Foodservice Equipment Reports Fortnightly

Welcome to FER Fortnightly Online Newsletter
February 2, 2010

Economic Report:
Sponsored by:
Henny Penny
NRA Forecasts Flat Real Growth For 2010
Technomic Cuts Operator-Sales Forecast To 3% Real Decline
Consumer Confidence Up In January, McDonald's U.S. Comp Sales Positive In December
Freshened FER E&S Forecast Available After MUFES

Regulatory Report:
Sponsored by:
Manitowoc Foodservice
Schools Can Get Kitchen-Equipment Grants From USDA
California, Vermont Get The Lead Out
ASHRAE Updates HVAC Principles
NRA Names New Lobbying Chief

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In This Section:
Obituary: Taco Bell Founder Glen Bell
Ricchio Retires, Ibrahim To Head Star
Wingstop Spreads Its Wings
Red Robin Plans 15-Plus Company Units
Japan To Sprout Hundreds Of Sbarros
Captain D's Looks For New Owners
CFESA Sets Dates For 2010 EGS Training Course

This issue's Economic ReportSponsor: Henny Penny
Regulatory ReportSponsor: Manitowoc Foodservice

Industry Report Server Products

Obituary: Taco Bell Founder Glen Bell
Glen W. Bell Jr., who founded Taco Bell and saw it grow to become the nation's largest Mexican fast-food chain, died Jan. 16. He was 86.

In 1948, Bell sought to take advantage of Southern California's car culture and launched his first restaurant, Bell's Drive-In, in San Bernardino, Calif. He followed up by establishing the drive-through Taco Tias and later, El Tacos, in the region. He went national with Der Weinerschnitzel. After cutting ties with his partners in those ventures, Bell independently launched Taco Bell in 1962 in Downey, Calif., and quickly expanded around Los Angeles. He sold his first Taco Bell franchise two years later. In 1978, he sold his 868-store Taco Bell chain to PepsiCo.

The chain, now owned by Yum! Brands, serves nearly 37 million customers a week in more than 5,600 Taco Bell locations in the United States. Internationally, there are 278 units in more than a dozen countries.


Section sponsored by Server Products

Ricchio Retires, Ibrahim To Head Star
A face familiar for decades in the foodservice equipment industry has retired, leading to two promotions at The Middleby Corp.

Frank Ricchio has retired after a 28-year career with Star Manufacturing, where he most recently led the company's strategy to consolidate its counter-line cooking operations. He is succeeded as president by Nestor Ibrahim. Based in Star's St. Louis headquarters, Ibrahim will oversee sales, marketing and manufacturing for the six Middleby counter-line equipment brands in the division, including Star as well as Bloomfield, Holman, Lang, Toastmaster and Wells. A 15-year industry veteran, he joined Middleby in 2003, most recently serving as president of Southbend. John Perruccio succeeds Ibrahim as president of Southbend; the company is based in Fuquay-Varina, N.C. Perruccio joined Middleby in '03, and most recently served as v.p. of sales for Southbend. He spearheaded the company's initiative.

Section sponsored by Server Products

Wingstop Spreads Its Wings
Takeout takes off at Wingstop Restaurants. The aviation-themed chain says it plans to keep expanding this year with at least 69 new-unit openings. Wingstop has 433 units in 34 states, the majority of which are franchised. It attributes its expansion plans to improving financing and credit markets, enabling its franchisees to build more units.

The chain also benefits from positive same-store sales, up nearly 4% in 2009, and growing systemwide sales, which rose 20%, to $307 million. Takeout accounts for 87% of Wingstop's total sales. The privately held company, based in Dallas, opened its first international unit last year in Mexico City.

Section sponsored by Server Products

Red Robin Plans 15-Plus Company Units
A new-store opening every month is the forecast for Red Robin Gourmet Burgers. The Colorado-based operator plans to develop up to 15 company-owned Red Robin restaurants within 12 months; based on the current development schedule, between 11 and 13 new units are expected to open their doors within the calendar year. Franchisees are expected to open another four to five units. Red Robin CEO Dennis Mullen said the development plan represents prudent new restaurant expansion, citing “average investment costs that are lower than we have seen in several years.”

The company was founded in1969 and operates through its wholly owned subsidiary, Red Robin Int'l. There are more than 430 Red Robin restaurants in the United States and Canada.

Section sponsored by Server Products

Japan To Sprout Hundreds Of Sbarros
Sbarro, the quick-service Italian concept already in 42 countries, is ramping up its presence in Japan. The chain has partnered with JCI Inc. in a joint-venture franchise agreement to open 1,250 units over a 20-year period. A new-store opening in Tokyo last December marked the first of three Sbarro stores planned for the metropolis; the next two will open in the first quarter of this year. No further details on the rollout have been released. Sbarro is best known for its mall and food-court locations; its concepts include pizza express, full-menu food courts and standalone units with dining rooms. The Melville, N.Y., chain has more than 1,000 restaurants in 42 countries.

Section sponsored by Server Products

Captain D's Looks For New Owners
The parent company of Captain D's is looking for a buyer for the 40-year-old quick-service seafood chain. Sagittarius Brands bought Captain D's in 2005 and acquired Del Taco the following year. Del Taco will remain in the Sagittarius fold.

The first Captain D's opened in Donelson, Tenn., in 1969; it was then known as Mr. D's. The chain was later purchased and expanded by Shoney's Inc. Today, the Nashville-based chain owns or franchises more than 500 restaurants in 25 states—mostly in the South and Midwest. In '06, the chain began a phased-in remodeling program coinciding with its new emphasis on grilled menu items and a more casual-dining atmosphere.

Section sponsored by Server Products

CFESA Sets Dates For 2010 EGS Training Course
The Commercial Food Equipment Service Association has announced dates for two EGS (Electric, Gas & Steam) training courses covering the basic elements of gas, electric and steam for repairing and troubleshooting foodservice equipment.

The first EGS course is scheduled for March 1-6 at the Duke Power Customer Resource Center in Charlotte, N.C. A second EGS course will be held November 15-20 at the Edison CTAC in Irwindale, Calif. These six-day training classes are open to all technicians within the foodservice industry, with training ranging from entry- to advanced levels. The EGS technician training programs include classroom and hands-on education, plus ability-testing to identify and correct problems on a variety of commercial cooking equipment.

To qualify for classes, technicians must be familiar with electric, gas and steam theory and must have basic mechanical aptitude along with six months to three years experience in the foodservice industry. Registration for the March class is Feb. 22; the cut-off date to register for the November EGS class is Nov. 1. Register online at

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