Thursday, 31 July 2014

Temporary Kitchens for Universities and Colleges

Having been responsible for PKL’s projects in a number of universities and colleges over the years, I’ve put together this brief overview to answer some of the most frequently asked questions from clients in this sector.

I need a temporary kitchen for an emergency / refurbishment / event – can you help?

Yes! Whatever type of project you have, if you need a temporary kitchen or catering equipment at your university or college, we can help. From large, comprehensive kitchens and dining rooms, to the hire of single coldroom units or items of catering equipment, we can supply a solution to match your requirements. Our in-house designers can design the perfect solution based on your specific requirements, and I can also offer advice on the best options if you’re not sure what you need.

PKL temporary kitchen and dining room in university
We have listed buildings or access challenges on site – can you deliver to a site like this?

Of course! I’ve worked on a number of university projects which have involved contending with all sorts of factors. Our transport and planning teams are experts in planning deliveries to difficult sites, and produce detailed installation plans, risk assessments and method statements for every unit we install, taking all site factors into account.

Previous university projects I’ve worked on have involved manoeuvring kitchen units by hand or forklift through archways, craning units over walls, protecting listed trees and shrubs on site, and moving over or around listed buildings - our team can find a solution to pretty much any site challenge! Where access is required over lawns, listed cobbles or paving, we provide trackway to ensure that the surface remains protected underneath.

We specialise in non-invasive, non-attached weatherproof links to listed buildings, which when removed leave the building unmarked and in the same condition as before the hire started. We also offer a range of exterior solutions, such as painted finishes, vinyl wraps or screens, if the look of a temporary facility is an issue.

Large scale PKL temporary kitchen in universityWill hiring a temporary kitchen involve lots of noise and disruption on site?

No, not really. I appreciate that you’ll want to keep noise and disruption to a minimum, and we work hard to ensure delivery and installation is as quick and painless as possible, by preparing thoroughly and creating detailed plans in advance so there are no delays or surprises once on site.

The kitchens themselves are not too noisy to run, however if noise is a particular concern (perhaps if the kitchen is near student or staff accommodation) we can also provide extra insulation to our plant and coldrooms to reduce the noise emitted from the temporary kitchen and ancillary facilities. Likewise, if you are concerned about extraction emissions from the kitchen, we can also supply our facilities with Odour Control Units which can minimise cooking smells released from the extraction systems.

PKL temporary kitchen in universityWhat if something goes wrong with the kitchen or equipment once it’s on site?

We’ll fix or replace it! I know that our university and college kitchens are often used all day every day, so our 24 hour technical support line is always open. All our kitchens and equipment are tested thoroughly before delivery, but if something does go wrong we’ll sort it out as quickly as we can. For major problems or emergencies, we can dispatch an engineer immediately, otherwise our standard call-out time is within 24 hours.

Is it a difficult process to procure your facilities?

No! PKL is a Pro 5 registered organisation which is a consortium made up of ESPO, YPO, CBC and NEPO. This means that we have undergone a pre-tender process to supply temporary kitchens to the public sector. Universities can place orders directly with Pro 5, safe in the knowledge that PKL has been assessed for best value. PKL is also a Crown Commercial Service listed supplier.

I hope this post has helped to answer some of the questions you may have about hiring temporary kitchens, dining facilities and catering equipment for your university or college. If you've got an upcoming project that PKL might be able to help you with, please get in touch for a chat and a no-obligation quote. You can also find more information on the PKL website.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Who does what at PKL?

PKL | Joe on Work Experience
My name is Joe and I have come to PKL for work experience where I was tasked to find out more about those behind the scenes working hard in the company. I went in search of some ‘willing’ participants for the blog and this is what I found out…

PKL | Andrea in Finance
Name: Andrea
Job: Revenue Accountant
How long have you worked at PKL? 8 years
What do you do at PKL? The job involves managing the cash flow and the finances of the business. Following up on payments is another area of the job.

PKL | Karsten in DesignName: Karsten
Job: Design Manager
How long have you worked at PKL? 10 years
What do you do at PKL? Karsten’s job involves managing the production of technical drawings for all PKL projects, so this would be for example the KitchenPod design drawings for clients.

PKL | John in Sales

Name: John
Job: Project Consultant
How long have you worked at PKL? “Since May 23rd 2007!” 7 years
What do you do at PKL? John focuses on the long term projects and specialises in areas such as the military, universities, prisons and the projects PKL are involved in with them.  He also takes calls for enquiries into new projects.

PKL | Marcos in Kit Heaven
Name: Marcos
Job: Kit Heaven Chargehand
How long have you worked at PKL? 14 years
What do you do at PKL? His job in Kit Heaven involves the quality assurance side of the actual PKL products. This will mean checking all equipment is safe and to the expected standards. It also involves kit tracking, so keeping account of all the equipment going on and off hire and where it is. He also makes sure that any kit coming back to PKL is not damaged on return.

PKL | Debbie and Claire in Fleet
Name: Claire
Job: Fleet Manager
How long have you worked at PKL? 12 years
What do you do at PKL? Claire’s job involves managing the availability of assets such as the catering equipment and kitchen units. She is joined by Debbie (left) who also helps to manage the unit and equipment availability.

PKL | Scott in the Quay
Name: Scott
Job: Quay Supervisor
How long have you worked at PKL? 15 years
What do you do at PKL? This job involves supervising all of the preparation of the kitchen units before they go off site. This means checking they are in good condition before they go on hire.
PKL | Chris in Kit Heaven

Name: Chris
Job: Catering Engineer
How long have you worked at PKL? 5 years
What do you do at PKL? Chris’s job is to install the catering equipment into the various kitchen units. He also goes out on site and carries out maintenance of equipment on hire.
PKL | Tim in PSD

Name: Tim
Job: Projects and Technical Manager
How long have you worked at PKL? 24 years
What do you do at PKL? This job involves running the department and working with site supervisors and engineers. His job is very much to do with project managing larger hires like large events. It also means working alongside the sales department.
PKL | Nick in Transport

Name: Nick
Job: Transport Manager
How long have you worked at PKL? 4 years
What do you do at PKL? Nick is in charge of ‘Transport and Logistics’ and is in charge of actually getting the kitchens from and to their destination, in and out of the business.
PKL | Andy and Caz in Marketing

Name: Caz
Job: Marketing Executive
How long have you worked at PKL? 3 years
What do you do at PKL? The job includes many different aspects of marketing, including the main copywriting for PKL, updating the PKL social media sites, and writing marketing literature such as brochures and case studies.

Name: Andy
Job: Graphic Designer
How long have you worked at PKL? 4 years
What do you do at PKL? His job is largely design, so this involves designing the PKL brochures and doing the photography that will feature on those brochures. He also does the design and layout of literature and general advertisements for the business.