Foodservice Equipment Reports


As economic recoveries go, this one doesn’t seem overly anxious to kick in. But the economy is growing, and some parts are doing notably better than are others.

Foodservice, for example, is doing better, and equipment and supplies appear to be doing better too. Over the past few months, the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index has shown consistent improvement. The mood at the NRA Show in May was upbeat, if cautiously so. Rep sales, as measured by the Manufacturers’ Agents Association for the Foodservice Industry’s Barometer, were up in the first quarter.

Remods are part of the good news. After holding their breath and buying almost nothing for a couple years, quite a few chains, including some biggies, have made headlines recently with announcements of big remod plans. And noncommercials, although their budgets seem to be drying up now, pushed through a pretty significant amount of renovation work over the past year or two that’s come to bid recently or will soon, and installations are in the pipeline.

So who’s doing all the design work? Dealers and consultants obviously have always done a lot of noncommercial and independent commercial projects. For many of you, those projects have been a big part of business for decades. But what’s interesting these days is that a lot of chains slashed their equipment/design departments over the past two years. And now those chains desperately need to remodel. But they don’t have the personnel anymore, and they’re not sure enough of the economy to want to rehire.

As a result, chains are going back to dealers for design help. We know this, because quite a few of you have been talking about some pretty big clients recently, and some of our chain friends have been talking about what a bind they’re in by having disbanded their teams.

So it looks like there’s business to be had there, and we hope those of you with good design teams can jump on top of this segment while the chains still need the help.

And here’s the query mentioned in the headline: If you have interesting multi-unit projects on the boards, shoot us a phone call or an email. You know we do a lot of Unit Design stories, both commercial and noncommercial, and we could use your help identifying notable projects. For you and your client, an article in FER can reap recognition for a lot of hard work. And all of us benefit from stories that inform and teach the industry.

Call me at 224/622-4068. Or email me at We’d love to work with you.

Chief Editor

Related Articles

E&S Market Clearly Recovering, But…

Spec Markets Begin To Recover, Finally