As Covid-19 continues to impact on operators, Unox UK is helping chefs to overcome their challenges through pioneering product innovation, pricing support and Data Driven Cooking technology. Gary Nunn, managing director of Unox UK, explains how the manufacturer is taking steps to support customers through these difficult times.
There is no doubt about it, these are challenging times for the hospitality industry. Covid-19 and the subsequent restrictions have taken their toll on everyone from independent restaurants to large casual dining chains.
However, it’s not all doom and gloom, and one positive has been the way in which our industry has collaborated and rallied together to support one other.
With challenges, come opportunities and I have seen many success stories of operators pivoting their business, making the most of delivery and click and collect options to reduce overheads and drive margins.
For some, this pandemic is changing the way they operate kitchens and the way in which they use kitchen equipment.
And we are delighted to be supporting our customers on that journey through a combination of product innovation, pricing support and technical excellence.
Pioneering product innovation: Meeting changing equipment trends
Kitchen trends are changing as a result of COVID-19. Whether it is due to tiering restrictions or cost-saving measures (or more likely a combination of both), many operators have developed their delivery and click & collect services, in some cases moving their entire operations from high street locations to one satellite kitchen.
Some of our clients who were previously taking £30,000 per week in a retail environment are now achieving £25,000 per week in takeaways alone – so it is clear to see why they would close retail outlets to save rates, rents and salaries.
Of course, different ways of working require different equipment; a large delivery operation requires more holding and there are often smaller dishes produced, for example.
We have responded with continued product development including the Evereo hot fridge, which replaces the energy intensive processes of blast chilling and regenerating with one compact, energy efficient unit to redefine hot holding; and the Bakerlux Speed.Pro, the first speed baking oven which saves kitchen space by combining the performance of both convection and high-speed ovens.
In addition, we are looking forward to the forthcoming launch of the Multi.Day hot vacuum, a revolutionary concept which allows chefs to vacuum hot food for the first time and hold it safely in the Evereo.
We are also working to further improve the efficiency of our ovens, bringing forward software upgrades to the beginning of 2021 which will help operators to cut costs and drive sustainability.
At Unox we’re aware that budgets are tight for many in the industry, but now is not the time to buy cheap if it ends up costing you more to run.
Our focus is on delivering software upgrades which will reduce running costs and minimise the cost of equipment over its lifetime, rather than downgrading quality and reducing the quality of components to help chip away at the purchase price.
Pricing support: Price reductions for post-COVID budgets
Talking of pricing, we have also been busy building a series of Covid packages to help operators navigate these difficult times.
For example, we have slashed the list price of the Speed.Pro by 43%, recognising that this innovative oven can really help operators to meet changing demand but taking into account the inevitable cashflow challenges faced by many.
We have also introduced further price reduction across the Unox portfolio and imported a less technical range of ovens from our global business called the Zero range, providing a lower price entry point for post-Covid budgets without compromising on Unox standards and quality.
Data-driven cooking: Driving efficiency through technology
On top of all this, we continue to offer the benefits of Data Driven Cooking (DDC), making best use of data from connected devices to drive productivity, efficiency and cost-effectiveness.
By incorporating DDC into our range, users can collect data and processes information, analyse the modes of use and produce daily reports.
They can also connect to the internet to send recipes and download HACCP data to any oven in any part of the world.
DDC enables operators to enhance safety and transparency, optimise water and energy efficiency, and even eliminate waste to maximise profits.
It has never been more important to drive cost savings and all of this points to a more cost-effective, time-efficient kitchen with complete peace of mind over food safety and compliance auditing.
Led by our global development team, Unox is always looking to improve the functionality of our DDC technology and we are working towards integrating it into the entire Unox product range.
These upgrades include the addition of a scheduling programme, which enables large operators to maximise the working time of their ovens and drive significant energy savings.
Want to know more?
To speak to the Unox team about how they can support you with new products, menu development support and technical expertise, call 01252 851522 or visit www.unox.com.