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The Middleby CorporationThe Middleby Corporation manufactures cooking equipment for restaurants and institutional kitchens. Included in its product line are conveyor ovens, ranges, convection ovens, griddles, fryers, and food-warming equipment. Recognized by Business Week as one of the Top 100 Hot Growth Companies and by Forbes as one of the Best Small Companies, the firm enjoys particular strength among fast-food companies.1 Among its customers are Subway, McDonalds, Papa John’s, and Yum! Brands, the parent company of KFC, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, and others. Commenting on the firm’s rapid growth, one industry expert observed: “As these franchises go to China and Indonesia, Middleby ovens go there too.”2Middleby has developed a loyal customer base. For example, Middleby ovens are the only ovens used in Papa John’s restaurants around the world. For its excellence in customer service, quality, value, and relationship management, the firm was named the Yum! Brands Supplier of the Year and received the “Slice of Appreciation” award from Papa John’s International.3Middleby leads the industry in energy-efficient food-preparation equipment. The company offers a broad array of Energy Star-approved products that cook food efficiently without sacrificing quality. For example, Middleby’s WOW! Oven represents the most energy-efficient, fastest-cooking conveyor oven on the market— 35 percent faster, yet 30 percent more efficient than the appliances offered by competitors.To spur additional growth, Middleby is exploring the feasibility of adding casual dining chains to its targeted base.4 Casual dining comprises a market segment between fast-food establishments and fine dining restaurants. By offering a complete suite of products to revamp their kitchens, Middleby strategists believe casual dining operators could cut labor and energy costs while increasing productivity. Such changes would represent a multimillion-dollar initiative in each restaurant. Middleby is currently conducting a test run with three casual dining chains to demonstrate the potential return on investment that its products could deliver. Middleby refuses to divulge the names of the dining chains involved in the test but reports that the results look very promising.1Middleby Corporation Named YUM! Brands Supplier of the Year, April 6, 2010, accessed May 14, 2011, http://www.middleby.com.
2J. R. Brandstrader, “Food for Thought,” Barron’s, May 9, 2011, 56.
3Middleby Marshall Receives 2010 ‘Slice of Appreciation’ from Papa John’s International, December 2010, accessed May 14, 2011, http://www.middleby.com.
4Jim Royal, The Hidden Play on Rising Energy Prices (The Motley Fool), March 22, 2011, accessed May 14, 2011, http://www.fool.com.In planning marketing strategy, what adjustments might be needed in serving potential casual dining versus fast-food organizations?Purchase the answer to view it
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