Unsung Heros of the Foodservice Equipment Industry

Unsung Heros of the Foodservice Equipment Industry

St. Louis, MO (April 11, 2024) – By: EJ Morrow

In the harsh environment of a commercial kitchen, equipment takes a beating.

For that reason, the equipment service technician is one of the most valuable contributors in the commercial foodservice equipment industry’s value chain. Most foodservice operators consider them heroes when it comes to keeping their kitchens up and running.

These skilled technicians provide comprehensive installation, repair and maintenance for nearly all brands of foodservice equipment, from cold side to hot side. They work long hours from the early morning to well into the night. In emergency situations, they continue working right in the middle of that hectic kitchen.

As is the case with many industries today, highly skilled labor is required to maintain optimal operations. These technicians are eagerly sought-after and recruiting new entrants for this role is top-of-mind for successful repair companies nationwide. In a tight labor market, doing that is harder than ever.

That’s why it’s worth the effort to attract – and keep – top talent on your payroll.

Recruiting knowledge and experience

Servicing commercial kitchen equipment isn’t as simple as being handy with tools or taking a few basic courses. As new technologies and equipment arrive in kitchens, service providers must stay on top of these advancements through continuous training and development.

At the same time, it’s also important to have the historical knowledge of a tenured technician who can quickly diagnose issues across equipment categories.

With that said, the best technicians are made. Providers who invest in their future workforce with strategic on-the-job training are those who will benefit years down the line. With an anticipated 15 percent growth in commercial kitchen technician roles during the next 10 years according to JobData, this is the time to begin planning for the future.

Start with hiring candidates with high potential for growth. You know who they are – ambitious, independent go-getters with the capacity to be molded over time. Of course, it’s great to hire someone with an HVAC or mechanical background. But at the end of the day,  it matters less what they know right now. You need someone who will apply the lessons you’re about to teach them.

Next, establish long-term training requirements for your staff. That includes everything from a mentoring program for young techs to ongoing training for experienced workers. This group might particularly benefit from outsourced training hosted by manufacturers or distributors because they’ll be able to digest and retain more information, bringing it back to pass along to younger members of the team.

Building a technician base

It’s tempting to only invest when there’s a clear and immediate ROI – and that might not be the case with young, inexperienced workers.

Consider the quarterback training process maintained by the Green Bay Packers. The team sat Aaron Rodgers behind Brett Farve for years, paying the rookie to watch and learn from the best. When it was his time, Rodgers stepped up and led his team to the Super Bowl. Behind him in the wings was a young Jordan Love, learning and biding his time until Rodgers moved on and he could step seamlessly into the role.

Remember that your investment in a young commercial kitchen technician is long yielding. The ROI will appear when your current staff of go-to technicians retire but you still have a full bench ready and hungry for a win.

Using efficiency to do more with less

The highest measure of success for service providers is their same-day, first-time fix rate. Achieving that means they not only need the technical skills to service the equipment, but they also have to be efficient and organized as they come to the rescue for a down piece of equipment.

Technicians certified by the Commercial Food Equipment Service Association (CFESA) have a higher first-time fix rate and ensure the service mark for excellence. How? They offer everything from factory trainings and webinars to on-the-job mentoring as a way of ensuring knowledge and quality repairs.

But that’s not where efficiency ends. The other key success factor for service technicians is availability and quick access to OEM repair parts.  Service technicians can maintain a large inventory of parts on their service vehicles, but given the vast array of manufacturers and menu-specific equipment on the market, it is difficult for technicians to carry all of the parts they might need.

That’s where Marcone comes in. As a distributor of OEM parts for foodservice equipment, its network of distribution centers strategically combine with local branches to make parts available quickly and easily throughout the U.S. and Canada. Since its commercial kitchen vertical launched in 2022, Marcone’s focus has remained on partnering with service technicians to maximize uptime for foodservice operators.

From same-day delivery to next-day ground transport options, Marcone offers parts from the OEMs you need. You choose where and when you need your part, whether that’s by jobsite delivery, locker pickup, or a range of other solutions.

There’s a reason service providers rely on Marcone both now and for the future: We’re here to be your partner for success and you’re going to like working with us.

EJ Morrow is Chief Commercial Officer of Marcone Commercial Kitchen. His long history within the commercial kitchen industry affords him deep perspective on industry trends and drives his motivation to bring easily accessible repair parts to the marketplace in an effort to promote equipment uptime nationwide.


About Marcone

Marcone combines technology, subject matter expertise and a broad product catalog to provide technicians serving the appliance, HVAC, plumbing, commercial kitchen and pool/spa segments with best-in-class equipment, parts and solutions. Servicers prefer Marcone because we amplify what they do best: take great care of their clients with speed, reliability and accuracy. Headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, Marcone is a multi-billion-dollar enterprise operating out of nearly 200 locations throughout North America. Learn more at marcone.com.

Media Contact:
Elizabeth Davies
Cell: 815.440.8768

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