Foodservice Equipment Reports Fortnightly

Welcome to FER Fortnightly Online Newsletter
June 13, 2006

Economic Report:
Sponsored by:
FER E&S Economic Forecast Meetings.
NRA's Performance Index Drops In April; Another Sign Foodservice Is Softening A Bit?
EU Tariffs On Equipment Won't Be Raised
Want To Know About Foodservice And E&S Markets In Europe? Good Luck

Regulatory Report:
Sponsored by:
Franke Foodservice Systems
Energy-Efficient Equipment Pays In More Ways Than One
Water Shortages Prompt New Illinois State Initiative
Florida Gov. Bush Lets The Dogs Out
Strict Sign Laws Sign Of The Times

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In This Section:
Frigidaire Debuts Commercial Refrigeration
Sill Named FCSI Fellow
Modesto To Turn Restaurant Waste Into Compost
UK Businesses No Longer Accepting Credit Card Signatures
Howie's Hungry For Bigger Slice Of Pizza Market
Enodis Board Considers, Rejects Offer From Manitowoc

This issue's Economic ReportSponsor: FER E&S Economic Forecast Meetings Regulatory ReportSponsor: Franke Foodservice Systems

Industry Report FER Advertising

Frigidaire Debuts Commercial Refrigeration
Frigidaire Commercial, an Augusta, Ga.-based division of Electrolux, has entered the commercial foodservice market with a new line of professional equipment designed for catering and restaurant applications. The products were unveiled at the National Restaurant Association Show in May.

The new Frigidaire Commercial includes stainless steel door refrigerators, stainless steel door freezers, glass-door merchandisers, horizontal ice cream merchandisers and horizontal chest freezers.

All units meet NSF/ANSI 7 standards and will be sold through local, regional and national appliance dealers.

Visit for more information.


Sill Named FCSI Fellow
Brian Sill, president and co-founder of Kirkland, Wash.-based Deterministics Management Technologies, has been inducted into Foodservice Consultants' Society Int'l.'s distinguished Council of Fellows. The honor was presented by FCSI during the association's annual worldwide conference held in Edinburgh, Scotland, May 11-13.

Sill, a 37-year foodservice industry vet, is perhaps best known for adapting industrial engineering principles to foodservice throughput analysis and engineering, which has been used to improve service performance at more than 90 restaurant chains over the past 20 years.

Sill served as FCSI president in 1996-97. He is also a past recipient of the FCSI Award for Excellence in MAS, and twice the recipient of FCSI's Best Article of the Year award.

Deterministics has offices in Kirkland, Wash., and in London.

Modesto To Turn Restaurant Waste Into Compost
The city of Modesto, Calif., will soon be taking food waste off restaurant operators' hands. Modesto is starting a pilot program this summer to collect waste, compost it and sell it to local farmers, landscapers, and consumers.

Helped by a $50,000 Environmental Protection Agency Resource Conservation Challenge grant, the city plans to work with about 30 of the municipality's 1,000 restaurants to work out the kinks in the program. City-contracted waste haulers will pick up food waste from participating restaurants and transport it to a composting facility.

City officials say Modesto recycled or composted more than half its waste in 2004. They estimate local restaurants produce 15,000 tons of food waste per year. The pilot program is expected to recycle about 1,000 tons of that.

If you're interested in participating or finding out more, call Karin Rodriguez at 209/577-5453.

UK Businesses No Longer Accepting Credit Card Signatures
The United Kingdom's new "chip and PIN" system for credit and debit cards is now the official payment system for cards. The system requires consumers to use a four-digit personal ID number, or PIN, instead of a signature when using their credit/debit cards.

The program was phased in on Feb. 14 of this year. Restaurants and other retailers were allowed to accept customer signatures during a grace period to give consumers a chance to get used to the new system, but that ended in May. Fraudulent card use has declined already because of the new system, according to government reports.

You can still accept customer signatures if a cardholder hasn't yet upgraded his card or if the person using the card is disabled, according to a spokesman for the banks' regulatory body.

Howie's Hungry For Bigger Slice Of Pizza Market
Hungry Howie's Pizza, Madison Heights, Mich., is hungrily eyeing a bigger share of the pizza business. The chain, which specializes in flavored crusts, has plans to compete with cross-state rivals Domino's in Ann Arbor and Little Caesar's in Detroit.

The chain is looking to expand aggressively in small towns, according to President and CEO Steve Jackson. Four stores have opened this month, and V.P. Franchise Development Bob Cuffaro says he has agreements for 91 more. He estimates the company could open 300 or more stores in the next five years.

Hungry Howie's ranks 11th among the largest pizza chains in the country, according to Technomic Inc. The company has 533 stores in 18 states. Most, however, are concentrated in Michigan and Florida. Expansion plans will focus on the east coast.

Enodis Board Considers, Rejects Offer From Manitowoc
Just as we were putting FER Fortnightly to bed, Enodis plc and The Manitowoc Co. announced separately last Thursday that the Enodis board had considered and rejected an unsolicited proposal from Manitowoc. Under the proposal, Manitowoc offered to acquire Enodis for 210 pence per share in cash, an estimated $1.565 billion based on Friday currency exchange data.

A press release from Enodis stated: "The board and its advisers considered Manitowoc's approach carefully, and members of the board met with representatives of Manitowoc's management team. The board rejected the proposal on the grounds that it undervalued the company and its prospects. The board has full confidence in the company's strategy and management to continue to deliver shareholder value."

In a Manitowoc statement released the same day, announcing that it had made the proposal, Manitowoc Chairman and CEO Terry Growcock said, "The company is disappointed that Enodis has rejected its indicative proposal. Manitowoc remains committed to identifying and pursuing strategic acquisition opportunities that will enhance its global business enterprise."

Manitowoc added that it "is considering its options with regards to Enodis and there can be no certainty that an offer will be made nor of the terms relating to such an offer."

Last month, the Enodis board also rejected a surprise offer from Middleby Corp. of 195 pence per share, an estimated $1.453 billion at Friday's British pound-U.S. dollar conversion.

Enodis CEO David McCulloch was quoted as saying Friday, "From my personal perspective, we, the management team, would prefer to continue on our path and deliver shareholder value through the implementation of our strategy. But, clearly, if the right offer comes along, the board will have to consider it." McCulloch's comments were published by London's Financial Times' online product, Alerts June 9.

The Alert article suggests that a differential between the ways manufacturing companies are valued in Britain and the United States has left Enodis, most of whose operations are in the United States, undervalued and therefore vulnerable. McCulloch acknowledged this, according to the article. Alerts also cites a Merrill Lynch estimate that Enodis could be worth as much as 267 pence a share, or nearly $2 billion.

McCulloch went on to add, according to Alerts, that "The chances are we will remain independent. We have great brands, great technology and we serve the blue chip companies all over the world. That doesn't come easy and is unique."

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