Caesar’s Arms at Creigiau, set in the lush meadows at the foot of the Welsh Valleys, uses state-of-the-art Rational ovens to prepare award-winning meals for its busy restaurant and farm shop. So when one of the ovens broke down, the potential for a major disruption to their service seemed inevitable. But within 15 minutes of calling their specialist oven service provider, AC Services (Southern), were on their way and within the hour an engineer was on site and had the oven back up and working in next to no time.
“We have built up a great reputation here and can’t afford any breakdowns in our kitchens,” said owner Mark Sharples. “All our appliances are on service contracts and we knew that AC Services had a 24/7 emergency number. We are right in the middle of the countryside and really didn’t expect the engineers to turn up so quickly after we made the call.”
Helen Hagger, director of AC Services (Southern), was also impressed by her team’s rapid response. “We always respond as quickly as we can to emergencies,” she said. “and it was lucky that we had a service engineer in the area. But what makes a real difference is if the restaurant has an oven service contract with us. That way we know the history of the appliance and can identify problems much more quickly. We were able to complete this repair quickly because we knew exactly what we were dealing with.”
Food lover’s heaven
Caesar’s Arms, is a food lover’s heaven. The restaurant serves the freshest organic food supplied by its own farm and farm shop that in turn sells ready-meals that have been prepared in the restaurant’s kitchens. This symbiotic relationship between pub, restaurant and farm was created by Mark, who fell in love with the kitchen as a 13-year-old earning pocket money washing up for local hotels.
He opened the pub 20 years ago and then, five years ago converted the adjacent cricket pavilion, which along with the village cricket green had fallen into disrepair, into a farm shop. Where the village blacksmith once thundered down the wicket to hurl a snarling bouncer at the local bobby, organically grown vegetables are now found. And, since last year, the farm across the road has joined Mark’s gastronomic empire, adding home grown pork, Welsh lamb and chicken to complement the Carmarthenshire beef, venison and wonderful choice of fresh fish on his menu.
Today Mark and his team of chefs serve between 1,500 and 2,000 meals a week to meet demand from the farm shop and from the 150-cover restaurant (200 when the heated al fresco terrace is open). With that many mouths to feed and a reputation to maintain Mark doesn’t take any chances with the appliances he uses to prepare his award-winning meals (Caesar’s Arms won a coveted Gold star in the 2011 National True Taste Awards).
For the last eight years, Mark has used Rational ovens and insists on having them regularly serviced. The six monthly service plan carried out by AC Services’ Rational trained and accredited engineers, ensures that all critical components are checked and replaced if necessary, and that the ovens are maintained in top condition.