Over our history we have been alongside a number of our partners in challenging situations, we are proud to have been able to assist them. These are a few of those stories and examples of the support we can provide.

Hotel and Conference Venues

This is the opening day of a major week-long function that would see thousands of visitors. The caterers are gearing up for action and at 10.15 Serviceline receives the call that the huge flight dishwasher on site is not filling and therefore not working.

This is the machine that provides central washing facilities. There are hundreds of guests expected for lunch. One hour later the Serviceline engineer is on site and running his checks. At 1.30pm the machine is working again just in time to start clearing the huge load from lunch.

Clean plates & glasses stacked - National restaurant chain

The fault was in a door safety switch which was telling the control system the door was not closed properly. It had been knocked out of line through poor cleaning or being accidentally bashed as a basket was removed. In this case, it needed a repair, but these switches are a common cause of faults so it is wise to check that doors are put back in position correctly before making a call.


Chef and waiters carrying food in restaurant kitchen (blurred motion)

Contract Caterer

Serviceline looks after the equipment service and maintenance for contracted catering sites across the UK. Our staff are complimented on their smart appearance and punctuality; they know how to deal with security clearances and access procedures and are fully briefed on the customer’s own management systems.

Here is what happened at one site, over Christmas.



It was THE Christmas lunch, some 700 staff would be eating that lunchtime at a big industrial site. The time was logged at 13.18 when Serviceline received the call that both combis had stopped working.

Lunch had not been served yet, but, this was one Christmas that could not be cancelled. There were 700 workers about to sit down and enjoy the main meal of the year together.

An engineer was alerted on the road and immediately despatched. What he found is that both combis had ‘blown’ their steam elements due to an ‘accumulation of debris’ (limescale) in the pump which feeds the water into the steam generator. This was caused by the water treatment system which had not been looked after properly and was ‘exhausted’. Combis are protected from limescale by calcium treatment units or water filters – but these have a working life determined by local water hardness; the harder the water, the shorter the life.

It took only a few minutes for the engineer to clear the pump and get the combis working again, albeit on half steam – it would have taken too long to shut the combis down and refit new elements.

There is a Christmas card in the file thanking Serviceline; “Without your help our Christmas lunch would have been a disaster!”

National Restaurant and Pub Chains

Part of a major national pub chain and the happy recipient of a brand new kitchen, this new restaurant opening had been well promoted locally and the big boss was arriving to complete the formalities in front of the local press, who would of course, be given a splendid lunch for their trouble.

But the two very shiny, very new big brand name fryers would not switch on. No fryers, no chips and half the starters and mains are off the menu…and the boss looks hungry.

Chef frying in large working restaurant fryer. Large stainless steel counters, stoves and freezers around her.

After an emergency call to Serviceline, with whom the caterer has a service contract, an engineer was despatched ASAP and what he found is that the fryers had ‘tripped out’ – their electrical safety mechanism had been activated and they had shut down.

‘Dead on arrival’ equipment – brand new equipment that refuses to work – is not uncommon, especially as the kit gets more and more electrically sophisticated. It could have been tripped during installation as the power was switched off/on; or more probably, the fryers were tested and left on without any oil. It took the engineer only 10 minutes to re-set the fryers and they worked just fine.

Strawberries & cream at a major sports venue

Major Stadia

It was a beautiful hot summer’s day at a famous tennis tournament. The caterers were gearing themselves up for the mid-afternoon rush for cups of tea, sandwiches and strawberries and cream when….the water boilers stopped working!!

Perhaps it was too much Pimms with lunch or the groundsmen who began their day’s watering too early, but the water tower supplying the complex had been run almost dry by the demands of the toilets, showers, grounds staff and the caterers.

Three Serviceline engineers are based permanently on site for the duration of the tournament, a quite usual scenario for these high profile events. These engineers have every tool and spare part imaginable to hand – because they might need to repair any bit of kit on the site which includes full kitchens and banqueting operations and satellite catering units.

But – quite appropriately for this very traditional venue – it was the good old fashioned kettle that saved the day – well three kettles. Each engineer grabbed a large catering kettle, filled it from the nearest tap and poured the water directly into the boilers.

They kept this routine up until the afternoon rush had been quelled and the customers satisfied. Then, out came the tool boxes. Water boilers have a pre-set safety feature which only allows filling when there is a certain degree of water pressure, but there is a high safety margin built-in and the engineers could adjust the settings to allow filling under a lower, but still safe, water pressure. Word was also sent to the site maintenance staff asking them to restrict, where they could, use of water until the end of play.