Falcon Foodservice Equipment yesterday paid tribute to the partners and customers that have played their part in the company reaching an astonishing 200 years in business.
The cooking equipment manufacturer commemorated the occasion by inviting more than 150 of its business partners and dealers to join it for a five-course meal on board the Bateaux London as it cruised down the River Thames.
Sales director Lawrence Hughes expressed the company’s gratitude to all the partners it works with before Falcon’s managing director Peter McAllister – who joined the business 18 months ago – shared his thoughts.
“Prior to joining I did my due diligence on the business but it wasn’t until I met the team and spent time with some of our customers that I fully appreciated just how valued and respected that red Falcon badge is,” he said.
“So what is Falcon? We’re not just a business or a manufacturer of catering equipment. I believe we are so much more than that. Falcon has been part of the UK foodservice industry since the very start and the reason we’re still an important part of the industry is down to everyone in this room. I would like to thank you all for your support over the years.
“At Falcon we are privileged that we have a legacy that has been handed down by the people who went before us and we will do our very best to uphold the values and traditions that Falcon stands for – quality, value and reliability – whilst ensuring we continue to innovate and adapt to the ever-changing needs of the market.”
Mr McAllister said that while everyone was there to celebrate Falcon’s 200th anniversary, its history doesn’t define it.
“I have a fantastic team at Falcon and rest assured that we are investing heavily in new product development. We have recently released our new HD Dominator and our new safety fryer. We have a new induction range launching in January, closely followed by a Dominator flexi pan.
“We have a number of other new and innovative products in development that you will see very soon. As well as new products we are also investing heavily in our business systems and processes and there will be more to come on that very soon.”
Among the guests on board were Colin Nevitt, Neil Roseweir and William Scott, all long-serving Falcon stalwarts who have now retired from the industry but made it down to London for the occasion.
Mr McAllister’s speech was followed by one from Tim Smith, CEO of Falcon’s parent company AFE Group, which itself is part of the Ali Group.
He shared some insight into Falcon’s origins, which are rooted in the heart of the industrial revolution and production of cast iron at The Carron Ironworks, which by 1815 was the largest foundry in Europe.
In 1819, some of the ironmasters left to set up The Falkirk Iron Company, which was the start of Falcon as it is known today, Mr Smith said.
The Falkirk Ironworks turned its hand to many different products – even munitions during several wars – including stoves and cookers.
In 2004 the business relocated to Stirling, where its state-of-the-art factory exists today in the shadow of the famous Wallace Monument. More than 200 staff are employed at the site, which is also home to its development kitchen.
Mr Smith said: “We are proud to supply Falcon products to royal palaces and stately homes, and of course our schools, universities, hospitals and the public sector community. Many a pub, club, hotel and restaurant recognises Falcon for its quality, performance and reliability in their kitchen.
“I am very proud to have Falcon as part of our group and ever indebted to all of you who continue to support Falcon and promote our products to all the hoteliers, restaurateurs, chefs and caterers in our industry. We don’t get to be 200-years-old without good customers, good suppliers and good work colleagues, and we look forward to continuing our partnership with you for another century to come.”