Monday, 17 May 2010

Kitchen contingency plans are a must

PKL’s free Contingency Planning Guide provides an overview of the importance of kitchen contingency planning and helps users to produce their own personalised plan.

Contingency planning is vital for any catering operation. A contingency plan helps to minimise the adverse effects of sudden closure or disruption, so that in the event of an emergency, appropriate plans can be implemented quickly and efficiently to restore service as soon as possible. In some sectors, a kitchen contingency plan is a requirement, to ensure that foodservice operation is not interrupted, while a contingency plan may also be put in place to help manage seasonal peaks in food production with maximum efficiency.

PKL’s Contingency Planning Guide builds on the company’s 20+ years experience of delivering emergency kitchens and catering equipment at short notice. It provides a contingency planning checklist, outlining key considerations and highlights factors that are often unanticipated. For example, if you need an emergency kitchen, will it be necessary to close roads or lift it over other buildings? Or do you know what items of equipment you would need to maintain service to customers?

PKL’s emergency response service is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to supply temporary catering facilities to clients that have suffered unforeseen emergencies such as fire, floods or equipment breakdown. Solutions range from single items of catering equipment to complete kitchens and restaurant facilities, which are usually up and running within a few hours of receiving the first emergency call (depending on the size of facility required).

In addition to the free Contingency Planning Guide, PKL can also provide bespoke contingency plans, tailored to each client’s exact requirements and business priorities.

To order a free copy of the Contingency Planning Guide, click here

For more information regarding PKL's contingency planning services, click below.

Monday, 10 May 2010

PKL is one to recognise

PKL Group, the UK’s leading supplier of temporary kitchens and catering equipment for hire, has been announced as a finalist in the Sunday Times Fast Track ‘Ones to Recognise’.

Compiled by Oxford based research company Fast Track, ‘Ones to Recognise’ is part of the Sunday Times annual Profit Track 100 report. It showcases a selection of companies that are chosen on the strength of their management team, innovation, ability to overcome challenges and their potential for growth.

Managing director Chris Irving commented: “PKL has earned its market-leading position through a commitment to high quality products and innovation, as well as first rate project planning and customer service. These qualities have proved their value to customers during the difficult economic times and provide us with a strong foundation for our ongoing success. We are proud to be recognised alongside so many leading names in British industry”.

PKL Group has a range of over 900 portable kitchens and support units, including cold storage, dry storage and warewashing facilities, and over 9,000 items of catering equipment readily available for hire.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

LACA / PKL School Kitchens Design Forum – London South Bank Centre

The latest LACA/PKL School Kitchen Design forum, held in London in February, addressed key issues relating to provision of school meals and associated facilities. Sponsored by PKL and the Local Authority Caterers Association, the event was attended by around 50 delegates representing local authorities, consultants and other stakeholders.

LACA Chair Beverly Baker opened the proceedings with a focus on the importance of school meals and associated facilities – in the context of the changing educational environment and the higher profile of nutrition amongst young people.

Continuing this theme, Liz Randall from the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) explored the proposed amendments to regulations governing dining space and nutritional standards in school premises. It was clear from this presentation that improved facilities for both the preparation and consumption of food will play an even more important role in the future.

Factors influencing the take-up of school meals was the theme of a presentation by Linda Smith of the School Food Trust, who presented the findings of the School Lunch & Learning Behaviour Study. This study showed quite clearly that improving the dining room environment could play a pivotal role in increasing the acceptability of school meals to pupils.

The focus of the day then switched to the design and delivery of school kitchens. Robert Danks of Food Chain Solutions outlined a recent case study with Northamptonshire County Council, rolling out their “Hot Meal” plan in schools. Paul Saer of Buying Solutions followed, providing an overview of the Buying Solutions agency and John Robinson from PKL finished the first session with a presentation on PKL Group’s school kitchen solutions, including a number of case study examples.

After a lively question and answer session, delegates were then asked to work in groups to produce brief presentations for fellow delegates, covering their own successes and difficult situations in relation to planning kitchens and learning from operational use

Successes included training, marketing school meals and the use of regeneration kitchens. Areas of difficulty included the BB99 regulations, failure of architects, planners and contractors to listen to the people who will be running the facilities and a lack of understanding by head teachers. Funding for improving facilities was also perceived as a barrier to taking plans forward.

Following this interactive session the forum concluded with a presentation from Vic Laws of AVL Consulting, presenting the findings of a recent study into energy efficiency in school kitchens.

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