Planned Maintenance Keeps Rational Ovens on Top Form

Just off the M4/M5 motorway junction at Cribbs Causeway near Bristol, a stylish, brewery-owned hotel is setting the standards for contemporary business accommodation. And it’s also a great example of how planned maintenance can add real value to a business.

The award-winning Aztec Hotel and Spa is one of six four-star hotels in the Shire Hotels Group owned by Daniel Thwaites plc, the family-controlled brewing and pub company based in Blackburn, Lancashire.

In the last five years, the hotel has won multiple awards for business tourism and hospitality, green tourism and tourism excellence. It was also one of the first hotels in the country to offer free Wi-Fi and will shortly be the first again to provide business guests with superfast broadband.


As well as state-of-the-art business facilities and fine ales, the Aztec’s reputation for excellence also extends to its restaurant, complete with large open log fire for cosy winter dining and an alfresco terrace overlooking a pretty water garden for those romantic summer evenings.

Head chef Mike Riordan is responsible for producing up to 600 meals a day. Working in the kitchens alongside his dedicated staff is his team of Rational ovens, all 20-grid models, all of varying ages and all maintained by our team here at AC Services.

Mike, who has been with Shire Hotels for 20 years and head chef at the Aztec since it opened ten years ago, says that in spite of the heavy and relentless workload, his ovens have always stepped up to the mark.

“On a busy weekend we could be serving 150 breakfasts, 150 lunches, another 60 to 100 for dinner and then a banquet for 200,” he said. “With that sort of workload, planned maintenance is essential and it means we have very few problems.”


Recently, one of the Rational ovens, an older model with at least 18 years under its belt, suddenly stopped working. He called the help line and one of our engineers was there inside two hours.

“Really that oven should have been replaced by now,” said Mike, “but it just keeps going and that’s all down to the fact that we look after them well here and clean them regularly and make sure that they are properly maintained.

“It’s one less thing to worry about,” said Mike. “I know that if we keep servicing the ovens, they’ll keep working. We couldn’t risk it any other way.

“These Rational ovens are the Mercedes or BMW of the kitchen – you need to make sure that the servicing is done by qualified engineers – and that’s what AC Services provide. I know that if we have a problem, they have all the right parts on the van and can usually fix first time. And even if they can’t complete the repair, they will always find a way to keep us going until they do.

Published Date: 17th December 2013
Category: Blog, Case Study, News, Service plan

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