At quick glance, tools used at concessionary stalls might seem like something one can buy at an electrical shop compared to large equipment usually seen in commercial food and beverage establishments. The perception isn’t actually quite far off, considering how Roller Grill began in its business of manufacturing products that resonate with concession owners.
It was started in 1947, under the name “S.O.D.I.R” (Société de Développement de l’Infrarouge = Company for the Development of Infrared Technology). Originally, the company was making equipment for the treatment of a prestigious French Champagne. This was during the fifties and it then worked on infrared technology applied for household cooking equipment such as ovens or rotisseries. This business module sustained S.O.D.I.R. for almost 40 years until one Mr. Jean-Pierre Ageorges bought the company in 1986. Coming in with experience in the household equipment division of the market, he foresaw difficulty for the company to grow banking on the same method as the market in Europe was sluggish with low margin possibilities for manufacturers. With an intention of keeping the essence of the company, he decided to diversify and stepped into making equipment that can handle the business-level capacities. A new company name followed and soon Roller Grill was catering to concession needs with toasters, multifunction ovens, fryers, bain-maries, ventilated heated and refrigerated displays, contact-grills, griddle plates, crepe machines, waffle irons, salamanders, smokers, kebab & gyros grills, rotisseries and refrigerating fountains.
SETTING ITSELF APART
The industry of manufacturing cooking equipment was already vibrant in the 80s, with many producers in the market. It was apparent to Roller Grill’s president that it needed to do something else in order to succeed and it began with in-depth studies involving the Research & Development (R&D) and the company’s main customers. The discussions would be about the possibility of how new products would fare amidst users. An example of its focused expertise and machines is being able to meet the specific demand of a large fast-food chain and a bakery chain. The result? Panini XL (an extra-large contactgrill that toasts 9 hamburgers or 5 panini simultaneously) and conveyor oven CT 3000 (infrared opened oven to cook warm sandwiches and snacks in quick time). And today, Roller Grill has established itself as a leader in the sector of manufacturing the widest range of catering and concession equipment with its brand found in more than 100 countries across 5 continents; committing to produce 3-4 new lines of product each year. The years of hard work has brought the company to a higher level – customising.
Being able to offer customers this service requires in-depth understanding of the business’ need, the situation of its location and ability to help the customer understand whether their idea of an equipment will work or otherwise.
MADE ONLY IN FRANCE; GOING OUT INTO THE WORLD
Based in Bonneval, France (2 hours in southwest of Paris) Roller Grill manufactures out of two factories; even building its own stainless steel parts to ensure that every part of the process passes their stringent measures. Working smart also means utilising advancements and all its production is automated for higher productivity and improved standards of consistency; giving its users a satisfactory experience. To keep up, the company sees it important to invest in both hardware and software each year; whether laser machines, automatic machines, punching machines with automated loading or computing systems for 3D concepts. The company runs with about 150 personnel and 130 of them are in charge of various production divisions; segmented according to type of equipment to be made. Remaining its headquarters in one place does not make it any less visible with over 200 authorised importers or distributors who are responsible for all-round service to the customer; from point-of-sale to after-sales. And there are also over 20 OEM’s for equipment manufactured by Roller Grill. Quality is nonnegotiable but it does not provide the trust to users if only the company knows it, hence products meet the highest standards in terms of hygiene and security with certifications of CE Gas and Electric, National Sanitation Foundation (NSF), Underwriters Laboratories (UL) for safety in design, electrical, materials, components and manufacturing. It is also compliant on responsible manufacturing according to DEEE 2002/95/ CE directive on restricted use of certain substances in electrical and electronic equipment.
The foodservice industry shows no sign of slowing down and so is Roller Grill, heading into the near future aiming to extend its distribution network in each country as 70% of its revenue comes from export. Roller Grill is also aware of the prominence that the Internet platform can bring and is refreshing its company website to be more informative and engaging its customers through CRM (Customer Relationship Management). Expect to connect with the company on social media like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Google+ etc. as well as newsletters and contests with incentives or gifts.
Quick-served food and grab-and-go eating are concepts that are not new and are the backbone of many cultures. Equipment like Roller Grill’s serves to bridge a gap in terms of production efficiency and perhaps, a modern sense of food safety, seeing the growth of concessionary stands in urban malls. It is also an ideal vehicle for people inspired to get into food business, to begin with a smaller venture by getting on the concession wagon. From a revolution of the 1940s; the infrared technology has paved the way to where Roller Grill stands today.
ROLLER GRILL INTERNATIONAL
16, rue Saint-Gilles
28800 Bonneval (France)
Phone : +33 (0)2 37 44 67 67
Fax : +33 (0)2 37 96 20 09
Web : www.roller-grill.com