RDT is extremely selective about the rep firms we work with. We choose only the best, and EPI Kitchen is no exception. A manufacturers' rep located in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, EPI Kitchen covers MAFSI region 15, which translates to Oklahoma and most of Texas. In business for over 25 years, EPI retains a customer focus and commitment to innovation. Making them a natural fit with the team here at RDT. We sat down with the team at EPI Kitchen to learn more about their company, as well as their thoughts on commercial refrigeration in the Texas and Oklahoma foodservice industry.
What are the most important things for foodservice businesses in Texas and Oklahoma to consider regarding refrigeration during extremely hot summers and cold winters?
Engineering the system properly for size and application is most important. Without the proper design, problems will occur. Next, using high-quality components, manufacturing, and testing will set up an end-user for success. Finally, a quality installation company will ensure the system is set up for operation properly.
What sets EPI apart from other similar companies in the space? What makes the partnership with RDT a good one?
Our team has been trained to work with end-users to best identify what their needs are in the field and communicate this to RDT. Additionally, we partner with installation companies that are skilled at understanding the complexity of a field installation process to help minimize unforeseen issues that may occur. Our interaction with RDT daily and the ability to involve the senior management team when necessary gives us confidence in not only the product but also the people behind the product, which truly sets them apart from the competition.
Knowing the specific products or goods to be stored is essential for selecting the appropriate refrigeration equipment and settings. What are some common issues you see foodservice companies have in this area?
Remote refrigeration system installations can be complex. Poor installations will ruin the best-designed system and create problems for everyone involved. We must also remind operators that most systems we work on are designed for holding product and not necessarily designed to bring hot food down to a specific temperature. Doing this can create problems with the refrigeration system and frustrate the operator until this concept is better understood.
Having access to local experts and contractors who are familiar with regional conditions and regulations is invaluable for successful system operation. What sets EPI and RDT apart here?
We have relationships throughout the territory that have been developed through trial and error of companies that are best suited to work on these projects. When those times occur that an installer or service company is used that we do not know, RDT’s technical team does an excellent job of working with the technicians in the field to answer questions and provide solutions to the issues at hand.
Given the high temperatures in the summer, optimizing energy efficiency is critical for minimizing operational costs and environmental impact. What tips would you have for foodservice businesses in this region?
Try to keep the location of the refrigeration rack out of direct sunlight, and when possible, provide plenty of room around the system to get good airflow to help the system be more efficient. Additionally, there are features such as RDT’s Eco-Smart controller that eliminate older technologies that are less energy-efficient and lack the current communication features to help operators better manage their refrigeration systems and, ultimately, their products.