In this exclusive Q&A series, operators gain behind-the-scenes insight into our unique distributor partnerships.
At Henny Penny, we go to market differently than most equipment manufacturers. Through our network of distributor experts, we’re able to provide hands-on-support before, during, and after purchase and installation. Our distributors are in the field everyday solving customer challenges and demonstrating that cooking precision and consistency lead to both quality food and operational savings.
For the past 60 years, TFI has been one of the largest Canadian suppliers for premium foodservice equipment and programs.
TFI became a Henny Penny distributor in 1982 and works with a variety of foodservice operators and outlets as a supplier of Taylor, Henny Penny, and Franke Specialty Coffee Equipment. With a clear focus on The Perfect Serving, TFI delivers value to every customer through premium and supportive foodservice solutions, so they may consistently provide a high-quality serving to their customers.
TFI has a total of two warehouses, one being in Toronto, Ontario and the other in Halifax, Novia Scotia.
Get to know TFI:
What is your corporate vision and strategy?
The Perfect Serving and our company core values apply to everything we do in sales, service, and customer service. Additionally, after-sales support is vital: we want to do a great job selling equipment and selling service. We support our customers from ideation, installation, service, and maintenance for the entire lifespan of the equipment. This model has allowed for countless repeat customers year over year. This partnership is the main differentiator against competitors because we are true partners for each of our customers; we support them from install to replacement. We take pride in the infrastructure we have created to ensure service excellence. It allows us to maintain our customer base and to increase new customers each year. We work as a team, we have monthly calls, and there is consistency across Canada. It is simple; we want the customers to be happy with their purchase and support.
We have 125 employees; 17 in the sales department, 65 in service (includes technicians and field service management), and 10 in customer care. Additionally, we have employees that are spread out in finance, marketing, IT, supply chain, warehouse, and management.
What is unique about your territory?
Canada is very diverse, so we have many different types of cuisine, culture, and food offerings. Toronto is a major city in our area, where we have many national accounts headquartered. Another thing that is unique about our territory is the size. It is a vast landscape with many food service operators spread across many regions. We are also at the epicenter of Canadian commerce, with many businesses headquartered in Ontario. As a result, we are developing equipment programs for non-traditional customers.
What foodservice sector is your focus on?
In service, our focus is all of our customers along with the national chains (McDonald’s, Tim Horton’s, Wendy’s, KFC, Circle K, Oil & Gas Convenience). Over the next three years, our service business goal is to transition our service offering to an outcome-based, predictive model. This is a crucial focus for us as we know this will be the future of equipment service.
In sales, we focus on the supermarket sector (Loblaws, Sobeys, Metro) where we’ve had significant success with Henny Penny equipment. We also sell equipment to contract catering corporations (Compass Group, Aramark) and recently the retirement living sector. Another important initiative is to develop business within the food product supply industry. We know how well product is prepared in Henny Penny equipment, and we are leveraging product supply companies to market our equipment with their products. We are still focused on developing the mid-market chain (around 25 store chains). We went to Europe about five years ago, and we visited fellow Henny Penny distributors Jestic, Interfastfood and Red Bill. We saw the success with Evolution Elite in Europe, so we want to continue growing the low oil volume frying market in Canada.
What % of your business does Henny Penny represent?
Henny Penny represents 35% of our business; Taylor 45%, Franke 10% and Pizza Forno 10%. I must say that we’ve had great success with Henny Penny and that the partnership is excellent. The team appreciates the great support in sales and service, and the quality of the equipment is unbelievable. With McDonald’s as one of our key customers, through the collaboration of the 3 brands, we can now service 5 of their key pieces of equipment in Canada.
Who are your longest held customers?
National chains and, more specifically, the Supermarket chains. They’ve been with us since 1996. We have been pioneers in the HMR market in Canada.
What is your favorite HP product to sell and why?
The Combi ovens, because of the supermarkets. And, of course, the pressure fryer is built like a tank, the cooking is fantastic, and it is so reliable!
Why are your Combi sales so strong?
Our relationship with the supermarkets in Canada. We have known them since 1996; 23 years spent building relationships adds up! We also offer packages to some of our customers (Combi + pressure fryer), and we spend a tremendous amount of time training in the stores. Also, they are fantastic pieces of equipment. So, a great piece of equipment, excellent support, a strong relationship, and inventory!
What is your goal for 2021?
To continue growing in service and to avoid hiring third-party service companies in the most remote areas. The outcome-based, predictive model is transitioning the industry, and TFI intends to be at the forefront of this shift. We want to continue to match and anticipate the needs of our customers. One of the main issues with the competition is that they don’t stock. We do. We can deliver a pressure fryer the next day if a customer needs it. We always have 4 or 5 pressure fryers in stock, the same for Combi ovens. Investing in parts, in inventory, in infrastructure is key to have success. We want to continue in that direction while looking to increase HP sales to independent operators, grow our mid-market chains, and expand our equipment sales to more non-traditional customers within the foodservice industry.
To learn more about TFI, visit their website.