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December 15, 2021

2021 Year in Review

It was another rollercoaster of a year filled with twists and turns, ups and downs. The lowest of the valleys was the death of KCL’s co-founder, Ron Kochman. Even in his final days, he enjoyed hearing updates on the foodservice industry and our business. Ron was a pioneer in our industry and we appreciate the outpouring of condolences and the fond memories you have shared with us.

Kevin and our team did Ron proud in 2021 as we brought a record number of new foodservice equipment manufacturers, 32! Thanks to Luca, this number included more than a dozen companies from the EMEA region.

Software Updates & New Features

Our drive to create the best restaurant design software is relentless. Along that line, we made several improvements and additions in 2021.  We now keep a running summary of such changes on our blog and also point them out in our monthly subscriber newsletters, which are also archived on our site.  

Our most popular 2021 changes included Room Builder, KCL NapkinSketch improvements, and the flatten tool, which turns 3D CAD or Revit files into 2D files in an instant. 

KCL’s updated language and regional support within our software makes it more accessible to our growing international audience.

Finally, an updated suite of Revit tools for Custom Blocks, the ability to change uppercase and main category, enhanced the user experience.

We also created monthly usage reports for our manufacturing partners. And in the spirit of partnership, we don’t charge for these reports, which provide critical feedback to their sales and marketing teams. KCL’s free monthly usage report provided critical feedback to our manufacturing partners. These reports provide feedback on who uses the content, where users are located, which models are most popular, and more.

We also post product line update announcements on LinkedIn and Twitter. All updates automatically appear in your system.

An illustration of Kevin Kochman standing with Ron Kochman representing KCL's history.

Webinars & Video Tutorials

As the year progressed, we noticed the desire for short-form tutorials in addition to our longer Tech Tip Tuesday webinars. Now you can find both types of content on our YouTube channel

The brief tutorials, KCL Shorts, are each less than five minutes long. Learn to use Room Builder, Rep Connect powered by MAFSI. Custom Blocks, and more. Not only is our Flatten tool easy to use, but it takes less than 20 seconds to learn how to apply it

"KCL will continue to build on Ron's legacy.”

The NAFEM Show 2021

Our team did a quick pivot when The NAFEM Show was canceled on short notice. We shifted to webinars and were able to reach hundreds of subscribers and manufacturers to share company updates and previews about what’s ahead.

Of course, it made for a unique show recap video. 

Kevin Kochman on stairs NAFEM cancelled

Host Milano

Happily, Luca fared better at Host Milano. He met with new and prospective manufacturers, while also representing KCL in the FCSI booth that KCL sponsored. Many EMEA manufacturers are eager to connect with the larger North American audience through KCL. 

He also presented an educational session on the current state of BIM in the foodservice industry. 

Luca reported that EMEA and APAC manufacturers are happy with KCL pricing both for listing their products and the generous site license we provide for our users. He also said they appreciate that KCL continues to add features for manufacturers and end-users without adding on extra fees.

KCL Gives Back

In addition to providing subscribers and manufacturers with flexible payment terms as needed during the pandemic, we also placed a priority on our philanthropic efforts. KCL sponsored or otherwise supported FCSI Birchfield, Antunes’s Splash event, FCSI Northeast, and CFESA.

We made two donations, our traditional annual one and another from our unspent NAFEM Show budget, to Second Harvest. Even better, both were matched by NAFEM’s social purpose initiative

KCL also supported the Society for Hospitality and Foodservice Management Foundation’s Hunger Games.

What’s Ahead for 2022

We’re working diligently to bring you KCL 6 and KCL NapkinSketch 2.0. As always, we’re looking ahead for ways to innovate in order to help our users save time and money while helping our manufacturers make it easy to spec their items.

In addition to better and faster, we plan to deliver more in 2022: more language options, more content, and more manufacturers. 

We will continue to support our high-tech tools with old-fashioned customer service while adding to our library of online tutorials that are available 24/7. We will still provide on-demand webinars and tutorials for user and manufacturer teams at no charge.

Most of all, we hope to return to trade shows and industry events so that we can see you again.

2022 the year ahead

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