British manufacturer European WaterCare has been trading for two decades and now employs some 60 staff dedicated to providing customers with the water treatment solutions they require from its 55,000 square foot production facility in Harlow. FEJ caught up with sales and marketing director, Dan Twiss, to discuss the importance of correct procurement and find out why leaving equipment untreated is a big mistake.
Tell us a bit about the business — what sort of service and support do you offer foodservice operators?
Our unique position within the market place allows us to offer a complete solution to group operators. Our range of products means that we can provide solutions right across the commercial kitchen and coffee environments. Our products provide scale-related and water enhancement solutions to combi ovens, warewashing equipment, water boilers, ice machines, post-mix systems and all types of coffee machines.
Combining this with excellent support staff and in-field, nationwide technicians we are able to offer planned preventative maintenance programmes at fixed, low prices to offer peace of mind that commercial kitchens and equipment will continue to operate and run smoothly with minimal downtime.
What is European WaterCare’s product strategy, and what plans do you have in store for 2019?
Our strategy for 2019 is based around quality and range improvement. We are taking a critical look at our products and making positive steps to improve every product in our range. We have also added new products like the Combi Pump, a new grease trap called Grease Chief and a new range of coffee cleaning chemicals. We’re also aware of the growing presence of connected products and are working on a connected water filter range to give even greater visibility and management to the products.
We are taking a critical look at our products and making positive steps to improve every product in our range”
Water treatment tends to be the ‘unseen’ part of a commercial kitchen — how much of a challenge is it to be heard among chefs and operators?
Water treatment success is about knowledge and education. We run training academies at our head office for distributor and group operator staff to allow attendees to gain a better understanding of the need for treatment, the importance of correct procurement and the implications of leaving equipment untreated.
You talk about achieving ‘optimal’ water for kitchens — what constitutes ‘optimal’ and what are the benefits of this?
Optimal water is subjective. Successfully pairing the right treatment to the right product to get a client’s desired result is dependent on a number of factors. In consultation with our clients, we can ascertain an understanding of the equipment being served and carry out water analysis. We will also then check site conditions such as water pressure, space and available services. With all this information, we would then be confident of providing optimal water for their needs.What are the biggest myths that exist around water treatment?
I’m not sure about myths but there are a number of preconceptions surrounding water treatment. These are mainly based around cost and the capabilities of different products. The initial cost of water treatment can be seen to ‘add’ cost to any install or operation. However, the cost of repairs or replacement of equipment left untreated and allowed to scale or corrode due to the aggressive nature of the incoming water will, in almost all cases, far outweigh the cost of a well-managed water filter exchange or service programme.
How would you assess the awareness of water treatment solutions among foodservice operators in the UK?
The majority of operators and chefs appreciate the requirement for water treatment to protect catering equipment and maintain an uninterrupted service to their clients. However, as with all ‘unseen’ products (think oil in your car or batteries) they can be forgotten and, if not replaced at the correct intervals, will cause faults and breakdowns. Those that aren’t aware of the importance of the protection offered by water treatment often become very aware when equipment fails and additional costs are involved to get that equipment working again.
4 top tips for choosing the right water filtration solution
1. The size of equipment determines the size of the filter or softener needed, so it’s important to know what equipment is being served to provide a solution that is fit for purpose.
2. Remember that the makeup of the water on site is key. An ion exchange filter won’t remove chlorides, you’ll need an RO for that.
3. Usage can change, so bear that in mind. If business booms and the equipment is working for longer at each service, you’re going to need a bigger filter to cope with the extra water.
4. An efficient, managed exchange programme for exchange and service of equipment will help to maintain maximum protection and efficiency.