Brakes Catering Equipment

Usually use Nisbets Next Day Catering Equipment which I first started using when a student chef at Canterbury College. Saw quite a few items that I liked on Brakes Catering Equipment

Firstly, the cutest miniature galvanised steel dustbin with lid from Artesà, which is designed for table service – chips, for example. My intention is to use this as a receptacle for used teabags. I’m not worried about tea stains, having discovered that salt removes them like magic. Artesà galvanised mini dustbin

Next product is a more prosaic charcoal-coloured plastic condiments tray. If it can corral ketchup and mustard, it can do the same for bottles of organic Extra Virgin olive oil and jars of dripping, goose fat and organic ghee. Plus, it was on offer, with 30% off. Multi-purpose condiment server

T & G Woodware has been trading out of Bristol since 1975 and you’ll find their products all over. I ordered their T & G Woodware whitewashed acacia wood table caddy with 4 compartments to solve the Working Class v Middle Class table clash.

My husband is proudly working class even though he has postgrad and a whole string of letters after his name. To him and his parents, condiments belong on the table, permanently. To me, the middle class ex-grammar school kid and my parents, condiments belong in the larder and fridge and must be gathered for each meal.

The table caddy is a compromise. I can whisk it off the table after we eat and he can plonk it back before meals. The table caddy was also on offer, saving 27%.

My beloved complains about the freezer being cold. I know, right ?  Spotted a pair of silver quilted heat/freezer mitts, which are non-stick coated and rinseable. Should solve the cold hands problem instantly. Silver heat/freezer mitts

Lastly, I have been looking for wooden salt and pepper mills for simply ages. We have Cole & Mason acrylic ones, which must be turned upside down to use. Yes, you can see how much salt and pepper you use, but the ground salt and pepper ends up like dust, clinging to the sides of the inverted ‘chute’ and doesn’t look good. Who has time to keep cleaning their salt and pepper mills ? Bad design.

Black wooden Cole & Mason salt and pepper mills
Salt mill
Pepper mill

Ordered on 17 July. Got confirmation of order and account.. and then nothing. Last week, talked to the friendly and unflappable Jill. Despite an IT failure, she managed to ascertain that the Cole & Mason mills were out of stock until September. This had delayed the order. An email would have been good, Brakes.

Called today as the major part of my order (£78.74 including VAT) still hadn’t turned up. Jill told me that I’m on credit stop (eh? Brakes had my debit card number since 17 July). I was put on hold briefly, then she told me that the order has been dispatched and will be definitely arriving tomorrow, Wednesday 1st August. Not had an email from Brakes or a carrier about this though.

May well just cancel the mills and try Nisbets. #Unimpressed despite Jill’s helpfulness.

Update1:Box arrived this morning (01/08/18) didn’t look big enough. Sure enough, just the wooden table caddy, one of two mitts and a supposedly out of stock Cole and Mason black wooden salt mill.
Update2: Literally, as I finished unpacking the box, Unflappable Jill called to check that I had received the order. Nope, not all of it. Told her that I wasn’t impressed with Brakes. She told me that she would go pull my original web order.
Update3: Rebecca called later, confessed to being the miscreant and promised that the rest of my order would arrive before 1200 Thursday 02/08/18. Not holding my breath.

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T & G Woodware whitewashed acacia wood table caddy with 4 compartments, Brakes Catering Equipment Copyright 2018 Théroigne S B G Russell

The kitchen was messy. The Husband had said that he would washup last night and didn’t. So used the sitting room to photograph the table caddy. Very pleased with the table caddy. It will be easy to whisk on/off the kitchen table or take into the garden. I like the texture and it feels substantial.

The ridged white salt pot for boiled eggs, is Wedgwood. #OxfamFind. To my surprise, the HP Sauce label doesn’t state that it should be stored in the fridge.

While I had the Kindle handy (who am I kidding, always have one of them handy) took a photo of the Cole & Mason Inverta acrylic pepper mill.

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Cole and Mason acrylic pepper mill Copyright 2018 Théroigne S B G Russell

This is the side view, to better show off the design. Even after wiping out with dry kitchen paper, there’s pepper dust in both peppercorn holding area and mill.

The Brakes Saga continues..

Update4: Box arrived this morning before 10:00 and was incomplete. Called Brakes yet again (have spoken to Jill, Rebecca, Paul and Sandra now). Evidently the Cole & Mason black peppermill is out of stock until September. Cancelled the back order, hope this means it gets refunded.

The black plastic condiment server has a plastic grid bottom. Had this been mentioned on the website, wouldn’t have bought it.

The Artesà galvanised miniature dustbin is incredibly cute.

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Artesà galvanised miniature dustbin, Brakes Catering Equipment Photo Copyright 2018 Théroigne S B G Russell

The freezer mitt is again described inaccurately on the website and comes as a single mitt, not a pair. Brakes is going to send me one free of charge, but it’s on order and won’t be available until 10 August.

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Chefware freezer mitt, Brakes Catering Equipment. Photo copyright 2018 Théroigne S B G Russell

As a college-trained ex-chef and as someone who worked in retail mail order, Brakes seems incredibly inefficient to me. The website should be accurate, stock levels should be updated, customers kept informed and products which are in stock should be sent together, not in three boxes.

On the plus side, the staff are friendly and they did try to make the situation better by refunding on the salt mill and will send another freezer mitt.

Cole & Mason had the pepper mill in stock and it was 12.99 including VAT whereas the Brakes Catering Equipment price was £13.10 + VAT.

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Cole & Mason ‘Oxford’ black lacquered salt mill, Brakes Catering Equipment. Photo copyright 2018 Théroigne S B G Russell

Based on my first experience of using Brakes Catering Equipment I have to say that I wouldn’t use them again. If Brakes wants to compete with the uber-efficient Nisbets, their game gotta be UPPED !

Update5: Lucy, the national sales coordinator, responded to my website contact form and told me that the sales team should have contacted me after my order was placed. My comments are being passed on to marketing and warehouse as well.

Good, but the idea is not to make the mistakes in the first place. I’m just glad I can draw a line under this now.

Update6: 14.08.18 Still missing a freezer mitt, but refund of over £30 made. 

 

 

 

 

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