Project Information

Hilton Luxury Brands
Main Contractor:
Gratte Brothers
Hotel / Leisure
10 Months
Design & Delivery of Foodservice Facilities

Initial Observations

Gratte Brothers first needed to complete a full asset register of each piece of equipment and fabrication. To fully appreciate how our clients use the space, their pain points and areas for improvement, we then spent hours with the team on site. During this time, we observed how both The Blue Boar Pub (the Conrad’s ‘contemporary take on proper London pub favourites’), and The Pem operated from preparation through to delivery of their dishes.

It was then over to Gratte Brothers’ in-house design team to produce an open spatial plan reflecting the current site, inclusive of pinch points, columns as well as access and egress. Whilst this was taking place, numerous workshops were undertaken with the client team to discuss wants, needs, current challenges and initial recommendations and plans, based on Gratte Brothers’ extensive experience.

One of the biggest pinch points noted during the initial observation period was the inefficiency caused by the two main restaurants, The Blue Boar Pub and The Pem operating out of a single kitchen. To address this, Gratte Brothers’ design vitally separated the once single kitchen into two distinct areas, this was in addition to a large investment in upgrading the equipment. By creating two kitchens out of the existing floorplate, the final design gave greater efficiency and flexibility to the individual teams. Plus, through carefully planned and smart space saving, the two new kitchens in fact made the footprint feel larger.

Innovation & Efficiency

The original kitchen at the Conrad had been there for fourteen years. In that time, technology has of course made vast improvements to the potential output of a commercial kitchen space. So, our Foodservice Solutions team was keen to harness the opportunity to integrate innovative solutions into the new design, rather than simply providing like-for-like replacements of original equipment. Key to Gratte Brothers’ approach is keeping its finger on the pulse of the industry, which of course means being aware of the latest available technology and innovations. In line with this, we were keen to introduce the Conrad early on in the project to some of the latest products on the market – allowing them to see how greater efficiency in their operations could be achieved.

One of the products introduced was the MKN FlexiChef. This was selected for The Blue Boar Pub and has since been referred to as a ‘god-send’ by Head Chef, Gilbert Genelazo, who is now able to braise a batch of lamb within 30 minutes rather than the three to four hours he was accustomed to. The FlexiChef is a multi-award-winning piece of equipment that lets chefs fry, steam, boil, deep fry, high speed cook or sous vide cook, all in one appliance – significantly boosting productivity in the kitchen.

Through collaboration between Gratte Brothers, the Conrad and MKN, a preferred design for the new facilities was agreed in March 2023 and supported by a full set of realistic walk-throughs as well as a detailed line-by-line quotation. These walk throughs allowed the team at the Conrad to envisage and confidently agree the design in practice before it became a reality.


Waste management and sustainability were fundamental pillars of this project. When Gratte Brothers | Foodservice Solutions first surveyed the original kitchen, which included both electric and gas appliances, they recognised the opportunity to make a change! A fully electric kitchen was therefore chosen in favour of gas and the team worked with circular economy specialists, RAMCO to repurpose all the original equipment to ensure that nothing was wasted.

In-house Capabilities

On a project as complex as this, it’s common to have a number of independent stakeholders and trades involved. However, on this occasion the client was keen to place just one order for the works. We were only too happy to deliver this, so, we reached out to one of our sister companies within Gratte Brothers Group: Gratte Brothers Building Services Maintenance Limited (GBBSM). GBBSM provided the full electrical upgrade needed to bring the kitchen to life.

This involved a full electrical strip back and fit out of power throughout the new kitchen. As a result, Gratte Brothers was able to provide a truly turnkey package to the Conrad within a 12-week on-site programme, including:

  • Strip-out of the existing kitchen
  • New walls
  • New ceilings
  • Full electrical upgrade
  • Design
  • Bespoke fabrication
  • Installation and commissioning of the catering equipment

Lasting Impression

In total, three Masterline cooking blocks were installed by Gratte Brothers along with a FlexiChef multifunctional appliance, two FlexiCombi combi steamers and two SpaceCombi combi steamers, all from the MKN range and all configured to enable energy optimisation using the Sicotronic system.

The investment made in the catering facilities will not only improve the guest experience, but will also improve the experience of those working behind the scenes at the hotel. The teams at both The Blue Boar Pub and The Pem have spoken of their delight working in the new environment. A Senior Sous Chef commented that the new space is a “more spacious, brighter and cooler environment, [which] allows for greater efficiency as well as creativity and most importantly, delivers greater team morale.”

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