Co-founder of The Instant Kitchen Company Matthew Harper explains how his temporary kitchen facilities can help designers and retailers provide a new level of service to their customers
Q: Can you tell us about the concept of The Instant Kitchen Company?
A: I run a kitchen and bathroom installation business with my parents and have done for nearly 11 years. We had a kitchen installation with a client and the lady was really worried about losing the use of her kitchen, so her husband set up a caravan on their driveway. That was the lightbulb moment.
Dad and I turned to each and said ‘is this something we could offer?’ The journey started then, about 18 months ago. We contacted a local manufacturer to make a trailer and the Instant Kitchen Company was borne at the beginning of the year.
Q: What’s included in the Instant Kitchen Company trailer?
A: We have everything you would expect in a standard kitchen. We have a washing machine, a dishwasher and a fridge freezer on board, as well as a hob and oven. There is also space to store everything coming out of the kitchen. When you explain that to clients, it’s their ‘aha’ moment!
When a client is having a kitchen fitted, they have got to put the contents of the kitchen in an office, spare room, garage or they’re stumbling over it. The benefit to kitchen retailers and installers is if you’ve got a delivery coming, you can use the space of the garage or the spare room.
Q: What is your coverage?
A: We are based in Portsmouth but do cover nationwide. We are trying to push the word out through local businesses we know and via social media.
Q: Are you targeting the consumer directly or working with kitchen designers and retailers?
A: The idea, at concept, was we work with kitchen renovation clients and I have a meeting lined up with a retailer in the local area.. We’ve had a relationship with the company, as installers, for years.
We want the Instant Kitchen Company to be a service offered by retailers, as an add-on to their client.
We’ve also been working with an insurance claims company. Rather than their clients having to move out into temporary accommodation, we are saving the insurance company money by keeping the clients at home – which they are also happier with – whilst the renovation goes on.
Q: Are there any restrictions?
A: There are a couple of small requirements. The trailer needs to be hooked up to water, such as an outside tap.
It needs an electrical supply, such as a double socket in the garage or house, and somewhere for the drainage, a rainwater gully for example.
All of these can be within 30m because we have the capacity to pump and run supplies. The only other requirement is space on the driveway, which needs to be relatively flat, so the trailer can be levelled out.
Q: How many Instant Kitchen trailers do you own and are you going to create a bathroom version?
A: At the moment we have one. We have got plans in the pipeline for next year to make another kitchen trailer and hopefully also looking at developing a bathroom version.