Restaurant giant Subway has named foodservice equipment manufacturer Manitowoc its global ‘Vendor of the Year’ for 2015.
The sandwich chain said the award was given in recognition of the “hard work and dedication” shown by the supplier’s Manitowoc Ice and Merrychef brands in supporting it through innovation, enhanced operations and customer service. Merrychef products are made in the UK at Manitowoc’s Sheffield factory.
“Manitowoc as a company comes to us with innovations on a regular basis to see if they fit our needs and if it is something that would really benefit the Subway brand,” said Frank Buffone, senior manager of Subway Operations. “It’s great having a supplier that really makes the Subway brand better. They bring innovation to the Subway brand that puts us in a better place than we were before they joined the team.”
Manitowoc received its award at Subway’s recent 50th anniversary convention, which was held in the US, where the chain originates. Manitowoc was one of four vendors nominated for the award and the only one from the catering equipment industry. The others were Pacific Natioponal Industries, Schreiber Foods and Ventura Foods.
Glen Tellock, chairman and CEO of Manitowoc, says the company is always looking to add value to the relationship by challenging how else it can innovate.
“We ask questions like, ‘what is the total cost of ownership?’’ How to make products more water conserving, energy efficiency, easier to clean and easier to support?’ This philosophy leads Manitowoc Foodservice to regularly deliver innovation, like touch-screen technology and energy efficient equipment, which solve real operational problems while adding value that operators need.”
Tellock said one example of this approach is the Merrychef Eikon high-speed ovens. By taking the opportunity to talk with and listen to Subway’s buyers, it developed the oven to exceed their expectations in performance, maintenance and ease-of-use. Technology such as touch-screens and energy savings were all ideas that came from customer dialogue, he added.
Subway said the development of Manitowoc Ice’s patented LuminiceGrowth Inhibitor, meanwhile, had helped it meet strict food hygiene and sanitisation requirements.
Subway is now present in 110 countries and boasts more than 44,000 franchised locations. The company, founded 50 years ago by then-17-year-old Fred DeLuca and friend Dr. Peter Buck, is still a family-owned business.