Sustainable refrigeration helps Suffolk pub-cum-deli control costs
Frankie and Cathie Aspin are no strangers to the restaurant trade. After selling their previous, larger-scale business followed by some much needed time out, they recently purchased 16th Century Suffolk pub The De La Pole Arms with a clear vision in mind. Instead of a traditional drinking pub, or a restaurant disguised as a pub, they split the building into three distinct sections: a drinking bar, a restaurant and a shop-cum deli.
“We’re creating something for everyone,” says Frankie. “The De La Pole Arms is a shop and a pub all in one unit.”
Each section leads into the next one, but the bar section is strictly for drinking – food is only consumed in the restaurant. And customers enjoying lunch may well feel inspired to visit the De La Pole shop afterwards, to stock up on the same locally sourced ingredients they just ate.
“If a customer’s chosen one of our deli boards in the restaurant and thinks, ‘well I like that cheese and that piece of salami’; they can then purchase them after the meal,” says Frankie.
The De La Pole is already gaining a loyal following. Shortly after the Aspins took over it was listed as one of the top 20 places for Sunday lunch in Suffolk, despite its rural location.
With years of experience in the hospitality sector, the Aspins understand the importance of both reliable and energy efficient equipment. When it came to choosing the best refrigeration for their latest venture, they went with what they knew, the Norfolk-based manufacturer Precision Refrigeration.
“We chose Precision specifically because we’ve used them before, in our previous businesses, and we always found them to be very reliable. No maintenance problems. I’ve never had to call a service engineer out for any of them.”
On the energy efficient front, Frankie says, “Any costs you can control, you want to. So you’re better off paying a little bit more to get a high quality product with lower running costs, rather than buy a cheaper product that is going to cost you more in the long run. That’s the rationale we’ve applied to all our equipment purchases, refrigeration is no exception.”
The De La Pole Arms has two upright Precision cabinets, the LPT601 freezer, and the MPT601 fridge. It also has an MCU311 counter fridge. All units are made from 100% stainless steel.
While ‘looks’ were not a primary concern when purchasing the equipment, Frankie has been impressed with the aesthetic design of the Precision products, which is proving useful in other ways, too.
He says, “The way a fridge looks is not that important, but the fact that we have nice curves on the handles, etc., means not only do they look good, they’re a lot easier to clean, too.”
The De La Pole Arms is a far smaller operation than Frankie’s previous business, but his experience with Precision and the flexibility its equipment provides has made it equally as suited to his current needs.
“Whether you’re doing 10 covers a day or 100 plus, the Precision equipment is perfect, and there’s a unit to fit every size.
“I can’t ask for a better product.”