Alpha – a synonym for “first”, “beginning” or numerically “one” is a fitting name for a company specialising in sourcing products and outfitting of facilities for the hospitality and catering industries. Alpha creates the “engine room” needed to run a successful commercial food establishment. This focus is essential because any concept of food good enough to draw customers to the door must be sufficiently backed by a team of chefs who can be the most or least efficient depending on the layout and equipment used.
John Peikos opened up the doors of Alpha in 1975 providing shopfitting and joinery fit out services. With his skills and capitalising on the food trend in Australia at that time, Alpha soon became an in-demand company to fabricate takeaway food stores. With growth the company took on kitchen consulting and design services. Working with clients from the point of them sharing their dream restaurant plans with Alpha, to completion, the process includes design and layout plans, type of equipment that befits the establishment and having a certain level of flexibility in case the need to adjust crops up in the future. In the early 1980s, Alpha opened a retail store for commercial kitchenware and cookware while an on-site factory manufacturing stainless steel benches and custom refrigeration followed soon after. By 2003, Alpha’s total facilities space measures at 3600 sq meters from the previous 1200 sq meters.
Today, Alpha is managed by John’s son, Terry. Alpha has built a strong reputation as one of Sydney’s top premier shop fitting suppliers with clients that include many Australia’s leading restaurants, clubs, cafes, casinos, hotels, take-away food outlets, bakeries’, butchers’ and schools. By providing outstanding personalised service from design to completion at a competitive price, Alpha has earned the respect of many customers, who return time and time again.
Terry has ensured the company has moved with the times by setting in place the right team and an online purchase facility to reach out to more clients looking for a modular solution in a convenient and efficient way. Alpha’s skilled staff provide professional advice and technical assistance to all their customers, involving all aspects of equipment, installation and their use.
Online shopping is now a common thing to do due to accessibility and convenience, with immense popularity in Australia. Shopping for a refrigerator from a website might not cross the minds of an Asian restaurant owner especially when most kitchens are still built-to-fit but Terry believes that it is only a matter of time until online shopping for equipment gets noticed and just like Australia, shops will adapt to the modular concept.
A legitimate concern about this purchase method would be delivery to be ready for use; equipment is often bulky or heavy and might require installation work on-site and operations training. The traditional way has customers visiting an equipment showroom and demonstrating the equipment before committing but Terry believes that this approach will slowly cease.
Most online sellers in its operating country are referred to as box movers which service only extends to shipment to the customers’ door and it is then the customer’s responsibility to unload the goods from the truck and arrange installation. This is due to the wide geographical coverage that Alpha covers and might not have installation services in every area although customers can make prior arrangements for Alpha’s team to do the installation.
UNDERSTANDING ITS ECONOMY
A globally renowned destination known for its melting pot of gastronomy, Australia brims with opportunities for food businesses. It is not only the tourists that are coming but its residents are also savvy about eating out and Terry says that it is a regular activity especially in the warmer months around the festive seasons.
As a country of diversity, many new tastes and ideas have been introduced with great success although there is still a downside. Establishments in the hospitality and foodservice industries have one with the highest mortality rate in the world. How does Alpha try to keep its clients from falling into the statistic? Looking beyond flavours and taste factor, poor equipment decisions are and have been a factor for many businesses that did not work out.
Realising that, Alpha believes in the importance of having greater understanding of different cultural requirements and the equipment they would most likely use to achieve maximum productivity. With extensive knowledge of the industry they have an extremely good relationship with top manufacturers, and their buying power ensures that they can offer the most competitive of prices.
In a bigger picture of equipment, Alpha imports directly into its warehouses and because of the country’s strict regulations, it takes an extra step of researching if the said equipment meets the standards and it also looks for manufacturers familiar with Australian standards. Should they consider a new supplier; the sample will be tested and reviewed before making purchases and its stringent procedure includes random inspection of all items that comes through its doors.
Carrying various brands of carefully selected items, Alpha’s products encompass cooking, beverage, preparation, heating, refrigeration, warewashing, storage and the largest range of modular stainless steel benches to cater for all needs. Being a company in Australia’s vibrant food and beverage industry, Alpha plans to expand its imported range of products alongside geographical coverage and go into other states of Australia aiming to supply to a larger network of customers.
In terms of international exposure, a chance meeting with a fellow industry partner sparked the idea for Alpha to grow its brand. Given that Singapore is an open and receptive market to food and beverage, Alpha Catering Equipment Singapore, as a separate entity provides similar services based on their local knowledge of trends, working style and architectural limitations. This joint venture is opening doors for Terry to explore the market of knockdown commercial stainless steel furniture named ALPHALINE. Designed and assembled in Alpha’s Australia plant, these knockdown furniture offers a more viable, faster and economical solution for Singapore companies to fit out a restaurant yet circumventing the costly rentals. Alpha Singapore was incorporated in 2013 as a project company, headed by Frankie Lee and CH Lee and although the company is relatively new, it has a combined industry experience of more than 15 years. Currently concentrating on developing their name in the industry, Alpha Singapore has completed numerous restaurants in Singapore, as well as a refurbishment project of a central kitchen in a 5-star hotel.
From the beginning, Alpha Australia has stayed on its course of providing shop fitting solutions for food industry establishments. The future looks bright in its venture into international territory providing solid backing to a team of local industry professionals in Alpha Singapore - leveraging its outstanding reputation for quality products, service and accumulation of nearly 40 years of industry experience.
Alpha Catering Equipment Pty Ltd
Showroom and office
2060 – 2062 Castlereagh, Road, Penrith NSW 2750.
Tel: 02 4732 1830 Fax: 02 4731 2099
Alpha Catering Equipment Pte Ltd
18 Boon Lay Way, #08-98 Tradehub 21, Singapore 609966.
Tel: +65 6307 9073 Fax: +65 6826 4282