The ‘Rational question’ is the one we get asked most, admits kitchen rental chief

Rational oven at Foodstars

One of the UK’s leading providers of kitchen space for rent admits the most popular question it gets asked is whether its sites feature Rational ovens.

Foodstars equips each of the 50 kitchen units it owns with a starter package of combi oven, gas range, industrial sinks, fridge freezers and work benches, but allows users to bring in and remove equipment as they need.

With Rational claiming a market share of upwards of 50% in the UK, it’s no surprise that many clients want to know whether they’ll be able to cook on the brand’s equipment.

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Foodstars co-founder Will Beresford says the business simply sets out to provide the most sought-after equipment for use on a flexible and temporary basis.

“We always want Rationals, as everyone does,” he said. “It’s the first question that gets asked 90% of the time when companies come in. They go, ‘do you do Rationals?’ So we do. We also have some Hobart, Electrolux Professional and Bartlett Yeoman ovens and for the fridges clients prefer the more reputable brands, Williams and Foster fridges.”

While it is important for Beresford to furnish the sites with top-of-the-range equipment, he acknowledges that sometimes cost-cutting measures come first.

Rather than forking out thousands for a piece of equipment for a kitchen that he can’t watch over while an ever-changing culinary team puts it through its paces, the Foodstars team has decided to go an alternative route.

Foodstars has kitted out its kitchens almost exclusively with second-hand products that are regularly maintained in a bid to slash upfront costs.

“If someone if going to invest in expensive equipment, they tend to invest themselves. I’m not watching a business’ six chefs a day slamming doors and being careless with ovens and fridges and not treating equipment the way it should be treated so that is why we can’t justify spending the big bucks on equipment.”

In less than two years the company has developed four separate facilities comprising 50 individual kitchens in Bethnall Green, Vauxhall, Bermondsey and most recently in Shoreditch, which opened its doors in September. Its clients include Bill’s Restaurants, Mustard Catering, Gym Food, Dinnergise and Bel-Air.

The full interview features in the December issue, which can be downloaded for free here.

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