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Just Announced: Middleby Acquires Market Forge - 01/08/2014

The Middleby Corp. announced Jan. 7 that it has acquired the assets of Market Forge Industries, the 118-year-old manufacturer of steam cooking equipment, including countertop steamers, kettles and braising pans. Everett,... »

Pitco Appoints New VP International Sales - 01/08/2014

Pitco Frialator has added Eric Anderson, CFSP, as v.p.-international sales. Anderson joins Bow, N.H.-based Pitco from Australia, where he had been a regional director for Manitowoc Foodservice. He’s spent two decades in... »

2014 Ushers In Minimum Wage Hikes In 13 States - 01/08/2014

New Year’s Day brought good tidings and higher hourly wages for workers in the 13 states that increased their minimum wage on Jan. 1. Of the 2.56 million workers estimated to benefit from the increase, 1.4 million will... »

Middleby Corp. Acquires Wunder-Bar - 01/08/2014

The Middleby Corp., best known for its broad presence in the cooking equipment market, acquired Automatic Bar Controls in December. Also known under its brand name, Wunder-Bar, the Vacaville, Calif., company manufactures beverage... »

Rethinking The FER Forecast As We Enter 2014 - 01/08/2014

It’s been almost a month since our last FER Fortnightly and a great deal of new economic data has been released. All of it’s good. It turns out third-quarter U.S. real gross domestic product grew 4.1% in the final quarterly... »

NRA’s Performance Index Rose In November - 01/08/2014

The National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index rose again in November, hitting a five-month high at 101.2. The Index declined over the summer, prompted in part by worries about the impending federal-government... »

Restaurant Traffic Flat In 2013, Reports NPD; 1% Growth Forecast For ’14 - 01/08/2014

The NPD Group’s foodservice practice said in a release Dec. 17 that it expects restaurant visits will come in flat for all of 2013, though spending will rise 2%. The firm also said it expects traffic will grow by 1% in 2014 with... »

Yum!’s Unified Foodservice Purchasing Co-op Adopts New Name - 01/08/2014

Unified Foodservice Purchasing Co-op, LLC has changed its name to Restaurant Supply Chain Solutions LLC. The Yum! Brands purchasing organization manages more than $5.8 billion in food, packaging, non-food items and equipment... »

Sustainability Grants Made Available By Hobart - 01/08/2014

The Hobart Center for Foodservice Sustainability is now accepting applications for its seventh annual $5,000 sustainability grant. HCFS, a nonprofit, industry-wide forum supporting the foodservice industry’s drive for sustainable... »

On The Move: - 01/08/2014

Electrolux Professional has added Tom Schiller as director of customer care for North America, overseeing service directors and customer-service accounts. Schiller joins the Charlotte, N.C., office after 17 years at Hobart and a... »

IHOP Opens First Site In Saudi Arabia - 01/08/2014

IHOP, which already has four locations in Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, has opened its first store in Saudi Arabia. The mall-based restaurant, which opened Dec. 14, is part of a seven-brand restaurant destination in the... »

Darden To Part With Red Lobster, Cuts Cap-Ex By $100 Million - 01/08/2014

Darden Restaurants, which announced plans last month to sell or spin off its Red Lobster chain, is suspending the opening of new Olive Garden locations and cutting back on the number of new LongHorn Steakhouse restaurants. Red... »

Second Quarter 2013 State Tax Revenues Exceed 2008 Peak, But Growth Expected To Slow - 01/08/2014

Thanks in part to tax-law changes that accelerated capital-gains taxes, overall state tax revenues in the second quarter 2013 surpassed previous peak collections in real terms from before the Great Recession, according to data... »

California Shows Its Hand On New Food-Handling Law - 01/08/2014

California is taking it slow on the state’s new law banning bare-hand contact with prepared food. At the urging of the California Restaurant Association, the two agencies in charge of enforcing the new law (the California... »

Illinois Operators Get A Boost From ServSafe On Food Safety Legislation Changes - 01/08/2014

Thousands of restaurant and foodservice managers across Illinois who are just starting to navigate changes to the state’s Food Handling Regulation Enforcement Act are getting some help from a partnership between the Illinois... »

Consumer Confidence Rebounds, Wholesale Food Prices Sag, And Other News Of Note - 01/08/2014

Among other economic news of significance to foodservice and foodservice equipment and supplies: Both major indexes of consumer confidence and expectations recovered sharply in December from the declines prompted by the... »

Middleby Acquires Australian, Italian Equipment Makers - 01/07/2014

The Middleby Corp. closed out 2014 with a bang, acquiring two globally known companies. On Dec. 22, Middleby announced its acquisition of Desmon Food Service Equipment Co.,  a Nusco, Italy-based manufacturer of chilling... »

Big News At Year’s End: Henny Penny To Acquire Wood Stone - 12/18/2013

In a deal which shows the wide arc and manufacturing diversity of the foodservice equipment industry, Henny Penny—which produces thousands of pieces of foodservice equipment for a handful of global foodservice chains—is acquiring... »

In Memoriam: Gordon Oates Jr. - 12/18/2013

Gordon Oates Jr., a second-generation member of the foodservice equipment industry, died Dec. 5, following an illness. He was 62 years old. The Kentucky native spent his first decade in business working for IBM in Louisville,... »

Sysco To Buy US Foods For $3.5 Billion - 12/18/2013

Two of the largest broadline distributors in the country will be joining forces. On Dec. 9, Sysco agreed to buy rival US Foods for about $3.5 billion in stock and cash. Under the terms of the agreement announced Monday,... »

What We Learned From Gordon Oates Jr. - 12/18/2013

We received more bad news last week when we learned of the passing of Gordon Oates Jr. on Dec. 5 after a long illness. He was only 62, but he left a significant mark on me and on the foodservice equipment business. In a business... »

Great Lakes Expands Reach With New Culinary Center - 12/18/2013

Great Lakes Hotel Supply has opened a state-of-the-art test kitchen and special-events venue in Southfield, Mich. The Great Lakes Culinary Center is described as a kitchen stadium, resource hub, entrepreneurial launching pad and... »

Rapids Wholesale Opens Twin Cities Cash & Carry Store - 12/18/2013

Rapids Wholesale Equipment Co. has opened a new cash-and-carry retail store in St. Paul, Minn. Joe Schmitt, co-owner of the Marion, Iowa-based dealer, stated that Rapids has listened to its customers and plans to make its online... »

FEDA Sets Next Webinar: “Run Your Territory Before It Runs You” - 12/18/2013

Time management can be an issue for sales professionals, and the Foodservice Equipment Distributors Association is making that issue the focus for its next webinar. FEDA’s first webinar in 2014 will focus on keeping salespeople... »

MEIKO’s Equipment Honored By International Travel Group - 12/18/2013

Last month, MEIKO Inc. received the Mercury Award from the International Travel Catering Association. The biennial awards honor the association’s strongest partners in the travel catering industry. Meiko received the prize in... »

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