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Restaurant Design Associates (RDA), based in South Tyneside, was appointed by independent global professional services provider Sweett Group to provide consultancy and design services for York Teaching Hospital Foundation Trust.

The Trust invested £4.3m to improve catering facilities at York Hospital, including a 2 year rebuild of its kitchen and restaurant, and the creation of a fresh food central production unit (CPU) to prepare meals for patients. The York site has more than 700 beds and is the Trust’s largest hospital.

RDA’s involvement in the project began 3 years ago, when the decision was made by the Trust to invest in the works. RDA’s design director Paul Hirst – who has worked with the Trust on past projects – was asked to be part of a design selection process, and was chosen to be part of a lead design team working with architects, consultants, facilities management staff, and catering and retail experts.

The firm designed and managed the development of the CPU, and advised on how to improve flow from delivery and storage to preparation, cooking, blast chilling, wrapping and dispatch.

Quantities and throughput were key considerations for the team in all layouts and equipment specifications, as it was necessary for the CPU to have the potential to supply other hospitals.

A separate, stand-alone food production facility was designed to supply the hospital’s new 245-seat Ellerbys Restaurant, serving staff and visitors. RDA was appointed to specify all items of food production and storage equipment, and assisted the architect with the interior design, finishes and furniture selection.

The installation element of the project was tendered out to a selection of main contractors, and was won by construction firm Hobson & Porter, who awarded RDA with the catering installation package.

The distributor assisted with a phasing plan for the works and provided a temporary service comprising of a kitchen, cold storage areas, chilled displays and hot servery counters whilst the works were in progress, so that the hospital could continue to supply food.

The finished project consisted of the CPU kitchen and dishwash areas, cold storage areas by Williams Refrigeration, ambient storage areas, Ellerbys Restaurant area, kitchen and dishwash area, a hospitality area and seating area furniture.

Paul Hirst said: “We are immensely proud of being a major part of this large scale project, from the early discussions through to completion. We believe that we have helped to develop an enviable world class food production facility and a modern, inviting restaurant, which could only have been achieved by working closely with the highly professional and dedicated NHS team at York.

“By working with Sweett Group and Hobson & Porter, our combined expertise has produced state of the art services which will provide long term benefits for the staff, patients and visitors at York Hospital.”

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