Category Archives: Rational

11 
Dec

AC Services Christmas Opening Times

AC Services Christmas Opening Times 2018So the big day is not far away, for which the country stocks up on totally unnecessary items for the festive period just in case they are needed. It’s amazing what you find on your shelves in February.

But rejoice, it’s at least another year before we hear those dreaded words again – Black Friday – and to put it in a political context, it’s only two more Brexit ministers till Christmas.

Shops have initiated Operation Santa Claus Frenzy and kids are busy writing lists using the Argos catalogue as a template.

If you followed my advice, you will have ordered the necessary cleaning accessories and booked to have your oven checked over before the holidays begin. If you haven’t, then get on to it today. Put it on that list! For those who live by the chaos theory, although the offices are closed on the key dates, we will still have engineers on call on the days in between because we know that sometimes bad things happen at the worst possible time. But just in case you are in any doubt, see below for clarification of our Christmas working hours.

AC Services Christmas Opening Times 2018

Here are AC Services Christmas opening times for 2018:

  • Thursday 20th December – normal opening hours – 8.15 a.m. to 5.15 p.m
  • Friday 21st December – normal opening hours – 8.15 a.m. to 5.15 p.m
  • Saturday 22nd December – office closed – Engineer on call for emergencies
  • Sunday 23rd December – office closed – Engineer on call for emergencies
  • Monday 24th December – Christmas Eve – office open – 8.15am to 3 p.m
  • Tuesday 25th December – Christmas Day, CLOSED
  • Wednesday 26th December – Boxing Day, CLOSED
  • Thursday 27th December – office open 8.30 a.m. – 5 p.m. (engineers available)
  • Friday 28th December – office open 8.30 a.m. – 5 p.m. (engineers available)
  • Saturday 29th December – office closed – Engineer on call for emergencies
  • Sunday 30th December – office closed – Engineer on call for emergencies
  • Monday 31st December – office open – 8.30am to 3 p.m
  • Tuesday 1st January – CLOSED

It’s back to normal working hours on Wednesday 2nd January.

If you have an emergency with your appliance telephone 01454 322222 and press the appropriate option so we can help you as quickly as we can. If you have a non-urgent issue, leave a message for when the office is next open.

LAST CHANCE

Importantly, don’t forget to order stock parts and cleaning products. The VERY LAST DATE for guaranteed Christmas delivery for an order to be placed is Wednesday 19th December at 5 p.m. We recommend that you CHECK your stock now, to make sure that you have everything you need.

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Published Date: 11th December 2018
Category: Blog, Cleaning Products, News, Ovens, Rational, Service plan
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20 
Nov

Thinking Ahead to Profit

Christmas star serviceCleaning products for your Rational oven might not be top of the shopping list right now but it should be.

We all forget something at this time of year. Sometimes the little things don’t matter, like forgetting to stock up on batteries for those annoying, noisy little gadgets that relatives take great delight in buying for the younger members of the family. But if you run out of cleaning products for your appliance, then it could be very costly indeed.

You must make sure that you have equipped yourself with plenty of oven cleaning materials.

Rational Self-Cooking-Centers have automatic cleaning programmes built into their software which makes life a lot easier. When combined with the right proprietary cleaning materials from AC Services, the ovens are not just clean but hygienic. A word of warning: using non-compatible products can cause long-term damage to your oven, can invalidate any warranty and can cause all sorts of costly problems, so make sure that you buy the products from us. It’s akin to putting petrol into a diesel car.

Orders Please

The most important thing is not to forget to place your order for your oven cleaning materials in sufficient time. If you are a catering establishment, there are so many things to consider at Christmas: the food, the décor, the orders, the extra staff…it all mounts up.

And most people have a tendency to leave things until the last moment. When they finally do remember, or simply get around to doing it, it’s often too late. So don’t leave it to the last moment to order your cleaning materials.

Lucky for you, our online shop is a lifesaver! Our aim, as always is to maintain the highest levels of customer service and although online sales may appear simply impersonal transactions, we still want to maintain the personal touch by making it a fast and simple process. It takes no time at all to enter an order and wait for the despatch of the goods.

The On-line Rational Cleaning Range

Our cleaning products are as follows:

  • Rational Oven Cleaner Tab (x100): highly concentrated tablets specially developed. A new complex set of active ingredients designed to guarantee maximum cleaning power.
  • Tablets for Rational Oven Care  (x150) with special scale-dissolving ingredients contained to prevent limescale building up. They give reliability without a water softener and the need for time-consuming descaling.
  • Rational Rinse Tablets (x50) highly effective care products ensuring active protection.
  • Rational’s Grill Cleaner (10 litres) for use with a hand spray gun.
  • Rational Rinse Aid (10 litres).

To order your Rational cleaning products, simply go to our online shop or call us on 01454 322222 for more advice.

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Published Date: 20th November 2018
Category: Blog, Cleaning Products, News, Rational
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13 
Nov

Christmas Catastrophe or Planned Perfection

AC Services keeping chefs using Rational ovens happyThe countdown is on. We’ve had Halloween and Armistice Day, not to mention a mid-term election in America plus a spate of excellent TV dramas, so now thoughts turn to the Christmas season.

When does the party season start for you? And when does it finish? New Year’s Day? What’s on all the menus? Turkey? Goose? Beef? Vegan platters? These are all pressing decisions! And let’s not forget the most important one – is your Rational oven Christmas-ready?

For those in catering, the oven is the most important gift over the festive season. If it breaks down, no amount of batteries or prayers will put it right. And few will be willing to sacrifice their own Christmas spirit to rush over to fix it.

There you have it, best case scenario – Christmas dinner ruined. Worst case scenario – frustrated and angry diners, potential court cases and an establishment with a very bad reputation. For restaurants and eateries who are planning to serve sumptuous banquets on and before the day, this could be catastrophic.

There is a solution: get your oven serviced now. Don’t wait for December, call AC Services (Southern) and avoid any last minute rush. We can guarantee that up until Christmas Eve, our engineers will be working flat out to cope with the inevitable panicked last minute rush!

Moreover, why not consider setting up a regular contract so that you can have peace of mind that your oven is looked after all year round? We have a number of options that suit both budget and business.

Value for money

What will you get for your money? Typically engineers will sort any of those annoying little faults that can compromise performance, if left unchecked. We keep our vans fully stocked so we can deliver a fix on the first visit in more than 95% of call-outs whilst we are with you.

Servicing comprises:

  • function testing and commissioning of elements
  • checking the operational mode of water, gas and electrical connections
  • testing electrical components, gas specific parts and steam generation.

You don’t even have to fret about forgetting the date of your scheduled Rational oven service. Every customer who gets their oven serviced will be issued with a reminder the month before it is due next year. So there’s no reason for you to conveniently forget!

Order Now

Finally, make sure that you have plenty of oven cleaning materials in stock. Rational Self-Cooking-Centers have automatic cleaning programmes built into their software. When used with the right cleaning materials you get cosmetic and hygienic cleanliness.

Be prepared and make sure your Rational oven is in working order for Christmas service. Call us now and we can calmly talk you through the options available on 01454 322 222. Then you’ll have peace of mind that the Christmas season will go ahead as planned.

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Published Date: 13th November 2018
Category: Blog, Catering Business, Cleaning, Ovens, Rational, Self Cooking Centre, Service plan
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19 
Sep

Qualified Catering for Care Homes?

Care homes cateringSummer has all but evaporated with the promised Indian summer failing to materialise. It’s time to put away the flip-flops and sun-cream and turn our attention to the winter months. For most, it’s terrifyingly close to the countdown to Christmas. Even John Lewis is confusing us with a pre-Christmas Christmas advert. For thousands of people in care homes, autumn as with winter bring other worries.

Hundreds of care homes are not meeting legal standards. These specify that food should be “suitable to sustain life and good health” says a report published in the Independent. Over the past three years, Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspectors have found numerous older people’s care homes failing on the legally required standards for nutrition and hydration. The most serious cases involve residents lasting almost a week with the equivalent of two cups of water and “minimal food”.

To meet the standards, regulations specify people’s religious and dietary needs must be catered for and adequate food provided. A survey conducted in March suggested “abuse” of older people, such as not giving enough time to complete meals, occurs in 99% of care homes. This is driven largely by staff shortages.

New Qualification

This is an issue that has to be addressed fast. A recent study shows that demand for care home places will rocket by more than three quarters in less than 20 years. Almost 190,000 more elderly people will require care by 2035.

If we look at catering, there’s a very worrying issue in that qualifications for care home catering are virtually non-existent. In fact, the first professional catering qualification for health and social care catering (Level 2 Award in Professional Cookery in Health and Social Care) was only officially approved by the Ofqual Regulated Qualification Framework in 2017.

The National Association of Care Catering (NACC), Hospital Caterers Association (HCA) and the awarding body of the Institute of Hospitality (IOH) developed the Level 2. It is designed for health and social care settings and offers an awareness of diet and appetite issues. It covers nutrition, hydration, food modification. Also included are the effect of dysphagia on patients and how to plan, prepare, cook and finish food for this condition.

Peter Ducker, Chief Executive, Institute of Hospitality, said: “Caterers in hospitals and care homes now have their own rigorous and specific qualification for their unique training needs. This may encourage more people to choose health and care catering as a…profession and we would urge all organisations that work in the field of health and social care to make the new qualification available.”

New Career

Funding for care homes is high on the agenda for all political parties. Not least because the belief is that the industry is at crisis point. This means inevitably that something will change soon, hopefully for the better. Having an infrastructure in place, such as specialist qualified catering staff is a positive and proactive move. With apprenticeships now back on the agenda as an alternative to higher education, there is the opportunity to recruit a new generation of chefs with a brand new qualification.

AC Services (Southern) maintains a number of Rational appliances at care homes across the South West and South Wales. We recommend Rational ovens to those care homes looking for reliability, performance and quality with their cooking requirements.

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Published Date: 19th September 2018
Category: Blog, Catering Business, News, Rational
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11 
Sep

Want Free Shipping on Rational Cleaning Products?

Free shipping on Rational cleaning productsOne of the most important aspects for any company is offering customers what they need and what they want. At AC Services (Southern) we pride ourselves on our service and our commitment to our clients in pre-empting problems through our service packages.

However, there is also the issue of consumable sales. Again, we are proud of the accessibility of our online presence in offering accessories and cleaning products. Much as we enjoy hitting the road to visit our customers, having an online shop is essential.

Customer Satisfaction

Our aim, as always is to maintain the highest levels of customer service. Customer service is usually defined as the act of ensuring customer satisfaction through product and/or services and we strongly believe in the old adage, ‘people buy people’.

We are renowned not only for our efficiency, but also for our attitude. Although online sales may appear simply impersonal transactions, we still want to maintain the personal touch. This is why we promote as many deals as possible. For instance, you can take advantage of our flat shipping rate with a £12.50 discount when used in conjunction with the code freeship. NB other charges may apply for bulk or non-mainland UK shipping .

We have introduced this deal because we are aware that we may not appear the cheapest for the Rational cleaning product you need when it comes to shipping products that fall into the hazardous goods shipment bracket. This is wholly because we use a flat rate cost contribution to shipping rather than reduce the headline cost of the product and ramp up the delivery cost.

Besides, an online sales presence is often time-saving not just for the customer but also for us. It takes no time at all to enter an order and wait for the despatch of the goods. For us, a last-minute Friday morning order for stock from a customer who hasn’t realised the extent to which stocks have dwindled could save us an emergency dash up the M5 (in rush hour, on a Friday, on the day the school holidays begin).

The On-line Rational Range

AC Services provides a full range of Rational cleaning products targeted at ensuring long-term care as a key to lifetime performance of your oven. Remember, if you have more than one Rational oven, then you may need different cleaning product combinations.

  • Rational Oven Cleaner Tab (x100): highly concentrated tablets specially developed.  A new complex set of active ingredients designed to guarantee maximum cleaning power.
  • Rational Oven Care Tablets (x150) with special scale-dissolving ingredients contained to prevent limescale building up. They give reliability without a water softener and the need for time-consuming descaling.
  • Rational Rinse Tablets (x50) highly effective care products ensuring active protection.
  • Rational Grill Cleaner (10 litres) for use with a hand spray gun.
  • Rational Rinse Aid (10 litres).

For water filtration, the products are the Brita Purity 1200 Quell ST Filter Cartridge or the  600 Quell ST Filter Cartridge.

To order your Rational cleaning products, simply go to our online shop. Don’t forget to use the coupon code freeship valid until 28th September. Or call us on 01454 322222 for more advice.

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Published Date: 11th September 2018
Category: Blog, Cleaning Products, News, Online Sales, Rational
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17 
Aug

Lowden Gets Rational

Lowden Garden CentreJonathan Sinclair, joint owner of the Lowden Garden Centre believes that finding the best chefs means providing the best equipment, which is why he uses Rational ovens for his business.

Actually, he loves them so much that he has two in the main kitchen of his restaurant, one in the sandwich kitchen, one in the pastry kitchen, two in the wedding venue and one in the farm shop.

Sustainability

Lowden Garden Centre is located in Shaw, Wiltshire and exemplifies everything that a garden centre needs to be to be sustainable. Among the plants, flora and fauna can be found the main restaurant which serves locally sourced quality produce all day.

The farm shop acts as the restaurant’s larder packed with the freshest local produce, alongside the Lowden butchers and the brew store with its carefully sourced wide range of craft beers and cider, all brewed within 10 miles of Lowden.

The newest addition to Lowden is the events marquee, the ideal venue for any occasion, for weddings, parties, private events, funeral reception, business conferences and exhibitions.

I have been using Rational ovens for many years having first acquired one 13 years ago,” explains Jonathan. “I was overwhelmed by its performance and capacity. As the garden centre has grown, it was a natural conclusion that I bought more Rational ovens to cope with the demand on our chefs.”

Attract the Best with the Best

The garden centre employs eight chefs and Jonathan is firmly of the belief that the Rational ovens were the major factor in hiring the best.

In an industry with so many top class chefs, businesses need an edge to attract the best and providing them with the optimum cooking facilities is a major advantage,” he continues. “We alter the menu daily and on a day to day basis, we serve over 100 breakfasts and lunches as well as 250 Sunday lunches. Reliability and performance are priorities.

Taking the Sunday lunches as an example, the Rational ovens allow the chefs to prepare and cook the meat and vegetables for the lunches in sequence for a full three and a half hour service, with all food piping hot and cooked to perfection throughout the whole lunch period.

Of course, the problems come when and if the ovens break down, but Jonathan has it covered. “We have now taken out one of AC Services(Southern) excellent packages  for biannual servicing,” he comments. “If anything happens to any of the appliances between services, the company is simply a phone call away. Swift service, swift solution, no down time. The service spots any small problems, down to a broken light which gives us peace of mind that the ovens will continue to function perfectly.”

With a turnover in the millions, the Lowden Garden Centre is constantly upgrading and innovating, with the family’s younger generation becoming involved in marketing and daily running. “The garden centre concept has evolved from merely a place to buy perennials to a day out,” concludes Jonathan. “We provide first-class, locally produced catering for our customers to enjoy on-site or to take away.”

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Published Date: 17th August 2018
Category: Blog, Case Study, News, Rational
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07 
Feb

Two Products, One Rational Brand

Rational Brand logoWhen the sales structures of Frima and Rational merged last year, the success of the venture was applauded by all.

Now 2018 has brought a new merger. This time the amalgamation of the two product lines of the Rational combi-steamers and Frima VarioCookingCenter® units under the umbrella Rational brand.

The move opens up the opportunity for the two products to be available to the market under one single roof. Customers are focusing more on seeking a complete solution for their kitchen requirements from a single, reliable and reputable source. This involves not only kitchen appliances but sustainability and optimum service solutions.

Amalgamation of Two Brands

It was a natural progression for Rational to extend its relationship with Frima to combine the expertise and ability of their respective products to better address the market needs. By combining the SelfCookingCenter® and VarioCookingCenter® units, the most professional solutions to virtually all commercial cooking requirements can be met.

As Michael Fuchs, Chairman of the Frima Management Board, says, “the SelfCookingCenter® and the VarioCookingCenter® are a well-co-ordinated team when it comes to meeting the requirements of our customers’ modern kitchens.”

The aim of the amalgamation is to provide a faster and more accurate service to Rational customers.  CSO at Rational, Markus Paschmann explains. “Our principal objective is to continue inspiring our customers in a quick and straightforward way,” he comments. “Our customers in commercial kitchens are increasingly seeking appliances, complete solutions and top services to suit their exact requirements, in as a simple a way as possible, and from a single source.”

Rational Customers Benefit

The customer will benefit from the combined expertise and knowledge of the Rational and Frima specialists. They will act as consultants for the two products, assessing the customers’ individual needs and matching them to the correct appliance solution. In addition, both companies will continue to improve technology within both product lines, which will continue to be developed jointly and produced in tandem at the same factories as before.

Here at AC Services (Southern), we welcome the merger as an example of the unique commitment that Rational has for the future success of its products, services and customers. We have trained engineers on all systems under the Rational brand. This move fits our dedication to provide the highest level of customer service at all times for those in the catering business.

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Published Date: 7th February 2018
Category: Blog, News, Rational
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05 
Dec

Christmas 2017 Opening Hours

AC Services Christmas 2017 Opening HoursWe are now into December and coming to the end of an astonishing year in history. Changes are afoot which will affect us all but before anything is finalised, we have Christmas to look forward to.

Hopefully, you will have ordered the necessary cleaning accessories and have had your oven checked over before the holidays begin.

But rest assured that although we are closed on the key dates, we will have engineers on call on the days in between.

There are a few simple tips to help you look after your oven and ensure that it is running to its maximum capacity. Have a look here for a list of useful tips for cleaning and maintenance.

AC Services Christmas 2017 Opening Times

Here are AC Services Christmas 2017 opening times:

  • Thursday 21st December – normal opening hours – 8.30 a.m. to 5.15 p.m.
  • Friday 22nd December – 8.30 a.m. – 4.30 p.m.
  • Saturday 23rd December – office closed – Engineer on call for emergencies
  • Sunday 24th December – office closed – Engineer on call for emergencies
  • Monday 25th December – office closed
  • Tuesday 26th December – office closed (can’t face any more turkey)
  • Wednesday 27th December – office open 8.30 a.m. – 5 p.m. (engineers available)
  • Thursday 28th December – office open 8.30 a.m. – 5 p.m. (engineers available)
  • Friday 29th December – office open 8.30 a.m. – 5 p.m. (engineers available)
  • Saturday 30th December – office closed – Engineer on call for emergencies
  • Sunday 31st December – office closed – Engineer on call for emergencies
  • Monday 1st January – office closed.

It’s back to normal working hours on Tuesday 2nd January.

If you have an emergency with your appliance telephone 01454 322222 and press the appropriate option so we can help you as quickly as we can. If you have a non-urgent issue, leave a message for when the office is next open.

REMEMBER

Leave nothing to chance. We understand that you will have a lot to remember for the festive season but don’t forget to order stock parts and cleaning products.

The last date for guaranteed Christmas delivery for an order to be placed is Wednesday 20th December at 5 p.m. We recommend that you CHECK your stock now, to make sure that you have everything you need.

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Published Date: 5th December 2017
Category: Blog, Cleaning Products, News, Rational, Service plan
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28 
Nov

Last Call for Christmas Service

Keeping Rational ovens workingThere is no excuse for not knowing what is happening. The adverts are on the television. The decorations are up in the high street and we’ve just survived Black Friday. Not to mention the start of I’m a Celebrity and the Ashes! Yes, Christmas is just around the corner and here at AC Services (Southern), we are advising all of our customers to pay special attention to their ovens NOW.

From extensive experience, ovens are generally overlooked in the run-up to the big day.  Food takes priority: the turkeys have to be ordered, the menus finalised and the staff rotas arranged.  So the oven gets forgotten.

However, take time out to check essential items, especially cleaning materials. Order your materials before Christmas and avoid time-consuming manual cleaning and worst case scenario, appliance failure when you need it most. Over Christmas, you need your Rational oven to be performing at its peak.

Order Cleaning Products

Make sure that you have plenty of oven cleaning materials in stock. Most professional ovens, (and Rational Self-Cooking-Centres in particular), have automatic cleaning programs built into their software. When used with the right cleaning materials (which ACS Southern always hold in stock), you get cosmetic and hygienic cleanliness.

Order your approved cleaning products now. As a reminder, we supply all the assistance you need to service and maintain your oven, from Rational Grill Cleaner, Rational Rinse Aid, Rational Oven Cleaning Tablets for the SCC (SelfCooking Center®) range and for those with Care Control, Rational Care Control Tablets and accessories. For a full list of cleaning products, click here.

Service Oven

Also, there is still time for us to come and service your oven. If you haven’t recently had a scheduled service, give us a call and let us come and check that everything is working as it should. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you don’t have time: it doesn’t take long and it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Just imagine the nightmare of the oven packing up over the Christmas period.

There are some simple tasks that can be carried out on a daily basis to ensure optimum performance of Rational ovens. We advise our customers to take note:

  1.  Clean your appliance daily with the relevant Rational oven cleaning products.
  2. Wipe down the door gasket at least daily with non-abrasive cleaning agents.
  3. Check the air filter regularly: your appliance will let you know when the air filter needs cleaning.
  4. Clean the drip tray collector.
  5. Apply vegetable oil or grease to the inside of the cooking cabinet at regular intervals (every two weeks or so) to prevent corrosion.

Be prepared and make sure your Rational oven is in working order for Christmas service. Call us now and we can talk you through the options available on 01454 322 222 to make sure the Christmas season goes ahead effortlessly.

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Published Date: 28th November 2017
Category: Blog, Cleaning Products, Events, News, Rational
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13 
Jun

The Catering Equipment Show 2017

Catering Equipment ShowThe NEC at Birmingham played host to the Catering Equipment Show last week from 5-6 June.

Commercial Kitchen is the multi-award nominated trade show for the UK’s catering equipment industry and attracts over 2,000 visitors.

Visitors and exhibitors

Exhibitors came from all parts of the industry, with over 80 leading industry suppliers showcasing innovative catering equipment, devices and services. The show attracted representatives from big names like EAT, Pret, Costa, Sainsbury’s, Subway, Tesco, Debenhams, Nando’s, Pizza Hut, Casual Dining Group, ASK Italian, Mitchells & Butlers, Zizzi, Greene King, Thwaites, Whitbread, Gate Gourmet, Merlin Entertainment Sodexo, Brakes, National Trust and Bourne Leisure.

In addition there were visitors from the widest range of public and private sector industries from independent restaurants, schools and universities, to local authorities and attractions.

There were plenty of people to see and hear at the show. Conversation sessions included Vivek Singh, executive chef and founder of The Cinnamon Collection, Claire Clark MBE and Robert Quehan, head chef at The Redwood Bistro, Bishopstoke Park.

Panel discussions covered pub kitchens, sustainability, kitchen design, the important role of equipment distributors, multi-site restaurant innovation, foodservice consultants, hospital kitchens and prison kitchens.

Rational Oven Award

The show also featured the Commercial Kitchen Innovation Challenge Awards where the top ten exhibitors to have secured the most visitor votes were invited to pitch their new innovations. The results saw four companies receiving gold awards, four being awarded silver and two taking home bronze. The Rational SelfCookingCenter XL was awarded silver.

AC Services (Southern) was delighted to see the Rational appliance recognised and appreciated for its reliability, performance and innovation.

A Show to Attend?

For those in the catering business, it’s worth considering whether to attend next year’s Catering Equipment Show. Perhaps the words of two key attendees may help.

. “We are always looking for the latest in technology to improve our kitchens’ efficiency and food quality. Commercial Kitchen is the perfect event to identify tomorrow’s technology today and network with industry experts,” Kumour Uddin, executive group chef at Anglian Country Inns .

As someone who wants the best equipment for our teams and customers, Commercial Kitchen and the Catering Equipment Show is a good and very relevant show for me. I look forward to attending again and watching this important event grow over the coming years.” Dirk Wissmann, senior equipment buyer at Pret A Manger.

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Published Date: 13th June 2017
Category: Blog, Catering Business, News, Ovens, Rational, Self Cooking Centre
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