A Q&A with Lorne Deacon, Director, Global Marketing and Product Development, Hatco

Why is it important for a foodservice operator to have a partner rather than just an equipment supplier?

Lorne Deacon: For me, it’s all about the phrase “equipment supplier versus partner.” It’s about exceptional understanding and communication. Some equipment suppliers build or assemble equipment, ship it out to the customer, and feel like their job is done. Sadly, a lot of companies operate this way. 

For me, a partner develops an understanding of the needs that their clients have and then work every day to diligently solve them. When you purchase from Hatco, we take steps to educate ourselves on what your goals are for your foodservice operation. Example: What’s your timeline to purchase? What’s the budget you have to accomplish your goals? What does your future development look like? What challenges can we assist with to accomplish all your needs? We then apply resources and strategies to accomplish the agreed-upon path. It’s a consultative relationship and that’s so much more than just supplying equipment.

How important is listening to the partner relationship?

LD: Of course, it’s super-important. It’s easy to say but you have to build your organization around it. You have to not only provide good service and technical support, but you have to take the time and build a culture around asking questions and creating feedback loops with your end-users and with your dealers. That’s something that Hatco does incredibly well…it’s in our DNA. This partnership style and our ability to take the time and ask clients what they need started years ago with our founders, and continues each day with our leadership and team members. We’ve always been asking those questions.

How does listening to the customer affect Hatco product development?

LD: We listen to the customer, and more specifically to what their needs are. We look at how it fits our manufacturing and core competencies and we see if we can deliver. We don’t try to be all things to everybody but we take a hard look at all the opportunities that are brought to us, either internally in our organization or from our excellent partners. Sometimes we add them to the portfolio from a product standpoint; sometimes we add them to the system from a support standpoint. 

As you know, Hatco has won many “Best in Class” awards from Foodservice Equipment and Supplies. What does that mean for you and your customers?

LD: For us, it’s the ability to not only produce great products that work for a long time and work the way you want them to but also help solve our customers’ challenges with those products. And to do it more effectively than the competition. 

Can you sum up how all these things work together to make Hatco a great partner to work with?

LD: We understand and respect that our customers have a lot of things going on. It’s not just about the equipment in the kitchen. We take it very personally to make the equipment side of the business as easy to install, support and drive excellent results for our end users as possible. Our success in this area is exactly why our partners have chosen to do business with us for so many decades.

Take a quick look at this checklist to see if your equipment supplier can match up to Hatco: Hatco Valued Partner Checklist

Content sponsored by Hatco.