Menumaster (f/k/a: Litton Microwave and Microwave Products of America)

Situation: Successor entity for assets purchased from Chapter 11 (Litton)

Outcome: Built global leader in commercial microwave cooking technology – dominated in 35 different countries.

Role: The Belét Group retained as – CEO, CFO, COO, CMO – duration: 2 years

State of Affairs:Healing from the devastating effects of:
1.) being orphaned by a Fortune 500;
2.) a failed leveraged buyout;
3.) a recent restructuring in a Chapter 11;
4.) a massive downsizing (from several thousand employees to several hundred);
5.) the relocation from facilities totaling >1M to <50K sq. ft.; and,
6.) a complete shift away from being a dominant U.S. consumer products supplier to exclusively the commercial products sector,
      … the company was just finding its bearings.

Proximate Cause of Failure: Ibid. Litton


  1. Identified the key assets of the enterprise as being its highly respected global reputation for being the chief innovator in microwave cooking technology; its technology on the shelf; the retention of key product development and engineering staff that originally built the company; and, the volume and gross margin potential offered in the international sector.
    Result: Realigned the business to leverage these assets and core competencies.
  2. Created and staffed Menumaster Euro-Africa (based in London), Asia Pacific (based in Sydney with branches in Singapore, Taipei and Tokyo) and Americas (based in Minneapolis, Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver).
    Result: Through a completely new series of distribution networks, opened new markets in 35 countries across the globe.
  3. Created a state-of–the-art manufacturing facility designed to fabricate high quality, high-end, low-volume commercial microwaves suitable to meet specifications in each country Menumaster served throughout the world.
    Result: Yielded extremely high margin products to seize market global opportunities.
  4. Renegotiated the labor agreement with the Electrical Workers Union creating one of the most revolutionary performance-based work environments in the world. It was centered on the Quality First Bonus Program, designed by all of Menumaster's employees, which lead to fully self-directed work teams (no supervision).
    Result: Created a dynamic, harmonious and innovative work environment yielding mind-bending cost reductions and complemented our product development teams.
  5. Grand Result: The four initiatives above, coupled with the restructuring of the predecessor (Litton) yielded an amazingly viable and sustainable business turnaround.

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