There aren’t many self-taught chefs, but there’s an abundance of schools offering training in those all-important skills of coping with the hard work (the team work) of the kitchen workplace. Assistance provided by technology is ever more sophisticated (think: the Internet of Things), with programmes and apps that help manage the work, and it’s essential to know how to make the most of that. And so it’s essential that training also covers equipment use, for preparing cold as well as hot food.
“Training is important not only as a matter of after-sales service for after-sales service, but also as a way of promoting our brand,” says Kurt Bahnmaier, marketing coordinator of True Refrigeration Europe. “We hold technical training classes in all parts of Europe with our customers throughout the year, and also at our main European office near Basel, Switzerland. If our customers cannot take technicians off the job for a full day or even two, we send our technical managers to them. Flexibility is the key: whatever works best for our customers and their own schedules.”
The cold storage firm works with all hospitality sectors, but: “The newest, most trendy market segment for True Refrigeration is the new At-Work or Flexible workspace office: start-up companies rent office space in a high rise in major metropolitan areas all over Europe and the world. In each floor of these buildings that house dozens or even hundreds of start-ups, there are communal areas which employees use for lunch, breakfast foods, snacks, drinks. Here, our upright and undercounter refrigerators can be found. And at 5pm, the bar opens up for relaxation time, when beer is available in our glass door bar refrigerators or from the beer tap cooler.
Is going green a trend? “Going ‘green’ is not only a trend in our industry but a requirement. Refrigerants that are energy-inefficient and harm the environment will be phased out quickly in the coming few years, forcing commercial refrigeration manufacturers to either develop alternatives (as True has done with R290 refrigerant) or stop doing business in European markets altogether.”
“Foodservice,” says Fabrizio Rocco, managing director of Mareno, “is becoming more and more specialised in the choice of product offered. Also in Italy, a country with a strong culinary tradition, we have seen the appearance of many foodservice chains. Specialised catering, which comprises all the activites to create, make and distribute meals ready to be consumed by customers, will become more and more successful, because it defines a method, standardising processes for the development of the finished product: the meal itself. In order for this process to take place in the most immediate way, without causing problems for the kitchen team and the establishment owners, we have created a dedicated software for both the management of routine maintenance and the monitoring of the kitchen’s electrical performance. In order to maximise the efficiency, relaiability and durability of equiplment.”
Mareno, too, focuses on training, as customer service manager Patrick Capovilla explains: “Twice a year we present a calendar of face-to-face technical training courses that offer professional development in a room fitted out with all our products. Each year we add new refresher courses to give all our technicians a reason to meet us at least once a year. In addition, we periodically send out a newsletter, and we have a video section in the restricted area of our website.”