Brand Ambassador Spotlight – Jim Simon

Brand Ambassador Spotlight - Jim Simon

Kingswood Leasing* is grateful to partner with outstanding foodservice dealers to offer equipment lease financing to their customers. We honor sales reps that have demonstrated a strong commitment to our partnership by distinguishing them as brand ambassadors.

Our latest brand ambassador is Jim Simon, project manager at Edward Don & Company.

Jim’s experience in the foodservice industry spans 43 years, 25 of them with DON. For him, one of the most exciting things about being in the industry for so long has been seeing how technology has revolutionized it. With intelligent cooking equipment coming from manufacturers like Rational and Alto Sham, it’s easier than ever for foodservice operators to cook their menu items consistently and efficiently. These innovative products automatically adjust the humidity and heat based on the items they’re cooking, and can be programmed with different menu items to ensure consistency.

This appreciation for technology is something he hopes to pass onto those just starting out in the industry. “Start with an education in a university that offers classes in the hospitality industry,” he advises. “Today’s foodservice industry is technology-based. Starting in this business in this climate, I would align myself with a company embracing the forefront of using technology in marketing, operations, kitchen production, and engineering.”

He has advice for more experienced operators, too. “To truly understand the global effect changes in demographics and target markets is critical to the end user's success now. Equipment companies are opening tech centers for cooking techniques and innovation. I would certainly want to learn from those people and bring that back to my operations and culinary teams to digest and use, to make my product more cost-effective to produce with the best quality possible. I would seek positions on different sides of the spectrum to educate myself over my first years in the foodservice industry.”

Photo of Jim Simon sitting at a restaurant table
Jim Simon

Jim’s favorite part of his role at DON is taking a blank piece of paper and turning it into a fully designed foodservice facility. Most recently, Jim worked with our team to finance a hotel project he’s been designing. Without financing, the hotel would have had to open the various kitchen spaces in phases. Kingswood Leasing’s equipment lease financing programs provided Jim the flexibility to complete all his projects before the opening. His customer can now build their lobby cafe, central kitchen, and sports bar all at once.

Equipment lease financing also freed up the client’s cash to focus on essential marketing campaigns. “Marketing is one of the biggest challenges new businesses face,” explains Jim. “By choosing to finance their equipment, business owners can invest their cash into marketing efforts to ensure their community knows when they've opened.”

In addition, Jim loves that financing options allow customers to invest in the best technology. “Since the pandemic, businesses have opened up again that had been closed for a long time. Their equipment sat dormant, and when they reopened, some of that equipment was no longer working correctly. Through financing, operators can upgrade those items and keep their quality high.”

Jim also notes that at times, a project gets to a point where the budget is exceeded, and in those instances, financing can make the difference between opening on time or not. “Leasing is instrumental; obtaining high-quality equipment that best fits their needs is important, and financing can help customers do that.”

Quote from Jim Simon

Kingswood Leasing’s own Regional Account Manager, Eric Reinauer, has enjoyed working with Jim to provide DON's customer's equipment lease financing options. “Jim has been a great partner from the first deal we worked on together. He understands the value we can bring to his customers and is always willing to go the extra mile to help get his customers what they need.”

Going that extra mile—for customers and for coworkers—is key to Jim and DON’s success. The longevity they’ve had (DON just celebrated its 100th anniversary) says it all: DON is a team-focused company that genuinely cares about the people that work for them. “Everyone takes care of each other, which makes DON special,” Jim explains with pride.

Thanks once again to Jim Simon for being an outstanding brand ambassador.

In addition to being featured on our blog, our brand ambassadors receive a gift card to a local restaurant they choose. Here’s what Jim said about his choice, Till Neighborhood Bistro & Bar

“The culinary team at Till is very much at the forefront of what is happening in Colorado. If you happen to visit, make sure you taste the salmon spread appetizer and do not miss the duck. Also, you will like the wine list!”


*Kingswood Leasing, powered by TimePayment

How to Open a Ghost Kitchen

Learn how to open a ghost kitchen with these tips from Kingswood Leasing, powered by TimePayment!

How to Open a Ghost Kitchen

With the increasing demand for takeout and delivery, many operators and investors wonder if they should open a ghost kitchen. Ghost kitchens (also referred to as dark kitchens, virtual kitchens, or shadow kitchens) are facilities set up to prepare takeout or delivery-only items. Many Ghost Kitchens have thrived over the past 18 months with help from Kingswood Leasing* as they procured, prepared, cooked, and delivered thousands of meals all over the US.

A study conducted by Upserve found delivery apps such as DoorDash and GrubHub have grown 300% faster than traditional dine-in restaurants in the last five years.

The ghost kitchen concept is nothing new. An NBC New York article coined the phrase in 2015 when they investigated restaurant owners listing their establishments under multiple different brands on delivery platforms. Those restaurants ended up being removed from GrubHub and Seamless’ platforms. Both delivery companies created new policies to check restaurant information and give customers more transparency into where they were ordering from.

Since then, ghost kitchens have morphed to become lucrative businesses. Some of the benefits of ghost kitchens include:

  1. Ability to capitalize on increased delivery and takeout demand
  2. Reduced overhead
  3. Less food waste
  4. Opportunities to open in locations that are not ideal for traditional restaurants due to lack of parking and dining space

Earlier this year, Kitchen United secured its second lease agreement in Chicago. The commercial space located in Chicago will be home to 10 kitchens arranged to resemble a food court. A centralized food ordering and pickup location will exist in the space. Not only is this model great for professionals that need to grab a quick bite, but it’s also a convenient option for families and other groups. This business model takes the argument out of “what’s for dinner,” allowing Chinese food, pizza, pasta, and burgers to be placed in one order that someone can pick up in one fell swoop.

Learn how to open a ghost kitchen with these tips from Kingswood Leasing, powered by TimePayment!

If you want to open a ghost kitchen, it is important first to figure out your business model.

The Kitchen United model that allows a large space to be managed by one company while individual brands manage their kitchen operations has gained popularity. If this option appeals to you, check out this resource from The Kitchen Door. They’ve compiled a listing of commercial kitchens available to rent.

Other operators are choosing to open space only big enough to run their own kitchen. A variation of this model allows a single restauranteur to run multiple kitchens out of a centralized location. This is an excellent option for operators who want to offer new concepts without investing in opening a traditional dine-in restaurant.

Another interesting take on the ghost kitchen allows operators in a traditional dine-in restaurant to operate a takeout-only establishment from their existing space. In this option, the ghost kitchen menu would not be available for dine-in customers. This is another way an established restauranteur can test a new concept without a large amount of overhead.

It is not only new concepts that choose to open a ghost kitchen. Many established chains, such as Panera and Chick-Fil-A, are opting to open takeaway-only locations. This allows them to open in new markets with reduced overhead.

While it may be a great option for some, the decision to open a ghost kitchen does not come without drawbacks.

A few important things to consider with this business model are:

  • Reduced relationship-building touchpoints with your customers
  • Less control of the presentation, temperatures, consistency, and delivery of your food items
  • High third-party delivery fees (fees can be between 20-40%)
  • Delivery errors that are out of the operator’s control (that can often taint the customer’s view of the restaurant)
  • Increased competition as reduced overhead costs make opening a ghost kitchen more financially accessible
  • Increased need to rank highly online when customers search for takeout options could mean increased ad spending, particularly pay-per-click (PPC) ads.
  • Limited access to customer information, as third-party apps will own the customer information and order history, making marketing to past customers impossible in some

Learn how to open a ghost kitchen with these tips from Kingswood Leasing, powered by TimePayment!

There is no denying that this business model can offer big rewards to operators. Here are a few tips to running a thriving ghost kitchen:

Meticulously plan your menu. Many dishes don’t travel well. Choosing to offer items you know will arrive in an optimal state is critical. Aim for quality menu items vs. a large quantity. Focusing on knockout dishes you know will travel well will help you avoid unhappy customers.

Stay organized. From keeping on top of your inventory to ensuring your staff always have the items they need, where they need them, keeping your kitchen well organized will save you money and aggravation.

Automate as much as possible. Often, operators open a ghost kitchen to keep overhead costs to a minimum. The flip side of this is the spaces are often small and can feel crowded. Automation and streamlining your processes can help keep your costs down while maximizing your space.

Become a marketing mastermind. Eliminating touchpoints with your customers means less opportunity to dazzle them. Get creative with ways to show your appreciation and convert them into loyal, raving fans. Ensure you’re utilizing social media consistently, invest in advertising, and create a cohesive branding experience through your packaging. Of course, an impeccable customer experience during each touchpoint you do have is vital.

Regardless of the type of ghost kitchen you open, you will need equipment, signage, AV equipment, and more! Keep your working capital available for daily operational costs by working with Kingswood Leasing* to explore equipment lease financing options. It only takes a few minutes to apply, and you will be able to get the items you need for monthly payments you can afford.

Contact us to learn how we can help you open a ghost kitchen today!

*Kingswood Leasing Powered By TimePayment







How To Add Kingswood To AutoQuotes Quote

How To Include Monthly Lease-To-Own Options On Your AutoQuotes Projects

You can access the Payment & Financing option through the Print function in AutoQuotes. 

1. Choose Print, either next to a project on the main screen or within a project itself. This will open the Report Viewer. 


AutoQuotes Project Print     

2. Scroll the right sidebar to the Totals section where the Payment & Financing option is located. Click the arrow on the right of the Payment & Financing box and select Kingswood from the options that appear in the dropdown. 

AutoQuotes Report Viewer with Totals Section highlighted


3. The Kingswood badge will then appear at the bottom of the quote next to the total cost showing monthly payment scenarios specific to that project. 

By default, the badge will be shown next time you generate a quote. 

That is how quick and easy it is to include lease financing options on every project.  

Tell us about your experience using Kingswood Leasing on your AutoQuotes at [email protected]

Easing the Transition to Work-From-Home

The Upward Trend

Work-from-home trends have been increasing for years.

  • 44% growth in the previous five years
  • 91% growth in the previous ten years
  • 159% growth in the previous 12 years

And in a post-COVID-19 world, these numbers may see their most substantial spike ever.

The Reason for the Rise: Technology

Internet bandwidth and speed, faster mobile data transmission rates, as-a-service conference and communication platforms that allow for low barriers and the increasing adoption of easy to use videoconferencing technologies are just some of the architectural reasons behind the trend. But technological evolution alone doesn’t explain the pace of growth.

The Reason for the Rise: Employee Behavior

Employee behavior around these technologies influences the trend as much as the technologies themselves. A recent survey of employee behavior at an international Fortune 100 company compared meeting behavior over the last five years. Interestingly, when employees are all in the same office building, on the same floor, they are eight times more likely to attend by ‘dialing in’ from their desk as opposed to assembling in a conference room than they were five years ago.

Employees that might be sitting only feet away from each other are still connecting using meeting technologies. Since they are using the technologies as a primary medium of connecting anyway, it becomes far easier to leverage those technologies in a work-from-home culture without losing productivity.

The Reason for the Rise: Travel Trends

With a focus on cost efficiency and productivity, travel just isn’t what it used to be. In-person client meetings that were once a necessity are moving to Teams, Zoom, and other platforms at an increasing rate. Gone are the days of wasting two days with travel for the product demo when a quick screen share and Q&A gets the job done in an hour. Even events are exploring virtual venues with webinar growth reaching nearly 2300% growth in participation rates since 2007.

The Reason for the Rise: Employee Satisfaction and Recruiting

Employee satisfaction scores increase when they have flexible work arrangements, and they average more hours worked per day when they work from home. Less time in transit and ease of access to quickly check in on business activities before and after hours can lead to enhanced productivity and happier employees for some roles.

Finally, there is the recruiting consideration. To be an employer of choice for the years ahead, flexible work arrangements will be essential to specific job functions.

Getting up to Speed

Now is the time to examine your company’s technology infrastructure and the tools your employees need to work effectively in remote environments. Tablets, laptops with reliable cameras, fast routers, and larger/extra monitors are just some of the near-term technology needs companies may need to invest in to enable a more decentralized working environment. And if you are anything like most business leaders, you haven’t planned or budgeted for this shift in office dynamics.

A strategic approach to technology financing can not only help you gear up to meet the rapidly growing demand, but also preserve cash, protect limited budgets and assist in keeping you on the cutting edge of rapidly changing technologies.

Kingswood is committed to helping small businesses and ready to provide easy access to the equipment and technology you need. We’re all in this together. Let us know how we can help.

Small Business Administration Disaster Loans

COVID-19 Relief Programs

Helping Our Customers, Now More Than Ever

Kingswood is here to help your business survive this unprecedented time. Our team has identified 4 types of programs that most affected businesses will qualify for. Your company should evaluate all four areas below:

Paycheck Protection Program

  • 100% Forgiveness available
  • Get 2.5x your monthly payroll (10 wks), up to $10MM
  • Use it for payroll and other bills like rent and utilities
  • Small businesses with 500 or fewer employees are eligible
  • No personal guarantee or collateral needed

Economic Injury Disaster Loan and Advance

  • Apply through the Small Business Administration website
  • Business owners economically impacted by the pandemic can apply for and receive working capital loans of up to $2 million
  • Terms up to 30 years
  • Term loans or lines of credit
  • Uses: To overcome the temporary loss of revenue
  • Applicants can request a $10,000 advance after with application

State & Local Relief Programs

States, localities, and communities of people have stepped up alongside our federal government to offer relief where they know the need is great. Grants and special term loans from $1,000 up to $200,000 are available to keep business owners going – until they can start growing again.

  • Find the information you need about your state’s programs.
  • Connect directly with your state and local funding programs.
  • We are continually working to update this page with the best information available so please check back often for changes.

Additional Aid Programs

The federal government has additional relief programs that can help business owners get through the economic impact of the global pandemic. Learn what is available and make sure your recovery plan has every benefit you can qualify for:

IRS Tax Extension for special payment relief: The Treasury Department and IRS are providing special tax filing and payment relief to individuals and businesses in response to the COVID-19 Outbreak.

SBA Express Bridge Loans: Businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender are able to access up to $25,000 quickly.

SBA Debt Relief: The SBA is providing financial reprieve to small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic by paying principal, interest, and fees on some business debt.

We're In This Together

We’re all in this together, and Kingswood is here to help you succeed as a business. We are here to help you work through today’s challenges and access the funding you need to help you get through and move forward.

If you are a current Kingswood customer, speak with a team member to learn more about assistance programs you may qualify for.

Call 888-327-8121 or email [email protected]

We extend our fullest well wishes for the health and safety of you, your employees, and your family.

Women in Business Conference 2019

Women in Business Conference 2019

Kingswood has a tradition of getting involved with our community, and specifically with the University of New Hampshire in Durham NH, whose campus is minutes away from our headquarters.  Recently, we had the honor of sponsoring The UNH Women in Business Conference at the Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics. Attendees included a vast array of students, alumni, and leaders in the business industry. The W.I.B Conference offered networking opportunities and business lectures that covered subjects such as Branding and Financial advice.

Participants were able to meet the lecturers after each presentation in order to gain insight, ask questions, and exchange ideas comfortably with business leaders and students alike. As a result, the Kingswood employees who attended the event came back with inspired ideas for marketing, business, and their personal lives as well.

We look forward to being a part of future community events.


Dover Children’s Home 11th Annual Golf Tournament

Kingswood Hits The Links For Local Charity

The entire staff of Kingswood Leasing was proud to support our 7th consecutive Dover Children’s Home Golf Tournament. This charitable tournament is one of the largest events that the Dover Children’s Home puts on every year, generating much of the needed funding for their non-profit programs for children. Thousands of NH’s most vulnerable children have received exceptional care at DCH since 1893. Their personalized treatment allows the young people that they serve to gain self-confidence and experience significant improvement in their family relationships, decision-making skills, and school performance.

Fundraisers and donations of any kind translate into the program’s ability to provide exceptional care while attempting to provide a positive adolescent experience. DCH is committed to improving the lives of the young people placed in their care by offering a wide array of services, experiences, and opportunities that celebrate each child’s individual strengths and personal needs.

As one of only a few community-based residential treatment programs for children remaining in NH, it is more important than ever for Dover Children’s Home to provide a safe haven for young people to develop the skills they will need to become healthy, productive members of the community.

“After another incredible year at Dover Children’s Home 11th Annual Golf Tournament, we want to say a HUGE thank you for helping us reach our goal of almost $25,000 raised during the event!!!!!  It was an absolutely beautiful day, lots of fun had, delicious food and great company!

We are so very grateful for your support, by golfing in the tournament, buying raffle tickets and bidding on our silent-auction items!  We would never have been able to reach our goal without you all!” – Renee Touhey-Childress, Executive Director, Dover Children’s Home

Hope to see you all at the 12th Annual Dover Children’s Home Golf Tournament in July 2019!!!

We will be there!!!