Friday, 19 December 2014

Festive Sights at PKL!

With 2014 drawing to a close, we thought you might like a mini tour of our offices and the vast array of Xmas trees and creative efforts within! On our travels, we also came across a very festive elf who has a number of enlightening messages to share. Finally, we thought it would probably be a good idea to let you know our Christmas opening hours, so you can scroll down for them too!

'Tis the season, so here are a few of the festive sights spotted around the PKL office this week...

PKL Christmas - trees and decorations
Our mini office tree, a new friend on our reception desk, and the tree in the staff canteen
PKL Christmas - Christmas jumpers
National Christmas Jumper Day and a glorious snowscape

PKL Christmas - Reception area
The main tree in reception, Linda and Kelli showing off their jumpers, and a very classy mini tree
PKL Christmas - decorated desk
Over-enthusiastic desk decorating and PKL Christmas Jumper Day

PK Elf

As well as these seasonal scenes, we also spotted an elf who was keen to demonstrate some key PKL messages...

PKL Christmas - Elf and Safety
Elf and Safety, our Technical Support elfline, and elfy eating

Elf and safety is very important to us, and we hold a number of elf and safety accreditations including OHSAS18001, CHAS, F-Gas, Gas Safe and SAFEcontractor.

Our Technical Support elfline is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and a person (or elf) is always on hand to offer support to clients with kitchens or catering equipment on hire from us. The elfline is open all through the festive season, so customers can always get hold of us if they need help.

Finally, we know elfy eating is very important to many of our customers, so we offer a range of over 9,000 items of commercial catering equipment to enable them to produce the exact menus that they want.

Christmas Opening Hours

Our office will close for the Christmas break at the end of the day on Tuesday 23rd December and will reopen on Monday 5th January.

If you have an emergency over the Christmas period and require a temporary kitchen or items of catering equipment, our emergency response line is open 24 hours a day, and you can reach us on 0845 840 42 42.

Thank you for all your support over the last year - we hope you have a very happy and successful 2015!

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

A-Z of PKL's 2014: Part 3

Here's the third and final part of my A-Z review of the year. This section covers letters R-Z and includes cows, football, jumpers and a few kitchens. Enjoy!

is for race week, and our psychic office bovine CowCow. As we are based just up the road from Cheltenham Racecourse, we can’t help but take an interest in the Cheltenham Festival each March. This year, CowCow used an elaborate spinner system to make his race predictions, which were shared on the blog and the PKL Twitter account. He successfully picked a number of winners this year, improving greatly on last year’s rather shaky performance.

S is for the School Food Plan and the Small Schools Taskforce. It’s been an incredibly busy year for schools, with huge changes to school food due to new standards set out in the School Food Plan. We’ve supplied a whole range of temporary and permanent kitchen solutions to schools this year to enable them to update their kitchens to cope with the changes. As a member of the Small Schools Taskforce, I’ve also spent time offering kitchen advice and recommendations to small and rural schools, who have been faced by a different set of challenges.

PKL A-Z of 2014 - CowCow and AFC Trident
CowCow making his race predictions and AFC Trident in their PKL shirts
T is for AFC Trident, the local football team that we are sponsoring this season. They’re having a great season so far (undoubtedly due to their fantastic PKL shirts!), and you can read more and follow their progress on the PKL blog, and in our monthly newsletters. T is also for Tennants Auctioneers, where we installed a temporary kitchen to keep their popular on-site restaurant running during a three-week kitchen refurbishment. For more details of this project, you can read the Tennants Auctioneers case study.

U is for Universal Infant Free School Meals (UIFSM). Introduced in September, this government initiative to provide free school meals to all pupils in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 has impacted on primary schools across the country. We’ve supported a number of schools to prepare their kitchen facilities for this, through the sale and hire of permanent KitchenPods to replace or extend existing school kitchens or provide a new facility for schools with no kitchen. We have also hired temporary kitchens to schools whose kitchens weren’t going to be ready on time.

PKL A-Z of 2014 - Tennant Auctioneers and Blended Festival Dubai
Temporary kitchen at Tennants Auctioneers and VIP kitchen at Blended Festival in Dubai

V is for VIP catering. We’ve supplied kitchens and catering equipment for VIP catering at various events throughout the year, including music festivals, concerts and awards shows. V is also for vehicles. Our vehicles have completed a number of tricky deliveries this year including negotiating narrow gates using forklifts at St Pauls School, and craning a temporary kitchen unit over an entire building at Burton College.

W is for our new strategic partnership with Well Dressed Tables, which was set up in August. It gives our customers access to Well Dressed Tables’ stock of crockery, cutlery and glassware to hire, providing a simple, one-stop solution. W is also for work experience. In April, local school pupil Beatrice joined the PKL marketing team for a week of work experience. From designing email newsletters to clearing out the marketing cupboard, she got stuck in to all the tasks we threw at her! You can read Beatrice’s work experience diary here.

X is for Xmas! Although our offices will be closed over the Christmas period, members of staff will be on call to help any businesses or organisations who need emergency kitchen facilities, and we already have a number of temporary units set up and ready to deploy at short notice. X is also for Xmas jumpers. We took part in National Christmas Jumper Day last Friday and raised money for homeless charity Crisis – embarrassing photo below.

PKL A-Z of 2014 - Burton College delivery and Christmas Jumper Day
Craning over a building at Burton College and National Christmas Jumper Day
Y is for the Yorkshire Purchasing Organisation (YPO). As approved suppliers on the framework, we exhibited at The Big YPO Cleaning, Catering and FM Show in Nottingham in July. The exhibition featured 65 YPO suppliers and was attended by purchasing representatives from various public sector organisations. Y is also for Y Pant School in Wales. We installed a Food Cube at the school in the summer holidays, which is the third Cube we’ve supplied to that particular local authority.

Z is for zzz... Our Technical Support line will continue to be open 24 hours a day over the Christmas period to support existing kitchens we have out on hire, so even if a client has a kitchen problem at 2am on Christmas Day, a human will be there to answer the phone and help or dispatch an engineer – the rest of the country might be asleep, but if you have a kitchen emergency, you can always get hold of us.

That's the end of my review of 2014. There have of course been a number of other exciting projects and highlights throughout 2014, but I hope this brief review has given you an insight into the varying range of events and projects we've been involved in throughout the year.

Here's to 2015!

Thursday, 11 December 2014

A-Z of PKL's 2014: Part 2

Here is Part 2 of my A-Z of this year's highlights at PKL. Part 2 covers letters J-Q, and this section of the alphabet includes a number of exciting events that we've taken part in this year. In this section, it's also clear that it's been a hugely eventful year for the education sector in particular, with new legislation and school initiatives having had a significant impact on that side of our business! If you missed it last week, make sure you catch up on Part 1: A-I here.

J is for Jamie’s Kitchen Garden Project. In May, we installed a Food Technology Kitchen at St Paul’s Primary School in London as part of this Jamie Oliver initiative to get children growing their own food and cooking in schools. It was positioned by the school’s vegetable garden and was designed to include cooking equipment as well as tables and chairs for the children to eat at once they had cooked their meals.

K is for KitchenPods, our permanent modular kitchens. In November, local MP Ed Miliband officially opened the brand new KitchenPod at Kirkby Avenue Primary School in Doncaster. This was a spacious new kitchen with brick slip finish to blend in with existing buildings on site.

PKL A-Z of 2014 - Food Tech Kitchen and Kirkby Ave KitchenPod
Food Technology Kitchen installation at St Paul's Primary and KitchenPod at Kirkby Avenue Primary

L is for the LACA Exhibition which we attended in July. This year, we took along a portable kitchen and positioned it outside the main entrance of the venue for delegates to see in the flesh. Many people hadn’t seen inside a temporary kitchen before, and were surprised at the quality and spaciousness of the cooking environment. We always enjoy the LACA shows, and it was great to see so many familiar faces and meet new people too.

M is for PKL's Macmillan coffee morning. In September, we took part in the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support. A huge cake sale in our staff canteen raised £175 for the cause. M is also for the Modular and Portable Building Association (MPBA), which PKL joined as a member in September. I also now sit on the committee as a member of the main MPBA Council.

PKL A-Z of 2014 - Temporary LACA kitchen and Macmillan cake sale
Temporary kitchen at the LACA Exhibition and Macmillan coffee morning

N is for National School Meals Week. As part of National School Meals Week, we installed a pop-up school kitchen outside the House of Commons on Tuesday 4th November. The kitchen was used to serve sample school lunches to MPs, peers and the public to promote school food and show what modern school meals are really like!

O is for The One Show. Back in March, our KitchenPods were featured on The One Show as a potential solution for schools needing kitchen facilities to offer UIFSM from September. We also installed a Food Cube at the BBC studios, to be featured as an example of a solution for schools suffering lunchtime congestion. The Food Cube was then used by Mary Berry to cook pancakes live on the show!

PKL A-Z of 2014 - NSMW kitchen and The One Show Food Cube
Pop-up school kitchen outside parliament for NSMW and Food Cube on The One Show

P is for Passmores Academy, where we installed a large, walk-through Food Cube. The school, which is the setting for hit TV show Educating Essex, needed to expand its dining facilities to cope with increasing pupil intake. The Food Cube was positioned by an existing outdoor covered seating area, turning it into an additional space where pupils could purchase and eat food. P is also for poetry. When it comes to poetry, we’ve found that no topic is more inspiring than catering equipment. Read our National Poetry Day rhyme, “Dance of the Catering Equipment”.

Q is for queueing. With increasing numbers of 16-18 year olds staying in education and the School Food Plan leading to increased school meal take-up, many school canteens have been experiencing growing congestion this year. Our Food Cubes have continued to be a popular solution for schools across the country, drastically reducing lunch queue times by easing the pressure on the main canteen and offering a quick “grab and go” service.

That's it for Part 2. Stop by the blog again next week for the final installment of the A-Z of PKL's 2014.

Thursday, 4 December 2014

A-Z of PKL's 2014: Part 1

It's been a great year at PKL, with lots of exciting new projects, partnerships and events. As 2014 draws to a close, I've put together an A-Z review of the year to pick out my highlights. I'll publish a blog post each week from now until the Christmas break to take you through my summary of PKL's 2014. Here's Part 1: A-I.

A is for Ashridge Business Centre. This business centre located in a stunning Grade I listed country house was the site of a 12-week temporary kitchen hire during the summer. The PKL temporary kitchen facility was capable of producing 500 meals per sitting for the centre's staff, visitors and functions while the centre underwent a refurbishment. For more details on this project, read our Ashridge case study.

B is for a fantastic KitchenPod installed at Bentley High Street Primary School in time for the introduction of UIFSM in September. B is also for our brilliant new brochures! These brochures were the result of months of hard work, so when the first copies were printed in May, it was a real cause for celebration. We now have separate brochures for Temporary Kitchens, Catering Equipment, Events, Permanent Solutions and Transworld.

C is for the Children's Food Trust, who we continue to support. With the introduction of UIFSM in September, it's been a busy year for school projects. For example, the Children's Food Trust and LACA put West Berkshire Council in touch with us when three schools needed urgent kitchen solutions - read the West Berkshire schools case study for more details. C is also for customer feedback. We use a Net Promoter Score to measure customer feedback. In the analysis of NPS, a score of above zero is good and above 50 is excellent. I'm delighted to say that our NPS score so far this year is 70, which demonstrates a very high level of customer satisfaction.

PKL A-Z of 2014 - Ashridge and Dubai
Temporary kitchens at Ashridge Business Centre and Dubai Food Carnival

D is for our new partnership with Lowe Refrigeration in Dubai. The partnership has seen our units used at a number of exciting events in Dubai, with case studies including kitchens at Dubai Food Carnival, Blended Music Festival and the Dubai Rugby Sevens.

E is for event health and safety. It might not sound too exciting but there are some very important new health and safety changes being introduced in the event industry next year which will affect all our event clients. The new CDM regulations will mean tougher event safety standards, similar to those seen in the construction sector. Luckily we’ve already been supplying CDM compliant products and services to the event sector for over five years! You can read more in our event health and safety blog post.

PKL A-Z of 2014 - Food Cubes
Food Cube with attached dining room and walk-in Food Cube

F is for festivals! Our UK Events team supplied kitchens to a number of festivals again this year, for a mix of VIP, staff and public dining. We've also installed lots of Food Cubes at secondary schools across the country, including new bespoke designs such as a Food Cube with attached dining room, and a walk-in Food Cube with additional catering equipment. F is also for the Foodservice Consultants Society International (FCSI), of which I am now a member!

G is for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, where we supplied the kitchens and servery areas for the main athletes' dining facility, as well as additional casual dining facilities. We supply kitchen and dining facilities to a number of major international sporting events, but it's always extra special when it's one based in the UK. G is also for Gabon, where we supplied a kitchen facility to an oil exploration camp, via our Transworld international division.

PKL A-Z of 2014 - Glasgow 2014 and Halfway House
Clyde enjoying a drink at Glasgow 2014 and the new Halfway House design

H is for our new Halfway House facility for golf clubs which was launched in August. This is a new member of our Food Cube family of products, and offers a modular food and drink servery with shop and toilets, to be located out on the golf course for players to use during their round. You can read more about it in our Halfway House blog post. H is also for the Hospital Caterers Association (HCA). As well as attending HCA meetings throughout the year, we hosted a meeting for the south west branch back in January.

I is for internal refurbishments! This year, we've undertaken various refurbishment works to our offices including a brand new reception area and board room, a major revamp in the canteen and fantastic new office chairs! Reception has had new paint and flooring, a new reception desk, the addition of a display case for all our awards(!) and a new wall-mounted screen. Elsewhere, the board room has had new paint, carpet, chairs, blinds and pictures, while the canteen has been repainted and had new flooring put down. All very smart.

That's it for Part 1. Keep an eye out for the A-Z Part 2 next week!

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Trident Football Club – November Results

We’re happy to announce that local football team AFC Trident (sponsored by PKL) remain unbeaten so far this season – here’s how they got on this month…

In their first match of November, Trident battled with Brockworth Albion 3rds at home. Having struggled against them last season, Trident gave a strong performance. Goals came courtesy of a header from Aiden Knight, a hat trick from Chris Morris and a further goal from Liam Poole. Finally, a Brockworth own-goal resulted in Trident winning 6-1.

Next, following a week off, Trident took on Barnwood United Reserves. Going into the game, both teams were level at the top of the table on 18 points, with Barnwood having played a game more. Trident started as they meant to go on, with an early goal from Liam Poole. Chris Morris then scored a further two goals in quick succession, giving Trident a strong 3-0 lead within the first 20 minutes. Barnwood soon hit back with a goal of their own, but another goal from Liam Pool in the second half secured Trident’s 4-1 victory and opened up a 3-point gap at the top of Division 5.

The Purple Army then played Stonehouse Town 3rds at home. Following a strong start from the opposition, Trident went into the lead through a stroke of luck, after the ball hit Daniel Whisby’s shin while blocking a clearance, deflecting into the back of the net. This led to a renewed effort from Trident, with Chris Morris going on to score a hat trick in the space of 15 minutes, but unfortunately gaining an injury from his third goal. Liam Poole scored a header at the start of the second half, leading Trident to win 5-0. 

PKL sponsor AFC Trident November 2014
Season Summary

23.8.14 Stroud District Football League Division 5
Trident 7 vs 1 Quedgeley Wanderers 3rds

30.8.14 Stroud District Football League Division 5
Trident 11 vs 0 Cashes Green Res

6.9.14 Stroud District Football League Division 5
Trident 3 vs 1 Rodborough Old Boys

13.9.14 Stroud District Football League Division 5
Coaley Rovers Res 0 vs 9 Trident

27.9.14 Gloucestershire County Cup Round 1
Lechlade 87 2 vs 5 Trident

11.10.14 Stroud District Football League Division 5
Trident 6 - 4 Dursley Town 3rds

19.10.14 Charity Cup Section D
Randwick Res 1 - 5 Trident

25.10.14 Gloucestershire County Cup Round 2
Trident 4 - 0 Quedgeley Wanderers 3rds

01.11.14 Stroud District Football League Division 5
Trident 6 vs 1 Brockworth Albion 3rds

15.11.14 Stroud District Football League Division 5
Barnwood United Res 1 vs 4 Trident

22.11.14 Stroud District Football League Division 5
Trident 5 vs 0 Stonehouse Town 3rds

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Kitchen Solutions for Ports and Dockyards

I’ve worked with a number of ports and dockyards during my time at PKL, helping provide catering infrastructure solutions for a range of different projects.

These are always interesting projects to work on as every job has different requirements and site layouts. As a result, we have created different kitchen options to use as a starting point to design a solution to suit each individual project.

With various options available for these sites in particular, I thought it might be useful to outline the main PKL solutions that are typically specified for ports and dockyards.

Dockyards are such large and complex sites that we have created a number of dockyard-friendly catering solutions over the years for our clients.

Here’s a quick overview of our top kitchen solutions for the sector:

PKL port and dockyard kitchen solutions

Modular Kitchens and Dining Facilities

Where a cook and serve option is required, we offer three different sizes of portable kitchen, all with service hatches to allow a grab and go meal service. These self-contained kitchens use brand name commercial catering equipment for the storage, preparation, production and service of meals.

We also offer fully integrated temporary catering arrangements that comprise multiple buildings linked together to provide a tailor made kitchen solution. These can be linked to an existing dining structure, or to a servery building where contractors can collect their meals to be eaten in their own mess buildings. Alternatively, we can provide temporary dining facilities too.

Mobile Galley Kitchens

For large or spread out sites, we offer mobile galley kitchens, which have proven to be popular for use in ports and dockyards. These kitchen trailers are fully mobile and can be moved around site, offering maximum flexibility and enabling catering services to be easily accessible to staff working in all locations.

Read this case study on a modular kitchen and mobile galley feeders that we supplied to a dockyard.

Food Cube Satellite Feeding Stations

Our Food Cube satellite feeding stations are designed to ease the pressure on canteen servery lines and save remote workers from spending valuable time getting to and from meal breaks. Food is cooked and prepared in the main canteen and then transferred to the Food Cube located elsewhere on site, where it can be kept warm or refrigerated prior to being served. The Food Cube design allows for the retailing of hot and cold meals, snacks, sandwiches, and hot and cold drinks.

More Info?

For more information on our catering infrastructure solutions for ports and dockyards, give me a call or visit the PKL website.

PKL portable kitchens at a dockyard

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

PKL at National School Meals Week 2014

As part of National School Meals Week, we installed a PKL temporary kitchen outside the House of Commons last Tuesday to feed school lunches to MPs, peers and members of the public.

Some of the dishes served may have come as a surprise to anyone unaware of recent changes to school food – the menu included options such as organic beef Jamaican pie with mash, Valencia salmon paella, sweet potato curry with roti bread, and Arabian lamb and rice. These are all meals which are on the menu at local schools, so they represented a real example of modern school food.

The temporary kitchen was delivered at the crack of dawn and installed in Old Palace Yard. Local school chefs then used the kitchen to cook and serve lunch from 12-2pm. The kitchen drew quite a crowd, with lots of people coming to sample the food.

MPs who stopped by to taste the school lunches included David Laws, Sharon Hodgson, Stephen Mosley and Edward Davey among others. The event was also attended by Linda Creegan, CEO of the Children’s Food Trust, and Myles Bremner, Director of the School Food Plan.

By 4.30pm the kitchen was all packed up and loaded back onto our lorry ready to head back to PKL HQ. With over 25 years’ experience supplying temporary kitchens, permanent KitchenPods and Food Cubes to the education sector, we’ve seen first-hand how school food has changed in recent years and we’re proud to have been part of this exciting event which has helped showcase just how far school food has come.

PKL kitchen being delivered to the House of Commons for NSMW
PKL kitchen outside the House of Commons for NSMW

Friday, 31 October 2014

Trident Football Club - October Results

If you read our blog post last month, you'll remember that PKL sponsor local football team AFC Trident. We're very happy to announce that they remain unbeaten this season following another three wins this month!

First up this month, Trident faced Dursley Town 3rds at home in their fifth league game of the season. While the game was close-run in places, Trident finished with a 6-4 victory, in part thanks to a hat trick from Matt Hindley.

Trident then travelled to Randwick for the first round of the Charity Cup, on a windy Sunday morning. This is a competition Trident knows very well, having reached the final two years in succession. Randwick’s famous slope always makes it hard for the visiting team, and Trident had the added challenge of playing into the wind in the first half, with a score of 1-1 at half time. In the second half, Trident fought back to win by 5-1, following goals from Karl Robertson, Matt Hindely and two from Daniel Whisby.

In a repeat of the first league game of the season, Trident battled at home against Quedgeley Wanderers 3rds once again, this time in the second round of the County Cup. The first half was close, but Trident went into the lead following Craig Cooke's first goal of the season. Early into the second half Trident moved further ahead with goals from Liam Poole and Daniel Whisby, then sub Aiden Knight scored with his first touch after coming on. Trident had to work hard for their clean sheet, with Lee Burby making some great saves, and Trident progressed safely through to the third round with a 4-0 victory.

AFC Trident sponsored by PKL - October 2014Season Summary

23.8.14 Stroud District Football League Division 5
Trident 7 vs 1 Quedgeley Wanderers 3rds

30.8.14 Stroud District Football League Division 5
Trident 11 vs 0 Cashes Green Res

6.9.14 Stroud District Football League Division 5
Trident 3 vs 1 Rodborough Old Boys

13.9.14 Stroud District Football League Division 5
Coaley Rovers Res 0 vs 9 Trident

27.9.14 Gloucestershire County Cup Round 1
Lechlade 87 2 vs 5 Trident

11.10.14 Stroud District Football League Division 5
Trident 6 - 4 Dursley Town 3rds

19.10.14 Charity Cup Section D
Randwick Res 1 - 5 Trident

25.10.14 Gloucestershire County Cup Round 2
Trident 4 - 0 Quedgeley Wanderers 3rds

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Temporary Kitchens for Food Manufacturers

We have loads of experience of supplying food manufacturers with temporary kitchen space, so here’s a quick overview of how we can help the food manufacturing sector!

Top 5 reasons food manufacturers might need temporary kitchens

There are lots of different reasons why a food manufacturer might need to hire a temporary kitchen – here are the top five reasons I’ve come across from clients:

1.    Food manufacturers take on a new contract and need to increase their production facilities for a set amount of time.

2.    Additional facilities are required in order to undertake the production of a trial product.

3.    Temporary facilities are needed in order for production to continue during kitchen refurbishment works.

4.    The food manufacturer is operating at full capacity but requires more production space.

5.    An emergency has resulted in all or part of the kitchen being closed at short notice, so temporary facilities are required to continue production.

We offer a whole range of solutions to help food manufacturers in these situations. These include the provision of modular kitchen facilities to enable increased production capacity, additional cold and dry storage space, emergency temporary kitchens or catering equipment if main production facilities have been taken out of action, and product testing and development kitchens.

PKL temporary kitchens for food manufacturersKey considerations for food manufacturers when considering temporary kitchens

Our temporary kitchens are an ideal solution as they’re so flexible. There are several factors that food manufacturers need to consider when thinking about hiring temporary facilities:

Size and Timescale
Depending on requirements, the size of kitchen needed can vary hugely. We can supply facilities of all sizes, from 15 sqm up to 1,500+ sqm. Different requirements also have different timescales. For example, a major refurbishment or new contract may require a long term solution, whereas increased capacity might just be required for a busy period or while a new product is being developed. We can offer short, medium and long term solutions tailored to each client’s individual needs.

Catering Equipment
Depending on the product being produced, specific items of catering equipment are likely to be needed. Utilising products from our range of over 9,000 items of catering equipment, we work with our clients to supply a temporary kitchen facility which is matched with the production requirements. Our commercial catering equipment is well-maintained and consists of trusted, professional brands which are suitable for heavy usage.

Compliance and the Kitchen Environment
It’s very important that any kitchen facilities used for food manufacturing comply fully with all relevant food hygiene and health and safety legislation.
All our units and items of catering equipment undergo thorough, regular maintenance to ensure that they reach you in good working order, and are tested and certificated before every hire.

Our kitchen units are purpose-built and designed specifically for catering use, so they offer a high quality catering environment with all the latest health and safety features. Our kitchen features include extraction canopies with fully interlocked gas valves, emergency cut off points, automatic fire suppression, easy clean extraction systems, infestation proof construction, high lux lighting housed in steam proof fittings and automatic emergency lighting. In addition, the walls and ceilings are all wipe clean plastisteel, and our kitchens feature sealed non-slip vinyl flooring, to facilitate cleaning. We also offer environmental control with options for tempered air in areas of high air movement, and chilled environments where there are areas of high risk food assembly.

PKL modular kitchen facilities for food manufacturers

More Info?

For more information on our catering infrastructure solutions for food manufacturers, give me a call or visit the PKL website.

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Dance of the Catering Equipment

We love National Poetry Day, but it always causes us quite some stress as nothing rhymes particularly well with “kitchens” or “catering equipment”. Undeterred, we have launched ourselves into this year’s poem with all the grace and finesse of a ballet-dancing bratt pan. Enjoy!

Dance of the Catering Equipment

The fridges are gliding on castors of grey,
Inspired by National Poetry Day.
They charmingly twirl into position,
A delightful addition to any chef’s kitchen.

Then enter the combis, all shiny and gleaming
Preparing for baking and blanching and steaming.
Gently they bow and point to Stage Right;
In shimmies a mixer – a glorious sight!

A griddle prances in, its castors a-spinning
But with a bold pirouette, the mixer is winning!
Just when we think the dance couldn’t get nicer,
Putting on its best moves, in dances a slicer!

Keen to join in, an emboldened boiling pan
Launches onto the stage with some kind of can-can.
It doesn’t go well – it’s not much of a looker
But its bacon is saved by a jiving pasta cooker.

On waltzes a dishwasher, its crockery smashing,
A servery too, with gastronorms crashing.
Somewhat more graceful, in slides a freezer,
Soon joined in a rumba with a potato peeler.

Then enters the star, sweet Bain Marie
And her partner Jack Stack, who soon takes the lead!
With a final foxtrot upon pointed toes,
They bring the performance to a triumphant close.

And so ends the dance, to rapturous applause,
The kitchen calms down and closes its doors.
What’s just taken place is somewhat unclear,
But this poem is done, and that’s it for this year.

If this poem has inspired you to hire any of our fabulous catering equipment, visit the catering equipment section of our website for more details of all of our items!

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

PKL Sponsor Trident Football Club

This season, PKL are proud sponsors of local football team AFC Trident. The team has been very successful over the past few seasons, winning back-to-back titles and the charity cup. The shiny new PKL-sponsored home kit was warmly welcomed by the team and has clearly worked its magic as they have won every game so far this season!

The new kit made its debut in the team's last pre-season friendly against Alkerton Rangers Reverves. Trident claimed a 4-2 victory, but the excitement over the new kit apparently eclipsed the excitement of the win!

AFC Trident at a glance...
Established: 1976

Home ground: Plock Court, Gloucester
Kit Colour: Purple, white and black
Nickname: Purple Army
League: Stroud District Football League Division 5

AFC Trident sponsored by PKL Group
August/September Results

When the fixtures were announced, the opening three league games were against tough opponents who Trident had struggled against in the past, so it was important for the team to get off to a strong start.

First up, Trident took on Quedgeley Wanderers 3rds, where after a close first half the Purple Army went on to win 7-1 thanks to a hat trick from Chris Morris and further goals from new signings Liam Poole and Karl Robertson.

Next up, Trident made light work of Cashes Green Res, winning 11-0, including another great performance from Liam Poole who scored a hat trick.

Trident's next challenge came in the form of Rodborough Old Boys, who put up a tough fight, making it a close game. With five minutes left to play, Trident were awarded a penalty which was converted by Matt Hindley, with the game ending 3-1 to Trident.

This month's final league game was against Coaley Rovers Res. The magic PKL shirts continued to work a treat, and Trident won 9-0.

After a much-deserved week off, Trident's next opponents were Lechlade 87 in the first round of the Gloucestershire County Cup. Following a shaky start and an early goal from Lechlade 87, Trident fought back with goals from Daniel Whisby and top goal scorer Chris Morris. The second half saw a second goal for Chris Morris, as well as goals for Liam Poole and Karl Robertson securing a 5-2 win. This saw Trident safely into the second round of the cup, for only the second time in four seasons.

AFC Trident in actionSeason Summary

23.8.14 Stroud District Football League Division 5
Trident 7 vs 1 Quedgeley Wanderers 3rds

30.8.14 Stroud District Football League Division 5
Trident 11 vs 0 Cashes Green Res

6.9.14 Stroud District Football League Division 5
Trident 3 vs 1 Rodborough Old Boys

13.9.14 Stroud District Football League Division 5
Coaley Rovers Res 0 vs 9 Trident

27.9.14 Gloucestershire County Cup Round 1
Lechlade 87 2 vs 5 Trident

MPBA Membership

I'm delighted to announce that PKL is now a member of the Modular & Portable Building Association.

In its own words:

"For more than 75 years, the Modular & Portable Building Association has been the voice and leading authority on the manufacture and application of both temporary and permanent factory based construction technologies in the UK.

The heart of modular construction technology in the UK, the MPBA works closely with Government and other regulatory bodies to ensure that the interests of the Modular or Offsite Industry are the focus of its activities.

In addition to the main Council, the Technical, Health & Safety and Marketing committees are constantly working hard to promote all the benefits that the industry is capable of providing."

All members are thoroughly assessed before joining, and the MPBA has developed an enforceable code of ethics and practices.

As well as PKL being a member, I now also sit on the committee as a member of the main MPBA Council. I'm looking forward to attending the next committee meeting in November and working with the MPBA in the future.

Friday, 26 September 2014

PKL's Macmillan Coffee Morning 2014

Today we joined thousands of people across the country to take part in the World's Biggest Coffee Morning to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support. The PKL canteen was decked out with yards of bunting, and the tables were positively groaning under the weight of all the cake ready to sell.

PKL Macmillan Coffee Morning bunting

Following last year's success, the standard of baked goods was particularly high as the more competitive members of staff battled to out-bake each other.

Top picks this year included some fabulous lemon drizzle cake, the most delicious sausage rolls we've ever eaten, posh cake pops, a magnificant array of chocolate brownies, and some rather fancy honey glazed flapjacks.

PKL Macmillan Coffee Morning cake

The feast has been available all day, so for some of our more hungry members of staff, it has constituted breakfast, elevenses, lunch and afternoon tea! We suspect our next fundraising event will need to be a charity slimathon...

PKL Macmillan Coffee Morning in full swing We're really pleased that we've managed to beat last year's total, and have successfully raised £175 for Macmillan Cancer Support.

It's not too late to donate to this worthy cause, so donate online here.

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Temporary Kitchens for Hotels

It’s been a busy time for hotel hires recently, so I thought it would be useful to write a blog post with some info about our temporary kitchen hire for hotels.

What and Why?
We hire out temporary kitchen facilities and commercial catering equipment for use during hotel kitchen refurbishments, kitchen emergencies, events and busy periods. Our units are available in a range of sizes and include production and preparation kitchens, walk-in coldrooms, dishwashing units, dry storage units, and dining facilities. You can select the exact items of catering equipment you need from our fleet of 9,000 items, and they come ready-installed in the kitchen units. Alternatively, we can hire individual items of catering equipment for use in your hotel’s own kitchen or in marquees during events.

Our kitchen units are purpose-built high quality commercial facilities, able to cope with heavy use at hotels. They fully comply with all current health and safety regulations and offer a number of features including a ventilation canopy, auto gas shut off, automatic fire suppression system, easy clean extraction system, infestation-proof construction, 500 lux lighting level, food-safe wipe-clean walls and plastisol steel wall lining, non-slip safety flooring, and insulated fire regulated wall panels, ceilings and floors. We supply top brand commercial catering equipment which is thoroughly cleaned and tested before going out on hire.

PKL open plan hotel kitchen


Our kitchens arrive on the back of a lorry and are craned into position on your site. We’ve fitted our kitchens into all sorts of tricky locations at different hotels – our delivery team are experts! Delivery can be at any time to suit you, so we can work to avoid any particularly busy times or days of the week. Our installation team are quick and professional, so disruption on site is kept to a minimum while we’re linking units together and connecting them up to services.

Disruption to Guests
As well as delivering at a time to ensure minimum disruption to your hotel guests, we can also provide additional sound insulation and odour control units on any of our kitchens that will be located close to guest accommodation. This will minimise any kitchen noise or cooking smells released from the extraction systems.

PKL hotel kitchen units


We know that hotel kitchens are often used all day every day. While on hire, all our kitchens and catering equipment are covered by our 24-hour technical support service. If you have any problems such as equipment breakdowns, at any time or on any day, all you need to do is call our technical support number and we’ll arrange for an engineer to come and help you asap. In emergencies, the engineer will be dispatched immediately, otherwise our standard response is within 24 hours (usually on the same day).

More Information
If you’d like more information or a quote for hiring temporary kitchen facilities for your hotel, please get in touch with myself or one of my colleagues and we’ll be happy to help.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Introducing the PKL Halfway House for Golf Clubs

Calling all golf clubs! Here’s an exclusive first look at our newest modular solution!

What is the Halfway House?
Our new Halfway House product is a modular servery facility designed for golf clubs. The latest addition to our popular Food Cubes range, it can be used to generate extra revenue from food sales and additional golf equipment, as well as providing toilet facilities for players.

The modular unit is constructed offsite, is delivered complete with catering equipment and arrives ready to use. It is designed to be located on the golf course to provide a range of hot and cold drinks and snacks to players during their round. The facility can also be used to sell lighter items of golf equipment such as balls, tees, waterproofs, umbrellas and gloves.

PKL Halfway House for Golf Clubs

Customised Design

We custom design each facility, including catering equipment of your club’s choice. This means it can be designed to meet your exact requirements in terms of look, size, layout and use. The Halfway House is available in a number of sizes and a wide range of colours and finishes, including wood cladding, brick slip, vinyl wrap and a painted exterior. By choosing from this wide variety of options, the Halfway House can be designed to include your own branding, or finished to blend in with existing surroundings.

PKL Halfway House Designs

Flexible Procurement Options

The Halfway House is available to hire or buy. This means that you do not need a large amount of up-front capital to procure a unit. For the hire option, all service and maintenance of the building and the equipment inside is included within the monthly fee, providing a fixed monthly cost.

Key Benefits
    • Generate additional profit for your golf club
    • Maximise potential to sell refreshments and equipment
    • Additional facilities make your course more attractive to golfers

Clubhouse Refurbishment?

We also supply temporary kitchens and dining facilities. If you’re planning to refurbish your clubhouse, we can supply temporary clubhouse facilities to ensure you remain fully operational throughout any planned works – just contact our hire team for a quote.

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Temporary Kitchens for Universities and Colleges

Having been responsible for PKL’s projects in a number of universities and colleges over the years, I’ve put together this brief overview to answer some of the most frequently asked questions from clients in this sector.

I need a temporary kitchen for an emergency / refurbishment / event – can you help?

Yes! Whatever type of project you have, if you need a temporary kitchen or catering equipment at your university or college, we can help. From large, comprehensive kitchens and dining rooms, to the hire of single coldroom units or items of catering equipment, we can supply a solution to match your requirements. Our in-house designers can design the perfect solution based on your specific requirements, and I can also offer advice on the best options if you’re not sure what you need.

PKL temporary kitchen and dining room in university
We have listed buildings or access challenges on site – can you deliver to a site like this?

Of course! I’ve worked on a number of university projects which have involved contending with all sorts of factors. Our transport and planning teams are experts in planning deliveries to difficult sites, and produce detailed installation plans, risk assessments and method statements for every unit we install, taking all site factors into account.

Previous university projects I’ve worked on have involved manoeuvring kitchen units by hand or forklift through archways, craning units over walls, protecting listed trees and shrubs on site, and moving over or around listed buildings - our team can find a solution to pretty much any site challenge! Where access is required over lawns, listed cobbles or paving, we provide trackway to ensure that the surface remains protected underneath.

We specialise in non-invasive, non-attached weatherproof links to listed buildings, which when removed leave the building unmarked and in the same condition as before the hire started. We also offer a range of exterior solutions, such as painted finishes, vinyl wraps or screens, if the look of a temporary facility is an issue.

Large scale PKL temporary kitchen in universityWill hiring a temporary kitchen involve lots of noise and disruption on site?

No, not really. I appreciate that you’ll want to keep noise and disruption to a minimum, and we work hard to ensure delivery and installation is as quick and painless as possible, by preparing thoroughly and creating detailed plans in advance so there are no delays or surprises once on site.

The kitchens themselves are not too noisy to run, however if noise is a particular concern (perhaps if the kitchen is near student or staff accommodation) we can also provide extra insulation to our plant and coldrooms to reduce the noise emitted from the temporary kitchen and ancillary facilities. Likewise, if you are concerned about extraction emissions from the kitchen, we can also supply our facilities with Odour Control Units which can minimise cooking smells released from the extraction systems.

PKL temporary kitchen in universityWhat if something goes wrong with the kitchen or equipment once it’s on site?

We’ll fix or replace it! I know that our university and college kitchens are often used all day every day, so our 24 hour technical support line is always open. All our kitchens and equipment are tested thoroughly before delivery, but if something does go wrong we’ll sort it out as quickly as we can. For major problems or emergencies, we can dispatch an engineer immediately, otherwise our standard call-out time is within 24 hours.

Is it a difficult process to procure your facilities?

No! PKL is a Pro 5 registered organisation which is a consortium made up of ESPO, YPO, CBC and NEPO. This means that we have undergone a pre-tender process to supply temporary kitchens to the public sector. Universities can place orders directly with Pro 5, safe in the knowledge that PKL has been assessed for best value. PKL is also a Crown Commercial Service listed supplier.

I hope this post has helped to answer some of the questions you may have about hiring temporary kitchens, dining facilities and catering equipment for your university or college. If you've got an upcoming project that PKL might be able to help you with, please get in touch for a chat and a no-obligation quote. You can also find more information on the PKL website.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Who does what at PKL?

PKL | Joe on Work Experience
My name is Joe and I have come to PKL for work experience where I was tasked to find out more about those behind the scenes working hard in the company. I went in search of some ‘willing’ participants for the blog and this is what I found out…

PKL | Andrea in Finance
Name: Andrea
Job: Revenue Accountant
How long have you worked at PKL? 8 years
What do you do at PKL? The job involves managing the cash flow and the finances of the business. Following up on payments is another area of the job.

PKL | Karsten in DesignName: Karsten
Job: Design Manager
How long have you worked at PKL? 10 years
What do you do at PKL? Karsten’s job involves managing the production of technical drawings for all PKL projects, so this would be for example the KitchenPod design drawings for clients.

PKL | John in Sales

Name: John
Job: Project Consultant
How long have you worked at PKL? “Since May 23rd 2007!” 7 years
What do you do at PKL? John focuses on the long term projects and specialises in areas such as the military, universities, prisons and the projects PKL are involved in with them.  He also takes calls for enquiries into new projects.

PKL | Marcos in Kit Heaven
Name: Marcos
Job: Kit Heaven Chargehand
How long have you worked at PKL? 14 years
What do you do at PKL? His job in Kit Heaven involves the quality assurance side of the actual PKL products. This will mean checking all equipment is safe and to the expected standards. It also involves kit tracking, so keeping account of all the equipment going on and off hire and where it is. He also makes sure that any kit coming back to PKL is not damaged on return.

PKL | Debbie and Claire in Fleet
Name: Claire
Job: Fleet Manager
How long have you worked at PKL? 12 years
What do you do at PKL? Claire’s job involves managing the availability of assets such as the catering equipment and kitchen units. She is joined by Debbie (left) who also helps to manage the unit and equipment availability.

PKL | Scott in the Quay
Name: Scott
Job: Quay Supervisor
How long have you worked at PKL? 15 years
What do you do at PKL? This job involves supervising all of the preparation of the kitchen units before they go off site. This means checking they are in good condition before they go on hire.
PKL | Chris in Kit Heaven

Name: Chris
Job: Catering Engineer
How long have you worked at PKL? 5 years
What do you do at PKL? Chris’s job is to install the catering equipment into the various kitchen units. He also goes out on site and carries out maintenance of equipment on hire.
PKL | Tim in PSD

Name: Tim
Job: Projects and Technical Manager
How long have you worked at PKL? 24 years
What do you do at PKL? This job involves running the department and working with site supervisors and engineers. His job is very much to do with project managing larger hires like large events. It also means working alongside the sales department.
PKL | Nick in Transport

Name: Nick
Job: Transport Manager
How long have you worked at PKL? 4 years
What do you do at PKL? Nick is in charge of ‘Transport and Logistics’ and is in charge of actually getting the kitchens from and to their destination, in and out of the business.
PKL | Andy and Caz in Marketing

Name: Caz
Job: Marketing Executive
How long have you worked at PKL? 3 years
What do you do at PKL? The job includes many different aspects of marketing, including the main copywriting for PKL, updating the PKL social media sites, and writing marketing literature such as brochures and case studies.

Name: Andy
Job: Graphic Designer
How long have you worked at PKL? 4 years
What do you do at PKL? His job is largely design, so this involves designing the PKL brochures and doing the photography that will feature on those brochures. He also does the design and layout of literature and general advertisements for the business.