Foodservice Equipment Reports Fortnightly

Welcome to FER Fortnightly Online Newsletter
July 17, 2007

Regulatory Report:
Sponsored by:
USGBC Boosts LEED Standards 14%
California, Florida Growers To Be Inspected
Milwaukee Puts Inspection Results On Web
Bakersfield Restaurants Getting ABC's From County
More Smoking Bans In Effect Or Considered

Industry Report:
Sponsored by:
FER E&S Market Forecast Meetings
PG&E Offers Carbon Emissions Offsets
McD'S To Use New Network To Save Energy
IAFP Schedules 3rd EU Food Safety Conference
EPA Wants You To Save Water—Here's How
U.K. McD'S To Run Trucks On Fryer Fat

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In This Section:
Time Running Out To Register For FER'S President's Preview Forecast Meeting
Stainless Prices Rise Mind-Boggling 25% In Second Quarter
NRA's Performance Index Flat During May
Pesky Gas Prices Depress Consumers; Blue Chip GDP Forecast Unchanged

This issue's Regulatory ReportSponsor: Enodis
Industry ReportSponsor: FER E&S Market Forecast Meetings
Economic Report Manitowoc Foodservice Group

Time Running Out To Register For FER'S President's Preview Forecast Meeting
You only have a short time to register for Foodservice Equipment Reports' 2008 E&S Market Forecast President's Preview. The seminar is designed to help senior executives of equipment and supplies manufacturing companies and others in the industry plan for 2008. The meeting is slated for Aug. 1 at the Eaglewood Resort & Spa in Itasca, Ill.

The meeting features FER's exclusive, hard-number forecasts of E&S market growth in '07 and '08, analysis of general economic and operator metrics and trends, materials price forecasts and exclusive data on E&S price changes from AutoQuotes.

The President's Preview will kick off with an open forum with leading operators. Confirmed operators include David Biederman, formerly of Quizno's, now working for Cervantes Capital on a new hamburger concept called smashburger (yes, lowercase s); Del Fugate, supervisor of maintenance, Frisch's Restaurants; Darlene Gracci, director of equipment solutions for Sodexho USA; and David Harpring, senior manager, Yum! Brands equipment engineering.

The program also will include an analysis of the Top 100 E&S Manufacturers from John Muldowney, principal at Clarity Marketing, and an overview of the E&S mergers and acquisitions climate by Ron Rosati, principal of Ronald Rosati Business Brokerage Services.

Price of the President's Preview, including all data and presentations in both print and digital forms, is $945. To allow for many attendees to fly in and out of O'Hare Airport the day of the meeting, the first session doesn't start until 10 a.m. But for those who prefer to arrive the day before, the resort has a limited number of rooms available July 31.

A second meeting, FER's 2008 E&S Market Forecast Focus On Channels, which includes similar forecast data with additional emphasis on channel issues, is slated for Oct. 25 at the Embassy Suites O'Hare near Chicago.

Further information on the programs, costs and registration forms are available at or by calling Chris Palmer at 847/336-2049 or e-mailing her at


Section sponsored by Manitowoc Foodservice Group

Stainless Prices Rise Mind-Boggling 25% In Second Quarter
We literally gasped when we saw the latest numbers from Purchasing magazine's quarterly transaction price research and forecasts. Type 304 stainless sheet rose a flabbergasting 25% in second quarter 2007 over a number in the first quarter that was already a record. Average cost for a ton of the shiny stuff was $5,518 in the second quarter, up from $4,406 in the first quarter. The price of a ton of 304 stainless was $2,261 in the first quarter of '06. That means the cost of this material, widely used in foodservice equipment and supplies, has more than doubled, risen 144%, in just over a year.

And Tom Stundza, executive editor at Purchasing, sees little relief soon. He expects 304 prices to remain above $5,500 through the rest of the year and not drop below $5,000 a ton before the third quarter of '08.

Another widely used foodservice equipment material is also inflating. Aluminum 3003 sheet has risen 13% to $2.09 a pound since fourth quarter '06. Stundza forecasts prices will remain above $2 a pound for at least the next three quarters.

Copper prices, which were driven sky-high by speculators last year, have moderated. The average transaction price for copper sheet was $3.63 a pound in second quarter '07, compared with $4.16 a pound late last year. Overall, the magazine predicts that 122 commodities and materials tracked by it will increase 18% this year, the third year in a row of double-digit gains.

For complete information on Purchasing's transaction price data and forecasts, go to or call Kathy Becker at 781/734-8203.

Section sponsored by Manitowoc Foodservice Group

NRA'S Performance Index Flat During May
Meandering might be the term for the National Restaurant Association's monthly Restaurant Performance Index during May. Some things were up, some things were down and the overall Index declined an insignificant 0.1 point to 100.9. It remained above the 100 value tipping point between expansion and contraction, the 49th consecutive month of this expansion.

The Current Situation Index gained 0.2 point; the Expectations Index was off 0.3 point. Same-store sales lost a mere 0.1 point while traffic rose 0.4 point, according to the survey.

On the Expectations side, the six-month outlook for business conditions was flat, while that for same store sales rose 0.1 point.

The capital expenditures markers were mixed. The index measuring operators making a capital buy during the past three months rose a strong 0.9 point, but the index of respondents expecting to do so in the next six months fell 0.3 point.

Section sponsored by Manitowoc Foodservice Group

Pesky Gas Prices Depress Consumers; Blue Chip GDP Forecast Unchanged
We may wish it otherwise, but it's a fact of contemporary economic life that sustained high gasoline prices will finally cut into consumer confidence and foodservice sales. The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index was actually better than analysts expected in late June, but still hit a 10-month low. The final June number was 85.3, ahead of the preliminary June reading of 83.7 but still the lowest level for the Index since August 2006, at the height of last year's gasoline spike.

That 85.3 was down from May's 88.3. June's reading for consumer expectations also fell, to 74.7, from 77.6 in May.

The culprit clearly was gas prices. "While subsiding from their record peak in May, gasoline prices remain elevated, pinching the finances of households at all incomes levels," said Reuters, which now reports the University of Michigan Consumer Surveys exclusively.

Meanwhile, the consensus forecast for '07 U.S. real gross domestic product from the more than 50 economists polled monthly by Blue Chip Economic Indicators remained at 2.1%. The economists were more upbeat about second quarter growth than previously, raising their forecast to 3%, up 0.2 points. The forecast for '08 also stayed steady at 2.9%.

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