NAFEM ’13: Time To Network
Pack up your plane tickets, comfortable shoes, Parrothead gear, FER Exhibitor Pocket Guide, and notes on who to see and what to see at The NAFEM Show. It’s only a week away.
The North American Association of Food Equipment... »
Ron Snyder Joins Robot Coupe
Ronald Snyder has joined Robot Coupe U.S.A as the Jackson, Miss., company’s market solutions adviser. Snyder, a degreed culinary chef, has spent the last 11 years working as a regional sales manager or manufacturer sales... »
Minneapolis-Based Premier Gains Equity Partner
Hillcrest Capital Partners, a Minneapolis-based private investment group, is pleased to announce it has made an investment in Premier Restaurant Equipment.
Minneapolis-based Premier is a full-service foodservice design and... »
Ace Mart Announces 2012 Gus Award Honoree
Ace Mart Restaurant Supply has named employee Bud Herrmann as recipient of its second annual Gus Award. Hermann received the award at a presentation ceremony during the annual Kitchen Equipment & New Technology Expo in Flower... »
Make The Deadline For FEDA Dues
Time is running out to pay membership dues to the Foodservice Equipment Distributors Association. Dues payments should be in to FEDA by Thursday, Jan. 31. Questions can go to Ray Herrick at 800/677-9605. »
What The NAFEM Show Does
We’ve been very busy the past three months getting ready for The NAFEM Show Feb. 7-9. We produced three big issues for December, January and February, featuring our redesign of the magazine. We re-launched our new digital... »
Check Those Boxes, It’s Economic Census Time
Multiunit operators, E&S dealers, consultants and service agents are among the nearly four million businesses which have received forms for the 2012 Economic Census, the federal government’s official five-year measure of... »
FER News Exclusive: How Customers Are Driving Manitowoc’s Factory Consolidation
Without much fanfare, Manitowoc Foodservice has undertaken a series consolidations and expansions of its cooking equipment manufacturing facilities in the past three years.
The New Port Richey, Fla.-based foodservice equipment... »
Ali Group Will Integrate Scotsman, McCulloch Passes CEO Reins
Scotsman Industries, recently acquired by the Ali Group, will remain a U.S.-based global group reporting to Ali Group North America. The Milan, Italy-based conglomerate has announced several updates to Scotsman’s management... »
Technomic Lowers 2013 Operator Sales Forecast
Technomic Inc. has revised downwards its estimates and forecasts for foodservice operator sales in 2012 and ’13. Real growth for this year is now forecast at 1%, down from the Chicago-based research firm’s forecast last August of... »
Doughnut Chains Fill Holes In Their Market Coverage
Two major doughnut and coffee chains have spread out to new markets.
Krispy Kreme Doughnut Corp. opened its first franchise location in India on Jan. 19. The new store is in Bangalore, India's third largest city, and the center... »
Alsea Commits $85 Million To Open 30 P.F. Chang's In Brazil
Mexican restaurant franchise operator Alsea SAB has acquired exclusive rights to develop P.F. Chang's China Bistro in Brazil.
Alsea, which opened its first P.F. Chang's in Mexico City in 2009, will spend more than $85 million to... »
UL Acquires California Food Safety Auditor
UL has acquired Everclean Services, a food-safety auditor based in Agoura Hills, Calif. Everclean Services assesses and audits food safety, supplier qualifications, brand consistency and price integrity for restaurants, grocery... »
No Consumer Confidence Bounce From Cliff Deal
We (and lots of other observers) were wrong. Most of us expected consumers would gain back a bit of their confidence from the AmericanTaxpayer Relief Act passed just after the New Year. But no.
The Thomson Reuters/University of... »
Things Will Get Better, Blue Chip Forecasts. Just Not Yet
It being a new year, we thought we’d share the current macroeconomic forecasts from Blue Chip Economic Indicators. The 50 major economic forecasting groups polled monthly by Blue Chip raised their consensus forecast for real... »
Wholesale Food Prices Haven’t Surged, Yet
The price-increase news for foodservice operators in December was actually pretty good. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported wholesale food prices at all three levels of the wholesale chain fell during the month. Finished... »
U.K. Market Should Begin to Grow In 2013, Says Horizons
It’s been a very tough slog for foodservice operators the past two years in Britain. The austerity regime of tax increases and benefit cuts put in place by the current Conservative/Liberal Democrat government has cut consumers’... »
New York City Soda Wars Continue
The New York State Supreme Court is hearing arguments Jan. 23 on the legality of the supersized soft-drink ban passed last year by New York City’s board of health
The National Restaurant Association, American Beverage... »
CRA Launches Website For Healthcare Law Info
As restaurant chains and other operators gear up to comply with the new state and federal healthcare guidelines, the California Restaurant Association has followed the NRA’s lead and created its own webpage dedicated to... »
In Memoriam: MAFSI Leader Tony Mazur
Anthony Mazur, past president and founding father of Manufacturers’ Agents for the Food Service Industry, passed away Jan. 4. He was 97.
Mazur, of A.E. Mazur Associates, Philadelphia, was a tireless supporter of MAFSI since... »
In Memoriam: Tom Ward
Tom Ward, who spent 33 years in sales with Wells Mfg. Co., died Dec. 21, 2012 of complications from Alzheimer’s. He was 72.
George Thomas Ward spent his youth on his family’s Wiley City, Wash., hop and cattle ranch. In 1972,... »
New Face To Lead NRA Advocacy
Matt Walker will lead the National Restaurant Association’s advocacy strategy and lobbying efforts in the Congress as the NRA’s new v.p.-government affairs.
Before joining the NRA, Walker worked as deputy staff director and... »
What’s Behind All The M&A Deals In E&S
The brokers and investment bankers that help equipment and supplies companies buy and sell other companies had a very busy 2012. Foodservice Equipment Reports and our forecasting partner John Muldowney, v.p.-marketing at... »
Family-Owned New England Dealers Merge
Kittredge Equipment Co., the Agawam, Mass., dealer, has purchased Northeast Food Service Equipment and Supply, a Bow, N.H.-based dealer. Both companies are family-owned businesses with a strong commitment to exceptional customer... »
I’ve had two really interesting interviews in the past couple weeks. One was with Phil Dei Dolori and Dean Landeche at Manitowoc Foodservice and another with Selim Bassoul at Middleby. While the original topics were totally... »
Eagle Group: Shari Kaplan has joined the Clayton, Del., company as v.p.- eastern regional sales. Kaplan, who has experience on the dealer and manufacturing sides of the industry, will represent Eagle’s line of foodservice... »
FEDA Plans Box Lunch Seminar At NAFEM `13
The NAFEM Show is only weeks away. Among the associations planning concurrent seminars and meetings is the Foodservice Equipment Distributors Association, which will host a box lunch seminar on Friday, Feb. 8.
In “Good and... »
Fiscal Cliff Deal Includes Equipment Tax Breaks, Extension Of Tax Depreciation
A fall off the so-called fiscal cliff was skirted by Congress's New Year’s passage of the American Taxpayer Relief Act, which included a number of tax breaks for small-business owners and foodservice operators. The legislation... »
Middleby Corp. Acquires Viking Range For $380 Million
The waning hours of 2012 brought one last major story in the foodservice equipment business: Middleby Corp. has acquired Viking Range Corp for $380 million in cash. The deal was announced Dec. 31.
Viking, a leading maker of... »
Unified Brands Acquires Power Soak Systems
Unified Brands announced Dec. 20 that it has acquired Power Soak Systems, a privately held manufacturer of continuous-motion warewashing systems.
Power Soak is headquartered in Kansas City, Mo., and has a manufacturing facility... »
In Memoriam: John Birchfield Sr.
John Birchfield, FCSI, the founder and principal of Birchfield Foodsystems, a foodservice consulting and design firm, died Dec. 29. He was 82 years old.
Birchfield had a long and multifaceted career in the foodservice industry.... »
No Cliff Dive But Plenty Of Dangers Remain For Foodservice And The American Economy
Unless you spent the holidays on another planet or at least on a remote island paradise with no media access, you are aware that Congress and the Obama Administration cobbled together in early January a package that made... »
In Memoriam: Erwin Shakin
Erwin Shakin, a man who loved the foodservice industry and said he had to have at least one meal a day in a restaurant, died on Dec. 24. He was 83 years old.
Shakin was the founder of Consolidated Restaurant Services,... »
Caribou Coffee Goes Private
A private-equity firm that already holds a majority stake in Peet’s Coffee & Tea has acquired Caribou Coffee Co., the nation’s second-largest company-owned coffeehouse chain.
The Joh. A. Benckiser Group (JAB) announced a... »
Ali Group Completes Scotsman Acquisition
It’s a done deal: The Italian foodservice equipment conglomerate The Ali Group has successfully closed on its previously announced definitive agreement to acquire Scotsman Industries, the world’s largest commercial ice-machine... »
Cap Spending Measures Fell Sharply In NRA’s December Performance Index
The two indicators in the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index that track recent and future capital spending by restaurant operators took big hits in December, even as other measures in the index rose,... »
Vollrath Acquires A Second Plastics Maker, Acryfab Inc.
The Vollrath Co. will be expanding its brand into acrylic dispensing, display and fabrication products with its latest acquisition, fellow Wisconsin manufacturer Acry Fab Inc. The Sun Prairie, Wis.-based company is... »
Nominations Due This Month For NACUFS’ National Awards
The National Association of College & University Food Services is seeking nominations for its national recognition awards honoring individuals and organizations for their outstanding service to the association and its... »
NRA Hosts Health Care, Commodities Webinars This Month
The National Restaurant Association has slated two webinars in January for its members. On Thursday, Jan. 17, the association will host “Health Care Law: Next Steps for Restaurateurs.”
Operators large and small will feel the... »
NYC Resumes Inspections In Operations Hit By Hurricane Sandy
Hundreds of New York area restaurants estimated to have been damaged by late October’s Hurricane Sandy were granted a two-month respite from the city’s letter-grade inspections. But on Jan. 2, the New York City Department of... »
Blanco CS Rebrands As Blanco Professional
Blanco CS has been renamed Blanco Professional. The family-owned company headquartered in Oberderdingen, Germany, says it is revising its name to make its objective clear: professionals producing for professionals.
Texas-Based Mission Buys Fellow Lone State Dealer
San Antonio-based Mission Restaurant Supply has acquired Metroplex Restaurant Equipment, a Fort Worth, Texas-based E&S dealership. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Metroplex’s previous owners, Danny Terrell and Ed... »
Restaurant Equipment World Opens An Office In Dubai
It isn’t just chains making footprints in the Middle East.
Restaurant Equipment World has opened a location in Dubai, UAE. The office will support the Orlando, Fla., firm's clients in the Middle East/North Africa region, and... »
Chefs’ Toys Acquires Star Restaurant Equipment & Supply
Chefs’ Toys has acquired the assets of Star Restaurant Equipment & Supply of Van Nuys, Calif.
Through the deal, which was official Dec. 3, Fountain Valley, Calif.-based Chefs’ Toys will operate Star as a fourth branch of... »
In Memoriam: Hiawatha Founder Lois Thompson
Lois Thompson, 85, the founder of Hiawatha Chef Supply, passed away Nov. 27 after a long battle with emphysema.
The former Lois Murker started the Escanaba, Mich., dealership in 1955, in partnership with Doug Wescott.... »
Taking Stock At Year-End
We write a lot about the future in this space, trying to help you assess what the E&S market may bring in the way of opportunities and challenges. But it’s also good to look at the recent past. As we approach the end of... »
Training Program For U.S. Vets Builds Database
Foodservice equipment is getting more complex and the need for trained technicians is ever-growing. Also increasing is the stream of veterans returning from military service overseas who need jobs in the civilian sector.
In Memoriam: Manufacturers’ Rep Ray Ward
Long-time MAFSI member and past president Ray Ward died suddenly on Dec. 5.
Ward spent 30 years as a manufacturers’ rep in upstate New York, where he was a principal of Rochester-based Quality Rep Source. The firm merged in 2007... »
Join Us At FER’s Industry Awards Event Feb. 8
Have you saved the date for FER's evening honoring 17 organizations and individuals?
The new industry awards event Friday evening, Feb. 8, during The NAFEM `13 Show, includes dinner and awards presentations at the Peabody... »
NRA Forecasts Moderate 3.8% Sales Growth For 2013
The National Restaurant Association expects continuing modest growth for the foodservice industry next year, in spite of many uncertainties, with current dollar growth forecast at 3.8% and growth after price inflation of 0.8%.... »
Reps Eye 2013, Forecast 4.7% In E&S Sales Growth
The MAFSI Business Barometer unexpectedly improved in the third quarter, as overall sales for manufacturers’ reps climbed to 4.3% in the quarter versus sales in the same quarter last year, the best performance since a 4.7% gain... »
Burger King Makes Global Inroads
The Home of the Whopper is growing its global empire. After debuting last year in Brazil, China and Russia—and inking an agreement to open its first store in South Africa this year—Burger King Worldwide is returning to France.... »
Luby’s Adds Cheeseburger in Paradise To Burger Portfolio
It’s another bite of the burger market for Luby’s Inc. The Houston chain, which purchased 59 company-owned Fuddruckers two years ago, is acquiring the 23-unit Cheeseburger in Paradise chain for about $11 million.
Co-branding is... »
Neil Kirven Joins Unified Brands
Unified Brands has hired Neil Kirven as healthcare segment manager. His responsibilities include creating and executing strategic product management. Kirven was previously president of Burlodge USA, an Ali Group company.
Diversified Foodservice Acquires Franklin Machine Products
Diversified Foodservice Supply, the parent company of AllPoints Foodservice Parts and Supplies, Tundra Specialties, and other brands in the parts, supplies, equipment and accessories distribution industry, has acquired Franklin... »
Libbey Gains U.S. Distribution Rights For Spiegelau-Nachtmann
Libbey Inc. has become the exclusive U.S. distributor for two longtime German glass and servingware manufacturers.
Libbey will distribute Spiegelau and Nachtmann products. Spiegelau, founded in 1521, makes fine stemware and... »
Tony Kaszuba Recognized as 2013 SFM Hennessy Traveler
Tony Kaszuba, president of RMA Hospitality Management, has been nominated as this year’s Society for Foodservice Management’s 2013 Hennessy Traveler.
The Hennessy Traveler program promotes educational opportunities for members... »
Consumers Figure Out Falling From The Fiscal Cliff Could Hurt
Two economic reports released last Friday, Dec. 7, obscured even more the short-term outlook for U.S. consumer spending. On the one side, the top-line numbers in the Bureau of Labor Statistics monthly jobs report came in better... »
Operator Worries Apparent In NRA’s November RPI
For the first time in 14 months, the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index fell below the 100 level that separates industry expansion from contraction in the October survey. Worries about the... »
In Louisiana, Inspections Don't Ensure Safety
According to a new report, there’s a huge gap between the number of food-safety violations in Louisiana’s restaurants and the number of penalties actually levied in the state.
A new legislative audit shows that Louisiana's... »
California Creates Site To Help Operators With Tax Issues
The California State Board of Equalization has launched a new online sales and use tax guide for restaurant owners to assist operators in navigating the state’s maze of tax issues.
The interactive website provides both general... »
NRA Expands Government Affairs Bureau
The National Restaurant Association has added two former Capitol Hill staffers to its policy and government affairs department. Laura Abshire has been named director of sustainability policy and government affairs. She’ll lead... »
TriMark USA Grows To 12 Divisions With Purchase Of Federighi Design
Two months after it strengthened its presence in the South by acquiring Georgia-based Century Concepts, distribution giant TriMark USA has purchased San Francisco Bay-based Federighi Design.
The design house, headquartered in... »
NRA’s Performance Index Signals Operator Pessimism
The looming fiscal cliff appears to have given restaurant operators a case of vertigo. The prospect of rapidly rising prices for key proteins may be adding to the swoon. For the first time in 14 months, the National Restaurant... »
Surprisingly, MAFSI Barometer Rose In Third Quarter
The MAFSI Business Barometer unexpectedly improved in the third quarter, as overall sales for manufacturers’ reps climbed to 4.3% in the quarter versus sales in the same quarter last year. The number beat advances of 4% in the... »
Dec. 7 Deadline Is Last Call For Kitchen Innovations Awards
There are a few days left to submit products, technologies and equipment for the National Restaurant Association’s Kitchen Innovations Awards.
While next year’s NRA Show is still months away (May 18-21 at Chicago’s McCormick... »
NRA Seeks Nominations For Operator Innovations
Worked with a customer you think is doing something really special with his or her operation? The National Restaurant Association is accepting nominations for its 2013 Operator Innovations Awards, which celebrate “operators who... »
FEDA Education Foundation Awards 33 UID Scholarships
Seventeen dealers can boast about hardworking employees who have earned scholarships from the FEDA Education Foundation. The foundation recently awarded 33 scholarships to help cover some of the costs associated with attending... »
Burkett Wins Business Award
Burkett Restaurant Equipment recently received a top honor at the University of Toledo.
At the school’s annual Entrepreneurial and Business Excellence Hall of Fame ceremony on Nov. 8, Burkett received the Business Excellence... »
It’ll Be A Bumpy Few Months
We now have seen all the third-quarter equipment and supplies market data, as well as the October Restaurant Performance Index, the November consumer confidence measures, and the like. The pols are in full strutting posture as... »
FER Revises E&S Market Forecast Downward
Foodservice Equipment Reports has trimmed its forecasts of foodservice equipment and supplies sales growth for 2012 and ’13. A clear trend of slowing growth in 2012, as charted by publicly reporting E&S companies and the... »
NAFEM Releases Detailed 2012 "Size & Shape” Study
The 2012 version of “Size & Shape of the Industry,” which details dollar sales for more than 350 categories of foodservice equipment, supplies, tabletop and furnishings, has been released by the North American Association of... »
Consumers Buying, But Worry Sets In About Fiscal Cliff
American consumers have seemed oblivious to the potential negative impact on them of the so-called “fiscal cliff,” the combination of tax increases and spending cuts scheduled to go into effect Jan. 1, 2013, unless Congress... »
San Jamar Reasserts One Brand Identity
It’s back to the future for San Jamar. The maker of foodservice, janitorial and sanitation products, supplies and clothing is now carrying all of its brands and products under its original name: San Jamar. The company had been... »
Bob Evans Ramps Up Remodel Schedule, Puts Mimi’s Under Review
The to-do menu at Bob Evans Restaurants is on overdrive. The company is speeding up its Bob Evans’ store-remodeling program, known as “Farm Fresh Refresh” and will complete re-dos of all 565 units by the first half of 2014.... »
Arby’s Sells 42 Northwest Stores
Atlanta-based Arby’s Restaurant Group has sold 42 company-owned locations and development rights in Seattle and Portland, Ore. The buyer, operator Tony Lutfi, will remodel at least 17 restaurants and has committed to building... »
Houston A Hot Market For TCBY
TCBY has set its sights on the Houston area as a key market for growing its brand of frozen yogurt. The chain looks to grow there by 15 to 20 stores in the next three to five years. TCBY already has eight traditional stores in... »
NRA Seeks Nominations For Operator Innovations
The time has come again to recognize commercial and noncommercial operators who drive innovation and excellence in the restaurant industry.
The National Restaurant Association is accepting nominations for its 2013 Operator... »
Globe Food Equipment Co. has appointed Kevin Woods, CFSP, as v.p.-sales and marketing. Woods joins the Dayton, Ohio, company from Unified Brands, where he was central region sales director. In his four-year tenure there he also... »
CFESA Rings In 50th Anniversary At February Conference
The Commercial Food Equipment Service Association kicks off its 50th anniversary year with its Spring 2013 Conference, Feb. 4-6, in conjunction with NAFEM ‘13. The conference will be held at the Peabody Orlando hotel in Florida.... »
Chicago Food Truck Ops Sue The City Over Restrictions
Three food truck operators and a public-interest law firm filed a lawsuit against Chicago on Nov. 14 in an effort to force city officials to loosen restrictions on mobile food trucks.
The suit targets the requirement that food... »
Montreal Debates Food Trucks, Too
Food trucks, and where they roam, are still under debate north of the border. The Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association has announced its support of food trucks in Montreal, provided they follow the same rules and... »
Gear Up For The2012 Economic Census
Get out your pencils. It’s time for the 2012 Economic Census. Every five years, the U.S. government conducts this survey mapping the American business landscape. The data collected can help business owners compare their business... »
Minimum Wages Headed Up In Eight States
Eight of the 10 states that tie annual wage increases to inflation have announced minimum wage increases this year.
Arizona, Missouri and Vermont will increase their minimum wages on Jan. 1. In Arizona, wages will climb to... »
Wholesale Food Prices Rise Again In October
Nearly everyone expects big jumps in food prices, especially for proteins, over the next year or so, thanks to the ongoing drought in the United States. October’s wholesale food-price data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’... »
FEDA Sets Agenda For 80th Anniversary Convention
The Foodservice Equipment Distributors Association has put together a full lineup of speakers and programs for its 80th annual convention next year.
FEDA members will convene April 3-7, 2013 at the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill... »
ABC Honors Suppliers, Top Sales Exec Of The Year
During its recent fall conference in Rosemont, Ill., Allied Buying Corp. recognized nine manufacturers with Supplier of the Year awards.
The multiple criteria employed by the Lombard, Ill., buying group were tied to quality in... »
Globe Hires Woods As EVP-Sales & Marketing
Globe Food Equipment Co. has appointed Kevin Woods, CFSP, as v.p.-sales and marketing. Woods joins the Dayton, Ohio, company from Unified Brands, where he was central region sales director. In his four-year tenure there he also... »
Mitch Cohen Joins Unified Brands
Unified Brands has hired industry veteran Mitch Cohen as central regional sales director. He’ll be responsible for managing representative partners and domestic sales growth in the central region for the company’s Groen, Randell,... »
After Sales Drop, McDonald’s USA Turns To New Leadership
A week after the chain reported its first monthly same-store sales decrease in nine years, McDonald’s Corp. has replaced Jan Fields as president of McDonald’s USA. The Oak Brook, Ill., chain has named Jeff Stratton, currently... »
Ali Group Cuts Ribbon On Training Center
Ali Group North America has opened a new, state-of-the-art training center. The building, part of Ali’s headquarters complex in Winston-Salem, N.C., houses separate warewashing and cooking training facilities.
The official... »
FEDA Education Foundation Awards CFSP, ServSafe Scholarships
The FEDA Education Foundation recently awarded four CFSP and ServSafe scholarships to employees of its dealer members.
Mohamed Orra of Burkett Restaurant Equipment & Supplies has been awarded a 2012 ServSafe Scholarship to... »
Reasons To Be Thankful
I was going to write another bit on our evolving forecast—we reported on the third-quarter public company numbers last week in FER Fortnightly if you missed it (click here)—and John Muldowney and I have had several... »
Ali Group Acquires Scotsman Industries
Scotsman Industries is joining The Ali Group, the Italian-based foodservice equipment conglomerate. Ali will acquire Scotsman and all of its brands, including Ice-O-Matic, in a deal announced Nov. 6. The companies did not... »
Tim Hortons Opens 20th Middle East Store, Sets Full Panini Rollout In Canada
The American market has proved to be competitive ground for Canada’s largest quick-service chain, Tim Hortons, but its third quarter proved promising on either side of the border—and in the Middle East.
On Nov. 12, the chain... »
Jamba Juice Plans Revamp
A makeover is in store for all 301 corporate Jamba Juice units in the U.S. next year. The Emeryville, Calif., chain is launching a four-year capital expenditure program to refresh and redesign its company-owned stores; it also... »
Public E&S Companies Growth Stalls In 3Q
While chain equipment and supplies purchases in the U.S. remained healthy in the third quarter, the recession in Europe once again pulled down sales at both ITW’s Food Equipment Group and Manitowoc Foodservice. As a result,... »
Brinker Slates Wyman Roberts For CEO
Wyman Roberts, president of Chili’s Grill & Bar, will add the title of CEO and president of Brinker Int’l. on Jan. 1. He’ll succeed Doug Brooks, who joined Brinker two years after its 1975 founding and will continue to serve... »
Unified Brands Appoints National Chain Accounts Director
Unified Brands has appointed Steve Carlson as director of national chain accounts; he’ll be responsible for strategic growth in the chain market segment in addition to leading the chain account management team for the company’s... »
NRA’s Performance Index Edged Down In September, But Cap Ex Indicators Rose
A pronounced slowdown in restaurant operator traffic and sales in September pulled down the Restaurant Performance Index maintained by the National Restaurant Association. On the other hand, operators are a bit more optimistic... »
TableCraft Enters Buffet Market With Purchase Of Professional Bakeware
TableCraft Products Co. has acquired Professional Bakeware Co., a maker of cast aluminum and coated buffetware.
All of Professional’s products are now available under TableCraft’s protective product line. Its cast aluminum... »
In Memoriam: Consultant Jim Webb
Jim Webb, the founder of Webb Design, died Oct. 24 from cancer. He was 58.
Webb started the Tustin, Calif., firm in 1989 and became known as a top designer across the foodservice spectrum. His projects included schools,... »
New Digs For Strategic Equipment
Strategic Equipment and Supply Corp. has relocated its corporate headquarters and its ISI Commercial Refrigeration division to a new distribution center. The new location is at 1461 S. Belt Line Road, Suite 100, Coppell,... »
Registration Begins For NACUFS Meeting
Registration opens this week for a double dose of professional development programs sponsored by the National Association of College & University Food Services.
The Foodservice Directors Symposium and Purchasing Seminar will... »
Full-Service Restaurants Continued To Lose Traffic In Second Quarter, Reports NPD
Midscale and casual dining restaurants continued to see traffic declines in the second quarter of 2012, according to The NPD Group’s CREST data. Both segments have now seen four consecutive years of quarterly traffic declines,... »
ANFP Seeks New Chief Executive
The board of the Association of Nutrition & Foodservice Professionals is encouraging its members to help it find its next leader. ANFP has engaged an executive search firm, JDG Associates, to assist it in the search for the... »
Insurance Tips For Operators Hit By Sandy
In the aftermath of SuperStorm Sandy, the National Restaurant Association has posted tips for restaurant insurance.
East Coast operators affected by the recent hurricane and snowstorms can follow a few basic steps to make the... »
Things To Know, Who To Reach When Re-Opening
The New York State Restaurant Association is providing its members with phone numbers and official information from New York’s city health commissioner on dealing with the storm’s aftermath. Everything from the how-to’s of... »
U.S. Macroeconomic Forecasts Remain Weak
The forecasts for key economic drivers of foodservice remained weak in the early November survey of 50 leading economic forecast groups, according to Blue Chip Economic Indicators. The forecast for real gross domestic product in... »
Dealers Tackle Aftermath Of Hurricane Sandy
The vibrant East Coast foodservice industry took a terrible hit last week with Hurricane Sandy. Operators, dealers, service agents and manufacturers are pulling together and responding energetically to the devastation. Dealers,... »
Full Steam Ahead For This Weekend’s New York Show
No matter the weather, it's showtime. Organizers of the Nov. 10-12 International Hotel, Motel + Restaurant Show are forging ahead as the New York/New Jersey area continues to recover from Hurricane Sandy, and there is lot to look... »
Dealing With Disaster
As we all now know, Sandy wasn’t just a storm or even a hurricane; it was a “superstorm.” Calling around to our friends to see how everyone fared, it’s clear the storm and its aftermath created severe challenges for those who... »
Nieco Gets New Parent: Middleby
The Middleby Corp. has added another foodservice equipment maker to its wide-ranging stable of brands. Middleby announced Oct. 31 that it has acquired Nieco Corp., a West Coast maker of automatic broilers for a broad range of... »
Candle Lamp Acquires Sterno
Candle Lamp has successfully completed its previously announced acquisition of The Sterno Group. The combined companies, led by Candle Lamp’s current executive team, will be known as SternoCandleLamp.
Sterno, founded in 1893 as... »
Veteran’s Day Reminder
Veteran’s Day is Monday, Nov. 12. We received a note from SC Equipment Funding noting that it will close its offices in Placentia, Calif., that day in observance of it. The editors here at FER thought we’d pass it along.
NAFEM `13 Countdown…
There are fewer than 100 days until NAFEM `13. Booked your rooms and tickets yet? Found a seat for the closing night banquet’s headliner, Jimmy Buffett? If not, hop to it. The show, Feb. 7-9, 2013, is just around the corner. And... »
Reconsidering Our E&S Forecast, Again
In case you didn’t see it, we wrote the following analysis of the foodservice equipment and supplies market, and how it is developing compared with our July forecasts, for last week’s FER Dealer Report. Since then, our... »
Starbucks Opens First Store In India
India is no longer an untapped market for Starbucks. Earlier this month, the coffee chain debuted in Mumbai, its first outlet in the world’s second most populous country. The flagship Mumbai store was the first of three grand... »
Chipotle Slates L.A. For Next ShopHouse
ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen is going bicoastal. The concept, which parent Chipotle Mexican Grill debuted in Washington, D.C., in 2011, will open its first unit in Los Angeles early next year. The West Coast store will be... »
Burger King Expands In Colombia, Enters Siberia
Burger King Worldwide has plans to get bigger in Colombia and expand into Siberia.
The chain has inked an exclusive development deal with Fondo Escala Capital and Promotora to further its brand in Colombia by more than 100 new... »
Consumer Sentiment Held At Five-Year High In October
It doesn’t make much sense to most informed observers, but consumer sentiment held at a five-year high in the final October reading of the Thomson/Reuters University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment Index. The final reading was... »
NRA Promotes Flanagan To Oversee State And Local Affairs
The political and legislative advocacy team at the National Restaurant Association has gotten stronger. The association has promoted Brendan Flanagan to v.p.-state and local affairs, a new position in the association’s expanded... »
U.S. GDP Grows 2% In Third Quarter, Ahead Of Estimates
It can hardly be termed robust, but real growth of gross domestic product in the U.S. came in at 2% in the third quarter on an annualized basis, according to the advanced estimate released Oct. 26 by the Department of Commerce’s... »
Gas Prices Plummet, Consumer Food and Menu Price Increases Are Restrained
The expected seasonal decline in gasoline prices has finally kicked in, following the unexpected run-up of prices this late summer. The average national price for a gallon of regular gas has plummeted nearly 13 cents in the last... »
NRA To Celebrate "Faces Of Diversity" Achievers
Made good? Achieved your goals? It’s a good time to tell your story, or share the details of someone else’s accomplishment. The National Restaurant Association is looking for operators across the country to apply or nominate a... »
Baltimore Weighs Letter Grade System
A letter-grade system, like those used for health inspections in New York and North Carolina, is under debate for restaurant and bar owners in Baltimore.
Legislation mandating that the city health department implement a grading... »
Maryland County Looks At Stronger Food Truck Rules
We usually define restaurant locations as strip sites or stand-alone or mall placements. Now a county in Maryland is looking at putting parked food trucks in their own business category as semi-permanent foodservice... »
In Memoriam: Tom Redditt Sr.
Thomas L. Redditt Sr., a manufacturers’ rep and past-president of the Manufacturers’ Agents Association for the Foodservice Industry, died Oct. 20. He was 96.
Redditt founded the Tom Redditt Sales Agency, based in Littleton,... »
Bon Chef Fills National Accounts Post: Industry veteran Kaya Gross has joined Bon Chef to head up national accounts. She will lead national account sales under Bon Chef Pres. Sal Torre. The Lafayette, N.J., manufacturer offers a... »
California-Based Myers Acquires Design Firm
Myers Restaurant Supply, the Santa Rosa, Calif.-based dealership, has acquired J.M. Design and Associates, a Manteca, Calif., commercial kitchen design and consulting firm. Jeff Melton, the sole proprietor of J.M. Design, has... »
Curtis Restaurant Equipment Wins Home State Honors
Curtis Restaurant Equipment, Oregon’s largest foodservice equipment dealer, has won 2012 Vendor of the Year honors from the Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association.
“This award recognizes the exemplary service and... »
FEDA Extends Deadline for UID Scholarships
If you’ve been too busy to fill out the paperwork, there is a little more time to apply for one of the 20 FEDA Education Foundation scholarships for the University of Industrial Distribution. The association has extended the... »
New Meeting Dates For NexGen
NexGen Procurement Group has updated its meeting schedule. The Greenville, S.C.-based buying group will hold NexGen Leadership Meetings Oct. 14-17, 2013, in Chicago and Feb. 3-7, 2014, in Dallas. »
FER Honors Industry Service Award Winners
Foodservice Equipment Reports has named five individuals to receive the magazine’s prestigious Industry Service Awards. The awards, first given in 2005, honor those who have made substantial contributions not just to their firms... »
Steak `n Shake Goes Global With UAE Deal
Expansion seems to be in the cards for Steak n’ Shake, which will debut its first units outside the U.S. next year. The diner-style burger chain founded in Normal, Ill., in 1934 opened its first New York City outpost last January... »
Wendy’s Re-Imaging Is Making The Sale
Wendy’s is reporting an average sales increase of more than 25% in its new "Image Activation" units. The modern, sleek units feature lounge seating with fireplaces, flat-screen TVs, Wi-Fi and digital... »
Technomic Tinkers Only Slightly With 2012 And ’13 Operator Forecasts
In spite of economic uncertainty and another round of surging gasoline and food prices, Technomic Inc. has revised its forecasts for operator sales growth this year and next only very slightly in the latest go-round. The... »
Portland’s New Sewer Fee Is A Bit Foggy For Small Operators
Sewer bills won’t be scary for operators in Portland, Ore., if their kitchens have a grease trap, and if they rely on composting rather than a garbage disposal to keep fats, grease and oils from going down—and clogging—the... »
Charbroiling Becomes Contentious In California
The California Restaurant Association is alerting its members to some unwanted deliveries. Some operators in the state have been served notices alleging they violated the California Health and Safety Code, under Proposition... »
Noodles Plans East Coast Sites
Noodles & Company, which makes its base in Broomfield, Colo., is making its first forays into the Northeast. Through a partnership Mascott Corp., owner and operator of six restaurant brands in the region, Noodles will open... »
Canadian Restaurant Sales To Slow Next Year, But Average 4.1% Over Next Five Years
Restaurant sales growth in Canada is forecast to slow slightly next year to 3.9% after a predicted 4.7% gain this year, according to a new report from the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association. The association also... »
In Memoriam: Daniel Friel
Daniel Friel, an inventor and the founder of EdgeCraft Corp., died Sept. 21. He was 92.
Friel, an engineer, entered the foodservice equipment industry at age 65 after a 39-year career at DuPont, where he retired as the worldwide... »
NRA Offers Up ADA Compliance Kit Download
The National Restaurant Association has released "Americans with Disabilities Act: Toolkit for Restaurant Operators," an 80-page toolkit that helps restaurateurs comply with updated federal accessibility... »
Beverage Companies Fire Back In Court Over NYC Drink Ban
The lawsuit to save big beverages on the streets of New York was filed Oct. 12 in Manhattan. Plaintiffs, including soft-drink companies, the American Beverage Association and the National Restaurant Association, filed the suit... »
In Memoriam: Alan Berger
Alan Berger, designer of restaurant kitchens and fabricator of stainless steel, as well as a founder and top executive at Fabricators Int’l., Food Service Concepts and Alliance Food Equipment, died Sept. 28. He was 83.
In 1947,... »
Consumer Sentiment Hits Five-Year High
Two weeks ago, we wrote in FER Fortnightly, “The fiscal cliff looms, worries about the fate of the Euro and European sovereign debt continue and everyone is uncertain about political environments everywhere. But American... »
Wholesale Food Prices Keep Rising In September As Gas Prices Slowly Fall
Food prices at the finished goods level rose another 0.2% in September, their fourth consecutive month of gains, according to data from the latest Producer Price Index, released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics Oct. 12. More... »
Victory’s Sales Team Adds Two Regional Sales Managers
Victory Refrigeration has added a pair of familiar industry names to its sales team.
Kathleen Moccia Poulos is the company’s new regional sales manager, based in Southern California. Her career began with what is now Moccia... »
TriMark Acquires Century Concepts
TriMark USA announced on Sept. 28 that it had acquired Century Concepts, a Suwanee, Ga., dealer/fabricator. The company joins TriMark’s South division to create a new branch: TriMark Century Concepts.
Century Concepts was... »
Inviting FER's Top Dealers To The Awards Dinner
With the announcement in this issue of our Industry Service Award winners, we have named all of those who will be honored at FER’s Awards Dinner & Program at the Peabody Hotel, Feb. 8, 2013, in Orlando, Fla. The dinner will... »
Top Posts Are Filled At Sysco Canada
Sysco Corp. has installed Randy White, president and CEO of Sysco Canada's Western region and Sysco Calgary, as the new president of Sysco Canada. The broadline giant also named Rod Stroud, president and CEO of Sysco Canada's... »
New Showroom, New Regional Manager At Caddy Corp.
Caddy Corp. has hired Phil Bailis as eastern regional sales manager. Bailis most recently covered the East Coast for several Standex brands. He will be responsible for Caddy’s three manufacturing segments: ventilation/utility... »
Pecinka Posts Emre To Oversee Dealer, End User Networks
Pecinka Ferri Associates has added Emre Evren to its sales team as an outside sales rep handling the dealer and end-user network. Evren has been a supply-chain manager, manufacturer’s representative, associate consultant and most... »
Jack In The Box Gets Serious About The Midwest
Jack in the Box is making a jump into the Midwest market. The San Diego-based chain opened its first outlet in Ohio last month; it hopes the new Cincinnati store will help launch it further eastward, into Cleveland, where it is... »
Domino’s Marks 10,000th Unit Opening
Two landmarks for Domino’s Pizza: The chain opened its 10,000th store—in Kaligthane, Turkey. The Ann Arbor, Mich., chain has more than 250 stores in Turkey, all owned and operated by Fides, a private equity company.
A day... »
FER Names Winners Of First Management Excellence Awards
Foodservice Equipment Reports, with the assistance of the magazine’s Awards Selection Advisory Boards, has chosen six organizations to receive the magazine’s first Management Excellence Awards.
The awards recognize companies... »
NRA Show To Stick With Chicago Through 2021
Apparently, the first 63 years have gone pretty well. The National Restaurant Association announced Oct. 1 that its annual Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show and International Wine, Spirits & Beer Event will remain in Chicago... »
Personnel Moves Strengthen Sales Force At Kitchen Brains
There’s quite a bit of news from Kitchen Brains, the Stratford, Conn., entity that combines SCK Direct and Food Automation-Service Techniques (FAST). The company, which creates interconnected kitchen technology, including... »
Cap Ex Measures Fall As NRA’s RPI Rises
Foodservice operators’ capital purchasing activity and intentions fell strongly in the August survey for the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index, while nearly all other indicators in the index rose. Big... »
Second Quarter Traffic Gains Anemic In Most Markets-- Except China And Canada
Restaurant customer traffic increased in the second quarter 2012, if only slightly, in most of the 10 markets The NPD Group surveys. Still, except for China and Canada, most countries saw anemic gains at best. Traffic in the U.S.... »
Go Figure: Consumer Sentiment Spurted In September…
The fiscal cliff looms, worries about the fate of the Euro and European sovereign debt continue and everyone is uncertain about political environments everywhere. But American consumers clearly became more upbeat in September,... »
…But Business Leaders’ Confidence Hit Three-Year Low
Consumers may be more upbeat, but according to the Business Roundtable’s third-quarter survey, chief executive officers’ confidence plummeted to its lowest level in three years, putting it on a par with that immediately following... »
Master-Bilt Refrigeration has added Richard Yeomans of Richard Yeomans Sales and Marketing as its newest Canadian sales rep. He will cover sales for north, east and south Ontario effective immediately. Yeomans brings more than 20... »
California Update: Playground Bill Vetoed, Homemade Food Sales Okayed
California Gov. Jerry Brown has vetoed a bill that would expand food-safety laws to cover indoor and outdoor playgrounds at quick-service restaurants. Brown cited a lack of evidence that the sanitation problems require a new... »
NSF’s China Lab Earns Full Accreditation
Equipment testing just got easier—and more professional—in China. NSF Int’l. has achieved ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation from the China National Accreditation Service for its laboratory in Shanghai. The accreditation enables the lab... »
Taco Bell Operator K-MAC Acquires 25-Unit Franchisee
One of the country’s largest Taco Bell franchisees, K-MAC Holdings, has acquired No Limits LLC, a Missouri-based Taco Bell franchisee that owns and operates 25 Taco Bell restaurants. K-MAC is owned by Brentwood Associates and... »
Food Fight: Oral Arguments Begin In Prison Kosher Case
The rights of Jewish prisoners to kosher meals in Texas correctional facilities are at the forefront of a court case that began Oct. 1. The Texas correctional system is one of the few state prison systems restricting access to... »
FER Names Dealer Award Winners
Bargreen Ellingson, Tacoma, Wash., and Mobile Fixture, Mobile, Ala., have been named winners of Foodservice Equipment Reports’ first Management Excellence Awards in the dealer category. Bargreen receives the award for dealers... »
FEDA Offers 20 UID Scholarships For Spring 2013...
Opportunity awaits dealer middle-management professionals seeking career advancement in the distribution field. They can apply for one of 20 FEDA Education Foundation scholarships to attend The University of Industrial... »
...And Awards Two More ServSafe Scholarships
The FEDA Education Foundation has more than one scholarship program. It just awarded two more ServSafe Scholarships. Lanie Bolinger and Emilio Valdovinos from Ace Mart Restaurant Supply of San Antonio, Texas, were given ServSafe... »
Mergers & Acquisitions Dept.:
Foldcraft Co. Buys Waymar: Foldcraft, the parent company for Plymold brand furniture, has signed a letter of intent to acquire Waymar Cos., a maker of the Waymar and JH Carr furniture lines. Plymold products are commonly... »
Time For Hobart Sustainability Awards
Did your dealership work on a project this past year that’s notable for its attention to sustainability and environmental concerns? Awards and press attention could come your way from the Hobart Center for Foodservice... »
New Canadian Sales Rep For Master-Bilt
Master-Bilt Refrigeration has added Richard Yeomans of Richard Yeomans Sales and Marketing as its newest Canadian sales rep. He will cover sales for north, east and south Ontario effective immediately. Yeomans brings more than 20... »
What The Awards Judging Taught Us
As we report in this issue, Foodservice Equipment Reports has awarded two dealers its first Management Excellence Awards. We want to congratulate Bargreen Ellingson, which won the award for dealers with more than $40 million in... »
FER Announces Winners Of Young Lion Awards
Foodservice Equipment Reports, with the assistance of industry associations and the magazine’s Awards Selection Advisory Boards, has named six accomplished individuals to receive the magazine’s first Young Lion Awards. The awards... »
Plymold Parent To Acquire Waymar Cos.
Foldcraft Co., the parent company for the Plymold brand furniture, has signed a letter of intent to acquire Waymar Cos., a maker of the Waymar and JH Carr furniture lines. Plymold products are commonly spec’d in quick-service... »
Corner Bakery Cafe Expanding To The Pacific Northwest
Corner Bakery Café is working full steam ahead on its plan to more than double its footprint over the next four years. The Dallas chain, which has signed 22 franchise agreements for more than 279 new restaurants, just announced a... »
Papa Murphy's Plans 100 Units In The Gulf Region
Papa Murphy's Int’l. is making a giant expansion leap out of North America. The Vancouver, Wash., chain has inked a master franchise agreement with MAM Foodco LLC to open 100 Papa Murphy's Take 'N' Bake Pizza locations throughout... »
SFM Presents Its Top Awards
The Society for Foodservice Management held its national conference in Las Vegas last week. Among the highlights were the annual awards recognizing special honorees who have gone "above and beyond" to serve the... »
First Call For Kitchen Innovations Awards
This past year, 21 trailblazing machines, technologies and equipment were honored with the National Restaurant Association’s Kitchens Innovations Awards.
While next year’s National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel... »
Manitowoc Focuses Americas Ovens Operations In Cleveland
Manitowoc Foodservice is consolidating its manufacturing and operating functions for its Americas Ovens division in a new, expanded facility in Cleveland. When the transition is completed later this year, the Ohio facility will... »
AHF To Mark Healthcare Foodservice Workers Week
September is National Food Safety Month. October brings another commemoration of the foodservice industry. From Oct. 1-7, the Association for Healthcare Foodservice will celebrate Healthcare Foodservice Workers Week.
McDonald’s Unveils Calorie Count Info
McDonald’s big announcement last week that it would begin posting calorie-count information made headlines, but it isn’t the first chain to get a jumpstart on new federal menu-labeling regulations. It’s just the biggest.
For the... »
NYC Says No To Supersized Sodas…
The city that banned trans fats and public smoking has made it official: The New York City Board of Health has approved a ban on the sale of large sodas and other sugary drinks at restaurants, street carts and other venues. The... »
…And Yes To Fewer Restrooms
Another fluid issue for New York foodservice operators is restrooms. Under recent changes to a city code, small restaurants and coffee shops with an occupancy of 30 or fewer people are now allowed to provide patrons with a single... »
Food And Gas Price Spikes Push Inflation Indexes Higher
The huge unexpected jump in gasoline prices combined with an anticipated increase in food prices to push the Consumer and Producer Price Indices sharply higher in August, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The PPI rose... »
Gasoline And Diesel Prices Still Rising
Fuel prices generally start falling after Labor Day as the demands of summer-vacation driving recede. Having seen the big jumps in August’s Consumer and Producer Price Energy Indices, released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics... »
Consumer Sentiment Jumped In First September Reading
We guess you could call it irrational exuberance. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index took an unexpected jump in the preliminary September reading, released Sept. 14. The index rose nearly five... »
What’s The Impact If We Fall Off The Fiscal Cliff?
There is a very interesting discussion in the September issue of Blue Chip Economic Indicators of the potential impact on growth of gross domestic product in the U.S. if Congress and the President don’t somehow avoid the... »
Mike McNeel Named New IFED Chief
Industry veteran Mike McNeel has joined International Foodservice Equipment Distributors as the buying group’s new executive director. McNeel reports to IFED Pres. Paul Gustafson and will work closely with the IFED board to... »
This Thursday, we’ll be judging our first FER Management Excellence Awards for dealers (and chains, noncommercial operators and consultancies). One of the things we want to do with these new awards is be more transparent about... »
FEDA’s October Webinar Focuses On Negotiations
Defend your turf, defend your price. Dealers who are members of the Foodservice Equipment Distributors Association can pick up some hints to do both next month when FEDA hosts a teleconference/webinar titled “Negotiations:... »
Europe’s Slowdown A Drag On E&S Public Companies In Second Quarter
Weak results from Europe undercut overall sales growth for the big public foodservice equipment companies, leading to the slowest overall revenue growth for the publics since their combined sales went positive in the second... »
NAFEM `13 Countdown Begins
Are your calendars—paper and electronic—marked with the dates for next year’s NAFEM Show? Got your flight and room reservations? The North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers is gearing up for the Feb. 7-9, 2013,... »
Wash Your Hands! It’s National Food Safety Month
September brings us National Food Safety Month. Now in its 18th year, NFSM creates a heightened awareness of, and for some newer industry members, an introduction to food safety.
The National Restaurant Association is sharing... »
FCSI Moves Headquarters, Offers Free Services At New York Show
Big news from Foodservice Consultants Society Int’l: The association has relocated its world headquarters to Louisville, Ky., and for the first time, its Americas Division will be offering free design and management advisory... »
Oneida, Anchor Hocking Merge Under EveryWare Global
Some things will change, but the iconic names, Oneida and Anchor Hocking, will remain as the two brands merge under the umbrella of the newly unified company, EveryWare Global. Brand identities will remain distinct.
New Rules In North Carolina Might Spur Refrigeration Sales
Stricter food safety guidelines that went into effect Sept. 1 in North Carolina will be a boon for safer food handling, not to mention sales of gloves and refrigeration equipment.
The new rules issued by the state’s public... »
NRA Performance Index Slowed Sharply In July
Pushed lower by strong declines in same-store sales and traffic, the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance fell 1.1 points in July, which left the index just barely in expansion territory at 100.2. All eight of... »
Consumer Confidence Measures Mostly Lower Again
The two leading measures of consumer confidence moved in opposite directions again in August, as consumer expectations and spending plans remain quite negative. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index... »
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