Polishing the silver: Hospitality experts create new catering hygiene solution

By Charlotte Winterbourne

New catering solution, Epicure Secure, to provide the hospitality industry with a cost-effective and sustainable cutlery cleaning product that is COVID-secure. 

Created by Iain Shelton and Julian Ebbutt, the innovative cutlery solution utilises the pairs’ combined 60 years’ experience in the hospitality industry to meet the customer demand for increased hygiene precautions. Julian, former managing director of Best Loved Hotels and currently operations director of Alfresco Drinks, and Iain, managing director of The Swinton Estate, have harnessed their extensive knowledge of the luxury end of the hospitality industry to deliver an inspired innovation for hoteliers, restaurants, pubs and catering companies. 

With leading trade association UKHospitality suggesting to remove cutlery from tables as part of its draft guidelines, and a recent survey from Marcus Wareing detailing that 73% of respondents expressed concern for transmission of COVID-19 from surfaces, many organisations are seeking alternative methods for reformulating dining options, including implementing disposable plastic cutlery, a significant U-turn from the proposed single-use plastic ban that was set to outlaw such waste from 2021. Epicure Secure will assist in regaining consumer confidence following the temporary closure of businesses throughout the UK, as recent research from Square Meal found that only 60% of diners wanted to visit a restaurant post-lockdown, providing an additional obstacle for the out of home dining sector. 

Created to help solve these challenges as the hospitality industry prepares to reopen, the self-seal thermal sanitised cutlery pouches were developed to provide guests, customers and delegates with reassurance that their cutlery has been thoroughly sanitised and not touched by others. With disposable cutlery imposing a significant impact on both operational costs and sustainability measures, alongside undermining the customer dining experience, Julian and Iain have sought to deliver a cost-effective solution that tailors to the needs of both the hospitality industry and its customer base. 

The efficient technology has been created to work in partnership with steam and combi ovens, using basic catering equipment for thermal disinfection to ensure a simple and quick sanitation process, and after usage, the cutlery pouches, which are made from sustainable sources, are 100% recyclable. With bespoke branded options available, the pouches are ideal for use in a variety of dining options including hotel room service, restaurant fine dining and event banqueting, and additionally minimise the frequency that waiting staff need to return to tables, easing operations and facilitating social distancing. 

Having only launched on 8 June, the savvy solution has already been adopted at luxury independent hotels throughout the UK ready for their anticipated opening at the end of this month, alongside a number of large regional hotel groups and contract caterers across the country. 

Julian Ebbutt, co-founder of Epicure Secure, said: “A particular challenge we all face is how do we ensure cutlery is safe and is perceived to be safe by the customer, without negatively impacting the guest experience, the environment and the P&L by using pre-packaged disposable cutlery. Our cutlery pouches are ideal for hotelsrestaurants and events venues looking for an affordable solution to post COVID food service and giving their guests re-assurance about the steps they are taking to ensure impeccable hygiene standards. 

For more information on Epicure, visit www.epicuresecure.com.