Tag Archives: Servicing

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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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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06 
Mar

Cotswold Food Club, The Old Fleece

The Old Fleece Cotswold Food ClubWhat happens to a Rational oven when you leave it outside over Christmas? Simple, AC Services comes along, picks it up and repairs it! That is what happened to Nick Beardsley, joint owner of the Cotswold Food Club.  Nick runs the Old Fleece, the Old Lodge, Fostons Ash and the Britannia, all pubs located around the Cotswold area.

Due to a major power surge just before Christmas, the main motherboard on the SCC WE 101 electric Rational oven at the Old Fleece was damaged and the chefs were unable to use the appliance.

Being a critical piece of equipment over that period, Nick had no choice but to replace his prized oven with a temporary one which led to the Rational oven being left outside. A quick call to AC Services and the engineers turned up to assess the situation.

We assumed that the cold and the outside environment would have damaged the oven beyond repair but as it turned out, the engineers were quite happy to take it away.

We were delighted when we were told that it could be repaired and we could have it back,” explains Nick. “It was even better news for our chef who had been moaning about the quality of the replacement being inferior to the Rational model.”

The Old Fleece

The family-run venue is located between Stroud and Nailsworth and is a 250 year-old former coaching inn. It has been run by the Beardsley family for 25 years and Nick’s son, who was actually born in the Old Fleece, has recently taken over as manager.

The pub caters for numerous events, from staff parties to corporate lunches with chef, Aurel serving up a variety of food either from a set menu or bespoke. He is particularly noted for his Sunday roasts with the pub full at the weekend with hungry customers eager to try his food.

All pubs and hotel belonging to the Cotswold Food Club are set in historic buildings offering high quality, locally sourced food and drink in a relaxed and friendly environment. The group’s own farm in Woodchester supplies a limited amount of lamb and Gloucester Old Spot pork and venison, supplemented from farms in Gloucestershire, therefore offering only traceable, free-range meat.

Perfect Service

We were so pleased to get our oven back in perfect working order,” concludes Nick. “However, we were more impressed with the service offered by AC Services.

Unlike our previous maintenance contractors, the company turned up with everything on the van that might be required to repair the oven and then took it away when it was clear that it needed attention.

We have an adhoc contract with the company so we just paid for a single call out and we are extremely happy with the outcome.”

If you require information about our services and maintenance packages, call AC Services (Southern) on 01454 322222.

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Published Date: 6th March 2018
Category: Blog, Case Study, News
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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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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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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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05 
Sep

SafeContractor Accreditation

SafeContractor AccreditationAC Services (Southern) has again received the SafeContractor accreditation. This seal of approval is issued by Alcumus and is testament to the company’s health and safety arrangements, policies and qualifications of contractors. This third party accreditation scheme confirms a company’s competency in the practice of health and safety.

AC Services received the accreditation following a stringent vetting process which examined all health and safety procedures and their track record for safe practice. It is used by thousands of organisations in the UK including SMEs and FTSE 100 companies.

Indeed there are a further 300 nationwide businesses, from several key industries, who have signed up for a separate scheme to select only accredited contractors for services including building, cleaning, maintenance, refurbishment or electrical and mechanical work.

Seal of Approval

AC Services will continue to use the SafeContractor seal of approval on their documentation and marketing material and will be included on the SafeContractor website, accessible only to registered users and signed up client organisations, enabling them to choose a potential accredited contractor.

Gemma Archibald, Director of Alcumus SafeContractor said: “Major organisations simply cannot afford to run the risk of employing contractors who are not able to prove that they have sound health and safety policies in place. More companies need to understand the importance of adopting good risk management in the way that AC Services has done. The firm’s high standard has set an example which hopefully will be followed by other companies within the sector.

Helen Hagger, MD of AC Services is delighted but not surprised at the accreditation. “We take health and safety extremely seriously and our organisation has adhered to the highest standards both in the office and in the field when we service our clients. We are proud to consistently employ best practice in our operations and the SafeContractors seal of approval is testament to this.

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Published Date: 5th September 2017
Category: Blog, Catering Business, News
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25 
Jul

Save Money by Servicing and On-line Shopping

AC Services keeping chefs using Rational ovens happyClients 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.

Service Essentials

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.

  • Installation,
  • 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 

Cost Efficiency

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.

Customer Discounts

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.

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Published Date: 25th July 2017
Category: Blog, Cleaning, News, Service plan
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11 
Apr

Money for School Meals?

School meals fundingThere has been plenty of speculation in the media recently about schools. Labour has announced an ambitious plan to put VAT on private school fees and use the money to fund free meals for all primary school children.

No doubt this is a backlash against Theresa May’s plan to bring back grammar schools but it has inevitably caused some disagreement.

According to the National Association of Head Teachers, school budgets are currently “at breaking point”. Some schools, faced with their first real-terms spending cuts in decades, are making staff redundant. There are more pupils to every class and some subjects are being scrapped.

So parents are understandably a bit sceptical about Labour blowing £1.5 billion on lunches.

New Build Schools

However, the government has already pledged to build more schools, among them 140 new free schools which are destined to create a further 70,000 new places. This comes on the back of the pledge to create more grammar schools. The budget allocated for the changes is £500 million. But existing schools may require a lot more to bring themselves up to the standard of the new ones.

Teaching unions have said that although £216 million has been set aside in maintenance and refurbishment grants, as much as £6.7 billion is needed to return all school buildings to a good condition.

The government’s £0.5B package is also earmarked for public transport costs or minibuses for children from poorer families to go to grammar schools that are between two and fifteen miles from their homes.

School Meals Investment

All government-funded schools must offer free school meals to every pupil in reception, year 1 and year 2 and the funding is and will continue to be £2.30 per meal.

For kitchens, this money can go further with a bit of imagination and the right appliance for the cooking. When buying capital items, it is always good to consider all costs not just the ticket price of the oven. A reliable and well-known model such as the Rational oven range cuts down on maintenance and enhances performance. With a maintenance plan with AC Services (Southern), schools can be assured of immediate service should anything go wrong, and a routine service on a regular basis.

There are other ways of making the money go further. Create more exciting recipes and cook from scratch using healthy ingredients such as vegetables. Reduce wastage by investing in an oven that can keep food at the correct temperature throughout the meal serving times.

There is no way of predicting the future of the educational system, but if you are involved in school meals, then at least preempt any proposed changes and make sure that you are equipped with the most appropriate and up-to-date kitchen knowledge.

Call the team at AC Services to see how we can service and maintain your Rational and Frima equipment economically on 01454 322 222.

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Published Date: 11th April 2017
Category: Blog, Catering Business, News, Ovens, Rational
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10 
Jan

New Year Resolution- Get Rational Oven Service Sorted

Rational oven cleaning and pre- Christmas serviceWhat happened to Christmas? Where did it go? How is it possible that we are already in the second week of January? Only 330 odd days to go now before the next one though so worry not.

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.

Prices Held

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 service@acservicessouthern.co.uk

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Published Date: 10th January 2017
Category: Blog, Catering Business, News, Service plan
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