6 Reasons Restaurants across the UK are turning to Central Production Units

6 Reasons Restaurants across the UK are turning to Central Production Units

Feb 25, 2016Shopify API

With over 19 million of us eating out each week in the UK, restaurants are under increasing pressure to meet the demands of a fussy clientèle that could easily take their money elsewhere. Both independent eateries and group chains are feeling the heat and finding it necessary to up the ante, lest they have to shut their doors.

In this respect, central production units (CPUs) are playing a steadily increasing role in the UK restaurant industry. Restaurants often outsource aspects of their offerings to CPUs, which specialise in various aspects of food production.

CPUs are slowly becoming an essential ingredient of all restaurants. Since Mustard’s launch in 2008, the company has seen a steady increase in demand for centralised production.

It might surprise some diners, but restaurants across the spectrum – from casual dining to high-end– are reaching out to CPUs seeking to outsource elements of their menus.

Mustard Foods engaged a number of key clients and asked them why they are turning to central production units:

1. Core focus
Many restaurants engage CPUs to allow them to focus on their core strength. In some cases, this may be a patisserie or bakery outsourcing their deli items and cooked products. In the case of a steak restaurant, it may be their sauces and marinades.

2. Consistency across franchises
One of the main challenges for rapidly-expanding restaurant chains is consistency. With a national shortage of chefs, it is vital to ensure consistency across the more technical elements of a menu.

3. Reduced kitchen space
Driven by margins, restauranteurs have to limit the space allocated to the kitchen. This puts added pressure on the kitchen to perform with restricted space and equipment.

4. Commercial property
Most cities and town centres across the UK have a major shortage of A3 commercial real estate, forcing many restaurant chains to adapt their offering to A1. The competition for A3 space limits the growth opportunities for newcomers to the market and those wanting to scale quickly.

5. Shortage of chefs
It has been widely reported in the food industry media that the UK is experiencing a dramatic shortage of chefs. This appears to be a trend across many industries, and particularly noticeable in London. Simplifying requirements of chefs by outsourcing the more complex components of food production helps to alleviate the pressure applied by the skills shortage.

6. Minimum wage set to increase
With the National Minimum Wage taking effect in April 2016, restaurants will face even further costs pressure, with outsourcing becoming an increasingly attractive option.

Developing menu ideas, sourcing and tracking product across the supply chain, implementing a new menu item nationwide across a restaurant group, managing and ensuring consistency, hiring, training and managing skilled chefs are just some of the challenges and costs removed when working with a central production unit – essential for growing resturant groups to be comptitive.

James Durrant, Commercial Director, Mustard Foods
James Robins, MD, Mustard Foods

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