Home > About Us > History


HistoryHardt has always been, and still is, a privately-held company. The firm’s roots date back to the early 1960s, when the company was a small engineering and manufacturing firm that built custom elevators and other industrial projects. 

How Hardt Began

In the mid-1970s, Hardt developed its first rotisserie. With the creation of these first rotisseries, Hardt began its gradual shift to become a designer and manufacturer of commercial cooking equipment. In 1991, Hardt sold its gas rotisseries to the Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant chain for the roll-out of their ‘Rotisserie Gold’ program for the California market. In 1992, the Kenny Rogers Roasters restaurant chain started operations and appointed Hardt the sole-source rotisserie supplier for their concept. 

Staying On Top of Supermarket Trends

In 1995, a new trend surfaced in the U.S. supermarket industry, that of Home Meal Replacement (HMR). This prepared food concept took hold and many supermarket chains began looking for equipment to cook food in-store. The non-fried appeal along with the theatrical presentation of the rotisserie, especially Hardt’s Inferno live-flame model, was a perfect fit for a growing number of large supermarket chains.

Enter Wholesale Clubs

Another segment of the supermarket industry are the Wholesale Clubs. BJ’s Wholesale Club, Costco Wholesale and Sam’s Club, represent more than 90% of this segment; all of whom have been Hardt customers for more than a decade. These companies have been instrumental in defining the technology that Hardt has brought to market by challenging us to provide solutions for their operational issues. This approach of solving problems has led Hardt into developing new products that meet and often surpass expectations. These products include the Zone Hot Case line, our Cleaning Solution equipment, as well as the self-cleaning Inferno 3500 rotisserie

Ongoing Goals

It is this history of developing and strengthening long-term relationships with large national chains that has defined Hardt’s philosophy and approach to the marketplace.

By focusing and excelling on the ‘care’ our customers receive, Hardt is, has and will continue to develop strong relationships based on a win-win approach. Hardt lives daily by its motto – Responsive, Reliable Solutions.


Our CustomersWe address the needs of nationwide foodservice chains

Customize EquipmentWe listen to your needs and build equipment in order to solve your problems 

We Work With You DirectlyWe work directly with our customers in order to understand your concerns