2016 is set to be a busy year according to MD of RATIONAL UK, Lee Norton both for his brand and for the combi oven market in general. There is a definite trend for kitchens getting smaller, workforces being streamlined and value for money being appreciated. “Consumers are more choosy when it comes to food,” he comments. “Where they eat relies on two main issues: consistency of food, service and quality. And when it comes to meeting these requirements, more and more food venues are turning towards the combi oven.”
Combi Oven BenefitsThe benefits of a combi oven are myriad. Not only is the cooking enhanced but a combi oven reduces the number of appliances required within a kitchen, hence a smaller carbon footprint. This equates to cost savings in terms of energy, which is a key incentive for catering establishments. In addition, continues Mr Norton, the versatility of a combi oven augments the variety of food able to be delivered. “Healthier foods are now a major requirement for both public and private caterers,” he explains. “The RATIONAL Self Cooking Center oven can deliver a fully cooked breakfast with no additional fat or oil. Major catering names such as Premier Inn are now implementing the concept as they realise the cost savings in terms of reduced cooking times and fewer appliances such as separate frying pans, and a reduced number of kitchen staff.”
70% Combi Oven Market ShareRATIONAL still holds in the region of 70% of the UK combi oven market share, with growth expected to yet again reach double digits in the next twelve months. “The catering industry received a major boost in 2014 with the introduction of free school meals, and this also had a positive effect on the private sector, which realised an exponential growth last year,” continues Mr Norton. “We have seen an expansion in our own personnel:
- We now have 23 development chefs around the UK and a comprehensive service partner network, of which AC Services (Southern) is a vital player.
- We have more than 200 engineers providing same day coverage, with a first time fix rate in excess of 95%.