Make your catering equipment last longer

With the hospitality industry experiencing tight cash flow, it is more important now than ever to make your catering equipment last longer. With most commercial kitchens experiencing some form of shut down, it is key to ensure that your equipment is ready and safe to switch back on, or increase the equipment use to full capacity. If you are unsure on how to re-open your kitchen please read the blog ‘Re-opening your kitchen after shut down’ by clicking here.

You can prolong the lifespan of your kitchen equipment by regular cleaning and keeping up with routine maintenance. Just like when you service and MOT your car, your kitchen equipment needs routine maintenance so it doesn’t break down on you. Keeping up with the maintenance of your catering equipment means that you will get more out of your investment, thus prolonging the time in which you will need to purchase replacement equipment.

At Space Group, we offer a Service and Maintenance package where our team of engineers provides preventative and reactive maintenance. Moreover, we provide technical information on equipment, summarising previous maintenance work and repair spend. This enables you to make informed decisions about when to repair or replace an item. The routine preventative maintenance can be set up annually or bi-annually to suit your specific requirements.

The key to prolonging catering equipment is to have great service and support; Space Group are here to keep your kitchen running smoothly.


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Re-opening your kitchen after shut down

With the Government easing restrictions which is enabling more and more companies to open, it is important to make sure your kitchen equipment is safe and suitable to start working after a period of down time. We have put together some advice on checking your kitchen equipment and making sure it is in good working order before re-opening your kitchen. If you have any queries, your equipment manual is a good place to check but if in doubt a qualified engineer can ensure your equipment is safe to use. Space Group offers a service and maintenance package providing both reactive and preventative maintenance with fully qualified engineers.



To ensure your fridge is ready to stock all of your fresh foods check the door seals are still working, as they should be. If your fridge has been turned off, make sure to clean and sanitise it before restocking with food products. Be sure to check the temperature of the fridge before stocking up, we recommend turning the fridge on 24 hours before to ensure it reaches the correct temperature.

Appliances using water

Dishwashers and warewashing equipment

A key piece of your kitchen equipment that enables the safe disinfectant of kitchen utensils can also incur cross contamination issues with bacteria build up if it is not properly cleaned before use. Top tips for a slick and safe machine operation:

  • Check that the filters are clean and in the correct position
  • Make sure your detergent and rinse aid are topped up
  • Fill and heat the machine
  • Put the machine through a few wash and rinse cycles
  • Drain the equipment, clean and recheck filters
  • You are ready to go!

Water softeners

Once you have turned your water supply back on, add salt to the brine box and plug the appliance back in, remember to reset the timer for regeneration cycles to a suitable time.

Combi ovens and steaming ovens

Before use ensure water filters or other water treatments are fitted and working. Appliances should be fully cleaned and put on either a clean or steam cycle. Door seals should be checked for damage and if a wash down hose is fitted this should be flushed for about 10 minutes to remove any build up of bacteria.

Pre-wash sprays

These should be thoroughly flushed for at least 10 minutes to remove any bacteria build up.

Water boilers

Before attempting to restart the boiler, ensure that all filters or other water treatment are fitted and working.  Assuming that the water supply to the appliance had been turned off, it should be turned back on and the appliance refilled and brought up to boiling.

Water systems

Where a building, part of a building or a water system is taken out of use, sometimes (mothballed), it should be managed so that microbial growth including legionella in the water is appropriately controlled.

Before reusing the water system, it should be recommissioned by a competent person as though it was new (i.e. thoroughly flushed, cleaned and disinfected) before returned to use.

Cooking equipment


Check the seals don’t have any damage, if they are damaged they need to be replaced by someone competent. Make sure the oven is clean before use.

Electrical Appliances

Before reconnecting anything electrical, check the cables haven’t been chewed by rodents. If there are any signs of damage, they should be replaced by someone with the appropriate capabilities.

Gas Appliances

Gas safety is an essential part of making sure you are re-opening your kitchen in a safe manner. When appliances have been sat unused, seals and joints settle and can cause leaks, we recommend having the gas checked by a Gas Safe registered catering equipment engineer (please see our service and maintenance package if you need help). The individual appliances should also be checked to ensure they are working correctly and safely. Where a gas interlock is fitted you can check the operation by switching on the ventilation and then lighting an appliance before switching off the ventilation at which time the interlock should turn off the gas supply.


Check that the fryer is clean. If the oil has been sat idle drain the oil, clean and then refill with oil. Heat the oil and carefully check this with a suitable thermometer to check that the thermostat is working correctly.

Ventilation canopies

Check that all filters, grease and input air filters, are clean. Once switched on check the fans are working as they should be. If the extract duct cleaning has not been carried out during the shut down then this should be carried out before the ventilation system is used, during shut down grease build up on fans may have dried, which can overload them. Whilst your kitchen ventilation replacement air system brings in fresh air from outside the building, this is less than the volume of air extracted, so to draw the remainder from other parts of the building. This is to create a slightly negative pressure in the kitchen to prevent odours spreading out into the dining room or other areas. In order to minimize the chance of drawing air from the dining room which may contain viruses, where possible open windows in the kitchen to provide the remainder of the replacement air.


We hope this guidance helps you with re-opening your kitchen safely.


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Coronavirus Disease (covid-19)

Space Catering (UK) Ltd Statement.

With the ever changing situation relating to the outbreak of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19), I want to update our customers on how Space Group is working hard to mitigate any supply risk, ensure business continuity and continue to deliver the high level of service our customers’ expect.

For some time, we have been preparing our contingency plans to be in a strong position to adapt to all possible scenarios. We are closely following, and acting in accordance with, all official WHO, Government and NHS guidance, and will continue to adapt our approach on an ongoing basis to the changing circumstances.  We are executing this through daily cross functional Covid-19 emergency response meetings, and daily co-ordination calls with our parent company – Nisbets Plc.

For all decisions made in response to this situation, Space is prioritising the health and wellbeing of all its key stakeholders – employees, clients and suppliers.  We have restricted staff movements between offices, and stopped all non-essential external visitors to our offices in Gloucester and York.  We are ensuring all staff follow the latest government guidance in relation to personal hygiene and sanitation procedures and are contacting all clients prior to pre-arranged meetings, to ensure appropriate site procedures are understood and safety precautions are in place.

We have implemented limited home-working for employees where possible, and are accelerating this on a daily basis.  Our IT infrastructure and back office systems have been developed with remote access in mind.  Through a combination of cloud-based systems, extensive VPN access and remote team collaboration applications, we are confident of being able to continue operations even if full home-working is mandated.  We have phone diversion procedures in place should they be required.

Additionally, Space is working hard to minimise any supply disruption to its customers for all equipment orders and projects currently being progressed.  We are in constant communication with our supply chain, identifying and mitigating any supply risks, whilst finding suitable alternatives where necessary.  Whilst currently, we are not experiencing major supply chain challenges, we are reviewing this on an ongoing basis, and ensuring that we are communicating in a prompt and timely manner with clients.  Design support, estimating, consultancy and other pre-order services available to customers are not adversely affected, at present.

We are also working closely with all of our sub-contractors for service, installation and construction works.

Our commitment to all customers is that we will be open, honest and transparent in all communications and work with each client to highlight risks and identify appropriate solutions. ​

Although the situation is fluid, our overriding goal is to ensure stakeholder wellbeing and execute our plan to allow our clients to continue to trade as normally as possible.

If you require any further information, please don’t hesitate to contact your account manager or contact our office on 01452 383000 or email at

Ian Bidmead

Managing Director, Space Group


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Catering Food Pods & Mobile Coffee Stations

Catering Food Pods

These Catering Food Pods are a great way to increase your food offering. They are delivered ready to use and are fitted-out with your choice of equipment and branding. Each catering food pod is customised for your specific requirements, whether this is a mixture of hot and cold food offerings, specific catering equipment or your own branding, each pod is unique to your needs.

The Food Pods are weatherproof, fully secure when not in use and coated with food safe PVCu on the inside.

Catering Food Pod

Catering Food Pods

Coffee Stations

Space Group’s Mobile Coffee Stations are lockable self-contained servery units. Each design element of your coffee station is customisable, from equipment specification, to hot or cold food display options, and personalised branding options. These Mobile Coffee Stations are ideal for use in the leisure and event environments. The coffee station unit incorporates a sink, refrigerated storage, food display units, menu boards and ample storage all in this compact unit.

Coffee Station

If you would like more information about how we can customize a catering food pod or coffee station for your requirements then please contact us.



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IMC WasteStation

How does the WasteStation work?

Waste disposal is a major issue for organisations, for instance it is particularly difficult to dispose of effectively, resulting in high waste disposal costs.  Food waste contains 80% liquid. The IMC WasteStation grinds food waste into fine particles and forces the excess liquid out. This excess liquid is disposed directly into the drain, resulting in a fraction of the solid food waste to dispose of. The photo below indicates the reduction of your waste disposal requirements with the IMC WasteStation.



The WasteStation comes in two sizes, the standard and the compact, which is ideal for small kitchen spaces or venues with less covers.

wastestation compact

wastestation compact

Benefits of the WasteStation:

The IMC WasteStation reduces your food waste, but the food disposal costs aren’t the only benefit of this unit. Further benefits of the IMC WasteStation include:

  • Transport savings, with less to dispose of you are reducing your waste collection costs.
  • Storage savings, by reducing the volume of waste your on-site waste storage requirements will also be reduced.
  • Less waste to landfill, the remainder of the solid food waste can be used for biogas, biomass pellets or compost.
  • Process capacity is 700kg of food waste per hour (large version) and 100kg food waste per hour for the compact version.
  • Reduces the volume of food waste by 80%

This short video demonstrates the capabilities of the WasteStation Compact, which remains relevant for the larger version:

Wastestation video

Wastestation video

The IMC WasteStation is the perfect option to help with your waste management, not only helping you with your waste management but also helping the environment by reducing the amount of waste that goes to landfill- win win!


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Micromarkets are taking the foodservice industry by storm. They provide a convenient self-service package, giving people healthier options compared to vending machines. This fast growing industry is becoming increasingly popular, not just in the workplace but in education, visitor attraction sites and healthcare.  Micromarkets are easy to install, they provide more variety to the consumer and are shown to increase average spend per transaction.

Space Group’s in-house manufacturing team specializes in bespoke fabrication. We can tackle everything from design, specification & joinery to installation and testing. Space Group’s ability to create bespoke fabrication means we are suited perfectly for creating micromarkets. We are able to create something specific to your space and requirements.

We recently installed a micromarket style offer, within the staff canteen of one of the world’s leading food and beverage companies.

If you would like to discuss your options for creating a micromarket facility then please get in touch:

Pepsico Micro Market Project

Pepsico Micro Market Project

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Day in the life of… a designer at Space Group

Being new to the company I wanted to get a better insight into how the different Space Group teams  work. I thought it would be nice to sit down with people from different areas of the business and ask them about working at Space Group! I have started this small series of blogs with the design team.

So, the life of a Space designer:

When a potential project comes our way the design team gets stuck in and produce proposed layout plans for the space. Whether it’s a new commercial kitchen design or front of house servery counters and furniture, our designers liaise with our clients to make any amendments until our designs capture the clients brief. The design team follow a project through to completion, producing service drawings, elevations and altering layouts to overcome any obstacles discovered on site. For bigger projects the design team create interior design schemes, produce visuals and 3D walk through videos so our client can really get a feel of what their space will look and feel like before it is installed. Here are some example pieces of work which the design team have created:

A couple of our lovely designers gave me some insight into how they find it working at Space Group:


What is your favourite part about your design role?

P: I love how the drawings are like puzzles, you have to make sure all of the pieces fit together in the right way.

C: Creating a functional operational space from a blank drawing sheet and turning a written brief into a successful catering environment.

What is the most challenging part of your role?

P: I find the most challenging part is trying to fit additional work in when something crops up- like me coming to ask these questions!

C: 8:30am, no seriously I would say keeping client’s dreams within budget!

Tell me something good that has happened today.

P: Today I have made the impossible possible, I love the challenge of trying to fit the pieces together in the space allocated.

C: I bought a big van in readiness to start my camper conversion – even using design expertise in home life!

What is your favourite type of project to work on?

P: I enjoy working on the big production kitchens. I also enjoy the diversity of drawing front and back of house designs.

C: Consultancy projects where I am a part of a client led design team.

Can you name one of your favourite projects that you have worked on?

P: Theatre by the lake.

C: Taunton School or Dyson.


I really got the feel that they love what they do and enjoy searching for new design innovations and materials.


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Second Nod from the Industry for Space Group at the Catering Insight Awards

Space Group has once again been shortlisted as a finalist in the Catering Insight Awards as National Distributor of the Year.

This was an award which we won last year, and – whilst all recognition is an honour – to be recognised by our peers within the industry is particularly special.

 After winning the National Distributor of the Year award at the Catering Insight Awards 2016, things have far from slowed down.  We’ve welcomed six new project/account managers across the UK, improving our coverage and account support network.

We’ve also recently completed the full interior fit out and demonstration kitchen at the new National Catering Equipment Centre in Bristol which opened in September.   Space Interiors took on the role of the main contractor for the National Catering Equipment Centre, spending 5 months on site.  The key areas of the project included a mezzanine floor and glass balustrade, plus a versatile state-of-the-art demonstration kitchen and 18,000 square feet of exhibition space.  All this within a tight timeframe, needing close management to ensure all required works were complete ready for opening.

Earlier this year we completed a full turnkey fit-out at The Hut Group in Warrington, from which we created a time-lapse video showing how the project came together.

On top of completing some exceptional projects, we’ve also worked to introduce regular industry update sessions for staff and invested in the latest visualisation rendering software to deliver high quality walkthroughs to our customers.

The continued fantastic feedback from our happy clients has made for another wonderful year but a second Catering Insight Award in the cabinet would be the icing on the cake.

“After ending the year on such as high it seemed impossible to top the achievements of 2016, but 2017 has been truly exceptional.

“I’d like to personally recognise every member of the Space team, from the project managers on the front line, to the staff at Space HQ who keep the wheels turning.  We are used to receiving wonderful feedback from our customers, and this second shortlisting throws the spotlight on the achievements of Space Group as a whole  Well done all!”
Ian Bidmead, Managing Director

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“Space listened to our brief and came back with a number of good ideas and options which all adhered to our budget and programme accordingly. Space were easy to work with and provided a professional service from start to finish. Overall the design, delivery and installation exceeded our expectations, leaving us with a fantastic staff facility which we will enjoy for years to come”

Nick Batson, Head of Procurement for Property and Projects at Assa Abloy

National Catering Equipment Centre – NCEC

The National Catering Equipment Centre in Bristol opened earlier this month and, after fitting a high-tech 100m2 demonstration kitchen at the new Centre, the Space Interiors and wider Space team were recently down on site to see the final stages of the project come together.

With so many ongoing developments and innovations in the world of catering equipment, the National Catering Equipment Centre (or NCEC) welcomes industry professionals to a central place, where the best equipment and products – from over 40 leading suppliers – are showcased.

Space Interiors took on the role of the main contractor for the National Catering Equipment Centre, spending 5 months on site.  The key areas of the project included a mezzanine floor and glass balustrade, plus a versatile state-of-the-art demonstration kitchen and 18,000 square feet of exhibition space.  All this within a tight timeframe, needing close management to ensure all required works were complete ready for opening.

About the National Catering Equipment Centre (from the NCEC website)

There are 3 main areas of the NCEC

1) Exhibition Area
The exhibition area showcases over 40 industry leading brands. You’ll find over 1000 products with experts on hand to help you with everything from cooking machines to furniture.

2) Demo Kitchen
Our Brand Sales Development Chef will take you through brand comparisons, menu development and product demos.

3) Catering Store
Nisbets have moved their Avonmouth outlet within the NCEC.

View the time lapse video below of the NCEC project below:

NCEC (National Catering Equipment Centre) Timelapse from Space Group on Vimeo.

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SPACE INTERIORS: We Know Commercial Interiors Inside Out

Space Interiors have many years of combined experience in all aspects of interior design, build and installation and are considered to be industry specialists in office, education, hospitality, healthcare and industry interiors. The team pride themselves on working closely with clients to get a genuine understanding of the business and needs.

Space Interiors can manage your project from start to finish offering a complete turnkey solution for projects of all sizes supplying and fitting everything from mezzanine floors, partitioning walls, and suspended ceilings to air conditioning, plumbing, gas, electrical and all the furniture, fixtures and fittings. Space Interiors expect the best prices from suppliers passing those savings on to clients, making projects extremely competitive.

Here’s what our clients have to say about Space Interiors:


”The team from Space Interiors were very professional in helping us to design a suitable layout for the new offices, within a very tight budget that required us to re-use most of our existing furniture. They were also flexible enough to work with us amongst changing requirements which inevitably resulted in tight timescales to get furniture delivered and installed in time for the opening of the new office.

Space were also able to provide interior design advice to the project team, which helped ensure that the end result was a professional working environment, without being too bland”


I was very impressed with the overall installation and their help in getting over any problems, I would have no hesitation in using or recommending Space Interiors again


“It was a pleasure working with Space to deliver Gatwick’s North Terminal staff restaurant. Flexibility and great communication are traits demonstrated by Space, and key elements of the success of this project.”

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