Foodservice Equipment Reports
Editor's Take

Service Solutions Come of Age

While researching “Advances in Equipment Service Training," our Contributing Editor Brent Johnson, a former service tech, talked at length with Heather Price, Executive Director of CFESA, as well as with folks at Ecolab, General Parts, Ignitor Labs, Tech 24 and others who are embracing newer approaches to foodservice equipment service training.

In the course of putting the article together, we heard a couple of real-world examples of how chains are using some of the newer service training options. According to Price, Don Purser, Service Program Manager for the Independent Purchasing Cooperative for Subway, has hosted two training sessions at CFESA’s new state-of-the-art Global Service Training Facility in Fort Mill, S.C., and plans two more for the fall. Purser brings in groups of 30 or so owners/operators and Subway service contractors from the U.S. and abroad (Dubai!) to train them on Subway’s key equipment, including bread equipment, microwaves, accelerated ovens, coolers and more. The OEMs ship Subway’s equipment models to the center for the sessions and the OEM’s service reps sometimes join in. The facility is ideal because it’s built specifically to accommodate group service training, unlike an actual restaurant or even the chain’s test kitchen.

Wendy’s is working with Ignitor Labs, Schaumburg, Ill., to create servicing modules on, so far, 10 pieces of the burger chain’s key pieces of equipment, including fryers, ice machines, microwaves, toasters and cold storage units. Through Ignitor Labs’ ProTECH computer/tablet-based training, techs and operators learn how to maintain, repair and troubleshoot operation of these key pieces. Then, through PocketTECH, a streamlined version of ProTECH on the tech’s or operator’s smartphone or tablet, they can access the training anytime, anywhere. Essentially these resources remove the need to refer to service manuals, OEM website resources such as PDFs, or make calls to the OEM service center while in the field. So far Wendy’s company-owned stores and a number of franchisees are in the process of training their employees and service partners through the proprietary, Wendy’s-centric program. It’s got to be nice to know that the troubleshooting sequence for “Error Code 9” is a few taps away on a smartphone.

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