10/03/2015 - 13:06
In Eat Out's series of Q&As with suppliers, we talk to Stephen Kinkead, managing director of Winterhalter UK.

What have been the challenges and main drivers in the warewashing sector? What trends do you see emerging?
Energy saving is the big one, along with water and chemical saving. However, it’s vital that these objectives don’t compromise the main aim of warewashing: a clean plate or a clean glass.
An emerging trend is style. It may sound odd in the context of warewashers, but with the increasing number of front of house, theatre-style kitchens and the emphasis on designer bars, glass and dishwashers need to be good looking as well as effective. We can supply washers with a glass front and interior light, so customers can see them in action. Our UC undercounter models also have the option of ‘designer’ fascia, showing abstract patterns or pictures.
As for the future, our PT passthrough warewashers are the first on the market to have heat exchange technology fitted as standard; it saves around 10% in energy costs. It’s likely we’ll introduce more of these types of features as standard in the coming months and years. Other products on the market currently only have these features as options, if at all. We will continue to innovate while delivering that critical clean plate or glass.

What is your view on the EU’s Energy Related Products Directive aimed at regulating the energy standards for dishwashers? What impact will it have on the sector?
We are very positive about the Eco Design Directive. By regulating the benchmarks against which different warewashers are compared, customers will be able to compare the running costs of different machines accurately. They will be able to make a truly informed choice.
Manufacturers that champion energy efficiency and the ones whose products’ performance back up their claims will benefit. The Directive will make choosing kit easier for everyone – for specifiers, consultants, and designers as well as operators.
For restaurant chains, it will help their procurement process because they will have the reassurance that they genuinely will make the energy and water savings that their chosen manufacturer claims.

What are pubs and restaurants looking for? What advice are you offering?
They want reliable, easy to use warewashers that deliver good results with minimum running costs. What we can offer more than anyone else is a holistic approach to the whole warewash area. Alongside our machines we have a range of specialist chemicals, a design and advice service, as well as water treatment systems and comprehensive customer support and service packages. By putting everything together – machine, design, chemicals, water treatment and service – we can deliver the best results and the lowest running costs.

What are your bestsellers?
For back of bar and in smaller kitchens it’s the UC series that can be configured as a glass or dishwasher; some customers have it configured so that they can wash both dishes and glasses in them. In larger kitchens it’s the PT series of passthrough machines, with the large unit being the top seller. Both ranges come with loads of different options, but, most importantly, they can be adjusted and configured to deliver perfect wash results according to the site’s individual requirements.

If you had one wish for the next 12 months, what would it be?
More honesty and less marketing spin. That’s why we are looking forward to the Eco Design Directive – it will force warewash manufacturers to back up their claims about their products, and focus buyers’ attention on the lifetime cost of the machine. It really will be a huge benefit to the foodservice industry.

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