KK Fine Foods is Wetherspoon’s reigning Innovative Supplier of the Year, thanks to its meticulousness in research to back up its food development, studying market trends to make sure that its dishes are exactly what people want to eat.
That’s exemplified by its beef & pancetta lasagne which, itself, won gold at last year’s British Frozen Food Federation Awards. It’s joined on Wetherspoon menus by KK’s vegetable & beef chilli (plus a shredded beef version made with Devils Backbone beer), vegetarian roast and macaroni and cheese for Scottish pubs.
The company began in the mid 1980s by supplying local pubs and cafés with vegetarian dishes made by Leyla Edwards in her home kitchen. She’s still CEO of a business which has steadily grown to employ more than 200 people today – and her son, Samir, is managing director.
Being a family firm makes ‘a huge difference’. He says: “Families have got passion and energy; they love the business; it’s their baby. Everyone who works here engages with that.”
Quality is the company mantra and starts with looking after KK’s loyal staff, making sure that they are well trained and understand the business, and also by developing solid relationships with the company’s own suppliers. Rather than chasing the lowest prices, reliability and consistency are key to making sure that its dishes meet the high standards demanded by Wetherspoon.
Suppliers are audited and accredited for their own processes and sustainability, and KK can trace the meat it uses right back to the ear-tag identification on the animal itself.