Every time you visit a restaurant, eat fast food, or hire a caterer, there’s a good chance that the cook prepared your food with equipment built by Wells, a leading supplier of commercial cooking equipment. The company’s products can be found nationally and internationally in establishments ranging from family-owned restaurants to giant fast-food chains and from hotels to cruise ships and from retail operations and supermarkets to casinos and hospitals.

History of Wells

Founded in San Francisco in 1920 by George F. Wells, the Wells Manufacturing Company produced electric cooking equipment products.

In 1925 George Wells invented and patented a new waffle baker-a move that launched his company into the commercial appliance industry. Wells Mfg. also invented what is known today as a Hot Food Well, and that is why they are called ‘wells’ and today it is a generic name for this type product regardless on the manufacturer. Another Wells innovation was an electric deep-fat fryer.

The firm relocated to a new factory to Verdi, Nevada in 1968, and was later purchased by Beatrice Foods Company. In 1985 it became part of the Chicago-based Specialty Equipment Companies, Inc. and later was owned by the Carrier Corporation.

Then in 2008 Wells was purchased by the Middleby Corporation.

The Middleby Corporation relocated the manufacturing operation in 2009 to a state-of-the art facility in Smithville, Tennessee. Smithville in located about an hour’s drive east of Nashville. The Smithville facility features over 200,000 square feet of manufacturing and another 85,000 square feet of warehouse stocked with finished goods. It employees 274 workers; including 246 hourly personal and another 28 salaried staff.


Today, Wells is,one of the most respected and well-established brands in the foodservice equipment industry used by the largest dealers and consultants in the world. Wells is recognized world-wide as the leader in drop-in and built-in hot & cold food holding solutions, as well as for Recirculating Vent-less Hood Systems. Our innovative Recirculating Hood Systems provide flexible cooking solutions and exceptional filtering systems to our customer’s kitchens in sky scraper buildings, shopping malls and airports that were un-thinkable in the past 30 years. Our newest Dry Well holding equipment technology completely eliminates water, is highly energy efficient and extends the life of your equipment lowering your cost of ownership.