Foodservice Equipment Reports Fortnightly

Welcome to FER Fortnightly Online Newsletter
November 9, 2004

Economic Report:
Sponsored by:

Special Focus: FER Forecasts E&S Sales Growth, Big Price Increases
For Operators, Things Still Improving But More Slowly
Consumer Sentiment Down, GDP Growth Below Expectations

Regulatory Report:
Sponsored by: Hatco Corp.

Restaurant Depreciation Bill Moves Forward
HACCP To Headline In All School Kitchens Next Fall
Short And Sweet For California Credit Receipts
Rhode Island Clarifies, Modifies New Sprinkler Requirements

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In This Section:

RFID Chips With That McMeal?
Cereality Aims To Bowl Over Breakfast Market
Curtis Restaurant Equipment Expands
Eat’n Park Espresso Machines Get High Octane Roll-Out
Jolly News On Merrychef USA Launch

This issue's Economic ReportSponsor: ES3 |  Regulatory ReportSponsor: Hatco Corp.

Industry ReportAtlas Metal Industries Inc.

RFID Chips With That McMeal?
Are you paying for your purchase, or just waving because you’re happy? Oakbrook, Ill.-based McDonald’s Corp. has announced it intends to begin accepting the new PayPass credit card, a type of contactless, wave-and-go credit card for electronic payment.

Although the new-tech card can be used as a conventional swipe card with contact readers, its advantage lies in a radio frequency identification chip in the card that will transmit account data, touchlessly, to an electronic reader. The PayPass program is the result of an agreement among McDonald’s, MasterCard and VeriFone Inc.

The PayPass card’s chip is a tiny radio transponder that activates when it senses a scan signal from the reader. To use it, the cardholder waves the card near the specially equipped terminal, and the radio frequency chip completes the payment. The radio cards cut 12 to 18 seconds off the transaction time, compared to cash.

Currently some 5,000 restaurants are equipped for traditional cashless payment. By year’s end, roughly 75 of those locations will be ready to accept the PayPass cards. By the end of first-quarter 2005, all 5,000 of those restaurants will be ready to accept the new touchless card, according to McDonald’s spokesman Bill Whitman.

Section sponsored by Atlas Metal Industries Inc.

Cereality Aims To Bowl Over Breakfast Market
Cereality Cereal Bar & Café plans to go where no cereal bar and café has gone before: national.

The Boulder, Colo., company’s initial prototype occupies a 200-sq.-ft. space at the Arizona State University student union building in Tempe. The second store opens this month at a 1,500-sq.-ft. space near the University of Pennsylvania campus in Philadelphia. The company’s third opening will be in December, at an as-yet undisclosed site in Chicago. Company President David Roth expects to open 10 to 15 new Cereality locations in 2005.

The breakfast-all-day concept offers a choice of about 30 hot or cold cereals; 30+ toppings; seven types of flavored or unflavored milk; cereal-and-yogurt smoothies; and fresh-baked breakfast bars. Cerealogist (or waitstaff) uniforms look suspiciously like pajama tops. Customers can even create their own mixes and store the "recipes" in an onsite computer kiosk.

The décor takes inspiration from the Seinfeld TV show, with a kitchen motif and cabinets stuffed with cereal. The seating areas will feature farm tables and comfortable chairs.

Section sponsored by Atlas Metal Industries Inc.

Curtis Restaurant Equipment Expands
Curtis Restaurant Equipment, headquartered in Springfield, Ore., near Eugene, is expanding its presence in the Midwest with the opening of a contract sales office in the Minneapolis area.

Curtis’ newest office, in Plymouth, Minn., will be staffed by three former U.S. Foodservice Contract Division team members: Eric Skogrand, Mike Engel and Mike Oswald.

Curtis also operates branch offices in Beaverton, Bend and Medford, Ore., and Stanwood, Mich.

Section sponsored by Atlas Metal Industries Inc.

Eat’n Park Espresso Machines Get High Octane Roll-Out
High-octane milkshakes—that is, creamy shakes spiked with shots of espresso—are fueling the expanded specialty coffee program at the 80-unit Eat’n Park chain, headquartered in Pittsburgh.

The program called for the rollout of about 75 Schaerer Ambiente automatic espresso machines, plus the training of about 3,000 employees, all during three hectic weeks in September and October. Vanilla Latte, Caramel Latte, Caffe Mocha, and an array of espresso milkshakes are all part of the chain’s Espresso Bar menu.

The Swiss-made machines allow Eat’n Park to serve a consistent, high-quality product with minimal barista training. The machines are programmed to dose, tamp and steam to preset levels.

What with equipment, training, new to-go cups and signage, the rollout will cost an estimated $1 million, according to Brooks Broadhurst, v.p. of purchasing and menu development.

But it’s worth it. Broadhurst estimates that the espresso-enhanced specialty drinks will soon account for about 2% of the company’s overall sales.

Section sponsored by Atlas Metal Industries Inc.

Jolly News On Merrychef USA Launch
The U.S. fast-oven market just got quite a bit hotter with Enodis Corp.’s recent launch of its newest brand, Merrychef USA. The Merrychef office, in New Port Richey, Fla., will support stateside sales and marketing.

The accelerated oven company, based out of Hampshire, U.K., designs and manufactures ovens that combine convection, microwave, impingement and infrared energy technologies. The resulting cooking speed averages five to 10 times faster than traditional ovens, according to the company. Until now, Merrychef ovens have been badged under the Garland name for the U.S. market.

Alison Cullin, an AHCIMA-accredited chef with more than 20 years of foodservice experience, will lead the Merrychef USA operator and sales support team, reporting to Graham Veal, managing director of Merrychef.

The new company's sister brands at the Enodis Global Food Service Equipment group include Cleveland, Convotherm, Delfield, Frymaster, Garland, Jackson, Lincoln, Scotsman and Vent Master.

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