Top 50 Indie HKS Retail has installed a hot foodservice “profit pod” at a forecourt store at a BP filling station in Leicester.

The installation, supplied by a joint venture of Adande and Gamble Retail Solutions, is part of the HKS’s new concept aimed at delivering fast service for hot food to go, including freshly baked pizzas, hot filled rolls, pastries, muffins, bagels, breakfast items and chips, as well as hot and cold drinks.

The development of HKS Retail’s new foodservice concept was driven by a desire to present a different style of freshly prepared hot food offer without the need for major investment in equipment or taking up a significant amount of floor space within the forecourt store. At the Leicester site the foodservice area occupies only a 3 x 2.5 m footprint and represents an investment of less than £18,000, including ancillary foodservice equipment, hot drink machines and shop fitting.

The ‘profit pod’ comprises a Gamble Ovention Matchbox 1313 oven, mounted on an Adande two drawer refrigerator. With a footprint of just 1100 mm width by 700 mm depth, the unit is designed to provide a compact and complete solution for the storage, cooking and service of hot food to go.

The large capacity of the Adande refrigerated drawers allows greater volumes of food to be stored conveniently at the point of preparation and service, eliminating the need for operators to leave their workstation to fetch merchandise. The ability to control holding temperatures, independently within each drawer, allows chilled and frozen food to be stored within the same unit for even greater operational versatility.

The Ovention Matchbox 1313 oven uses “precision impingement technology”, delivering more than twice the volume of hot air and better air concentration than conventional conveyor ovens for speed and cooked food quality. The oven features two cooking surfaces, which load at the tap of a touchpad, allowing the preloading of one batch, while the other is cooking. There is also an automatic unload function to prevent overcooking. The controller can accommodate up to 1000 pre-programmed cooking settings, each with three stages and two events, for optimum management of cooking time, temperature and independent blower speeds, eliminating the need for skilled foodservice operatives.

Food is cooked in a closed cavity with multiple catalytic converters, breaking down grease into moist hot air, which is used in the cooking process for improved quality and healthier food. The catalytic converters also clean the oven’s exhaust air, eliminating the need for costly and often inconvenient extraction hoods.

Shane Thakrar, sales director, HKS Retail Ltd, said: “The combination of the Adande drawer unit and the Gamble Ovention Matchbox oven is an excellent fit with our hot food to go offer. It provides a compact solution for the storage, cooking and preparation of freshly prepared fast food throughout the day. The simplicity of the ‘profit pod’ also offers significant advantages for our business, as unskilled operators may be trained in two hours, eliminating the need for experienced foodservice professionals.”

He added: “We have been very pleased with the success of the initiative at our Leicester site and have plans to roll out the concept at suitable outlets across our estate.”

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