Manchester Grammar School kitchen gets into hot water – thanks to new warewasher

High volume Winterhalter flight machine works fast and saves energy, despite cold-water fill

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Manchester Grammar School is the UK’s largest independent day school for boys.  There are 1,600 pupils and 250 staff – which means catering is very busy indeed.  Lunch is served from 12 noon till 2pm, during which time typically 1,000 meals will be served – including halal, vegetarian, gluten-free and dairy-free options.  Plus, the school has an active events programme on week nights and at the weekend.  

There’s a lot of pressure on the school’s warewashing system, especially at lunch time, when several thousand pieces need to be washed and sorted in a short time.  Recently the school installed a Winterhalter multi-tank flight conveyer warewasher system. The Winterhalter, model number MTF 3-2800, has four interconnected chambers or tanks, comprising a pre-wash zone, main wash zone, rinse zone and drying zone.

“Our 11-year-old machine, which wasn’t a Winterhalter, wasn’t up to scratch anymore,” explains catering manager Richard Palombella. “We expected the results from the Winterhalter to be good and they are.  It’s also very fast, much faster than the old system, which is essential at lunchtimes.”  The MTF has a theoretical capacity of up to 2,800 plates per hour, on the rapid programme, or 2,400 on the standard programme.

Sustainability is important for Manchester Grammar School, and the MTF is loaded with energy- and water-saving features.  For example, the optimised rinse system reduces fresh water consumption by up to 30%.  Meanwhile the drying zone uses a special technology developed by Winterhalter that not only reduces the machine’s connected load but also cuts energy consumption by up to 33%.  On top of that, it does a better drying job than conventional systems.

“Plates come out of the drying zone not only dry but also cool enough to handle right away,” says Richard.  “In order to achieve that we had to fine tune the rinse aid dose, but now it works very well.” Air quality in the wash area is significantly improved, too, because Winterhalter’s drying zone reduces the amount of heat and vapour radiating from the machine’s out feed.

Ease of operation is always going to be important with warewashing.  The Winterhalter’s control panel features clear symbols and animations, which are language-neutral, so even untrained staff with limited English can operate it.  “In fact, a key reason for choosing the new machine is the way the doors open into each zone, for ease of access and cleaning,” says Richard.

The Winterhalter has brought another benefit – it’s kept the kitchen in hot water.  “We had a problem with our supply, so much so that the kitchen kept running out of hot water,” says Richard.  “We thought we’d have to install and extra boiler to cope.  However, the Winterhalter has a cold water fill, which has really helped us, and it still uses less energy than the old machine.  So we’re saving costs, we don’t need to worry about an extra boiler and we have plenty of hot water.”

The warewash system was supplied by Nisbets.  “The installation was very straightforward,” says Caroline Lockett, Nisbets’ key accounts manager for the North West.  “Winterhalters are really good, reliable products and the company gives great back-up.  They’re my first choice warewasher.”

Information about Manchester Grammar School can be found at

For information on Nisbets visit