An Edinburgh restaurant that has designed a new kitchen around the latest Rational equipment is confident it will serve as a blueprint from which to mount an expansion programme.
Popular eatery Loudons has just launched its second site in the city and is treating it as a testbed for further growth.
Director Douglas Humphrey said the expansion is dependent on the procedures it has established behind the scenes to allow it to scale the business.
“When we first opened we wanted to cater for as many people as we could,” he explained. “We didn’t just want one vegan option, one gluten free option and so on, we wanted to offer a varied menu accounting for as many different dietary requirements as possible.
“We operate a cook-cool system here. All our food is produced in our central production kitchen, it’s then sent out to the service kitchens each day. The food is reheated and then finished on site. This system lets us handle a large, a la carte menu serving up to 600 meals a day, while minimising cooking times in the service kitchen.”
Following on from a redesign of their kitchen into an open plan space that allows customers to see everything happening, Loudons has put in a selection of Rational appliances across its sites.
This includes a VarioCookingCenter 211, several SelfCookingCenters and XS compact combi ovens, the latter of which is used in its smaller service kitchen to deliver the same a la carte menu but on a different scale.
Mr Humphrey said the kitchen processes have changed dramatically since it got the new equipment. It has become much easier to experiment with different recipes and changes to the menu can be done instantly.
“The kitchen here is the blueprint of our future, and it seems that with Rational’s help we can easily expand from this foundation,” he commented.