cosmopolitan cuisine

Dubai embraces bistro culture
Getting the correct balance
of form and function in design
Customer Service evolves
achieving after-sales
All systems go
Cutting-edge meal
delivery innovation
Dear reader,
This latest edition of Aliworld will give you a fresh
perspective on our business worldwide while also
highlighting some of the hottest trends inspiring
the foodservice market today.
Elena Faccio,
Ali Group’s corporate
communications director
We hope you like the vibrant and dynamic design
of this new refreshed edition. Thanks to the stories
that our people and our clients tell us, Aliworld
is becoming richer and more interesting with
every issue. Please keep on feeding our magazine
because we are eager for your ideas, inspiration and
This new edition spotlights the key dining trends
of the future and the technology being developed
alongside them. We also have a particular focus
on innovation in the Middle East region, including
a profile of the wonderful La Serre Bistro &
Boulangerie at the Vida Downtown hotel in Dubai.
Elsewhere we look at the importance of strong
design in our industry. We all agree that every
new product has to combine both form and
function, but what is the right balance to strike?
Function alone may ensure a certain level of
efficiency or performance for a product, but
without the appropriate form can it ever be truly
comfortable or rewarding? We speak to some
of the world’s foremost design experts to discuss
how they align high-performing ergonomics
with beautiful aesthetics.
Finally, we present some outstanding success
stories from companies across the Ali Group and
highlight the very latest, cutting-edge products.
One issue is never enough to showcase all of the
projects and new products that are coming to life
in the Ali Group’s world, so please stay tuned as we
have so much more to tell you.
Happy reading!
Employees and clients of Ali
Group celebrate the company’s
50th anniversary at Host 2013
in Milan, Italy
AFE Group’s CEO looks at the opportunities
thrown up by buoyant global markets and
innovation in the foodservice industry
08 La Serre brings bistro
culture to Dubai
Voted no. 1 restaurant in the Middle East by
Esquire, La Serre is winning praise for both
its cuisine and its design
16 Opportunities heat up
in the Middle East
Bilal Al Halabi of Al Halabi Refrigeration &
Kitchen Equipment on his firm’s success and
the region’s bright future
20 Dubai’s best
new restaurants
Dubai boasts some of the best restaurants in
the Middle East. We run the rule over seven
quality new openings
22 10 kitchen trends
of the future
Leading consultant Derek Horn FCSI of
SeftonHornWinch offers his view on key dining
trends and the technology making them happen
24 Finding the balance
Award-winning designers discuss how to find
the right balance between form and function
30 Breeding loyalty with
better customer service
Ali Group’s global after-sales director Matteo
Zironi on why customer satisfaction should
go far beyond the point of sale
34 Promoting positive
Ali Group’s operations director Roberto
Ragazzoni discusses improving process and
product development across all 76 brands
04 Change has no ceiling
40 Ali brings in the cream
of the coffee world
Through almost a century of devotion and
innovation Rancilio has grown from a small
warehouse to a key part of the Ali Group
46 Delivering the goods
Angelo Speranza, CEO of Burlodge, temp-rite
and Fimi, talks cutting-edge meal delivery
and distribution
51 Meal delivery
on a grand scale
Creating the right meal delivery system for the
California Health Care Facility at the prison in
South Stockton, California
54 A perfect blend of
east and west
Hyatt Group’s Andaz hotel in Shanghai worked
closely with Ambach to capture quality and
elegance in their showpiece kitchen
60 Mastering the all-American
social gathering
Don Gale of Blackfinn Ameripub™ talks brand
reinvention and how Ice-O-Matic has helped it
to cater for its diverse clientele
64 Carpigiani Gelato World Tour
Carpigiani’s Valentina Righi discusses how a
globetrotting tour is making the international
gelato market even bigger
72 Taking the haughty out
of haute cuisine
Australian restaurant Saint Crispin worked
with Ali Group brand Moffat to epitomize a
new breed of dining experience
76 Innovation
Esmach, Edlund, Ali Group North America
Refrigeration Division, Mareno, Eloma,
Wexiödisk, Moyer Diebel, Rendisk and Ice
Team 1927
Change has no ceiling
Tim Smith, group CEO of AFE
Push and pull
With buoyant global economies, emboldened emerging markets and genuine innovation in
the foodservice industry, AFE Group CEO Tim Smith thinks there is real opportunity in the air.
The only constant is change
Williams’ product range
includes back-of-house storage,
preparation solutions
and bespoke front-of-house
displays, like these spectacular
Wine Towers
Miller’s Vanguard provides
specialist foodservice equipment
maintenance for bakery,
catering, warewashing
and hot food areas
It’s incredible to think how quickly worlddefining concepts can emerge. When I entered
the foodservice industry in 1992, hardly anyone
was discussing climate change. (To give you some
context, when I started out as finance director
at Williams Refrigeration, the mobile phone was
still an expensive novelty.)
In the 22 years since then, I can say foodservice
technology has developed incredibly – and the
regulatory framework is far more extensive.
Regulation largely motivated by the unequivocal
advance of climate change is an essential driver
of the market.
Our reach – across Ali Group, as well as in AFE
Group [see page 7], where I’m CEO – is global.
That’s also why collaboration is so important
between the sister companies of Ali Group. The
world markets are in easy reach and customer needs
quickly galvanize across the globe. And that means
there’s a real value in being able to share approaches
and capabilities to meet the unique challenges
that global markets present.
The pace of change is relentless, it’s true. But that
also creates incredible opportunities for those with
adventure, passion and drive.
Tackling that global drive towards tougher and
more demanding environmental standards is a good
example. As a Group, we need to be at the head of
the table of regulatory change. We have a culture of
leading on these issues – so we know we can adapt
and drive the whole market forward. But that also
relies on the attitude of the people we have here.
In fact, as CEO, that’s my principle role: assembling
and supporting a brilliant team capable of responding
well to change and driving innovation. It’s great to
have a leading role on the flight deck of the company,
but it’s the whole crew that takes us to our intended
So we can and should question specific regulations
for good reason – but, ultimately, we recognise that
whether it’s Europe, the US, the Middle East, Asia or
Australia, the eco-credentials of our products are
going to be of interest to regulators.
The most important stakeholders are the people who
specify and buy our products. The end users of our
products also have a clear interest in great design
and innovation. The whole-life running cost of a
product is an essential part of our proposition to the
marketplace – whether the operator is a small café,
bakery or a multinational hotel or restaurant chain.
Stewardship of the product and its performance lies
with the manufacturer. And by doing it well, we give
ourselves a clear competitive advantage. It’s one
reason that AFE now has an umbrella approach to
sustainability, Greenlogic [see page 7].
But environmental impact and regulation are just part
of the picture. Globally, economies are emerging from
a slowdown, and that means we have to be agile and
lean across all the businesses in the Group.
Cycle power
That turn in the business cycle brings change
and accelerates interest in innovation among
customers, too. For example, as hotel development
expands, we’re seeing a real upsurge of interest
in front of house display refrigeration and more
open plan kitchens.
The whole team has been really agile in responding
to that demand and the talented team has delivered
innovative products to markets around the world.
Foodservice has always been a competitive market,
of course. We’re seeing renewed vigor in the sector
as global economies turn up, but one constant
remains: the customer is king. But customer
behavior has also changed.
The quickening pace of life is a huge factor. It’s meant,
for example, that ‘grab’n’go’ has become a huge trend
in foodservice. We’re time-poor, eating on the go –
and that presents a huge range of opportunities that
every part of Ali Group can help customers deal with,
whether it’s in accelerated cooking, refrigeration,
bakery, coffee or ice. Change does not stop at the
factory gate. Our service businesses are also ideally
positioned to support changing customer trends in an
array of proactive and reactive maintenance solutions.
We are ever alive to the importance of consultants
and kitchen designers as key players in our
ecosystem. They’re architects of the new concepts
in foodservice that reflect these global and social
changes. The end-user often has a clear vision about
what they want to offer their own consumers – and
they turn to these specialists to help them realise it
with tangible products and services.
Attention to detail is at the
heart of every AFE Group
company product offering
We’re really fortunate at AFE to have a long-standing,
highly experienced team of 1,500 colleagues across
15 locations worldwide who have second to
none specialisms and skill-sets. It’s vital if
you’re going to live up the standards of agility
and innovation the Ali Group demands.
AFE comprises the leading UK based brands of Williams
Refrigeration, Mono Bakery Equipment, Falcon
Foodservice, Miller’s Vanguard and Serviceline. We
have major business presence not only in the UK, but in
France, UAE, China and Australia. That means we have
to be sensitive to many different markets, regulations
and customer needs. That includes cultural and
consumer differences, but also climatic ones.
Our products need to work as well for end users
in Australia as they do in Iceland.
Global hot-spots
We’re also seeing growth across markets. There are
enormous opportunities in China and South East
Asia, for instance. The Gulf Cooperation Council
countries have developed extremely fast and are
pushing ahead with some incredible infrastructure
projects and events such as Expo 2020 in Dubai. We
have had a long-term commitment and permanent
physical presence in these markets – a must to ensure
we harvest the opportunities that present themselves.
Major global sporting events also drive up activity –
so we can expect some fascinating opportunities in
Latin America, particularly for our sister brands in Ali
Group North America.
But whether the opportunities are in UK, Dubai or
India or in the massive expansions underway across
African markets, we have to be local. Our products
and services adapt to local market conditions, and
our business recognizes and aligns itself with local
traditions and values. This isn’t just about conforming
to the local legal framework – it’s about cultural
alignment. We believe we have the best offerings and
are eager to search out and support willing buyers
who recognize the added value and know-how we
offer with our products and service.
Can-do attitude
Delivering great products against those pressures and
trends isn’t easy, but we have real chemistry within
Ali Group. There are three key elements in that
chemistry: hard work, smart thinking and a can-do
attitude. I think it’s infectious across the group. It
affects everyone who works in our businesses and it’s
what ensures that we look forward to work every day.
When you cultivate a can-do attitude, it means
that problems become opportunities, that every
challenge is an invitation. We are always looking to
prove and improve the business positively and this
is centred on great products and services wherever
in the world we are doing business. It’s also the
foundation of the entrepreneurial mindset that’s
so highly valued in Ali Group.
Working with an industry legend like Luciano Berti
and his corporate team, offers us access to their
wealth of knowledge and experience as well as
mentoring not seen elsewhere in our industry. But
above all, it’s the management freedom and their
encouragement to deliver innovation and build
brands that marks out Ali Group. There’s no ceiling
set on our ambitions. And being part of the world’s
biggest foodservice Group offers us the opportunity
of collaboration and some incredible synergies to
ensure we maximize that potential.
About the
AFE Group
The Falcon Development
Kitchen allows clients to
try products before purchase
and work closely with
a development chef
Mono Equipment specializes
in manufacturing high-quality
equipment for bakery and
professional kitchen
Mono Equipment’s BX Eco-Touch
convection oven range boasts
a wealth of innovative
energy-saving features
A trainee chef at the Cordon
Bleu cookery school puts
a Falcon E3914i induction
range through its paces
To address the issues of environmental regulation and
customer demand for lower-cost, more sustainable
products, we thought it would be useful to have
an overarching approach to the issue: Greenlogic.
Greenlogic applies to every single area of our
operations. We continually invest in the best available
technology for both our products and our factories
– with the latest production machinery, test and
safety equipment as well as exploring our own energy
generation and biomass heating. Greenlogic also
embraces our logistics and service operations.
Our commitment to a war on waste stretches
back decades. In the 1980s Williams was the first
manufacturer to develop CFC-free insulation. In the
refrigeration sector we’ve pioneered a raft of greener
technologies, ranging from energy-saving Smart
Controllers to systems using eco-friendly refrigerants
such as hydrocarbon and CO2. Falcon has led the way
in high efficiency fryers – offering a raft of savings
including energy consumption and cooking oil use,
and champion Induction through an extensive
product offer to suit every kitchen.
Mono also leads its sector with the very best in energy
performance with the Eco-Touch convection oven family.
We are at the forefront of industry development
with many of our products exceeding the industryrecognised standards for performance and energy
efficiency, achieving worldwide ISO standards for
quality and environmental management.
La Serre brings
bistro culture to Dubai
In August last year a new restaurant opened in Dubai to rave reviews
praising both its design and its cuisine. The driving force behind La Serre
Bistro & Boulangerie is chef Izu Ani. Jim Banks spoke to him about
how he formed the vision that got the restaurant voted no.1 by Esquire
in their ‘Middle East Top 50 Restaurants in UAE 2014’
Overlooking the Rosinox kitchen,
La Serre’s guests can share
the experience of their dishes
being created
Behind the beautiful two-storey glass façade of the
Vida Downtown Dubai hotel on Sheikh Mohammed
Bin Rashid Boulevard lies a restaurant that takes the
best of France’s food-loving ethos and transplants
it perfectly into the city’s cosmopolitan culture.
La Serre Bistro & Boulangerie embraces the best of
traditional cooking and innovative cuisine, and it is
the latest labor of love for head chef Izu Ani.
La Serre has two distinct elements. On the ground
floor is a traditional Parisian boulangerie, which
opens early in the morning to serve freshly-baked
bread, viennoiserie and a light breakfast menu.
“The kitchen sets
the quality standard
of the restaurant”
Throughout the day it offers lunch, salon de thé
and dinner options. The bread and croissants would
grace any French restaurant, though the style is a
blend of European and Middle Eastern.
Upstairs is a bistro, with lunch and dinner menus
inspired by Mediterranean cuisine, as well as a bar.
The bistro – with its chef’s table – has a laid back,
intimate feel and caters for a diverse mix of Dubai
society, reflecting the desire of its designers to
embrace all parts of the local culture.
“The restaurant has a price point, but I want to be
inclusive,” says Izu Ani, head chef at La Serre. “We
serve rich people or people who save up to be able to
appreciate great food. You can eat here for less than
£10 or you can spend £1,000. More important than
price is the fact that food is for sharing with people.
Breaking bread together creates a magical moment.”
La Serre certainly makes a bold statement, with
impressive external design and an interior strongly
inspired by a Parisian style of décor. It is further
evidence that Dubai’s gastronomic scene is
becoming more sophisticated.
Ani’s journey to Dubai
Chef Izu Ani already had a glowing reputation
in Dubai, having been executive chef of Dubai’s
popular La Petite Maison. At 37, he retains the
enthusiasm and drive of a teenager. Born in Nigeria
he moved to the UK with his family at the age
of five. He left school at 15 with relatively few
qualifications. Soon Ani found a job at The Square in
London, which had two Michelin stars. From there
began a journey that took him to some of the finest
restaurants in France – the three-star L’Auberge de
l’Ill and the two-star La Bastide Sainte-Antoine.
“I spent five years in France and ended up at the
second oldest three-Michelin starred restaurant
in the world, cleaning vegetables. That was
important because I could see how everything
intertwines and I understood that you have to
La Serre means greenhouse, so
the restaurant has a feeling of
being light, fresh and open
At La Serre’s boulangerie it’s
possible to have breakfast or a
quick snack throughout the day
UK-based consultancy firm SeftonHornWinch
designed the kitchen and front of house at La
Serre Bistro & Boulangerie Dubai. Derek Horn
FCSI from SHW explains how those designs were
brought to life.
respect your ingredients,” says Ani.
Ani then worked in Spain in the kitchens of
Michelin-starred restaurants such as Mugaritz, Arzak
and Akelaŕe, then returned to London to become
head chef at Vanilla, before moving to Dubai.
In partnering with Emaar Hospitality Group to create
La Serre, Ani could play a key role in all aspects of the
design for the all-day diner, calling upon his passion
for fresh produce and his belief that cooking and
dining are essential parts of any country’s culture.
Derek Horn FCSI is a director
of SeftonHornWinch. Derek
has a reputation worldwide
for his hotel kitchen design
and speciality restaurants.
He has particular flair and
success in the creation of
‘guest experience’ features
and chef staging
“Food is for sharing with people. Breaking
bread together creates a magical moment”
Chef Izu Ani calls upon his
passion for fresh produce
“You have to enjoy cooking. To be a chef you have
to live it and recognise that your job is about giving
pleasure to someone else. That is what I learnt in
France. Every culture’s cuisine has its own look
and flavor.” he says. “Choosing the right cuisine for
a restaurant depends on where you are,” he adds.
“In hot countries you need light food or salads, but
in a cold country like England you need mashed
potatoes and pie. I’ve cooked in Michelin-starred
restaurants all my life, so I understand what quality
and service mean. For me, my Michelin star is
when people say ‘thank you’.”
Kitchen and menu in harmony
The Rosinox cooking suite
integrates a multifunction
bratt pan, a tempura, a fryer
and a French solid top
The bistro menu at La Serre blends French, Spanish
and Italian flavors. Its quality is based on the
importance Ani places on sourcing of fresh, organic
ingredients from farmers and artisan suppliers.
Ani has blended his many influences to suit the
cosmopolitan clientele of the restaurant, while
respecting the needs of the local culture.
“As I am in Dubai now I find that a lot of
Mediterranean food is perfect. I am off to Peru
soon. I like to challenge myself, I am always looking
to do things to the best possible quality, for new
opportunities,” says Ani. “I can bring in different
influences here because, while you can’t be seasonal
in Dubai in the same way as you can in Europe, it
is located between Europe and Australia so you
can bring in summer cuisine from both. Doing that
allows you to get the best ingredients and that helps
to keep things simple. Simplicity and clarity are
what defines the cuisine here,” he adds.
The clarity and openness that Ani prizes so highly
come through in the design of La Serre’s open
kitchen, which invites diners to experience
more than the flavors of the food. “La Serre has
an open kitchen so people can wander in and say
‘thank you’ or tell you that the food is terrible.
I don’t hide myself or my food. If something
is wrong I work hard to make it better. I am
never fully satisfied,” explains Ani.
“La Serre means greenhouse, so it has a feeling of
being light and fresh and open. If you pour sauce
onto a dish you hide it, but the philosophy here
is to have everything to be seen and to have its
own identity. It is important that we stick to our
principles, and that means going back to basics. I
always say that I am a lazy chef because if you find
good ingredients you don’t have to do much to
them.” As important as the quality of the ingredients
is the design of the kitchen. “A lot of restaurants fail
because the kitchen is not set up well,” says Ani.
“The kitchen sets the quality standard of
the restaurant. If you have 200 covers a night,
every night of the year, you need a set-up
that can support that. The design of the kitchen
must reflect your ethos.”
Emaar Hospitality Group asked us to develop, with
Chef Izu, a world-class French restaurant on the first
floor and a boulangerie on the ground floor. It will
provide part retail sales and sit in service complete
with pavement seating and with a very visible
kitchen and bakery production. The brief was
largely dictated by Izu’s belief that Dubai needed true
French breads, viennoiserie and pastries.
We had an excellent working relationship with the
interior designer, Bishop Design, Dubai. The biggest
challenge was the space allocation, particularly at
ground floor for the production bakery areas. Ventilation
and ceiling height constraints added to the challenge
which we overcame using a combination of a vented
ceiling and special canopies. The right ergonomics were
achieved through Izu relating each of his departments
and his own chef requirements when ‘on station’ and
preparing his mise-en-place before service. Storage
and functions were reviewed and planned using the
limited spaces available. Energy savings could only
be achieved by using manufacturers whose equipment
was supporting efficient and insulated containments.
Bespoke solutions
The Rosinox cooking island was custom made for
this project and we designed this with Izu and his
brigade to ensure they stayed ‘on station’ for most of
their individual service function. Rosinox also produced
a tempura fryer that has been most successful.
In the case of the La Serre bakery it is planned that,
when the time is right, it will be also supplying two
or three other hotels locally and that will justify the
expenditure. Certainly if there are not the professional
bakers in any region that a hotel can buy externally,
then having ‘in house’ is the only option but it does
add significant cost to any development.
Having spent a great deal of time with Izu visiting
and tasting breads from France, we suggested
that Izu join us in visiting the Sirha show and we
found all the machinery and ovens within Ali Group
companies which included mainly Pavailler, Bongard,
Bertrand-Puma and CFI for refrigeration. Rosinox
was a natural selection also and we designed both
major ranges at the show.
At La Serre chef Izu has
selected Rosinox for its
robustness and reliability
Rosinox worked closely with
chef Izu and Derek Horn
to develop a customized
cooking suite
Q&A with
Alain Péru,
and CEO at
AFE Bakery
The Pavailler Opale style range
electric deck oven combines
traditional baking and modern
energy efficiency
“I took a lot of time to design the kitchen at La
Serre. I designed the cooking suite and the bespoke
island for food preparation. You have to create the
right flow to ensure that you meet your goals for
productivity and quality,” he adds.
The kitchen at La Serre features a charcoal and
wood-burning oven, a tempura section, and a pasta
section with an induction hob to get water boiling
fast and maintain the right temperature. One of the
best-selling dishes, burrata, has its own section,
though this is currently a makeshift production area
with a trolley. The burrata section shows that even
the best-designed kitchens need to have their layout
altered because no one can fully anticipate what
customers will choose. Facilities need to be flexible
enough to adapt. Furthermore, the design of the
kitchen is only as good as the people who use it, so
Ani prioritized the matching of the right layout and
equipment with the right talent. “I’ve been through
a lot of kitchens and I know that you always have
to tweak the design to respond to the demand. I
also know that chefs need to be involved. Once the
kitchen is in place it is all about the team. You can’t
do anything on your own. I’ve been blessed to work
with great people, and everyone who works here
makes a difference,” he says.
What was the brief for the bakeries aspect of the
La Serre Bistro & Boulangerie?
The bakery had to be optimized and compact. The
aim was to make original French products like
baguettes and croissants within Italian standards very high class.
What client needs had to be taken into account?
Chef Izu already had a clear idea of “how the bakery will
be”. We gave him some advice about the best match.
What challenges did you encounter?
As it’s in a hotel we had to be sure that all equipment
could fit through all corridors. The ovens and the
retarder proofer arrived totally disassembled and had to
be assembled on site. We re-measured each part of the
largest equipment, such as the mixer bowls.
All the equipment was then able to fit through a
standard door.
The Bertrand-Puma compact
resting cabinet and moulder
provide perfect shaped
dough pieces
La Serre’s bakery lab offers
delicious pastries in the
morning and fresh bread
for lunch and dinner
“You have to enjoy cooking. To be a chef is
about giving pleasure to someone else”
Which bakery brands from Ali Group did you install
and why?
Pavailler ovens were the perfect match for this project.
They have the know-how about brasseries and five-star
hotels all over the world. CFI provided the refrigeration
and Bertrand-Puma the dough processing machines.
Was any of the bakery equipment custom made
for this project?
No, but there is one particular piece of equipment that
you won’t find in other bakeries in Middle East. It’s the
liquid leaven machine named Fermentolevain FL from
Bertrand-Puma. It’s a machine to produce traditional
leaven containing organic yeast cells in order to give a
unique flavor to the bread.
What do you think of the new trend of having a
bakery lab inside high-end hotels?
It completes the standout of the hotels. Delicious
pastry in the morning and good breads on the tables
for lunch and dinner is something you expect when
you are staying in a five-star hotel. It also gives
the hotel the opportunity to reduce costs and please
their clients 100%.
Rosinox developed 3D drawings
of the cooking suite to allow
chef Izu to have a real view
on the kitchen
Opportunities heat
up in the Middle East
Michael Jones spoke with Bilal Al Halabi, business development manager at
Al Halabi has a 40% market
share in UAE
Bilal Al Halabi, business
development manager at Al
Halabi Refrigeration & Kitchen
Al Halabi Refrigeration & Kitchen Equipment, about his company’s success
and why the Middle East remains a vibrant, dynamic region
“The development in Dubai
alone in the last 20 years has
been enormous.
The government was very
committed to making Dubai
first a business hub and then
also a tourist hub.
The Dubai development plan
between now and 2020 is
huge. At the moment Dubai
cannot handle that capacity
so another, new Dubai will
need to be developed in the
next six years in order to
take on these projects”
Leading lights:
growth in the Middle East
region remains strong
The UAE is an attractive place to
invest and showcase innovation.
The new Oem Voltaire pizza
oven, pictured, ensures
high productivity and
cooking uniformity
What is the history of your company?
Al Halabi was established in 1975 by three
entrepreneurs: Salahuddine Al Halabi, Abdul Kader Al
Halabi and Sameer Baradie. They had fled the civil war
in Lebanon, where they had been in the foodservice
profession since 1950, and came to a Dubai still fresh
from the establishment of the United Arab Emirates
in 1971. Al Halabi opened the first kitchen equipment
manufacturing facility in the UAE, receiving the
privilege of ‘Industrial License no. 2’ from the Ministry
of Economy. Al Halabi was set up as a manufacturing
company, making ovens and preparation tables and,
later on, refrigerated units.
What were the major milestones along the way?
The first project that they worked on in Dubai was
for Sheikh Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai’s first Sheikh
after establishment. By 1994 business was booming
and the company expanded to new cities, opening
additional showrooms in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, Bahrain
and Oman. Now we have eight showrooms in the
region and a 100,000 sq ft factory that is one of the
biggest in the Middle East.
What would you say is Al Halabi’s particular
Al Halabi has a 40% market share in UAE. Our
reputation is very strong and we pride ourselves on the
quality of our customer care, not just our products. We
consider our customers to be like our own family.
We design, manufacture, install and maintain kitchen
equipment for hotels (including seven-star projects),
restaurants, malls, coffee shops, fast food chains such
as KFC, Pizza Express, Pizza Hut and Chili’s, palaces,
hospitals, cafeterias and bakeries. Some of our main
customers are the hotel groups where we are held as a
standard for their franchise operations.
What’s the secret to a successful manufacturer/
dealership partnership?
Working towards the same strategy. It should be
a mutually beneficial relationship. Ali Group need
companies to take proper care of their brands, to
install them, fix them and offer in-house training.
Comenda come here to us for technical training, for
example. Their products are in safe hands and that
matters to Ali Group.
Comenda works closely with Al
Halabi for technical training on
new products. Here, the new
AC3 model assures low water
consumption and running costs
What is it that defines your business?
We are committed to long-term quality at Al Halabi.
Our capacity is also really big and we can handle lots of
projects at the same time. So that we could be regarded
as a complete, full cycle solution for our customers, we
began importing additional products from Europe to
support our own manufacturing. We now manufacture
70% of our total sales ourselves and import 30%.
Al Halabi has full distribution
exclusively for Mareno, Comenda,
and Oem products in UAE
“Ali Group really listens and has shown
a real commitment to us”
You are a key distributor for Ali Group in the Middle
East. Why do you complement each other so well?
We have been working with Ali Group for more than
15 years and it feels like we are almost the same family.
We both take care of quality and our customers. We’re
not just selling or trying to increase our numbers. We
can really trust Ali’s products with our customers. We
deal largely with Comenda for dishwashing, Mareno
for cooking ranges, Oem for pizza ovens and Alphatech
for convection ovens. We have the full distribution
exclusively for Comenda, Mareno and Oem from Ali
Group products in UAE and this came after years of
trust from working together. Ali Group really listens
and has shown a real commitment to us.
“The UAE has made it easy for investors
to set up and invest in foodservice here
and Dubai in particular has become a hub
for people who want to be creative”
Al Halabi deals mostly with
Comenda for dishwashing.
The AC3’s PWS (Proportional
Wash System) function allows
three different speeds for
bespoke washes
Why is the foodservice market in the region
still an exciting one?
The development that has happened in Dubai alone in
the last 20 years has been enormous. The government
was very committed to making Dubai first a business
hub and then also a tourist hub. The government is
also very conscious of important issues such as food
safety, sustainability and achieving international
standards in kitchen layouts. Al Halabi works closely
with the Dubai Municipality on this. They take our
ideas and set them as the rule in Dubai. Between 20089, during the height of the financial crisis, the Dubai
food and beverage sector actually increased by 30%. It
was our best sales year. Why? Because people stopped
trusting real estate or the stock markets and instead
invested their money in a safer market: F&B. We love
to eat in Dubai. 80% of our population are expatriates
from 130 different nationalities. And around 60% of
them are also bachelors, who like to eat out.
What other key trends are driving growth in Dubai?
We have lots of great restaurants and coffee shops
in this region. Shisha cafés and restaurants with
seating areas and nice views are very popular and
there are so many ethnic restaurants opening up:
Arabic, Iranian, Western, Japanese and Indian.
Customers also want to see ‘live cooking’. They
want the theatre of the kitchen so we are asking
our suppliers for ranges that can show that. People
trust this sector hugely because, while it takes a high
initial investment, there are high profit margins to
be made. The UAE has made it easy for investors to
set up and invest in foodservice here and Dubai in
particular has become a hub for people who want
to be creative. At Al Halabi we are investing and are
opening a new factory, a new headquarters and are
expanding our showroom bases into premium bases.
What impact will key forthcoming events like
World Expo 2020 in Dubai or the Qatar 2022
FIFA World Cup have on the region?
The Dubai development plan between now and
2020 is huge. At the moment Dubai cannot handle
that capacity so another, new Dubai will need to be
developed in the next six years in order to take on
these projects. There is a lot of work to do!
Maison Mathis at Arabian
Ranches, Dubai has been serving
its take on Belgian all-day dining
since December 2013. Head chef
Paul De Visser pushes simple,
but quality ingredients to the
fore of his menu while an on-site
bakery wafts the scents
of beautiful patisseries and
Belgian waffles across a dining
room of 300 covers. The Arabian
Ranches Golf Course is within
putting distance.
Cielos Tapas Bar & Lounge at Dubai Creek Yacht Club opened its
doors in January 2014 to great acclaim and the strong reviews just
keep coming. Serving traditional Spanish tapas with a twist across
two floors, the bar also boasts a sky lounge with great views of
Dubai Creek while DJs spin Latino beats on the wheels of steel.
QBara, Dubai pledges to ‘retell arabesque lore with an
unmistakable modern twist’
and it certainly comes up
with the goods. A wonderfully
atmospheric and vibrant venue
of moody lighting and authentic
touches is augmented by a menu
of beguiling flavors from Magreb,
Levant and greater Middle East.
Dubai’s best new restaurants
From high-end Spanish tapas bars to authentic Japanese cuisine via quality Thai and the finest
Belgian cuisine outside of Brussels, Dubai boasts some of the coolest, most respected restaurants
in the Middle East. Aliworld’s foodies run the rule over some prime new openings
Located in Dubai Mall and famed for its quality Japanese food,
Katsuya by Starck has been a big hit since December 2013. Premier
designer Philippe Starck has created a contemporary and stylish
interior that superbly showcases the sumptuous dishes of master
chef Katsuya Uechi and head chef Gerard Ruvira.
Mekong at the Anantara Dubai
The Palm Resort & Spa was
unleashed on the epicureans
of the UAE in October 2013. The
menu is a winning fusion of Thai,
Vietnamese and Chinese and the
attention to detail (guests ride
authentic tuk tuks to enter the
dining room) is first rate.
In vogue with its GQ magazine origins, the GQ Bar at the JW Marriott
Marquis Dubai has been looking resplendent and effortlessly cool
since January 2014. The food is great too. With a menu that can only
be described as ‘global fusion’, chef Bruno Carvalho really delivers.
Casual, relaxed and with soaring
views of the Burj Khalifa and
Sheikh Zayed Road from its
Beirut-influenced rooftop bar,
Iris at Oberoi Dubai has been
attracting revelers since opening
in December 2013. Chef Olivier
Dechaise offers a mouthwatering
range of cuisine from supersized Wagyu burgers to Lima
Tiradito Ceviche and Seared
Bluefin Tuna.
Form, function
and technology:
10 kitchen trends
of the future
cuisine have all become
regular requests.
We also foresee the request for
in preference to gas taking place.
Derek Horn FCSI
Highly respected foodservice consultant Derek Horn FCSI, director of SeftonHornWinch, gives us his
view on the key dining trends for the next few years and the technology that is making it all happen
for the immediate foreseeable
future and contrary to my note
on electricity, ‘flame’ is a big
draw to a restaurant.
(for example combi ovens)
will be instantly accepted
in our industry.
It’s such a difficult subject to predict the future. Thankfully, we will always have ‘the adventurers’ who keep trying new
things until the right formula has been landed upon! Here are my observations of the latest key trends in foodservice.
using CO2 linked with
heat exchangers, will be
increasingly part of the
way we develop kitchen
projects in the future.
is now almost a
standard, certainly
on 50% of the
projects we are
working on.
feature in many of the
larger hotels, which
enables the closedown
of lunch service in
all-day restaurants.
Operators seem to favor
and buying in more food product.
We are seeing the
restaurants that
specialize in
We are seeing those operators who want
such as Burger and
Lobster, completely
rammed full with guests.
These restaurants are a
massive draw and to be
‘different’ is in big demand.
the balance
Perfection in nature: the
structure of a Nautilus shell is
the epitome of the form-function
relationship. Each element has a
precise relation to all the others
and together they regulate
movement and pressure as well
as provide protection. This same
spiral can also be found in the
flight patterns of hawks, the
movement of tornadoes and
the structure of galaxies
“Design,” said the late Steve Jobs, “is not just what
it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.”
Michael Jones speaks to award-winning design experts
to see how they are able to get the right balance
between form and function
Ibrahim Ibrahim, managing
director of Portland Design,
London, UK
Form and function need to
work in synergy to drive
optimum design
It’s an age-old quandary: how to design a product
that looks great and performs effectively for
the customer. Both the industrial and consumer
business worlds are littered with product causalities
that have forsaken one aspect for the other and
missed the mark.
“Good design is about user-centred problem
solving, whether that is in a commercial or
consumer market”
So, is it about striking a balance between the
aesthetic and functionality, or does one aspect
need to take precedence in order to produce a
winning product?
“This is not a versus,” says US foodservice
consultant Juan Martinez FCSI, principal of Miamibased Profitality. “It’s not form versus function.
This is form and function working in synergy to
drive that optimum design, because one without
the other won’t work.”
“Function must lead,” argues Ibrahim Ibrahim,
managing director of Portland Design and a leading
thinker on design and retail. “If it doesn’t work
functionally then admiration for the form will soon
fade away. An attractive and engaging aesthetic is
not about adornment or decoration. Good form is
about order, the simplicity of aesthetic, restraint
of material finishes, uncompromising attention
to detail and a ‘purity’ of approach. Form and
function are inextricably linked, but allowing
only function to dictate form can lead to a lack
of emotion and missed opportunities.”
Ibrahim, whose firm is headquartered in London,
UK with additional offices in Utrecht, Istanbul and
Dubai, believes strongly that “good design is about
user-centered problem solving, whether that is in a
commercial or consumer market.”
Aesthetics, Ibrahim argues “can affect the emotional
response to a product, so ergonomics and aesthetics
are inseparable. Beautiful products in conjunction
with function can promote an emotional attachment
to the product by the user and hence make his/her
Ibrahim Ibrahim, managing director
of Portland Design
“Our projects are conceived through research, ideas
and strategy and not through the latest trend or style.
That’s how you make a lasting difference. We design
digital and physical retail and F&B environments and
experiences. Our USP is our user-centered approach
driven through robust ethnographic research which
reveals the human truths of the requirements and
expectations of the user/customer, and that’s a
critical part of what drives our design approach.
“We have an internal insights team that inform our
design team of the latest innovations and trends.
Our diverse team are ‘culture junkies’, so we have an
intimate knowledge of the latest developments in the
global retail, food, entertainment, culture and leisure
landscape. We know about new brands and the latest
big (and small) ideas.”
Karim Azzabi, owner, Karim Azzabi Architects (KAA)
“We have two different visions. As both an architecture
and design company we design the space and the things
that go into the space. We design a lot of hotels and
restaurants and equipment. So we always design the
space with equipment in mind. There is a lot of thinking
behind each product. Our mission is not just to design
nice things but also to convey a product culture.
“We also try and give everything a social and ethical
approach. That’s very important. There was a famous
exhibition in Italy called ‘Less aesthetics, more ethics’
that encouraged us all to think less about design and
more about the people. We always consider important
things like energy saving, durability and wastage. It’s
thinking about design for those things, not against them.
“When you are designer working with clients you have
to give them all of the tools that you have: aesthetics,
function, ethics and product culture. Plus you have to
give them a vision. That’s very important. You have to
make your client dream a little bit.”
Manuela Ferrante, design manager, Studio Volpi
“Good design is not an opinion or point of view. Often
it’s actually mathematics. If an idea works for the
commercial sector, there are good chances that it will
work for the consumer market.
“Studio Volpi believes every project deserves the same
‘treatment’, from the simplest toothbrush to the most
complex aircraft. Our goal is the creation of exciting,
excellent, effective products, and we reach it exploiting the
harmonious interaction of different disciplines, operating
with intelligence and imagination and fantasy. This
interdisciplinary approach, where we always take all the
aspects into account, is our way to make the difference.”
work more pleasant and rewarding.”
It’s a sentiment shared by Karim Azzabi, owner of
Karim Azzabi Architects (KAA), a design studio
based in Milan, Italy. “I think form and aesthetics
have actually become part of function,” he says.
“And you can’t do function without aesthetics. I
believe that aesthetics is a part of functional design
and not just ornamental. The two things are merging
more and more into something that I call ‘aesthetical
According to Karim Azzabi the
only “truly beautiful, everlasting
things are what nature gives us”
“Now it’s time for design to become grown
up. It needs to lose its ‘wow’ effect, be more
humble and not show off.”
functionality’. Over time design has become vital
in the functional part of creating things. I see
no difference between one or the other.”
KAA operates internationally within the fields of
architecture and interior design – working both
on commercial and residential buildings as well as
offices, hospitality and site conversion planning.
Says Azzabi: “I don’t believe in good or bad design.
There is only intelligent design. Now it’s time for
The Italian headquarters
of professional and travel
leather products company
Piquadro was designed by
Karim Azzabi
Karim Azzabi, owner of Karim
Azzabi Architects (KAA),
Milan, Italy
design to become grown up. We have to fit in the
functionality of design. It needs to lose its ‘wow’
effect, be more humble and not show off. Design
should be more practical, in all senses. Intelligent
designers are now, not just showing off a design,
but showing the practical sides too.”
For Azzabi, the design world has been evolving for
the better in recent years towards this goal, and
frequently, it’s technology that has brought the two
aspects closer together. “If you look at an iPhone,
or a Samsung phone in particular, that’s aesthetics
and function together. Technology and design
have become part of functionality. If you look at
ergonomics, the scientific part of design, that also
involves aesthetics. You can’t talk about an object
or a product today without talking about its design.
They live together more and more,” he says.
“I believe in a new way of looking at design,” says
Azzabi. “I don’t believe so much in ‘beautiful’
products. A product is man-made. It is the sum of
cultural, social, economic aspects mixed together.
Design changes very fast and what was beautiful
five years ago won’t be beautiful any more.”
Azzabi believes that “an everlasting product” cannot
ever be reliant on the aesthetic aspect alone. “It
is the blending of the disciplines of art, design,
architecture – a lot of things together. Eternal
works of art such as the Sistine Chapel or the Mona
Lisa are the blending of design, art, technology or
architecture being able to capture a moment in life.
Otherwise, design alone will never be a winning
thing, it just dies. But really, the only truly beautiful
everlasting things are what nature gives us.”
The foodservice industry is, it would appear,
no different. So, considering the importance
of ergonomics, can improving comfort levels
actually result in freeing up space for creativity
or improving results in a kitchen, for example?
“Yes,” says Ibrahim. “Well-designed kitchens
can make a chef more efficient, saving time
and hassle. This will leave the chef in a better
frame of mind and ‘head space’ to think either
more strategically or creatively.”
Ergonomics in working spaces have become “really
crucial,” says Azzabi. “People spend so much of
their time in a working environment, so the design
of those spaces has to be important. A restaurant
or a kitchen is no different. The kitchen is the heart
of everything. Increasingly, chefs want to show
customers how the food materialises from an idea to
the presentation of the plate. It has become a theatre
and every element of the kitchen has to support the
To develop the design of the new
Lainox oven Studio Volpi went
through several design studies
For Studio Volpi it was important
to emphasize the ‘lines and
aesthetics’ of the Naboo
Lainox’s Naboo oven combines
the technology needed to cook
any type of food with maximum
ease of use - a swipe of the
finger results in excellent dishes
theatrical performance of the chef. The chef is
the director of the orchestra. Design, in this
situation, has to optimize the opera!”
For that very reason, says Azzabi, “you can’t have
a very functional but ugly kitchen. You can’t have
sharp edges or bad proportions. A chef wants
everything to be the perfect blend of better
design and functionality in their kitchen.”
One such new product that takes both design and
functionality in the kitchen very seriously is the
Naboo oven from Lainox, launched at the Host 2013
show. “Our ambition was to create a new standard
in combination ovens,” says Marco Ferroni,
managing director of Lainox. “Up until now,
these appliances have been steel boxes with some
technology inside. Now they have become fullblown devices that share information and knowledge
with an international community of chefs. This is
‘kitchen 2.0’. It assures maximum reliability and
quality without limiting the creativity of the chef.”
Bringing to life a product this innovative and not
looking like a standard “steel box” was crucial
to Lainox, who wanted to underline the design
qualities for which Italy is famous.
The team behind the design of the Naboo
is international engineering, design and
communication agency Studio Volpi, from
Carnago, Italy. Studio Volpi used materials
chosen for their elegance and quality, but also
their robustness and because they are easy to clean.
The end result is a great success, says Ferroni,
because the visual design is combined with a user
interface that is more intuitive, with great attention
paid to ergonomics to make the product “easy to fit
into every type of space and make workflow better.”
Studio Volpi’s design manager Manuela Ferrante
says that to create the Naboo, her team had to “use
a different approach, thinking of the product as a
unique and integrated device, where technology
is the main driver of the project.”
“Every element of the kitchen has to support
the theatrical performance
of the chef. Design, in this situation,
has to optimize the opera”
For Studio Volpi it was important to emphasise
the ‘lines and aesthetics’ of the Naboo. “Lines
define a movement into space, aesthetics complete
the general look by building coherence between
the oven and its surrounding elements,” says
Ferrante. “We feel that any chef can feel the
difference when a Naboo enters a kitchen
and not only on the ‘look and feel’ aspect.”
For Ferrante, when considering form and function
Manuela Ferrante, design
manager of Studio Volpi,
Varese, Italy
in a commercial setting, it is crucial to find the
right balance. “Function is the answer to a specific
problem, form is necessary to understand it,” she
says. “When function is totally logical and obvious,
form is a support. When you ‘read’ design without
knowing its language, that means the job has been
done correctly. We believe in harmony and balance.”
Fresh ideas are, says Ibrahim, “the only sustainable
competitive advantage that can help you ‘future
proof’” a product or brand. Why? “Because
a competitor can mostly compete on price,
equipment, aesthetic design or staffing, but if you
have a unique idea you will be one step ahead and
by the time a competitor catches up you can move
to the next idea. Your competitor will then be
seen as a follower not an innovator. Often worldbeating ideas are about predicting what customers
want before they know it. So shift from being a
responsive business to being a predictive one!”
Design has a crucial part to play in contextualising
those fresh new ideas. As the great American
designer Paul Rand said, “Design is the method of
putting form and content together. Design, just as art,
has multiple definitions; there is no single definition.
Design can be art. Design can be aesthetics. Design is
so simple, that’s why it is so complicated.”
Beyond sales:
breeding loyalty
with better
customer service
Ali Group’s Matteo Zironi
works closely with the service
and spare parts teams to
further develop the after-sales
business within the Group
Selling the right product is just the start of the relationship between the
brands in Ali Group and their customers. After-sales service is a central pillar
of the Group-wide strategy where the emphasis on customer satisfaction goes
far beyond the point of sale, global after-sales director Matteo Zironi
tells Jim Banks
The sale of equipment is the beginning of the
relationship with the customer, not the end.
In an ideal world, customers want to be able to
forget about the equipment they buy because it
works perfectly and becomes a seamless part of
an efficient operation, but problems do inevitably
arise even with the most reliable products, and
it is the speed of response and willingness to
provide support that is the key to loyalty. That is
why it is important to make after-sales service
a top priority. It is easy to switch to another
manufacturer, but it is hard to replace a valued
service provider.
For Ali Group, service is the source of sustainable
competitive advantage because customers want
more than simply high-performance equipment.
That is why there is a tangible shift from focusing
purely on products to providing a rounded service
– a process termed ‘servitization’ – across the
foodservice industry, and this trend is driving a
process of transformation within Ali Group.
“After-sales service is an essential part of our
strategy and we are moving on from selling good
products, which in itself is no longer enough,” says
Matteo Zironi, global after-sales director at Ali
Group. “We have to provide excellent customer
service after the sale, which means the focus is
no longer on products but on solutions.”
“Customers’ expectations of after-sales service
have increased dramatically and there has been
a shift from providing technical assistance
and supplying spare parts in an efficient way
to providing broader solutions for the whole
product lifecycle.
“The overall aim is to help customers
become more productive,
improve profitability and make
savings on operational costs”
We will always be looking to improve delivery
times for spare parts, but a solution should include
elements such as accessories, extended warranties
and maintenance contracts, and even practical
business ideas to help reduce operational costs
and improve clients’ efficiency.”
Clients want more than
just high-performance
equipment; they expect broader
solutions throughout the
whole product lifecycle
Zironi, whose background is in engineering and
economics, previously worked in the industrial
sector in companies that are well-known for
their strength in service and after-sales support,
including General Electric, Toyota and Whirlpool.
With this experience in companies where customer
service is a fundamental part of the business
proposition, he is well placed to ensure that
Ali Group strengthens their offering and
continues to remain a leading light in both
technical support and after-sales service.
The challenge all of the service teams face is to
ensure that there is a consistent focus on customer
satisfaction across the Group’s many brands, and
this means further developing the mindset across
the network of after-sales centers and distributors
that support end-customers of Ali Group’s brands.
It is a cultural shift that will ensure constant
improvement in the full aftermarket product
range, from the supply of genuine parts to service
contracts and wider business partnerships. The
transformation is from technical support to a
commercial function.
A new way of thinking
Zironi knows that a culture of service cannot evolve
overnight, but he believes that strengthening the
right attitude in each of Ali Group’s companies
can quickly lead to meaningful change.
“A change in mindset is needed, with after-sales
operations moving from technical departments
to become commercially minded departments.
Looking at products and service together requires
a more proactive approach. It means reaching out
to customers rather than waiting for them to
contact us. We should be there to optimize the
operations of our clients, not just provide
them with the products they need. We are
there to help them build their business and
to provide them with peace of mind,” he says.
“We can help them to optimize their equipment
to support them in developing their business
operations, which might mean providing reports on
energy consumption, advise on spending control or
possible improvements in their use of equipment.
The service department has to act like the minister
for foreign affairs in a company, because it
deals directly with customer relationships and
ensures that operations run smoothly. It is,
therefore, the platform for building loyalty.”
The specifics of service delivery must be tailored
to each individual company and will depend on
the type of equipment each one supplies, but the
broad principles of being proactive and providing
appropriate solutions to support clients in
developing their business apply equally to all.
“Service should be seen as a business unit in its
own right, and that business unit must have a
commercial approach. It must have a mission to
be economically active as part of the company.
Each of our companies is at a different stage of
maturity in terms of developing that commercial
approach to service, but all of them understand the
concept,” Zironi explains. The basics of customer
service, such as ensuring spare parts are always in
stock, remain a top priority, but a more focused
approach to after-sales capability means looking
beyond spare parts inventory planning to ensure
prompt technical support for service partners and
close collaboration with everyone involved in the
“The specifics of service delivery must be
tailored to each individual company and
will depend on the type of equipment each
one supplies, but the broad principles of
being proactive and providing appropriate
solutions to support clients in developing
their business apply equally to all”
distribution network to guarantee top class service.
“In terms of development and education we also
put a lot of emphasis on training and certifying
the service network, as well as the skills needed
to move from classic technical training to a more
commercial mindset that informs the delivery of
solutions. So, we have technical and developmental
programs, which include technical courses that
support assistance and after-sales centers in being
more proactive in managing relationships with
customers,” Zironi notes.
Making the change
Making meaningful change in the quality of aftersales service begins with understanding the starting
point, so it is essential to have the right measures in
place to track improvements. Ali Group has chosen
a series of customer-driven key performance
indicators (KPIs), rather than internal measures.
“Measuring the quality of customer service is
done partly with financial measures, but we also
extensively use KPIs that relate to service delivery,”
says Zironi. “We measure what the customer sees,
so we look at spare parts availability and the time
taken to resolve problems. I’ve been in the B2C
market, which stresses the concept of customer
intimacy, so I have learnt the lesson that customers
can change their minds if the service they receive
is not good enough, which is why it is important to
Each brand within Ali Group
wants to be more a partner
than a supplier; helping clients
build their business
measure the quality of customer service and
constantly work to improve it.”
Ali Group has made a firm commitment to
become a champion of after-sales service
and is making a concerted effort to build
up key capabilities in service, parts supply
and field operations to accelerate the move
from a product-centric view of its business
to a customer-centric business model. The
overall aim is to help customers become more
productive, improve profitability and make
savings on operational costs.
The Group’s mentality is one of continuous
improvement, and maintaining a high level of
enthusiasm for the change is essential. Zironi
sees a great commitment from within the Group
to the cause of strong after-sales service. “The
transformation is proceeding very well. The
Group has the right people and vision in place
and we see great movement in our initiative
for change. Service is changing from a support
function into a strategic pillar. We work
extensively with the companies in the Group
and we can see that everyone
is very motivated,” he remarks.
Customers of Ali Group companies can expect
an even more proactive and supportive
relationship in the future, as each brand
becomes more of a partner rather than just
a supplier. The Group has set itself on the
road to enhanced after-sales service and
there is no turning back.
positive change
A “gemba tour” of Falcon to gain
valuable insights into improving
manufacturing processes
Ali Group’s operations director Roberto Ragazzoni
is responsible for improving both process and future
product development across the Group’s 76 individual
brands. “What I try to do is to enhance communication
between our companies,” he tells Michael Jones
An Ali Group meeting hosted at
Carpigiani to share the Kaizen
philosophy and encourage
continuous improvement
Roberto Ragazzoni, Ali Group‘s
operations director
“Change,” said John F. Kennedy, “is the law of life.
And those who look only to the past or present
are certain to miss the future.” Embracing change
in business and thinking long-term about how
to improve a successful and established model
is not something that comes easily to most large
companies. For Ali Group however, an appetite
for embracing change and constantly improving
business processes is now second nature.
The man tasked with coordinating process change,
developing products and disseminating best practice
across the Group is Roberto Ragazzoni, Ali Group’s
operations director. Ragazzoni, who has worked
at the firm’s Milan headquarters for the past six
years, has considerable experience in logistics and
manufacturing in large international groups.
In Ragazzoni’s role he is able to get a global overview
of both process and products at Ali Group, helping
to spread best practice, introduce external expertise
to stimulate new ideas and promote a culture of
innovation across the 76 individual brands. All this
whilst ensuring the uniqueness and specialization
of each company is never compromised.
“Ali is very decentralized,” he says. “Each company
has a great autonomy in managing its own business.
All our companies are really local in terms of
following the needs of each market. We want our
companies to be close to their own market. Ali
Group’s key strength is in being closer to
the customers than our competitors. So the fact
that we are not a big centralized Group is a real
unique selling proposition.”
Ragazzoni feels that his role is to “enhance the
communication” between the companies and
between the people. “I try to promote a culture
within the Ali Group as far as production is
concerned and spread best practice, but also have an
overview of our investments and act as a taskforce
in specific cases when companies need support for
individual projects,” he says. “At a central level we
have a global view that enables us to take advantage
of all the best practices in the company and then
spread them all over.”
Process improvement and Kaizen
Ragazzoni is an advocate of the Kaizen business
philosophy, first implemented in several Japanese
firms after World War II to enable companies
to achieve higher performance levels through
continuous improvement of people, processes
and systems. (See page 38). “While Lean
manufacturing thinking in itself may provide
several tools,” says Ragazzoni, “Kaizen offers
solutions that can help you to continuously adapt
and improve Lean tools to your specific needs.”
“You can never copy and paste a solution,” he says.
“That’s why I prefer Kaizen to Lean manufacturing.
I see Lean as a solution that is copied and pasted in
companies whereas the Kaizen method is all about
continual improvement. Ali Group is a state-of-theart industrial organization, so what is important is
that all those factories have improvement programs
involving our people. It’s a mind
shape that we are promoting to encourage
continuous improvement.”
The marketing and R&D teams
at the cooking workshop, held at
Falcon in June 2014
“Someone from an external point of view
can encourage a discussion and, with
group work, a new vision, a new solution
can be produced together”
The Kaizen method is something that is encouraged
across the Group where it is deemed that it can
make a positive difference, but it’s not imposed
arbitrarily, says Ragazzoni. “If you push something
normally you find some resistance, so you have
to create the need, the curiosity and the willingness
of people in the companies. So what we do is to
show people the success that we have achieved
in other companies to encourage and to stimulate
some competitiveness between them; the
willingness to achieve a similar result.”
When you adopt Kaizen, says Ragazzoni, “you have to
look at your work from a different perspective. If not,
you cannot improve. We are human beings and when
we look at our work it is often difficult to improve
it. But someone from an external point of view can
encourage a discussion and, with group work, a new
vision, a new solution can be produced together.”
For Ragazzoni, the Kaizen way of thinking is not
The Kaizen way of thinking aims
to increase efficiency, reactivity
and quality
adopted to purely increase efficiency levels.
“It is also to increase our reactivity and our quality,”
he says. “Efficiency normally comes from these
projects but it’s also about the reduction of delivery
times that are more and more important in our
industry, as well as improving product quality.”
Promoting product innovation
So how are these competencies shared within the
Group? “We started setting up some meetings to
share our experiences. These ‘Ali Experiences’
in process manufacturing are conducted each
year whereas technical workshops on washing,
refrigeration and cooking that are focused on
product development happen twice a year. Lean
manufacturing sessions take place several times
in a month, with cross-visits of people between
companies looking at results, projects and the
methodology of managing them.”
A workshop at Falcon to share
competencies engaged Ali Group
cooking companies worldwide
“It’s a mind shape that we are promoting
to encourage continuous improvement”
Analyzing innovative induction
prototypes with external experts
For technical workshops Ragazzoni will invite
colleagues from other Ali companies, as well as
external experts, such as suppliers or university
lecturers, to participate in the two-day sessions
so that they can share competencies on subjects
such as energy efficiency, electronic panels,
materials, components. In these meetings
case study
Kaizen: from
concept to reality
Kaizen is a continuous improvement and innovation
process. ‘Kaizen’ comes from two Japanese words:
kai and zen. Kai means change and zen means better.
So Kaizen is a process of change - to change for
the better, to improve and to innovate.
Kaizen has to be led by the leadership of a company
and involve everyone, both white and blue collar. Our
role is not to give solutions but to motivate and train
people to find the solutions that will change their
organization for the better. If they learn how to do
that, they can grow by themselves in a progressive
autonomy and find their own solutions and give their
organization a competitive advantage. This is a concept
that Kaizen calls ‘dantotsu’. That simply means ‘the
best’ and is a concept derived originally by Toyota.
“Kaizen is a process to
change for the better, to
improve and to innovate”
Continuous improvement is a mindset that prevents
you from accepting the status quo. You can imagine
the strength, the power of this mindset if it is spread
all over a company. With it you can overcome the
existing paradigms in an organization that prevent you
from going to the next step. Kaizen works because it’s
embedded in this spirit and frees a lot of energy
from the top and the bottom of a company. Kaizen distinguishes between what is value for
the customer and what is ‘muda’, or waste. Kaizen
increases the value to the customer and eliminates
muda inside a company’s processes.
Enhancing productivity,
efficiency and service
Two years ago, together with Roberto Ragazzoni,
we ran an internal and external benchmark event
that involved the leadership of several companies
within Ali Group. We asked them to do some
benchmarking by themselves and then we took
them to visit two excellent companies. Then we
designed some training workshops hosted by
three Ali companies: Polaris, Mareno and Esmach.
These three companies started the Kaizen process
autonomously. This was very effective, very powerful.
We then rolled this out to other companies such as
Carpigiani and now we are going to introduce it to
Ambach with a pilot workshop that can immediately
bring some results in terms of productivity,
efficiency and service levels. This is what we call
the ‘gemba’ (‘real place’) approach.
The most effective way to activate a process and
to lead people to change is through a gemba Kaizen
workshop. The Kaizen way is to look at exactly what
the strategy, the goal, the style, the spirit and the
values of a company are and to try and focus the
approach to fit exactly around a specific goal.
It’s better to benchmark with a different sector,
because it’s not a matter of copying. You have to
look at the processes that other companies are
implementing and think ‘how can I implement the
same process in my context, involving my people’?
If people are open-minded they can look at the
process and start improving the same process in
their company and developing the Kaizen mindset, in
their organization. When this process starts a lot of
energy will come out and, if the company is a very
good one like the Ali Group, you can really improve a
situation. The results are wonderful.
An open mind is necessary to get success in business.
Our experience with Ali Group was a great one.
The relationship is very good, with a real spirit of
partnership across the whole Group. They have
very open collaboration with us.
In addition to Kaizen Italy, Ali Group has now started
to work with Kaizen France and Germany.
These meetings are key
to fostering interesting
cross-sector collaboration
among companies
Carlo Ratto, country manager
at Kaizen Institute Italy, tells
us about the training and
support he and his team give
to Ali Group
Kaizen is designed to
motivate and train people
to find solutions that
will change their
organization for the better
The target of Ali Group’s
workshops is that people
increase their skills so that they
can make better products
Ragazzoni invites suppliers of materials and
technology to present innovative solutions to
the team. These meetings can also foster some
interesting cross-sector collaboration among
companies from different business segments.
“In the UK, Italy or France the approach to energy
efficiency is not the same,” he says.
“When you put all those brilliant guys
together in a room, you feel that there are
real competencies, real skills in each specific
sector. There is not another similar example
in the world to Ali Group”
“Our companies are close to their markets but they
have the opportunity to network with their colleagues
in other companies so that they are ready and able to
adopt some of the solutions in their own markets.
The focus meeting workshops are held on-site at
different Ali Group companies and include factory
tours so that employees can look “in reality, at how
things are done in each company,” says Ragazzoni.
“The workshops are not at all structured. They are a
very informal discussion between colleagues because
the aim is to create personal relationships and
personal networking between people in different Ali
companies. We have a list of the topics that we want
to discuss and after there is an open discussion.” The feedback that Ragazzoni and his team
receive from participants in the sessions, from
technicians and sales and marketing people alike,
is overwhelmingly positive. “Our people have
increased their direct contact with each other,
because years ago that kind of communication was
not so frequent between our companies,” he says.
“The willingness to attend again and the active
participation we have in meetings is what I can
measure, as well as an increase in the skills of our
people, and the knowledge of the technologies that
we gain. The target is that people are growing so
they can make better products in the future.”
For Ragazzoni, it’s all about finding the right
balance. “Being local but having a global view, a
global network, a global attitude,” he says. “We have
companies from the US, from Sweden, the UK, New
Zealand and Australia coming to these workshops.
When you put all those brilliant guys together in a
room, you feel that there are real competencies, real
skills in each specific sector. There is not another
similar example in the world to Ali Group.”
Ali brings in
the cream
of the coffee world
The latest brand to become part of the Ali Group takes the company into a new market – coffee.
In Rancilio, it has acquired a brand that has climbed steadily to the very top end of that market
through nearly a century of devotion and innovation. Jim Banks looks at how Rancilio grew from
a small warehouse to become part of a global foodservice equipment company
For many, coffee is a passion and its devotees
attribute to it the rich complexity and subtlety of
blend and flavor that connoisseurs usually reserve
for discussions about fine wines.
That level of dedication to the highest class of
quality in coffee has driven the growth of the
Rancilio Group, which Ali Group acquired in
September last year, to become one of the leading
names in the market for coffee machines.
Rancilio was founded in 1927 by Roberto Rancilio,
the grandfather of current president and CEO
Giorgio Rancilio, and has passed through three
generations of the family. Each generation
has marked out a unique chapter in the growth
of the brand, which was born in a small
warehouse in Parabiago, Italy.
“Roberto started a business in a small town near
Milan that was famous for making shoes,” says
Rancilio. “He was a mechanic who decided to do
something different by making coffee machines. I
never met him and I don’t know what inspired him
to do it, but I know that he built up a small business
with a handful of people and grew it step by step.”
Roberto had three sons, so the company survived
when Roberto died, and so began the second chapter
of the company’s history, which saw it change
dramatically. “The company became a name in the
coffee machine market and its operations became
industrial rather than artisanal,” adds Rancilio. “It
started to export and by the 1980s only 30% of its
sales were in Italy, with the other 70% made up of
exports to every continent in the world.”
Giorgio took control of the company along with his
brother and two cousins in the 1990s and started to
write the third chapter in Rancilio’s story. When he
inherited the company he was faced with difficult
choices about how to grow the strength of the
brand even further.
“Within the Ali Group the entrepreneurs
that drive individual brands have the ability
to pursue their vision, foster new product
innovation and retain responsibility for the
parts of the company they control”
“As we became more confident with running the
company’s operations we looked at how we could
feed more growth by opening branch companies in
strategic markets like the US,” he says. “We opened
an office in Chicago in 1999, although the brand
model for smaller operations.”
The last brand to join the Rancilio Group’s family was
Egro, which already had a long tradition of high-quality
engineering for fully automatic coffee machines.
The company’s pedigree spans 80 years, and during
that time it has built a reputation for the high reliability
and precision technology of its machines.
“The machine must have a strong
personality, which means the design
and the finish is a very important
part of its identity”
was already present in the US, and we found that
sales in that market were strengthened by having a
direct presence. Then we opened in Barcelona, then
in Lisbon. But we realized that growing geographically
was only one option. The really big growth came
when we moved into a new market – fully automatic
machines - with the acquisition of Egro.”
Rancilio Group creates stylish
products that perfectly fit
modern, global locations
Building brands
The company was built on the engineering
expertise of its founder, and the Rancilio brand
of semi-automatic coffee machines was always
intended to promote the culture of Italian espresso
throughout the world. The traditional machines
marketed through this brand are currently
distributed in 110 countries and are supported by
700 after-sales service centers around the world.
In 1982, the company expanded its brand portfolio
with the introduction of Promac, which produces
and distributes semi-automatic espresso machines
with a different take on design, but the same
focus on reliability and quality.
“Design is very important. A coffee machine is a
very visible element in a café, restaurant or bar. So,
the machine must have a strong personality, which
means the design and the finish is a very important
part of its identity,” says Rancilio.
“We must also offer a very comprehensive range
of machines, as the needs of end users can be very
different. For example, there are four models in the
Rancilio brand ranging from the very sophisticated
at the top end to the simple and reasonably priced
Excelsius is a revolutionary,
patented temperature
control technology
Egro is the only manufacturer of a patented system
characterized by the differentiated sizes of the
brewing chambers, which have become
the essential component of the technology in
its highly sophisticated machines. This spirit
of innovation matches the ethos of the Rancilio
Group, which has always thrived on creativity.
“We had some experience with fully automatic
technology, but Italians are known for developing
semi-automatic machines that are used by
baristas,” Rancilio explains. “Switzerland, by
contrast, has the DNA for developing fully
automatic machines. So to target more growth
we realized that internal development of new
technology was too risky, and because we had
to build a reputation in that market segment
quickly we went to Switzerland and found Egro.”
“Egro was not interested in keeping that business
going at that time, so it was a suitable target for
acquisition. It was the first time our company had
looked at acquiring another business, so it was a new
the next step in
Xcelsius is the newest patented temperature control
technology from Rancilio LAB technological department.
Its main feature is the Temperature Profiling function.
This means that the temperature of the brewing
water for the coffee can be set dynamically, with
an increase or decrease of up to 5°C (9°F) during the
25-30 seconds it takes for each individual delivery.
This function allows the particular aromatic
characteristics of each individual blend to be
brought out for the perfect cup of coffee.
“This is the latest technology and it represents
years of effort and engineering,” says Rancilio. “We
now have the complete profile of temperature during
coffee brewing. A stable temperature is critical and
on top of that we have put the ability to fine-tune
the temperature of the brewing water, so that a
barista can make great coffee every time by suiting
the temperature to the blend of the coffee.”
The system features two patented technologies
developed in partnership with the Polytechnic in Turin,
one of Europe’s leading universities. The development
process took three years and is seen as a key
strategic project for Rancilio. Its versatility is such
that it even allows the temperature of the water
to be altered during the extraction process.
The temperature profiling that is possible with Xcelsius
makes it unlike any other product on the market and
opens up new possibilities for baristas to influence the
taste of each cup of espresso. It also embodies the
passion for innovation that has been a recurring theme
for Rancilio since the company’s earliest days.
In 2012, 6.5% of the Group’s turnover was set aside for
R&D, and creativity is always encouraged in the
Rancilio and Egro LAB facilities. Xcelsius is the latest
in a long line of innovations that includes ABM.07
advanced boiler management, which allows operators
to control the power requirements of a coffee
machine, and Egro Zero, which ensures an energy
consumption of less than 0.5W when in standby
mode, thanks to the use of insulated boilers.
“We are always innovating in order to develop new
ways to help the baristas in their job. We have
spent years working on the extreme quality of
a cup of espresso,” says Rancilio.
of each brand is also strengthened.
Rancilio believes that there is a major opportunity
to make inroads into the quick service restaurant
(QSR) sector as part of the Ali Group, as well as the
hotel/restaurant/café market in which the company’s
brands have already had such a great impact.
“I want to emphasize that the acquisition by Ali
happened over one year ago and I have found
exactly what I expected. Everything that was
promised at the start has been delivered. I have an
excellent relationship with the owner and we share
the same values,” he explains.
The Egro ONE Top-Milk XP allows
customers to choose from a
wide range of milk options, while
a special integrated module
enables the preparation of a
host of different beverages
For Giorgio Rancilio innovation
means finding solutions that
make machines easier to use
and more reliable
With 45 patents and a qualified
team devoted to R&D, innovation
is part of Rancilio Group’s DNA
“We are always innovating in order to
develop new ways to help the baristas in
their job. We have spent years working on
the extreme quality of a cup of espresso”
“We both like to be transparent and for me
personally it is important that I can admire Ali’s
founder as an entrepreneur who has built up a big
group of companies. It is good to join that Group.
It was hard to accept that it is not just my company
any more, but it is what is best for the brand and I
am 100% comfortable with the next chapter in the
life of Rancilio being part of the Ali Group.”
experience for us, but we were very satisfied.
It was a milestone for me and it delivered ‘hockeystick’ growth for the company,” he adds.
“The company became stronger and bigger, but
keeping the personality of the company was
always important to me. A brand represents
value for the market, for its employees and for
its customers. So, we worked hard to keep the
personality consistent. My father taught me from
childhood about the identity of the company so
I wanted to make sure that when I took over the
business it kept its soul,” says Rancilio.
“With Egro, the company became even stronger
and it proved to me that we could complete
extraordinary projects. There are only two
companies in the market that are real players and
have both automatic and semi-automatic machines,
and Rancilio is one of them.”
A new chapter begins
For a company with such an independent
family-centered tradition it was not an easy
decision to become part of a larger group, but the
experience of the acquisition by Ali Group has
been nothing but positive. In the few months since
the transaction was completed Giorgio Rancilio
has clearly seen that the move presents the best
opportunities for the future development of the
company’s brands, and that there is as much room
for creativity and innovation as before.
Indeed, he notes the great rapport that was
established with Luciano Berti and all the
management at Ali right from the outset.
He senses that they share a vision and a
commitment to achieving their ambitious goals.
Above all, he feels that there is room for the
entrepreneurial freedom that has always been
important to the ethos of Rancilio, and that
freedom is a great motivator. Within the Ali Group
the entrepreneurs that drive individual brands
have the ability to pursue their vision, foster new
product innovation and retain responsibility
for the parts of the company they control.
Alongside that, each brand is strengthened by the
broader portfolio of products Ali Group provides
to the catering industry, and the global positioning
Giorgio Rancilio, president and
CEO of Rancilio Group
Rancilio has a unique focus on
coffee lovers worldwide
the goods
Ali Group’s Angelo Speranza
poses with equipment from
Burlodge, temp-rite and Fimi
Angelo Speranza is CEO of Burlodge, temp-rite and
Fimi, three of Ali Group’s leading companies in
the meal delivery and distribution sector. Speranza
is equally passionate about all three brands. “Buy
from any of these brands and you have the peace of
mind that we’ll supply a safe and quality product,
supported day-in, day-out throughout its life cycle,”
he says. “In our environment, that’s a huge valueadd.” That environment encompasses the delivery
and distribution of meals in healthcare, schools and
prisons, and the business is currently undergoing very
positive growth. “It’s a really exciting and promising
market because it’s constantly evolving,” he says.
“The outlook is very encouraging as emerging markets
continue to look for meal delivery systems that
guarantee patients high-quality foodservice.”
All three brands are in the business of meal
distribution systems, yet each stands on its own
strengths and success thanks to distinctive product
innovation and territorial markets. “Burlodge, temprite and Fimi freely compete in their respective
markets even though there are technical and
manufacturing synergies,” says Speranza.
“Burlodge specializes mainly in the healthcare
sector, but also covers non-healthcare such as
school meals in the European market and
correctional services within the North American
market. The temp-rite brand is principally
healthcare and some social services, such as home
delivery and age care, while Fimi operates more
in healthcare, business and industry sectors.”
All three firms boast extraordinary heritage
in their own markets too. Founded 30 years ago
by Speranza and his father Bruno, Burlodge
joined the Ali Group in 1998 and has since
swiftly established itself as a global player.
“The Burlodge, Fimi and temp-rite brands
have a unique differentiation, established
through product innovation and their
respective geographical coverage”
Angelo Speranza talks to Michael Jones about
innovation and product development at three
of Ali Group’s cutting-edge meal delivery and
distribution brands: Burlodge, temp-rite and Fimi
Celebrating its 60th year, Fimi joined the Ali Group
in 2007 and concentrates its efforts on southern
Europe and the Middle East, while temp-rite has been
a leader in the European healthcare sector for over 40
years and was acquired by Ali Group in 2002.
There is, says Speranza, differentiation and room
for all three brands to thrive. “Fimi manufactures
portioning, storage, transport trolleys and heated
and refrigerated plated food trolleys, and goes to
market exclusively via distributors. Products from
New products and systems: Speranza on three of the best
The Optima from Burlodge has
been developed for room service
applications and temperature maintenance
is a temperature maintenance trolley that has been
developed for room service applications and for emerging
markets. We looked at performance, dimensions, ease
of use and the cost as key factors to consider in certain
markets. The Optima was recently launched with great
success and is now in production.
“I like to push boundaries
and see a different way of
doing things – putting people
outside of their comfort zone
in order to learn and grow”
brand is very much focused on ergonomics and has
developed a touch sensitive, motorised, battery powered
wheel called
that is sensitive to the movement of a person. This makes
the trolley virtually weightless when pushing or pulling – a
feature that will be applied to all the temp-rite trolleys.
Docking-Station DS2,
, last year we launched the new
The Serve-Rite trolley was
developed for the ergonomic
and hygienic service of cold
meals and can be configured to
customers’ specifications
and were recently awarded the contract for three
prestigious hospitals across Europe. Next we will be
launching a completely new line of portioning equipment
with unique features such as electronic controls that
will allow improved temperature results and significant
reduction in energy consumption.”
Touch-rite from temp-rite is
a touch sensitive, motorised,
battery-powered wheel,
sensitive to the movement
Fimi’s Docking Station
DS2 features electronic
controls that allow improved
temperature results
temp-rite cover portioning equipment, insulated
trays and plate systems and conduction heating
plated trolleys that are sold mainly on a direct basis.
Meanwhile, Burlodge manufactures various ranges of
air-convected plated meal and multiportion systems
sold on a direct basis in some markets and via key
partners and distributors in others,” he says.
For Speranza, when people buy a product from Fimi,
temp-rite or Burlodge, they’re not just buying a piece
of equipment “but a fully supported system” that has
to last many years. “Hospitals or institutions need to
have the peace of mind that the system they purchase
meets their needs, is implemented correctly and
supported throughout the life cycle. So the complete
package is extremely important to our clients.”
Manufacturing the product is one half of the
equation. Responding to client need completes
the picture. For these three companies that comes
down to listening and understanding what those
specific needs are. “It’s essential that we build strong
working relationships with our customers during
the development of the project. Only by involving
them early on in the process and clearly adapting
to their requirements and constraints are we able
to develop and propose solutions best suited to
their needs,” Speranza says.
“We aim to build compliance with all markets
into our development program, while retaining
a high degree of flexibility with features and
personalization to meet specific needs.”
The strength of these three brands is, says
Speranza, in understanding the day-to-day issues
and challenges customers face. “So we’re trying
to not look at the trend of today but to create
the trend of tomorrow,” he says. “This is what
differentiates us from our competitors.”
The brands also collaborate closely with local
authorities, healthcare groups and food associations
in individual countries to better understand each
market. “This contributes to developing solutions
and leads the industry in setting new standards
for the future,” says Speranza.
A dedicated focus on product development is key
to the success of the three brands, says Speranza.
“In terms of evolution, we’ve come from supplying a
simple trolley to a patient that maintains temperatures
from A to B, to hospitals which are fully automated,
in terms of transportation, loading, and cleaning; all
of which is fully managed by robotics,” he says.
“I look directly after the product development and
our technical people,” says Speranza. “We look at
the ergonomics, the environmental impact, the
consumption, the temperature range, the colour
and the design. We look at the product in its
totality. I say to my technical people when they
develop a product that, not only does it have
to look beautiful, be efficient and work well,
which is a given, but it has to feel good, it has
to smell good and when you touch it has to
give you something back.”
the story of Burlodge
“Best of the best”
team up to create
cutting-edge prison
meal delivery system
“My father and I started Burlodge from our living room
at home and today we are one of the global suppliers of
solutions to the healthcare industry. We started in the UK
then expanded to Italy, Canada, the US and France. When
we became part of the Ali Group in 1998 we forged close
relationships with some of the Ali sister companies:
with Metos in the Nordic and Baltic countries, with
Stierlen and temp-rite in Germany and Benelux,
with Moffat in Australasia.”
“You have to develop your people to develop your
future. We have the privilege of having some of the best
people in the industry working for us. That has led to
our success. In terms of products, we started with the
Alphagen trolley, which was a revolutionary product
that really changed the way meals were distributed in
hospital environments. We patented it and it launched us
into the global market. Since then we’ve developed many
other novel ways of supplying meals to patients and
unique ways of providing solutions to customers.
Suffice to say, there is more to come.”
The state-of-the-art California Health Care Facility (CHCF) in South Stockton, California
opened to inmates in summer 2013. Michael Jones spoke to two key players behind the
foodservice element of the world’s largest dedicated correctional healthcare facility
“Burlodge is a success story because of our culture
of continuous improvement. We never stand still and
because we’re always straightforward and honest with
our customers, our customer retention is extremely high
when it comes to replacing equipment with new systems.
We are a motivated and passionate group of people
that strives to deliver a safe, palatable, quality meal to our
customer in order to help them bring a moment of joy
to their patients.”
Burlodge is a success story
because it continuously
improves the products
and services it provides
to customers
“I like to push boundaries and see a different way of
doing things - putting people outside of their comfort
zone and allowing novel solutions to flourish. I have
a reputation within Ali Group of being a ‘green’ and
‘minimalist’ person. I was privileged enough to go to the
North and South Poles and have witnessed the melting
of the ice caps, so I am passionate about the carbon
footprint and sustainability of materials in our products.
Our latest equipment has been developed with a
reduction in raw materials, increased use of recycled and
man-made materials, and has improved energy efficiency
by 24%. We’ve achieved this without compromising
performance and the life cycle of the product. In years to
come that will become a key environmental factor.”
Built at a cost of $839 million, the California Health
Care Facility (CHCF) in South Stockton, California
is as impressive for its sheer physical size as it is for
the scale of the ambition behind its construction.
The 1.4 million square foot, 54 building facility
is operated by the California Department of
Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) and
provides housing and treatment for 1,722 inmatepatients with the most severe and long-term needs.
The facility is staffed by 2,500 employees. Hailed
as a groundbreaking facility since it first began
accepting inmates in July 2013, CHCF is now
seen as a model for future correctional healthcare
facilities. And with nearly 1,800 inmates and 2,500
staff to feed, getting the meal delivery aspect right
from the start was essential.
For foodservice consultant Stephen Young FCSI,
principal and director of design for William Caruso
and Associates (WC&A), the project began back
in 2009. “WC&A was brought into the project in
the very early stages of programming due to our
keen knowledge of large healthcare and very large
correctional facilities food planning, and for our past
work on some of the most well-known foodservice
projects in the country,” he says. “We began the
project at the early design stage and ended at the
commissioning implementation stage.”
According to Young, “the best of the best in the
country were brought together” to achieve such
a huge undertaking. “The project programming
phase had the best correctional and healthcare
architects, the best engineering groups from around
the country, all in one place working on what was
to be the most amazing correctional healthcare
environment in the world. Although there were
multiple design teams, we were chosen to be the one
and only foodservice consultant for the project.”
WC&A wanted to ensure that “the entire design
team was exposed to the latest meal delivery
systems technologies,” says Young.
“The best of the best in
the country were brought
together to achieve such
a huge undertaking”
For him, one company immediately stood out for
the job. “Due to WC&A’s long-standing relationship
with Burlodge it was a natural choice to bring them
into the project. Burlodge was instrumental in
bringing sample equipment to the users, setting up
demonstrations and providing hands-on training
and support throughout the design, implementation
move the cassette for point of service.”
After the prototype was made CDCR asked for a
few small modifications that Burlodge were able to
incorporate into the final version for CHCF Stockton.
“We designed a meal delivery system
for the special needs of a prison hospital.
The system needed to be very specific
to work within the logistical handling
programme the facility had envisioned,
while at the same time, comply with
correctional hardware specifications”
and commissioning process.”
Burlodge, says Young, brought to the project “its
many years of successful large-scale project planning
and the ability to customize our needs if required.
We all had one common goal, to provide a world
class project on time and one budget to CDCR.”
Stace Carrington, regional sales executive for
Burlodge began working with WC&A and the
programme design manager Kitchell on the project
in 2010. “Burlodge was contracted to provide a stateof-the-art meal delivery system to ensure correct
temperatures for the patients and inmates,” he says.
“We designed a meal delivery system for the special
needs of a prison hospital. The system needed to be
very specific to work within the logistical handling
programme the facility had envisioned, while at
the same time, comply with correctional hardware
specifications. It also had to ensure safe food
handling within a cook-chill plating application.”
Working closely with the Burlodge factory in Italy,
Carrington and his team developed a prototype
Retherm system built around the type of service
and tray the facility had selected to use. “Our factory
made an excellent prototype which we trialled with
CDCR to make sure it met all their criteria of holding
food at the correct temperature,” he says. “They
tested Retherm quality and serving temperatures of
food. The system components included a docking
station and cassette for the trays along with a dolly to
Burlodge brought to the project
many years of successful largescale project planning and the
ability to customize
Stephen Young FCSI
“The final product was unique in that we were
serving not only inmates in a prison situation but the
equipment had to meet strict healthcare guidelines at
the same time,” says Carrington. In all, Burlodge had
to be able to supply a system that would hold 42 hot
and 42 cold trays per Retherm unit.
One of the biggest challenges for Carrington was
the “immense” number of stakeholders involved in
the project. The scale of required communication
and documentation was met by “applying good
project management practices and transparency,”
he says. “We developed a direct communication
line between the key players so that everyone was
kept apprised of the status of the project at all times.
This way there would be no miscommunication as
the project and manufacturing moved forward.”
Trimark Raygal was the foodservice equipment
dealer that supplied the Burlodge systems to the
general contractor and installed the system into
the facility. “Burlodge worked very effectively
with Scott Groom at Stockton,” says Carrington.
“We exchanged many ideas and post prototype
redesigns until a final product was accepted. All
parties worked very closely together to remain on
the same page at every turn.”
Once the products were successfully delivered,
Burlodge provided training and implementation of
the system for start-up of the facility.
For Carrington, the key lesson learned from this
project was that, “Anything is possible if you have
the right combination of talent and qualified people
who share a passion to work together toward a
common goal. It was very rewarding to be part of a
very functional group of dedicated professionals.”
Young concurs, suggesting that the kind of
successful outcome seen at CHCF Stockton is “only
attainable by seasoned designers, contractors and
manufacturers that can produce and deliver in a
professional manner.”
The key lesson learned from
this project was that anything
is possible with the right
combination of talent and
qualified people
Stace Carrington, regional
sales executive for
Burlodge USA
A perfect blend
of east and west
Foodservice consultant Vant Tan was set a demanding brief for the first
of Hyatt Group’s Andaz hotels in China. But with the help of Ambach he
was able to perfectly blend western and oriental features in a showpiece
kitchen that encapsulates quality and elegance, says Jim Banks
Andaz is the brand under which Hyatt Group is
developing a new collection of boutique five-star
hotels in some of the world’s most vibrant and
dynamic cities. The newly redeveloped property in
Shanghai – the first Andaz hotel in Asia – embodies
everything that the brand signifies. It caters for
demanding, cosmopolitan travelers that expect the
best in design, elegance and comfort, and its catering
facilities are fundamental to fulfilling this brief.
Vant Tan of project consultants CKP Hospitality
worked closely with Hyatt’s executive chef to create
a showpiece kitchen that guarantees the highest
level of quality and flexibility and which blended
the best in Asian and Western cuisine.
“The Andaz hotel is in a very artsy area of Shanghai,
but it is an older neighborhood of the city where
many of the older buildings are rejuvenated,”
says Tan. “Its main competitor in the vicinity is
the Langham Xintiandi, though there are a great
many hotels in the city and it is a very competitive
market. Budgets are tightly controlled because there
is pressure on margins for hotel operators, so in
designing the kitchen facilities there is a need
to combine very high quality equipment with
beautiful design and sensible pricing.”
The show kitchen, located on an events floor which
links to an outdoor terrace with barbecue facilities
and breakout areas lined with refrigeration space
and glass-fronted wine racks, was fitted out
with equipment from leading European supplier
Ambach, which provided a customized version
of its System 700.
“We used a very simple kitchen design but it had to
incorporate two different sides – one Western and
one Oriental. In the square space we needed the
two sides to look similar, even though they were
fitted with different equipment. Ambach has a very
western style, so we asked the company to supply
exteriors to contain Asian equipment,” says Tan.
The Andaz brand is a collection
of boutique five-star hotels
developed by Hyatt Group
“In designing the kitchen facilities
there is a need to combine very
high quality equipment with
beautiful design and sensible pricing”
Ambach combines the precision
of German engineering
with the aesthetic qualities
of Italian design
“From the outside the blocks look identical so
that we could maintain a symmetrical design for
the kitchen area, while also ensuring that the
design is operationally successful. Usually you
don’t see western casings used in oriental kitchens
as units would normally be manufactured locally,
but in this case we had the exteriors sent out to
China for welding.”
Symmetry in motion
While the kitchen has a beautiful symmetry in its
appearance it incorporates different equipment
on each side, with conventional gas-fired ovens
working in parallel with a specialized duck oven on
the oriental side. The consistency in the appearance
of the show kitchen was achieved by close
collaboration with Ambach to customize its versatile
system to accommodate specialist Asian elements.
It was not only for the high quality of its equipment,
but also for its flexibility and collaborative approach
that Tan chose Ambach above its competitors.
“When it comes to European cooking ranges there
are a few options to choose from, but the Andaz is
a five-star hotel and Ambach equipment fits well
because it provides high quality and heavy duty
units. I had specified Ambach equipment before, so
I had no worries about the quality,” he says.
“I put Ambach equipment into a front of house
kitchen in the Hyatt Singapore and after nine years
it is still working very well. Ambach was chosen for
the Andaz, not only because of the specifications,
but also for the good value to price ratio. There
are few manufacturers who will go the extra mile
beyond providing their standard items. I know that
Ambach is willing to do the R&D necessary
Ambach worked closely with the
consultant and interior designer
to ensure each unit fits perfectly
into the stone casings
to produce customized equipment.”
The appearance and the functionality of the
kitchen are equally important in a property such
as the Andaz Shanghai, so Tan needed a supplier
that would pay equal attention to the aesthetic
requirements of the space, as to the performance
of the individual units. All cooking areas are clad
in stone, so it was vital that Ambach worked
closely with the team during the construction and
design processes to ensure that each unit would fit
perfectly into the stone casings.
“Ambach co-ordinated well with the fit-out team,
particularly in regard to issues such as housing the
stone panels that create the look and feel of the
kitchen. I always begin with the design and see
whether the equipment can fit into that concept.
With Ambach I knew that quality would not be an
issue and that prices would be competitive,” says
Tan. “Ambach was traditionally seen as a supplier
of back-of-house kitchen equipment, but it has
made a lot of effort to work with designers to adapt
equipment for front-of-house use. I’m glad to see
a European company that is willing to take up that
challenge. Usually, it is the Asian companies that
are more flexible in terms of providing customized
equipment, but flexibility has become an important
concept for Ambach. The company has shown it is
willing to listen to designers and then combine the
precision of German engineering with the aesthetic
qualities of Italian design.”
“Ambach is willing to go
the extra mile to provide
customized equipment”
The bright and elegant
dining room
Form, function and flexibility
Headquartered in South Tyrol, Italy, Ambach
is a brand that is known for the high quality of
its engineering and the flexibility of its kitchen
equipment systems. Its philosophy is firmly rooted
in a desire to create versatile equipment that can fit
together in customized arrangements to meet the
specific needs of kitchen designers and chefs.
For Maurizio Vianello, managing director at
Ambach, the goal is to deliver unique catering
equipment solutions that draw on the experience
and expertise the company has built up over
60 years to meet both functional and aesthetic
requirements in professional kitchens.
“This is a company that wants to provide complete
solutions, so flexibility is important to ensure we
deliver the right equipment for each application.
We work closely with architects and consultants
to define what equipment is needed. At our
manufacturing facility in South Tyrol we can keep
tight control over quality and performance, ensuring
we provide robust platforms on which we can create
the kitchens that consultants want,” says Vianello.
“For a project like the Andaz Shanghai it is
important to provide not only high quality, but
also reliable performance and flexibility, but these
are non-negotiable factors in any project. We did,
and commitment
however, have to develop special equipment to
meet the Asian style of cooking, but working on
our platform enables us to easily introduce special
equipment for specific applications. It was also
important to create the right look for a front of
house kitchen that is visible to guests,” he adds.
Innovation often requires teamwork and Ambach
worked closely with designer Vant Tan and with
catering equipment specialists in Asia to design the
right elements for oriental cooking and incorporate
them into a consistent system for the hotel’s show
kitchen. The Asian market currently represents
around one-third of Ambach’s sales, but this is
growing rapidly, so Vianello knows it is essential to
understand the unique needs of chefs and kitchen
designers in this dynamic and multi-faceted market.
“We always provide reliable solutions in terms of
operational capability, but we also give the attention
to detail that allows consultants to achieve their
design goals. We also provide training and aftersales service to ensure that our solutions continue to
work perfectly,” he says.
Ambach was chosen for its high
quality but also for its flexibility
and collaborative approach
The outdoor terrace at the
Andaz hotel, Shanghai
“The Andaz Shanghai project was the litmus test for
how well the reorganized commercial structure of
Ali Foodservice Equipment (Shanghai) Co., Ltd could
manage the complexities of this challenging role,”
says Geoff Mannering, managing director of Ali
China. “Co-ordination is a true understatement when
talking about our participation on this project.”
We arranged for the Ambach equipment to be collected
at the factory in Bolzano, Italy, then organized the
sea-freight shipment to Shanghai. Import formalities
and customs clearance had to be arranged too, along
with the subsequent transportation by highway of the
‘Asian’ range to the Chinese supplier of traditional gas
wok and electric steamer equipment in southern China,
approximately 1,400km away. Meanwhile, the Ambach
‘Western’ range was put on-hold in Shanghai, while we
waited for its Asian ‘twin’ to return upon completion.
The ‘Oriental’ range was delivered as a superstructure
with cut-outs to accommodate the assembly and
integration of the Asian cooking elements. Ali China
supervised and oversaw the procurement, project
management and installation of these appliances,
including Ambach-style cabinet doors, profiles and
control knobs, to maintain a common appearance
on both ranges in the open kitchen. This was a
particularly critical part of the project, since it had
been decided to install the four sets of high-powered
gas woks complete with their refractory brick casings,
adding to the transportation weight of the complete
range. To have the range assembled and fully
functional at the local supplier’s plant, far
out-weighed the logistic challenges.
Once on location in the open kitchen, the two Ambach
ranges had to be positioned, installed, connected
and commissioned. Again this was co-ordinated and
assisted by Ali China in close collaboration with the
local Kitchen Equipment Contractor (KEC). Both ranges
had to be meticulously aligned with each other,
maintaining perfect symmetry according to the
design of the project consultant CKP.
After successful handover to the Andaz Hotel’s chef
brigade, Ali China continues to fulfil its commitment
through the after-sales service team, which has
been standing-by to provide technical assistance,
maintenance and spare parts, on a 24/7 basis.
“This has been a truly remarkable experience
and a testament to the spirit of co-operation and
professionalism demonstrated by all parties involved,”
concludes Mannering.
Guests enjoy the lively
outdoor patio at the
Blackfinn Ameripub in
Austin, Texas
You can always say,
“Meet me at The Finn!”
Blackfinn Ameripub™ is on its way to mastering the art of all-American social gathering.
The casual restaurant serves up a broad variety of craveable food and beverages in a fun
engaging environment that caters to all age groups and occasions. Ben James spoke to vice
president Don Gale about how the brand has reinvented itself and how partnering with Ali
Group member Ice-O-Matic has helped it cater for its diverse clientele
No matter your age, whether you are friends
or business colleagues, family or groups of diehard sports fans, people want an escape from the
everyday. Blackfinn Ameripub attracts all kinds of
customers by keeping prices low and understanding
the need to deliver on the promise of a great time.
“Two years ago we considered our core beliefs
about our business and focused on our commitment
to create wonderful spots for social gatherings and
to achieve delicious consistent food and beverages
by doing the simple things really well,” says Don
Gale, vice president at Blackfinn Ameripub. “A pub
is a great place for social gatherings but traditionally
always had a very narrow food and beverage
offering. We thought we could broaden the term
‘pub’ to include our passion for variety and flavors.
We coined and trademarked the term “Ameripub”
and now no matter who you are, no matter what
food you want or what time of day you visit us, we
have what you need.”
“People can say ‘Meet me at the Finn’ knowing that
it is always a fun place to gather. It is a young,
contemporary environment where a guests’ choice is
the top priority. The focus is firmly on value as well
as variety. We scrutinize every dollar so that we can
put as much value on the plate as possible. Our food
is made from scratch and our goal is to provide the
craveable flavors that will get people coming back
again and again. It is no easy task,” he adds.
The key to ice:
keep it simple
Ice-O-Matic, which became part of the Ali Group
two years ago, is a globally renowned designer
and manufacturer of ice machines and has over
60 years’ experience in the market. It understands
that ice is a valuable commodity to its clients,
who require high-quality ice machines that are
simple, robust and reliable.
From its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in
Denver, Colorado, Ice-O-Matic creates equipment
that is sold in 70 countries. It is both innovative
and yet bound to its simple core principles, and this
combination has helped it build an impressive client
list that includes Starbucks Coffee and 7-Eleven.
“Our philosophy is ‘ice, pure and simple’, and that
defines everything we do. It is the same whether
we are dealing with big international clients or small
businesses and we have whatever you need to make
pure ice,” explains Scott DeShetler, director
of marketing at Ice-O-Matic. “Ice machines are
unique in that they are the only piece of equipment
in the kitchen that produces food – all other kitchen
equipment is used to prepare food – so we have
to make sure our machines are reliable, easy to
use and simple to clean.”
“Ice is what we call a ‘low interest’ category, which
means that the machines only attract attention
when they go wrong. In a way, that is how we got
involved with Blackfinn, who go through a mindboggling amount of ice. They were using an ice
machine that produced over 2,500lb per day that
was having problems keeping up with the demands
of the restaurant. They came to us and we did an
audit of the operation and came up with a new
solution,” he adds.
The ‘Twins on a Bin’ solution replaced the single
unit with two Ice-O-Matic ICE1506HR machines on
a high-capacity bin with a simple customized bintop. This approach requires less time to fill the bin
with fresh ice. By using smaller machines the ‘twins’
solution is much more cost-efficient.
“Another reason Blackfinn uses the ‘Twins on a Bin’
solution is growth management. When they open a
new restaurant they might install the large bin with
only one ICE1506R installed instead of two in order
to size for their initial demand and manage upfront
capital investment. As the location grows they can
then easily add a second unit,” says De Shetler.
Blackfinn Ameripub
boasts a young,
contemporary environment
Ice-O-Matic’s ‘Twins on
a Bin’ innovation is a
cost-efficient solution that
requires less time to fill the
bin with fresh ice
Blackfinn Ameripub offers a
strong local craft beer selection
and a range of cocktails made
from its own recipes
Value is central to Blackfinn’s credo, but not at
the expense of quality, variety or the pursuit of
distinctive flavors. The lunch menu has 20 items
under $10, among which is Gale’s favorite: the
grilled fish taco, a lighter option with a distinctive
seasoning. From the dinner menu Gale recommends
Finn Fries, a unique version of french fries, but
treated to a secretly addictive Blackfinn seasoning
and served with a homemade barbecue dressing
and a buttermilk parmesan dressing for dipping.
“We also have a truly unique blackened brie with
ciabatta toast,” says Gale. “I also can’t resist the
Pad Thai entrée. It’s really hard to decide.”
Successful by design
The brand has also taken a distinctive approach to
its beverage offering, which features a strong local
craft beer selection and a selection of cocktails on
tap made from its own recipes. This approach has
helped Blackfinn Ameripub to stand out from
the crowd and “now it’s time to execute every day
one shift at a time,” says Gale.
“The first Ameripub opened in Austin, Texas,
in February, 2013, though there were already
Blackfinn units operating under a different brand.
People flocked to it and we opened new outlets
in Merrifield, Virginia, and the River North
neighborhood of Chicago. The brand has been
embraced in each location as a multi-occasion
destination offering craveable food at great prices.
Now, we are rebranding our existing locations
as Ameripubs,” says Gale.
“As we expand it is a challenge to ensure the quality
of the food and the service because we must
make sure we don’t lose what is special about the
brand. We have a very talented team of restaurant
professionals. It is essential to have the right team,
whether we are talking about hosts and chefs or
suppliers of ingredients and equipment,” he adds.
The US is the biggest market for ice and accounts
for over 50% of global consumption, so the brand’s
customers expect fresh ice as a key component of
many of their favorite beverages. “Our high volumes
demand a great partner for ice. If you’ve ever ran
Guests can enjoy a broad variety
of food and beverage options in
a fun, engaging environment
The Blackfinn Ameripub
located in Chicago’s River
North neighborhood
out of ice right in the middle of a busy shift, you’ll
never underappreciate ice again. It’s an unsung
hero of the restaurant business,” says Gale.
“When you really focus on creating the total guest
experience, you can’t overlook any detail. For our
specialty cocktails, the cocktails on tap, the iced tea,
or many other beverages you must have ice. Too
often beverages are overlooked or not a priority.
Having the right amount of ice in an iced tea
is a critical detail. Working with Ice-O-Matic
gives us that in reliable and energy-efficient
machines,” says Gale.
Ali Group member Ice-O-Matic has been working
with Blackfinn for the last two years and currently
supplies ice machines to around half of its outlets.
“We struggled to find a vendor with equipment
that could provide the volume of ice we needed in
a consistent way. Blackfinn and Ice-O-Matic both
have a clear focus on what they do as companies,
and we buy into the knowledge and support of
all our partners, which helps us to provide more
value to our customers,” says Gale.
“We were looking for an efficient way of delivering
ice and we found a partner in Ice-O-Matic that
helped us to look for a solution. It is a company
that is not just looking to sell us their most
expensive machine, but wants to build a
partnership for the long term. That is what we
are expecting from all of our supplier partners.”
Blackfinn Ameripub is a brand that works every
day to be successful and will continue to expand.
Just like its partner Ice-O-Matic, its success is built
on a clear understanding of what its core priorities
are as a business and the determination to stay
true to its core values.
Ice-O-Matic annual turnover in 2013
50,000 Products
manufactured annually
Over 17m lbs
(7.71m kg)
Ice generated per day using
Ice-O-Matic’s equipment
National treasure bringing Italian gelato
to the world
Every year thousands
of students worldwide
attend courses at Carpigiani
Gelato University
When you hear the word ‘gelato’ you might think
it is just the Italian word for ‘ice cream’. Think
again. There are huge differences between the
two, one of which is that Italian gelato contains
far less fat. In fact, compared to ice cream it is a
much healthier choice.
The fat content of a chocolate gelato might be
around 8%, while for ice cream it would be around
25%. Furthermore, gelato incorporates less air and
is served at a higher temperature. The result is a
richer flavor experience in each spoonful because
“We want people to appreciate
the true quality of gelato, which is
great fun to make, and great to eat”
There is a lot more to gelato than most people imagine, even if they are familiar with the
staggering variety of flavors. Through the Gelato World Tour, which is crossing the globe
to find the finest creators and the most original flavors, Carpigiani is on a mission to
educate the world. The company’s Valentina Righi speaks to Jim Banks about her passion
for this delicious dessert
Gelato is a much healthier choice
than ice cream
gelato is denser, there is less fat to coat the taste
buds, and your taste buds are not dulled by the
intense cold at which ice cream is served.
Another key difference is that authentic Italian
gelato is produced in new batches every day in
relatively small quantities from fresh ingredients
and is sold directly to the public. In contrast, ice
cream is usually made in large industrial batches
for long-term storage, which has an adverse
effect on the flavor.
For Carpigiani, the world’s leading manufacturer
of the equipment used by the creators of gelato –
known as gelatieri – it is important that consumers
understand what is special about gelato. It has
Valentina Righi, Carpigiani PR
and communication manager
Carpigiani Gelato Museum is
a center of cultural excellence
dedicated to the understanding
and study of gelato
Flavors of the world
Through the Gelato World Tour Carpigiani is
making the global market bigger by helping the
current and future gelato entrepreneurs to open
new gelato shops. The scope for expansion is huge.
While there are over 39,000 gelato shops in Italy
the second biggest market, Germany, has only
9,000. In the US there are only 900, less than 400
in China, and around 300 in Argentina.
The tour is nearing its end, with the final in Rimini
coming soon, but it has traveled far and wide
visiting cities such as Berlin, Dubai, Melbourne,
Valencia and Austin. Every stage has been not only
successful, but also memorable for all involved.
Meastri gelatieri hard at work
producing fresh gelato at the
Gelato World Tour
“Each event is like a festival and
there is always a great energy about it”
“Each event is like a festival. There are education
programs run by the Gelato University, everyone
who attends tastes gelato and learns about how
high its quality is, and there is always a great
energy about it. It is fun for everyone, even the
gelatieri, who work non-stop. Gelato must be made
fresh every day, as it cannot be stored for months
in the way ice cream is,” says Righi.
Each event is like an exclusive and unique expo,
in part because the world’s most important
fair in this sector – Sigep (International
Exhibition Artisan Production of Gelato, Pastry,
Confectionery and Bakery) – is the co-organizer.
a mission to spread the culture of artisan gelato,
educate consumers and support Maestri gelatieri.
Key to this mission is the Carpigiani Gelato
University in Bologna, Italy, where gelatieri
can learn their craft.
“When students come to the Carpigiani Gelato
University the first thing the instructors tell them
is not to call it ice cream,” says Valentina Righi,
Communication Manager at Carpigiani and VP
of the Carpigiani Foundation. “Gelato is different
because it is a low-fat product made only with
the best ingredients and it allows people to really
express their creativity when choosing flavors.
At Carpigiani we want people to appreciate the
true quality of gelato, which is great fun to make,
and great to eat. I eat it every day.”
“It is also true that Italy is suffering economically
and gelato can help. It is a good product to export.
A big part of my job is helping people start new
businesses abroad with this great Italian product.
Gelato is a symbol of Italian excellence and
Carpigiani wants to increase the size of the market
by educating consumers and by helping artisan
gelatieri to open more shops,” she adds.
A proud gelato ambassador, Righi previously
worked as a journalist until an interview with
former Carpigiani group chairman Gino Cocchi in
2006 changed her career course. Then, when the
global financial crisis brought more pressure to
train for a new career, she became heavily
involved in the Gelato University’s marketing
campaign. With the help of Andrea Cocchi,
Carpigiani’s general manager, she then
contributed to the creation of the Gelato Museum
in Bologna, the first in the world devoted to this
artisan food.
For Cocchi, the next logical step was to take the
show on the road, which is how Righi became
intimately involved in the Gelato World Tour
together with Achille Sassoli, the project manager
who handles the logistics of the Tour.
“It is like Formula 1 or the Olympic Games for
gelato. It is an opportunity for people who run
gelato shops around the world to show their
products. We are looking for the 16 best gelatieri
to compete in Rimini in September,” says Righi.
The Gelato World Tour’s opening
ceremony in Austin, Texas
Carpigiani’s event manager
Achille Sassoli with Stefano
Versace and Francisco Blanco
of Versace Gelateria in Miami,
winners of Best Gelato in USA on
the Gelato World Tour
Valentina Righi of Carpigiani
with American Maestro gelatiere
Matthew Lee in Austin, Texas
Gelato goes digital
In collaboration with high-tech partner Neosperience,
Carpigiani has developed the futuristic MyGelato app.
Gelato lovers can use the app to easily find the closest
gelato shop, anywhere in the world. The MyGelato app
will reveal interesting facts and news as well as
the chance to give and receive gelato as a gift.
In downloading the app from the App Store and Google
Play, customers will receive an extra coupon for a richer
gelato experience with the best artisans in the country.
“Carpigiani want to give artisans a great digital
marketing tool to promote their business and
spread the culture of good and healthy gelato,”
says Enrico Amesso of Carpigiani.
“All shops will be added to the MyGelato network for
free and they can be easily found by gelato lovers
through the app and the gift system. It will also be
possible for shops to interact with customers, building
targeted communication campaigns on Facebook
and expanding their business with e-commerce
and home-delivery services,” says Amesso.
third place in Austin, Texas, with his ‘Nuts’ gelato,
which combines two iconic flavors – peanut butter
from the US and chocolate hazelnut from Italy.
For Righi, the tour is a personal and professional
triumph, not only for the positive effect it is having
on participants’ business and the image of gelato,
but also for the change it has marked in her own
life. She was pregnant with her first child for the
first legs of the tour, which began in Rome, but has
nevertheless followed every stage except one, when
she was giving birth. This emphasized the fact that
the real value of gelato comes not only from its
ingredients, but from the creativity and enjoyment
of the people who make and eat it.
Sigep helped to involve leading companies in
the gelato sector such as IFI and MEC3, who
became sponsors of the Tour.
The events showcase the premium quality of
gelato and the diversity of its flavors. For instance,
the flavors representing North America in Rimini
include salted pecan with Montmorency tart
cherries & Tahitian vanilla.
“I love savory gelato, with flavors such as salmon
or cheese, but there are so many. If I need to pick
myself up I like the chocolate flavor, when I am
in Italy it is pistachio, when I was in Dubai I tried
the royal baklava flavor and it was amazing, as was
the mango flavor in Singapore and the avocado
gelato in the US,” says Righi.
The bottom line: success
Every stage of the tour has been a hit with
consumers. Facebook and Twitter alive with
positive feedback and downloads of the MyGelato
app have soared. The tour has also been a great
success for the participants, and Righi reports that
many have seen their profits increase as a result of
the publicity. There are many examples of gelatieri
– from as far afield as Spain, Canada, Australia
and the US – expanding and opening new shops.
Abdelrahman Alteneiji, founder of Cremolata
in Sharjah, who competed in the Dubai stage of
the tour, won first place with his signature flavor
Cremo Bueno, which blended the classic Italian
hazelnut gelato with milk chocolate and small
cubes of crispy wafers.
“Being the winner of the Best Gelato in the Middle
East added a lot of value to my brand and we
received a lot of franchising requests to expand
Cremolata Gelateria worldwide. Thanks to Gelato
World Tour for giving us the opportunity,” he says.
“It has given us greater exposure and validation of
our quality,” says Matthew Lee of Teo, who won
Maestri gelatieri’s
enthusiasm on show
in Austin, Texas
“The tour has been a great
success for participants
and many have seen their
profits increase as a result
of the publicity”
Enjoying gelato in Melbourne
“Gelatieri are no longer the poor cousins of pastry
chefs. In Rome I watched 16 artisans making gelato
together and they thanked us for the opportunity to
take part in the tour and to help people appreciate
gelato. They were crying and smiling at the same
time. That has happened many times on the tour,
but that first time was unforgettable. It showed
what the tour means to these people, who work so
hard to bring gelato to the world,” says Righi.
A tasting experience at the
Gelato World Tour
The Gelato World Tour Village
in Valencia, Spain
Gelato World Tour
A globetrotting event that turns cities into gelato capitals for three busy days
At the culmination of the 2014
Gelato World Tour in Rimini, Italy,
the winners of the World’s Best
Gelato were announced as John and
Sam Crowl of Cow and the Moon in
Sydney, Australia, for their Mandorla
affogato-flavoured gelato
Berlin, Germany
Valencia, Spain
Rome, Italy (start)
Rimini, Italy (final)
Austin, USA
Dubai, UAE
360,000 small cups and
576,000 small cones enjoyed
Over 700,000
Shanghai, China
“Being the winner
of the Best Gelato in
the Middle East added a
lot of value to my brand
and we received a lot
of franchising requests
to expand worldwide.
Thanks to Gelato World
Tour for giving us
the opportunity”
13,000 MyGelato apps
Melbourne, Australia
43,200 kgs
95,239 lbs
of gelato prepared
Taking the haughty
out of haute cuisine
Attitudes towards food in Australia are changing and
as a result a new breed of restaurant is evolving that
blends haute cuisine with relaxed and friendly service.
Saint Crispin is the epitome of this philosophy. Ben
James spoke to one of the esteemed chefs that founded
the venue about why it has succeeded beyond his
It all started out as a quick conversation between
friends, but quickly became one of the most talked
about new venues in Melbourne. Saint Crispin is the
brainchild of two young and talented chefs, who
have learnt from the best, and combined all their
knowledge with an understanding of what Australians
want from their fine dining experience.
“In Australia there is a big change in attitudes
towards food and it is for the better,” says chef and
co-founder Joe Grbac. “People want fantastic food
and service but without the formal atmosphere. Saint
Crispin has become a big, noisy place - almost like a
nightclub, and we express our personalities through
In 2002, he moved to London, where
he worked at Gordon Ramsay’s three Michelinstarred Hospital Road and then at Philip Howard’s
two Michelin-starred The Square.
Scott Pickett, Grbac’s partner at Saint Crispin, also
worked at The Square in London’s Mayfair, but long
before that he was labeled as ‘one to watch’ when he
entered the Salon Culinaire at 18. This led to a stint
at restaurant Paul Bocuse with his mentor, Phillipe
Mouchel, whom he followed to Langton’s Restaurant
and Wine Bar and then Brasserie by Phillipe Mouchel.
“I wanted to start a new role as head chef and went
for interviews, but I didn’t love what people wanted
“People want fantastic food and service
but without the formal atmosphere”
the food, through the music we play and through the
atmosphere we create. The country has become a
melting pot of cultures and there is a lot of European
food on the menu. Both of us worked in Europe
for a long time, so there is a lot of French cuisine.”
Grbac is best known as executive chef at The Press
Club, owned by television celebrity chef George
Calombaris, but his classical training in European
cuisine began at Marchetti’s Latin under
Bill Marchetti and continued as head chef
at St. Kilda’s Il Fornaio.
in terms of food. I spoke to Scott, who like me has
a young family, and we decided we wanted to do
something different. We wanted to make a local
restaurant that people would come to twice or
three times a month, not just for special occasions.
We wanted to provide professional service, but
without being stuffy,” says Grbac.
“We are both classically trained and we both have a
background at Michelin-starred restaurants, so we
wanted that level of food but without the price tag
and in a relaxed atmosphere,” he adds.
The Turbofan E33D5 convection
oven is compact, versatile, and
offers regulated moisture control
Saint Crispin is the brainchild of
two young and talented chefs:
Joe Grbac (left) and Scott Pickett
Designed to succeed
The restaurant is in an historic building that was
originally a cobbler’s workshop, which inspired
the name, as Saint Crispin is the patron saint of
cobblers and tanners. As with so many aspects of
the project the finding of the venue has a touch of
serendipity about it, as if having the idea were
enough to get the pieces falling into place.
“The time between making the decision with Scott
to putting in an offer on the building was only two
weeks. We wrote our first menu the night before
we were set to open. For us, the food was the easy
thing. It comes as second nature to us. The venue is
impressive and the kitchen is big and open. I can see
into the restaurant and watch how people react to
the food. That is my favourite moment,” says Grbac.
One factor that makes Saint Crispin so special for
Grbac and Pickett is the level of control they had;
not only in terms of the food, but also the design
of the kitchen. That said, their previous places of
employment informed the choice of equipment
in Saint Crispin’s kitchen.
“I like the freedom to change the menu and the
ability to choose what was in the kitchen. George
Calombaris is an ambassador for Moffat so I was
used to working in a fully sponsored kitchen with
blast chillers and an induction zone. So, we have
ended up using a lot of Moffat products, which
are of fantastic quality,” says Grbac.
From the menu to the design of the kitchen and
the aesthetics of the venue, the choices that define
Saint Crispin have made it a roaring success. It has
been fully booked since opening, and while Grbac
initially expected to be doing 350 covers per week
to cover costs and turn a profit, the restaurant
now averages 1,000 covers per week.
“The success has been a really big surprise. We
thought it would be a good local restaurant, but
we surpassed our expected level of business in our
second week. I’m in the kitchen full time and that is
where I like to be. I would love Phil Howard to come
in because I learnt so much from him. I had worked
for people like Gordon Ramsay, but I knew nothing
until I walked into The Square,” he says.
The Blue Seal G516D bench model
cooktop with 900mm griddle
plate provides flame failure
as standard
The Moffat
Both Joe Grbac and Scott Pickett, the chefs that created
Saint Crispin, are used to working with equipment from
Moffat, which is a big name in the supply and distribution
of foodservice and bakery equipment. Pickett represented
Australia at the Bocus d’Or competition, for which Moffat
is a long-standing sponsor of Australia’s entry, while Grbac
worked in a Moffat sponsored kitchen at The Press Club.
For Saint Crispin they chose two Waldorf Target top
ranges in bold black, flanked by a traditional Blue Seal
6 burner range; two Turbofan E33 models as their
workhorse convection ovens; and the Washtech M2
in the back room for warewashing.
“We have a long-standing reputation as a supplier
of foodservice equipment and we provide turnkey
solutions for everything from single unit operations
to big hospitals or sports stadia,” says Greg O’Connell,
managing director of Moffat. “We design, develop and
manufacture the equipment, so we can custom-build
solutions for each customer, and we offer 24/7 aftersales
support across all the markets in which we operate.”
“We partner with our customers for the long-term
journey. Support is essential because in this industry
the equipment is used robustly, so problems will
inevitably arise and we need to get it back up
and running very quickly,” he adds.
Moffat has equipped many prestigious projects ranging
from the Etihad Towers Complex in Abu Dhabi to some of
the largest hotels, sporting venues, hospitals in the Asia
Pacific Region but it devotes the same dedication and
support to smaller ventures like Saint Crispin.
“This is a very dynamic and progressive industry so
we have to work hard to keep up with the changing
demands of all our customers. Our objective is always
to exceed expectations, so we must help all our
customers achieve returns on their investment in
order to remain a viable industry,” adds O’Connell.
Saint Crispin opted for the
dramatic black Waldorf Bold
suite in vitreous enamel
and the future
of artisan bread
Esmach combines the best of both worlds: tradition and quality
with a contemporary business model, says Donna Brown
Luciano Delpozzo, the CEO of Esmach, is dynamic,
focused and passionate about bread and bakers.
“Coming from a completely different background
in heavy industry, I wanted to understand the work
of an artisan baker,” he says. “I want to learn about
the hours, the challenges, why there are fewer
small bakeries, how they can become more
competitive and what role Esmach can play to
encourage bakers and to maintain the tradition
and future of artisan bread.”
Esmach has considered many different factors in
its study of the market, including workflow, hours,
production, quality and profitability says Delpozzo.
“What emerged from this study is that many small
bakeries are closing because of the difficulties
involved with the lifestyle and revenues. It became
evident that, in order to be a company that partners
bakers rather than just sells their products, we
needed to work on modernizing
the business model of bakeries and making
them relevant and successful.”
Esmach also looked closely at consumer habits and
how they have changed. “They are fundamentally
looking for one of two things,” says Delpozzo.
“Either the convenience of one-stop shopping with a
reasonable level of quality or a complete customer
experience with exceptional quality products and a
high level of personalized service. Consumers have
become more aware of what they eat and are willing
to invest more time and resources in their health.
This fits perfectly with the objectives of EsmachLab:
to offer extremely high-quality pizza, focaccia, pies
and bread with the inimitable, evocative fragrance
that only freshly baked goods have.”
A full range of pizzas, pies,
breads and rolls can be made
in an EsmachLab
EsmachLab is the result of this in-depth study - a
small footprint, highly profitable, flexible and
productive artisan bread laboratory. The concept
itself is innovative and the first of its kind. It brings
the world of artisan bread-making into a daytime job
and makes it accessible to non-professional bakers.
Existing Esmach appliances have been adapted to
this new concept, making it possible to produce
high-quality artisan breads throughout the day
and avoid the night shift that puts such a strain on
personnel and their families.
Esmach wants to encourage
bakers and maintain
the tradition and future
of artisan bread
The components of EsmachLab
Clients can increase their
revenues with sandwiches,
snacks and other finished
products made with
their baked goods
EsmachLab consists of five different appliances
that can be sized to meet the production needs of
the customer and guarantee the very best quality
an artisan baker can provide.
The Mother Yeast Generator makes sure that you
have perfectly maintained mother yeast ready at any
time. This means that bread is of the highest quality,
easy to digest and full of natural flavor. There is no
need for artificial raising agents or improvers.
The Automatic Spiral Mixer is a workhorse ready
to mix each dough to its desired consistency easily
and reliably. When the dough is ready it goes into
the intermediate proofer for the necessary time.
It is suitable for short proofs as well as for long,
slow proofs of up to 72 hours. In its controlled
Facts and Figures
environment, the yeast will work its magic and each
bread or pastry will rise perfectly as it develops its
flavor. The baker is able to add gourmet ingredients
at this stage: olives, tomatoes and roasted vegetables
to name a few.
While it is obviously possible to shape by hand, a
specific moulder does the work for you, quickly,
professionally and with no flour in the environment,
making the workplace safer and more pleasant.
Various forming dies allow the baker to express his
creativity to the fullest and create many different
shapes without stressing or degassing the dough. The
shaped dough may be baked directly or stored in a
chiller, ready to be baked off when needed.
There is a wide range of ovens: rotary, rack, deck
ovens and modular ovens for all your baking needs.
Pizza, pastry and bread will all be baked to perfection.
Esmach’s research and development department has
perfected existing products to reflect the changes in
this business model for daytime baking. Each of these
appliances has been fine-tuned and are high-quality,
sturdy, reliable, easy to maintain and energy efficient.
A fully functional bakery can be set up in less than
30 square meteRs
The production capacity is up to
400 kg
of products per day
The initial investment is approximately
70,000-120,000 €
for appliances, training and commissioning
Profitability of approximately
Revenues: roughly
40,000 €
Who is Esmach for?
per square meter per year
The true test of a company is how it moves with the
times, how it interprets, predicts and even shapes
them. By studying consumer trends, EsmachLab is
designed to enable small businesses and high-volume,
fast turnover customers to produce quality pizza,
focaccia and bread on demand throughout the day.
On a practical level, this means that the appliances
Esmach’s R&D department has
fine-tuned products to reflect
the changes in daytime baking
required to bake the goods can be much smaller,
saving costs on valuable retail space and increasing
profitability per square metre.
EsmachLab is accessible to professional and nonprofessional bakers. This means that other businesses,
such as bistros, restaurants and small hotels can
expand their business and offer freshly baked pizza
and bread to their customers.
Learn the art of baking at the Esmach Academy
In order to partner future clients and to encourage
the culture of artisan pizza and bread-making,
Esmach has opened its Academy in its brand new
showroom in Vicenza, Italy. Everyone is welcome
to learn the art of pizza and bread-making in
their four one-week courses. They may be taken
individually, and even after the first course, the
participants will be able to make breads, pizza and
pies on their own. Each level is designed to give
the baker more autonomy and confidence in
creating their own recipes as well as using the ones
studied especially for this format by the research
and development department.
“Esmach is a partner, not merely a supplier,” says
Delpozzo. “In understanding our clients and their
needs and by researching consumer trends, we are
able to look at the market from many different points
of view and come up with innovative ideas and
winning strategies for today’s bakers.”
Esmach appliances are highquality, sturdy, reliable, easy
to maintain and energy efficient
The strengths of EsmachLab
Baking becomes a daytime occupation
Esmach helps new talents to emerge and express their creativity
Multi-sensorial experience for the customer
EsmachLab changes the ratio of footprint: production and profitability
Delivery of healthy and digestible pizzas and bread
Makes quality products an everyday, accessible experience
No waste products when the shop closes for the day
Quality, innovation
and durability
The new Titan-Maxcut™ and Arc Slicers™ from Edlund provide
a cutting edge in food preparation, says Jane Salvia
At the forefront of kitchen equipment for 90 years,
Edlund provides foodservice and food processing
customers worldwide with quality solutions.
Foodservice Equipment & Supplies (FE&S) magazine
honoured Edlund scales with ‘Best in Class’ status
10 times against all competitors in North America.
The majority of their extensive line of high-quality
can-openers, scales, vegetable slicers and cutters,
and knife sanitation products are still produced
in the USA in Burlington, Vermont.
“Our mission is to provide our customers with
the highest American-made quality and the most
innovative operator solutions, and we back our
products with the industry’s finest customer
service,” says Ryan Whitney, head of research and
development at Edlund. “This distinguishes us in
the market and helps us provide long-term value
to foodservice operators. The core values of real
product innovation, durability and high quality
have been the foundation of our company and its
products since 1925.”
ARC! Slicer is a revolution
in manual vegetable
preparation equipment
Researching and developing new
Since the acquisition of Edlund by Ali Group in
October 2010, there has been a large investment in
the research and development (R&D) process. Each
new project starts with extensive market research.
Edlund engineers meet and interview personnel
from various foodservice operators, including
chains, independent restaurateurs, caterers and
non-commercial facilities to gain a detailed
understanding of any operational needs that have not
been met with the current products they are using.
“We use this information to refine new product
concepts and to identify the most important
features and benefits. This collaboration continues
throughout the development cycle, which
culminates with in-field testing and evaluation of
the products,” continues Whitney. “We believe
this process is one of the key reasons we have been
so successful in developing many of our
new product solutions.”
Helios™ UV Knife Sterilization Cabinet
Helios UV Knife
Sterilizer cabinet aids
hygiene and food safety
Edlund has focused its recent R&D efforts to further
identify key issues in all types of food service
businesses throughout the world. “The Helios Knife
Sterilization Cabinet is our response to an initial
request from the Asian market for a product which
would give the highest possible guarantee
of hygiene and food safety,” says Whitney.
That success led to the production of the US version
of the product that recently received the prestigious
Kitchen Innovations Award at the National
Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel
Show® (NRA) in Chicago.
Can sterilize safely in as little as three
minutes with 99% efficiency
Stainless steel construction
UV filtered plexiglass door with lockable handle
Holds up to 12 knives plus steel
ARC! Food Slicer and Titan-Maxcut
Two larger slots for cleavers
The ARC! Slicer is a revolution in manual vegetable
preparation equipment. It is the first of its kind that
will cut both hard and soft vegetables in the same
machine. It features several unique patent-pending
features that make it the safest and most efficient
slicer on the market. The unique product hopper/
pusher design ensures that the user never comes
into contact with the blades when positioning a
product for slicing. It also allows proper product
orientation, which increases yields. The hopper then
passes the product through the blade cartridge in a
patent-pending ‘arcing’ motion which imitates the
manual cutting motion of chefs.
The ARC! and ARC! XL feature all stainless
steel construction. They’re dishwasher safe and
can be disassembled in seconds for easy cleaning
or to change thickness sizes. The new Titan-Maxcut
is a complementary product to the ARC! Slicer.
It is the industry’s most efficient and versatile
all-in-one dicer, wedger, corer and French fry cutter.
The patent-pending snap fit design allows for rapid
changeover between these cuts without the need
for tools. Easily adaptable, as either a table or wall
mount, it allows the operator maximum flexibility.
All of Edlund’s new product offerings are designed
to help address the problems of rising labour and
food costs and to ensure product consistency.
115/230 volts
Made in the USA
10 awards for ‘Best in Class’ from the
leading industry publication Foodservice
Equipment & Supplies (FE&S) magazine
Titan-Maxcut is
the industry’s most efficient
all-in-one dicer, wedger, corer
and French fry cutter
Exclusive patent-pending design
Stainless steel construction
NSF certified
Dishwasher safe
Available in 5mm (3/16”), 6.5mm (1/4”),
and 10mm (3/8”) sizes
Unique hopper/pusher keeps food in place
and fingers away from the blades
Ergonomic two-handed design
for easier cutting
Front-load design accepts 1/2
and full pans up to 6” high
Made in the USA
Exclusive patent-pending design
Dices, wedges, cores, cuts fries
Even cuts sweet potato fries
Extra blade cartridge storage compartment
The Edlund philosophy can be summed up with a
quote by British entrepreneur, Sir Henry Royce:
“Strive for perfection in everything you do. Take
the best that exists and make it better.
When it does not exist, design it.”
Stainless steel construction
Quick disconnect unit mounts
on wall bracket or table base
Dishwasher safe
Made in the USA
Combined power
70th Anniversary
The establishment of Ali Group North America’s new Refrigeration Division
“For Beverage-Air and Victory, energy
usage is always at the forefront
of all our product design”
showcases key brands Beverage-Air® and Victory Refrigeration®. Rob
August, president, and Jennifer Ward, senior vice-president of sales and
marketing, discuss the division’s creation and purpose
The Ali Group is renowned for many of its brands
and products in the industry, but it is not widely
acknowledged for consolidating resources among its
76 individual brands. Yet the recent establishment
of a new Ali Group North America Refrigeration
Division might suggest otherwise.
“The Ali Group are not known as consolidators,”
says Rob August, president of the new division.
“However, when we have an opportunity to utilize
economies of scale by serving different markets
from one facility, we certainly will do that.” The
shift will now see the production of two of Ali
Group’s most reputable and established cold-side
brands, Beverage-Air and Victory Refrigeration,
in one, multi-generational facility located in
Brookville, Pennsylvania, USA.
Over the last six years, Ali Group has placed focus
on investing in the Beverage-Air production
facility, allowing for increased capacity, further
growth and development of the company and its
products. This is, says August, a strategic business
reason that allows Ali Group “the assurance in
the superior production of both Beverage-Air and
Victory Refrigeration products to accommodate
divergent markets.” A particularly fitting move
considering that this year sees both brands celebrate
their 70th anniversary.
Two distinctive brands
While Ali Group believe in positioning their clearly
defined, distinct brands in each market, there are
other companies within the Group that produce
various products for different brands that focus
on separate customer bases. August views this as
an effective way of “promoting and combining
manufacturing of the brands products, while
keeping them separate and utilizing the expertise
and proficiencies of one facility.”
For Jennifer Ward, senior vice president of sales
and marketing, both brands are significantly
diverse enough to ensure that customers are able
to understand and appreciate supplementary
benefits. “We’re going to have the ability to focus
Victory Refrigeration into the institutional and
specification market, for example colleges, prisons
and hospitals, while concentrating Beverage-Air’s
products on the general foodservice market, chains,
national accounts and the scientific segment,” says
Ward. “Beverage-Air brings a full breadth of product
offering for the everyday foodservice customer.
The brand has a specific focus on solutions-based
applications directed towards national accounts
with high usage and high ambient conditions,
along with innovative and standard custom
product offerings,” she says.
Similarly, Victory Refrigeration has “exceptionally
strong brand recognition” within the institutional
market, says August. “It’s our goal to further build
the brand and offer other aspects that will afford
continual growth and affirmation of Victory
Refrigeration as the number one specification
brand globally. Simultaneously, we’ll continue to
focus on building Beverage-Air as a global supplier
to the national accounts and chains. This joint
effort will afford dealers and distributors a full,
broad line of products from both brands.”
Though Beverage-Air and Victory Refrigeration
sell to a similar dealer network, a central advantage
to the grouping is ease of customer access to both
brands’ products through concurrent viewing.
Dealers will now have the ability to offer different
solutions to different markets. The new division
also allows for the mingling of various products
from both Beverage-Air and Victory Refrigeration,
shipment of either products from both brands
concomitantly, plus the simplicity of dealing
with one company.
says August. “We always want every customer
to have a ‘wow experience’ that exceeds their
expectations – that’s a key part of our differential.”
As well as continued excellence in customer service,
the new Refrigeration Division facility
is dedicated to continual progression of products.
Rob August, president of
Ali Group North America
Refrigeration Division
Each brand in the facility will have separate
engineering resources, dedicated to each brand and
their projects. There will continue to be a separation
of the product lines, but the combined facility ensures
a reduction in the cost structure and overheads that
occur in separate production facilities.
For both Beverage-Air and Victory Refrigeration,
energy usage is at the forefront of all product design.
The goal is, says August, to exceed all Department
of Energy standards and be the leader in energy
savings. “This will affect not only both brands, but
the customers as well, as the release of the new R290
propane refrigerant will satisfy customer desires for
a cleaner and more efficient refrigerant,” he says.
All new products, as well as those currently
produced, will be directed towards global
distribution. As the new Refrigeration Division
is committed to understanding and meeting
international and regulatory codes, it is superbly
equipped to meet all of the requirements
encountered when crossing various country borders.
Currently, Beverage-Air and its national chains
are expanding into the international market with
solutions, features and benefits, plus a world-class
support system that will continue to provide the
brand and its customers with a larger international
presence. Victory Refrigeration currently has a
number of US consultants designing institutional
and hotel kitchens for the international market, to
allow for product solutions, that meet the market
codes of the Middle East and Asia.
Jennifer Ward, SVP of sales
and marketing at Ali Group North
America Refrigeration Division
R&D, production and a global presence
Great pride is taken in both Beverage-Air and
Victory Refrigeration’s high level of customer
service, which will only be further enhanced by
the creation of the Refrigeration Division. “Both
brands will have resources committed to providing
exceptional customer service, throughout and after
receiving the sale and installation of the purchase,”
The Chase Fish & Oyster in
Toronto, Canada, utilizes
Beverage-Air bar equipment
to showcase its beverage
offerings and complement its
selection of premium seafood
Beverage-Air and Victory pride themselves on the
strengths of their individual products and both
have new offerings for their customer base that look
set to take their respective markets by storm.
Jennifer Ward and Rob August explain why they are
excited about their launch.
Cool Schools
Later in 2014 Victory will
introduce its UltraSpec
Secure Temp optional
With the kitchens at Dundalk Sollers
High School in Maryland, US, producing
approximately 2,600 meals daily, strong and
dependable technical support is paramount.
The Victory UltraSpec™ Vertical and
Horizontal refrigerators and freezers
“Our UltraSpec product category will be our hero
product even more at the end of this year as we’re
going to introduce our UltraSpec Secure Temp
optional solution,” says Ward. “It is a solution-based
application resolution for the institutional market that
will increase labor savings, help customers manage
food costs, prevent product loss and give a greater
return on investment.”
The Secure Temp technology that will be integrated
into the Victory UltraSpec product line is one
component “that will allow us to maintain being
the leaders in the spec market for the institutional
segment,” says August. “It will give customers synergy
through one solution that they can diversify and
implement on several pieces in the kitchen.”
Dundalk Sollers High School
in Dundalk, Maryland, US is a
state-of-the-art school building
with a student population of
approximately 1,400 students
Victory’s UltraSpec Secure
Temp optional solution is a
solution-based application
resolution for the institutional
Victory’s refrigeration
and holding equipment is
specified in almost all newly
constructed and renovated
kitchen projects within Baltimore
County Public Schools
Located in Dundalk Maryland, US, Dundalk Sollers
High School is a 307,000 sq ft “state-of-the-art
school building with a student population of
approximately 1,400 students,” says John Salerno
from the office of food & nutrition at Baltimore
County Public Schools.
The foodservice kitchens at Dundalk Sollers
High School provide approximately 1,000 meals
per day to students and staff and also handle the
production of meals for three additional elementary
schools in the area. This additional meal production
for the three satellite locations is approximately
1,600 meals per day.
Baltimore County Public Schools specify Victory
Refrigeration whose holding equipment is also
specified in almost all newly constructed and
renovated kitchen projects within Baltimore County
Public Schools. “There is also a strong presence
of Victory products in the 173 existing school
cafeterias and production facilities throughout
Baltimore County Public Schools,” says Salerno.
“With that many locations it is important that we
have confidence in the reliability and durability of
our refrigeration units to meet the needs of our large
student population.”
“We are always looking for a company that provides
technical support, not only at the time of purchase,
but throughout the useful life of each piece of
equipment. We find Victory to be a dependable
partner in our overall equipment program. Victory
specifies the correct units to meet the space
requirements of each project. Upon completion
of each project their representatives inspect and
demonstrate each piece of equipment to staff to
ensure proper use and maintenance,” says Salerno.
Versa-Cool is a mobile walk-in
portable solution that
provides temporary food
and beverage cold storage
Chase Hospitality Group has an
extremely high quality of service
and provides genuine and
inspiring dining experiences
Superb refrigeration and
a strong partnership with
Beverage-Air is hugely
important to Chase
Hospitality Group
Cold comfort for Toronto’s
The Chase Fish & Oyster
Quality refrigeration is a must in any
restaurant, but for The Chase Fish &
Oyster restaurant in Toronto, Canada, it’s
absolutely essential. Michael Jones speaks
with chef de cuisine Nigel Finley to find out
how they manage their refrigeration needs.
Since opening its doors in August 2013, The Chase
Fish & Oyster restaurant in Toronto, Canada, has won
many plaudits for its pursuit of the finest quality
seafood and a strong philosophy and focus on
sustainability and seasonal ingredients.
The restaurant’s culinary culture is informed by the
great eastern maritime regions of Canada and the
US, plus additional influences from various coastal
regions around the globe. Driven by commitment to
creative presentation and thoughtful conception the
innovative menu of hot and cold dishes at The Chase
Fish & Oyster restaurant always highlights the natural
tastes of seafood. Signature dishes include Albacore
Tuna, Bay Platter Oyster Po’Boy Sliders and Pan
Roasted Scallop.
For chef de cuisine Nigel Finley, the key factors that
make The Chase Fish & Oyster a special restaurant
are attributable to operating company Chase
Hospitality Group’s extremely high levels of service
and quality. “Chase Hospitality Group provides
genuine and inspiring dining experiences,” he says.
“We are constantly searching for the most premium
and interesting products to offer evolving culinary
The team at Chase Hospitality Group is, says Finley,
made up of the city’s leading and most dedicated
foodservice professionals. “Chase Hospitality Group
is committed to sustainability and preservation of the
oceans. We are scrupulous in ensuring the quality
and responsible harvesting methods of the fish and
seafood products we use,” he says.
Unsurprisingly, fish and oyster restaurants are
especially dependent on safe, reliable refrigeration,
and The Chase Fish & Oyster has particularly exacting
needs. “As a group of restaurants, we are receiving,
processing and offering hundreds of pounds of fish
and seafood every day,” says Finley. “It is therefore
crucial to have premium quality refrigeration
to maintain the products we use at the highest
standard.” For Finley and his team “Prompt service
and support” from their technical partner BeverageAir is imperative when using large quantities of
such a delicate product. “Beverage-Air understands
our commitment to maintaining and exceeding the
highest expectations for the products we serve and
has been very reliable in supporting us with any
needs we have,” says Finley.
The Beverage-Air Versa-Cool
“One of the strengths of Beverage-Air is we really focus
on the market and what the market demands,” says
Ward. “We found that there was a gap in portable
refrigeration food storage, and a high demand for
it. Versa-Cool is a mobile walk-in portable solution that
provides temporary food and beverage cold storage.
It’s a great solution for customers such as country
clubs, beer distributors, fairs, festivals, caterers,
service agents and hunters.”
The benefits to customers are clear, says Ward. “It
plugs into a standard wall outlet and it sets up in
less than ten minutes. We introduced the refrigerated
version at The NRA Show 2014 and the reception
was incredible. The Versa-Cool portable walk-in will be
available for storage of refrigerated, frozen or heated
products. It has multi-country design and
utility patents pending.”
To Rob August, the Versa-Cool is “the most innovative
piece of refrigeration to be introduced in two decades.”
The unit is portable, weighs less than 300 pounds, can
fit in the back of a pickup truck and has 110 cubic feet
of storage capacity. “The amount of storage you’re
getting in something that’s this mobile, performs
this well and you don’t have to worry about having
any type of special electrical - it’s really unheard of
in the industry.”
Facts and
cooking equipment
The High Performance cooking range from Mareno is the ultimate kitchen
partner, fit for the very latest food trends, says Donna Brown
For over 50 years, Mareno has been synonymous
with quality professional kitchens. It has now created
a new line of equipment, High Performance, with
specialized appliances that ensure high productivity.
It will, says Mareno, change the way you cook.
“The restaurant world is in constant evolution
and there is an ever greater need for specialized
equipment,” says Fabrizio Rocco, managing director
of Mareno.
“The High Performance
line is a concentration
of technology that ensures
high volumes and
impeccable quality”
“The High Performance line was designed to satisfy
the needs of large-scale catering and modern
commercial food services. It is a concentration
of technology that ensures high volumes and
impeccable quality.”
With HP cooking ranges you can cook, roast, fry or
pressure cook, while saving time and space. Thanks to
even heat distribution, food doesn’t stick and cooking
results are uniform and consistent. Easy-to-use,
these machines are suitable for even non-specialized
personnel in businesses with high turnover.
The HP cooking range is compact, robust and
offers high performance and speed all in a small
footprint. The range occupies up to 50% less
space than traditional ranges. “This is especially
significant data for quick service restaurants like
delis, kebab, sandwich and hamburger shops.
These businesses are more and more common and
the trend is to rent small spaces because rent and
running costs are high,” adds Rocco.
The Mareno fry-top allows
different types of cooking,
always with uniform results
The gas grill allows for safe cooking without burning
foodstuffs. The four cast-iron gas burners are robust
and reliable and are designed to work 24 hours a day.
The cook surface is divided into four areas to be able
to manage and cook different foods at the same time.
Powerful and boasting high performance, the fryer
has an automatic filter system that guarantees
superior cooking quality with greater duration of
oil and lower costs. This system is incorporated
into the fryer and has a pump that makes filling
the pan easy and safe for the user.
The star of the HP line
The HP line is composed of a series of machines that
can be grouped by category:
Three independent cooking zones for electric or
gas fry-tops to differentiate types of cooking and to
take advantage of every square centimetre of surface
and guarantee uniform results. The plate, robust
and powerful, allows you to cook frozen products
directly in a short space of time without losing water
and humidity. There are two holes to drain fat into
two three-liter drawers, so it is not necessary
to clean the top between cooks.
Mareno’s gas grill with cast-iron
gas burners is robust, reliable
and works 24 hours a day
The powerful hob is divided into four separate 4kW
cooking areas with surface temperature adjustments
from 50° to 400°C. The various areas can be set to
different temperatures and pans can be moved to
achieve the best in cooking performance or foods
may also be cooked directly on the cooking surface.
Powerful and versatile: high
volume and menu variety
Compact: occupies 50% less
space/footprint reduced by 50%
Independent cooking areas allow
for different types of cooking
Low energy consumption:
night mode uses only 12kW
The integrated probe measures the exact
temperature at the heart of your dish
Uniform cooking, impeccable results
Ideal for putting finishing touches to dishes, making
gratins or reheating food. The touch panel is easy
to use, shows the temperature and cooking mode
and has a library to store preferred programs
or cooking cycles.
Refrigerated bases, freezers and stands
These essential kitchen elements complete the HP
line. The freezers and refrigerators are equipped
with two easily accessible, removable drawers on
telescopic guides. The refrigeration is ventilated
with electronic temperature control, electric defrost
in the freezer version and shut-down defrost in the
refrigerated version. It also comes with an automatic
defrosting water evaporation device.
The smart oven
for smart chefs
Durable high-resolution display with
MultiTouch technology
ClimaticMT: a stroke of a finger sets temperature
and humidity
Last 20: remembers the last 20 cooking
processes (programs or manual settings)
Quick Set: a touch of your finger puts all
settings exactly where you want them to be
Multi Connect: manage your programs and
HACCP data with USB or LAN
Nine cooking methods, nine menu groups, low
temperature and Delta T cooking
Fresh steam: perfectly saturated steam quality,
reduced cooking times, heat recovery system
means energy and water savings
Quick Mode allows standard handling by
means of predetermined operating sequences
Multi Cooking: multiple selection for parallel
operation, before or during the cooking
process. Trays programmed individually. Visual
and acoustic alerts
Patented Autoclean®: fully automatic cleaning
system saves on power, detergents and water
Easy operation, avant-garde technology and high performance all in one
package? The GeniusMT by Eloma has it all, says Jane Salvia
The GeniusMT is a brand new
interface philosophy; simple
and intuitive to use
Technology is capable of making all of our daily
tasks easier, and the world of ovens and baking
is no exception. With a touch of your fingertip,
together with world-renowned Eloma quality, the
GeniusMT provides perfect results for products,
whether you are a chef or a baker.
The GeniusMT, presented this year at Internorga,
the NRA Show and at Seoul Food, has a new
MultiTouch technology that has improved the
handling of the machine dramatically,” says Hilmar
Rudloff, managing director of Eloma. “Our engineers
and chefs were inspired by the easy to use nature
of smartphones. We have developed not just a
technology, but a brand new interface philosophy.”
Interface philosophy and
MultiTouch technology
The machine has a memory of the last 20 cooking
processes, programs or manual settings. “This
patent-pending function makes it easy to access
frequently or recently used programs,” says
Rudloff. “The Quick Set function means that
you do not have to go through different layers to
change the parameters of a program. The swipe
function on the touch screen changes temperature
and humidity with one touch of a finger. The user
experience is similar to that of a smartphone:
immediate and accessible.”
The GeniusMT is meant for restaurants, hotels,
supermarkets, caterers and QSRs, and is the perfect
solution for businesses that have personnel with
varying degrees of expertise. With the new Multi
Cooking function, different foods can be cooked
simultaneously: one for each rack of the oven. The
user simply selects one program and the GeniusMT
determines all accompanying programs automatically.
Sparkling results
from Wexiödisk
It is ever important today to help end-users save resources and costs while
“We have developed not just
a technology, but a brand
new interface philosophy”
maintaining, and indeed improving, standards of efficiency. The Wexiödisk
Washing System offers all that, plus spotless hygiene, says Donna Brown
Thanks to the Multi Cooking
function, different foods can be
cooked simultaneously
The GeniusMT will tell you when the dishes are ready.
The exclusive use of icons makes the GeniusMT
extremely accessible in work environments where
personnel may speak several different languages.
“We have also adapted the language and icons
for bakers. When the oven is in bake mode, the
parameters that are shown are those which a baker
would normally use,” says Rudloff.
Fresh steam and Multi Eco
Reduced cooking times, minimal use of materials,
energy and water consumption are combined with
the very best food quality for both economical
and ecological results. Fresh steam is generated
by a patented heat recovery system and is injected
directly into the dispersion tube. This saves energy
and creates steam in seconds without pre-heating.
The lack of a boiler also makes maintenance
and hygiene even easier.
The Multi Eco system is a high-performance heat
exchanger that can save up to 16% in energy and
42% of water by pre-heating the steaming water to
70°C using exhaust heat. At the moment, Eloma
is the only manufacturer of combi steamers
whose multi-eco system has won the Dr Georg
Triebe Innovation Prize in both the technology
and energy efficiency categories.
Wexiödisk has built on over 40 years of commercial
warewashing experience to create two superefficient, high-quality, innovative products
that together form a high-performance and
environmentally-friendly washing system: the WDPRM 6/7 and WD90 Duo.
WD-PRM 6/7 Pre-Rinse Machine
This patented, revolutionary pre-rinse machine
completely changes the dishwashing process. The
ergonomic, robust and user-friendly machine
is attached to a hood-type dishwasher. The waste
water from the dishwasher that’s already hot and
has chemicals in it and would normally go into the
sewage, is used in the WD-PRM 6/7 to perform a
high-powered quick rinse cycle that greatly reduces
residue. This makes the dishwashing process more
effective and cost efficient.
“Water is being recycled to the utmost so that the
running costs of the machine are almost nil. This is
because we are using recycled water with chemicals
that has already been heated. This is a green process,
a green system, from start to finish,” says Fredric
Moe, sales and marketing manager of Wexiödisk. The
pre-rinse machine is more effective than rinsing
done with a traditional hose by kitchen personnel
because it is bi-directional.
“Water is being recycled to the utmost
so that the running costs
of the machine are almost nil”
The hose is usually sprayed on the dishes or pots
from one direction only, leaving a considerable
amount of waste. Not only that but the resultant
spray and steam make the work environment more
dangerous and less pleasant as well as using up to
to be proud of
Industry benchmark of 4-6 liters of water per
Nine programs with and without granules to
handle from glassware to pots
Ergonomic design and automatic opening
makes work less labour intensive
FCSI Sustainable
Catering Equipment
Award 2013
Compared to traditional pre-wash hand shower,
the WD-PRM6 produces
amazing results
WD90 Duo
Heat Recovery System saves precious
resources, reduces ambient steam and
eliminates the need for expensive canopies
Spin cycles after the wash and rinse cycles
save water, time and electricity
Awarded the
seven liters of water per basket. The WD-PRM 6/7
does not need to use the hose.
“The WD-PRM 6/7 saves several man hours per
day, so calculated per year over the lifetime of the
machine, these savings can be significant,” says Moe.
Proving that this machine is a significant
contribution to the foodservice sector, it was
awarded with the FCSI Sustainable Catering
Equipment Award 2013, a tribute to the hard work
and dedication of the entire Wexiödisk team.
Wexiödisk’s Washing System
saves many liters of water,
energy, man hours and
The new hood Granule dishwashing machine has
nine different programs and is able to wash normal
china porcelain and to scrub the most stubborn pot,
with incredible results. The WD90 Duo can also
work as a backup or breakdown replacement
for an existing machine.
The system is suitable for fairly large restaurants,
caterers and production kitchens with GN 1/1
containers that would normally be hard to clean.
The dirt is ‘blasted’ away quickly and efficiently
Savings of up to
200,000 liteRs
of water per year
40% reduction
Up to
on cleaning chemicals per year
8,000 kW
Up to
of electricity per year
The WD90 DUO allows for
a flexible flow of dishware
in the kitchen
by the plastic granules, requiring less time,
labor, water and detergent.
“The optional heat recovery system has three
distinct advantages”, says Moe. “It takes the
steam produced at the end of the cycle back
into the machine to heat water. The reduction of
ambient steam also means there is less need for
an expensive canopy and extra ventilation and
the result is a more comfortable working
environment for kitchen personnel.”
Another unique feature of this machine are the spin
cycles after the wash and rinse cycles. This means
that the excess water, detergent and granules are
spun away, leaving the dishes easier to rinse, using
less water as well as shorter drying times.
This translates into considerable savings over the
course of a year in terms of water, detergent and
energy. The WD90 Duo uses a mere four to six
liters liters of water per cycle, one of the best
results in the market.
The ergonomics and user-friendly technology makes
the WD90 Duo a welcome addition to any kitchen.
The HACCP control is done through the Webtool
2.0 user interface that allows the customer to remote
look into the machine, check its functionality and to
pinpoint any parts that may need replacing, making
service visits more efficient.
Up to
4,200 kg CO2
per year
A decrease in labor hours of as much as
25-30% per year
Moyer Diebel:
simply engineered better
The new 601HR model from Moyer Diebel stays under the counter, but
on top of your dishwashing needs, says Jane Salvia
Moyer Diebel Limited in Ontario, Canada, has
been making quality glasswashers and dishwashers
for more than 70 years. With a large market sector
in Canada and a fast-growing one in the US, Moyer
Diebel has made its reputation by producing
easy-to-use, durable and efficient products
that reflect market needs.
The versatile range of commercial dishwashing
equipment includes undercounter, single-rack
door, rack conveyor and upright conveyor/
flight machines, as well as powered soak sinks
and pot and pan washing systems. “Our quality
craftsmanship shows in every product we make.
Our solid reputation for manufacturing a
robust and reliable product is second to none.
This is our signature, our distinctive feature,”
says Scott Cherevaty, vice president of sales
and marketing, Moyer Diebel Canada.
The new 601HR undercounter, high temperature
dishwashing machine is no exception. Made for
any foodservice application but popular with cafés,
bars and wineries, it is designed to give the best
results while saving money and resources. “We are
pleased to add this innovative product to our line
offering,” says Cherevaty. “Moyer Diebel’s new
Heat Recovery and Dry-Assist technologies are a
major advance in energy efficient and sustainable
dishwashing for commercial kitchens. Operators
are always looking for ways to reduce operating
costs without sacrificing results or investing more
capital and we have a solution for all needs.”
The new Heat Recovery uses a single cold water
feed only. Traditional products use hot water
feeds, putting demands on the output of the
water heating system used for other functions
within the business. The energy from the heated
water and chamber is extracted and used to heat
incoming water. “The savings can be significant.
Up to 42% of operating costs just by using
this system,” says Cherevaty.
The patent-pending Dry-Assist technology
Moyer Diebel’s 601HR is
designed for efficiency,
eliminating unwanted
condensation for optimum
working conditions
Moyer Diebel’s headquarters
on the shores of Lake Ontario
are in the midst
of a distinctive microclimate
that supports fruit farms
and many wineries
draws cool, dry air up and through the rack of
sanitized ware via a duct in the bottom of the
chamber, removing moisture and speeding the
drying and turnaround time for dishes. Dry-Assist
is available with models 601HR, DH5000 Ventless
Heat Recovery and DH5000 Direct Vent.
“Our service team is experienced, knowledgeable
and at the top of their game. Our service manager
has been here for over 36 years. The department
combined has more than 100 years of knowledge
and experience. Since joining the Ali Group
in 1989, our volume has grown to more than
10 times. A sure sign that we are on the right track.
We are a strong brand delivering quality products,”
adds Cherevaty.
Very versatile: suitable for plates, steam pans,
Cold water feed only
Energy savings of up to 42%
Dry-Assist technology improves drying of
wares and reduces condensation
Vari-cycle allows for an infinite number
of wash time settings
Insulated panels for quiet operation
Soft start protects delicate wares
from chipping and breaking
ENERGY STAR® qualified
Rinse sentry: ensures 82°C/180°F
final rinse for sanitized wares
Advanced service diagnostics
for ease of service
1 HP corrosion resistant pump
Approximately 270 glasses per hour
The compact solution
for your food waste
Easily installed in every
kitchen. Smallest footprint
only 0.8m2
The Solus Eco from Rendisk combines a consideration for the environment with a smart way
of saving clients’ money. Donna Brown finds out more
The Solus Eco is equipped with
a fully automatic cleaning cycle
The Solus Eco can provide
an 80% volume reduction
A 16 liter hopper can handle
450 kg capacity of food waste
The new Rendisk Solus Eco is an economical
and socially responsible way of treating waste.
Food is a valuable resource and it is becoming
increasingly unacceptable to put food waste in
landfills or via drainage systems as it is both
environmentally and economically unjustifiable.
As costs of waste removal continue to increase,
Rendisk has put its efforts into finding a compact,
effective system to treat waste that is also
cost efficient for its customers.
“Companies are becoming more and more aware
of the environmental and economical costs of food
waste,” says Stef van Langen, general manager of
Rendisk. “Earlier systems were more costly, very
large and difficult to clean and operate. Solus Eco is
not only affordable, but it is really easy to use, clean
and maintain. Even though the product is relatively
new on the market, it is really successful and has
already been installed in businesses of various sizes
and types throughout the world.”
The Solus Eco is a revolutionary, stand-alone waste
treatment system. It is extremely compact and its
0.8m2 footprint fits in any kitchen or garbage room.
Biodegradable and compostable items are loaded
into the hopper, ground and dehydrated using a
special centrifuge technique that reduces the
volume by up to 80%. The dry pulp is then collected
in a 30 liter bin for environmental disposal.
The Solus Eco may be small but its output is
extraordinary. It can handle up to 450 kg per
hour and is able to keep up with the needs of
large kitchens. A fully automatic cleaning cycle
cleans the internal system with the simple push
of a button. An easy to use spray pistol is
attached to clean the outside of the unit.
Respectful of water and energy resources,
removal costs and environmental impact, Solus
Eco by Rendisk can improve performance and
profitability. “Rendisk believes that we all have
to do our part to safeguard the environment.
Solus Eco does just that, while making the work
environment more pleasant and cost efficient,”
says van Langen.
450 kg
per hour of waste treated
volume reduction
The only system that can also
process bones
Resultant waste is suitable for
compost or biofuel
Easily installed:
water, electrical connections and drain
UK: Reading Blue Coat School, Berkshire
France: Lycée Bellevue, Le Mans
Holland: De Beertjes, Rotterdam; Ikea, Delft
Czech Republic: Globus Hypermarket, Prague
Italy: Hospital Lucca, Tuscany
Small footprint
making it easy to fit into any size kitchen: 1020 x
750 x 950 (h)
A new twist
on soft ice cream
Dialog system
The Diaolog system is a state-of-the-art solution
that provides real-time support, checks and
changes the parameters of the machine and updates
software automatically. “Being able to monitor
remotely the performance of a machine means
that a business with more than one machine or
point of sales can evaluate production and general
performance - key figures in creating a successful
business,” says Tassi. Maintenance issues are also
frequently identified before a service visit, aiding
in reduced visits, maintenance times and costs.
The new BIB and Icexpress by Ice Team 1927 is advanced technology,
but it’s also easy to use, says Federico Tassi
Icexpress: bridging the gap between
function and aesthetics
The BIB series, bag-in-box soft ice cream and
frozen yoghurt machines, are the first products to
bear the logo of Iceteam 1927; the brand made of
Cattabriga, Coldelite, Promag and Ott Freezer.
The brand was created in 2010 to optimise
product range and market presence.
“The launch of BIB is both the result of the success
of this choice, but also a promise for the future and
enrichment for Ali Group,” says Federico Tassi,
sales director of Iceteam 1927.
“The idea behind the design of the machine
was to combine the high production capacity of
the peristaltic pump from the North American
tradition with the European precision in electronics
and refrigeration,” continues Tassi. “The result is
a unique product with high output, easy to clean
and low maintenance costs.”
Icexpress is an evolution of the BIB concept. The
same machine has been put into a counter that
becomes an integral part of the furnishings of
a store. “We have tried to eliminate the barrier
which traditionally exists between food production,
in this case gelato, and service,” says Tassi. The
technical features are the same as the BIB machines,
with the added plus of also becoming a visual focal
point of the business. “Although BIB is new on the
market, we are having great success in our export
business: Eastern Europe, Scandinavia, Great Britain,
China and Australia,” says Tassi.
A winning combination of North American
and European know-how
The machine is suitable for any business that
wants to produce either soft ice cream or frozen
yoghurt. The BIB machines can take any type
of mix, from very basic offerings to the most
sophisticated Italian gelato recipe made with
high-quality natural ingredients.
The BIB machines use the bag-in-box supply
system that is directly connected to the pump
and guarantees maximum hygiene and easier
maintenance. The peristaltic pump ensures high
efficiency levels and there is no direct contact
with the product; there is only one rubber hose
that needs to be cleaned periodically. The pump
itself has fewer parts than a traditional pump
so it is faster, easier and less costly to maintain.
The refrigerated cabinet has few parts and is easy
to access. It is a real refrigerator and can be used to
store liquid mix or ingredients day and night and
the powerful compressor provides the necessary
refrigeration for production and for the cabinet.
The tanks are in sturdy stainless steel and are easy
to remove and clean. The size of the tanks means
that the operator can concentrate on serving
customers; there is an electronic signal when
the liquid mix needs to be replaced as well as
an automatic counter for portions served.
The freezing/cooling cylinder electronically
controls the consistence of the product and
together with the peristaltic pump and 3x beater
guarantee consistent volume, structure and
production rate of frozen desserts.
Icexpress combines a
soft serve machine,
storage freezer and shop
fitting in a single concept
“The launch of BIB is both the result
of the success of this choice, but
also a promise for the future
and enrichment for Ali Group”
The BIB 603 frozen dessert
model from Iceteam is
a cabinet based, floor
standing unit
The bag-in-box (BIB) system is hygienic and
easy to use and avoids complicated cleaning
of tanks and probes
Highly efficient peristaltic pump does not
come into contact with the liquid mix
Dialog system controls production, parameters
and trouble shooting remotely
Refrigerated tanks for holding and storage
Electronic control for mix levels with visual
and acoustic low level alarm
Ice cream cone counting system
The BIB 603 with flavors and one twist,
requires only 5kW for installation
Production: the BIB 603 produces over
60 kg of soft ice cream or yoghurt per hour.
Considering the 60-70% overrun, the machine
is a real powerhouse
Can be personalized to fit store
logos and colours
Ali Group around the world
When California State University Long Beach (CSULB) embarked upon the
redesign of its Parkside College Dining hall, Victory Refrigeration was the clear
solution to transforming the facility into the state-of-the-art dining center they
envisioned. Originally constructed in the 1960s, the newly designed open
floor plan kitchen features self-contained and remote refrigeration from the
Victory ULTRASPEC® Series. This project was successfully completed with the
coordinated efforts of Webb Culinary Design, located in Tustin, California, and
Victory Refrigeration.
the world
The latest news from Ali Group worldwide
Dish Network in Englewood, Colorado, USA, has over 150 domestic Service
Centers that employ up to 100 technicians that need readily available ice
and water on their service trucks. Ice-O-Matic teamed up with Denverbased Cool Distribution, a key supplier of custom stainless fabrication
storage systems, to create ice and water stations at all of Dish Network’s
Service Centers. A typical installation serves up to 40 technicians, with an
ICE0500 ice machine and a 500 lb capacity self-dispensing bin.
At Backyard Bistro in Raleigh, North Carolina, USA, chef Joe Lumbrazo
has found a unique balance between delicious food, productivity, customer
service and farm to table concept cooking using a Moffat E33 Turbofan
Oven. Limited kitchen space created a problem for Backyard Bistro and
the new compact sized convection Moffat E33 Turbofan Oven proved
the perfect fit for chef Lumbrazo. “One thing I love about the Moffat is
the consistent temperature. It’s not too high and not too low. The top of
the oven is the same temperature as the bottom of the oven, absolutely
perfect,” he says.
Since 2011 ACP has partnered with Don Miller
& Associates (DM&A) to place the Menumaster®
Xpress™ MXP22 in healthcare foodservice
facilities throughout North America. The highspeed combination oven allows operators to
prepare fresh and healthy meals on demand,
raising patient satisfaction to new levels.
Delivering results in as little as two minutes,
the MXP22 was chosen after vigorous testing
against competitive models by DM&A, one
of the largest, most experienced foodservice
consultancies in the North American healthcare
With over 34,000 students and 8,000 staff,
North Carolina State University in Raleigh,
North Carolina, USA, is globally recognized
for its leadership in science, technology and
engineering. When it was time to renovate its
aging dishroom, NC State made sure its new
equipment matched that culture. Champion
and Bi-Line were chosen because they were the
only manufacturer capable of providing a full
solution with room design and energy efficient
technology to meet the busy university’s needs.
Champion has projected that a million gallons
of water per year will be saved while increasing
throughput capacity by 50%.
Since 1929, the prestigious Fairmont Royal York
Hotel in downtown Toronto, Canada, has offered
guests luxury accommodation in the heart of the
city. The hotel’s culinary team caters to one of the
largest banquet facilities in Canada and when it
came time to replace the existing dishwashers, they
purchased three new Champion flight machines to
service the hotel’s needs. The hotel wanted the
latest flight machine technology. One of the key
features was Champion’s Heat Recovery System,
as it traps rising waste heat, steam and radiant
heat from the machine to increase incoming water
temperature from 60°F to 110°F without the use
of a water heater.
Ali Group around the world
Situated in the Scottish highlands, Skibo Castle is a prestigious 5-star facility
boasting a magnificent 21-bedroom hotel, 12 sumptuous lodges, the exclusive
Carnegie private club, a luxurious spa and an 18-hole championship link golf
course. When renovating its beautifully equipped kitchen, Skibo Castle selected
Mono Equipment’s highly acclaimed Harmony Modular Deck Oven to bake
its exquisite range of artisan breads, viennoiserie and patisserie to perfection.
Renowned for its reliability, consistency and mellow bake, the Harmony Modular
Deck Oven is the preferred choice of many supermarket chains, independent
artisan bakers and the very best 5-star restaurants and hotels.
the world
The latest news from Ali Group worldwide
Eye-catching fine wine storage
for London’s new bistro
Busy American travelers love their lattes and cappuccinos. Rancilio Group
North America has been helping Hyatt Regency Chicago to serve delicious
coffee while also keeping the cost of equipment ownership to a minimum.
The Egro ONE super automatic espresso machine delivers premium
cappuccinos, lattes, espressos, mochas and more with the push of a single
button. Staff training is minimal and several patented design features help
these machines serve 500 or more drinks per day to hotel guests.
The Sign of The Don, the City of London’s
popular new bistro, is justly proud of its
award-winning wine list of more than 400
wines and champagnes. The bistro has
discerning and knowledgeable customers, so
good wine storage is critical. The Sign of The
Don has installed five Williams Wine Towers
front of house, each storing up to 150 bottles.
“It’s all about showing off the wine,” says
owner Robyn Wilson. “They are stylish, clean
and elegant and doing a wonderful job.”
SeaWork International, the commercial and
workboat exhibition held in Southampton,
UK, between 10-12 June 2014, proved the
ideal place for Falcon Foodservice to showcase
their ever-expanding marine and offshore
product portfolio. With over 70 products
available in the Marine Price List, including
the award-winning Dominator Plus Induction
oven range, customers operating in the marine
and offshore sector can depend on Falcon
to provide them with the most appropriate
galley catering equipment to suit individual
requirements. Barry Hill, marketing manager
said, “We work closely with a number of
companies specializing in the sector to ensure
our products can withstand the sometimes
harsh treatment and conditions found aboard
many marine locations.”
In May 2014 Beverage-Air had the opportunity to supply the Air Canada
Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, with a large array of products, including
chef bases, back bar refrigerators, reach-in refrigerators and freezers,
sandwich and salad prep tables, worktop refrigerators and freezers, and
undercounter refrigerators. Considered to be a leader in the industry of
stadium hospitality, the Air Canada Centre is one of North America’s
busiest venues and a winner of more than 30 industry awards. The home
of the Toronto Maple Leafs Hockey Club and Toronto Raptors Basketball
Club routinely serves over 20,000 fans at any given event, offering over 75
menu items from kitchens stocked with a wide breadth of culinary talent.
This project was successfully completed with the coordinated efforts of
Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Ltd. (MLSE), Hamilton Store Fixtures,
Solutions Foodservice Group and Beverage-Air.
With a network of over 5,800 stores, Mac’s Convenience Stores, a subsidiary of Alimentation
Couche-Tard Inc, is the largest convenience
store operator in Canada. Recently, Scotsman’s
Canadian distributor, Western Refrigeration,
presented Mac’s with a major enhancement
in its beverage offering by providing a larger
variety of beverage valves and both cube and
nugget ice forms that brings demand and
popular choice. Each Mac’s location will receive
two new beverage dispensers and two Scotsman
ice makers based on the volume of the location.
Over 50 of 300 Mac’s locations in the western
Canadian provinces have so far been retrofitted
with a new rollout planned for installations at
more than 520 additional Couche-Tard locations
in the eastern provinces.
In 2013, Godiva, the world’s premier maker of fine Belgian chocolate,
rolled out a test program at select boutiques to offer soft serve made with
real Godiva chocolate. Each participating boutique uses a Carpigiani 193
Countertop, Gravity Feed, Two Flavor with Twist, Soft Serve machine
featuring Carpigiani’s Heat Treatment option. Godiva rolled out its soft
serve program nationally on June 9, 2014, and plans to continue to expand
the offering throughout North America.
Our Brands
meal delivery
& preparation
& waste management
Ice cream
& beverage DISPENSE
Contract, distribution
& Service
Ali Group Global Headquarters
Via Gobetti, 2a | Villa Fiorita
20063 Cernusco sul Naviglio
Milan | Italy
Phone +39 02 921991
Ali Group France
17-19 Avenue Gaston Monmousseau
93240 Stains
Phone +33 1 48216325
Ali Group New Zealand
16 Osborne Street Phillipstown
New Zealand
Phone +64 3 3891007
Ali Group Africa & Middle East
P.O. box 354 Amman
11623 Jordan
Al Quds St. | Al Muqabaleen
Phone +962 6 5736912/13
Ali Group Germany
Lochfeldstraße 28
76437 Rastatt
Phone +49 7222 1597740
Ali Group Russia
Skladochnaja Str. 1 St. 18 | Off. 101
127018 Moscow
Phone +74 955 803360
Ali Group Australia
740 Springvale Road | Mulgrave
Melbourne Vic. 3170
Phone +61 3 95183888
Ali Group Hong Kong
4a Harrington Building
36-50 Wang Wo Tsai St.
Tsuen Wan | Hong Kong
Phone: +86 852 2407 5422
Ali Group Singapore
1 Commonwealth Lane
#09-22 One Commonwealth
Singapore 149544
Phone +65 6738 5393
Ali Group Brazil
Av. Dom Pedro I, 513
Vila Monumento
São Paulo-SP | CEP. | 01552-001
Phone +55 11 20618207
Ali Group Japan
1540005 Tokyo
Phone +81 3 5779 8850
Ali Group South Africa
P.O. Box 44 | Riverclub 2149
Lakeview Business Park | Unit 4,8
10 Yaldwyn Road | Jetpark | Boksburg
Phone + 27 11 826 6742
Ali Group Canada
2674 North Service Rd.
Jordan Station | Ontario
LOR 1S0 Canada
Phone +1 905 5624195
Ali Group Latin America
Balcarce 355 – PB
Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires
Phone +54 11 4331 0550
Ali Group UK
Wath Road | Elsecar | Barnsley
South Yorkshire, S74 8HJ
United Kingdom
Phone +44 1226 350450
Ali Group China
B3 1/F Block North
No 361 Hong Zhong Road
201103 Shanghai | China
Phone +86 21 51098033
Ali Group Middle East
18th Floor Crown Plaza Commercial Tower
Sheikh Zayed Road
Dubai | United Arab Emirates
Phone +971 4 311 7145
Ali Group USA
775 Corporate Woods Parkway
Vernon Hills, IL 60061 USA
Phone: +1 847-215-4500
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