Caledonian University

With 17,000 students, catering at Glasgow’s Caledonian University is a huge operation. The brand new main restaurant is part of a major rebuild, The Heart of the Campus project. “It’s called The Heart partly because it’s right in the middle of the campus,” says head of catering, Frank McCabe, “but also because it’s built round leafy courtyards where customers can relax in the fresh air – and because it’s designed to inspire social gatherings.”

At the heart of any catering operation is the kitchen – and the heart of The Heart is built around refrigeration from Williams, alongside cooking equipment from sister company Falcon Foodservice Equipment.

“The restaurant reflects the rich ethnic mix of students here,” says Frank. “It’s essentially a food hall with a wide variety of different offerings, many cooked live – it’s great theatre.

So we have everything from salad bars to sushi counters to soup stations, burgers on the flame grill, pizzas, deli bars, fresh fruit, grab & go merchandisers…”

So much front-of-house catering puts added pressure on refrigeration. “The equipment has to look good, be easy to clean and be ultra-reliable,” says Frank.

“With Williams, we’ve used their equipment for thirty years or more. We know how reliable it is and how good their back-up service is. They’re a very responsive company and they offer a huge range of models. Our old kitchen was compact and it could get very, very hot. The Williams fridges stood up to the lot. Any refrigeration would have had problems coping, but if we had an issue the Williams guys were there right away to fix it.

All the refrigeration is Williams, including uprights, counters, under-counters, coldrooms, freezer rooms and blast chiller freezers.”