A wrap chain that embarked on a mission to source the best equipment around when it set up a central production kitchen four years ago says its strategy has paid off after leveraging its facilities to produce food for other operators.
Natural fast food specialist Wrap It Up! made an investment of £1.5m four years ago when it set up a state-of-the-art production kitchen in East London to serve its growing network of high street stores.
While the production kitchen was built with its own shops in mind, it always knew that it could tap into the extra capacity that the sites offered.
And with market conditions and cost pressures prompting a growing number of retail operators to outsource the production of core menu items, the business has seized the opportunity to expand into food manufacturing.
“More than 50% of the revenue now comes from third party manufacturing,” managing director Tayub Mushtaq told FEJ. “And that is going to increase to almost 80% over the next two years. So in two years’ time, only 20% will come from servicing Wrap It Up! It has all been made possible by the investments that we have made in the kitchen and the equipment — the Rational ovens and Frimas, the vac-pac machines, the chillers. Four years in they are still working hard.”
Mr Mushtaq predicts that the total investment the business made in the kitchen at the outset will be repaid by next year and there is still room for it to grow.
“When we began we were producing four to five tonnes of food a week. We’re now producing 10 to 12 tonnes but the capacity is 40 to 50. Labour has increased in proportion to the growth, but generally it is one of those situations where as our sales increase everything else generally decreases.”
Recently the company was awarded the highly sought-after SALSA accreditation. It is granted to food suppliers who pass a stringent audit demonstrating that they are able to produce safe and legal food for third party sale.
The full interview with Tayub Mustaq can be found in the latest digital edition HERE.