Middleby Corporation CEO Tim FitzGerald said that takeaway businesses and pizza restaurants are among the operators spending on equipment again as the company unveiled results for arguably the toughest quarter in its history.
Net sales plunged 38% to $472m (£356m) in the second quarter of 2020 as the Covid-19 pandemic saw restaurants around the world close their doors. Net earnings fell from $92m to $21m (£m69m to £16m).
But Mr FitzGerald said that on the commercial foodservice side of the business, which is responsible for capital catering equipment, it had seen consistent improvement in orders from the initial April low.
“As we progressed through the month of July, business activity across all of our foodservice segments demonstrated continual improvement. In particular, we have seen strong demand from quick-serve and pizza restaurants, as well as in the healthcare, convenience stores, and retail categories.
“The steady improvement in orders was the result of continued growth in our customers’ drive-through, delivery and pick-up businesses. Order trends have also been supported by varying levels of outdoor and indoor dining which since June and July have become available in every state.”
Mr FitzGerald said that he expects to see volatility in its business as dining restrictions in high-risk states are re-enacted, but he anticipates order demand will remain improved from the second quarter.
“Our foodservice customers are evolving their operations to address employee safety issues, labour availability and operating challenges to support increasing delivery and drive-through business. We are well-positioned to address these near and longer-term emerging trends given technology investments we have made over the past year,” he commented.