Canadian-based foodservice equipment manufacturer launches a line of refrigerated products.
The refrigeration segment of the foodservice equipment industry heated up a little last week when ColdTech Commercial launched its initial product line through the company's website and various social media outlets.
Based in Guelph, Ontario, ColdTech is a wholly owned subsidiary of Danby Products Limited, a Canadian manufacturer of refrigeration, hoods and stoves for the residential market. ColdTech Commercial's initial product offerings include reach-in refrigerators and freezers, undercounter refrigerators and freezers, pizza prep tables and salad prep tables. The company services the North American market.
At the moment, ColdTech Commercial's products are available for purchase online and the company is marketing itself using various electronic and social media means. At this point, ColdTech does not use a dealer or rep network to distribute its products.
"That's not to say we won't go that route. There is a lot of interest from the industry but our strategy as it stands right now is that we will be only online," said Ceri Nelmes, ColdTech Commercial's marketing manager, e-commerce. "We want to talk to our customers directly to make sure they get the full experience. This way there is no waiting for warranty information, parts, etc. And we want immediate feedback from them."
And, according to Nelmes, the feedback has been positive thus far. "Because people can talk to us directly, both on the phone, through e-mail and via social media, people in the food service industry have been giving us feedback and helping us launch the website. So as restaurants move more into the technology space with daily deals, using iPads, etc. we are there with them to build that sense of community," she said. "The approach in the industry used to be more Web 1.0, meaning we have a website, come find us. Now we can be more engaging with them, helping them solve problems as we move forward. They won't have to find us, they will already know us as we help promote their businesses."
To that end, ColdTech Commercial has representatives answering the phone and available to answer questions online 24/7, Nelmes said. "Chefs and people in the foodservice industry don't just work 9 to 5. They may realize their old fridge has conked out after hours. They want to be able to be in touch with someone right then. It has to be fast and good service, giving people what they want when they want it."
The company has established a service network in both the United States and Canada and has a parts distribution agreement with a third-party distributor. "If something went wrong, we can get someone there immediately to fix it," Nelmes said. "Being so active in the social space, we are very transparent. So we want to make sure that our customers have a great experience from end to end. It just takes one person to be unhappy for a bad experience to go viral. And we certainly don't want that."
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