Sussex food-to-go specialist Bagelman has revealed how the introduction of new accelerated oven technology into its stores has transformed the way it produces its core product on site.
The chain has been baking bagels since 1996, attracting something of a cult following on the south coast where it is based.
Its “secret” bagel recipe, coupled with an endless array of toppings, has helped the company to expand to five sites in the Brighton and Hove area, including a unit at Brighton train station.
The company is also one of the first in the UK to introduce recently-launched Merrychef’s eikon e2s oven to its business, and for operations manager, Lyn Tyler, it has made a notable difference to the kitchen.
“Bringing Merrychef into the business has eliminated three pieces of equipment,” she says. “We used to use a toaster, a grill and a microwave — now we have consistency, and the standardisation for us is fantastic. We have two programmes in the e2s, for one bagel and for two bagels, it is as simple as that. Staff love it because they press a button and it does exactly the same thing every time and they don’t have to think about the production of the food at that point.”
The company’s goals for the future include expanding the business beyond Brighton into other towns or train stations, while it also remains open to franchise proposals.
For Tyler, the e2s is exactly the sort of catering equipment that offers it the flexibility to be able to take the concept to virtually any location.
“The eikon e2s oven allows us to go into smaller units,” she says. “The footprint of the machine itself, being a lot smaller than the previous e4 that we have used, means that for franchise purposes, or new units, we can put it into a smaller unit and need less counter space.”