Tag Archives: Rational Ovens

17 
Apr

Rational Oven Cleaning Products, Free Carriage

AC Services keeping chefs using Rational ovens happyIt’s time to talk about oven cleaning products. In particular, chemical cleaners for Rational ovens. Here at AC Services Southern, we supply a range of cleaning solutions for Rational ovens from Detergent and Cleaning tablets to Care and Rinse tablets, Grill Cleaner liquid and Rinse Aid liquid.

Rational Ovens are consistently and constantly upgrading its products and the newer CombiMaster® Plus units are no exception. The CombiMaster® Plus is a tailor-made solution for anyone who is looking for a classic combi-steamer and wishes to operate it manually, delivering exceptional food quality, helping to optimise raw materials usage and lowering resource consumption.

Automatic Cleaning

The company has now incorporated an automatic cleaning facility into this model, which allows it to make itself hygienically clean, even overnight if required. It also now uses rinse tabs. It couldn’t be simpler: choose the necessary cleaning stage and insert the tabs displayed.

These newly integrated features make it more important than ever to ensure that Rational oven owners get the right cleaning products to maximise the performance of their appliances.

We are unashamed when we urge our customers to buy the correct product as we know that only with long term care will your oven provide lifetime performance. That care includes using genuine Rational cleaning products at all times.

Every cleaning process cares and retains the value of your oven when you use the correct product. Depending on your oven type you will need different cleaning products. Remember that you may have several types of ovens in your kitchen, each needing its own cleaning product combination.

Free Carriage

AND there’s an added bonus this month. Because we’re offering FREE carriage for cleaning products from now until the end of May.

This time of year is notoriously quiet. While there are no big seasonal events, no big tournaments until the summer and with the weather not exactly being conducive to days out, many establishments are seeing a lull in activity. Take the opportunity to restock your cleaning requirements and take advantage of the free carriage by using the coupon code ‘ free ‘.

We supply Rational oven cleaning products which are specially formulated for maximum cleaning power and optimum care and suitable for all Selfcooking Center® units (SCC) and the CombiMaster Plus®:

  • Rational Oven Cleaner Tabs. These are highly concentrated tablets specially developed. They have a new complex set of active ingredients designed to guarantee maximum cleaning power.
  • The Rational Oven Care Tabs. These have special scale-dissolving ingredients to prevent limescale building up. This gives reliability without a water softener and the need for time-consuming descaling.
  • Rational Rinse Tablets provide highly effective care with active protection.
  • The Rational Grill Cleaner is for use with a hand-held spray gun.
  • Rational Rinse Aid is also specifically designed

To order your Rational oven cleaning products, simply go to online sales, select the cleaning products you need. Then all you need is to enter free as the voucher code to get free carriage.

Or call us on 01454 322222 for more advice of how to keep on top of your Rational oven cleaning.

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Published Date: 17th April 2018
Category: Blog, Cleaning Products, News, Online Sales
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27 
Mar

Have I Got Food News for You

SW Food & Catering News Round-upFood has been in the regional and national press this week. Just in time for our new monthly food news round-up. With Easter looming, some unusual chocolate constructions have been unveiled. These include the mighty Creme Egg Yorkshire pudding which has been created by a Cardiff pub.

The Cedar Tree Farm has ingeniously combined sponge cakes with Crème Eggs, white and orange fondant inside a giant Yorkshire pudding. Claimed to be the first of its kind in the UK, the dessert is the latest Easter treat being served up in Wales, after The Cottage Coffee Shop & Lunch Bar launched cheesecake-filled Easter eggs.

Prison Food

Staying in Wales, it was announced this week that pies made by prisoners have been crowned champion at the renowned British Pie Awards. The Custodial Pie Corporation is a joint scheme between HMP Berwyn in Wrexham and Dylan’s restaurant company.

The hard work of the restaurant and a group of prisoners plus catering staff and three senior chefs from Dylan’s made the perfect pie and pasty recipe, using Welsh produce.

Nutrient Content of Food

Of course, this is not the only food news. KFC’s chicken crisis continues and a new debate has sparked up over the sugar content in fruit and vegetables. According to a recent analysis, different types of fruit and veg can contain up to twice as many nutrients.  While others have significantly lower levels of sugars and calories. Here’s a summary of some facts: 

  •  Purple cabbage is better than green with ten times more Vitamin A and twice the amount of iron. It also has 36 antioxidants that have been shown to ward off cancer and even improve memory.
  • Canned sweetcorn contains 44% more beta carotene than fresh. The canning processes breaks down corn’s tough cell walls, making it easier for the body to access this important nutrient.
  • Red dates contain about 60% fewer calories, 10% more fibre and half the sugar content than regular dates.
  • Red and black grapes as opposed to green grapes contain resveratrol, catechins and proanthocyanidins. These are all linked to the prevention of various cancers including breast, colon and lung.
  • A Granny Smith apple has around 6g less sugar than a Gala.

Long Lasting Ice Cream

And it’s good news for ice cream. Researchers are claiming this week that banana plant extract could be key to creamier, longer lasting ice cream.  “Adding tiny cellulose fibres extracted from banana plant waste to ice cream could slow melting, increase shelf life and potentially replace fats used to make the tasty treat,” say the scientists involved.

Insects and Yeast

A paper released last week explains how our understanding of insect-yeast ecology could inform the search for new yeasts. It looks specifically at insects that feed on sugars, such as beetles, wasps, bees and fruit flies.

The scientists are particularly interested in those yeasts that can produce fruity and floral aromas, which can add a new dimension to the food industry.

AC Services News

And finally at AC Services this March, we closed two days because of the Beast from the East part one. Fortunately the Beast from the East part two hit on the weekend and didn’t affect work, only a social activity that Helen had organised for our Service Engineers . But the Go Karting will be re-arranged for a warmer month.

Weather forecasters are now forecasting Beast from the East part three, but it’s looking like more northerly parts of the UK will be affected. Even if it does snow and we can’t get to you, we are always on the end of the phone on 01454 322 222 to help you with your Rational oven needs. Or to hear what you think about our monthly food news round-up.

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Published Date: 27th March 2018
Category: Blog, News
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13 
Mar

Hotelympia 2018 Show Report

Hotelympia 2018Hotelympia 2018 took place at ExCeL London last week (5-8 March). The Show has the accolade of being one of the oldest; being at the forefront of the industry for over 83 years. This year, Hotelympia brought together four new shows. This created an umbrella platform for all those involved in the pub, hotel, restaurant, casual dining and contract caterers.

The four shows are:

  • Interiors and Tableware Show,
  • Hospitality Tech Show,
  • Foodservice Show and
  • The Professional Kitchen Show, 

The Professional Kitchen

This Show displayed the very latest catering equipment, with key senior buyers viewing the goods on offer, from kitchen designers to operations managers, executive chefs to managing directors and distributors. The equipment ranged from appliances for large mass catering kitchens to the newer trend of micro size kitchens.

On the Rational stand, Rational‘s expert chefs prepared different meal occasions with the SelfCookingCenter and VarioCookingCenter,  offering samples and live cooking demonstrations. The company also showcased its specialist accessories including the Multibaker, the grill and pizza tray and the cross and stripe grill grate.

Foodservice and Hospitality Tech

The Foodservice Show was extremely well attended. Visitors were presented with hard-to-find speciality ingredients and craft drinks as well as leading food brands and franchises. In fact, the Foodservice Show had more food and drink exhibiting companies than any other UK hospitality event.

The Hospitality Tech Show revealed how technology is revolutionising the hospitality sector. It showcased solutions and latest innovations to improve all aspects of the industry from back-room operations to enhancing the customer experience.

The Interiors and Tableware Show

Interiors and Tableware catered for every front-of-house need for a wide range of establishments from restaurant groups, bars, cafes and spas to holiday parks, schools and offices with the latest designs and products.

Another popular section was the Salon Culinaire which offered four days of sculpting and cooking.  Categories here included wedding cake design, sugarcraft showpiece, sculpted novelty cake and best decorated Easter Egg! There was also a category for best sugarcraft on a hat which attracted some amazing entries and lots of attention.

Hotelympia 2018

Along with a host of headline speakers holding seminars on a variety of relevant subjects, Hotelympia 2018 also hosted The World Food Innovation Awards. These are designed to celebrate excellence and innovation across every category of the global food industry. As the longest and most established awards scheme in the industry, these awards were gratefully received by the eventual winners.

Finally, the Women in Hospitality day was a huge hit. This celebrated the successes and the challenges and opportunities facing women in the hospitality industry. As well as discussions on the contribution made by female hospitality entrepreneurs it also introduced some potential future stars.

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Published Date: 13th March 2018
Category: Blog, Catering Business, Events, News
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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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16 
Jan

Seize the Day! Enjoy 2018

Rational Oven Service and RepairFirstly we would like to wish all of our customers the greetings of the season. Let’s hope that 2018 is prosperous and profitable for all.

We are now back at work having had a busy but successful Christmas period. Although we had plenty of call-outs, no client had to take the drastic step of cancelling bookings due to an inoperable oven!

However, there were numerous calls to us regarding last minute breakdowns preceding and following Christmas. The majority of these calls were for replacement parts: luckily all of our engineers carry the necessary parts so the majority of ovens were fixed quickly and efficiently.

New Year New Start

The message this week is simple – New Year, new start so get your ovens serviced now. Although we obviously coped with the inevitable last minute rush before the end of last year, it makes better sense to arrange a service package with us. Customers that do find it suits everyone’s calendars and budgets.

A Rational Oven service starts from £185 plus VAT depending on model and age. During the visit we will sort any of those annoying little faults that, left unchecked can compromise performance. Remember that our policy is to 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.

Every part of the oven is tested and checked for total peace of mind and should any faults be detected, then they will be dealt with as a priority.

And don’t worry about forgetting the date of your scheduled Rational oven service. Every customer who gets their oven serviced will get a reminder the month before it is due next year. We prefer not to give you any excuse to forget!

Coming Up Fast

The next three months will see some significant annual events loved by the catering industry. Valentine’s Day is the major event of February followed swiftly by Mother’s Day then Easter. Before we know it, silly season including the FIFA World Cup will be upon us.

So take advantage of the down season and book a service with us today. Don’t procrastinate!

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Published Date: 16th January 2018
Category: Blog, News, Service plan
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07 
Nov

Fast Food and Mass Catering

Fast Food and mass catering industryFast food and mass catering may appear to be the invention of the 20th century but catering for the masses transcends millennia. Evidence has been excavated at the site of the Pyramids. This revealed a mess hall for the workers, long benches and tables and fish and meat bones. Armies throughout history were fed en masse (possibly not with the healthiest food but fed nonetheless) so catering as a trade has a long heritage.

The modern idea of fast food evolved with the inception of the motor industry where it became easier for people to pop into a store to buy a burger. By the 1950s in the USA, fast food was in full swing. It wasn’t long before heavy advertising and the introduction of children’s meals made it a firm favourite. Today, the global contribution of fast food outlet revenue is in the region of £500 billion.

Fast Food Growing

According to a recent report in the Guardian, the total number of takeaway food shops in England has risen by 4,000 in the past three years. This is an increase of 8%. There are currently 56,638 takeaways in England. They comprises more than 25% of all the country’s food outlets.

Many of the 326 local authorities in the UK have seen significant increases in the number of fast food outlets. Between 2014 and 2017, 20 record rises of more than 20%. Only 40 councils (12%) have seen the number of fast food outlets fall or stay the same.

Since 2012, the fast food and mass catering industry has performed relatively well. Takeaway operators have responded to higher levels of consumer expenditure by introducing higher quality food, often using organic produce and ensuring low-fat, low-sugar and low-salt meal options.

Despite the constant criticism of unhealthy and high calorific food content, fast food is still very popular . Reasons include affordable prices, busy lifestyles and increasing on-the-go consumption. There is also a much wider variety of products available to accommodate different dietary requirements.

Check Appliances

With any mass catering, the emphasis is on efficiency and hygiene. This is true whether it is for a fast food chain or a mess hall, hotel, hospital, airline or school. Too many instances of bad practice resulting in food poisoning or infection have been traced to bad habits in the kitchen or inadequate cooking facilities.

An oven, such as the Rational units, must not only cook the food but also synchronise the cooking of each individual element. It should also be fast and reliable in performance. In addition, the oven must be regularly serviced and checked. This is best as part of an ongoing maintenance regime to ensure top performance.

Contact AC Services on 01454 322222 if you are a fast food and mass catering organisation for appliance best practice .

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Published Date: 7th November 2017
Category: Blog, Catering Business, News
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24 
Oct

The Growth of the Pudding Kitchen

Pudding Kitchen SelectionRachel Middleton knows cakes, which is fortunate as she produces hundreds of portions of delicious puddings every day for very satisfied customers.

In May 2017, she expanded her company, the Pudding Kitchen from producing her products in the family home into a converted milking parlour and took possession of her biggest asset: a Rational electric SCC WE 61 oven. It was, she readily admits, one of the best decisions she has ever made.

The Pudding Kitchen began from an idea Rachel had 20 years ago for her own little cottage industry making puddings. In 2011, the dream came to fruition and Rachel opened the Pudding Kitchen for people to buy homemade cakes and puddings to eat for themselves or pass off as their own.

Rational Decision

The company’s expansion to new premises gave Rachel the opportunity to purchase a new oven and having taken the recommendation from a renowned chef and one of her best customers, she attended a Rational demo with an open mind. The capabilities of the Rational oven convinced her of her need and as luck would have it, an ex-demo appliance became available.

The initial installation wasn’t without its challenges,” confesses Rachel. “The appliance needed some work to get it into full working order and AC Services rose magnificently to the task. The engineers cleaned and tweaked it until it was fully operational and I couldn’t be happier with it.

AC Services On Hand

AC Services have been a constant for the Pudding Kitchen and its progression. From a major incident where a power surge took out the oven, the fridge and freezer to repairing small faults and supplying cleaning materials, the company has kept the new oven performing to its capacity.

The value of AC Services is that they employ real people who know my history,” continues Rachel. “Regardless of the fact that I am a relatively new customer, they are willing to come out at a moment’s notice to check the appliance. Once the warranty on the oven is up, I shall take out a maintenance programme with AC Services so that I can have peace of mind, knowing that should anything occur with the oven, I have full support.”

Mouth-watering Menu

The Pudding Kitchen’s cakes and puddings are legendary in Somerset. Customers can choose from a number of cheesecakes, such as the silky coffee cheesecake topped with Italian meringue ‘froth’ and chocolate sprinkles or walnut and butterscotch cheesecake, with chopped walnuts throughout. The ginger and mango flavoured cheesecake is infused with warming ginger and swirled throughout with mango, all sitting on a ginger nut base and topped with tiny pieces of ginger stem.

Citron tarts are made with fresh lemons, free-range eggs and locally produced double cream, encased in all butter crispy pastry with the pear and chocolate tart featuring poached pears and shards of chocolate “nestling under a blanket of frangipane and almondy loveliness”.

Roulades come in amazing flavours, such as the beautifully rich, tangy lime and cream filling encased in a light as air meringue, topped with almonds for a crunchy finish and passion fruit and seasonal berries, a meringue roulade filled with vibrant tasting passion fruit curd, fresh cream and seasonal berries.

The company also produces individual puddings and maintains a presence for its homemade desserts in North Somerset at the Midsomer Norton Farmers’ Market.

For details on AC Services Southern and how we can help your catering company with your Rational and Frima equipment, call us on 01452 322222.

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Published Date: 24th October 2017
Category: Blog, Case Study, News
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03 
Oct

When Should Preparing for Christmas Start?

AC Services preparing for Christmas with catering businessesA 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!

Christmas Traditions

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.

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Published Date: 3rd October 2017
Category: Blog, Catering Business, News, Service plan
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12 
Sep

Rational Price Increases

Brexit updateThere is no getting away from the fact that Brexit has brought the British pound  to a low. It is the lowest in fact for 31 years. Although this is good news for manufacturing, tourism and exports, it is not so good for an imported product as it leads to a price increase.

Of wider importance this week is the negotiations that the British government can manage regarding access to the EU. And the move announced by the Prime Minister is sending the Opposition up in arms. Mrs May has decided to hold a late-night Commons vote this week to secure for the Government, the authority to use so-called “Henry VIII powers” to hustle in new laws behind the backs of MPs. It’s not gone down too well!

Off With Their Heads!

This is an unprecedented power grab by a minority government that lost its moral authority as well as its majority at the general election,” said Valerie Vaz, Labour’s Shadow Commons Leader.  Just one of many similar outraged comments on the move.

This is important for catering businesses because among the issues expected to be voted on are those that affect the food industry, including protection for British workers and consumers, and environmental standards. This is part of a move towards getting some financial stability back although it may be a long wait.

Small Price Increase

So, back in the real world, businesses are trying to accommodate the weakness of the pound in their daily operations. Here at AC Services (Southern) we are doing the same. Rational has announced they’re increasing the price of cleaning products by c5% on 1st December. This follows the currency movements of the pound and the euro. The falling exchange rate makes our goods more competitive overseas, but it also raises our costs.

We understand that a price increase is unpopular. So we have decided that we are not passing this price increase on for cleaning products ordered by 20th December and despatched in 2017. This gives you an extra month at today’s prices if stock is available.

This excludes the water filters which are made by Brita, the price of which AC Services again has no control over. At present, the filters remain at the same price but due to the ongoing devaluation, there is a strong likelihood that prices could increase. Given that inflation is now also rising from 2.6 to 2.9% pa

So the smart move is to check your stock levels. Buy today to help us, help you to benefit tomorrow on cleaning products for your Rational ovens and keep your costs low.

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Published Date: 12th September 2017
Category: Blog, Cleaning Products, News
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22 
Aug

Bridge Farm Shop Success

John Thorners PiesMr Jon Thorner has been making pies for over a decade and having been in the meat industry since 1979, it’s no surprise that his pies are always amongst the best in the South West of England.

Today they win a number of awards for their pies, which are available in a range of sizes and flavours from traditional steak and ale or kidney to the more exotic Bombay chicken or Chinese duck and cherry.

Farm produce

Jon Thorner’s Bridge Farm Shop in Pylle, Shepton Mallet produces thousands of both savoury and sweet products every week from the kitchens.

Head chef, John Emery is in charge of the kitchens and his saving grace is his ovens, two Rational models both of which he swears by. “We bought the first 11 years ago then as the business expanded and demand for our products became greater, we invested in a second model four years later,” he explains.

He readily admits that without them, the shop would not be able to maintain the output: currently they are used 24 hours a day, six days a week. “We only close them down on Friday until Saturday morning, when they are cleaned and made ready for the next shift,” continues John.

A local of Somerset and with a background in farming and butchery, Jon Thorner’s legacy began by providing quality locally sourced meat and since 1979, the shop has grown exponentially to produce pies, quiches, savouries, ready meals, desserts and cakes. Each pie is still hand crimped and individually filled and the awards have flooded in, with accolades from Great Taste, British Pie Awards, Taste of the West and Smithfield Awards.

Top Quality

Bridge Farm Shop piesQuality and provenance are the key words when it comes to sourcing the meat, with the company only using certified West Country beef, English free range pork and British poultry, and whenever possible, sourced locally. Many of the suppliers to the Bridge Farm Shop are located within 10 miles of the shop. It doesn’t get more local than that! The company also offers pre-packed meat as well as ready meals, most of which are cooked on the Rational ovens.

The most important element in kitchen equipment is reliability,” says John. “We have an arrangement with AC Services (Southern) to have the ovens serviced on an annual basis. We also have a contract for ad hoc services, which means if anything goes wrong unexpectedly, then an engineer will be dispatched immediately to help us. To be honest, there is little need for this service, but we have encountered slight problems with limescale-related issues that the engineers have been able to sort straight away.”

The Bridge Farm Shop has an enviable reputation and maintaining the quality of the food is paramount. “Whether we are baking pies or quiches or cakes, the Rational ovens provide perfect results every time and we fully expect them to continue to the same standard in years to come,” concludes John.

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Published Date: 22nd August 2017
Category: Blog, Case Study, News
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