Grill maker has features for customers who are at home or away
By Julie Knudson
Memphis Wood Fire Grills, with its standalone and built-in models designed to deliver flavor without the fuss, can help fuel the at-home cooking trend. The Bloomington, Minnesota–based company is a division of long-time OEM manufacturer Dalsin Industries. In 2009, Dalsin developed its own consumer product and launched an early foray into wood pellet stoves. Sharla Wagy, general manager of Memphis Wood Fire Grills, says the company soon realized wood-fire cooking was a trend it wanted to pursue, and it had just the proprietary technology to do it. “Memphis Wood Fire Grills was born, and we’ve been growing ever since,” she says.
The Memphis Edge
Lovers of outdoor living, from backyard cooks to gourmet chefs, will appreciate the versatility offered by Memphis Wood Fire Grills. “They’re unique in that they’re a true smoker, grill and convection oven,” Wagy says. The grills go from 180 degrees at the low end, up to 700 degrees at the top of the range. “Both our Pro and Elite grills are double-wall constructed with oven-grade gasketing, which provides superior temperature control,” Wagy says.
The dual-fan design eliminates the need for a rotisserie. Instead, hot air circulates around your turkey or chicken, Wagy says. The big hopper accommodates up to 18 pounds of pellets in the Pro model and 24 pounds in the Elite — and the grill automatically drops pellets to maintain the correct temperature.
Recently added to the Memphis Wood Fire Grills lineup is the cloud-based Wi-Fi application, which allows the grill to be monitored and controlled from anywhere. “The consumer can put a brisket or ribs on in the morning, play golf all day or take their pontoon boat onto the lake, and still see their grill temperature,” Wagy says. The heat can be turned up or down via the app, ensuring the user’s food is perfectly cooked without interrupting their fun. The app also includes recipes. Once a recipe is chosen, the application will monitor the grill and send the user an email or text when their food is ready for the next step.
Connecting with consumers on features, relationships
Most consumers shopping for a hot tub are already sold on the idea of spending time in their outdoor living space, giving knowledgeable retailers a warm lead-in for grills and related items. “Once specialty dealers have a good relationship with that customer, it’s much easier to sell them additional products,” Wagy says. Because the cost to acquire new customers is high, extending sales within an existing buyer base can be more lucrative in the long run.
Memphis Wood Fire Grills has found that specialty dealers are most successful when they can demonstrate the product and have a clear passion for the grills they sell. Wagy’s team encourages dealers to hold demonstrations and events where consumers can see various dishes prepared using the grill units. “It shows potential customers the ease of use,” Wagy says. “They can then also enjoy the superior flavors that come off our grill.”
Hot tub retailers carrying Memphis Wood Fire Grills have the company’s sales and service professionals for support. “We have programs for specialty dealers including a display program, training programs and lead generation programs,” Wagy says. That backing begins when a consumer visits the Memphis Wood Fire Grills website. They can add a product to their cart, but they’re then directed to a local dealer for completion of the sale as part of the company’s lead-generation program.
Ongoing retailer support is available in the field, with Memphis Wood Fire Grills personnel helping dealers understand how to set up the product and cook with it. “We also have webinars to update new sales people,” Wagy says. The sales and service team can assist with setting up the Wi-Fi to smoking the perfect brisket. And because the company encourages dealers to hold regular cooking events to engage with customers, assistance is available there, too. “We’ll send our sales people out periodically to help with these events,” Wagy says. “They can show customers how to cook on the grill and really demonstrate the benefits.”