One of the UK’s leading, award-winning Sri Lankan restaurant chains, The Coconut Tree, is taking the industry by storm and with the help of Target Catering Equipment has just opened its fifth restaurant within three years.
It all started with a group of friends living in London and Cheltenham coming together with a vision to change their lifestyle. In 2016, their dreams were about to become a reality and it didn’t take long for the group to relocate and set up in a place they were to call home above a small pub in the backstreets of Cheltenham.
Once relocated, they realised they were sitting on something with potential and sought permission to lease the bar and kitchen of 59 St Paul’s Road, Cheltenham. After a quick renovation, The Coconut Tree was born.
It became clear after being opened and operational for a short time that the outdated and disorganised gas-powered kitchen needed upgrading in order to keep up with demands and make a safer, more comfortable working environment. Through recommendation from a friend, The Coconut Tree contacted local catering equipment manufacturer and supplier Target Catering Equipment for help.
Initially seeking advice on how to improve ventilation in the gas fired kitchen, Target recommended that they should consider switching to induction cooking technology due to its benefits of use within a small kitchen space and minimal extraction requirements.
Following trials of the equipment at Target’s demonstration kitchen, the advice was taken on board and with the money saved on not having to install a gas safety compliant ventilation system, funds became available to invest in other equipment needed for the kitchen, allowing for a complete kitchen overhaul.
The Coconut Tree engaged Target as commercial kitchen designers and equipment manufacturers to upgrade the entire kitchen, installing the latest energy saving induction wok technology along with bespoke fabricated items, specifically designed and manufactured to meet the restaurant’s unique requirements and ensure customers would be treated to only the very best Asian cuisine.
Following the success of the Cheltenham restaurant, the team of friends decided to expand their venture by opening a restaurant in Oxford and two further restaurants in Bristol, each with the help and guidance of Target to design layouts, manufacture bespoke stainless steel equipment and supply the latest kitchen equipment.
At the end of June 2019, The Coconut Tree was on schedule to open its fifth restaurant in Cardiff, all within three years of opening its first.
The team at Target, Gloucester-based family-run business that has been providing bespoke catering equipment to the foodservice industry for over 30 years, installed a range of modular equipment including wok induction hobs, ovens and grills, helping the chefs to serve up the authenticity of its renowned Sri Lankan tapas style dishes.
Rodrigo Rashinthe, Operations Director for The Coconut Tree, said; “Following a recommendation from a friend, we decided Target Catering Equipment were the perfect choice to help design our new, sustainable kitchen spaces across our chain.
“Our restaurants were getting busier and busier so we needed equipment that could cope with the growing demands of the business. The Target team offered a friendly, knowledgeable service and we couldn’t rate them highly enough for their exceptional induction equipment.”
The Coconut Tree prides itself on bringing Sri Lankan street food to the UK, where guests can experience an explosion of flavours in its wide range of vegetables, meats, fish and its famous fiery Cocotails.
Since opening, the chain has won several nationwide awards including; The Observer’s ‘Best Value Eats South West 2018 RU’, So Glos’ ‘Best Restaurant in Gloucestershire 2018’, and ‘Best New Business’ in the Bristol Life Awards 19/20, to name just a few.
Rodrigo added; “The equipment has allowed us to provide a better quality of service to our customers and our chefs are finding the innovative catering equipment technology a lot easier and safer to use.”
Target Catering Equipment is widely known for its commercial induction ranges, which have been recognised as highly sustainable products by industry body CESA/FCSI and the Carbon Trust. The company also specialises in designing sustainable commercial kitchens including kitchen ventilation systems, assisting customers with overcoming difficult kitchen ventilation and layout issues.
David Pedrette, Managing Director of Target Catering Equipment, said; “We’re delighted Rodrigo and all the team at The Coconut Tree are enjoying our equipment as much as their customers enjoy their tasty Sri Lankan dishes! We hope they continue to enjoy the many benefits of sustainable induction equipment in the many years of successful business to come.”