David Houston and Peter Crowe, of Bidvest, pictured with Richard Johnston, of Energy Matters. Picture: Steve Ferrier/The West Australian.
David Houston and Peter Crowe, of Bidvest, pictured with Richard Johnston, of Energy Matters. Picture: Steve Ferrier/The West Australian.

Did you know the meals served up at your local pub could have been cooked months ago?

That's not such a bad thing, according to Peter Crowe of food services provider Bidvest.

Mr Crowe said technological improvements meant meals cooked in vacuum-sealed bags and then frozen were rivalling freshly cooked food for flavour.

"This is very big in places like bistros in pubs and clubs where they have what they call knifeless kitchens," the marketing general manager said.

"They don't employ chefs. They have people who take this semi-prepared food, put it in a bainemarie, heat it up and serve it to their customers.

"That's become quite a high-growth area for us."

Bidvest stores and transport such goods, as well as fresh food. It also services institutions such as hospitals, schools and prisons.

Its separate logistics business looks after the needs of fast-food restaurants such as KFC, Pizza Hut and Hungry Jacks.

Bidvest last year built a $10 million distribution centre in Bibra Lake, which features WA's biggest solar panel array for a private operator.

The 1160 panels installed by Energy Matters generate about 40 per cent of the facility's power needs, slashing energy costs.

A South African multinational, Bidvest in Australia has a turnover of about $2 billion. WA contributes about $130 million.

Mr Crowe said the industry had been "a mishmash of small private independent operators" before Bidvest and rival PFD Food Services became the biggest players.

The West Australian

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