Marston’s says that long-term supply agreements with key catering equipment suppliers illustrates the level of focus that now goes into specifying the right equipment for its kitchen estate.
The pub chain has a six-strong team at its Wolverhampton HQ that that looks after catering equipment and it makes sure that all bases are considered – from price and parts availability to energy consumption and support – before taking any decisions.
As the process for selecting kit have become more robust, so too have the partnerships it has developed with key suppliers.
“It is something that we never really had in place before. Now we have got good deals with certain brands and we can go directly to them and make sure they have got everything we need and a ready supply of it, including the parts. We have a big say in the kind of equipment we put in our pubs and that is really important.”
Refrigeration is one clear example. There was a time when Marston’s used a range of refrigeration brands across its estate, but it now currently works closely with Foster Refrigerator after undertaking a huge supplier review several years ago that assessed everything from the energy performance of the equipment through to the quality of account management support.
It recently tendered gain and had the opportunity to switch to a “lesser known” brand that would have saved a significant amount in capital costs, but according to Chris White, energy manager at Marston’s, the decision to award the contract to Foster for a further five years is testament to the way it now considers the bigger picture.
He said: “I think if you were looking at it based just on the cost outlay, you would have made the change and even if you looked at the kit side by side, it looked fairly similar. But this is why bringing everyone in the room is really important, because actually that decision didn’t happen. It stayed with Foster, which we perceived as better quality and more expensive but with a lower operational cost over the lifetime of the equipment.”
For more on Marston’s kitchen strategy, read the latest digital issue of FEJ below.