Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Happy Christmas from PKL!

As we enter the festive period, please note that we will be closing on Friday 21st December and reopening on Wednesday 2nd January.

As always, PKL will be operating an emergency response service over the Christmas period. Please note that this is for genuine emergency requirements only and we will not be able to provide sales quotes for projects until the new year.

If you are faced with a requirement for an emergency kitchen over Christmas, please phone 0845 840 42 42 to speak to a member of our on-call team.

From all of us here at PKL, we hope you have an enjoyable Christmas break, and wish you a happy and successful 2013!

Friday, 30 November 2012

The End of Movember

To mark the end of Movember, we thought we'd share a photo of all our PKL Mo Bros and Mo Sistas! The boys (and girls) have been working really hard cultivating their moustaches throughout the month and have raised a whopping £700 so far, with donations still coming in. If you'd like to donate to the PKL Movember team, please visit their webpage here - thanks!

Since so many members of staff took part, we thought we'd summarise with "the good, the bad and the ugly"... Enjoy!

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

PKL Does Movember

A large team of PKL staff are taking part in Movember this year, growing moustaches throughout November to raise awareness and money for men's health charities.

Meanwhile, strange things have been seen outside in our yard...


Mid West Catering Equipment, a division of PKL which sells second-hand catering equipment, has also seen some unusual Movember action. Why not visit the Mid West Movember Gallery, or pop over to read more on the Mid West blog!

If you'd like to support PKL's Movember team, visit their webpage here to donate.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

PKL Food Cubes – Creating a Positive Legacy

The image of modular buildings in schools has long been overshadowed by a legacy of slowly decaying classrooms and buildings no longer fit for purpose. But things have moved on a great deal in the world of modular construction as  Lee Vines, sales and marketing director at PKL, guest blogs to explain why.

Lee Vines, Sales and Marketing
Director at PKL
"PKL Food Cubes can be used not only to provide relief to busy dining areas in schools or provide additional catering facilities where pupil intake has risen sharply, but they can also be used to help create a positive legacy.

Our Food Cubes are supplied with a 15-year structural warranty, meaning they are built to last and are fit for purpose and unlike a GRP (glass reinforced plastic) or wooden construction, they can be used comfortably all year around.  Food Cubes are manufactured with a structural steel frame and fully insulated, fire rated and vandal resistant walls means that they easily comply with the latest building regulations. 

We advise extreme consideration before procuring something with a lower specification, which might not have the staying power of a compliant modular building and could end up costing more in the long term, or become unusable during certain times of the year.

One of the most important aspects of a Food Cube, is that they can begin to create a positive legacy at a school with almost an immediate effect. Constructed, delivered and installed in just six weeks, PKL Food Cubes have seen a variety of uses including to introduce a healthier school menu and  to ease pressure on existing dining facilities.  In the vast majority of cases where  Food Cubes have been introduced we have witnessed an uptake in school meals almost immediately.  This means fewer pupils going off site at lunchtimes and revenues  gained from catering are increasing, in some cases quite substantially.
PKL Food Cubes. Modular servery buildings for hire or sale.

Another major benefit of the Food Cube is that although a semi-permanent building, it is entirely relocatable, meaning that if for any reason the catering requirement reduces, or the school is closed, it is a simple task to move it to another school. 

We have also worked hard on exterior appearance and can now supply modular buildings with a wide range of wood cladding, brick slips, painted or vinyl wrap exteriors, meaning that each customer has full control over the final look and feel of the building.

I think that we have taken great steps to throw off the shackles of previous perceptions of modular and prefabricated buildings and are providing something which is not only great value, but will provide genuine longevity in terms of how long the buildings will last and for the positive effects that they can create."

Thursday, 4 October 2012

PKL and Children's Food Trust Agree Partnership for 2012 Equipment

Mid West Catering Equipment has a wide range of ex rental catering equipment for salePKL Group, the UK's leading provider of temporary and permanent outsourced catering solutions, has teamed up with the Children's Food Trust to give schools the chance to kit out their kitchens for less.

The trust specialises in improving food education and cooking skills within schools, enabling pupils to reach their full potential.  With years of experience working with local leaders and services, thousands of schools, caterers and parents, the School Food Trust are experts in finding practical solutions that help schools to improve their meal service on a daily basis.

PKL is giving companies the chance to purchase high quality second-hand catering equipment at a greatly discounted price, offering the perfect solution for schools wanting to update their equipment without paying brand new prices.  The equipment on offer includes that used at Olympic venues this summer and it is a fantastic opportunity for schools to own some remains of the games.

For every sale made via PKL will make a donation to the Children's Food Trust.  The website is frequently updated with new additions of ex-Olympic kit and other ex-hire equipment available for purchase.

Director Lee Vines commented: "We're delighted to work alongside an organisation like the School Food Trust and to help enable it to continue the great work it does across the UK. We're constantly innovating our offering to the education sector, with the invention of our award-winning Food Cube and new Seed to Fork KitchenPods, and this partnership is another way we can help improve school food in Britain."

For further information on the Children's Food Trust please visit

Equipment is available to buy from

Monday, 6 August 2012

PKL Website Refresh

We are delighted to announce that our newly refreshed website has gone live today. The updated site illustrates our whole range of products, including more in depth information regarding our permanent modular Food Cubes and KitchenPods, latest news and company information as well as providing in depth information regarding our complete range of temporary kitchens and catering equipment for hire.

The site also includes a newly updated press section, PKL case studies and information regarding PKL's Transworld Kitchens department, which supplies modular and containerised kitchens for delviery around the world.

Visit to have a look, and let us know what you think!

Thursday, 7 June 2012

PKL & BAM FM Shortlisted for LACA Award

We are delighted to announce that our joint nomination with BAM FM has been shortlisted for one of LACA's Awards for Excellence. We are shortlisted for the Nan Berger Memorial Award, which recognises "exemplary work in the field of innovation, accreditation and/or collaboration which has led to a successful result either with increased meal uptake or raising the profile of the school catering service".

The nomination was for our joint installation of a Food Cube at a school in Bristol, which has impacted significantly on the uptake of school meals. The Food Cube has resulted in an overall increase of 22% in school meal revenue, as the convenience and popularity of the Cube helps keep lunchtime spend in school and enables a wider variety of food options to be served. Additionally, of overall sales for break and lunch are now made through the Food Cube, and this has massively alleviated the pressure on queuing space and time in the main dining hall

Friday, 25 May 2012

PKL Wins Foodservice Footprint Award

We are delighted to announce that we won the Best Sustainable Foodservice Installation Award at the Foodservice Footprint Awards last night! The award was for the development of our eKitchens range - energy efficient temporary kitchen units. Footprint Awards are awarded to organisations in recognition of their contribution to sustainability and environmental excellence, and we were up against strong competition from Space Catering Equipment and Biffa. 

Managing Director Chris Irving and Projects & Design Manager Tim Osborne went along to last night’s ceremony in London, and Tim (centre) went up to collect our award, presented by TV personality Julie Peasgood. Tim took the lead on the project, and dedicated a huge amount of time to designing, testing and sourcing the most energy efficient materials and components, and optimising the units to be as low-energy as possible. For more information on our eKitchens range, including details of all the energy efficient features they offer, see here.

For details of all last night’s winners, click here.

Friday, 2 March 2012

Report Highlights Summer Equipment Shortage

Independent specialist datahouse Caterlyst have undertaken research looking into the demand for catering equipment hire over the summer period, within the event industry and cost sector. We were invited to comment on the reports they produced, and some of the results were quite surprising. Caterlyst have kindly allowed us to upload the reports to our website, and you can view them here.

Event Operators Report Summary

The research found that a third of event operators have involvement in or around the Olympics, with 80% of events catering for over 50 people. Many events of this size require specialist catering equipment, and over a third are planning to hire equipment in. However, the report found that despite this particularly high demand related to the Olympics this summer, 66% of operators have not considered that there may be a shortage of kit, and 70% have not planned to book early to ensure availability. 

Cost Sector Report Summary

According to the report, 44% of operators will be working on projects involving kitchen and dining areas this summer, with 38% needing to hire temporary kitchens or equipment. 40% will be catering for over 100 people a day, with 38% catering for 400+ at peak times. Worryingly, the report showed that 90% of cost sector operators have not considered the impact the Olympics and other events this summer will have on availability, and are not anticipating an equipment shortage this summer. 

Advice to Customers

Based on the information in the report, we are strongly urging our customers to order portable kitchens and catering equipment early this year. There are only a few UK companies operating in this sector, and there is a finite pool of stock. PKL has made significant capital investment in anticipation of high demand this summer, however anyone not ordering well in advance risks not getting their first choice items.

Thursday, 16 February 2012

PKL KitchenPod Installation at Frosts Garden Centre

A couple of weeks ago we undertook the installation of our first garden centre KitchenPod. Located at Frosts Garden Centre at Millets Farm just outside Oxford, the KitchenPod was installed in less than 4 hours, causing minimum disruption. We filmed the installation from start to finish, and made the following video illustrating all the stages in the process, from the laying of the trackway, right up to the final positioning of the KitchenPod.

The KitchenPod will enable the garden centre’s cafe to produce hot food on site and greatly expand their menu. Simon O’Shea, the garden centre’s Catering Operations Manager said,

We bought the KitchenPod because of the convenience of getting everything we need in one managed package. It suited our needs down to the ground. This was much better than building a new kitchen from scratch and was much more convenient.

We’ve budgeted to double the sales of the cafe based on the fact that we can produce the food straight away, right on the doorstep. It’s enabling us to improve our menu so we can increase the spend per head as well. It should pay for itself in no time.

What is a KitchenPod?

The KitchenPod is a modern, hygienic, permanent modular kitchen building, which is supplied complete with catering equipment in an easy-to-install pod. The KitchenPod is especially suited to establishments with no current kitchen or those looking to upgrade their existing catering facilities.

KitchenPods conform to hygiene and building legislation, and are built off-site, meaning disruption to you is minimised. Available in either a wood cladding or brick slip finish, our modular kitchens can be designed to blend in seamlessly with existing buildings on-site or branded to suit your company or establishment.

KitchenPods are available for either contract rental or capital purchase, and PKL also provides inclusive service, parts, labour and preventative maintenance visits, both for the building and the catering equipment inside. This makes our KitchenPods an affordable, no-hassle solution.

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Care Home KitchenPods Profit Calculator

Attention all care homes! We have introduced a great new feature on our website, which calculates the profit you could make by converting your existing kitchen space into additional bedrooms and hiring one of our KitchenPods

Simply enter the size of your existing kitchen and the amount you charge for a bedroom per week, and our Profit Calculator will calculate the total profit you could make over five years. It does this by working out how many additional bedrooms could be created and the revenue they would generate, and takes into account the costs associated with converting your existing kitchen and hiring a KitchenPod.

It’s incredibly easy to use and provides you with a profit estimate instantly, so why not give it a try?

Friday, 13 January 2012

PKL shares international expertise with local A-Level students

Three PKL staff visited Cleeve School earlier this week to help A-Level Business Studies students with a coursework project. The coursework was based on a fictional UK supermarket who wanted to expand into Europe, and the challenges of operating in a foreign country. Students came up with a list of questions to put to the PKL staff, covering issues such as operating with differing work hours, time zones, currency and cultural differences.

PKL staff Alan Kitto (HR), Sam Christie (Marketing) and Will Perry (Finance), were all delighted to be involved with the school, which is based just down the road from our office in Bishops Cleeve. Alan held mock interviews for Year 11 pupils at the school at the end of last year and said we'd be happy to help out at the school again in future. Matt Prior, Head of Business and Economics at the school, then got in touch asking if PKL could help with this project as we have extensive experience of operating overseas.

You can read more in The Gloucestershire Echo, who covered the story.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

PKL Food Cubes Create an Impact

Our Food Cubes are really taking off – interest is soaring, and we have been receiving media coverage in publications such as Cost Sector Catering. Following the huge success of our Food Cube at Oasis Academy in Brightstowe, we have been receiving a huge number of enquiries and are currently working with several schools to discuss their requirements and put designs together.

The Food Cube, an innovative catering concept from PKL, was developed in partnership with BAM FM, who look after facilities in over 30 schools. The Food Cube provides an additional serving area at school lunch and break times, and can also be used as a tuck shop facility. By reducing queuing and serving times, it encourages pupils to stay on site at lunchtime and helps prevent them leaving site to buy unhealthier alternatives elsewhere. Keeping lunchtime spend on site also increases profits and enables a wider range of food to be served.

At Oasis Academy, the Food Cube has been very popular with pupils, and has led to an increase in the uptake of school meals as well as easing lunchtime congestion in the existing serving areas.

For more information on our Food Cubes, see our website or contact us to speak to one of our project consultants.