FEJ AWARDS 2021 SHORTLIST: Operator of the Year for Multi-site Kitchen Projects

Operator of the Year for Multi-Site Kitchen Projects 2021

The Operator of the Year for Multi-Site Kitchen Projects reflects the fact that expansion is the name of the game for many multi-site foodservice operators and that managing the challenge in terms of implementing new kitchens is an art in itself.

This category recognises operators that have successfully managed significant site and kitchen roll-outs in the last 12 months.

We are delighted to announce that the 2021 shortlist includes the following operators:

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Whitbread’s flagship restaurant brand now totals more than 175 sites due to the acceleration of its reopening programme following the easing of social distancing restrictions. Intrinsically linked to the ever-growing Premier Inn portfolio, kitchen roll-outs in locations such as Saffron Walden and Glasgow have ensured there is a tried and trusted F&B operation to support new-build properties with big expectations. Value for money is integral to the brand ethos, with the kitchen template team carrying out comprehensive work to ensure its cooking platforms can meet the waves of demand they face. With breakfast, lunch and dinner service, and an emphasis on high quality dishes fresh from the grill, its kitchens are put through their paces on a daily basis.  

Five Guys

The premium burger brand continues to witness huge appetite for its offer in the UK and has opened a string of new stores around the country to expand its presence, including in London where it has launched a ‘City flagship’ site in Bishopsgate and a 3,000 square site in Walthamstow. Buoyed by the success of its ‘curbside’ scheme, which was launched during the pandemic to allow customers to collect orders without leaving their vehicles, the company has worked on developing a drive-thru concept. A consistent kitchen template has been the backbone of Five Guys’ success. Every burger is cooked to order and fully customisable, while large portion sizes and fresh ingredients have made it popular with customers looking for great value. 


When it comes to multi-site kitchen projects, Marston’s continues to demonstrate a firm commitment to investing in its operations, including the kitchens, and notwithstanding the pandemic this approach has remained. Suppliers say that over the last 12 months, the pub group’s leadership team have delivered on kitchen project work as well as taking the opportunity to explore product and brand innovation to help the business become more agile and benefit from some of the new and developing trends in the foodservice sector. Marston’s takes a long-term view on future kitchen requirements and uses a data-led strategy to establish the ways in which operations can be improved to reduce energy and carbon footprint as new sites are rolled out. 

Robinsons Brewery
Stockport-based Robinsons Brewery, which operates more than 240 tenanted and 20 managed pubs in North Wales and the North West of England, continued to invest in its pubs throughout the pandemic with a multimillion pound refurbishment programme involving multiple sites. Many beer gardens have been transformed into relaxing spaces with marquees, pods and outdoor catering areas, increasing the number of covers and allowing for a more comfortable dining experience. It has also invested in the six pubs acquired through the takeover of Individual Inns, including at The Wheatsheaf in Cumbria, where a comprehensive kitchen extension and the installation of new catering equipment has enabled the kitchen to meet customer and deliver a menu of freshly-cooked pub favourites.


Despite the downturn caused by the Covid pandemic, Wenzel’s has maintained its focus on expansion and even managed to complete half a dozen projects throughout the pandemic. It now boasts more than 70 branches in the south east of the country, with aspirations to open a further 20 in the near future. In order to achieve its objectives, the chain has invested significant resources in product development, training and store design. Feasibility studies are central to equipment specification, with the firm evaluating volume, ROI, flexibility and efficiency when making decisions around the suitability of equipment. More than £2m has been invested in new machinery and infrastructure to enable the business to meet its stated goal of delivering quality products at affordable prices.

The 2021 FEJ Awards ceremony and gala dinner takes place on Thursday 23 September, the first evening of the Commercial Kitchen show, at the Hilton Canary Wharf.



Tags : FEJ AwardsFEJ Awards 2021Operator of the Year for Multi-site Kitchen Projects
Andrew Seymour

The author Andrew Seymour

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