TDL-Table lighting and more

Posted on Business Profile Apr 2015 - by Publisher
TDL-Table lighting and more

We all know how important tableware can be in the hospitality business. It’s what the customers will first set their eyes on when they are being seated so those first impressions – whether it’s some kind of lighting, glassware, china or even cutlery – will make a lasting impression and say much about your level of customer care.


Tableware Distribution Ltd, based in Blackwell, near Shipston on Stour, Warwickshire, has fast become a name to reckon with when it comes to tableware products. Originally formed in 2007 to import and sell fuel cell lamps from Candola of Austria to UK catering distributors, in 2013 the company acquired the goodwill of Caterstyle Ltd. The latter being a catering distributor majoring in the sale of table lighting products including Candola and similar lamps from Karl Sauer and Heliotron, both of Germany. In addition there was a considerable amount of chafing fuel business.


“Caterstyle had expanded into other tableware products,” says company owner Richard Hogg, “to maximise the potential of its customer base and as a result of this they were approached by the then owner of Little Red Hen to acquire their stock and customer base.”    


Other than dealing with all the main suppliers of china, glass and cutlery, the company does have certain niche market products.


“In terms of table lighting,” adds Hogg, “we specialise in fuel cell lamps an area in which there is very little competition. The lamps use fuel cells that have a deco sleeve over them. The advantage of this system is that whilst having a naked flame they result in no messy wax and importantly safety as the fuel itself is non-flammable and will only burn in conjunction with the wick and the flame is extinguished if accidentally knocked over.


The company has to adapt to what the market requires and is now able to offer battery candles that are almost indistinguishable from real candles due to the design incorporating a moving flame. We try and work with our customers to offer a highly personal service and are able to source most requirements due to our extensive knowledge of the catering supply business acquired after 23 years in the business.”


Hogg states that since 2007, as the economy has largely been in recession, the notable change has been on the prices that restaurant customers are willing to pay. This results in him trying to find products for customers that are well priced but offer quality and durability.


“With the Indian restaurant sector,” says Hogg, “the requirements are fairly standard, but there is always a need for chutney trays and rice bowls. I’ve also noticed that increasingly so, there is a demand for stylish serving platters and generally more contemporary styles. Table lighting still dominates in the Indian restaurant sector. Generally the owners prefer the one stop option so in this sector we sell tableware products from across the board.”

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