FEDD Group Members Corner: March 2021

FEDD Group Members Corner
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The Food Equipment Digital Disruptors (FEDD) are the ones who will forge a path in our industry, leading us into the next era of business through digital content in video, audio & written form.

The FEDD Group will bring the food equipment industry together, share best practices, provide tools and know-how through this group, mastermind events and bi-annual conferences. The skilled trades is at a crossroads and the FEDD members, collectively, will make our industry noisy, building the future together. The FEDD Group hosts bi-annual conferences and Mastermind events throughout the year to build community over competition and help its members build their personal and company brands for success in a 2021 world. Below are industry insights from the members:

Digital Branding Gives You A Voice

FEDD Group Rich MalachyBy: Rich Malachy, CEO, Malachy Parts & Service, richard@malachycares.com

We woke up this year and said, “2021, this is going to be MY year!”.  Coming through the other side of a pandemic that not one of us could have planned for, showed us the importance of and the power of the internet.  Who used Zoom prior to March 2020?  Who created or updated their Linkedin account or started a facebook group prior to March of 2020?  Most people I speak to say, “Not Me!”.  I’ve been putting in a ton of effort and time to build my brand on-line and with FEDD Nation, our voices become louder and stronger.

Here are 4 Reasons you need to pay attention to what’s happening on social media:

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  1. If you’re not part of the conversation, your competition probably is
  2. By being active on the top platforms, you will become an industry thought leader
  3. You are unique and your message matters
  4. Your voices has the power to change, create and propel you and your business to new levels

The food equipment industry is changing fast.  The old ways of doing things, will never open new doors.  You’re probably asking, how can digital branding myself give me a voice and I’m going to give you a few prime examples.  Keeping the 4 reasons above in mind, you have a business that you want to grow and a what we do on-line eventually moves offline.  I started The Food Equipment Digital Disruptors on Facebook because I wanted to build community around my brand and all I was doing.  That very move, in turn, attaches my company, Malachy Parts & Service to all I do.  Without ever once selling my business, it came with the territory.  It has now evolved into much more.  With around 800 industry members in the community that share likeminded ideas, we have the opportunity to talk openly about issues, ask for help, find answers, see what others are doing and ultimately, create change.  There’s so much buzz going on in the group around hot topics that are screaming to be heard.  Digital branding has given me and the FEDD Nation community, a voice. Understand, people do NOT want to be sold to. They want real, human connections and through video, it becomes very real.  People do business with people and the relationship you build digitally, will absolutely flow off-line at conferences, events, dinners, meetings etc. and what you will find is that all your consistent efforts through content distribution is now going to pay off.  It takes time and it takes commitment.  This should be part of your daily business strategy.  End of story.  You have time, it just needs to be a priority.  Your voice has the power to inspire and change!

If you join the group, you will begin to see that people are excited to talk openly about issues or problems they have seen happening for decades.  They want change.  They want it now.  We are putting on a Virtual Conference, The Food Equipment Service Leaders Summit and I urge everyone who reads this to register for free www.fesleaderssummit.com

I’ll close this months publication like this:  Opportunities you never knew existed lie on the other side of your fear of getting behind the camera and sharing your business and experiences.  The FEDD Group is your prime example.  If I never started it, FEDD Corner would never exist and the people giving their time to be a part of it would not have their voice heard here.  Community is king.  See you all in the group!

Manufacturing Marketing Tip 101- Be Real and Authentic!

Univex Evan PrieselBy: Evan Priesel, Director of Sales and Marketing, Univex Corporation,

As a manufacturer in the foodservice world it is extremely important to be real and authentic on social media. People buy from brands and companies that they trust. They don’t want to be lied to, or manipulated. Try not to “sell” so much on social media, but utilize the platform to show the world who your company is and your “story”.

Build a community and trust with your distributors and customers. Utilize customer reviews and feedback. Reach out to others within the community and immerse yourself with your customers. Not only will they get to know you and your brand, but you can utilize that time to listen to what they have to say.

Listening on social media is extremely important and can help with your sales and marketing efforts! Don’t forget to continue to post content consistently and with a purpose.

Don’t Be Left Out in the Cold

Joe FerriBy: Joe Ferri, COO, Pecinka Ferri, joe@pecinkaferri.com

Are you all buttoned-up for the recovery?  There is a perfect storm brewing in a supply chain near you. You probably want to avoid the inevitable chill associated with the higher costs and limited availability/selection.

COVID-induced diminished manufacturing capabilities will continue to plague the industry for the foreseeable future.

  • Furloughed workers and plants shuttered for deep cleaning – or permanently for economics – will exacerbate an already critical dearth of raw materials and component parts.
  • Currently there is a scarcity of empty shipping containers at component manufacturers in Asia.
  • The US’s west coast ports are operating at limited capacity, and container ships are waiting for weeks to unload.
  • Microprocessor production is diverted towards automobile and computer production as a result of WFH demands.
  • A shortage of over-the-road truck drivers compounds this situation.

Inventories are shrinking; lead times are expanding. Finished goods are in short supply. Meanwhile positive fiscal signs, particularly the service economy, are piling up:

  • Another round of stimulus is on the way.
  • Lower COVID19 case/hospitalization/mortality rates have lifted expectations.
  • Loosening of restrictions on public gatherings are appearing.
  • A roaring stock market feeds the optimistic sentiments.
  • Immeasurably large pent-up demand is about to be unleashed.

Given this unbalanced supply/demand ratio you can expect extended lead times and rising prices. If you have any notion whatsoever in expanding or improving, you must engage now with vendors to ensure that the warming trend doesn’t leave you high and dry.

Servicer – Manufacturer Relationships

FEDD Terry Kelly Electrolux ProfessionalBy: Terry Kelly, Customer Support Manager, Electrolux Professional

In my years of working in the Customer Care Department of Electrolux Professional, I believe that the relationship between the Servicer and the Manufacturer is a very important one. The servicers are our eyes and ears in the field. Without them, I am unable to get an accurate, unbiased, professional assessment of what is happening to my equipment. The service companies we work with, make the deepest impressions on my customers. Professionalism, Customer Service & technical dexterity are what I expect to be delivered from any service company. As a manufacturer I also have the same responsibility to deliver to the service companies I work with. Electrolux Professional has a wide range of Food, Beverage, and Laundry Equipment. This has afforded me to work with around 880 different servicers across the United States, its territories, and Canada.

As we move into the 2020’s, equipment is becoming more complex. Our newest oven, the SKYLINE, requires a servicer to be part gas technician, part electrician, part network administrator, part plumber, part chef and part customer service specialist. I do realize this is an awesome responsibility, so my part is to make sure that the technician is set up to perform all those tasks. This must be done through support, information, and training.  The pandemic has forced us to use creative solutions, communication, and information sharing to strengthen our relationships. For anyone that has questions about Electrolux Professional or to schedule training opportunities, please contact me at terry.kelly@electroluxprofessional.com.

Jason WangeBy: Jason Wange, Cal-Mil & Foodservice Powerplant Network of Facebook, jwange@calmil.com

When a Chef creates a meal of their dreams, there are certain steps they take to help create success. As it turns out, those steps are similar to the ones we take when we want to create the life of our dreams.   

1. Become the Executive Chef of Your Life: We need to take 100% responsibility for our outcomes.

2. Decide What You Want to Make: In order to get where we want, we’ve got to decide what exactly it is we want to accomplish in our personal and professional lives.

3. Sharpen Your Tools: Goal-setting, visualization and affirmations along with removing limiting beliefs that might be holding us back are key tools in moving forward in your vision.

4. Choose Your Team: We become like those we surround ourselves with.  Choose wisely!

5. Get the Best Ingredients – Ingredients for success are universal.  Gratitude, laughter, authenticity, focus of thought and intentional physiology are all important ingredients for success and fulfillment.

6. COOK!: To move ahead, we’ve got to take immediate and consistent action which move us forward toward our vision.

7. Find Out if it’s Good and Make It Better: Along our journey as we make the meal of our life, it’s important to gain feedback from others to find out if we’re on course toward what we’re hoping to make.  Then, it’s key that we commit to growing, improving and making the story of our lives better.

We’ll have fun diving into these in the coming months!  To Your Success!


Bobby BuividBy: Bobby Buivid, Design / Build, Olympic Store Fixtures, bobby@olympicstorefixtures.com

Trying to narrow down the right piece of commercial cooking equipment can be an overwhelming task.  The explosion of new manufacturers and equipment variants over the past decade can make this process confusing.  It can be difficult to pinpoint the right unit for a particular application or budget.  We find ourselves analyzing things like: BTUs, Wattage, Voltage, HP, and why some electronic spec sheets look like they’ve been photocopied 1,000 times. We want to understand the performance and build quality to ensure we’re making a sound investment.  There is one key spec that is not always considered but needs our attention.  Weight for it…  The WEIGHT!  It can give us insight into the manufacturing process that relates to gauge and quality of the metals used, robustness of parts, and overall build strength.  These items can directly translate to reliability, longevity, and performance.  I selected the most universal piece of equipment found in commercial kitchens, the 36” Restaurant Series Range with 6 Open Burners and Standard Oven Base.  An analysis of the top 10 brands showed the following weights:

  • Brand 1: 410lb
  • Brand 2: 420lb
  • Brand 3: 430lb
  • Brand 4: 456lb
  • Brand 5: 520lb
  • Brand 6: 520lb
  • Brand 7: 527lb
  • Brand 8: 567lb
  • Brand 9: 600lb
  • Brand 10: 605lb

That’s an almost 200lb difference!  200lb is equivalent to a large dog, or futon, or the person crashing on your futon that’s not picking up the subtle hints to clean themselves up and move on already.  So, when you’re making your next equipment decision, check the weight list!

Do You Know What Water is Going Into Your Foodservice Equipment?

FEDD Charlie Neuman NAIM RepsCharlie Neuman, Sales Representative, L.A.S. Associates/FAIM Reps, LLC, charlie@faimreps.com

In the food equipment industry there are a number of very important pieces of equipment that require water in order to work. Ice machines, espresso machines, steam cookers, warewashing and beverage systems would have no value in the kitchen without water. That being said, all food equipment which needs water requires different water conditions to run properly and efficiently for the duration of their life.

As many reading this know, water conditions among municipalities in the United States can vary wildly. Many people consider the water in New York City to be “one of the best municipal water supplies”, whereas the water in Flint, Michigan is commonly regarded as “not great”. However it’s not just your state that makes a difference. Your neighbor right across the street may have excellent water quality, but you may find yours to be absolutely terrible (I have experienced this many times). Making sure that the water going into your food equipment is filtered properly for your water conditions is essential. Administering a water test, whether through your municipality or through a third party lab, can prove to be helpful to determining what you will need to keep your equipment safe. Making a list of your equipment and seeing what the manufacturer recommends for water conditions is a great next step. This will help you determine the current status of your water (after you have tested your water conditions) and where you need it to be for your specified equipment.

This next step is choosing what water filter system to use for your equipment; a vital step. Sorting through the seemingly endless water treatment solutions can be difficult. As with anything, finding what works and won’t work for your situation can be trial and error. Asking your equipment manufacturer, technician or local service group is a smart idea, as they will be knowledgeable about what other kitchens in your area use that work well.

The final step in determining the right water filter is installing and monitoring. Monitor the equipment and water for the first 4-6 months, or until the first change out. If the equipment runs with no water issues (examples include bad tasting espresso, scale build up in ice machine, etc) then you have a successful water filter and now you will only have to keep up with planned maintenance for the equipment’s health. If the water filter system does not work as specified, then you should go back to the manufacturer and see what the issue could be, or what the right solution could be. Picking the right filter system can be daunting, but is extremely important for equipment health and for saving money in the long run!

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