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Carte blanche for EEF Venues Woodland Grange

When it came to choosing a new dishwasher for this busy conference and leisure venue, Executive Chef Matthew Parsons challenged the three suppliers of German dishwashing equipment in the UK to improve the design of the dishwash area. 

Giving the suppliers “carte blanche” – complete freedom to redesign the space – he explained that the old dishwasher was over 13 years old and some of the spare parts needed were delisted and no longer available.

“The dishwasher itself was one foot from the wall, so things fell behind and it was difficult to keep clean. Woodland Grange has also grown over the years and the dishwash struggled to cope with the numbers, being particularly short of space to ‘dump’ glassware and crockery prior to washing. 

“The area needed to be redeveloped to cope with the expanding numbers and I asked each of the three suppliers to design me a new system; everyone got the same brief and they knew exactly what I wanted.

“The old dishwash featured a rack machine on the right hand side of what is a rectangular space, with two supporting walls either side. The other two suppliers basically rehashed the existing design, but Peter Nimmo, Regional Sales Director for Meiko took a different approach.

“He said, ‘How about this’ and came up with a more workable solution, with much improved workflow.

“Peter listened to what I had said. I needed a machine to cope with 150 racks per hour, with heat recovery and a pre-wash. Meiko’s design also included extra features such as the fold-up shelves which provide one third more space for the dump section. 

“Tweaks were made to improve the design. The water softeners and all the tabling are mounted on wheels, making it easier for cleaning and the scrapping holes in the dump section were changed from round to square, which actually helps a lot when it gets busy.

“Meiko also added a drying section into the dishwasher, which the other suppliers did not.

“Given the ‘extras’ that came with the Meiko system, I had anticipated it to cost more than the other suppliers.

“The surprising thing was that Meiko provided the cheapest solution.”

The installation of the dishwash was carried out by Bournville Catering, who also supplied the fabricated dump section and tabling, and fitted the hygienic wall cladding.

Meiko’s Peter Nimmo comments: “Most chefs don't take that much interest in the wash up area design, but Matt was fantastic right from the start. He knew exactly what he wanted and had a huge input with his ideas.”

Continues Matthew Parsons: “Yes the dishwash is my department and as a Chef I consider it a key part of the kitchen. If we can make the area more efficient and more of a pleasure to work in and reduce the amount of scrubbing or hand polishing, then that makes it better for the staff, which ultimately helps with retention.”

 

• Matthew Parsons, was named Mentor of the Year in the People 1st National Apprenticeship Awards 2015. Matthew was selected as winner because of his outstanding work in mentoring and developing young people at the AIM gold accredited Warwickshire venue.  He has mentored six apprentices to date at Woodland Grange, two of whom are now full-time staff members at the venue.

 

• Top-rated by LateRooms.com and a winner of consistent praise on TripAdvisor for the quality of its foodservice, Woodland Grange dates back to Victorian times but now boasts contemporary facilities ranging from superfast internet access to a state-of-the-art fitness room, sauna and Jacuzzi. Set in 16 acres of unspoilt grounds at Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, Woodland Grange has 114 en-suite bedrooms, many with views over the Warwickshire countryside.

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Contact details

Woodland Grange, Leamington Spa
Woodland Grange
Old Milverton Lane
Leamington Spa
Warwickshire

CV32 6RN

TEL:  +44 1926 336 621

EMAIL: venues@eef.org.uk

WEB: www.eef.org.uk/venues