THE WAREWASHING SOLUTION
When Jones Hire took the decision to upgrade the company's warewashing systems, they wanted to address staffing costs. When a big hire contract returned to the company's warehouse, there might be up to 13 staff on a single machine. Two or three would be emptying, stacking and loading the dirty plates, one would be supervising /checking the wash procedure and dosing, while several at the end would be checking, wiping and stacking the clean items. Finally, one person would be wrapping stacked plates and crating them. For glassware, the problem would be more labour-intensive at this stage, since every single glass required polishing and careful inspection for marks and chips.
Since Jones Hire focuses on the top end of the catering hire market, not only is its quality control tight, but the range of tableware includes many high-quality, delicate and expensive items. This is a particular issue with designer tableware from names such as John Rocha and Jasper Conran. Glassware and crockery at this level can be not only expensive, but also quite fragile - particularly decorated ware.
One hope was that glasses and plates could emerge not only spotless, but dry too. It's been a dream for the warewashing industry for some years. Jones Hire's general manager, Tim Edwards comments "Winterhalter told me they could solve this problem," he says. "They said that with the right water treatment, chemicals and configuration, for the first time I could get a rack machine that would wash and dry perfectly, without wiping. "When I saw the MTR, I was amazed. It really can wash everything in the one machine - plates, glasses, cutlery, flatware, utensils. Everything comes out dry, or almost dry so that it is ready to stack by the time it gets to the end of the output line."
Overnight, the MTR had a major impact on Jones Hire's business. Staffing costs are lower - what previously took two back-to-back shifts can now be done in a single shift, and with half the staff. Hygiene control is easier, since drying cloths are a potential weak point of the hygiene chain. And internal laundry bills have been slashed.
"Perhaps the biggest difference we've noticed is in the glassware," he says. "It's a real breakthrough, because you can put a dirty glass in at one end, and it comes out perfectly clean and shiny-dry at the other end. We've never seen that in glass washing before. And it does it for all our glasses, including the delicate designer ware."
Tim Edwards cites Winterhalter's professional support as crucial in the transition to the new system. "The backup had to be there for our systems to work," he says. "We are constantly introducing new types of glassware and tableware and take Winterhalter's advice on settings in the machine, for example."