With almost 50 R&D technicians on its books, it is no surprise that Unox has a reputation for being one of the most innovative suppliers of combi and bakery ovens on the market. Its latest range of systems are designed to adapt to the exact requirements of their users, reveals UK managing director Gary Nunn.
Unox is one of the pioneers of data-driven cooking. Are customers now making use of connectivity or do you think there is still some way to go?
Some of our multiple-site customers are using the system and benefitting from it, however we have a long way to go — and in truth I feel that we have maybe not explained its benefits in a clear and concise way. There are now a lot of data collection systems in the market, however ours does work very well and offers clients a whole host of benefits and cost savings.
Working in a variety of markets , there really isn’t one particular feature, however Steam Boost on the bakery ovens is fantastic while Super Steam, which was actually developed in the field in Asia, offers the users of combis the ability to perfect Asian dishes.
Your ovens are used by many different operators, from high-end restaurants to petrol stations. Are there any sectors you’re now in that you simply wouldn’t have envisaged in the past?
Yes, we are definitely more involved today with breweries. We now have ovens in most of the leading brewery groups. One other sector in which we have seen a rise is contract caterers, which we will hopefully further penetrate with our next generation of ovens, to be launched shortly.
You’ve invested heavily in your service and support capabilities and recently brought an in-house development chef on board. What impact has that had?
That one single appointment has already had a massive impact on our business. Clients today can get full culinary support from Unox UK. We are now able to take a 360-degree view of the client’s needs and offer full support and suggestions on the complete project. This has been a major advantage to us with the launch of the Evereo cabinet.
Talking of the Evereo, what benefits can it offer to foodservice operators?
It all hinges on how the operators intend to use the unit. Some are cooking and holding, which offers the benefits of slow cooking at precise temperatures with low energy costs and increased quality of finished product. Others are using it to extend holding times, which means service pinch points are smoothed out, and others are using it to produce specific products. For instance, we have a client that uses the unit just to produce poached eggs — in the shell! It has reduced their wastage of broken eggs to a minimum.
What is the big strategic focus for Unox this year?
2019 is a massive year for the whole Unox family as we start the development of our new Unox Village in Italy. With the planning permissions all passed, we are now starting the second stage, which will see us build several new factories and take our total in-house component manufacture to 97%. We also have a new range of ‘BIG’ ovens launching shortly along with other models in Q3 of this year.
Unox is sponsoring the Operator of the Year for Menu Development at the 2019 FEJ Awards. For more information visit www.myunox.com or follow @UnoxUK