The procurement vehicle that supplies hospitality products and services to all Hilton hotels as well as other independent hotel brands is to play a stronger role in the provision of commercial kitchen equipment in future, it can be revealed.
Hilton Supply Management (HSM), which has been operating for more than 50 years, provides a wide range of items to hotel properties in more than 100 countries and influences $6 billion (£4.5 billion) worth of annual spend by leveraging economies of scale.
Andy Earley, senior director, category management EMEA, at HSM, said the business recently made catering equipment a focused category within its organisation and it intends to ramp it up heading into 2020.
“One of the things we have not done very well – and I will hold my hands up – is we have never really had an effective equipment strategy. I am delighted to say that as of June this year we recruited a dedicated equipment category manager to fulfil that research gap that we needed,” he explained. “Equipment is now a dedicated category and we will develop the resource for that category going forward.”
Speaking at the recent CESA Conference, Mr Earley – who revealed that the new equipment head is based in Frankfurt but will travel to the UK regularly – told manufacturers that it will be “delighted to have conversations with you about how we develop our equipment sourcing strategy”.
One area of particular interest for the organisation is project procurement and assisting new hotels with F&B planning, concept development and food delivery.
“That project procurement team has solely been focused on front of house, rooms and public areas etcetera, but we will start to get to grips with kitchen design and supporting the kitchen consultants with our preferred programmes and get those preferred brands and manufacturers into the hotel openings,” he revealed.
Hilton plans to open 40 properties in the UK alone during the next three years, Mr Earley said.