Welsh brewery group S.A. Brain & Co believes new developments in kitchen automation and energy efficiency have a key part to play as it expands its food and kitchen offering across its estate.
The Cardiff-based outfit runs more than 200 pubs throughout Wales and the South West, and has invested heavily in improving its kitchen credentials through apprenticeship programmes and enhanced internal kitchen training schemes.
Nathan Evans, kitchens skills manager at Brains, said the commitment it is making in skilling up its chefs needs to be underpinned by a focus on innovation to ensure that its kitchens are benefitting from the latest equipment.
“Innovation is essential, not just for competing against our rivals but more importantly ensuring that our guests are getting the best experience possible. Some of these are driven through regulatory changes, others through industry demand but a lot now through technology. ‘Tech’ is now available in most kitchen items should you want to move towards automation and speed including WiFi capabilities,” he said.
Mr Evans’ role spans the entire catering operation at Brains, meaning he is responsible for everything from skills training and food safety to kitchen design and operational efficiencies.
He said it was clear that energy efficiency is a major focus for catering equipment manufacturers at the moment and noted that technology is defiantly helping in this area.
“Getting the same speed and quality whilst reducing the energy consumption is a big challenge but there are clearly manufacturers out that that are leading the way on this front and it is definitely something we are incorporating into our kitchen equipment spec and install across combi ovens, chargrills and fryers,” he said.