Alto-Shaam was incorporated in 1955 and, following 13 years in the restaurant business, Jerry Maahs began to focus more serious attention to the development of equipment for the food service industry. With his strong food service background, Maahs recognized and sought solutions to the equipment problems of the foodservice operator. The change of direction led him to devote the first two years to careful research and enabled him to enter the U.S. marketplace with a line of holding equipment aimed at replacing steam tables. He formally introduced this line at a food service trade show in Chicago.
The domestic foodservice market rapidly accepted the new patented food holding concept offered by Alto-Shaam. The company expanded their original line, developing a combination cooking and holding oven by 1971. The firm's fast rise in a highly competitive market is attributed to the HALO HEAT System. The System is very basic, however, competitors were unable to duplicate it without infringing on Alto-Shaam patents.
HALO HEAT equipment can hold foods for extended periods of time without bacteria growth, no additional cooking, and with minimal dehydration to the product. HALO HEAT equipment will save money on electric bills because the units require only one-half to one-third the energy of conventional ovens. Tests conducted by the Wisconsin Electric Power Company have proven conclusively that HALO HEAT low temperature cooking consumes the lowest known amount of electrical energy per pound of cooked meat. This equipment produces no smoke, heavy fumes, or combustible gases, which eliminates the need for exhaust hoods and outside venting. This not only simplifies and lowers or eliminates installation costs, but also gives the foodservice facility the continuing flexibility to roll units wherever needed.
Today, with the introduction and manufacture of the Alto-Shaam/Combitherm Convection Oven-Steamer in both electric and gas, Alto-Shaam Quickchillers, and institutional hot/cold dietary tray carts, Alto-Shaam has become a leader in advanced systems designed to save labor costs and improve operating efficiencies. Count on Alto-Shaam to provide more innovative systems for today and in the future.