Foodservice Equipment Reports Fortnightly

Welcome to FER Fortnightly Online Newsletter
May 5, 2009

Economic Report:
Sponsored by:
MAFSI Barometer Has E&S Sales Down 11% In Q1
Now For Some Good News: NRA's Performance Index Rises Again
Q1 GDP Plummeted 6.1%, But Consumer Confidence, Spending Up
Given What We've Seen, The Revised FER E&S Market Forecast Still Looks Good

Regulatory Report:
Sponsored by:
Manitowoc Foodservice
Texas To Flush Old Toilet Standards
Stamford Says FOG Will Cost $250/Day
Calorie Posting Probable In Ontario, Off In W.V., Voluntary In U.K.
Trans Fat To Go On Diet In Texas, Maine

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In This Section:
Middleby Buys CookTek
And Middleby Acquires Assets Of Anetsberger Bros.
Vollrath Acquires Anvil America
Vicorp Sells Assets, Units Stay Open
ASHFSA, HFM Vote To Consolidate
Starbucks Debuts In Poland
FEDA Honors Ken Gill

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

Industry Report HOFEX 2009

Middleby Buys CookTek
The Middleby Corp. has purchased CookTek, maker of induction cooking and warming systems, for $9 million. In a statement Middleby said the addition of CookTek complements its existing portfolio of cooking technologies while bringing something new.

"Customers continue to seek out 'green technologies' that provide more energy-efficient cooking and warming solutions," said Selim Bassoul, Middleby chairman and CEO. "The two companies we have purchased this year, CookTek and Turbochef, both provide eco-friendly equipment that reduces energy consumption while cooking at greater speeds."

CookTek's Bob Wolters will continue to lead the company as president. Middleby's other brands include Blodgett, Bloomfield, Carter Hoffman, CTX, frifri, Giga, Holman, Houno, Jade, Lang, MagiKitch'n, Middleby Marshall, Nu-Vu, Pitco Frialator, Southbend, Star, Toastmaster and Wells. Middleby is based in Elgin, Ill. CookTek is headquartered in Chicago.


Section sponsored by HOFEX 2009

And Middleby Acquires Assets Of Anetsberger Bros.
Last week was a busy one for Elgin, Ill.-based Middleby Corp. Just three days after acquiring CookTek LLC, Middleby also announced it had acquired substantially all the assets of Anetsberger Bros. for $3.5 million plus deferred payments of $500,000 dependent on certain performance requirements being met.

Anets, based in Northbrook, Ill., manufactures fryers, griddles and dough rollers.

"Anets is a well-recognized brand, with a strong presence in the Midwest. The acquisition allows us to continue to strengthen our leadership position in the fryer and counterline cooking segments and add to our portfolio of leading chain-restaurant customers," Middleby Chairman and CEO Selim Bassoul said in a written statement from the company.

Middleby's other brands include Blodgett, Bloomfield, Carter Hoffman, CookTek, CTX, frifri, Giga, Holman, Houno, Jade, Lang, MagiKitch'n, Middleby Marshall, Nu-Vu, Pitco Frialator, Southbend, Star, Toastmaster and Wells.

Section sponsored by HOFEX 2009

Vollrath Acquires Anvil America
The Vollrath Co. has purchased Anvil America of Asheville, N.C., maker of countertop cooking and food prep equipment. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

With more than 90 products ranging from griddles and sandwich grills to heavy-duty mixers and slicers, Anvil's product line enables Vollrath to enter a number of countertop segments with a complete product offering.

"Combining Anvil's offerings with Vollrath's existing portfolio, strong manufacturing reputation and channel management experience further solidifies our position as a leader in the marketplace," said Tom Belot, president and CEO of Sheboygan, Wis.-based Vollrath.

Section sponsored by HOFEX 2009

Vicorp Sells Assets, Units Stay Open
Vicorp Restaurants has announced the sale of its assets to American Blue Ribbon Holdings LLC, an entity formed by insurance provider Fidelity National Financial and investment manager Newport Global Advisors. Bakers Square and Village Inn restaurants will remain open under the new ownership.

American Blue Ribbon Holdings will operate the company's restaurant brands as well as its Vicom pie operation. Hazem Ouf will continue as Vicorp's president and CEO. "Completing this deal in the midst of such a difficult financial and credit environment is a remarkable achievement and a test to the strength of our brands," he said. Due to the success of recent strategic planning initiatives, Vicorp has seen profits for the first time in years, he added.

Vicorp was founded in 1958. The Denver-based company has 267 restaurants in 25 states; 177 are company-owned.

Section sponsored by HOFEX 2009

ASHFSA, HFM Vote To Consolidate
The boards of the American Society for Healthcare Food Service Administrators and the National Society for Healthcare Foodservice Management voted in April to consolidate the two professional societies and form the Association for Healthcare Foodservice.

"ASHFSA and HFM were built upon a shared vision," said HFM Pres. Bruce Thomas. "The boards from both groups unanimously agreed that a consolidation will best serve the needs of today's healthcare foodservice leaders, prepare the next generation, and ensure our industry's long-term growth and viability."

The new AHF, whose members will include leading healthcare foodservice operators and business partners across North America, will be led by a unified national board of directors, industry advisory board, past presidents' council and working committees. Operator membership will be restricted to members of self-operated healthcare foodservice facilities and will include students, educators, administrators, business partners, chefs and consultants.

An interim board of directors equally representing both the ASHFSA and HFM boards, plus members of the ASHFSA-HFM Consolidation Task Force, has been formed to lead the new association through its inaugural year.

AHF will host its inaugural conference June 6-9, 2010, at the Hilton Austin, in Austin, Texas.

Section sponsored by HOFEX 2009

Starbucks Debuts In Poland
The growing coffeehouse market in Poland has spurred the opening of Starbucks' first store there. In partnership with AmRest Coffee Sp. z.o.o., Starbucks opened a store in Warsaw in early April.

The coffee clamor in Europe comes at a good time for the Seattle chain, which has been closing stores in oversaturated domestic markets. In Poland, Starbucks enters a coffeehouse segment that grew an estimated average of 40% in annual revenue between 1997 and 2007; another report showed 30% growth there in just 2007 alone. "Poland, as well as the rest of Central and Eastern Europe, represents a significant growth area for Starbucks," said Buck Hendrix, president of Starbucks Europe, Middle East and Africa, which includes more than 1,550 sites in 27 countries. "To leverage existing strategic partnerships to accelerate our growth outside the United States, it is essential that we enter Poland with a strong and trusted partner like AmRest, which understands the market and shares our values and passion for people, quality and service."

AmRest is a joint-venture subsidiary of American Restaurants Sp.z.o.o., a subsidiary of AmRest Holdings N.V. In 2008, it opened the first Starbucks store in the Czech Republic and now operates nine locations there. AmRest, the largest independent restaurant operator in Central and Eastern Europe, is also Starbucks' joint-venture partner for the Hungarian market. It manages Applebee's, Burger King, freshpoint, KFC, Pizza Hut, Rodeo Drive, and Starbucks sites in Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Bulgaria, Serbia and Russia.

Section sponsored by HOFEX 2009

FEDA Honors Ken Gill
His life of accomplishments and service to the foodservice equipment industry made for an impressive list of credentials when Ken Gill, former CEO of The Gill Co. and The Gill Group, was recently honored with the most prestigious award given by the Foodservice Equipment Distributors Association.

Gill was presented the Sam Anoff Lifetime Achievement Award during the group's March meeting in Las Vegas. The award, named for the founder of FEDA, recognizes only those leaders who have made a lifelong commitment to foodservice equipment distribution. Gill began his entrepreneurial voyage in foodservice as a restaurant operator, eventually moving on to the equipment-dealer business and ultimately presiding over multinational distribution operation. He joined FEDA in 1978 and served as president from 1989-91; he later helped establish FEDA's Educational Foundation. In '96, he became a founding partner of Foodservice Equipment Reports.

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