EAT has just appointed a specialist brand agency to handle its creative strategy as it seeks to ensure the business is correctly positioned in the market. As one of the original fresh food chains and a well-recognised fixture on the high street, the 110-store operator boasts a loyal fan base, but with so many more players entering the market it recognises the need to remain relevant.
The marketers can at least go about their task safe in the knowledge that the engine room is in good hands. “Our kitchens are all designed to enable us to deliver first-class service, with efficiency and ease of use at the forefront of design,” explains brand development director, Ed Grimes. “We have a model shop template, included in which is the split between front- and back-of-house. We also have a model kitchen layout that includes where our prep benches, cooking equipment, walk-in fridge, sink and oven should be placed for maximum efficiency. Where possible we stick to this layout but, invariably, the sites that we take are not configured to accommodate our model kitchen layout without some variation.”
With a daily-changing hot food menu, equipment such as refrigeration is absolutely vital due to the volume of ingredients it holds. Incidentally, the walk-in fridge is generally the only piece of kit that varies in size on a site-specific basis. The challenge for Ed and his colleagues is fitting it into a footprint that is as economical as possible. “Front-of-house space for service and seating is at a premium so we are careful that we limit the amount of back-of-house space we use,” he says. “We are fortunate that, having been in business for 20 years, we have identified the equipment that works for us, is reliable and easy to use. We do bring new kit into the business and when we do we make sure that it is rigorously tested in a live environment before being launched across the wider business.”
“We do bring new kit in and when we do we make sure that it is rigorously tested in a live environment before being launched across the wider business”