CookTek: Educating its Customers Through AQ

“We’re ready to attack the market…”
With its own proprietary technology, CookTek (a TurboChef/Middleby company) designs and manufactures induction cooking equipment and related products, including cooktops, countertop burners, food warmers and cookware. Induction technology transfers electromagnetic energy directly to metal cookware or food warmers. Because heat is generated in the cookware, there is almost no wasted heat and cooking is much faster. According to CookTek: “Professional cooks in commercial kitchens enjoy higher productivity, substantial energy savings, safer cooking environments and, most importantly, better quality food using induction cookers.”

Dan Farmer, CFSP, has been the general manager of CookTek for the past 18 months. An award-winning FES veteran, over the years Dan has worked BOH, FOH, in parts and service, technology, as a rep, in business development and sales. CookTek is his third Middleby role, having served in executive sales positions for Perfect Fry Company and Pitco.

“For about the first year at CookTek, I was focused on manufacturing processes, engineering, shipping and other operational concerns,” says Dan. “Now we’re ready to attack the market.”

“I’m weaponizing AutoQuotes with information…”
“I’m tasked to promote and sell induction technology in a market where many end-users are tied to the ‘blue flame’ of gas,” says Dan Farmer, general manager at CookTek. “We can’t always drive customers to our website. People in the sales channel work extremely hard, but we’re not always in control of the messaging the customer receives. Here’s where the benefits of publishing in AutoQuotes comes in. We know our customers go to AutoQuotes, and there we are in control of the message.”

Dan points to three examples of providing information through AutoQuotes that increases his products’ visibility and offers added value:

–  CookTek just launched a line of induction specific cookware. Its metallic composition maximizes its induction capability, allowing the user to utilize a fuller capacity of the induction hob. While the cookware is in the AQ Catalog as separate products, Dan also worked with his AQ Content Account Manager to have the cookware listed as part of the configurations for the related cooking equipment. “While it’s too early for a sales analysis, we know that as customers are introduced to our equipment, the configurations extend that introduction to our new cookware line,” says Dan.

–  CookTek provides an advanced replacement program (ARP) that covers equipment for up to seven years from the date of manufacture. “Our customers were unaware of the program,” says Dan. “We now have an ARP brochure as part of the documents within the AQ Details panel for each item we sell.”

–  CookTek published a “PromoKit” flyer within the AQ Catalog targeting buyers of its induction food carrier and delivery products, like pizza bags. The promotion offers four items for the price of three, with the purchase of a charger. “This has raised the visibility of our induction delivery systems,” says Dan. “We’ve seen a 19 percent increase in U.S. sales of these items in Q1 2018 over Q4 2017.”

For Dan, it’s about using AQ for messaging and awareness. “I’m weaponizing AutoQuotes with information to educate our customers,” says Dan.

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