Last month we did a spotlight on one of our awesome restaurant partners, Jimmy’s coffee. This month we are going to take a closer look at one of our vendor experts, StayKool Mechanical. StayKool is a mechanical company that specializes in servicing HVAC and refrigeration equipment.
We spoke to Al Lombardo (Founder of StayKool) and gained an inside look at his family run business.
Tell us a little more about your background and where it all started for you?
Al: After first working in auto plants I went back to school to take a course on refrigeration. After finishing school I started my apprenticeship with Macs Convenience stores. After a great deal of experience servicing a large conglomerate in Macs, I decided I had gained enough experience to start my own company. A family friend suggested the name StayKool which uses a ‘K’ as a type of slang; to stay chill and relaxed no matter the situation, because our company will fix anything. The company started out oriented around refrigeration services, which makes perfect sense.
Any reason why you like working with restaurants? What other types of customers are you focused on?
“I never get into a bad relationship”
Al: Not only do we deal with restaurants but we also work on commercial buildings. With regards to restaurants, our company is geared more towards the educated restaurant customer – the customer that cares about their establishment. For example, when we show up to a job and both the equipment and premises are well maintained, this is a sign that there will be a good relationship.
What is your biggest obstacle for growing your business?
“As technology evolves, the skilled trade work force decreases”
Al: The biggest obstacle is finding skilled workers. It’s increasingly difficult to find people who want to get their hands dirty these days. More and more the younger generation is moving away from studying trades which makes the supply for skilled trade workers diminished. Some of my greatest advice for youth is to “go into trades – that’s where your future is”.
What is the toughest job you or your team has ever done?
Al: They are all tough jobs. Weather is a huge factor. In the wintertime when you are replacing rooftop units at -30, the wind is blowing in your face, and it’s snowing – those are some tough days. Nonetheless, the job always gets completed without hassle.
What type of culture do you push towards amongst your team and customers?
Al: Service and reliability is what StayKool is known for. It’s a family run business, everyone motivates each other and delivers the same amount of quality to customers as well as internal team members. It’s in both of our best interests to provide the friendliest, and most efficient service a restaurant can attain. We strive to create win-win relationships.
This is one of the primary reasons we love working with ResQ; the restaurants they bring on board are strongly aligned with a belief in quality and reliability of their services.
Why do you like working with ResQ and what is unique about your experience with us?
“Very great people, they get the business very well!”
Al: Everyone is great, the operations team is excellent, and we love working with the ResQ community of partner restaurants. It’s neat to get in on the ground floor of an emerging technology partner in your space, we’re looking forward to what the future of this relationship holds.