The winner of the Operator of the Year for Innovative Kitchen Design category is Las Iguanas.
This accolade, sponsored by Ceda, recognises the significance of a well-designed kitchen to achieving a happy team of chefs, impeccable service and outstanding food, and aims to recognise multi-site operators that have invested in new kitchens and spent time identifying the right design and lay-out to ensure operational excellence.
In a change from tradition, this category was decided following a live ‘Dragon’s Den’ style pitching session that took place at the Commercial Kitchen show yesterday afternoon.
The finalists each had five minutes to outline the key innovations that have shaped their kitchen environments over the past 12 months – with an expert judging panel assembled by Ceda making the final decision.
All the participating finalists delivered a tremendous pitch and were all worthy winners.
Las Iguanas makes no secret of the fact that the structure of its kitchens is very different to your standard operator and that is one of the main reasons it has been able to remove complexity from its set-up while proudly giving chefs the tools to produce more than 30 different sauces and salsas in-house every day.
Carefully-crafted kitchen templates support a philosophy based entirely around efficiency, ensuring teams can build and execute quickly without compromising quality.
A willingness to embrace new cooking platforms and methods of regeneration means its kitchens are not averse to incorporating alternative technology if it means the chain can support its goal of delivering authentic South American cuisine to its customers.
Glenn Evans, head of food development at Las Iguanas (pictured receiving his award from Ceda chairman Derek Maher), said: “This award recognises how we’ve grown and what we’ve done to introduce innovative equipment. We have evolved our kitchens to serve the needs of both our customers and our chefs.”
- Las Iguanas
- Taco Bell
- TGI Fridays
- Pizza Express