Rational Flexibility is major benefit for Union Jack Club
London-based armed forces charity uses SelfCookingCenter® whitefficiency® combi steamers for everything from breakfast to banquets – and they help cut costs
The Union Jack Club near Waterloo in London is a charity whose objective is to provide serving and former armed forces personnel with good quality hotel accommodation at a reasonable price. Last year 104,000 people stayed there. But it’s much more than a hotel: there are restaurants, bars, lounges and no less than twelve banqueting rooms – functions at the Club can serve anything from 15 to 250.
Like the hotel rooms, food for the armed forces personnel visiting the Club needs to be reasonably priced. At the same time, the functions play an important role in helping fund the charity. Recently the Club refurbished its kitchens and invested in several new Rational SelfCooking Center whitefficiency combi ovens, installed by Inox Equip.
Simon Atkins is CEO of the Club. “We’re not in the profit game, but we want to invest to improve our services – for example, I want to double the number of fully accessible rooms we can offer.
“When it came to investing in new equipment, we looked at a number of different options. Rational has the greatest credence, and ultimately we took confidence from the market place. However, we’ve also had Rational combi steamers for a while and we know just how good they are and what they can do.”
The Club has two kitchens. The main one, where most of the food is produced, has a floor-standing 20-grid Rational and a ‘combi-duo’, featuring a 6-grid unit stacked on top of a 10-grid. The satellite kitchen, for functions, has two 20-grid SelfCookingCenter whitefficiency units.
“We use the Rationals for just about everything,” says head chef Marcin Koch. “From à la carte service to banqueting, and we use them all the time – including overnight.” Typically the Club will serve 125 breakfasts, 30 to 40 lunches and over 100 dinners each day. Then there are the functions – there could be several on at once – and the Club’s 100 staff need to eat, too. It’s a big variety of foods and types of cooking, which means the flexibility of the Rationals comes in very useful.
“Rack of lamb, fillet steaks, fish, steamed vegetables, bakery goods – SelfCooking Control means they all come out perfectly,” says Marcin Koch. “The Rationals are easy to use and they deliver consistent results.”
One of the new features on the SelfCookingCenter whitefficiency is Efficient LevelControl (ELC), which tells the user which different foods can be cooked together and intelligently controls the cooking time for each rack. “We use ELC a lot – for example, we can do full English breakfasts all at once.” Because ELC maximises the output of the SelfCookingCenter whitefficiency it’s especially useful in peak periods; it increases cooking capacity by up to 30% and reduces energy consumption by up to 20% compared to previous models, helping cut the Club’s running costs.
“For banqueting we use the Rationals’ Finishing system, which regenerates foods really well – including tricky items like fish,” says Marcin Koch. With Rational's Finishing feature, the Club’s chefs arrange the food in advance on plates, which are stored on special trolleys and chilled. Just before service, they load the trolley into the SelfCookingCenter whitefficiency and the Finishing function brings food up to serving temperature – anything from 20 plates to nearly 120 can be 'Finished' at once, depending on the model of SelfCookingCenter.
After Finishing in the combi oven, the Union Jack Club staff roll the trolley out and cover it with Rational’s special banqueting Thermocover, which keeps the plates hot for up to 20 minutes. Meanwhile, they can ‘Finish’ another load.
Another important feature for the Club is overnight cooking. “Slow cooking overnight means we can take advantage of cheaper cuts of meat and still get the best results. That helps us keep prices lower for our armed forces customers. It also cuts costs – not only are we taking advantage of low rate electricity, we don’t need to run the ventilation system either, since the units are electric and cooking is unsupervised.”
Before buying the new SelfCookingCenter whitefficiency models Marcin Koch and some of his team attended a Rational CookingLive event at The Oval, where they got to see the machine in operation. “It was very useful. Sometimes you don’t believe the combi can do what they say it can, until you see it for yourself. Then there are some chefs who find it hard to change their habits. Events like this one help open their eyes.”
Simon Atkins is delighted with the way the new Rationals are working. He says: “They have helped us achieve our aims to improve the speed and quality of our plated system. We’re very pleased with the feedback from guests, too.”
For information and brochures, or to arrange to come to a free SelfCookingCenter® whitefficiency® ‘Rational CookingLive’ seminar, contact your dealer, freephone Rational UK on 0800 389 2944 or see www.rational-UK.com. Visit the iPhone store for the Rational SCC Expert App.
Union Jack.docx – Sep-12
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Union Jack Club: www.ujclub.co.uk
Inox Equip: www.inoxequip.com
The new SelfCookingCenter® whitefficiency® has up to 30% more capacity, cuts energy consumption by up to 20% and reduces production times by up to 30% compared to previous models. Key features include:
- HiDensityControl, features patented dynamic air mixing technology, which precisely controls the speed of the unit’s fan to channel the heat and humidity to exactly where it is needed. This only delivers outstanding cooking quality, but also allows chefs to maximise output, since they can load more food into the same size cooking cabinet. It also reduces energy consumption and cuts production time compared to conventional combi ovens.
- Efficient LevelControl, which tells the user which different foods can be cooked together at the same time and intelligently controls the cooking time for each rack. It means that everything is cooked to perfection, every time.
- SelfCooking Control, which regulates the cooking processes – even the most complex of cooking routines can be initiated at the touch of a button, thanks to the simple control system. However, numerous new cooking options mean that chefs can adjust the cooking process according to their own recipes. And they always know exactly what’s going on, since they can see the status of the cooking process via the control panel. This means no more time-consuming routine tasks, such as monitoring food, and more time for essentials such as creativity.
- CareControl further enhances efficiency by detecting the level of soiling in the SelfCookingCenter and always suggesting the appropriate cleaning level. This saves up to 40% in terms of energy, water and chemicals.