Ballymena-based Stephens Catering Equipment has been awarded the top accolade at IFEX 2022, Northern Ireland’s leading food, drink, retail and hospitality event, for its smart delivery, Pudu Robotics.
The talk of IFEX as the robots made their way around the Titanic Exhibition Centre bearing meals and even cocktails, the robots lifted the top innovation award for Ireland’s largest and longest established catering and foodservice equipment company.
Stephens Catering was competing against a record number of innovative products from across the food and hospitality sectors in Ireland, with the independent panel of judges including Adrian McLaughlin, ex-general manager of the Merchant Hotel; Colin Neill, CEO of Hospitality Ulster; Glyn Roberts, chief executive of Retail NI; and Michael Henderson of NI Takeaway Association.
Judges were looking for all-round excellence among the exhibitors’ products with Stephens Catering Equipment walking away with gold for both its Pudu Robotics and also its Falcon Fryer Angel.
Showcased for the first time in Northern Ireland, Pudu Delivery Robots are Stephens Catering’s newest innovation to combat staff shortages and salary constraints and help business owners fill critical job vacancies.
By harnessing technologies such as low-speed automated driving, all-electric drive and autonomous motion control, Pudu Robotics is paving the way for the large-scale commercial rollout of service robots around the globe.
“In the post-epidemic era, contactless delivery is becoming increasingly important in the intelligent delivery industry, and we are excited to be leading the way and offering up solutions to the Irish market with the launch of our Pudu Robotics,” said Paul Caves, director of Stephens Catering Equipment.
“The robots concentrate on delivering customer meals, thereby affording the staff more time to focus on customer engagement and satisfaction. In addition, the robots will help businesses run at maximum capacity.”
“It was great to be back at IFEX again, showcasing what we have on offer and meeting with both new and existing customers. With hundreds of products and business solutions all under one roof, we are thrilled to have been awarded two gold awards in the Innovation Awards – one for our Pudu Robotics and one for our Falcon Fryer Angel - helping to showcase both products on a national stage.”