Foodservice Equipment Reports Fortnightly

Welcome to FER Fortnightly Online Newsletter
September 11, 2007

Regulatory Report:
Sponsored by:
New York Extends Energy-Efficiency Incentives
Homeland Security Offers Guidance On Illegals
N.J. Town To Use Restaurant Grease As Biofuel
Marin County Clears Up The FOG

Industry Report:
Sponsored by:
The NAFEM Show 2007
Ventilation Company Accurex Debuts
Disasters Happen; How Do You Prepare?
Green Building Expo Scheduled For Chicago
ASHRAE Says Winter Meeting Plans Hot Enough For A/C

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In This Section:
NRA's Performance Index Falls But Stays Positive
No, the Operator Sky Is Not Falling
Still Time To Register For IFMA's Forecast & Outlook Seminars
Save $100! Don't Miss The Sept. 21 Early-Bird Deadline For FER's Focus On Channels Forecast Meeting

This issue's Regulatory ReportSponsor: Enodis
Industry ReportSponsor: The NAFEM Show 2007
Economic Report Manitowoc Foodservice Group

NRA's Performance Index Falls But Stays Positive
Seven of eight components of the National Restaurant Association's Restaurant Performance Index trended lower in the July survey, leading to a half-point drop in the overall Index, to 100.9. Above 100 signifies growth; below signifies contraction.

Both the Current Situation and Expectations Indexes also fell 0.5 point, to 101.2.

The declines follow two months of moderately rising numbers. It was the 51st straight month the Index has remained above 100.

The Current Situation's slide came from fairly strong hits in both same-store sales and customer traffic components. Same-store sales lost 1.4 points; traffic was off 0.8 point. Some of the big change in same-store sales came from a one-month upward blip in June. Nearly 50% of surveyed operators reported increased same-store sales versus 36% saying sales fell.

All four of the components of the Expectations Index fell, the expectation of same-store sales during the next six months was off only 0.1 point. Both the future business conditions and planned capital expenditures components fell 0.8 point.

The only component to rise in the July survey was capital expenditures during the past three months. That component rose 0.8 point, to 101.4.


Section sponsored by Manitowoc Foodservice Group

No, the Operator Sky Is Not Falling
With all the concern about consumer confidence, the stock and financial turmoil and the like, we thought we'd check how some leading operators are doing. With a few exceptions, big chain same-store sales growth seems to be doing just fine.

Some sample numbers: McDonald's U.S. comparable sales grew again, up 4.3% in July. Worldwide comps rose 6.5% after currency changes. Burger King ended the quarter ending June with same-store sales gains of 4.8% U.S. and 4.4% worldwide. And in case you think it's only quick-service posting gains, Darden reported August same-store sales up 8-9% at Red Lobster and 5% at Olive Garden. This follows gains in July too.

Now sure, Wendy's same-store sales were up only 0.7% in company stores and 0.4% in franchised units in the quarter ending June, and Applebee's comps were off 0.9% in August on a reported 6-6.5% drop in traffic. But these softer numbers are probably specific to both chains.

Of course, consumer sentiment did fall in the August reading from the University of Michigan, so maybe restaurant sales will soften further. But we'll have to wait a month or two to find out.

Section sponsored by Manitowoc Foodservice Group

Still Time To Register For IFMA's Forecast & Outlook Seminars
You still have time to register for the annual Forecast & Outlook seminars sponsored annually by the Int'l. Foodservice Manufacturers Association. The detailed and extensive data and forecasts are produced for IFMA each year by Technomic Inc. The program and take-away materials cover everything from consumer, menu and operator trends to the growth in the number of elementary schools and the number of prisons in the United States. And, of course, the forecast will feature detailed sales and unit growth numbers for all the foodservice segments.

The seminars will be held Sept. 17 in Millbrae, Calif.; Sept. 20 in Rosemont, Ill.; and Sept. 25 in Rutherford, N.J.

For information on the seminars, call IFMA at 312/540-4400 or go to the Web site at Attendees must be members of IFMA.

Section sponsored by Manitowoc Foodservice Group

Save $100! Don't Miss The Sept. 21 Early-Bird Deadline For FER's Focus On Channels Forecast Meeting
You only have until Sept. 21 to save $100 on the registration fee for Foodservice Equipment Reports' 2008 E&S Market Forecast Focus on Channels meeting. The meeting will be held Oct. 25 at the Embassy Suites O'Hare near Chicago.

Designed for dealers, consultants, reps and service agents, as well as manufacturers, the program will featureFER's exclusive, hard-number forecasts of equipment and supplies 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. In addition, two panel discussions will explore topics of interest to channels partners and manufacturers alike. One will assess business conditions affecting dealers, reps, consultants and service agents. Another will probe the cost and structure of after-sales service.

The Focus on Channels program fee is $745 through Sept 21, $845 afterward. Attendees receive both print and electronic versions of all the presentations. Registration and hotel forms, as well as the complete agenda, are available at or by calling Chris Palmer at 847/336-2049 or e-mailing her at

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