About AyrKing

What We Do

Engineer and manufacture food preparation equipment and cooking accessories that make foodservice operations more efficient and profitable.

How We Do It

It comes down to real-world insight. We work hard to understand real operational challenges and then overcome them.

Who We Serve

We serve customers around the world in more than 35 countries, from all segments of foodservice and retail.

Brand Attributes

Insightful Expertise

We have decades of experience helping customers across the industry, from small independents and emerging concepts to the world’s leading chains. Our food preparation experts take a hands-on approach, gathering real-world insight in the field and then applying their experience to improve efficiency.

Creative Ingenuity

Whether it’s to help our customers deal with space restrictions, waste concerns, budget limitations or new menu items, we’re always innovating — and always ready to help our customers make the most of their time, labor and resources.

Operational Agility

We understand that each operator’s needs vary based on their menu, kitchen size, layout and workflow. That’s why we tailor our food prep equipment to solve our customers’ unique challenges. At AyrKing, there is no “one-size-fits-all” approach — only a “can-do” attitude.

Trusted Reliability

At AyrKing, we’re proud that many of our products are still operating a half-century later. We build our equipment to stand up to the industry’s most demanding high-volume environments, and customers large and small — including the world’s leading chains — count on AyrKing for unmatched reliability.

Personal Relationships

Our founder believed in putting business relationships ahead of business transactions. Today, we continue that legacy by earning our customers’ trust, personally investing in every partnership and being fully committed to our customers’ success.

Our Leadership

AyrKing was founded by an engineer; that innovative spirit continues to this day, with many of our leadership team having engineering backgrounds. This helps us quickly create and adapt food prep equipment that meets the varied needs of our customers.

Jim Bell

President

Jim was named President in 2013 after more than 25 years at AyrKing. After earning an electrical engineering degree from the University of Louisville’s Speed School of Engineering, he transitioned from a part-time role to an official full-time position in 1991 — first as an engineer under company founder Donald E. “Don” King, then as Vice President of Business Development. He currently holds three U.S. patents and one international patent and has been closely involved in the engineering and production of many of AyrKing’s most recognized products.

Chad Harned

Vice President of Engineering

Chad was named Vice President of Engineering in 2022 after serving in multiple capacities in operations and engineering during his 32 years at AyrKing. He joined the company in 1990 and served as Director of Engineering from 1999 to 2013. He holds a mechanical engineer degree from the University of Louisville’s Speed School of Engineering and an MBA from the University of Louisville College of Business. He currently holds three U.S. patents and one international patent and works closely with both new and existing customers to develop innovative solutions.

Sam Eppehimer

Vice President of Sales

Sam was named Vice President of Sales in 2022 after serving as Vice President of Engineering and various engineering and sales roles since joining the company in 2007. A graduate of the University of Louisville J.B. Speed School of Engineering, he is a degreed mechanical engineer working directly with customers to develop solutions to their everyday needs in their fresh prep operations. Sam currently holds three pending U.S. patents while working alongside some of the largest QSR’s. He is continuously growing relationships with both the large corporate chains as well as the end users to provide a partnership in their preparation process.

Mike DeLain

Vice President of Business Development

Mike joined the AyrKing team in early 2019 after more than two decades in business and product development for companies like GE and Multimetco. He’s a graduate of Marquette University with a degree in biomedical engineering and a minor in mechanical engineering. Mike is committed to helping the AyrKing team build key relationships in the grocery and convenience store markets — working with customers to expand the company’s product offering and developing new solutions that will help operators overcome their greatest challenges.

Meliha Nedic

Finance & Accounting Director

Meliha Nedic joined AyrKing in 2017 and oversees a wide range of finance department functions, including Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, Accounting, Budgeting, and Financial Reporting & Analysis. Prior to joining AyrKing, Meliha spent more than 30 years working with organizations in the USA and Europe, including management of Federal Fundings. Meliha holds a Bachelor of Business Management from Mid-Continent University, Mayfield, Kentucky and her Master of Science of Accountancy from University of Phoenix.

Justin Quinlisk

Director of Operations

Justin joined AyrKing in July 2020 as an industrial engineer. He was promoted to Logistics Manager in January 2022 and joined the leadership team as Director of Operations in August 2022. As the head of Operations, Justin manages global purchasing and fulfilment activities to ensure timely delivery of products and promotes business growth by improving efficiency. He has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Industrial Engineering from University of Louisville J.B. Speed School of Engineering.

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    Watch our 50th Anniversary Video!

    Our History

    Our team of food prep experts has been engineering foodservice equipment solutions in Louisville, Kentucky, since 1972 — products built to deliver unmatched reliability and a perfectly prepared menu item every time.
    Donald E. “Don” King, a mechanical engineer, develops a full line of range hoods, including water mist and wash features for high-grease applications.
    AyrKing is officially founded as a foodservice equipment manufacturer.
    AyrKing’s low-profile hood with an integral hot holding cabinet provides space-saving, ops-efficient design for a national seafood QSR chain.
    AyrKing’s product line expands with the introduction of the Lockaire Drive Thru Window. Lockaire helps QSRs and C-stores better control their air management and provide exceptional customer service. Two years later, bullet protection is added to Lockaire service window options to ensure employee safety.
    AyrKing’s Breader/Blender/Sifter (BBS) is introduced, a major turning point in the history of the company. This innovative product is designed to improve breading quality and reduce costs, proving to be a game-changing addition to AyrKing’s lineup through the coming decades.
    AyrKing supplies all sifters for a national QSR fried chicken program rollout. Within a year, the company grows its BBS offering by introducing compact, non-motorized and motorized sifters for lower-volume applications.
    AyrKing redefines sifter workstation layout flexibility with the introduction of a leg-mounted BBS.
    The DrumRoll Automatic Breader is developed for high-volume, fresh breading restaurant production.
    The product line expands again to include both tumble and vacuum marinators, giving AyrKing a full range of food prep products.
    As the craft beverage category grows, AyrKing designs a Syrup Stirrer for in-house mixing of syrup-based carbonated beverages.
    AyrKing develops the highly flexible BBS machine with a reduced footprint that offers optional components like ice bath wells, breading funnels and landing shelf clips.
    The mini DrumRoll/BBS station is introduced, providing a small, automated food prep platform.
    AyrKing expanded its line of food prep and cooking equipment to include work carts and stations, fry baskets, and ice baths.
    Three new products are introduced: the Mixstir solution for batters, seasonings, and sauces; the BBS Flex, with increased customization options; and the Double-Door Marinator.
    Four new products are launched: the BBS Mini, with the features of larger BBS models in a smaller footprint; Protein Rails that keep proteins conveniently in arm’s reach at safe temperatures; Ice Bath Carts, that offer an inexpensive alternative to refrigerated units; and the BBS Ice, that combines the features of the BBS with the convenience of a cold prep table.

    AyrKing was also instrumental in helping convenience stores and quick service restaurants meet the sudden rapid growth in fresh fried chicken offerings.
    AyrKing celebrates 50 years of helping customers improve their processes and continues to innovate cutting-edge food service solutions as the industry grows and changes.

    Connect with AyrKing

    No matter where you are around the globe, AyrKing is always ready to help you find the right equipment solution for your operation. Use our convenient online locator to connect with a distributor or representative in your area.
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