Kevin Morgan, Dealer Sales Rep, Kittredge Singer, Bowe, N.H.
While taking a break before entering a Ph.D. program, Kevin Morgan took a job for national a footwear retailer; he managed stores in five different states. Eventually, he started looking for other opportunities and was recruited to work for New England Kitchen Depot. During his four years with the company, Morgan handled purchasing, learned how to manage inventory, etc.
In 2011 Morgan made the move to Northeast Foodservice Equipment, another dealer serving the New England region. He remained with the dealership when Kittredge Equipment Company acquired it in 2013. Just last month Singer Equipment Company acquired Kittredge and formed a new division that goes to business as Singer Kittredge, of which Morgan remains a part.
Spanning portions of Vermont and New Hampshire, Morgan’s book of business is an intentionally diverse mix of clients that ranges from independent restaurants to various noncommercial operators such colleges and universities, schools, healthcare and more.
Here Morgan discusses the latest equipment innovations and more.
Q: How has equipment evolved for the better since you first started in the industry?
A: New equipment innovations are what really drive me. I really enjoy getting involved in the detail and specification of what’s coming out next. I like to look for innovative solutions to people’s problems. For example, by getting a school into a combi oven that can steam and bake, and can offer more intelligent cooking, can really be impactful. You can use that combi oven 24 hours a day, where that might not be the case with other equipment. We can improve performance, efficiencies and just show them more value and less waste in terms of time and staff. The fun part is to show them new ways of doing things.
Q: What’s your secret when it comes to knowing so much about equipment?
A: You have to be interested in it. There’s a notion that flows through the industry that sales is sales and the widgets don’t matter. But if you believe a widget is a widget then you don’t bring value to the table. Being interested is interesting. I don’t want to be the celebrity sales guy, the one that just goes in and chats up everyone. I want to come in interested and bring something to the table. There’s a lot of people we have worked with over the past 15 years who are now tight with us because of this approach. You can’t fake sincerity.
Q: What goes into developing the right equipment specification?
A: You have to learn how to listen. One thing I did not do as much when I was younger but am doing now is getting the reps more involved. Then you have to do the research to understand what you are talking about. Dishmachines are a great example. Every dish room is its own unique animal. So if you walk in and just say this is what you need, you will miss something. You have to develop the design and specify the equipment based on the needs of that specific space.
Q: Supply chain challenges have plagued the industry for more than a year now. How has that affected the way you work with customers?
A: In the beginning of COVID we were high on supply and low on demand. So we changed, getting into personal protective equipment and selling gloves and masks to take care of our customers. Now it’s the opposite. The demand is crazy, and the supply is not there. So I’ve had to diversify my brand base. But I won’t sell something I can’t stand behind. And right now, that’s a struggle.
Foodservice Equipment & Supplies Presents DSR 3-2-1 is sponsored by Salvajor.