The Middleby Corporation (“Middleby” or the “company”), through its operating subsidiary Middleby Marshall Inc. (“Middleby Marshall”) and its subsidiaries, is a leader in the design, manufacture, marketing, distribution, and service of a broad line of (i) cooking and warming equipment used in all types of commercial restaurants and institutional kitchens and (ii) food preparation, cooking and packaging equipment for food processing operations.
Founded in 1888 as a manufacturer of baking ovens, Middleby Marshall Oven Company was acquired in 1983 by TMC Industries Ltd., a publicly traded company that changed its name in 1985 to The Middleby Corporation. The company has established itself as a leading provider of (i) commercial restaurant equipment and (ii) food processing equipment as a result of its acquisition of industry leading brands and through the introduction of innovative products within both of these segments.
Over the past three years the company has completed eleven acquisitions in the commercial foodservice equipment and food processing equipment industries. These acquisitions have added fourteen brands to the Middleby portfolio and positioned the company as a leading supplier of equipment in both industries.
In April 2007, the company acquired the assets of Jade Products Company (“Jade”) for $7.8 million in cash. Jade is a leading manufacturer of premium commercial and residential ranges and ovens used by many of the top chefs and upscale restaurant chains. Jade is also known for its ability to provide unique customized cooking suites designed to suit the needs of the most demanding restaurant operators. This acquisition allowed Middleby to expand its product offerings in the commercial foodservice segment with a leading industry brand.
In June 2007, the company acquired the assets of Carter-Hoffmann for $16.4 million in cash. Carter-Hoffmann is a leading brand and supplier of heated cabinets and food holding equipment for the commercial restaurant industry. This acquisition was complementary to Middleby’s existing cooking products and allowed the company to provide a more complete offering on the “hot-side” of the kitchen.
In July 2007, the company acquired the assets of MP Equipment (“MP Equipment”) for $15.3 million in cash and $3.0 million in deferred payments made to the sellers. MP Equipment further strengthened Middleby’s position in the food processing equipment industry by adding a portfolio of complementary products to the Alkar and Rapidpak brands. The products of MP Equipment include breading machines, battering machines, mixers, forming equipment, and slicing machines. These products are used by numerous suppliers of food product to the major restaurant chains.
In August 2007, the company acquired the assets of Wells Bloomfield for $29.2 million in cash. Wells is a leading brand of cooking and warming equipment for the commercial restaurant industry, complimenting Middleby’s other products in this category. Wells also offers a unique ventless hood system, which is increasing in demand as more and more food operations are opening in unconventional locations where it is difficult to install ventilation systems, such as shopping malls, airports and stadiums. Bloomfield is a leading provider of coffee brewers, tea brewers and beverage dispensing equipment. The addition of Bloomfield to Middleby’s portfolio of brands allows Middleby to benefit in the fast growing beverage segment as the company’s restaurant chain customers increase their offerings of coffee and specialty drinks.
In December 2007, subsequent to the company’s fiscal 2007 year end, the company acquired New Star International Holdings, Inc. (“Star”) for $189.5 million in cash. This acquisition added three leading brands to Middleby’s portfolio of brands in the commercial restaurant industry, including Star, a leader in light duty cooking and concession equipment, Holman, a leader in conveyor and pop-up toasters, and Lang, a leading oven and range line. The transaction positions Middleby as a leading supplier to convenience chains and fast casual restaurant chains.
In April 2008, the company acquired the net assets and related business operations of Frifri aro SA (“Frifri”) for $3.5 million in cash. Frifri is a leading European supplier of advanced frying systems.
In April 2008, the company acquired the assets of Giga Grandi Cucine S.r.l. (“Giga”) for $9.9 million in cash and assumed debt. Giga is a leading European manufacturer of ranges, ovens and steam cooking equipment.
In January 2009, subsequent to the company’s fiscal 2008 year end, the company acquired TurboChef Technologies, Inc. (“TurboChef”) for cash and shares of Middleby common stock. The total aggregate purchase price of the transaction amounted to $160.3 million including $116.3 million in cash and 1,539,668 shares of Middleby common stock valued at $44.0 million. TurboChef is a leader in speed-cook technology, one of the fastest growing segments of the commercial foodservice equipment market. TurboChef’s user-friendly speed cook ovens employ proprietary combinations of heating technologies to cook a variety of food products at speeds up to 12 times faster than that of conventional heating methods.
In April 2009, the company acquired the assets of CookTek LLC (“CookTek”) for $8 million in cash and $1.0 million in a deferred payment due the seller. CookTek is a leader in the manufacture of induction cooking and warming systems for the commercial foodservice industry. CookTek’s line of induction cooking equipment utilizes magnetic waves to heat product in a highly energy efficient manner at speeds fast than conventional cooking equipment.
In April 2009, the company acquired substantially all of the assets of Anetsberger Brothers, Inc. (“Anets”), a leading manufacturer of griddles, fryers, and dough rollers for the commercial foodservice industry for $3.4 million in cash and $0.5 million in deferred payments. The acquisition of Anets allows Middleby to continue to expand its portfolio of leading brands in cooking and warming and increase its leading position in the griddle and fryer segment.
In December 2009, the company acquired all of the shares of Doyon Equipment Inc. (“Doyon”), a leading manufacturer of baking ovens for the commercial foodservice industry for approximately $5.8 million. The acquisition of Doyon enhances Middleby’s position as a leader in the baking segment and better positions the company to address the growing needs of the retail and supermarket foodservice segment
The company's annual reports on Form 10-K, including this Form 10-K, as well as the company's quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K and amendments to such reports are available, free of charge, on the company's internet website, www.middleby.com. These reports are available as soon as reasonably practicable after they are electronically filed with or furnished to the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Business Divisions and Products
The company conducts its business through three principal business divisions: the Commercial Foodservice Equipment Group; the Food Processing Equipment Group; and the International Distribution Division. See Note 11 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for further information on the company's business segments.
Commercial Foodservice Equipment Group
The Commercial Foodservice Equipment Group has a broad portfolio of leading brands of cooking and warming equipment, which enable it to serve virtually any cooking or warming application within a commercial restaurant or institutional kitchen. This cooking and warming equipment is used across all types of foodservice operations, including quick-service restaurants, full-service restaurants, convenience stores, retail outlets, hotels and other institutions. The company offers a broad line of cooking equipment marketed under a portfolio of twenty brands, including, Anets®, Blodgett®, Blodgett Combi®, Blodgett Range®, Bloomfield®, CTX®, Carter-Hoffmann®, CookTek®, Doyon®, Frifri®, Giga®, Holman®, Houno®, Jade®, Lang®, MagiKitch'n®, Middleby Marshall®, NuVu®, Pitco®, Southbend®, Star®, Toastmaster®, TurboChef® and Wells®. These products are manufactured at the company's U.S. facilities in California, Illinois, Michigan, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Vermont. The company also has international manufacturing facilities located in Canada, China, Denmark, Italy and the Philippines.
The products offered by this group include ranges, convection ovens, conveyor ovens, baking ovens, proofers, broilers, fryers, combi-ovens, charbroilers, steam equipment, pop-up and conveyor toasters, steam cooking equipment, food warming equipment, induction cooking systems, griddles, ventless cooking systems, coffee brewers, tea brewers and beverage dispensing equipment.
This group is represented by the following product brands:
For over 80 years, Anets® has been an innovator in the commercial foodservice industry with a full range of fryers, griddles, dough rollers, pasta cookers and bakery products.
Blodgett®, known for its durability and craftsmanship, is the leading brand of convection and combi-ovens. In demand since the late 1800's, the Blodgett oven has stood the test of time and set the industry standard.
Bloomfield® is one of the leading brands providing coffee brewers, tea brewers, and beverage dispensing equipment. Bloomfield has a reputation of durability and dependability.
Carter-Hoffmann® has been a leading provider of heated cabinets, rethermalizing equipment and food serving equipment for over 60 years. Carter-Hoffmann is known for providing innovative and energy saving equipment that allow a foodservice operation to save on food costs by holding food in its heated cabinets and holding stations for an extended period of time, while maintaining the quality of the product.
CookTek® is the leading innovator, developer and manufacturer of induction powered equipment for the foodservice industry, with a focus on cooking, buffet holding and hot food delivery. Designed to be simple to operate, rugged and durable, all products are supremely energy efficient - “green by nature.”
Doyon® has been a manufacturer of bakery ovens for more than 50 years. Doyon is recognized for its quality and service. Doyon’s products include bakery ovens, proofers and mixers.
Frifri is a leading manufacturer of fryers and frying systems in Europe. They lead the market due to their innovation, including advanced controls and filtration functions. Since 1947 they have been known for their quality products and durability.
Founded in 1967, GIGA Grandi Cucine S.r.l. is a leading manufacturer well known in Italy as a manufacturer of a broad line of professional cooking equipment and catering equipment. Giga’s products include ranges, steam cooking equipment and ovens.
For over 50 years, Holman® is a leading brand in toasting equipment including high speed, conveyorized and pop-up. Holman equipment can be found in many convenience stores, restaurant chains, and hotels. With the recent trend of toasted sandwiches, Holman toasters can be found in several of the leading sandwich chains.
For more than 30 years, Houno® has manufactured quality combi-ovens and baking ovens. Houno ovens are recognized for their superior design, energy and water saving features and reliability.
Jade® designs and manufactures premium and customized cooking suites which can be found in the restaurants of many leading chefs. Jade is renowned for its offering of specialty cooking equipment and its ability to customize products to meet the specialized requests of a restaurant operator.
For more than a century, Lang® has been a world-class supplier of cooking equipment, offering a complete line of high-performing, innovative gas and electric cooking solutions for commercial and marine applications.
For more than 60 years, MagiKitch’n® has focused on manufacturing charbroiling products that deliver quality construction, high performance and flexible operation.
Conveyor oven equipment products are marketed under the Middleby Marshall®, Blodgett® and CTX® brands. Conveyor oven equipment allows for simplification of the food preparation process, which in turn provides for labor savings opportunities and a greater consistency of the final product. Conveyor oven customers include many of the leading pizza restaurant chains and sandwich chains.
Nu-Vu®, the leader in on-premise baking, manufacturers a wide variety of commercial baking equipment for use in restaurants and institutions. Nu-Vu ovens and proofers are used by many of the leading sandwich chains for daily baking of fresh bread.
Pitco Frialator® offers a broad line of gas and electric equipment combining reliability with efficiency in simple-to-operate professional frying equipment. Since 1918, Pitco fryers have captured a major market share by offering simple, reliable equipment for cooking menu items such as french fries, onion rings, chicken, donuts and seafood.
For over 100 years, Southbend® has produced a broad array of heavy-duty, gas-fired equipment, including ranges, convection ovens, broilers, and steam cooking equipment. Southbend has dedicated significant resources to developing and introducing innovative product features resulting in a premier cooking line.
Star® has been making durable, reliable, quality products since 1921. Star products are used in a broad range of applications that include fast food, leisure, concessions and traditional restaurant operations.
Toastmaster® manufactures light and medium-duty electric equipment, including pop-up and conveyor toasters, hot food servers, foodwarmers and griddles to commercial restaurants and institutional kitchens.
Since its inception in 1991, TurboChef ® has pioneered the world of rapid cooking. The result of top-grade engineering and testing, TurboChef ovens feature proprietary technology, which combines superior air impingement with other rapid-cook methods to create high heat transfer rates and outstanding food quality.
Wells® is a leader in countertop and drop in warmers. It is also one of only a few companies to offer ventless cooking systems. Its patented technology allows a food service operator to utilize cooking equipment in locations where external ventilation may not be possible, such as shopping malls, airports and sports arenas.
Food Processing Equipment Group
The Food Processing Equipment Group provides a broad array of innovative products designed for the food processing industry. These products include:
Cooking equipment, including batch ovens, belt ovens and conveyorized cooking systems marketed under the Alkar® brand.
Food preparation equipment, such as breading, battering, mixing, forming and slicing machines, marketed under the MP Equipment® brand.
Packaging and food safety equipment marketed under the Rapidpak® brand.
Customers include large international food processing companies throughout the world. The company is recognized as a market leader in the manufacturing of equipment for producing pre-cooked meat products, such as hot dogs, dinner sausages, poultry and lunchmeats. Through its broad line of products, the company is able to deliver a wide array of cooking solutions to service a variety of food processing requirements demanded by its customers. The Food Processing Equipment Group has manufacturing facilities in Wisconsin.
International Distribution Division
The company has identified the international markets as an area of growth. Middleby’s International Distribution Division provides integrated export management and distribution services, enabling the company to offer equipment to be delivered and supported virtually anywhere in the world. The company believes that its global network provides it with a competitive advantage that positions the company as a preferred foodservice equipment supplier to major restaurant chains expanding globally. The company offers customers a complete package of kitchen equipment, delivered and installed in over 100 countries. For a local country distributor or dealer, the division provides centralized sourcing of a broad line of equipment with complete export management services, including export documentation, freight forwarding, equipment warehousing and consolidation, installation, warranty service and parts support. The International Distribution Division has regional export management companies in Asia, Europe and Latin America complemented by sales and distribution offices located in Australia, Belgium, China, France, India, Italy, Germany, Lebanon, Mexico, the Philippines, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom.
The Customers and Market
Commercial Foodservice Equipment Industry
The company's end-user customers include: (i) fast food or quick-service restaurants, (ii) full-service restaurants, including casual-theme restaurants, (iii) retail outlets, such as convenience stores, supermarkets and department stores and (iv) public and private institutions, such as hotels, resorts, schools, hospitals, long-term care facilities, correctional facilities, stadiums, airports, corporate cafeterias, military facilities and government agencies. The company's domestic sales are primarily through independent dealers and distributors and are marketed by the company's sales personnel and network of independent manufacturers' representatives. Many of the dealers in the U.S. belong to buying groups that negotiate sales terms with the company. Certain large multi-national restaurant and hotel chain customers have purchasing organizations that manage product procurement for their systems. Included in these customers are several large restaurant chains, which account for a meaningful portion of the company's business. The company’s international sales are through a combined network of independent and company-owned distributors. The company maintains sales and distribution offices in Australia, Belgium, China, France, India, Italy, Germany, Lebanon, Mexico, the Philippines, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom.
Over the past several decades, the foodservice equipment industry has enjoyed steady growth in the United States due to the development of new quick-service and casual-theme restaurant chain concepts, the expansion into nontraditional locations by quick-service restaurants and store equipment modernization. In the international markets, foodservice equipment manufacturers have been experiencing stronger growth than the U.S. market due to rapidly expanding international economies and increased opportunity for expansion by U.S. chains into developing regions.
The company believes that the worldwide commercial foodservice equipment market has sales in excess of $20 billion. The cooking and warming equipment segment of this market is estimated by management to exceed $1.5 billion in North America and $3.0 billion worldwide. The company believes that continuing growth in demand for foodservice equipment will result from the development of new restaurant concepts in the U.S. and the expansion of U.S. and foreign chains into international markets, the replacement and upgrade of existing equipment and new equipment requirements resulting from menu changes.
Food Processing Equipment Industry
The company's customers include a diversified base of leading food processors. A large portion of the company's revenues have been generated from producers of pre-cooked meat products such as hot dogs, dinner sausages, poultry, and lunchmeats; however, the company believes that it can leverage its expertise and product development capabilities in thermal processing to organically grow into new end markets.
Food processing has quickly become a highly competitive landscape dominated by a few large conglomerates that possess a variety of food brands. The consolidation of food processing plants associated with industry consolidation drives a need for more flexible and efficient equipment that is capable of processing large volumes in quicker cycle times. In recent years, food processors have had to conform to the demands of “big-box” retailers, including, most importantly, greater product consistency and exact package weights. Food processors are beginning to realize that their old equipment is no longer capable of efficiently producing adequate uniformity in the large product volumes required, and they are turning to equipment manufacturers that offer product consistency, innovative packaging designs and other solutions. To protect their own brands and reputations, big-box retailers are also dictating food safety standards that are actually stricter than government regulations.
A number of factors, including rising raw material prices, labor and health care costs, are driving food processors to focus on ways to improve their generally thin profitability margins. In order to increase the profitability and efficiency in processing plants, food processors pay increasingly more attention to the performance of their machinery and the flexibility in the functionality of the equipment. Meat processors are continuously looking for ways to make their plants safer and reduce labor-intensive activities. Food processors have begun to recognize the value of new technology as an important vehicle to drive productivity and profitability in their plants. Due to pressure from big-box retailers, food processors are expected to continue to demand new and innovative equipment that addresses food safety, food quality, automation and flexibility.
Improving living standards in developing countries is spurring increased worldwide demand for pre-cooked and convenience food products. As industrializing countries create more jobs, consumers in these countries will have the means to buy pre-cooked food products. In industrialized regions, such as Western Europe and the U.S., consumers are demanding more pre-cooked and convenience food products, such as deli tray variety packs, frozen food products and ready-to-eat varieties of ethnic foods.
The global food processing equipment industry is highly fragmented, large and growing. The company estimates demand for food equipment is approximately $3 billion in the U.S and $20 billion worldwide. The company’s product offerings are estimated to compete in a subsegment of total industry, and the relevant market size for its products are estimated by management to exceed $0.5 billion in the U.S. and $1.5 billion worldwide.
The company's backlog of orders was $51.7 million at January 2, 2010, all of which is expected to be filled during 2010. The acquired TurboChef, CookTek, Anets and Doyon businesses accounted for $4.5 million of the backlog. The company's backlog was $47.3 million at January 3, 2009. The backlog is not necessarily indicative of the level of business expected for the year, as there is generally a short time between order receipt and shipment for the majority of the company’s products.
Marketing and Distribution
Commercial Foodservice Equipment Group
Middleby's products and services are marketed in the U.S. and in over 100 countries through a combination of the company's sales personnel and international marketing divisions and subsidiaries, together with an extensive network of independent dealers, distributors, consultants, sales representatives and agents. The company's relationships with major restaurant chains are primarily handled through an integrated effort of top-level executive and sales management at the corporate and business division levels to best serve each customer's needs.
In the United States, the company distributes its products to independent end-users primarily through a network of non-exclusive dealers nationwide, who are supported by manufacturers' marketing representatives. Sales are made direct to certain large restaurant chains that have established their own procurement and distribution organization for their franchise system.
International sales are primarily made through the International Distribution Division network to independent local country stocking and servicing distributors and dealers and, at times, directly to major chains, hotels and other large end-users.
Food Processing Equipment Group
The company maintains a direct sales force to market the Alkar, Rapidpak and MP Equipment brands and maintains direct relationships with each of its customers. The company also involves division management in the relationships with large global accounts. In North America, the company employs regional sales managers, each with responsibility for a group of customers and a particular region. Internationally, the company maintains global sales managers supported by a network of independent sales representatives.
The company’s sale process is highly consultative due to the highly technical nature of the equipment. During a typical sales process, a salesperson makes several visits to the customer’s facility to conceptually discuss the production requirements, footprint and configuration of the proposed equipment. The company employs a technically proficient sales force, many of whom have previous technical experience with the company as well as education backgrounds in food science.
Services and Product Warranty
The company is an industry leader in equipment installation programs and after-sales support and service. The company provides a warranty on its products typically for a one year period and in certain instances greater periods. The emphasis on global service increases the likelihood of repeat business and enhances Middleby's image as a partner and provider of quality products and services.
Commercial Foodservice Equipment Group
The company's domestic service network consists of over 100 authorized service parts distributors and 3,000 independent certified technicians who have been formally trained and certified by the company through its factory training school and on-site installation training programs. Technicians work through service parts distributors, which are required to provide around-the-clock service via a toll-free paging number. The company provides substantial technical support to the technicians in the field through factory-based technical service engineers. The company has stringent parts stocking requirements for these agencies, leading to a high first-call completion rate for service and warranty repairs.
It is critical to major foodservice chains that equipment providers be capable of supporting equipment on a worldwide basis. The company's international service network covers over 100 countries with more than 1,000 service technicians trained in the installation and service of the company's products and supported by internationally-based service managers along with the factory-based technical service engineers. As with its domestic service network, the company maintains stringent parts stocking requirements for its international distributors.
Food Processing Equipment Group
The company maintains a technical service group of employees that oversees and performs installation and startup of equipment and completes warranty and repair work. This technical service group provides services for customers both domestically and internationally. Service technicians are trained regularly on new equipment to ensure the customer receives a high level of customer service. From time to time the company utilizes trained third party technicians supervised by company employees to supplement company employees on large projects.
Manufacturing and Quality Control
The company manufactures product in eleven domestic and five international production facilities. In Brea, California, the company manufactures cooking ranges. In Chicago, Illinois, the company manufacturers induction cooking and warming systems. In Elgin, Illinois, the company manufactures conveyor ovens. In Mundelein, Illinois, the company manufactures warming equipment and heated food cabinets. In Menominee, Michigan, the company manufactures baking ovens and proofers. In Bow, New Hampshire, the company manufactures fryers, charbroilers and catering equipment products. In Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina, the company manufactures ranges, steamers, combi-ovens, convection ovens and broiling equipment. In Smithville, Tennessee, the company manufacturers counterline cooking equipment and warming systems, fryers, convection ovens, counterline cooking equipment and ventless cooking systems. In Dallas, Texas, the company manufacturers high-speed cooking ovens. In Burlington, Vermont, the company manufactures combi-ovens, convection ovens and deck oven product lines. In Lodi, Wisconsin, the company manufactures cooking systems, breading, battering, mixing, forming, and slicing equipment and packaging equipment that serves customers in the food processing industry. In Randers, Denmark, the company manufactures combi-ovens and baking ovens. In Scandicci, Italy, the company manufacturers a wide array of food service equipment including ranges, fryers and ovens. In Quebec City, Quebec, Canada, the company manufacturers baking ovens, proofers, pizza ovens and mixers. In Shanghai, China, the company manufactures frying systems. In Laguna, the Philippines, the company manufactures fryers, counterline equipment and component parts for the U.S. manufacturing facilities.
Metal fabrication, finishing, sub-assembly and assembly operations are conducted at each manufacturing facility. Equipment installed at individual manufacturing facilities includes numerically controlled turret presses and machine centers, shears, press brakes, welding equipment, polishing equipment, CAD/CAM systems and product testing and quality assurance measurement devices. The company's CAD/CAM systems enable virtual electronic prototypes to be created, reviewed and refined before the first physical prototype is built.
Detailed manufacturing drawings are quickly and accurately derived from the model and passed electronically to manufacturing for programming and optimal parts nesting on various numerically controlled punching cells. The company believes that this integrated product development and manufacturing process is critical to assuring product performance, customer service and competitive pricing.
The company has established comprehensive programs to ensure the quality of products, to analyze potential product failures and to certify vendors for continuous improvement. Products manufactured by the company are tested prior to shipment to ensure compliance with company standards.
Sources of Supply
The company purchases its raw materials and component parts from a number of suppliers. The majority of the company’s material purchases are standard commodity-type materials, such as stainless steel, electrical components and hardware. These materials and parts generally are available in adequate quantities from numerous suppliers. Some component parts are obtained from sole sources of supply. In such instances, management believes it can substitute other suppliers as required. The majority of fabrication is done internally through the use of automated equipment. Certain equipment and accessories are manufactured by other suppliers for sale by the company. The company believes it enjoys good relationships with its suppliers and considers the present sources of supply to be adequate for its present and anticipated future requirements.
Research and Development
The company believes its future success will depend in part on its ability to develop new products and to improve existing products. Much of the company's research and development efforts are directed to the development and improvement of products designed to reduce cooking time, increase cooking capacity or throughput, reduce energy consumption, minimize labor costs, improve product yield and improve safety while maintaining consistency and quality of cooking production and food preparation. The company has identified these issues as key concerns for most of its customers. The company often identifies product improvement opportunities by working closely with customers on specific applications. Most research and development activities are performed by the company's technical service and engineering staff located at each manufacturing location. On occasion, the company will contract outside engineering firms to assist with the development of certain technical concepts and applications. See Note 4(n) to the Consolidated Financial Statements for further information on the company's research and development activities.
Licenses, Patents, and Trademarks
The company owns numerous trademarks and trade names; among them, Alkarâ, Anets®, Blodgettâ, Blodgett Combiâ, Blodgett Rangeâ, Bloomfieldâ, CTXâ, Carter-Hoffmannâ, CookTekâ, Doyonâ, Frifriâ, Gigaâ, Holmanâ, Hounoâ, Jadeâ , L angâ, MP Equipmentâ, MagiKitch’nâ, Middleby Marshallâ, Nu-Vuâ, Pitco Frialatorâ, RapidPakâ, Southbendâ, Starâ, Toastmasterâ TurboChefâ and Wellsâ are registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and in various foreign countries.
The company holds a broad portfolio of patents covering technology and applications related to various products, equipment and systems. Management believes the expiration of any one of these patents would not have a material adverse effect on the overall operations or profitability of the company.