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.
TFGroup was founded on January 26, 2009 after purchasing Taylor Fortune Distributors, a Taylor Distributor servicing southern Louisiana and southern Mississippi.
In 2010, TFGroup took over Fortune Equipment Company, which was a distributor for both Taylor and Henny Penny, covering 2/3rd of Tennessee, Northern Mississippi, and Eastern Arkansas. TFGroup then became the Henny Penny Distributor for Louisiana as well as the remaining area of Mississippi in 2014 and followed up with Arkansas in 2017.
Today, TFGroup has six offices across Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana. Get to know TFGroup:
What is your corporate vision and strategy?
‘Great Products .. Great Service .. Delivered’ is the tagline we live by and we are committed to providing world class equipment, exceptional sales, and state-of-the-art service performance. At TFGroup, we pride ourselves on partnering with the world’s best in the specialty foodservice equipment category.
How many people do you employ?
As of this year, we have a grand total of 64 employees across all our locations, with one service manager at each.
Many people were here from the start and others came with the growth. We hire not only skills but also attitudes.
What is unique about your territory?
We don’t have a large National Account base – we have a lot more retail-based customers. We do a great deal of business with convenience stores through our Henny Penny line-up of equipment.
What foodservice sector are you primarily focused on?
Service-wise we are more focused on National Chains; this is key to growing that department. In Henny Penny sales, I would say the focus is convenience stores followed by supermarkets.
What % of your business does Henny Penny represent?
45% is Henny Penny
50% is Taylor
5% is Franke
What is your favorite Henny Penny product to sell and why?
Heated Merchandisers (HMR’s). With the amount of convenience stores and retailers in our territory, the HMR truly separates us by being the best on the market. This allows for us to also provide fryers to those same customers and the price difference is no longer an issue because of the quality of our equipment which is proven by the history we have with the HMR.
Do you carry any other lines or categories aside from Henny Penny?
We also carry Taylor and Franke Coffee Systems. We partner with the world’s best in specialty foodservice. We don’t want to sell too many lines to be able to stay focused. We don’t want to be average.
Who are your longest held customers and what equipment do they use?
One of our greatest success stories with Henny Penny is Dodge’s Southern Style which has 47 locations in the US, and they are a huge fan of our HMR’s. We’ve been partnered with them for 10+ years now, since 2011.
How does TFGroup coordinate service and training?
At TFGroup, we have four service managers as well as three dispatchers across the six office locations. The service techs are distributed amongst the territory. As for training, we have an in-house trainer and we send all of our folks to Henny Penny headquarters in Eaton, OH for training.
We do not partner with any 3rd party companies. We want to be in control of providing a remarkable experience to our customers which is not possible when you work with 3rd parties.
Service is very profitable, and it covers a lot of our costs. We want it to be done right.
We also offer incentive programs for our technicians. We measure everything we service equally whether it’s under warranty or not. We’ve got 34 trucks on the road, with parts, and that makes a huge difference: we can fix straight away. We have a 90% one-time fix rate.
What is your goal for the future?
To keep growing our service, sales, and parts. It’s a constant challenge and there is always room for improvement. We also want to focus more on growing sales and developing people.
To learn more about TFGroup, visit their website.
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