Loungers expects the roll-out of a £6m ‘kitchen re-set’ programme to continue throughout 2020 as improvements to the efficiency of its back-of-house operations are implemented across its estate.
The initiative, which also focuses on making the working environment better for its kitchen teams, has already been completed in 58 Lounge sites.
Work on the 18-month programme is due to recommence in January 2020 and will also be extended to new-builds.
At the moment, the company – which completed an IPO this year – is still on course to open new sites at a rate of 25 a year.
The re-set programme dovetails with a wider focus on channelling food development towards food delivery consistency, maintaining product quality and making chefs’ lives easier.
Since beginning the re-set programme, Loungers has introduced a kitchen management system to speed up kitchen ticket times, deployed hot-holding for select ingredients to boost speed of service in big volume sites and installed high speed panini grills that have transformed its lunchtime service.
It has teamed up with Foster Refrigerator to install undercounter fridge drawers below its flat tops for easy access to food items that need to go straight on the grill and added station fridges with saladettes for all garnishes and ‘to hand’ food items.
A focus on reducing the rate at which chefs cross over one another has led to fewer movements in the kitchen and improved the kitchen flow, while reduced complexity has also created a more efficient environment for chefs in sites that have been re-set.
Both Lounge and Cosy Club continue to work hard to evolve and develop their customer proposition, and last month the group rolled out new winter food menus that have been well-received by guests.
Sales at the company, which now operates 161 sites, have increased 22% to £80m over the last six months.