Connected kitchens are the way forward for Oakman Inns

Polecat Inn, Prestwood

Pub group Oakman Inns says that embracing connected catering equipment is paying dividends for its kitchens by reducing downtime and keeping the guesswork out of reporting issues that need addressing.

The group now operates more than 30 sites but managing a business that covers such diverse locations is a complex task, so picking reliable equipment is vital.

“Managing equipment is very challenging, so we always carefully consider the service contracts first,” explained procurement manager Armend Aljo. “For me, getting equipment from a manufacturer that offers service and maintenance on its products is ideal, as you know the engineers will be specifically trained on it, you’ll always be getting genuine spare parts and so on.”

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One of the core components of its kitchen set-up is the Rational ovens that it has used in sites since it launched in 2007.

Last year it signed a direct service and maintenance contract with the brand in order to ensure maximum availability and operational safety.

It was attracted by the manufacturer’s offer of remote monitoring for all of its machines at once, which assists with maintenance.

A dedicated team monitors Oakman’s Rational cooking systems across the entire estate, allowing it to instantly identify issues and assign accredited service partners to fix them before they cause noticeable disruptions.

“ConnectedCooking takes most of the guesswork out of reporting issues that need addressing,” said Mr Aljo. “In fact, it works so quickly and accurately that we often don’t need to call out engineers because they’re aware of it before we are.

“Regular planned maintenance reduces the probability of unplanned downtime to a minimum, with inspections scheduled according to each client’s availability. This allows for long-term planning while retaining the flexibility to adjust to changing circumstances.”

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Andrew Seymour

The author Andrew Seymour

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