Lincat said it remains hopeful of meeting its December production targets despite having to contend with a Covid outbreak at England’s largest catering equipment factory.
More than 30 employees based at its plant on the outskirts of Lincoln are currently in isolation after testing positive for the virus, around 13% of its 230-strong UK workforce.
With supply chain pressures already giving manufacturing businesses enough to worry about in the current climate, the prospect of losing a significant number of production staff for a temporary period poses an additional challenge for the business.
But Lincat managing director, Jon White, said he is confident that the situation won’t impact the volume of equipment it expects to make in the coming weeks.
“We are hopeful that we have the outbreak contained and that we will be able to output the forecasted £4m of equipment in December,” he said.
Mr White stressed that the welfare of Lincat employees was its main priority right now and said the business was taking further measures to protect staff.
Despite the outbreak, the company’s Covid safety protocol had been praised by the HSE on previous inspections. This included compulsory wearing of face masks and a dedicated cleaning regime of all touchpoints multiple times a day.
Mr White added: “We are thankful for the support of the Health Protection team at Lincolnshire County Council. All employees who can are now working from home. We have put in place segregated working teams in our manufacturing plant and are providing LFTs to these staff to enable them to test daily. Our field sales team who work remotely remain unaffected by the situation at Lincat.”
More than 2,000 different products are built at Lincat’s factory, including equipment from IMC, Britannia and FriFri. The plant operates on a 24-hour basis and has received investment from parent Middleby that has allowed it to modernise and install state-of-the-art machinery.
Products made at the site helped Lincat generate global sales of £34m last year. It has sufficient capacity to support future revenue growth given that prior to the pandemic it recorded a turnover of more than £45m.