For more than 40 years, Rational has been mastering the art of providing kitchens with the best tools for cooking. Alexander Wimmer, executive vice president EMEA and Simon Parke-Davis, managing director, reveal the secrets to Rational’s success in the region.
Please tell us a bit about Rational and its reach in the Middle East, the UAE in particular.
Parke-Davis: Rational has been present in the Middle East as a standalone company since 2006 and active for over 25 years. We’ve invested in the region; being based in Dubai, we have 11 employees who are experts in application, service, customer support and satisfying client needs with tailored solutions. Whether you’re supplying 30 meals or 15,000, we have a solution to deliver consistently high-quality food while saving energy and resources such as water, electricity, oil and ingredients.
How important is this market for your brand?
Parke-Davis: All markets are important to Rational and we invest proportionally to ensure maximum customer benefit depending on potential, geography and demographics. This is to ensure we don’t under-deliver and, at the same time, that we can manage operating costs to be able to keep the price in line with clients’ budgets where possible. In the Middle East, we have unique challenges and are well able to ensure that we’re on eye level with our clients – yet we have global support to exceed client satisfaction.
Your SelfCookingCenter has been making waves across the globe; tell us more about what makes it unique.
Wimmer: Our intelligent combi-steamer, the SelfCookingCenter, is the heart of the professional kitchen. You can grill, fry, bake, steam, stew, blanch or poach food, all within a space of less than approximately one square metre. You can prepare meat, fish, poultry, vegetables, egg dishes, baked goods or desserts. For 20 or 2,000 meals – the performance range of the SelfCookingCenter greatly relieves every kitchen team.
The key to the ease-of-use is its intelligence: hundreds of country-specific recipes are saved in the appliance with the browning level, ideal consistency and quantity, and can simply be retrieved.
What’s next for Rational?
Wimmer: We’ve combined the SelfCookingCenter, VarioCookingCenter and ConnectedCooking into a thermal system solution under the name iKitchen. The objective is streamlining processes and thus saving space, money, energy and on raw materials.
Let’s take, for instance, a kitchen that’s originally equipped with a tilting fryer, boiling pan, deep-fat fryer, pressure cooker, convection oven and a stove. In such a kitchen, you can replace all the appliances except for the stove with a SelfCookingCenter and VarioCookingCenter. This will save up to 40 percent in space. At the same time, these two appliances, together will cover up to 90 percent of all conventional cooking applications.
Both units have identical user interfaces, which guide the user through the menu according to the same principle, showing that the two appliances are made to collaborate. The cooking systems also have intelligent functions, which make them very easy to operate, thus significantly reducing error rates.
The third component, ConnectedCooking, also helps productivity in that the networking solution can be used to manage and transfer cooking programmes centrally, and access and save HACCP data from both cooking systems, which offers lots of inspiration with a large recipe database. The SelfCookingCenter can even be controlled remotely. This saves many pathways and ensures a consistent standard in food production.