Chokdee is the company behind the acclaimed chain of Giggling Squid Thai restaurants, with 21 sites in the Midlands, Norwich and throughout the South East and South West. To support its recent programme of expansion, the business has appointed npower Business Solutions to handle the gas connections needed at its new sites.
“When you run a restaurant where everything is cooked fresh to order, you need to ensure you have a sufficient gas supply,” explains nBS New Connections Team Account Manger Lena O’Toole. “Retail sites often don’t have the necessary capacity, so the infrastructure has to be upgraded and new meters installed to ensure the restaurant can draw on a sufficient level of gas to power its cookers.”
“When you run a restaurant where everything is cooked fresh to order, you need to ensure you have a sufficient gas supply"
This can be complex process, and after handling the relevant contractors on some of its sites directly, Chokdee’s Commercial Director Roman Proskurnya asked nBS to take over the project management for gas connections at its new sites in Warwick, Brentwood and Windsor.
“We are used to working with a range of contractors and keeping each project running smoothly, to time and within budget,” explains Lena. “We also keep our customers updated so they can feel confident everything’s being taken care of.”
Certainly, for Roman, it’s this smooth management that took the pressure of him. “nBS has been our supplier since 2015, so we already have a good relationship with them and trust that they will do a good job,” he says. “With Lena handling the new connections side of things, it was just one less thing for me to worry about and provided a very welcome level of convenience. The team is professional and great at communicating. They understand all the technical aspects of the new connections process and have good relationships with the contractors they use. So we know they will get it done and sort out any problems.”
“nBS has been our supplier since 2015, so we already have a good relationship with them and trust that they will do a good job”
Indeed, at both the Warwick and Windsor sites, the proximity to castles in each town did provide some issues. “At Warwick, the Council was keen for us to delay any work on the gas services under the road until after the peak tourist season, as the restaurant was located on the main Castle Street,” explains Lena. “That meant we had to wait a few months to start, but thankfully that didn’t delay the restaurant opening. And in Windsor, we had to work around road barriers, which had been installed after the Westminster Bridge terrorist attack. But again, we were able to overcome this challenge.”
The nBS New Connections Team works with both independent gas transporters and certified meter asset managers to handle the necessary infrastructure upgrades and meter installations, then arranges the actual gas supply once a site is live. “The first stage is always assessing a site to see what’s necessary, then putting together a plan of works and quotation for the customer to review,” explains Lena. “Once approved, we project manage the job from start to finish – and always aim to minimise any work or disruption to customers.”
“Once approved, we project manage the job from start to finish – and always aim to minimise any work or disruption to customers.”
“We are certainly impressed with what Lena and the New Connections Team has achieved,” says Roman. “We will be asking them to continue helping us with other new restaurant openings in the future.”