top of page

Rational Takes Service “To the Next Level” at Oakman Inns

ConnectedCooking proves to be huge bonus for busy pub, restaurant and hotel group.

Oakman Inns is a pub/restaurant group that has been operating since 2007, bringing back some of the traditional values of hospitality, while aiming to be at the forefront of the industry.

Its consumer demographic varies by site and across the group. Oakman Group is constantly looking to evolve its brand and ensure it offers great value for money and excellent choice to meet different customer’s needs.

Oakman Inns aims to grow and nurture a healthy profitable and sustainable business that will delight their guests and associates by building on its principles of Family, Honesty, Loyalty, Partnership, Friendship and Quality.

Managing a business that covers such diverse locations is a complex task, so picking reliable equipment is vital. Even the most reliable equipment will need a helping hand occasionally, which is why Oakman Inns signed a direct service and maintenance contract with Rational in September 2020.

“Managing equipment is very challenging, so we always carefully consider the service contracts first,” says Armend Aljo, Oakman Inns’ procurement manager. “For me, getting equipment from a manufacturer that offers service and maintenance on its products is ideal, as you know the engineers will be specifically trained on it, you’ll always be getting genuine spare parts and so on. So, when Rational started offering service and maintenance contracts we leapt at the chance.”

Rational equipment has been used in Oakman Inns’ since the beginning. “There was never any question about it,” explains Armend. “Rational has become synonymous with combi steamers ovens. I’m often talking to chefs in other businesses who talk about their ‘Rational’ – and it turns out to be another manufacturer’s combi oven! That only happens with the very best equipment, and Rational produces arguably the best combi ovens in the world.”

“When Rational approached us about its new service and maintenance packages, I knew immediately that the service would be at the same level of quality as the equipment, and I haven’t been proven wrong,” says Armend. RATIONAL’s maintenance contracts aim to provide maximum availability and operational safety. Regular planned maintenance reduces the probability of unplanned downtime to a minimum, with inspections scheduled according to each client’s availability. This allows for long term planning while retaining the flexibility to adjust to changing circumstances.

“From the word go, the service from Rational has been outstanding. Before we signed the contract, RATIONAL’s engineers visited every site, each piece of equipment was surveyed and a full report detailing everything that needed to be done was made.” After signing the contract, every issue on this list was addressed. “With contracts like this, knowing that you’re starting from the best possible position, gave us enormous peace of mind,” says Armend. “And the fact that Rational is the only manufacturer offers remote monitoring of all machines at once, we know that it will be easy to keep them operating at peak efficiency.”

This remote monitoring is a key part of RATIONAL’s maintenance strategy. This is achieved via the ConnectedCooking software platform. A dedicated team monitors Oakman’s Rational cooking systems across the entire estate, allowing them to instantly identify issues and assign accredited service partners to fix them before they cause noticeable disruptions.

“ConnectedCooking takes most of the guesswork out of reporting issues that need addressing,” says Armend. “In fact, it works so quickly and accurately that we often don’t need to call out engineers because they’re aware of it before we are!”

This level of service is written into RATIONAL’s DNA. “Building a relationship with our kitchen operators service to customers helps us to help chefs keep doing what they do best, without having to worry about their equipment,” says Alex Burley, Rational service contracts administrator.

With the importance of RATIONAL systems to modern kitchens, anything that reduces downtime is an important benefit. “At most Oakman locations, the Rational cooking system will get switched on first thing in the morning, and get used non-stop until we close,” says Armend. “Most kitchens can cope if any other piece of equipment breaks down, but if the Rational goes then everything becomes a lot more difficult!

Rational offers its Service Packages direct to operators. For a fixed monthly fee, the customer is entitled to all the services of the selected package. There are three different packages on offer to suit various requirements. The basic package guarantees operational reliability, while the Plus package offers more regular service visits. The Premium package provides complete coverage to the operator, including the replacement of parts subject to heavy wear and full breakdown cover, as well as a 7-days a week Service Hotline.

Over 1,000 certified Service Partners work for Rational around the world and not only provide comprehensive support on site, but can also advise customers on which Service Package is the right one for their establishment..

Despite the heavy use, the Rational cooking systems are easily able to handle the tasks demanded of them. “They always perform well, and we very rarely have any issues at all,” says Armend. “But knowing that anything that happens to them will get noticed and fixed frictionlessly takes them to the next level.”

For information and brochures, or to find out about which service and maintenance package is right for you call +44 (0)1582 748 474, freephone 0800 389 2944 or email

Share this article on LinkedIn or Twitter
Featured Posts
Recent Posts
bottom of page