Foodservice Equipment Reports Fortnightly

Welcome to FER Fortnightly Online Newsletter
April 21, 2009

Economic Report:
Sponsored by:
View From The Road: It's A Dining Bargain Bonanza
Food Prices Still Falling, Menu Prices Still Rising
General Economic Numbers Slightly Better In Latest Forecasts
Get Your Own Copy Of The Revised FER E&S Market Forecast

Regulatory Report:
Sponsored by:
Manitowoc Foodservice
Interior Designers For Kitchen Layout In Florida?
N.C. Town Offers Incentive To Cut FOG
S.F. Restaurateurs Denied Health-Insurance Relief
After Fat, Town Now Targets Calories
Surf City Implements FOG Law To Keep Surf Down
Your Mama Can't Dance, But Your Daddy Can Rock And Roll

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In This Section:
FER Magazine To Host New 'Innovations Exchange' Meeting
Middleby Changes Up Divisional, Operations Management
Quizno's Creates Lease-Renegotiation Program
Yum! Buys Into China Restaurant Group
NRA Offers New Online Food-Safety Course For Servers

This issue's Economic ReportSponsor: Food&HotelVietnam2009
Regulatory ReportSponsor: Manitowoc Foodservice

Industry Report Server Products

FER Magazine To Host New 'Innovations Exchange' Meeting
Operators seeking innovative new equipment, or just looking for an efficient way to get to know new potential suppliers, will have a one-of-a-kind chance when our print-based sister magazine Foodservice Equipment Reports launches its Innovations Exchange meeting this summer.

The event, slated for Aug. 2-4 at the Orrington Hotel in Evanston, Ill., will offer both one-on-one and small-group meetings between chain restaurant operators and up to 40 leading suppliers. Participating operators are also invited to attend FER's annual President's Preview E&S Market Forecast meeting, to be held Aug. 5 at the same location.

For full details, call Robin Ashton or Brian Ward at 800/986-9616, or visit FER online at


Section sponsored by Server Products

Middleby Changes Up Divisional, Operations Management
Three top Middleby Corp. executives have expanded their roles within the Elgin, Ill., manufacturer. David Brewer has transitioned from his current role as president of the Pitco Frialator division to an expanded, newly created post as chief operating officer of Middleby's Commercial Cooking Group. He now oversees strategic sales initiatives among Middleby brands and leads a newly established national sales team supporting major restaurant-account customers. Brewer joined Middleby in 2007 from Lantech Corp., where he served as president and general manager; he previously held leadership posts at Yum! Brands Corp. and Chiquita Brands Int'l.

Paul Angrick oversees the strategic direction and operating activities of Middleby's fryer division as the new president of the Pitco Frialator division, based in Concord, N.H. Angrick had been president of Wells Bloomfield, a company Middleby acquired in '07. Angrick has more than 25 years of industry experience; he is the current president of the North American Association of Foodservice Equipment Manufacturers.

Frank Ricchio's expanded role within Middleby adds the Bloomfield, Nu-Vu, Toastmaster and Wells lines to his current responsibilities of overseeing the Holman, Lang and Star brands. He will lead this group of seven established Middleby brands and create initiatives to identify manufacturing, purchasing and sales synergies among those operations. Ricchio joined Middleby in '08 when the company acquired New Star Holdings; he had been with Star Mfg. since 1982, and president since '99.

Section sponsored by Server Products

Quizno's Creates Lease-Renegotiation Program
In an effort to mitigate the impact of a sluggish economy, Quizno's is offering its franchisees a way to reduce their single largest expense—lease cost. The Denver sandwich chain has engaged three teams to renegotiate store leases into current market values, at no cost to franchise owners.

Since the teams have been in operation, Quiznos has renegotiated more than 40 leases, reducing lease payments by an average of 15% to 20%. The program lowers lease costs while extending the lease, and covers leases that are expired as well as those that have franchise owners paying rent out of proportion to current property values. One franchise owner in Michigan said he reduced his rent by more than 20%, saving more than $50,000 over the term of the lease—or nearly $500 a month in rent.

"Even a down economy can be an opportunity, and the current market for retail rent is an example of that," said Rick Schaden, the chain's founder. "My primary goal as CEO is for franchise owners to say one year from now they are better off than they are today." Schaden, who assumed the reins as CEO in February, is focusing Quiznos' 2009 business plan around maximizing profitability for franchisees in non-traditional ways. The 27-year-old company has 5,000 franchise units.

Section sponsored by Server Products

Yum! Buys Into China Restaurant Group
Yum! Brands Inc. is moving beyond its core fast-food base of American brands, agreeing to purchase a stake in a Chinese-based restaurant chain. Yum! will purchase 20% of the outstanding common shares of Little Sheep Group Ltd., which operates 375 Little Sheep Mongolian Hot Pot restaurants, mostly in China. The decade-old company is the market leader in Mongolian-style hot-pot cuisine, characterized by its soup base and Mongolian lamb specialties. The $63 million transaction will make Yum! the second-largest stakeholder in Little Sheep, but the company will not participate in day-to-day business administration. Little Sheep is headquartered in Baotou, Inner Mongolia. In addition to the 130 company-owned restaurants and 246 franchise stores in mainland China, there are more than 20 units in Hong Kong, Japan, Canada and the United States. After regulatory and other approvals, the deal is expected to be completed by this summer.

"Our strong position in China allows us to identify opportunities for strategic partners such as Little Sheep, a leading concept with strong branding and a nationwide network," said Sam Su, president of Yum! Restaurants China and vice chairman of Yum! Brands. "We look forward to working with Little Sheep as we continue to focus our own management on growing our existing portfolio of brands. China remains the biggest growth opportunity in the restaurant industry in the 21st century," Su said.

Yum! Brands is already well-established in the region. Yum! China Div., encompassing mainland China, Thailand and KFC Taiwan, includes 3,000 KFC and Pizza Hut units. During the past three years, the Shanghai-based division has opened nearly 1,500 new restaurants—at least one every day. Its operating profits of more than 30% have made Yum! China Div. the highest margin and highest return business in Yum!'s global portfolio.

Yum!, based in Louisville, Ky., has more than 36,000 restaurants in more than 110 countries and territories.

Section sponsored by Server Products

NRA Offers New Online Food-Safety Course For Servers
The National Restaurant Association Education Foundation has a new online ServSafe food-safety course. Called "Starters," the course covers five key food-safety areas to give foodservice employees, especially servers, the basics in preventing outbreaks of foodborne illness.

The NRAEF said the new course integrates easily into any existing onboard program. A 40-question assessment helps employees evaluate their understanding of the program's concepts, and the course includes a printable certificate of completion.

The course is available in both English and Spanish versions. For more information, go to

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