Green Globe 3 Website Version

“nZEB:” A Glimpse Into The Very Near Future!

Garners FSE pride ourselves as being at the forefront of research, development and innovation in our fast changing and paced commercial catering equipment sector, especially with respect to sustainability and specifically sustainable design.   So when we were approached in the late summer 2014 by a leading main contractor to assist them on an EU Bid for a grant for so called “nZEB” we jumped at the chance.

What does “nZEB” stand for?  Near Zero Energy Buildings.  The best definition can be found from the EU itself and its Directive 2010/31/EU (Article 9) which states:

“Member States shall ensure that:

(a) by 31 December 2020, all new buildings are nearly zero energy buildings; and

(b) after 31 December 2018, new buildings occupied and owned by public authorities are nearly zero-energy buildings. ”

“Nearly” is a neat way of avoiding strict definitions, but the same Directive states:

“The EPBD defines a nearly Zero-Energy Building as follows: [A nearly Zero-Energy Building is a] “building that has a very high energy performance… [ ]. The nearly zero or very low amount of energy required should to a very significant extent be covered by energy from renewable sources, including renewable energy produced on-site or nearby (Institute of Energy & Transport “Principles of Near Zero Energy Buildings” 

Garners FSE undertook a lengthy and vigorous research in specify a “nZEB” commercial catering equipment facility, loosely based on a 80 bed care home model.   Research from the main contractor found out that such a kitchen is responsible for >15% of a building’s total energy output so although not as significant as heating, it is still a significant area that has traditionally been overlooked in particular by contractors and clients alike in their chase for “BREEAM” ratings.  

At the end of January 2015 we completed our own submission in time for the appointed consultant to send the bid to the EU in early February.   The Grant would pay for up to 70% off the capital cost of the “Green” equipment and all the other 19 different areas of a building.   The expectation is that  we will know if we have been successful by the summer.

However, regardless of the outcome of the bid, nZEB will become the norm in the very near future.   Contact our Marketing department for further information; join in the debate on our Twitter feed and otherwise watch this space!

Countdown of the Top Four Most Interesting Restaurants in the World

We love restaurants and we love novelty, so when the two combine, we’re really in our element. Here, we’re going to look at the top five most interesting restaurants in the world. Clearly, this is our personal preference, so YMMV.

4. AT.MOSPHERE in Dubai. Unless you have a head for heights, your dinner might end up coming back up again as you develop vertigo at the highest restaurant in the world. At 1450 feet above the ground, AT.MOSPHERE is the tallest restaurant in the world. You’d think that the menu would be outside of most of our budgets, but at £156 for a four-course meal, it’s not actually too bad. If it’s out of your price range, you can take high tea instead, at the modest price of £55 per head.

3.Korean Barbeque on the Champs Elysees, Paris: this is a fantastic restaurant for all the family. At the Korean Barbeque, you get to cook your own food. That may sound like a bit of a chore, but it’s super fun. And, we are talking from experience here. I’ve ate at this restaurant in the 1990s, and I still remember how fun it was. Not only that, but the food was delicious – particularly the thinly cut steak…mmm…and the sauces: divine. A brilliant restaurant and relatively cheap, considering it’s on the Champs Elysees.

2. Muru Pops Down, Tytyri, Finland: OK, it’s a bit unfair of us to post this because the restaurant no longer exists. It was a so-called ‘pop-up restaurant’ that happened in 2012. It was fully booked as soon as it opened. The restaurant was located at 350meters underground, so we have the highest restaurant in the world and now we have one of the lowest. The location was an old mining shaft, and according to all the reviews, the food was amazing. The restaurant was a huge success, so we hope that in the future it will ‘pop-down’ once more.

1. Sea at Anantara Kihavah Villas in the Maldives: this is by far our favourite restaurant in the world, and one day, we might even have enough money to eat there! There are quite a few underwater restaurants in the world, but in our view, nothing beats Sea at the Anantara Kihavah villa. We haven’t eaten there, so we can’t comment on the food, but even if it’s barely palatable, just the fact of being there will make it a once-in-a-lifetime experience. It’s a 5-star hotel, so we’re guessing that the food is as amazing as the restaurant.

We think you’ll agree that these are some of the most interesting restaurants in the world, and one day, we hope that you get to eat there too. I’m personally holding out for the Sea at Anantara Kihavah Villas – definitely on the bucket list!

Commercial Kitchens: The Economic Recovery

Unsurprisingly, the catering industry was hit hard by the 2008 global recession and the past five years has seen very little growth in this sector. That’s not surprising given the massive increase in production costs.

Why the Catering Industry Experienced One of the Hardest Recoveries of All Industries
Restaurants were hit particularly hard by the recession, and there are several reasons for this:

1. When people’s wages start to deflate in value, one of the first things that they cut out are luxuries. Eating out is top on the priority list of things to cut back on.

2. Farmers are heavily subsidised in the UK. The farming industry is suffering massively from the so-called ‘supermarket price wars’. Supermarkets are forcing down the price of food, and many farmers are selling at a loss. Take the dairy industry. Farmers get up at 3am, work all day, and then make a loss on their milk. The government steps in and subsidises the industry to account for this loss. In other words, we’re paying for the supermarket’s profits out of our taxes. This has hit the food supply industry hard, and prices are rocketing. The little restaurants have no option but to pay over the odds for their food.

3. The cost of food production is increasing all the time. As oil prices rise in the face of the fear of an energy crisis, those farmers that managed to service the recession are no paying even more to produce their food and require more and more subsidisation.

You can now appreciate how the recession affected the catering industry. While people could no longer afford to eat out, those that could eat out where hit with higher bills. Not good.

Is There Any Good News?
YES! Finally, after 6 years, the restaurant industry is starting to pick up. The city centres are starting to bustle again, and the average person is starting to spend. The restaurants are seeing an increase in traffic and an increase in profit.

Not only this, though, investors are starting to buy into the restaurant industry once more. Certain cities, such as Glasgow are undergoing rapid development, and with it, a growth of restaurants. Towns and cities across the country are starting once more to grow.

Restaurants still need to adapt to the current climate, but all indications show that the industry is once more moving in the positive.

We need to be careful, though. The powers that be are starting to whisper about another global recession…but is this just a ‘fear and control’ strategy? Time will tell if we all wake up.

Warm Winter Skies Create a Boom for the Catering Industry

We all love the warm weather, but restaurant owners are particularly happy as this year’s warm winter weather brings customers to the high street. October and November are traditionally difficult for the restaurant industry and the time of year when owners try to weather the storm as the temperature drops, people stay indoors and the kitchens generally run at half speed.

Winter is a time when people tend to start their hibernation. As the days become darker and the mercury falls, so too do our moods. It’s well documented that people spend less money when they’re feeling gloomy, so it should come as no surprise that this time of year is traditionally difficult for all types of retailer. Usually, we start to pick up again around late December, as Christmas and the New Year approach, and we start to get used to the weather.

Research published by BDO, one of the largest accountancy firms in the world, has revealed the positive impact that of this year’s clement winter weather in key industry sectors, which shows that people were spending more this year than in the same period for previous years. This has provided a welcome relief for the catering industry, which has struggled since the recession as consumers tighten the belt buckle and try to save as much as possible in view of dwindling interest rates.

With the increase of revenue for restaurants and hotels, the catering design industry is likely to see a positive impact, as restaurants start spending their profits on redesign and innovation. Couple this with recent news concerning the amount of savings that restaurants can achieve on energy bills with a few changes to kitchen equipment, and the catering design industry is looking healthier than ever before, both in terms of profit, and in terms of environmental health.

Things are on the up, and a large part of this is thanks to the warm weather…long may it continue!

Restaurant & Bar Design Awards (2014): Winners

60 countries with a total of 860 entries competed for this year’s Restaurant & Bar Design Awards (2014), which is now in its sixth year. As you can imagine, competition is fierce, with the world’s most prestigious restaurants competing for a winning spot.

Here, we’re going to look at some of the UKs winners:

  • Fast/Casual category: unsurprisingly, the winner is London café the Cornerstone Café. This has that funky modern feel only achieved in warehouse conversions. If you were ever part of the clubbing scene, then you’ll understand the significance of the warehouse come living space. The Cornerstone Café had a strict design brief: to maintain the integrity of this listed building, while building a space that is modern and fitting with the Arsenal area. The designers maximised the space, while keeping many of the natural features. 
  • London Bar category: as you can imagine, competition was fierce in this category, and the winner well deserved. The winner, Topolski’s, main challenge was to create a space that showcased artwork by the artist Felix Topolski. Well known within the art industry, but less well known amongst the hoi polloi, Topolski bar is a credit to its namesake. The bar, like the artists, takes a utilitarian approach to leisure, so don’t expect too much comfort and decadence, but what it lacks in these factors, it more than makes up for in style and panache. If you want to experience some real London culture, then head to Topolski. 

Restaurant design UK

  • London Restaurant category: the winner of the London Restaurant category is our particular favourite. The Beagle restaurant has to be the coolest in the whole city, or at least right up there. It’s located in three abandoned Victorian railway arches, which are situated near to Hoxton Station. There are many abandoned stations and arches under the city of London, and very few have been maximised to their potential, these are an exception. Clearly, the designers put in a great deal of effort in the design of this restaurant; there were logistical issues to overcome; problems with ventilation; lighting issues; and much more. However, they did it, and the results are awesome. Beagle restaurant is well worth a visit. 

If you have time, check you the Restaurant Bar & Design Awards website, because there are some awe-inspiring designs, which are a great source of creativity and innovation.

Why Gluten-Free Options Are Important

In recent years there has been a huge increase in the awareness of food allergies particularly that of gluten intolerance. Of course, as you might expect there have been people casting their doubts on how serious a condition gluten intolerance can be but the truth is, that an increasing number of people are receiving diagnoses for this and other similar food intolerances which in turn will have an impact on the food industry as a whole.

Already there are whole sections in supermarkets which are dedicated to those with food intolerances, and there are also a number of restaurants, particularly around London which have begun to crop up serving only gluten-free options. You might wonder then, if you own an establishment which serves food, whether this is something which should concern you. The quick answer is, yes.

The gluten-intolerant community is not a small one and there are whole websites dedicated to the search for restaurants design and cafes which not only serve gluten-free food but which are also helpful to those people who may have special requirements. The list of restaurants, including large chains, which now have whole menus dedicated to gluten-free food is growing and it will pay to have your name on that list.

Restaurant design

Of course, if you don’t currently have provisions in place for serving food which is suitable for those with food allergies then you will need to take certain steps such as preparing food separately and storing foods appropriately. This may mean investing in new kitchen equipment, and will certainly mean the retraining of staff members but it is important to remember that these actions will put you one step ahead.

Not only are we seeing an increase in the number of adults in the UK who suffer with food allergies but we are also seeing an increase in the number of discerning customers. Customers who want to know what they are eating, who want the option to choose foods which don’t contain certain ingredients, who may, for whatever reason be on a restricted diet. Putting steps in place to serve the gluten intolerant community will not only help you with coeliacs but will also open you up to a much wider reach as well.

Of course, there are no requirements which state that you must serve gluten-free food, although be aware that there are new restrictions coming into play from December 2014 about the labelling of unpackaged foods, but it is still well worth considering, particularly if you are looking to expand your target market and increase your customer reach. The thing about serving gluten-free food is that it is the kind of thing which people discuss and talk about. Those who suffer with intolerances will recommend good and helpful restaurants to others in the same boat as themselves and so by word of mouth you could see a significant rise in your customer numbers.

Recent research has suggested that the number of adults suffering with food allergies is rapidly on the rise and so if you can be ahead of the game in terms of food preparation and storage, and clearly labelled menus, then this will be all to the better.

Are you ready for the changes to food allergy labelling legislation?

In December this year, huge changes will take place with regards to the way food is labelled which will have a huge impact on the food industry. If you aren’t aware of the upcoming changes then read on, now is the time to start preparing to do something about it. These changes affect almost all eating establishments from restaurants to high street delis.

Currently, establishments which sell unpack aged foods such as sandwich bars, delicatessens and restaurants are not required to declare any allergens which may be present in their foods but from December 2014 this will all change. Any businesses not complying with the new procedures and systems could face severe penalties, including criminal proceedings and that is why it is vital that if this affects your business, that you immediately begin to take action.

In recent years there has been a rise in the number of allergy sufferers in the UK and this has prompted the need for changes to be made to the way some businesses operate. It is thought that 21 million adults in the UK suffer from at least one allergy, and recent research has predicted that by 2015 at least 50% of Europeans will suffer from allergies, particularly those in the food category. When put like that, I’m sure most people would agree that it is essential that customers are able to easily see which foods are suitable or unsuitable for their consumption.

Food service equipment

Of course, for many business owners this will means a significant overhaul in the way that they handle and store food service equipment .From changing the way incoming ingredients are monitored to updating menus to ensure that allergens are listed as well making preparations to store allergen-containing ingredients away from non-allergen ingredients. There will also be a need to train staff so that they are allergen aware and can advise customers properly. No doubt to the eyes of any small business owner, this reads like a lot of work.

However, ultimately it will be worth it, and not only because you will avoid prosecution for failing to comply! If you consider the percentage of adults in the UK who suffer with food allergies then ensuring that your establishment provides clear advice on which foods are suitable and if you are flexible and accommodating for those who do suffer, you will stand shoulders apart from your competitors. Just a quick online search reveals the sheer number of customers who are complaining about bad service and unhelpfulness when it comes to allergies; this is perhaps partly why the changes are being implemented but by making sure you go that extra mile, you can make sure that you are a place people want to return to, and you are the place being recommended to family and friends.

Whilst it may seem like a lot of extra effort now, the rewards will speak for themselves long-term.

Invest in your dream commercial kitchen now to take your business to the next level

Post-recession Britain is enjoying a business boom, with one of the most successful sectors being the catering industry. Self employment is on the increase following hundreds of people losing their jobs in redundancies, and as a result more and more Brits up and down the country are choosing to be their own boss.

Whether they are opening a new tea room, running a restaurant or providing specialist baked goods, budding entrepreneurs in the catering industry are realising that customer demand is ever increasing and they need to work hard to keep up.

Most businesses in this sector usually start small, working out of their own kitchens or sharing facilities with other established businesses before taking the plunge and investing in their own premises, however many business owners are now realising that to capitalise on the growing consumer demand they need to invest now to take their business to the next level and beyond.

Whether you are an entrepreneur wishing to extend or upgrade your premises and catering kitchen equipment, or looking to start from scratch with a brand new purpose built commercial kitchen, Garners have the perfect solution for you. Boasting an incredible 30 years’ experience in the catering industry, this East Midlands based company has worked with businesses of all sizes to provide a productive catering space that is both comfortable and practical.

catering kitchen equipment

The knowledgeable design team at Garners will work closely with you to find out your hopes and dreams for your business and then help you to create a bespoke commercial kitchen to help make this happen. With countless technology elements available in their extensive catalogue, Garners can provide time saving catering equipment solutions to suit both your premises and your budget, and their in house designers will support you right from the beginning of the concept design to final installation of your kitchen.

Priding themselves on outstanding customer service, Garners also offer excellent customer aftersales support, so if you are looking for quality kitchens at competitive prices with unparalleled customer care, then why not visit Garners kitchens online today.


Bespoke commercial kitchens to boost your business

A kitchen is widely regarded as the centre of a home, a hub of activity where the whole family congregates to eat and socialise, however in the wake of cooking shows such as the Hairy Bikers, Masterchef and the legendary Great British Bake Off, individuals are starting to recognise that their kitchen can prove far more lucrative for them as they explore the possibility of making their culinary tablets into a profitable business.

Of course, even the largest, well equipped kitchen can only cater for a limited number of people, and as budding entrepreneurs see their business take off they will need to consider using a professional catering kitchen to suit their growing needs.

Whether you are a restaurateur or the proud owner of a successful bakery, Garners Kitchens have the perfect solution for your professional kitchen needs. They can provide you with a bespoke kitchen that will offer ample workspace, multiple professional ovens and state of the art catering equipment that will streamline your processes. Your kitchen is a reflection of you as a business, and therefore must be professional, sleek and spacious to increase your capacity and meet your growing production needs.

commercial kitchen

Garners Kitchens are able to accommodate any budget and any venue, tailoring your commercial kitchen design to fit your premises perfectly as well as keeping within your price range. The in house designers will work with you to confirm what it is you need for your business, then they will carefully create an efficient, well equipped work place, with bespoke technology elements to suit your specific needs. Budgets are crucial to small businesses who are launching in to the next level, and if a purpose built venue is still a way off in your business plan, the design team at Garners will help you to dramatically maximise the productivity of your catering team even in the smallest of spaces using compact, time saving technology. From upgrading an existing kitchen to fitting out a brand new building, Garners have the expertise and experience to help you design, create and install your dream commercial kitchen anywhere across the country.


Techniques to improve your kitchen design

Getting your kitchen remodelled or redesigned is one of the most important things to be done in a home. As the family spends a fair bit of time in the kitchen you need to ensure that things are done to your requirement and as per your expectations. Getting the kitchen design right is important and some of the steps that you can undertake to achieve this are:

* Remember to maintain space and don’t make the place look chock-a-block by overfilling areas. After all you need to ensure that you have easy accessibility to the sink, fridge and microwave, unless you want to try and be acrobatic. Don’t over-plan and get the spacing right. As far as possible try to leave space for a kitchen island where it is feasible.

kitchen design

* The design should blend in with your home’s overall decor. It should complement the design of your house and not contrast with the look of the home. Of course contemporary kitchens tend to look too clinical at times and you can tone that down a bit so that it has a homely feel to it.

* Be selective in choosing the kitchen top. Most homeowners have a fancy for granite because of its durability and low maintenance. No two granite slabs are alike and you can be assured that no one else will have the same slab. It does cost a bit more than other materials but is cost-effective in the long term, because you will not have to invest in a new kitchen top for an extremely long time.

* Proper lighting is the key to offsetting the look of the kitchen and will also make it appear bigger than it actually is. The areas where you work need to be well lit and you can install lights under the cupboards so shadows are not formed. Generally spotlights on ceilings do just fine but in-case you have an island it is better to have lights that hang down for extra light. It is really useful when you sit at the island and read the paper while having breakfast.

* Select the right type of cupboards which are deep if the kitchen is wide and if the kitchen is narrow you could opt for longer cupboards. Having hooks installed under the cupboards would save you from using additional space within. Utilise every bit of space you find without making the kitchen look crammed. For this you can utilise the services of a professional kitchen designer as well.