Companies will work closely to better meet the needs of their customers, while Welbilt explain how it will leverage its power brands, reports Michael Jones

Manitowoc Foodservice, Inc., which is changing its name to Welbilt, Inc. on 6 March 2017, and Halton Group Americas have announced a new strategic alliance that will see the integration of Halton ventilation solutions across a wide range of Welbilt’s equipment. The move has been made, say both companies, in order “to better meet the needs of their customers” respectively.

Restaurant chain businesses are significant customers for the two manufacturers, so this new partnership will, according to a joint statement, look to provide “a framework to combine the best from both companies’ innovation teams” in order to develop system solutions with specific focus on the following key areas:

  • Increase kitchen output while reducing kitchen footprint;
  • Improve speed of service and overall kitchen ergonomics;
  • Better manage kitchen temperatures to improve employee comfort and maximize productivity; and
  • Reduce total building energy consumption.

“We are pleased to partner with Halton as we believe that peak kitchen performance requires the integration of the cooking equipment to the ventilation systems. This integration includes the acceleration of digital technology, kitchen control systems, remote monitoring including KitchenConnect to provide better systems and service over the equipment life cycle. The alliance also complements our fitkitchen approach to develop high output kitchens in smaller footprints,” says Hubertus Muehlhaeuser, president and CEO of Manitowoc Foodservice/Welbilt.

“We believe there is significant growth potential in mobile cooking globally. Partnering with Welbilt can help us expand our Mobi-Chef solution by including an electric cooking suite, complete with refrigeration and have the combined products UL Listed for rapid customer adoption,” says Mika Halttunen, chairman of Halton.

The NAFEM Show 2017

At the NAFEM Show 2017 in Orlando Florida last week, Muehlhaeuser, announced to the press at the Welbilt ‘Media Mingle’ that the newly branded company was “going to become a little more aggressive” in business in the future.

Welbilt’s new senior vice president of strategy, marketing & HR, Andreas G. Weishaar, says Welbilt will act as “an umbrella brand that ties together 12 great, global brands,” including Convotherm, Frymaster, Garland and Merrychef. Welbilt, says Weishaar, will provide the “service and systems solutions that leverage those power brands and make them the rock star. The corporate brand is really just the tip of the iceberg and allows us to really focus our messaging. The brand is our face to the customer,” he says.

“We want to be significantly more customer focused,” says Weishaar. “This is a commitment that is important to us. Dealers, distributors and consultants are very important to us. We don’t know everything, but we are pragmatically innovative and we have a different vision of what the future is. We believe the value proposition needs to be at a different level and we believe the integrated systems approach makes us different to everyone else.”

Michael Jones


Pictured, from left to right: Rick Caron, senior vice president, innovation – Welbilt, Inc., Hubertus Muehlhaeuser, president and chief executive officer – Welbilt, Inc., Mika Halttunen, chairman of the board – Halton and Josef Matosevic, senior vice president and chief operating officer – Welbilt, Inc.

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