Creams was founded in 2008 and is the UK’s number one dessert parlour with locations stretching from Glasgow to Brighton. With a tempting menu that includes a variety of indulgent sweet treats including Waffles, Sundaes, Cookie Doughs, Crepes and Freak Shakes, Creams has quickly become a dessert devotees dream. A wide selection of 24 Gelato and Sorbet flavours, plus a range of special toppings and sauces also means that customers can customise and create their own unique desserts with whatever flavour combinations they so wish
At the height of the 2020 lockdown, franchisee, AA Food Concepts, took the brave decision to open a new Creams in the heart of Doncaster, focusing purely on click and collect and home delivery orders. Not only was this a gamble for AA Food Concepts, it also signified what would be the first dark kitchen in the Creams estate.
As Nisar Hussain, Operations Director at AA Food Concepts explains, such a concept meant a new way of working both front, as well as back of house:
“In comparison to a typical Creams restaurant, space is at even more of a premium in our Doncaster kitchen and we ended up having to fit the same amount equipment in half the space which was no easy task. We need to be really organised to work efficiently to maximise our productivity – we needed more order.
“We got in touch with a national dealer, General Catering who we have worked with previously and they helped us to come up with the design and concept for the kitchen. As part of this, General Catering introduced us to Jestic Foodservice Solutions who recommended we try the Metro SmartLever system.”
SmartLever’s cantilevered design provides unobstructed access to shelves which can mean 30-50% more storage capacity versus traditional four post shelving. SmartLever allows operators like Creams to configure workstations for maximum productivity, as Nisar explains:
“The SmartLever system is a simple and effective storage and workstation solution consisting of a back grid, a work surface, shelves plus baskets and a variety of storage and organisation accessories which can be put where you need to suit the height of each staff member and whatever the preparation task. The flexibility it brings is just amazing.”
“Thanks to the SmartLever system we have been better able to define the areas for each menu product type – so we have a section for beverages, one for waffles and the crepes, and another for the cookie dough. With the ability to store products and packaging at different heights to suit individual stations it has made it really easy for us to prepare orders even during the busiest periods. SmartLever is an absolutely fantastic way of maximising the space in our kitchen, as we can easily move the shelves and baskets to respond to the needs of our business when new products come on board”.
Having a single integrated system for workstations and storage was also a big plus for Nisar:
“I’ve had other fast food businesses with different storage equipment in from different suppliers and it was always like Lego in as much as we were trying to make different bits fit together. However, with the Metro SmartLever system we’ve got all the pieces from one place and it helps us to bring order to the chaos.”
Nisar also reflected on how quick and easy SmartLever is to set up:
“The Metro SmartLever system is just so easy to install. It arrived flat packed and in a few hours the kitchen was ready. If I can do it, any one can do it!