Foodservice Equipment Reports Fortnightly

Welcome to FER Fortnightly Online Newsletter
August 28, 2007

Economic Report:
Sponsored by:
Manitowoc Foodservice Group
First E&S Public Company Numbers Show Strong 2Q Gains Smaller Chains' Unit Growth Stays Positive
Okay, So There's Some Tough Economic News. What About Factors Driving Foodservice?
Service Costs To Be Explored At FER's 2008 E&S Market Forecast Focus On Channels Meeting In October

Regulatory Report:
Sponsored by:
ASHRAE, DOE Partner For Greener Buildings
Steak 'n Shake, Starwood, Arby's, Even Canada Get Phat Going Trans Fat-Free
FTC Subpoenas Food Company Marketing Records
St. Louis, Sarasota Go To Dogs

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In This Section:
Darden Makes `Rare' Offer To Buy Steakhouse Chain
Hungry For Dinner, Pancake House Becomes 'IHOPplebee's'
NAFEM Offers Free Consulting Services During Show
IFMA Wants Nominations For Silver Plate, New Awards
Political Duo Carville and Matalin Cued For IH/M&RS Workshop Keynote

This issue's Economic ReportSponsor: Manitowoc Foodservice Group
Regulatory ReportSponsor: Enodis

Industry Report Server Products

Darden Makes `Rare' Offer To Buy Steakhouse Chain
With a firm grip on Italian, seafood, Caribbean and BBQ segments, Darden Restaurants has decided to add "surf-and-turf" to its menu of restaurant chains. The Orlando-based casual dining operator agreed two weeks ago to buy Rare Hospitality International for $38.15 a share, or about $1.19 billion, a 39% premium compared to Rare's average closing stock price over the past month.

Rare Hospitality owns and operates 287 Longhorn Steakhouse and 28 Capital Grille restaurants. Combined sales for the two chains are about $1 billion annually.

Boards of both companies approved the deal, and Rare Hospitality's management team will remain in place following the transition. Clarence Otis, Darden's chairman and CEO, said the combination of the brands will enable both companies to grow faster and be more profitable. The deal is expected to close in October.


Section sponsored by Server Products

Hungry For Dinner, Pancake House Becomes 'IHOPplebee's'
You want some Applewood Chicken with those pancakes? Well, maybe not literally at the same time or place. But IHOP Corp. sealed a deal a few weeks ago to buy Applebee's International for about $2.1 billion in cash. The purchase will make IHOP the largest operator of sit-down foodservice in the country with about 3,250 stores and sales of almost $7 billion.

Applebee's had been up for sale since February after investors pushed for changes at the chain. IHOP had been shopping for several months for a restaurant chain that would help it expand after improving its financial performance recently.

IHOP Corp. Chief Executive Julia Stewart said she plans to sell Applebee's 508 company-owned stores to help pay down some of the purchase debt. Stewart also said she thought the strategy of selling the restaurants to franchisees could work as well at strengthening Applebee's finances as it did for IHOP in the past few years. But she also said the chain needs to decide "what they stand for" and anticipates a major brand overhaul and remodeling effort in time.

The deal is expected to close before the end of the year pending shareholder and regulatory approval.

Section sponsored by Server Products

NAFEM Offers Free Consulting Services During Show
There may be no such thing as a free lunch, but the North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers says there's such a thing as free expertise. The association is sponsoring a Consultants Services Center during The NAFEM Show in Atlanta, Oct. 11-13. Foodservice Consultants Society International members will be available all three days of the show to provide foodservice design and management advisory services.

Got a question about a store renovation or whether to use a KES to handle new-store equipment installations? Want advice on how to reduce costs, increase efficiency and improve quality? Three design and management experts will be available each of the three days of the show from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. You can make appointments with them by using NAFEM's ShowConnect online scheduling service or stopping by the booth during the show.

For more information on FCSI members participating in the Consultants Services Center, go to and click on "Consultants Services Center."

Section sponsored by Server Products

IFMA Wants Nominations For Silver Plate, New Awards
The International Foodservice Manufacturers Association wants to hear from you.

IFMA has created a new awards program to recognize excellence in distribution and wants your nominations. The association is looking to name distributors for three awards categories: One category is for those who exemplify overall excellence in management, customer service and industry/community contributions. A second category will honor outstanding performance in creative marketing and sales programs. IFMA says a third award for distinguished achievement will be selected by jury. All three awards will be presented at IFMA's 2007 Presidents Conference on Nov. 13.

Nominations forms and details on the program are available at Nominations must be submitted by Sept. 7.

IFMA also will start accepting nominations in September for its 2008 Silver Plate Awards. The awards recognize extraordinary accomplishments in the areas of management, marketing, human resources, and industry and civic participation in each of nine foodservice industry segments.

Silver Plate winners are selected by a panel of foodservice magazine editors and the previous year's Silver Plate recipients. From the nine award winners, the jury also selects the Gold Plate award winner. Silver Plate nominations are due by Dec. 7.

Section sponsored by Server Products

Political Duo Carville and Matalin Cued For IH/M&RS Workshop Keynote
Literally strange bedfellows James Carville and Mary Matalin are scheduled to deliver the keynote address at this year's Hospitality Leadership Forum preceding the International Hotel/Motel & Restaurant Show in New York. The political strategists, married to each other but on opposite sides of the political aisle, plan to give the audience their analysis of today's hot-button issues.

The Hospitality Leadership Forum is a full-day conference for senior hospitality industry managers on Nov. 10, the day before the show's opening. Carville and Matalin promise not only their unique perspectives on political motivations and machinations behind the headlines, but their insiders' look at Washington and the personalities behind the politics.

For more information on the show or the Hospitality Leadership Forum, go to

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