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The Grand Hotel Saves £7k Per Year With New Rational Combi Steamers

12-09-2010 11:47 AM CET | Business, Economy, Finances, Banking & Insurance

Press release from: Rational

/ PR Agency: The Publicity Works
The Grand Hotel's Head Chef Martin Harrington favours Rational combi steamers

The Grand Hotel's Head Chef Martin Harrington favours Rational combi steamers

The Grand Hotel Tynemouth is a busy seafront hotel and banqueting venue, hosting 100 wedding receptions a year, as well as conferences and events, with room for up to 450 diners. It also has a popular 80-cover fine dining restaurant, two public bars serving meals and 45 guest bedrooms.

At the heart of its demanding foodservice operation the hotel had three large (20 grid) thirteen-year-old combi steamers which were coming to the end of their service life. In order to maximise flexibility for both banqueting and à la carte cooking, owners Nigel and Eddie Hastie decided to replace them with two large 20 grid and two smaller 6 grid combi steamers. However, the cost of the total investment was a major stumbling block – until they talked to Rational.

Lee Wilmot, development chef at Rational UK, explains: “Working with Heaton Catering Equipment (HCE) we carried out extensive tests on the old equipment. The tests showed that, by investing in new Rational SelfCooking Centers, The Grand would cut power consumption by over 25%, saving £7,000 per year in energy costs alone. If they keep them for as long as the old ones, they’ll save £90,000 over the lifetime of the machines.”

Impressive though they were, the energy savings weren’t the only financial benefit. Armed with the statistics, The Grand applied to the Carbon Trust and, as a result of the replacement units’ potential impact on power consumption, was granted an interest free loan to finance the £60,000 project.

“The restaurant has really taken off over the past few years,” explains Nigel Hastie. “We needed a system that would help everything run smoother. Rational was the preferred system – Martin Harrington, our head chef, had used them in the past and was keen to use them again.”

It was relatively easy to apply for the Carbon Trust grant, adds Nigel. “The application was straightforward, especially as Lee helped us work out what the old system was using – the amount of aid you get depends on the energy saving. The only problems we had were the normal ones you get dealing with bureaucracy, making sure all the ‘is’ and ‘ts’ were dotted and crossed.”

HCE designed the kitchen layout and services to accommodate the new equipment and project managed the installation, ensuring all works were completed within two days, minimizing the The Grand’s ‘down-time’.

For the hotel, the Rationals’ self-cleaning feature is another money-saving bonus. “With the old combis we used to deep clean them every Sunday night and had to bring in extra staff. The Rationals clean themselves and that saves a lot in labour costs,” says Nigel Hastie.

But it’s the SelfCooking Centers’ cooking and finishing abilities that really tick the boxes at The Grand. “The consistency is superb,” he explains. “For example, with the old combis we sometimes used to get moisture on the plate. Not with the Rational system. You know exactly what you are going to get, every time. That level of consistency really takes the pressure off the chefs.”

Nigel Hastie was also impressed by the support Rational has given The Grand Hotel throughout the installation and beyond. “Lee has been superb – he’s so enthusiastic and that really makes a big difference.”

For information and brochures, or to arrange to come to a free SelfCooking Center® ‘TeamCooking Live’ seminar, contact your dealer, freephone Rational UK on 0800 389 2944 or call +44 800 389 2944. For product information and contact details see For information about Club Rational, including recipes and combi cooking tips, visit Follow Rational UK on Twitter and Facebook.

Rational invented combi-steaming in 1976. Now the company’s new SelfCooking Center® is the world’s first commercial oven that takes over the whole cooking process, allowing the chef to get on with more important things, like creativity, presentation and quality control.

The chef simply tells the oven what the food is – the SelfCooking Center® does the rest. The oven will cook the food exactly how chef wants it, even with ‘low temperature’ cooking overnight.

And it cooks up to 15% faster than conventional combi-steamers, saving time and money

Unit 4, Titan Court
Laporte Way
Portenway Business Park
Press Enquiries:
Toni Turner or Alison Haynes at The Publicity Works: 01263 761000; Email:
For more news about Rational visit the press office at
Vic Brown at Rational UK: 01582 480388

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