Foodservice Equipment Reports Fortnightly

Welcome to FER Fortnightly Online Newsletter
January 15, 2008

Economic Report:
Sponsored by:
Manitowoc Foodservice Group
Stainless Pricing To Moderate, Other Commodities Mixed
Tough Period For General Economic News, Some Restaurant Chain Same-Store-Sales Comparison
Economists Cut Consensus Forecasts For 2008 Again, Says Blue Chip, As Worry About Recession Increases

Regulatory Report:
Sponsored by:
San Francisco Judges Okay City's Universal Healthcare Plan
Fulton, Mo., Prepares Food Code Change, Then Tables It
Connecticut Sees Green In New Buildings' Future
FDA Now Looking At Salt Control
Canadians, Marylanders Start Trans Fat Diet

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In This Section:
Berkshire Hathaway Buys Equipment Makers With Marmon Group Acquisition
Water, Water Everywhere, But Not Near Water Conventions
Subway Employees Ride Internet For Food Safety Info

This issue's Economic ReportSponsor: Manitowoc Foodservice Group
Regulatory ReportSponsor: Enodis

Industry Report Server Products

Berkshire Hathaway Buys Equipment Makers With Marmon Group Acquisition
Warren Buffett got into the foodservice equipment manufacturing business in December when Berkshire Hathaway bought a 60% stake in Marmon Holdings, a diverse conglomerate owned by Chicago's Pritzker family since 1953.

The Marmon Group comprises more than 125 companies, all operated independently, including three equipment makers—Prince Castle, Silver King Refrigeration and Q-Matic. Prince Castle manufactures hot food holding cabinets, toasters and a broad line of food processing devices. Silver King makes a broad line of commercial refrigerators, freezers, coolers and beverage dispensers. Q-Matic's line includes conveyor pizza ovens.

In addition, the acquisition includes Marmon's Catequip S.A. and Cat'Serv S. a. r. l., both of which provide sales and service in Europe for North American foodservice manufacturers.

Buffett's company agreed to pay $4.5 billion for the stake in Marmon Holdings and said it would acquire the remaining shares of Marmon within six years. Marmon's annual revenues are about $7 billion, according to a joint statement from the two companies. Berkshire Hathaway's '06 revenues were about $98 billion.


Section sponsored by Server Products

Water, Water Everywhere, But Not Near Water Conventions
In the "go figure" department, both the American Water Works Association and the Southern Nevada Water Authority in conjunction with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are planning conferences and expositions on water in the coming year. Ironically or perhaps not, they're both slated for the Nevada desert.

AWWA's 2008 Sustainable Water Sources: Conservation and Resources Planning event, scheduled for Feb. 10-13 in Reno will be focused on conservation and water resources issues. The conference will feature a technical program of workshops and more than 120 presentations by industry experts as well as an exposition of the latest in conservation and resource management products.

The SNWA/EPA conference, the inaugural WaterSmart Innovations meeting and exposition, is being called the "premiere venue for showcasing new water-efficiency technology" and the world's largest of its kind. Organizers expect more than 1,000 industry professionals to show up for information on urban water-efficiency practices, policies and products at the conference, scheduled for Oct. 8-10 in Las Vegas

For information on the AWWA conference, go to

To find out more about WaterSmart Innnovations, visit

Section sponsored by Server Products

Subway Employees Ride Internet For Food Safety Info
Employees and managers at Subway Restaurants are riding a different type of transportation to get food safety certification—the communications highway. Subway has partnered with the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation to offer employees online ServSafe courses.

Subway is making the ServSafe course available through its University of Subway, a Web-based training institute for franchisees and employees. The chain says Subway owners, managers and employees have completed more than 185,000 courses online. That number should mushroom with the addition of ServSafe.

The course is being offered in both English and Spanish to employees in any of the chain's 28,500-plus stores. Employees can work at their own pace from any location with Internet access. For more information on ServSafe, go to

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