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General Parts Group’s Training Rooms

By Tim Koehl, Service Manager, Indianapolis

It is well known that General Parts Group, nationally recognized food equipment service provider, has four training centers across the USA, however, for this blog, I would like to highlight our Indianapolis team and look at what benefits this facility brings to our community and perhaps provide a few ah-ha moments along the way.

The Indianapolis location is nearing its fifth year of hosting one of General Parts’ commercial kitchen training centers. The training room sits as an open slate ready to have equipment moved in per the needs of the presenter. The only limitations are, the training center can accommodate equipment up to 208/ 3PH 70amps and up to 15 guests.

The foodservice community has embraced the purpose and use of this space where commercial appliance manufacturers work with chefs to demonstrate how to effectively use a variety of their products, to other chefs, restaurant facility managers, school foodservice professionals, and more. Other examples of how our foodservice training room has been utilized are:

Manufacturer rep (Phoenix Marketing) uses our training room with a certified chef to video demonstrations of cooking skills using different equipment lines they represent. These videos are then shared on the world wide web along with the manufacturer they’ve demonstrated.Hospitality Consulting, LLC (ServSafe National Restaurant Association) uses the room to train restaurant staff in safe food handling practices, within the restaurant setting.

We had the opportunity to see a Fire X programmable gas kettle by South Bend Range when we hosted a demonstration & video session for Jason Hall, Certified Corporate Executive Chef, for South Bend Range. It was exciting to watch Chef Jason make gummy bears and other sweet treats (i.e. chocolate-covered bugs). I wasn’t too interested in the chocolate covered bugs; however, the gummy bears were a different story.

An out of the ordinary experience occurred when a local MFG Rep received a Marsal WF60/MB60 brick deck gas oven that was too large to pass thru the doors into their demo room. I received a call requesting if we had the ability to install the oven in our training center for a demo cooking & video series the next day. As is our General Parts Group way, we accepted the challenge to help. Using our drop-down deck trailer, we picked up the 4,000-pound crate to transport it to our office and install it in the training room. While removing the oven from its crate we found that the base of the crate was bolted to the base of the oven and it was not an option to remove. This did provide an unforeseen challenge as the size of the crate’s base was not considered when measuring the doorways. The oven mounted to the crate base gave us an allowance of ½” clearance on the top of the oven. We successfully installed the oven and the entire office staff along with our service technicians were able to enjoy a fabulous pizza party, so to speak. That was a great two days!

It’s not just food service professionals that benefit from the use of our training room and from us a food equipment service provider, we also use the room for internal service technician training whether it be for CFESA certification or manufacturer field training on how to install, maintain and repair their commercial kitchen equipment.

The only drawback we have for this space is we didn’t plan for a dishwasher to use for the cleanup when there is a cooking event training class. It’s tough to hand wash your dishes!

The training room can be booked via email, phone call or text message for short notice. There is a training & conference room calendar maintained by myself to ensure there are no scheduling conflicts for Joe & or Gary in the event they have meetings with manufacturers. If you are interested in reserving a training room in Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, and Phoenix, visit us online or call us at 1-888-498-1238.