When Covid hit, Rob Cowell, owner of Bourne Plaice in Ramsey on the Isle of Man, thought it would be the end of his business but, in reality, it had the opposite effect and business boomed.
Needing a larger frying range, Rob purchased a brand new four pan L-shaped Kiremko, giving one extra chip pan, thereby doubling chip capacity, as well as two 1m fish pans, resulting in 30% more capacity per pan.
Bourne Plaice didn’t have to wait long before witnessing the benefit of being able to turn out more volume. Just a month after the range was installed, the island hosted the annual TT race in which 40,000 race fans hit the streets to watch the 37.73-mile high-speed course carved out of the island’s public roads.
“TT week is a really big event and normally operationally we have a ceiling height that we cannot push through,” says Rob. “This year, with the new Kiremko, we pushed through it and pushed through it by some way.
“Turnover is up, service speeds are up, customers aren’t waiting as long, the food is going out quicker so it’s all positive.”
Impressed with the recovery speed of the pans, Rob was anticipating a significant saving and when his first gas bill came through, he wasn’t disappointed, adding: “I’ve gone from three pans to four pans but my gas bill has stayed the same – and that’s taking into account the fact gas has gone up in price. I’d say the new range is about 35% more efficient than the old one.
“So there are no extra running costs with my Kiremko at all, which means if we’re taking an extra £50-60,000 in the year, that’s pure margin.”
With Bourne Plaice recording some of its best ever months, Rob is pleased he invested when he did, adding: “When all these price hikes were coming in, I thought, right we’ve got to take more money. That’s the only real way to dig ourselves out of the situation. The new range couldn’t have come at a better time. We wanted the ability to take extra cash and the range is doing exactly that.”
As well as trusting KFE to design a range that fitted the new demands of the business, Rob also looked to them for advice on redesigning the shop to ensure it reached its full potential. He adds: “It’s blown all my expectations out the water. I wanted something radical and that is exactly what KFE came up with. Yes, it involved structural engineers and planning permission, but I didn’t care because I knew this was a one-off, proper job.
“The business is absolutely bomb-proof for ten years – and then we’ll go again!”
KFE 01778 380448 www.kfeltd.co.uk