Foodservice Equipment Reports

Going, But Not Gone

Greetings, all, and welcome to my last editorial written as chief editor. Not that I’ll be gone gone. Just semi-gone. I’ll still be stopping in from time to time, working on a variety of projects and writing some stories. But it’s time for me to explore some other functions here in the foodservice universe as well.

Sixteen years is a great run, and a great base to continue building on. It’s hard to believe it was so long ago, 1996, when we launched FER. At the time, there was no place to go for a third-party source of equipment and supplies specs. Nobody was doing anything remotely technical. Nobody was addressing how competing products were differentiated from each other. And that was a glaring hole in the market, especially for the multiunit operator spec/buyers who liked to do their own homework.

So we charged forward. We focused on specs and differentiation, trying to help readers start sorting their options based on their own unique applications and priorities.

And then there was energy efficiency. Frankly, in the mid- to late ’90s, energy was not on operators’ radars. Food and labor, yes. Energy, no. So we spent a few years forcing readers to think about it. Fortunately, testing technology was developing rapidly, and PG&E’s Food Service Technology Center was pioneering truly scientific testing. So, on a handshake, we partnered up.

Then, in ’98, I was at a Quality Assurance Study Group meeting in Santa Fe, N.M., when I picked up a voicemail from one Beth Lorenzini, whom I’d known when we were both at Cahners Publishing Co. She had been a custom publishing specialist, which was quite a coincidence because we’d been thinking FER needed just such a person. So we partnered up.

And then, in 2000, California’s lights flickered. And overnight, all the big chains were scrambling over energy efficiency, and later, water too.

So it’s been a great run, and as I move along, I’m very happy to hand the chief editor reins to Beth.

Best wishes to all. And I’ll still be in touch!

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