It is always interesting to track what second and third generations’ entrepreneurial children will bring to family enterprises. Will there be trepidation for the children over finding their own career path? Or did all of those days in the office as a kid after school and during school vacation find its way into their hearts and minds?
In the case of Malachy Parts & Service, the business found itself into the hearts of the brother and sister duo of Rich Farrell and Samantha Farrell. Their father Richard Farrell Sr. built a legendary career as he built the New Jersey based company into one of Metro New York and the nation’s most respected service firms. As with many local companies, Dad has moved on to retirement and the Farrell children have taken the reins.
Malachy Parts & Service was established when long time PepsiCo and KFC technician Richard Farrell went to his boss in search of a raise to help him with his growing family. He didn’t care for the response and the rest as they say is history. Farrell Sr. asked his mother for a loan so that he could hang his own shingle. “He told my grandma that he needed the funding (10K!) to buy a van an inventory of parts and most importantly business cards,” Rich Farrell Jr. noted.
The cards went to good use as Farrell Sr. hit the road and visited every McDonald’s, Burger King, college and university in Northern New Jersey. The hard work paid off as Malachy forged a reputation for quality service. After a while, he was getting calls all day and even all night. “As time progressed, he became known in NJ as an honest, hard working guy that prided himself in doing whatever it took to get it done properly,” Farrell Jr. added.
The next step for the growth was to build service relationships with many of the nation’s leading manufacturers. “It wasn’t too long after that Frymaster came and signed him up with his first service contract with a manufacturer. He never looked back from there. The vision was simple for my dad. He wanted to provide for his children and make sure they had a better life than he did. Well, he succeeded. He wanted to offer customers a service company that did the right thing and provided honest, quality work at fair prices. Again, he succeeded,” Farrell added.
Samantha and Richard Farrell have made their imprint in the business by broadening Malachy Parts & Service’s target. Today Malachy has added a broad and deep list of national accounts including chain restaurants and C-Stores such as Qdoba and Quick Chek. At the same time, the NJ based company continues to serve its long time and valued B&I base of customers.
One key of Malachy Parts & Service’s success has been its ability to adapt to the on-going changes in equipment that have been the result of technology moving at breathtaking speed. “Equipment is the heart of the commercial kitchen, from steamers, kettles, fryer and braising pans to the growing popularity of Combi Ovens,” Rich Farrell explained.
“We now live in a world of ‘NOW’. We are working longer hours and moving faster through our days so people are looking to grab and go more than ever. On top of that, they do NOT want to sacrifice the quality of the food they are getting. Many kitchen footprints are shrinking to provide that. So you are seeing Combi ovens taking the place of kitchen functions that used to be performed by fryers, steamers and ovens, all in one,” Farrell continued.
With the changes in technology, Malachy Parts & Service has revamped its approach to how it manages its parts inventory. As a service company, new equipment and new models means a number of new parts coming into play. “We have made it a priority that we train on new equipment and get the OEM parts on our vans and in our warehouse to support the equipment,” Farrell noted. “It’s something we’ve always done. Our parts inventory has grown on our vans with new chains like Chick-Fil-A and Applebee’s. We now have more common parts on our vans than ever before. One thing that has never changed are that first visit fixes are big. They help our customers stay in business! We call it ROI positive and a great investment when we can repair a steamer and an ice machine on the same visit.”
Both generation of Farrells have always understood the importance of attracting and retaining a gifted team of service professionals.
“Since taking over operations in 2012 and now as CEO in 2018, my focus has always been on people. Anyone in the service industry will tell you finding a good technician is probably the hardest part of our jobs. We have taken it upon ourselves to help our industry through our commercial kitchen’s trade organization CFESA to expand the talent pool. We have created a program in which newcomers are trained for a minimum of 6 months by riding with a senior tech,” Farrell concluded.
To learn more about Malachy Parts & Service, visit their website.