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Jestic team helps smooth the journey to opening day for Peckers in Hitchin

When brothers Sanjay and Rishi Chandarana first became aware of the opportunity to acquire a unit almost on the exact spot where their grandfather ran a local store for many years, they jumped at the chance to write their own next chapter in this location’s rich history. The brothers were already successful local businessmen with three flourishing convenience stores in and around the busy Hertfordshire market town of Hitchin. With three popular stores already under their belts, the brothers were confident of success – the only challenge was that the unit was zoned for food, not retail…and they had never operated in that sector before!

Starting from scratch the brothers first identified that they wanted to make sure they used the best equipment to ensure they were serving customers the best food. Having decided that they wanted to install Henny Penny fryers, the next logical conversation was with Jestic Foodservice Solutions as Henny Penny distributor in the UK. It quickly became apparent to Sanjay and Rishi that this was one of the best decisions they could have made, because the Jestic team have been integral in advising the brothers on a wide range of elements – not just equipment. It goes without saying that Jestic can indeed supply the best equipment, but the real eye-opener for the brothers was the depth of knowledge, experience, and commitment that they team showed to getting the Peckers concept up and running.

“With our retail background, we’re passionate about both service and quality and we were 100% committed to ensuring that our offer was going to be all about great food, a great environment and brilliant service. When we spoke with Jestic they shared some great advice and useful insights to help us be as successful as possible. We had thought we wanted to do pizza and chicken, but they advised us to pick a single core menu focus and concentrate on excelling at that – and that’s exactly what we have been able to do with Peckers. We want every single customer that comes through the door or receives a delivery from Peckers to be thrilled and delighted and the team at Jestic has given us advice that helps us do this.”

Created in a mixed-usage, new build unit, Peckers has a distinctly urban feel in a suburban location, offering the brothers a brilliantly blank canvas to bring their creativity to life. The menu features a range of inspiring burgers with everything from onion bhajis to hash browns helping create the number of Peckers signature burger builds. Back of house the kitchen is compact but functional with the chef working seamlessly with the kitchen team to bread, cook and serve fresh chicken every single day. From the Ayrking breading table – which helps maximise both the crunchy crumb coating, as well as making the most efficient use of ingredients and breaders - to the Antunes vertical bun toaster which takes up little space but performs flawlessly every service to provide the perfectly toasted foundation for the Peckers ever-popular burger range, every item in the kitchen has been carefully chosen. The equipment provides everything that the chefs need and nothing they don’t – high performance and consistent reliability are key here.

Versatility and maximising the available kitchen space were also very high up the list of priorities for Peckers. Whilst limited in space back of house, the kitchen manages to squeeze in a compact but powerful and versatile MKN SpaceCombi®oven. Perfect for making exceptional grilled chicken, the SpaceCombi® is just 55cm wide yet offers full combi oven performance without compromise. Controlled with a simple and intuitive user interface which offers fully programmable flexibility and automatic cleaning cycles, the MKN SpaceCombi®makes a genuine difference to workflow during service. Also helping the kitchen perform at maximum efficiency is a Moduline HSW holding unit which allows the kitchen team to hold cooked food in optimum conditions. The fully adjustable Moduline unit is compact and can fit in almost any available space, whilst offering consistent temperature control, ease of operation, and extremely low energy consumption. Food is stored in ‘just cooked’ condition so that when served it retains all the flavour and texture customers expect whilst easing the flow during busy service periods.

Finally, at the heart of the kitchen is the Henny Penny Evolution Elite fryer which started the brothers on their original journey.

“We knew when we were planning the store that we wanted the very best in terms of operations, reliability, and service. The Henny Penny has been a great addition to the kitchen, and we will definitely install Henny Penny in our future sites. What’s also been great when working with Jestic is that whilst they were very present during the planning and installation of the store, the after-sales has also been exceptional. When we’ve had any problems, we’ve had an engineer out in 24 hours to resolve the issue and we carry on. The equipment is robust and reliable, but the service aftercare gives us an added layer of confidence that our business has everything in place to succeed.”

Overall, both Sanjay and Rishi are delighted with their first move into foodservice and the help and advice they’ve had from everyone at Jestic. From menu planning to equipment selection and advising on how the day-to-day running can be better streamlined and made more efficient, Jestic has constantly been on hand to offer expert advice whenever they need it.

“We couldn’t be happier with the guys at Jestic – they have made our transition from purely retail into foodservice a rewarding and positive journey. It hasn’t been easy, and it has definitely taken a huge amount of hard work to get where we are today – but we genuinely don’t think we would be as successful as we have been without the advice, support and encouragement of everyone at Jestic. They really are the go-to people for equipment, service, advice and much more”.

Peckers is now a well-established local success story with customers genuinely enjoying the fact that something so contemporary and quality has arrived in the local area. The business and its menu will continue to evolve and so will Rishi and Sanjay. They already have their eyes on another site as the expansion plans for the Peckers concept continue to develop.


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