Since our last report, the Branch has been very busy.
We have held a Branch Meeting in Lincoln at the Lincat factory, been involved in the 70k HCA70 Charity Challenge Walk around Derby, and attended the Learning and Development Forum at Celtic Manor.
After we had finished eating a delightful variety of buffet items prepared in Lincat equipment, Sev Uzar, National Accounts Manager, welcomed us to Lincat. A lot has happened since our last visit there in 2008 he explained.
Following a takeover, Lincat is now part of the Middleton Group, which also owns the Pitco fryer brand and Turbo Chef, and this has seen developments that mean that Lincat is now the largest manufacturer of commercial catering equipment in the UK.
All Lincat equipment is made on the Lincoln factory site, and products are exported to over 50 countries. There are three distinct ranges which equate to Light, Medium and Heavy Duty. The fryer range, for example, starts out at £241 and goes all the way up to £10,500. Spares are held for all Lincat products on the Lincoln site, and delivery can be expected within three days, or collected from the factory.
Products are developed in house, and the business plan is to introduce at least one new product per year, but so far this year five new products have already introduced.
Opus, the Lincat heavy duty range, now accounts for over 60% of sales, all research and development effort is now focused on this range. Known to most of us for their water boilers and travelling toasters, Lincat can, in fact, supply a very wide range of products, including Combi ovens, (which are in fact rebadged Rational, but work out cheaper), and Pitco Fri Fri fryers which are computer controlled and work out the cooking time for themselves on the fly.
A big seller is the range of induction hobs, which have seen a 314% growth in sales during 2017.
Liz Hawkshaw, our Branch Chair, thanked Seb and the team at Lincoln for such an informative visit.
Moving on to our business meeting, our members report:
Mark Lezmore reported form NHS Supplychain that of the 11 towers for purchasing, DHL will retain five. The Food tower has been awarded to Food Buy, part of the Compass Group, who will take over on the 7th July. At the time of the meeting, talks were still ongoing to decide who would be making the deliveries, DHL or someone else.
Sheffield Teaching Hospitals reported that work on the CPU floor has slipped, and is now two weeks behind schedule. The when complete, the CPU upgrade will include all LED lighting. In the interim, food is being purchased from Tillery Valley.
Helen Westwood reported that to support the HCA70 Charity, she is being sponsored to go vegetarian for 70 days. Too bad she couldn’t taste the wonderful bacon and egg bagel burgers prepared by us by Lincat’s Development Chef, but every little helps.
The Chef Team from Sheffield Teaching Hospitals who entered the HCA Hot Cookery competition at Hotelympia were awarded a Bronze Medal, and Members sent their congratulations.
Joanne Ward, from Bidvest distributed a range of samples of cake which are CQUIN compliant, and gave information on Bidfood’s range of Vegan items.
Lisa Grandcourt, from the Rotherham, Doncaster and South Humber Mental Health Services Trust announced that her Trust was proposing to replicate the Memory Menu Initiative from Nottingham Teaching Hospitals, and had started consulting patient’s family members and the wider public.
Pete Glossop, from Socamel, invited members to visit the Socamel stand at Celtic Manor, and announced that he is back in training to box for charity again later this year. The fight will be three rounds of two minutes each, and all the money raised will be for the Help for Heroes Charity.
Shaun Morgan, from M and J Seafoods, informed us that there is a new range of Salmon Supremes now available from them as either skin-on or skin-off, at reasonable prices.
Hayden Henry, from Falcon, said that he was busy training staff on the new Lainox Combi ovens supplied into Sheffield hospitals.
John Spencer, from United Lincolnshire Hospitals, announced that all the Trust’s Coffee Shops had been given over to CH and Co. to run for 10 years, as the Trust required a guaranteed income rather than take a commercial risk on the takings by running them as an in-house operation. The Trust is £79 million in debt and had KPMG in to identify areas for cost reductions. These would most probably affect the Place scores for catering.
Mark Griffiths form Hobart UK, said that Hobart were looking forward to our visit in May, and there would be a demonstration of their new Twinline product by Chris Mansell.
Our next meet was on the 70k Charity Challenge, walking round Derby for two days with our colleagues from West Midlands and Oxford Branches, Hobart UK and Dewberry Repoint, and closely followed by a rescue vehicle which was packed with non CQUIN compliant items which we had to keep on the move to avoid the sugar tax. (Branch Chair, Liz Hawshaw on the 70K Challenge, pictured right)
I say walking; at certain parts of the route it was more sliding and swimming, and fending off attacks by wild animals into the bargain. What a great team building exercise ahead of the 2018 Forum, and something none of us will ever forget. Our efforts raised £2,927 for the two very worthwhile charities at the 2018 Forum. A great feat by some great feet.
Forum 2018 At Celtic Manor saw the best turnout of Trent Members on record. As well as those directly involved on the organising committee, the Branch sponsored four places for those who were not sent by their Trust.
Awards night saw great success for the Branch, with our branch Member, Chris Neale being awarded the Caterer of the Year, and Sheffield Teaching Hospitals winning Catering Team of the Year.
Nicola Strawther and Helen Westwood, our Branch Vice-Chair and Branch Secretary respectively, both won the Award for the Decorated Cake competition.
Our congratulations go to these Trent members and the winners of the other award categories.