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B BRIEFING


Passing GO W


Monopoly manufacturer Hasbro’s new staff café is more than just a place to eat. Jackie Mitchell rolls the dice


hen the UK headquarters of Hasbro, the international toy company, well known for iconic toys such as My Little Pony, Furby, Transformers and Monopoly, moved offices less than a mile away to another area of Stockley Park, a vast industrial park in Uxbridge, Middlesex, UK, it wanted a fresh approach to its café, which serves 350 people on site. Foodservice consultant Andrew Humble FCSI of Humble Arnold was approached by Associate Beatriz Gonzalez from TTSP to work on the project. He says: “Research had been carried out among staff via a questionnaire. They were looking for lighter meals, less meat-and-two-vegetables type dishes – more like a bistro. They wanted to tap into the casual dining trend and appeal to a young age group.” According to Gonzalez, the aim of the project was to “create a space that was flexible; to provide not just a café/self-service restaurant, but an alternative work and meeting place, a Town Hall space to address staff, and a 24-hour refreshment option”. Humble Arnold were commissioned in January 2013 and the café opened the following August. Elior, the inhouse caterers, was brought in to retender for the contract and retained. The café is called DD’s, short for Dowdell’s Diner after Terry Dowdell, Hasbro’s IT and facilities manager.


An open stainless steel kitchen is an important focal point in the new café. As


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Humble explains: “It gives excitement, a buzz, the theatre of food. Everyone likes to see their food being freshly prepared and cooked. Stainless steel is easy to clean. Ten years ago it wasn’t fashionable to be able to see the kitchen, but now people want to see behind the scenes. The openness of the restaurant is a highlight as the previous kitchen was all behind closed doors.” Humble says the facility has been designed so diners move in a clockwise direction to avoid queuing, so there is a chiller cabinet on the left as you enter, with baskets of crisps at the bottom to encourage impulse buys, the deli counter for salads and sandwiches and then the hot counter, where staff can choose their meal. Humble says: “Previously the hot plate unit was hidden from the kitchen. Here the chef can monitor and see what’s been sold and replace it.” To the right is the coffee bar and payment section. To keep things moving, payment is by means of the Systopia cashless payment system, a security card that is charged with money. “It speeds things up, is twice as fast as cash and means there’s only one till,” says Humble.


The feel of the restaurant is light and airy with creative murals and pictures on the walls. Graphics of Monopoly money decorate the hot drinks station. At the back of the restaurant is a small self-help area where staff can obtain a drink and a snack out of office hours.


Equipment installed at DD’s Café includes: Adande unit with a blast chiller option and drawer to keep the cold air in – “with a drawer system, cold air is captured,” says Andrew Humble


i Refrigeration by Foster


Hatco quick thermal salamander with an automatic sensing plate which cuts off, thus saving energy


Capture Jet technology from Halton prevents hot smoky air coming into the kitchen


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A balance of brands informs the kitchen equipment and the design for the café was inspired by the company’s product range


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