work on joint initiatives to be proactive so that the chain operator can grow both in terms of sales volume and customer numbers. Whether this involves using standard features on a combi oven to improve yield and reduce waste, or improving work flow and conditions back of house, we can offer assistance and support throughout the foodservice process in one form or another.
How much does training cost?
Training is free of charge for all of our chain customers and is supported by dedicated resources within our UK and global divisions. We provide assistance at every point of the sales process from pre-sale, to roll-out and throughout the lifecycle of each appliance under the terms of our agreement.
How do you engage with a chain operator when it comes to training?
Firstly, our business development team works with the customer to ensure that they are using the right product for the job required. The brief from the outset could be anything from improving the quality of the end-product to reducing the amount of energy consumed, or even reducing the amount of waste sent to landfill without compromising the overall cost and speed of service to the customer. Whatever the case, we make sure that a dialogue takes place with the customer to ensure their needs are met in the most appropriate way.
The brief from the outset could be anything from improving the quality of the end-product to reducing the amount of energy consumed”
What sort of maintenance support do you offer to customers?
Our UK technical team proactively works with each customer’s own installation and maintenance teams to provide best practice support and preventative maintenance advice. This can be conducted either on site, or at our Center of Excellence in Luton. All of this is free, unique to the market and can be beneficial to all customers looking to improve their maintenance costs and practices going forward.
Equipment support: From design to launch
Chipotle’s relationship with Electrolux in the UK starts from the design stage, where the manufacturer’s product experts work with its food and design teams, as well as its shop fitters, to ensure that the specification of the units are capable of the required output, in addition to being easy to operate, clean, and maintain.
At the roll-out stage, the manufacturer then provides on-site training for the staff to ensure they know how to operate at all levels. This training is provided on a continuous basis, which is particularly useful if new staff come into the business or the workforce expands as a result of store openings.
Regular contact also provides the opportunity to update software on the equipment as and when they are available, so staff can benefit from the latest free revisions.
Menu-specific settings, developed as part of the pre-sales support provided to Chipotle, are inputted into the equipment at this stage to ensure every site is able to achieve the same consistent results.
Following that, technical training is provided with Chipotle’s maintenance team to ensure that each and every product it buys is proactively looked after and that downtime is avoided to keep operations running smoothly.
As and when new products are introduced, this training is booked in advance to ensure that the technical support is available in-house before roll-out.