Edgbaston Stadium, home of Warwickshire Cricket Club in the heart of Birmingham, is a favourite venue for Internationals and the Twenty20 Finals Day, as well as county fixtures. Thanks to bad weather at the start of 2011, however, it was a close call as to whether its new, multi-million pound Pavilion stand would be ready in time for England's test match against India in August as planned. C&C Catering Equipment relied on Imperial and Hatco to ensure fans could tuck into hot food on the go on the day England made history…
Put to the test
Edgbaston Stadium, built in 1882, has always had an enviable reputation as one of the UK's finest cricket grounds. Two years ago, however, it was recognised that if Warwickshire Cricket Club wanted to continue hosting Internationals, it needed a significant revamp.
Bang on cue, a new, £32m stand at the pavilion end, complete with a conference and banqueting suite, improved visitor facilities and extended ground capacity, was officially opened on 25th July by HRH Duke of Edinburgh. Shortly afterwards on August 10th, England played and won against one of their biggest adversaries, India, in the 3rd Test.
The scheduled completion of the redevelopment, bringing the stadium's seating capacity to 25,000, making it the second largest cricketing venue after Lord's, however, was a close call.
Keith Hartharn, project manager at C&C Catering Equipment, said fitting equipment across the Pavilion stand's five levels on time was one of their toughest challenges yet.
"In February, when we were due to start the installation, we were delayed by bad weather," he said. "The programme was very tight in the end and we were literally working round the clock to get everything in and set up in time."
One challenge was fitting out the many kiosks where fans could grab some hot food and a drink, in the concessions area on the ground level and the bars on level two and level four.
Keith not only needed easily mobile equipment that could be relied upon during set-up, he also had to find £20,000 cost savings during the project, adding to the growing pressure. For the best solutions without having to spend a fortune, he turned to Imperial and Hatco.
In particular, Keith needed holding cabinets that would ensure that hot food, including hot dogs and pasties, remained hot and at the peak of their quality after being transported from one of the main kitchens, with enough food to keep queues down. He also needed display cabinets that would entice customers to buy at the ground and encourage impulse sales.
Working with foodservice consultants, Tricon, to find the best solution and Galliford Try, the main construction contractors on site, Keith opted for five FWE holding cabinets from Imperial Catering Equipment, which have a natural convection heat system to allow a soft heat to radiate throughout the cabinet, perfect for holding hot pre-cooked foods for either short or prolonged periods of time.
With upfront, eye level controls that feature a full range thermometer and thermostat with a scale of 90-190 degrees F, the cabinets have heavy duty, stainless steel interior walls, all fully insulated, and removable tray slide assembly, allowing the unit to be easily wiped clean.
Keith chose Hatco display cabinets for their 'show and sell' prowess in diverse foodservice operations and, in particular, for hot food merchandising. Food could be prepared in advance of peak serving periods, placing product in full-view to increase impulse sales.
Each cabinet has controlled, moisturised heat which allows operators to display and hold hot foods longer using minimum counter space, complete with tempered glass sides and door for full-view display and a large, single door providing fast access to food racks.
Food decals and merchandising signs are also available to help promote products on offer.
"Imperial and Hatco allowed us to make cost savings, while offering equipment that would do the job and do it well," Keith explained. "Because of time pressures, reliability was key from the start and, while we had teething problems with some kit, we had no problems with Imperial and Hatco. With the increasingly tight time constraints, we didn't really have enough time to train staff on how to use the equipment to the best of its ability before we had to 'go live', but Imperial and Hatco are coming in to show the team how to maximise their results."
For more information on the Hatco range, call 01509 260140 or visit www.hatcocorp.com For more on Edgbaston Cricket Ground, visit www.edgbaston.com
For more information on C&C Catering Equipment Ltd, visit www.wemakeithappen.co.uk. For more information on Galliford Try, visit www.gallifordtry.co.uk
This case study was provided by Imperial and Hatco