There is no question that the market for fast food is highly competitive. Forecasts also indicate that it will remain on a growth path and that the major chains will continue to expand their number of outlets.
So how does the independent fish & chip shop compete and thrive? Whilst the reduction of costs is always important, it only makes sense when it is associated with efficiencies, such that high standards are maintained and improved. The presentation of quality food, efficiently produced and served from an environment that matches, at least locally, the marketing of the best national operations is essential.
There was a time when the durability of a range over a period of as much as twenty years was the norm and a principle reason for purchase. Now there are so many competitive reasons and technological advances in equipment, that even though ranges may last just as long as they always did, the progressive outlet will want to change to retain position in its market place.
The refurbishment or complete revamping of a shop premises is happening far more often. It has to and in many instances is not optional. A new range is the centrepiece of such change. So it follows that if these moves are being forced on shop owners, it is incumbent on the range manufacturer, as a major supplier, to be constantly improving its ranges to keep pace.
A standard range will be equipped with frying pans, baskets, chip box, display cabinets and motorised extraction systems. Also mechanical gas thermostat controls and manual bucket filtration will make up the package. However much more than 'the standard' is frequently called for. At Hewigo we feel there are three principle areas which outlets can prioritise to upgrade the performance of their ranges and these are areas that Hewigo is constantly refining.
- Efficiency - A high efficiency burner working at 93% efficiency means considerable savings in gas, cooking oil and raw material use. Evidence from Hewigo customers' experience indicates that this saving can be:- 30% on gas consumption: 40% in cooking oil usage: 20% in raw materials.
Other advantages are:-
- Increases in cooking speed give far greater cooking capacity than a standard range of similar size.
- More heat is productively used so less heat in the shop – greater comfort for customers and staff.
- Lower emission of poisonous fumes and carbon gases – makes a significant contribution to environmental protection.
- Hewigo's considerable experience with this technology ensures you have the most advanced products in this category.
- Hewigo High Efficiency ranges qualify for Carbon Trust interest free loans.
- Filtration - Here the latest option is three-stage filtration. In addition to the standard coarse and fine crumb filters, the returning oil is now sucked under pressure through a third micro-filter. The result is a refinement of the oil such that it retains its optimum performance up to three times longer.
- Control - Sensitive digital control is available and can be combined with touchscreen technology if required at eye level for even more sensitive and visible control. It can also be linked to a frying management system to give both information and diagnosis.
Range makers can further help operators by making what they offer clearer and related to the specific needs of that operator. Just as we've moved on from longevity being a main determinant of choice, likewise a one-size fits all approach doesn't work any more. Range makers need to position themselves better in the minds of the operator. Hewigo realises that its ranges are not for everyone but are very popular in specific sections of the trade. Through our connections with the Dutch parent company, yet being British made, we can offer the technology of the best Dutch ranges (we were one of the pioneers of High Efficiency) but at a price that is a realistic investment for many businesses. Operators can take this into account when they weigh up the demands of their business against how much they are prepared to spend.