Category Archives: Service plan
A question that has often puzzled me is when should preparing for Christmas really start? If we were in the USA then we would already be in the throes of Happy Holidays marketing. But in the UK there is the automatic groan when the first Christmas advert appears. Or the C-word is mentioned at a networking meeting.
An enforced watching of daytime television last week, revealed that already it is not only DFS encouraging you to order now in time for Christmas, but there is an advert for Christmas 2018. Clearly it is never too early to start planning!
All families and most businesses have traditions around Christmas and New Year. Whether that is the day off for Mum with Christmas dinner in a restaurant or the Boxing Day walk and trip to the pub.
For businesses it’s party season. Or the insistence that Christmas Eve is a half day even though no work is done. Of course this year as the 24th is a Sunday that tradition does not apply!
In some ways the Americans are right. The last week of December and turn of the year is all about partying, feasting and holidaying. Of course the early Christian Romans beat the Americans to it when they chose the 25th December as the day to celebrate. As this was the time of the pagan revelry of Saturnalia and the festival of Sol Invicta (the Unconquered Sun), it was an easy transfer.
So what’s this to do with Rational, Frima and AC Services?
Sol Invicta celebrated that the winter solstice had passed. By 25th December, it is usually possible to see the days once again drawing out. By January 1st it is clear this is happening, so we can look forward to future harvests and eat and drink what we have.
AC Services Southern has fallen into the tradition of highlighting to owners of Rational ovens and Frima vario-cooking centres that early October is the time to prepare for the feasting season before it’s too late. Whether that’s because the autumn equinox has passed and the days are clearly shorter, we don’t know!
But now is the time to plan to have your ovens serviced to avoid disasters on the big days. Remember, remember preventative maintenance is almost always cheaper than breakdown catering disaster.
Prepare for Celebrations, Act Now
So there is no better time to book a service for your Rational oven in time for Christmas! Why not also order your cleaning products now and avoid the impending price increases?
AC Services (Southern) are more than happy to help. We offer a range of packages to suit any budget for service. Our aim is to help you take some of the stress out of December. If you own a Rational oven in South, South West England and South Wales, we are the local cost effective provider of all your Rational oven and Frima vario-cooking centre service needs.
So, if you’re preparing for Christmas, please talk to one of the team on 01454 322222.
Clients often ask AC Services Southern why we recommend a full annual service on their Rational appliances. Surely regular cleaning and standard maintenance practices are enough to maintain the performance of the ovens?
The truth is that however much and however meticulously you clean your oven, like your own car, there is still the need for a regular Rational service to optimise or replace the parts which wear.
So for the diligent as well as those absent-minded oven owners out there, we have a solution. We have been using a new system since April. We now log when ovens are serviced and sending a timely reminder when the next service is due.
At AC Services we like to give back to our loyal customers so read on to see how you can SAVE £10 on online orders. We are the Rational Service Partner for South West England and South Wales. Our team of engineers only repair and maintain Rational ovens and Frima Vario Cooking Centres. That places us in the very safe position of knowing exactly what we are looking for and what we are doing.
Our engineers have over 40 years’ experience between them and as we only work on two pieces of equipment, all the engineers have a van full of Rational original parts. What this means is that in the majority of cases (more than 95%), our engineers will have any parts that may be required so we will be able to quote you the price and fit them there and then, if given the go ahead.
So what happens in a service and how long does it take? Ideally, our engineers will spend at least 1½ hours and often two hours fully checking the appliance. Why so long? Check out the key points on our service checklist.
- Door function tests
- Interior cabinet tests
- Control panel function check
- Exhaust/vent hood function test/commissioning
- Electrical safety test
- Water-drain function test
- Steam generator electrical components
- Gas specific parts
- Gas analysis
- Software update
The second question is cost. Is it cost effective in the long term?
The cost of a full Rational service carried out by one of our fully qualified Rational Engineers starts from £165 plus VAT (depending on age and size of the oven) plus the cost of any parts required, which are discussed and costed before fitting. Any extra hours are charged at £44 plus VAT, in increments of 15 minutes.
A breakdown or repair callout costs £121 plus VAT inclusive of the callout and one hour’s labour, with further labour charged at £44 per hour in increments of 15 minutes. For those who feel this is too much of a layout, just add up the costs of loss of business, of reputation, of loyal customers and of the profit margin should you be unable to use your oven to provide food for customers.
Finally, we love offering our customers discounts. So save £10 per shop on our range of Rational Cleaning, Rinse and Care Tablets for the relevant ovens and Rational Grill Cleaner using the code JUL10 in our on-line store before 12th August 2017.
This year, we had a steady and busy season here at AC Services (Southern) with thankfully no major crises. Although as always, we had a spattering of panic calls, in the main from those who did not heed our advice to pre-book a service before Christmas.
Sadly, it happens every year so now we are calling for everyone with a Rational oven to make a communal New Year’s resolution: call us NOW and arrange a service package for 2017.
We recommend that you have your ovens serviced at least once a year and ideally twice. We have three packages that suit all budgets, Silver, Gold and Platinum.
Silver, Gold and Platinum
The Silver Maintenance Contract is designed to cover labour costs for those customers, who have a limited budget. The response time is 24 hours and breakdown calls are attended seven days per week. We provide two preventative maintenance visits per year at six monthly intervals as well as a first time fix policy and we work to an agreed budget on spare parts when required.
The Gold Maintenance Plan is for Rational ovens under 10 years old and offers a more comprehensive and increased level of parts and labour cover. Again, the package offers 24 hour response time, with breakdown calls attended seven days per week. Under this plan, we guarantee to replace most parts that fail under the maintenance period up to the value of £1,000 per visit (genuine and original Rational parts used and some exclusions do apply)
Finally the Platinum Maintenance Contract is available for our customers, who require an individual tailored plan to meet their Rational oven servicing needs.
And as an incentive, we are honouring the 2016 price of each package, which begin at £900 until the end of February. We are reviewing the contract prices for implementation at the beginning of April.
AC Services (Southern) is responsible for servicing a number of Rational ovens within the southwest region and according to Helen Hagger, MD at AC Services, one of the main priorities is educating the owners about the benefits of regular servicing.
“Even though some ovens may still be in warranty, we advise a twice-yearly service,” she advises. “This is a great time to get ovens serviced ready for the next busy period, which is Valentine’s Day next month and look into having a contract where ovens are serviced twice yearly.”
For further details and a no obligation quote for your Rational oven maintenance contract telephone 01454 322222 or email us today on email@example.com
As I write, we have 83 days 4 hours 48 minutes and 33 seconds until Santa comes down the chimney. That’s 1996 hours in total, which doesn’t sound like a lot of time when you consider what you have to do before Christmas. Check for yourself on the Christmas Countdown Clock to see how the hours are whittling away…
For caterers, the countdown to the festive season has already begun. Restaurants are already displaying their Christmas menus, and advent calendars and chocolate treats have replaced suntan lotion and mosquito repellent on the shelves of the supermarkets.
So there is no better the time to book a service for your Rational oven in time for Christmas! Here are AC Services (Southern), we are more than happy to help and we offer a range of packages to suit any budget.
Over the festive period, the last thing you want is for your oven to play up or pack in. Regular cleaning is simply not enough to ensure perfect performance time and time again. For instance, even the smallest amount of grease or food residue can accumulate and unless it is cleaned thoroughly on a daily basis, this can cause long-term problems, so why put your Christmas service at risk.
Annual Service & Maintenance Contracts
There simply is no substitute for regular maintenance. Being on a low budget is no excuse as the initial outlay easily beats the costs incurred when an oven fails suddenly. The easiest way to prevent a breakdown of either yourself or your appliance is to invest in an Annual Maintenance Contract.
Preventative maintenance visits can highlight potential problems, which can be rectified before they cause a breakdown. This is in addition to our 24-hour response and in most instances, first time fix. We can offer two preventative maintenance visits per year working to a comprehensive schedule.
Rational Oven Maintenance Plans
As well as booking for an early service before Christmas, why not consider one of our preventative maintenance plans:
Gold Maintenance Plan
- Designed for Rational ovens under 10 years old
- A comprehensive and increased level of parts and labour cover
- 24 hour response time; breakdown calls attended 7 days per week
- Replace most parts that fail under the maintenance period up to the value of £1,000 per visit (genuine and original Rational parts used and some exclusions do apply)
- Two preventative maintenance visits per year at six monthly intervals.
Silver Maintenance Plan
- Designed to cover labour costs for those customers, who have a limited budget,
- 24 hour response time
- Breakdown calls attended 7 days per week
- Two preventative maintenance visits per year at six monthly intervals
- First time fix policy
- Work to an agreed budget on spare parts, when required
Platinum Maintenance Plan
- Available for our customers, who require an individual plan to meet their Rational oven servicing needs
- Individually tailored to meet the specific maintenance needs of rational oven owners
If you own a Rational oven in South, South West England and South Wales, we are the local cost effective provider of all your Rational oven service needs. Talk to one of the team on 01454 322222. Whether that’s for a Christmas service or to discuss a year round maintenance plan to save money and worry.
The prospect of the ovens failing at Lambrook School is too serious to contemplate so as a precaution, the school uses AC Services (Southern) under a pre-arranged maintenance agreement.
Twice a year, the Rational gas ovens – one a SCC WE101 model and the other a SCC WE 201 model – are serviced and should the school require any ad hoc attention, then AC Services are on hand to deliver!
Lambrook is a thriving independent school which is home to 510 boys and girls plus 100+ staff. The Lambrook experience combines first class teaching and superb facilities with traditional values, in the idyllic, tranquil surroundings of the beautiful Berkshire countryside.
According to Sophie Connery, the Catering Manager of the school’s external catering company, The Brookwood Partnership, the relationship with AC Services is utterly essential to the smooth running of the kitchen. “When we first starting using Rational ovens at Lambrook School there was a maintenance company on call, but AC Services came recommended from Rational and we haven’t looked back since.”
Sophie admits that there are few major things that go wrong, but the small little niggles can sometimes be just as annoying. “It really doesn’t matter what the problem is, large or small, AC Services come out and see us. We had noisy dry heat burners and the engineers were sent out immediately,” continues Sophie. “The beauty of AC Services is that nothing is too much trouble and the engineers have fully stocked vans so there is never a delay in waiting for parts.”
The Rational ovens are obviously used on a daily basis. “The appliances are completely reliable but no-one can foresee some of the variables that occur. The school operates five days a week as a day school with Saturday school for the senior pupils. Boarding at Lambrook is very flexible and enables children to board anything from 5 nights a week to 1 night here and there which means that there is no downtime for the ovens. With the help of AC Services, we make sure that the ovens are always kept in the best possible condition.”
Attitude is the one other thing that puts AC Services top of the list as far as Sophie is concerned. “It doesn’t matter when we call, what we need or how far the engineer is from us,” concludes Sophie, “from the ladies in the office who take the call to the engineers, there is always a friendly voice or a smile and service is exemplary.”
Lambrook School has an exemplary record academically and as far as cuisine goes, the food is top notch! A good chef and a good Rational oven maintained by AC Services is the winning combination!
Times are always tight, but if you are a Rational oven owner, you know that cutting corners for financial reasons is a recipe for disaster and AC Services are here to help.
The first offer is online purchases where using the voucher code rationalonline will get you £10 plus VAT off your purchases. Bear in mind that there are a number of events coming up in the following weeks, including Valentine’s Day and the start of the Six Nations rugby, so take full advantage of this offer until the end of February 2016 and stock up with essential supplies. We can supply items throughout the UK, but this offer is limited only to online sales.
AC Services (Southern) provides a full range of Rational cleaning products. It depends on the type of your Rational oven to determine the correct Rational cleaning products to use. Remember, if you have more than one oven, then you may need different cleaning product combinations.
The online sales offer applies to the following Rational cleaning tabs, rinse tabs, liquid cleaner and spray guns:
- Cleaner Tabs: highly concentrated tablets specially developed with a new complex set of active ingredients designed to guarantee maximum cleaning power.
- Care Tabs: with special scale-dissolving ingredients contained to prevent limescale building up, giving reliability without a water softener and the need for time-consuming descaling.
- Rinse Aid Tabs: (SE Models) highly effective care products ensuring active protection.
- We also provide liquid Grill Cleaner and liquid Rinse Aid (for CPC units) as well as other items such as a hand spray gun for manual cleaning of CM units.
Sale on Servicing
The second fabulous offer is £20 plus VAT off the normal service price. With a normal service starting at £195 plus VAT, this deal is not to be disregarded.
It is valid for all Rational oven service calls completed by 31st March as long as the Rational oven is within the counties and postcodes covered by ACS. These are Avon, Berkshire, Bristol, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Gwent, Herefordshire, Oxfordshire, Somerset, Wiltshire and Worcestershire.
All you have to do is phone the office on 01454 322 222 to confirm costs and times and quote ‘Ready for Spring‘.
Your Sale Choice
Since we introduced the online sales section to our website, the response has been fantastic, with the online store providing ease and simplicity for the ordering process.
You can also find hints and tips to keep your Rational oven in perfect condition, but should you have any worries, simply take advantage of the £20 discount on servicing and gear up for the rest of this quarter with the knowledge that your oven at least won’t let you down!
If you’re in any doubt please telephone us now on 01454 322222.
However, it’s not enough just to run a damp cloth over your appliance and expect it to perform to the same standards time after time.
Here at AC Services (Southern) we advise Rational oven owners about the best ways to keep their ovens pristine. Rational oven cleaning is not rocket science but it is excellent common sense. So here are our top 4 Rational oven cleaning tips.
What happens if you don’t clean your unit on a daily basis? Simply put, grease and food residue, even the smallest amount, will accumulate and in time there is a risk of them catching fire.
For optimal hygiene purposes, ensure that you clean your unit every day. Use a non-abrasive cleaning agent with a soft cloth to clean the cooking cabinet seal. This will enable a longer service life. For the internal and external glass windows and the outer panel of the unit, again use a soft damp cloth.
To prevent corrosion, use vegetable or grease to the inside of the cooking cabinet, preferably every two weeks or so.
Look after the air filter. It may not be something that immediately springs to mind, but neglecting this piece of equipment again can cause nasty incidents. Luckily, the Rational has an in-built warning system when the air filter is soiled.
Remember, the unit cannot be operated without the air filter so when you take it out, make sure you put it back. And the most efficient way of cleaning the air filter is in the dishwasher.
What do you do with the drip tray? The drip tray collects the fat from roasting and grilling. It’s obvious that it needs to be emptied regularly, but ideally it needs to be cleaned on a daily basis. Again, the build up of grease and fat can have potentially serious implications as a fire risk.
Fourth Rational Oven Cleaning Tip
If you are not using the appliance, for example overnight or when going on holidays, leave the unit door ajar.
AC Services (Southern) provides a full range of cleaning tablets and fluids that are Genuine Rational Authorised Products, but basic daily house-keeping in cleaning the appliance and maintaining the stainless steel elements are the key to a prolonged and performance-enhanced life. Talk to one of the team on 01454 322222 or visit the AC Services (Southern) website for more information on the Gold, Silver and Platinum Maintenance Plans that we offer.
In the meantime, when you’re doing your Rational oven cleaning, have a look for the serial number of your unit to find out when it was made; as if it is the oldest in the UK and Ireland still in operation then you could win a new Rational oven and a trip to Landsberg in Germany as part of Rational UK’s 25 year celebrations.
If you have a car, you get it serviced. If you have a house, you take out insurance. Let’s face it if you have teeth, you at least have an annual check up! Because if anything happens, then you are without transport and shelter (or teeth) and inevitably, you incur unnecessary costs and delays. So if your Rational oven is your livelihood, then it makes sense to insure yourself by getting it regularly serviced.
Regularly servicing can be different for every oven, depending on lead times, size, model, output and usage and perhaps more importantly, budget. AC Services (Southern) believes strongly in maintenance contracts. Each purchase of an oven from Rational comes automatically with a one year warranty and you can register for a second year free. And when that is up, then there are plenty of options. In fact, because we have such a range of clients, from small caterers to international restaurant chains we have put in place three options.
Rational Oven Maintenance Plans
Gold Maintenance Plan
• Designed for Rational ovens under 10 years old
• A more comprehensive and increased level of parts and labour cover
• 24 hour response time
• Breakdown calls attended 7 days per week
• Replace most parts that fail under the maintenance period up to the value of £1,000 per visit (genuine and original Rational parts used and some exclusions do apply)
• Two preventative maintenance visits per year at six monthly intervals.
Silver Maintenance Contract
• Designed to cover labour costs for those customers, who have a limited budget,
• 24 hour response time
• Breakdown calls attended 7 days per week
• Two preventative maintenance visits per year at six monthly intervals
• First time fix policy
• Work to an agreed budget on spare parts when required
Platinum Maintenance Contract
• Available for our customers, who require an individual plan to meet their Rational oven servicing needs
• Individually tailored to meet the specific maintenance needs of rational oven owners
• 24 hours response time
• Breakdown calls attended, 7 days per week
• First time fix policy
• Genuine and original Rational parts used.
There simply is no substitute for regular maintenance, and this is coming from a company that has been servicing Rational ovens for decades! On too many occasions, we have heard the excuse that budget cannot be found for a maintenance contract, but the initial outlay easily beats the costs incurred when an oven fails suddenly: lost business, lost customers, lost revenue . . .
There’s a summer of sport and events coming up so if you are planning to cater for the public this year and want to continue to do so for years to come, find out more right now about how an ACS annual maintenance contract is the best option for maintaining your Rational oven; how it can save you money and increase profits.
Talk to one of the sales team on 01454 322222 or visit the AC Services (Southern) website for more information.
At Trioscape Garden Centre in Newent, five miles from Gloucester, the kitchen is one of the busiest areas. A daily menu of hot and cold food suitable for all palettes is available all year round and the kitchen staff, led by restaurant manager Daphne Rogers, are constantly cooking!
“We invested in a Rational SCC 10 grid oven when we first opened four years ago,” explains Daphne “and we have a maintenance agreement with AC Services (Southern) to come and service the equipment when we ask them to.”
The Gardener’s Kitchen within the Trioscape Garden Centre serves customers with hearty breakfasts, morning coffee, hot and cold lunches and afternoon teas, and is well-known for both its roast dinners and homemade cakes.
“We had to invest in another oven to cope with the demand and the variety in our cooking menu,” continues Daphne. “Waiting for cakes to bake before starting a roast dinner led to problems, so we bought another Rational oven. We know the cooking capability of the appliances, but what was even better was the space saving capacity: as the kitchen is quite small, we needed something that would fit. And putting one oven on top of the other was the perfect solution.”
Trioscape was established in November 1994 when a rundown site with dilapidated buildings was taken on by Richard Mitchell, Douglas Wilson and Ronan Lynch partners of landscaping company Trioscape. Today, the garden centre together with the nurseries, occupies around 16 acres, which gives visitors plenty of choice in plants and products.
Says Helen Hagger, MD of AC Services, “Our clients are diverse and different and in order to help them run their businesses successfully, we have a range of maintenance packages to suit everyone’s needs. Trioscape call us on an ad hoc basis and we check their appliances are in excellent working order and detect any potential problems.”
Daphne is delighted to report that since purchasing the Rational ovens, there have been no major calamities. She knows that if the ovens go down for any reason, then the restaurant will be forced to close until the problem is solved, and that is not something that she is willing to leave to chance.
“We rely on AC Services and we listen to their advice, from maintenance to purchasing cleaning products from the company to keep the ovens in the best condition,” she concludes.
In common with the rest of the industry, we look forward to those two days of not having to worry about getting into the office, getting out on the road and getting down and dirty with Rational ovens!
Hopefully by now, you will have all done the sensible thing and taken advantage of the excellent AC Services Southern maintenance packages that we have on offer and have all sorted out your Rational ovens for the mad Christmas rush.
Remember to check your supplies: if you require any cleaning products for your Rational ovens at this peak period or stock parts, then you have only until the end of this week to order them with guaranteed delivery before Christmas.
Clients have also asked us when we will be open over the Christmas and New Year period and these are also given below.
Last order dates for guaranteed delivery before Christmas
Thursday 18th December 12 noon Liquid Cleaning Products
Friday 19th December 12 noon Cleaning Tablets
Friday 19th December 12 noon Stock Parts/Brita Cartridges
Office opening hours and engineers on call
We know things might go wrong sometimes, and Christmas rarely runs smoothly for anyone. If you need any help with your Rational oven repairs over Christmas or any emergency breakdowns, here are details of our Christmas working hours.
Our office is open over the Christmas/New Year period as below. Engineers are on call when the office is open and as shown on weekends for any emergencies.
Monday 22nd December 8.30am – 5.15pm
Tuesday 23rd December 8.30am – 5.15pm
Wednesday 24th December 8.30am – 3.00pm
Thursday 25th December CLOSED
Friday 26th December CLOSED
Saturday 27th December Engineer on call
Sunday 28th December Engineer on call
Monday 29th December 8.30am – 5.00pm
Tuesday 30th December 8.30am – 5.00pm
Wednesday 31st December 8.30am – 3.00pm
Thursday 1st January CLOSED
Friday 2nd January 8.30am – 5.15pm
Saturday 3rd January Engineer on call
Sunday 4th January Engineer on call
Monday 5th January BACK TO NORMAL!
In times of emergency for Rational ovens, we’re here to help. For the South, South West and South Wales, there is one telephone number for all your Rational Service and Spare requirements so call 01454 322222.