Fuller’s is the extremely-popular British pub chain renowned for its high-quality products and premium service. Its philosophy is simple: seasonal, local ingredients prepared on the day by a highly trained team of chefs and delivered to customers in one-of-a-kind environments, from ancient listed buildings to buzzing modern pubs.
The pubs offer hundreds of unique menus where tradition is expertly balanced with innovation.
Fuller’s is also a brand that has grown to understand, under the leadership of food & beverage manager Paul Dickinson, that in order to maintain the trademark high standards of food in its pubs, high-quality kitchen equipment is a must.
- It was essential that the new kitchens in the Blue Boat be durable and reliable in order to achieve the extremely high standards of quality that have made the pub chain famous throughout the world.
- The requirements to be fulfilled for the new kitchens were very strict and factors to be considered quite explicit: shelf life, ergonomics, craftsmanship and how the equipment fits in the space available, allowing you to work in a comfortable environment. “We want to create a pleasant working environment where the chefs can enjoy themselves,” Dickinson says. “Some of our kitchens work for 14 or 16 hours and the kitchen has got to be fit for purpose. If a piece isn’t working, the knock-on effect on the kitchen is massive”.
- As he has striven to move Fuller’s forward, evolving menus and kitchens alike, Ambach, a company whose equipment he had worked with during previous roles, was the obvious choice of partner for Dickinson. “The equipment is durable, reliable and really easy to clean down”, he says. “In our pubs most diners come in for 45 minutes to an hour and the more people you can feed, the more money you’ll make as long as you can maintain consistency. The kit cannot let you down,” he says.
- Flexibility is another absolute must when it comes to specifying kitchen equipment for a pub group where no one outlet is the same. “The majority of our properties are listed buildings and they’re not template kitchens, so it was essential that we have modular cooking appliances that can be tailored to suit an individual kitchen’s footprint and specific requirements ” Dickinson stresses. Often, because of narrow corridors and older buildings, equipment also needs to be provided in pieces and installed on site.
- Thanks to total configuration flexibility through a range of over 150 operating modules, Ambach has managed to meet all of Dickinson’s needs, in many cases going over and above what he could have expected. “We took them out to the factory to show them the Chef 850 line, so they saw it could be interchanged and moved around,” recalls Maurizio Vianello, Ambach’s General Manager. Over the years, we have developed several pieces of kit especially for Fuller’s, which are now available to the company’s customers across the world. “We have developed a high-performance fryer for Fuller’s, which was a modified version of a fryer from within our Cruise – Marine range, as well as redesigning some internal components and gas connections.”, says Vianello.
- Since 2013, Ambach has carried out approximately 60 installations (a mix of full kitchens and one-off pieces) across Fuller’s 193-strong estate of managed pubs, with 34 of those in the last year.
- Obviously it is necessary to get over the initial hurdles that come with any new partnership, but Ambach and Fuller’s immediately dealt with various problems relating to the lead time for projects and installation in listed buildings and since then neither party has looked back. “The story with Fuller’s is very interesting. It may seem surprising because Ambach’s value proposition is usually aimed at international hotel chains and fine dining restaurants. Paul was able to clarify Fuller’s precise needs concerning the equipment and thanks to the clarification of the group’s needs and the business model they wanted to put in place, we were able to provide him with the right solution. Our business is not to work with people who just want to save money on equipment, but to work with people who want to invest to support their business model”.
- Fuller’s and Ambach will continue working together in the future and several new installations are already in the pipeline for 2018.