West London College hosted a unique focus group on behalf of The Chefs’ Forum last month with industry-leading chefs from hotels, restaurants, private clubs, consultancy and international businesses. The chefs sat down with kitchen manufacturers Mitchell & Cooper to answer questions on how they make purchasing decisions, and what they believe the future hospitality business is going to look like. For Mitchell & Cooper, this provided valuable insight into the end users’ culinary challenges and opportunities.
Mitchell and Cooper wanted to ask some very particular questions about purchasing, decision-making, provenance and corporate accountability, as well as more regular questions about trends and usage. To get representative answers, The Chefs’ Forum chose a variety of chefs from different skill bands, diverse world food genres and different businesses.
The chefs were delighted to be asked their opinion and be involved in the framework of building a new catalogue for Mitchell and Cooper with genuine industry insight interwoven into its structure.
For example, the chefs were asked about the space required by the Mitchell and Cooper Bonzer® range of can openers.
One chef who works in a building with six different kitchens replied there was only one Bonzer® can opener for everyone to use. The reason – lack of space.
Kat Cooper said: “We rarely get to ask our end user these questions. As light catering equipment and barware manufacturers, it is imperative for us to learn how the chefs and hospitality professionals not only perceive our products but actually use them. We had a great day learning all sorts of new things to help us adapt our business and product design to suit the widely-varying needs of different types of chefs.”
Catherine Farinha, director of The Chefs’ Forum, said: “We are very pleased with the way the day worked. It’s not easy getting a representative group of chefs together for a day that keeps them interested. However, the questions were interesting and the products that Mitchell & Cooper have in their range are household names. Plus, we threw in a delicious Brazilian BBQ lunch cooked by Level 1 students at West London College using the finest quality Aussie Wagyu and lamb rump, kindly sponsored by Meat & Livestock Australia – Bonzer in every sense of the word! It was a great opportunity for us to give the students a butchery demonstration using Mitchell & Cooper’s sensational Deglon® knife range.”
Michael Dutnall, Executive Chef of The RAF Club, who took part, said: “It was a very interesting day. I learnt a lot about Mitchell & Cooper and their business plans and was very happy to pass on my knowledge of how we work. The result will make our collaboration much easier. I use KitchenAid all the time, I also have Bonzer® can openers in all of my kitchens, and I even have a Nemox ice cream machine, which is another great piece of kit, also available from Mitchell & Cooper – It was great to meet the people behind the brands we use every day.”