The Supplier of the Year – Training & Education, sponsored by the Foodservice Equipment Association, honours suppliers and manufacturers that have invested extensively in education programmes for the benefit of the industry over the past 12 months.
We are delighted to announce that the 2020 shortlist includes the following suppliers:
First Choice Group
By partnering with the likes of the FEA, and becoming a host venue for the CFSP courses in the past year, First Choice Group has shown itself to be a pillar of training and education in the UK foodservice sector. Helping to support everyone from dealers, distributors and wholesalers, to end users, operators and suppliers, the facilities, services and programme of training and education offered by First Choice can rival that of virtually any other supplier in the industry. First Choice Group continues to make full use of its advanced facilities in Cannock, with many events focusing purely on training and education for different parts of the foodservice industry.
Jestic Foodservice Solutions
Despite the pandemic, Jestic still invested in new technology so its training and education programmes could continue. This has included a multi-point live camera system which has enabled it to offer live training and demonstrations to dealers and operators via Zoom in all areas of its test kitchen. Since lockdown was lifted it has also ensured its demonstration kitchens are completely Covid-compliant so that it can still carry out live demos for limited numbers for the full Jestic experience. The supplier has also expanded on its inventory of trial equipment. This library of equipment allows it to loan appliances to potential and existing customers looking to trial new concepts or introduce new technology to their kitchen.
Pizza equipment specialist LLK goes from strength to strength with its Oldham-based demonstration kitchens. The advanced facility allows the LLK team to welcome distributors to update them on bespoke sales training along with engineer training, disseminating truly essential, in-depth product knowledge. The company’s in-house facilities also allow the LLK team to get to grips with their own new products and test them before releasing to market. Furthermore, this year the firm has assisted operators in reinventing their businesses into home delivery and takeaway operations to comply with Covid regulations, via publicity drives with blog posts and through social media. A proactive company with a positive outlook, LLK works hard to engage with its stakeholders.
Prior to lockdown, Maidaid had further developed both its sales and engineering training days which are held monthly at its head office in Brackley. In addition, its service team has held dedicated training days to cater for its distributors with a large number of engineers who can only be off the road at certain times due to the nature of the industry. During lockdown, Maidaid hosted online sales training sessions on specific machine ranges to further enhance its distributors’ knowledge on its full product portfolio. The in-house technical team also used this opportunity to put together further training literature and, when requested, tailored training packs and carried out technical assistance digitally.
Training and education have always been a vital part of Rational’s business, from its popular Rational Live events, to its post-sales support, and a suite of apps to help with staff training. This pre-existing framework helped when, just days before the launch of the iCombi Pro and iVario Pro, lockdown was imposed. In order to ensure the launch could go ahead, Rational began developing online marketing resources to help educate accredited Deal dealers and end users, building on its existing material but expanding it into a more comprehensive programme. This included transferring the Rational Live sessions to an online format and running a series of webinars featuring Rational’s expert chefs preparing a range of dishes with the iCombi and iVario.
Eligible senior industry professionals will be invited to vote for their winner in an online vote over the next two weeks.
The winners of each category will be announced throughout Kitchen Equipment & Awards Week, which commences Monday 30 November.