Foodservice Equipment Reports

Time For School

The foodservice equipment and supplies business is so complex, you can just never know enough. A true E&S professional needs to know the difference between a Btu and a kW, have some knowledge of airflow dynamics, understand what 18/8 means on a piece of flatware (and know to call it flatware, not silverware), recognize dangerous sanitation cross-flow in kitchen design and know the difference between heavy-duty and restaurant ranges, not to mention convection vs. combination ovens. We often joke with folks outside the industry when they ask how foodservice is structured. We explain there are 20 operator segments and thousands of suppliers of equipment, supplies, tabletop and furnishings worldwide. We can prove it with our Worldwide Buyers Guide.

Because of the complexity and the industry’s dynamic nature, lifelong learning isn’t a luxury, it’s a requirement. With FEDA’s annual convention and dealer buying group meetings coming up this month and next and the NRA Show set for May, now is a really good time to plan your “school” schedule for this year.

There is no lack of opportunity for development. In addition to the opportunities listed above, there are formal education programs, such as those run by FEDA’s Education Foundation. Several of the dealer buying groups have separate training programs in addition to the regular meetings.

And then there’s NAFEM’s Certified Foodservice Professional program. NAFEM has made studying for the program even easier with a new CFSP Online Seminar. Based on the existing CFSP textbook, “An Introduction to the Foodservice Industry,” the online program features 14 hours of content. It’s essential preparation for the CFSP examination, which still must be taken live in a proctored setting. NAFEM continues to work with many industry groups to schedule both live introductory sessions and test venues.

Not least, we at FER do our best to keep you on the leading edge of foodservice equipment technologies, new supply and tabletop designs and a host of other topics. Each issue of FER is a mini-textbook.

Additionally, we now stage our Multiunit Foodservice Equipment Symposia annually, with this year’s meeting, set for June 10-12 in Austin, Texas, targeted to noncommercial operators and emerging chains. We plan to invite FER Top Dealers to this June’s MUFES, under a special invitation program. For more information on MUFES, go to

So break out those notebooks and backpacks and get to work.



Robin Ashton


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