Kitchen refurbishments are keeping Christian Whittleworth busy at the moment — and that’s unlikely to change for a while after Robinsons Brewery announced it is embarking on a multi-million pound investment programme to revamp almost 200 pubs over the next five years. As executive chef and catering development manager, Christian plays an intrinsic role in shaping what the future of the north-west brewery giant’s kitchens and menus look like.
The company has said that it is allocating £23m for the refurbishment exercise and while it’s important to note that this isn’t just for the kitchens but the entire construction project, the investment is still hugely significant given the importance of the food offering to the chain. The announcement comes against a backdrop of major developments including the rebuild of Robinsons’ brew house, a new Visitor Centre, record investment in the pub estate, and a company-wide corporate rebrand announced at the start of 2015 involving pub signage, logistics, merchandising, literature and website.
One of the milestone moments of the past 12 months has been the re-launch of The Airport Pub & Grill near Manchester Airport after a 16-week shutdown for refurbishment. The overhaul of the establishment was so significant that the chain’s design team branded it the most unique refurbishment in the company’s 175-year history.
Foodservice equipment installer Sprint Group was contracted to oversee the project and led the installation of the commercial kitchen and bar. Simon Taylor, business development manager for Robinsons’ Managed Houses operation, said the kitchen operation had the benefit of being planned with input from both the Robinsons and Sprint teams. “The end result is a great kitchen that will help us meet the needs of our customers efficiently and effectively.” The chain will be hoping that it can say the same on many more occasions in the near future.
“The end result is a great kitchen that will help us meet the needs of our customers efficiently and effectively”