As part of its mission to celebrate organizations that push the foodservice equipment and supplies industry forward, the FEDA First Thing newsletter is publishing a series of Q&As with member companies. This week features Continental Refrigerator, a Pennsylvania-based manufacturer of commercial refrigeration and freezer equipment. Continental was founded in 1989 and today produces more than 2,500 equipment models engineered for food safety, optimal performance, and are built to last.
How many locations do you have?
Brian Kelly, president: Eleven locations. Two manufacturing facilities and one shipping warehouse all located in Bensalem, Pa., and eight distributing warehouses nationwide in California, Missouri, Texas, Illinois, Arizona, Florida, Indiana, and Michigan.
What are your primary categories and services today?
Continental Refrigerator manufactures commercial refrigeration for the foodservice industry in the following categories: worktops, undercounters, sandwich units, base models (worktops, undercounters and sandwich units), pizza prep tables, griddle stands, milk coolers, bar equipment (keg and back bar coolers, bottle coolers), reach-ins and pass-thrus (refrigerators, freezers, warmers), roll-ins and roll-thrus (refrigerators, freezers, warmers), and fish files.
Who is your customer base?
Dealers with a focus on chains, restaurants, hotels, casinos, stadiums, colleges and universities, institutions, hospitals, K-12 schools, c-stores, supermarkets, and design build.
What is your latest and most interesting company innovation?
There are many new innovations with the conversion to R-290 refrigerant and the processes we have put in place to enhance the customer experience within service and parts department to keep with our mission of always placing the customer first.
How is your company making the best use of new technology?
Continental is moving forward by investing in lean manufacturing and technologies such as complete metal cells, lasers, and robotics for bending and welding metal parts. For more information on Continental lean initiatives, please see the summer issue of FEDA News & Views.
What excites you about the future of our industry?
Digital controls, smart technology, and robotics seem to be the future in just about every industry, and in our industry, companies are already incorporating this technology into their foodservice equipment. Innovations are occurring in many areas, from the use of digital controls to manage temperature and overall functions within the equipment and the ability of Bluetooth/WiFi technology to communicate directly to the operator or other equipment, to robotics and automation that help with the workflow in both the front and the back of the house.