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: mail@spacegroupuk.com

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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Tong Garden Centre, New Restaurant And Servery Counters

“I would recommend Space to any catering team looking at a new build or refurbishment project”.

The feedback above was from Mark Farnsworth one of the directors at Tong Garden Centre in Bradford after the team at Space handed over their sparkling new restaurant design and server counters earlier this year.

The Tong Garden Centre design needed to be able to accommodate large numbers of customers through its very busy lunchtimes using a combination of servery counters to suit Tong’s offering of both self-service and served hot food. There needed to be a real emphasis placed on efficiency and how the customers would move through the new restaurant design.

The team at Space took the time to really understand the needs of the client, and exactly what they were looking for before starting the garden centre design project. Space pride themselves on understanding their clients and interpreting a given brief.  Using their experience, the Space team advise and propose options for consideration, allowing the client to choose the route based on their insight of their business and customers, delivering what is right for their restaurant.

The final garden centre design included two large servery counters the first being a large u-shape with deli counter serving coffee, cakes and cold drinks.  This counter also incorporates a small dish wash room located at the rear of the ‘U’.  This feature delivers a significant time-saving in getting clean crockery back for the customers to use.  The second of the two servery counters is an inline counter serving hot food.  This counter is beautifully finished in brushed aluminium with retracting hanging pendant heatlamps.

The whole project took twelve weeks from start to finish and after handover we received some wonderful feedback from the client, shared below:

“We were very pleased with Space Catering from the very outset of the project.  Their sales team listened to our requirements and added value where they could but didn’t force unnecessary equipment or unduly expensive items onto our schedule which was a refreshing change!  Once we got through to installation we were really impressed by Peter Dunne who project managed our installation.  Peter was very organised and ensured every little issue was handled efficiently and effectively.  In short, I would recommend Space to any catering team looking at a new build or refurbishment project”.

Space Energy Efficiency Consulting

Space Catering has a long history of providing its clients with kitchen and restaurant designs that have as low an impact on the environment as possible.  They are pioneers in energy efficient kitchen design, continuously searching out new materials and catering appliances that meet this brief.  In fact Space was the winner of the very first national ‘Foodservice Footprint Award’ for the ‘Most Sustainable Foodservice Installation’.

It is estimated that restaurants consume 7 or 8 times as much energy per square foot as most other businesses, therefore energy efficient kitchen design and more efficient catering appliances could have a dramatic effect on not only costs, but the environment too.

Space are experts at energy efficiency consulting and have had some great results.  At the University of Winchester, Space installed a state-of-the-art Winterhalter energy-efficient dishwasher, a class-leading commercial dishwasher in terms of water and energy use.  The newly installed dishwasher could be fed using the ‘free hot water’ by recovering heat from the remote refrigeration plant. This meant that the dishwasher used virtually no electricity for heating water, resulting in massive energy savings.  It was calculated that the pay-back period for the heat recovery system would be less than 18 months.

At the Launchpad Training College in Tewkesbury, Space installed i-hob technology.  Widely predicted as the future cooking method of choice in commercial kitchens, this energy efficient catering appliance delivers 90% of the heat to the pan compared with 40% from a gas hob.  The i-hobs also turn off automatically when not in use or when a pan is not in direct contact with it, saving more energy and money. Space also used induction hobs in the Hotel Verta, London and this – along with the eco- friendly refrigeration – is delivering consistent saving.

Space are committed to making a difference through quality energy efficiency consulting. To find out more about our catering equipment and appliance projects, talk to us about your upcoming project, get in touch via email mail@spacegroupuk.com or call 01452 383000.

Why chose a Space Turnkey Solution for your Kitchen, Restaurant or Cafeteria project?

For anyone new to the phrase, a turnkey solution means that the client will only have to turn a key to have the business or project up and running. Giving the client the time to focus on their concept, their team and all the other tasks involved in launching or re-launching a business.

Turnkey solution project managers are adept at managing every element of a full-service project, making use of multiple disciplines from back of house equipment and design to front of house furniture and interiors.  Input from the client is reduced, making turn-key solutions efficient and cost effective.

Clients can expect a turnkey solution project to be returned to them and fully operable when they are ready.

So why choose a turnkey catering contractor for your next project?  Turnkey solutions take the stress out of projects, with one multi-discipline contractor to brief rather than multiple contractors.

With one contractor, projects are naturally more efficient, saving money and time.

The team at Space has many years of experience in delivering turn-key solutions in all types of hospitality setting. Their in-house expertise includes interior fit-out, layout & interior design, furniture, bespoke front-of-house countering & displays, back-of-house kitchen design layout, cooking platforms and ventilation systems

Space has a proven track-record in delivering turnkey commercial kitchens, restaurants and projects incorporating both front of house and back of house on time and within budget.

In 2016 Space handed over a 306-cover restaurant and kitchen to a very happy management team at the Poplars Garden Centre in Dunstable.  On this project Space were really able to flex their design muscles, incorporating an eclectic mix of side chairs, booth seating, bench seating and tub chairs. Feature pendant lights, and – to create a real sense of theatre for the dine in customers – a pizza prep & cooking area with distressed timber plank fascia and built-in live flame pizza oven was installed as central feature.

Other projects where Space has delivered complete turn-key solutions include All Saints Academy in Cheltenham and The Hut Group in Warrington, Cheshire.

All Saints Academy needs to cater for 1500 pupils and staff every day of the week.  Along with this very busy cafeteria, this project also called for a stand-alone ‘Food to Go’ café servery providing a variety of snacks and refreshments during break periods and a food technology training kitchen that would enable catering students to gain their BTEC qualifications in an authentic cooking environment.

The Hut Group project was delivered in just 13 weeks with only 34 days spent on site.  This timeframe in particular shows the benefit of using Space as your turnkey catering contractor – the faster your project is turned around, the sooner you will be able to open the doors and do what you do best – start trading and looking after your customers.

Get in touch today to talk to us about your project mail@spacegroupuk.com



The Hut Group – A Turnkey Project by Space Group

With input from all divisions of Space Group, The Hut Group development has been a signature project with real wow factor.

The brief was to create a commercial catering facility to function as a canteen for around 250 people. Encompassing everything from floor finishes, walls, ceilings, front of house foodservice countering, furniture plus design and build of the back of house kitchen, this project enabled the Space team to flex its muscles in full-service turnkey development.

Lead and turnaround time totalled a tight 13 weeks but the hard work and efficiency of the team ensured we met the deadline and delivered a signature Space project with total client satisfaction.

Space weren’t alone in the realisation of this project, with The Hut Group’s Director of Property, Lesley McPhee and colleague Jaya Varsani, managing the final vision. Lesley was instrumental in specifying the high-end, premium finishes of the materials, from crackled-black effect wall tiles, antiqued golden wallpaper and the black and white herringbone flooring.

We are immensely proud of this team effort and our partnership with Lesley, combining Lesley’s vision with the skills of our equipment, design, interiors and furniture teams, along with input from our sister company, Holmes to deliver a stunning example of a complete turnkey development.

The Hut Group in Numbers

34 days on site
24 engineers in total
10 Space team members involved
612 cups of tea
65 metres of gold wallpaper
37 pendant lights
82 chairs
46 tables
56 plug sockets
104 crackled black wall tiles
21 metres of bench seating
20 hours of chair woodstaining

View the video

The Hut Group Timelapse from Space Group on Vimeo.

Space Group Win National Distributor of the Year at Catering Insight Awards

The second annual Catering Insight Awards were held last Wednesday 30th November at The Underglobe London (underneath Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre) and Space Group enjoyed a night to remember.

As well as a fantastic evening in a beautifully decorated setting, Space Group was honoured with the headline award of the night; National Distributor of the Year.  This award recognises ‘a major distributor which has completed mammoth commercial kitchen projects to a high standard, up and down the country, while still offering a personalised, sterling service’.

This award feels particularly special having been voted for exclusively by the catering equipment industry itself.  In the Catering Insight Awards distributors vote on the supplier categories, and suppliers vote on the distributor honours.

Ian Bidmead, Space MD said ‘We are absolutely thrilled to have won this award, it’s a fitting recognition to the team here across the Group who work so incredibly hard to deliver the best service to our clients.

To have been voted the winner by our peers in the industry is wonderful; It’s great to know that the people we are working with recognise that we do a good job!’

The Catering Insight Awards celebrate the best suppliers and distributors in the industry and the Awards bring together the best catering equipment companies in the UK, with 15 awards given out on the night.

Overall it was a fantastic evening, in addition to winning the award we had a great time catching up with industry friends and making new contacts.

On behalf of everyone at Space, a huge thank you to all who voted for us.  We look forward to working together on projects in the future.

Pictured: Malcolm Ball and Ian Bidmead with the National Distributor of the Year Award.