Foodservice Equipment Reports Fortnightly

Welcome to FER Fortnightly Online Newsletter
May 18, 2010

Economic Report:
Sponsored by:
Henny Penny
Public-Company E&S Sales Continue To Improve
Forecasts For The U.S. Economy Improve Again
Employment Trends Turn Positive, Surprising Some Economists
Are McDonald's April U.S. Sales Gains Another Sign Of Recovery?

Regulatory Report:
Sponsored by:
Manitowoc Foodservice
NRA Pushes Permanent Tax Provisions
Trans Fats A Big Deal In Canada
Happy Meals Earn A Frown
Philly, Pittsburgh Debate Café Rules

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In This Section:
McCormick Place Exhibitors To Get "Bill of Rights"
Dunkin' Returns To Russia
Bruegger's Plans Redesign Bent On Lounging
Rubio's To Change Hands
FHA2010 Reports Record Turnout
Conveyor Vet Freer Joins Middleby

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

Industry Report A.J. Antunes & Co.

McCormick Place Exhibitors To Get "Bill of Rights"
Less than two weeks before the National Restaurant Association Show is set to start, the Illinois legislature voted to create a "bill of rights" for trade-show exhibitors at Chicago's McCormick Place.

The overhaul comes after years of complaints and the exit of more than a dozen major shows from the lakefront venue. The plan is a bid to maintain the city's status as a major destination for national conventions and restore its ability to compete against Las Vegas and Orlando, Fla. Convention organizers and exhibitors complain that they pay far more at McCormick Place than at convention halls in those cities, and cite rules requiring them to use expensive union labor for simple tasks like setting up an exhibit booth and bans on bringing in food from restaurants and vendors outside the halls.

The restaurant show, a cornerstone of the city's convention business, begins May 22. Mary Pat Heftman, NRA's exec. v.p./convention, told the Chicago Tribune , "If we could implement some of the changes for the (show) later this month, that would send a message that Chicago is serious and committed."

At press time, the bill was awaiting the governor's signature.


Section sponsored by A.J. Antunes & Co.

Dunkin' Returns To Russia
Eleven years after it closed its two outlets in Russia, Dunkin' Donuts is back. The Canton, Mass., chain opened its first store May 11 in Moscow. Donuts Project LLC, Dunkin' Donuts' franchise partner in Russia, plans to open between 10 and 20 Dunkin' Donuts restaurants in Moscow and the Moscow region in 2010.

Dunkin' Donuts is the second big name to enter the Russian market this year. January marked the opening of Burger King's first store 20 years after McDonald's first entered the market. The doughnut chain is optimistic about its return. Coffee shops have become increasingly popular in Russia in the past decade. Starbucks opened its first store in Russia in 2007 and now runs 26 coffee shops in and around Moscow.

Parent company Dunkin' Brands already knows the marketplace. Its other brand, Baskin-Robbins, operates in 143 locations in Russia, and recently signed an agreement to develop more than 150 stores there.

Prior to entering Russia, Dunkin' Donuts' European presence has included approximately 70 Dunkin' Donuts restaurants in Germany, Spain and Bulgaria. It continues a push into Asia as well. Last year, it opened its first two restaurants in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, and has secured agreements to open a total of 480 shops in mainland China over the next decade.

Section sponsored by A.J. Antunes & Co.

Bruegger's Plans Redesign Bent On Lounging
Grab-and-go is being pushed aside in favor of a lingering ambience at Bruegger's Bagels. The bagel bakery has begun a years-long redesign of its stores, emphasizing warmth and encouraging customers to stay a while. The Burlington, Vt., company estimates that 50 company-owned stores will undergo remodeling in 2010.

The next-generation design incorporates a brick and stone hearth in the bagel display area, and an area where customers can watch bagels being kettle-boiled and baked in the traditional style. The new look has debuted in several markets, including Cincinnati, Milwaukee, Minneapolis and Pittsburgh.

The chain also broke new ground in March, when it broached the northern border and set up shop in Canada. Bruegger's three new locations in Toronto operate through co-branding with mmmuffins, a 32-unit chain Bruegger's acquired in November 2009 when it bought the restaurant holdings of Toronto-based Timothy's Coffees of the World.

Section sponsored by A.J. Antunes & Co.

Rubio's To Change Hands
At a time when capital markets seem to be opening up, more foodservice chains are changing hands. Fuddrucker's is currently in play, and at press time California Pizza Kitchen is rumored to be for sale. In the midst of this, Rubio's Restaurants has been acquired in a cash merger deal by Mill Road Capital. The transaction was unanimously approved by the Mexican grill chain's board of directors; Rubio's founder and namesake Ralph Rubio, who owns about 24% of the chain with Rubio's CEO/Pres. Dan Pittard and Rosewood Capital, are onboard as well.

Rubio's operates, licenses or franchises more than 195 restaurants in California, Arizona, Colorado, Utah and Nevada. The Carlsbad, Calif.-based chain has opened three restaurants so far in 2010, one fewer than the same period a year ago. The newer units showcase a modern, more upscale design and exhibition cooking.

Section sponsored by A.J. Antunes & Co.

FHA2010 Reports Record Turnout
Volcanic ash didn't keep operators and industry professionals from boosting overseas attendance at Food & Hotel Asia 2010. The April 20-23 show in Singapore was the biggest in its 17-year history, attracting more than 50,000 attendees, 42% of whom came from overseas, up from 37% two years prior. The biennial show, run by Singapore Exhibition Services, started in 1978 out of a basement car park at a Hyatt Hotel.

Equipment and supplies manufacturers as well as furnishings and food companies filled 2,545 booths. The number of group pavilions increased by 13 to 46 this year, including new exhibits from Argentina, China, the Philippines, Poland, South Africa and Venezuela.

Food & Hotel Asia/Wine & Spirits Asia will return to the Singapore Expo April 17-20, 2012.

Section sponsored by A.J. Antunes & Co.

Conveyor Vet Freer Joins Middleby
Chuck Freer has joined Middleby Marshall, the conveyor-oven division of The Middleby Corp., as v.p. sales and business development. Freer will play a strategic role in expanding the company's conveyor-oven business.

Freer is a veteran of two decades in the foodservice equipment industry, and a former restaurant owner. Before that, he held several high-level positions within Manitowoc Foodservice, most recently as area v.p., representing all Manitowoc foodservice brands. He started with Manitowoc as v.p. of sales at Lincoln, that company's conveyor-oven division. Before joining Manitowoc, Freer worked for Bakers Pride Oven Co.

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