Hockenbergs Buys Grand Restaurant Equipment and Design

Hockenbergs Buys Grand Restaurant Equipment and Design
Nebraska-based foodservice equipment and supplies dealership expands its presence in the
Minnesota market. Hockenbergs, an Omaha, Neb.-based foodservice equipment and supplies
dealer, has acquired Grand Restaurant Equipment and Design. Located in Plymouth, Minn.,
Grand Restaurant Equipment and Design is a foodservice equipment and supplies dealership
with $12 million in annual sales. Grand Restaurant Equipment and Design focuses on design
build and national account sales and will operate from its current location in Plymouth. "Most of
what they do is outside of the market. So there is not a lot of crossover with our current office up
there," said Tom Schrack Jr., Hockenbergs' president. "We wanted to make a major gain in that
market and this helped us with that. The dollars might not be spent in that market but the orders
are being placed there. I think everything will be business as usual for their customers and
suppliers. We won't really change much." Joining Hockenbergs are 13 Grand Restaurant
Equipment and Design employees, including former owner Eric Skogrand. "We reached out to
Eric about close to a year ago and the company was doing well on its own. We thought the
company would fit well with us," said Schrack. "They are good quality people." The deal
reunites Skogrand with his previous employer. "When we first bought our Minnesota store in
1999, Eric was part of our team and his main salesperson, Todd Sherner was also a Hockenbergs
employee," Schrack said. – Source: FE&S.
Tim Hortons Aims to Improve Returns, Add 800 Canada, U.S. Stores
Canadian coffee and doughnut chain Tim Hortons Inc. said that it will open at least 800 new
restaurants over the next five years under a strategic plan to secure its dominance in Canada and
boost returns in the United States. Facing mounting competition from tough rivals such as
Starbucks Corp. and McDonald's Corp., the company said it plans to reduce capital intensity
while improving returns to shareholders and on assets. "They certainly are addressing
competitive and market dynamics head-on, which is a change, or shift, in strategy," said
Raymond James analyst Kenric Tyghe. "The message going forward is they're going to
(leverage) that strong brand through more deployment of an analytics-rich, loyalty program."
Tim Hortons, which boasts that it sells nearly eight of every 10 cups of coffee bought in Canada,
said its plan reflects the use of technology and data to drive marketing, menu and loyalty
programs along with changing consumer preferences for healthier food and a shift in
demographics. The company said it will open 500 more restaurants in Canada by 2018, including
new formats in offices, sporting venues and healthcare settings. Tyghe said that target exceeds
market expectations. ROOM TO GROW? Some analysts have questioned whether the brand,
viewed by some as a Canadian symbol on par with hockey and the Maple Leaf flag, has room to
grow at home. Barry Schwartz, a portfolio manager at Baskin Financial, which owns about
142,000 Tim Hortons shares, disagrees that the Canadian market is saturated. "It's a religious
institution in Canada and clearly there is a need for them," he said. "Every drive through is lined
up and every store is lined up." The company also said it aims to improve and speed up service
while attracting customers beyond breakfast and snack times, and to boost the average bill
through such means as combination offers. – Source: Reuters.
DineEquity, Inc. Announces Appointment of Steven Layt as President of Applebee’s
DineEquity, Inc. the parent company of Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar® and IHOP®
restaurants, announced that Steven Layt has been appointed President of Applebee’s, effective
February 25, 2014. Michael Archer, former President of Applebee’s, is leaving to pursue other
opportunities. “He is well-respected by the Applebee’s franchisees, is a true innovator and a team
player. We look forward to him moving the Applebee’s brand ahead.” “I want to thank Mike for
his commitment and dedication to the Applebee’s brand,” said Julia Stewart, DineEquity’s
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “He made a great contribution to the business during his
tenure as the President of Applebee’s.” Mr. Layt has held the role of Senior Vice President of
Operations for Applebee’s since January of 2012. Prior to joining DineEquity, Mr. Layt was the
Chief Operating Officer at Buffets Inc. and held a number of senior management positions
globally and in the United States with YUM! Brands. “Steve is an outstanding leader,” said Ms.
Stewart. “He is well-respected by the Applebee’s franchisees, is a true innovator and a team
player. We look forward to him moving the Applebee’s brand ahead.” – Source: DineEquity, Inc.
Walker’s Grille Appoints Duane Keller as Executive Chef
Walker’s Grille, Virginia’s first LEED gold certified restaurant, has named Duane Keller as its
Executive Chef. “The four seasons generate four different styles of cooking throughout the year”
Keller, who has a long history offering exceptional cuisine in the finest dining establishments in
the United States and Canada, brings his unique experience and creativity to the Alexandria
restaurant known for its contemporary American menu. “We are delighted to have Chef Duane
Keller on the Walker’s Grille team,” said co-owner Sam Misleh. “His experience and skill
creating menus based on natural, fresh products sourced from local and regional farming
communities aligns perfectly with our philosophy.” Keller, who has more than 25 years’
experience at fine hotels and restaurants, has cooked for three U.S. presidents, Margaret
Thatcher, Queen Elizabeth, and Jackie Onassis. He was the 2001 recipient of the James Beard
Foundation Certificate in New York. Keller has won numerous awards over the years that reflect
his ever-expanding inventiveness and inspirational accomplishments. In 2002 Keller helped Julia
Child celebrate her 90th birthday with dazzling gastronomic creations. While the chef at the
Ashby Inn in Paris, Va., he was featured in Gourmet Magazine. In addition, restaurants where he
has been the Executive Chef have been featured during his tenure in Washingtonian Magazine’s
Top 100, Top 50, and Best Brunches. – Source: Walker's Grille.
33,000 Hotels in 270 Countries Enrolled in CCRA Worldwide Preferred Hotel Program
CCRA Travel Solutions reports that over 33,000 hotel properties from across the globe are now
enrolled in the Worldwide Preferred Hotel Program by CCRA. While the program continues to
expand its global footprint in 2014, it currently features hotel partners ranging from boutique
properties to renowned chains in 270 countries and 6,550 cities. The Worldwide Preferred Hotel
Program by CCRA provides a platform to connect corporate, leisure and independent travel
agents with a growing number of hotels that have agreed to offer preferred rates, with guaranteed
commission and last room availability, virtually anywhere in the world. Through CCRA's
preferred hotel program, travel agents also benefit from additional hotel partner offers that may
include (but are not limited to) higher commissions, exclusive hotel amenities, last minute sales,
and special deals on distressed inventory only available through CCRA. Some of the most
competitive hotel rates available in the marketplace are offered to agents through CCRA booking
channels, including rates that are as much as 25% off the Best Available Rate a consumer may
find online. Travel agents can access the CCRA's preferred hotel rates through all major GDS or
via the CCRAtravel.com hotel booking portal. CCRA also provides travel agents with an online
directory to search for the more than 33,000 hotels worldwide enrolled in CCRA's 2014 Hotel
Program: http://hoteldirectory.ccra.com/. – Source: Ehotelier.com.
WSJ: Restructuring Planned at Quiznos
Quiznos, the Denver-based sandwich-shop chain that has been grappling with debt, is preparing
to file for bankruptcy protection soon and is working on a prepackaged restructuring, the Wall
Street Journal reported online last week. The Journal cites unnamed “people familiar with the
matter” in its report. The company — formally known as QFA Royalties LLC — is carrying
about $570 million in debt and has been in talks with creditors in recent weeks on a restructuring
plan that's still in the works, the Journal says. The DBJ's calls and emails to a Quiznos
spokeswoman were not returned. The reported plan to seek protection is the latest development
in Quiznos' long-running efforts to turn around its flagging fortunes. The Wall Street Journal
reported last December that Quiznos "has struggled with store closures and tension with
franchisees. It recently missed a payment on a loan, and has been negotiating to restructure some
or all of its debt load with creditors." The 32-year-old chain dropped its location count from a
peak of almost 5,000 in 2008 to just over 2,000 in late 2013. Several lawsuits filed by Quiznos
franchisers against the company, alleging overcharges for food and supplies, are pending in
Colorado courts; others have been settled. Quiznos reached a previous deal to pare its debt by
about a third in January 2012 — a deal that led to New York-based hedge fund Avenue Capital
Group taking control of the company. Quiznos is associated with various legal names. The
company is officially known as QFA Royalties LLC. The Quiznos name is a trademark of QIP
Holder LLC. Company documents also refer to TQSC II LLC. – Source: Denver Business
NAFEM Announces Board Election Results, Whitely Now Serves as President
The North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers (NAFEM) announced the
results from its Board of Directors Elections and updated its officers. Hatco Corporation's Mike
Whiteley now serves as NAFEM president, replacing Franke's Tom Campion, who continues to
serve the association as an ex-officio member of its Board of Directors. Rounding out NAFEM's
officer slate are Ice-o-Matic's Kevin Fink, who serves as president-elect, and Lakeside
Manufacturing's Joseph Carlson is secretary/treasurer. The NAFEM members elected the
following individuals to serve a three year-term on the association's Board of Directors: EvaMarie Fox, T&S Brass and Bronze Works, Inc.; Greg Fisher, Cambro Manufacturing Co.;Tom
Szfranski, ITW/FEG; In addition, Glenn Bullock of A.J. Antunes & Co. was appointed to fill
Carlson's unexpired board term since he moved up to the secretary/treasurer position. – Source:
Einstein Noah CEO Jeff O'Neill Resigns
Einstein Noah Restaurant Group's CEO resigned to explore "other career opportunities," and the
Lakewood-based national bagel-shop operator appointed a longtime board director to serve as
interim CEO in his place. Jeff O’Neil had served as head of the company that operates Einstein
Bros Bagels, Noah's New York Bagels and Manhattan Bagel since December 2008. During that
time, the former president of Pepsi Cola Canada oversaw both highs and lows, as Einstein Noah
struggled like most of the restaurant industry during the recession. But it began to bounce back in
recent years as it sought to emphasize its healthy menu and expand in captive-market areas like
airports and college campuses. Company officials gave no specific reasons for O'Neill's
resignation in a news release Monday, and a spokeswoman said no one would be able to speak
further on the matter immediately. The company has scheduled its quarterly and annual earnings
call for Thursday afternoon. In advance of the call, however, officials issued preliminary results
showing a mixed bag of success. Net income for 2013 rose 15 percent to $14.6 million as a
record 61 new stores opened during the year, but same-store sales decreased 0.3 percent as
compared to 2012. "Jeff built a strong team, developed a growing franchise and licensing
business and left the company in a better position than when he started," board chairman Nelson
Heumann said in the news release. "We wish him well as he explores other career opportunities."
The board has initiated a search for a permanent CEO, officials added. In the meantime, Michael
Arthur will serve as interim president and CEO, the company said. Arthur is the head of Michael
Arthur and Associates — a consulting and interim management firm specializing in
restructurings, business development and strategic, financial, marketing and branding strategies
— and has served as a board member for Einstein Noah since 2004. "We appreciate Michael
stepping into the CEO and President roles on a temporary basis and his long tenure on our Board
will help facilitate leadership continuity until we can complete the process of identifying a
suitable replacement," Heumann said. "Michael possesses decades of restaurant and management
expertise which is ideal for ensuring a smooth and orderly transition during this interim period."
– Source: The Denver Business Journal.
Zaxby's Hits 600-Unit Milestone
Zaxby's Franchising Inc. has opened its 600th location, located in Washington, N.C., about 20
miles east of Greenville, N.C. According to a news release, the 600th location is owned and
operated by licensees Ryan, Randy and Beverly Tittle, who have four other Zaxby's franchised
locations. This is the fifth in the Greenville-Washington, N.C., DMA. "Opening the 600th
Zaxby's location is a milestone we're very proud of," said Zach McLeroy, CEO. "Throughout the
years, it has become evident that our growth and success has relied heavily on the ability to
partner with extraordinary licensees, who without, Zaxby's would not be the brand it is today."
Zaxby's continues to focus on expansion, eyeing markets such as Oklahoma, Utah, Louisiana,
Texas and Indiana. – Source: FastCausual.com.
National Restaurant Association Announces 2014 Kitchen Innovation Award Recipients
Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the Kitchen Innovations Awards program recognizes
foodservice equipment and technology that increase energy efficiency, waste reduction, and
more for the foodservice industry. The National Restaurant Association today announced the 24
recipients of its 2014 Kitchen Innovations Awards, which honor equipment and technology that
specifically improves the back-of-the-house operations. This year's winners address such areas as
waste reduction, energy conservation and enhanced sanitation, as well as increased efficiency
with equipment that employs hybrid cooking techniques and reduced cooking times. Following
is a list of the 2014 Kitchen Innovation Award recipients and a brief description of their products
as provided by the National Restaurant Association. Alto Shaam, Inc.'s CT PROformance
Combitherm Oven: This touch-screen controlled combi-oven features an accelerated start-up
temperature booster and requires zero clearance for other equipment, giving operators more
flexibility in the kitchen and cook times reduced by as much as 20 percent. BioZone Scientific
International, Inc.'s IceZone X: Scalable to treat almost any commercial ice machine, this cleanin-place sanitation system uses patented ultraviolet light oxidation to prevent contamination and
eliminate more than 99 percent of surface microcontamination. BKON's Craft Brewer: The
BKON Craft Brewer uses a proprietary negative pressure brewing technology allowing operators
to effortlessly craft any loose-leaf tea beverage, third wave coffee, or made-to-order infused
cocktail with precision and speed. Champion Industries' Dry Assist: This under-counter and
door-style dishwasher technology draws cool, dry air up and through the rack of sanitized ware
via a duct in the bottom of the chamber, removing moisture and speeding drying/turnaround time
for dishes. Edlund Company's Model KSUV-18 U.V. Knife Sterilization Cabinet: This patentpending knife cabinet utilizes UV light technology to sterilize cutlery in as little as five minutes
without the use of expensive chemicals and no risk of rust/pitting on knives. Environmental
Products and Services' GreaseShield ECO 1850 PreFilter Low Level: This system protects
drainage systems and harvests renewable energy resources by using waste thermal energy to
remove emulsified FOGs before they solidify, additionally removing and dewatering organic
waste to eliminate foul-smelling anaerobic conditions. Fired Up Kitchens' Smoke Zapper: This
filtering system works with a hood or oven-direct vent to yield EPA-compliant emissions from
wood-, coal- or charcoal-fired equipment, allowing safe, clean use for more operations. Garland's
Induction FlexiHob Technology: An intelligent technology that automatically adjusts electrical
input to offer flexibility to cook with multiple pans of varying sizes on the same induction unit,
making it appropriate for à la carte or batch cooking, all while saving energy. Henny Penny
Corporation's Velocity Series Pressure Fryer: This pressure fryer uses automatic oil filtration,
which does not require operator intervention, enabling filtration to occur after every load for
improved oil quality and 4X longer oil life without sacrificing productivity. Industrial Skins' BioTile Multi-Layered Ceiling Tile Application: This 100 percent recyclable, protective surface is
applied to new or existing vinyl ceiling tiles, and features five layers that peel away individually
to provide a clean, contamination free surface for restaurant and non-commercial kitchens.
Manitowoc Beverage's Multiplex Manual Fill Blend-in-Cup System (BIC-MF): This automated
system makes and dispenses smoothies, frappes, blended and over-ice drinks completely in the
cup to help operators efficiently prepare a broad range of drinks and expand menus. Nieco
Corporation's BroilVection: This burner system captures waste heat and blows it back down on
the products being broiled, utilizing both radiant heat and forced convection for faster cooking
and up to 40 percent gas savings. Novothermic Technologies' NVX 2060 Heat Recovery System:
A self-contained system that recovers otherwise wasted heat from drained hot water to warm
incoming fresh water, significantly enhancing the energy efficiency of any existing commercial
dishwasher. Ovention's Shuttle Oven: This ventless impingement oven transitions seamlessly
between conveyor and matchbox mode at the touch of a button to contain heat, moisture and
grease-laden air for improved speed, menu flexibility and energy efficiency. Pearl City
Manufacturing's Convection Gas Fryer: This unique fryer design continually circulates oil
through a remote heat exchanger and incorporates a dual filter system to accomplish significant
oil savings, 70 percent cooking energy efficiency, instant temperature recovery and reduced cook
times. RATIONAL USA's VarioSmoker: A small, plug-and-play, mobile smoke system that
retrofits with nearly every RATIONAL combi-steamer built since 1997, allowing operators to
successfully smoke and cook simultaneously, saving on time, space and investment costs. Star
Manufacturing's Holman Impingement Conveyor Toaster: This conveyor toaster combines
radiant heat with impingement by recirculating heated, high-speed air over bread and other
products for faster, efficient and more even toasting. ThermalRite's CypenVac Technology: This
vacuum technology significantly increases the thermal resistance of insulation panels used in
blast chillers and other insulated cabinets and, used in conjunction with conventional
polyurethane insulation, can reduce energy consumption by up to 43 percent. Turbo Coil: A
stainless steel, fully assembled compact evaporator coil, uniquely designed with a patented twin
blower system, enabling reduced energy consumption and superior installation versatility.
TurboChef Technologies' TurboChef Fire: This countertop convection oven features integral
flow cylinders that channel airflow to rapidly increase heat transfer, reaching evenly dispersed
temperatures up to 800 degrees F to cook 14-inch, fresh dough pizzas in as little as 90 seconds.
The Vollrath Company's Downdraft Vent Module: A front-of-the-house cooking station that
integrates downdraft venting, fire containment, fire suppression, and drop-in induction in the
same base to meet the commercial requirements for emissions and foodservice fire safety.
Vulcan/ITW FEG's PowerFry5 with FivePass Heat Transfer: This Energy Star-qualified fryer
maximizes energy use with a signature technology that reclaims and circulates heat five times
both inside and outside the tank, resulting in faster recovery/cook times, more productivity and
less wear. Wicked Edge Precision Sharpeners' Professional Series: A precision, angle-controlled
knife-sharpening machine that allows kitchen staff to easily maintain professional-grade
sharpness for all kitchen cutlery without professional services. Wilbur Curtis Company' Wireless
Freshness Monitoring System (FMS): This remote monitoring system tracks the freshness of
food and beverages/coffee, and uses proprietary communication technology to report to a single
interface, increasing quality, reducing waste, safety risk, cost and equipment downtime. Each
recipient and their product will be showcased in the interactive Kitchen Innovations Pavilion at
the 2014 National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show®, held from May 1720 in Chicago. – Source: FE&S.
Buffalo Wild Wings Hits 1,000 Locations Milestone
Given the amount of chicken wings consumed on Super Bowl Sunday, it’s only fitting that this is
the week that the number of Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant locations reached 1,001. The
“Wings. Beer. Sports.” chain is on a mission to have 1,700 restaurants up and running by 2023.
This week alone four new spots opened, in Monterrey, Mexico, in McHenry, IL, and two in
California—in Carson and Livermore. “We can’t think of a better way to kick off the New Year
than with this incredible milestone,” said Sally Smith, president and CEO of Buffalo Wild
Wings. “We’ve come a long way from being a small but well-loved chicken wing restaurant in
Ohio, to sharing our passion for wings, beer and sports with eager guests throughout North
America – and soon, across the globe. We couldn’t have achieved this landmark of 1,000
restaurants without the dedication of our franchisees and team members and the passion of our
loyal fans.” The first restaurant opened in 1982, and since Smith took over in 1996, the company
has been on a tear. Its now pushing to extend its global reach, with new sites planned for Mexico,
the Philippines, and 22 for the Middle East, in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, the UAE, Dubai,
and Abu Dhabi. In December, Buffalo Wild Wings announced it was switching from Coke to
Pepsi, giving the restaurant company access to the full suite of PepsiCo beverages, such as
Lipton teas, Tropicana juices, and Mountain Dew and Sierra Mist soft drinks, as well as
PepsiCo’s snack portfolio. Is there a Dorito chicken wing on the horizon? PepsiCo’s tie-ins with
the National Football League and Major League Baseball dovetail well with the sports-themed
restaurant chain. Also, with a nod to the tablets now being outfitted in the restaurant chain’s
locations, Smith expressed the possibility of access to proprietary sports-themed films from
PepsiCo. – Source: fsrmagazine.com.
Wendy's Expects to Complete Refranchising Initiative in the First Quarter
Wendy's reported its audited results for 2013, which included a full-year net income of $45.5
million, compared to $7.1 percent in 2012. The company continues to accelerate its brand
transformation through its system optimization initiative, and introduced several new products.
These were the drivers in the North American system's same-store sales growth of 1.9 percent
and record average annual sales of $1.51 million at company-owned restaurants, CEO Emil
Brolick said in a news release."Most importantly, the progress we've made with our various
initiatives has positioned the Wendy's brand for further growth in 2014, as we expect to nearly
double the pace of our Image Activation reimages, continue introducing innovative products and
complete our system optimization initiative." Wendy's also expects to complete the sale of
approximately 415 restaurants by the end of the first quarter and anticipates total proceeds of
approximately $235 million, including $138 million received in 2013. As part of its system
optimization initiative, the company sold 244 restaurants in 2013 and has sold, or has signed
purchase agreements or letters of intent to sell, a total of 174 additional restaurants. Wendy's also
reported that it has completed or initiated more than 200 Image Activation reimages of
restaurants in 2013 and plans to nearly double the pace in 2014, with the reimaging of 200
company-operated restaurants and 150 to 200 franchise-operated restaurants. Wendy's also
expects 15 new company-operated Image Activation restaurants and 45 new franchise-operated
Image Activation restaurants in 2014. The company continues to target the implementation of
Image Activation in 85 percent of its company-operated restaurants and 35 percent of the North
America system by the end of 2017. – Source: QSRWEB.com.
Subway Bets on Korean Market
Subway Korea aims to expand its market presence here by diversifying its menu lineup to
compete with McDonald’s and Lotteria, the company’s chief executive said. “We will open up to
300 stores throughout the country within the next three years,” its CEO Colin Clark said in a
recent interview with The Korea Times. Currently, the local franchise of the American fast food
restaurant runs 78 outlets in Korea, with another scheduled to be opened soon. Subway outlets all
over the world are 100 percent franchise restaurants, which means no store is directly run by the
company, an official at Subway Korea said. Since its entry into Korea in 2007, the firm has
continued on a growth trend. It posted 20 billion won in sales, up 30 percent from a year earlier.
It has the seventh-highest number of Subway stores in Asia, behind Japan with 462, China with
440, India with 417, Malaysia with 156, Taiwan with 134 and Singapore with 113. While
expanding its presence here, Clark said that it will try to stick to the firm’s three core values
setting it apart from its competitors in order to attract more Korean customers. “Unlike other
franchise stores in Korea, we are strict in adhering to the three virtues of food all at the same
time ― freshness, taste and reasonable price,” said Clark. “Other fast food restaurants such as
Lotteria, McDonald’s, KFC and Burger King release new menu items too often, which can waste
energy that should be poured into capturing customers’ real preferences. We know customers
will eventually eat the food they truly want, not just something new..” Clark emphasized that
allowing customers to customize their meals could be another reason they keep coming back to
Subway Korea. “When people order at a hamburger franchise restaurant, you don’t see them
customizing their food, even if they can. However, we consider customers’ choices as very
important. That is the value we would like to provide our customers.” There are two key factors
that are bolstering the growth of the Korean arm of the U.S. firm ― communication with
franchise owners and full support of the headquarters, according to the CEO. Clark meets with
franchise owners from time to time to listen to their concerns. – Source: The Korea Times
(Seoul, Korea).
Burger 21 Adding More Metro Locations
Burger 21, a Tampa restaurant chain that opened its first metro Atlanta location near the Mall of
Georgia last summer, has signed franchisee deals for three more metro locations. New
restaurants are planned for Johns Creek and Alpharetta in Fulton County, and Dunwoody near
Perimeter Mall in DeKalb County. A company executive said metro Atlanta will continue to be a
target for future expansion. Burger 21’s menu features 21 specialty burgers under names such as
Tex-Mex Haystack, Spicy Thai Shrimp, Black Bean and Chicken Marsala. The 2,990-squarefoot restaurants also serve craft beer and wine. The fast-casual restaurant category, which
includes Burger 21, Zaxby’s, Jersey Mike’s and Dickey’s Barbecue, is growing, according to
Technomics, which tracks restaurants. Technomics reported 51 percent of consumers say they
eat at fast casual restaurants at least once a month, up from 43 percent in 2011. Burger 21 said it
has signed new franchise agreements with businessman Jim McGlynn, who plans to open a
restaurant early next year in south Alpharetta and in 2016 near Perimeter Mall. Another
agreement was signed with Alex Kim, a former Tropical Smoothie Cafe franchisee. Kim plans to
open a Burger 21 in Johns Creek later this year. The current Gwinnett County location at
Woodward Crossing in Buford is owned and operated by Corley and Meg Steward, who plan to
open a second location in the north Alpharetta this year. Franchisee candidates must have a
minimum net worth of $500,000 and at least $200,000 in liquid assets. They can expect to invest
about $414,495 to $832,495 to open a restaurant, in addition to an initial $40,000 franchise fee. –
Source: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Starbucks Names New Leaders for Teavana and Canada
Starbucks Coffee Company announced new leaders for two key positions as the company
continues to advance its global growth and innovation agenda. Starbucks Canada executive vice
president and president Annie Young-Scrivner has been named executive vice president and
president, Teavana. Nine-year retail operations executive and Partner (Employee) Resources
senior vice president Rossann Williams has been appointed senior vice president and president,
Starbucks Canada. Teavana founder and ceo Andy Mack, having helped with the integration of
Teavana with Starbucks, has decided to retire from the company. “Tea is the second mostconsumed beverage in the world and represents a sizeable opportunity for Starbucks as we
continue to grow around the world,” said Cliff Burrows, group president, U.S., Americas and
Teavana. “We are grateful for Andy’s leadership establishing Teavana as a world-class leader
responsible for bringing premium tea to millions of customers over the past 17 years. Under
Annie’s leadership, we plan to do for tea what we did for coffee by significantly expanding the
availability of new and innovative Teavana products in Starbucks and Teavana retail stores and
through other channels.” “Starbucks Canada is our largest international market and an important
contributor to our Americas growth strategy. Rossann is an experienced Starbucks executive and
a true ambassador for our culture, values and guiding principles,” Burrows added. “Her
experience is perfectly suited to the opportunities we see in the Canada market for years to
come.” – Source: Starbucks Coffee Company.
US Foods Receives Request from FTC for Additional Information Regarding Proposed
Merger with Sysco
US Foods announced that it received a request from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for
additional information and documentary materials in connection with its pending merger with
Sysco Corporation. The request was issued under notification requirements of the Hart-ScottRodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 (HSR Act). Frequently referred to as a “second
request,” this is a part of the FTC review process and was anticipated by both companies. US
Foods will work to respond to the FTC requests as quickly as possible to support the review of
the proposed merger. Completion of the transaction remains subject to regulatory review,
including the expiration or termination of the waiting period under the HSR Act, and other
customary closing conditions. US Foods’ outlook on the merger remains unchanged and expects
the transaction to close in the third quarter of calendar 2014. Source: US Foods.
The Melting Pot Restaurants, Inc. Raises More than $766,000 for St. Jude Children’s
Research Hospital® During 2013 St. Jude Thanks and Giving® Campaign
The Melting Pot Restaurants Inc. announced that it raised $766,359 for St. Jude Children’s
Research Hospital® during the 10th annual St. Jude Thanks and Giving® campaign. This brings
the company’s total raised for St. Jude to more than $8 million since the fondue restaurant
franchise established its partnership with the hospital in 2003. “Since The Melting Pot’s
partnership with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital began more than 10 years ago, our team
members’ commitment to the hospital’s mission to find cures for pediatric cancer and other
deadly diseases has grown stronger every year,” said Mike Lester, president of The Melting Pot
Restaurants, Inc. “Our team members are passionate about St. Jude’s lifesaving work and go
above and beyond to support the St. JudeThanks and Giving campaign each year knowing that
100 percent of donations made at The Melting Pot go directly to St. Jude to help save children’s
lives.” From Oct. 19 – Dec. 15, 2013, The Melting Pot provided every guest who donated $10 to
St. Jude with a Fondue for the Kids card that offered $20 off a future purchase of $50 or more.
An internal competition encouraged team members to ask every guest for a donation, and The
Melting Pot of Ft. Collins, Colo. broke The Melting Pot record for the most funds raised, netting
more than $38,000 for St. Jude in 2013. The funds help St. Jude provide treatment and research
cures to save the lives of countless kids battling cancer and other deadly diseases. It costs $1.9
million a day to operate the hospital and no family ever receives a bill from St. Jude for
treatment, travel, housing or food. More than 75 percent of the hospital’s funding comes from
public donations. – Source: The Melting Pot Restaurants, Inc.
Sbarro Closing 155 North American Locations in Comeback Effort
Sbarro is closing 155 of its locations in North America in an attempt to improve the company’s
profitability. The move is part of a broader plan to boost financial performance under a new
management team, according to a statement yesterday. The closings affect underperforming
company-owned stores and not franchise locations, Sbarro said. The chain, based in Melville,
New York, is still trying to rebound after emerging from bankruptcy in 2011. Sbarro’s
restaurants are concentrated in malls, where slowing traffic and muted consumer spending has
taken a toll on food courts. Even as it scales back operations in its home country, the company
added South American locations last year. “Sbarro remains a vibrant and growing brand with
more than 800 stores worldwide, including 81 that were opened in 2013,” the company said
yesterday in the statement. The move follows a bankruptcy filing by HDOS Enterprises, the
owner of Hot Dog on a Stick -- another restaurant commonly found in shopping malls. That
chain “signed some very expensive leases during the booming economy of the mid-2000s,”
HDOS Chief Executive Officer Dan Smith said in a statement earlier this month. Hot Dog on a
Stick also suffered from a decline in mall foot traffic. Founded in 1956 by the Sbarro family, the
chain expanded its pizza empire over the decades to more than 40 countries. MidOcean Partners,
a New York private-equity firm, acquired the closely held business in 2007 for $417 million.
Then came the recession, which meant fewer consumers visiting shopping malls and eating at
food courts. When Sbarro exited bankruptcy in 2011, it agreed to give ownership of the company
to senior lenders, who were owed about $176 million. Since then, the company hasn’t been
successful improving its operations, according to a report last month from Standard & Poor’s
Ratings Services, which downgraded Sbarro’s credit rating to CCC- from CCC+. “We believe
that Sbarro’s current capital structure is unsustainable and that the company will likely seek to
restructure its balance sheet,” S&P said in the report. “In our opinion, this could lead to a
selective default or a filing for protection under Chapter 11.” The pizza market remains
fragmented and competitive, increasing challenges for the chain, according to S&P. It’s also
vulnerable to a broader decline in shopping-mall traffic and the volatility of ingredient prices.
The ratings firm has a negative outlook on the company. The sluggish economy hasn’t been kind
to other pizza chains. Uno Restaurant Holdings Corp., another Italian-restaurant company, filed
for bankruptcy in January 2010, saying the economic slump had caused more diners to stay
home, hurting its 200 U.S. pizzerias. – Source: Bloomberg/BusinessWeek.
In Atlanta, Darden Opens its First Airport Restaurant
Orlando-based Darden Restaurants has opened its first restaurant in an airport. A LongHorn
Steakhouse opened earlier this month in Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
Darden's partner in the project is HMSHost, a Maryland-based company that operates restaurants
in airports and travel plazas. HMSHost also has restaurants in Orlando International Airport,
including Outback Steakhouse and Romano's Macaroni Grill. This will be Darden's only airport
restaurant in the immediate future, spokesman Rich Jeffers said recently. "We'll learn from it and
we'll go from there, but there's nothing else planned," he said. It's unusual for Darden, which
owns several chains including Olive Garden, to allow someone else to run its restaurants. Other
companies do operate its international restaurants, but Darden owns and runs its U.S. eateries.
When opening in airports, though, it's typical for restaurant chains to partner with companies that
specialize in such operations. "It's a pretty complicated industry. There are a lot of different
challenges to operating in the airport," HMSHost spokesman Sean Matthews said. Those include
dealing with space limitations and security. Like many airport restaurants, LongHorn is located
beyond security checkpoints. Also, the airport restaurant is busy throughout the day, unlike a
typical one in which business peaks at lunch and dinner. The LongHorn at Hartsfield-Jackson
has 2,600 square feet, while its typical restaurants are 6,300 square feet. The menu includes
about 70 percent of what's found at a traditional LongHorn. Many full-service chains now have
operations in airports. They have become even more lucrative as airlines have cut back on the
food they serve and passengers arriving early have more time to kill in airports, said Chris
Muller, a former University of Central Florida restaurant professor now at Boston University. –
Source: Orlando Sentinel.
Voo Doo BBQ Selects Glen Helton as President
Fast-casual New Orleans–style barbecue restaurant VooDoo BBQ & Grill named Glen Helton as
president of the growing restaurant chain. Helton will serve as a key member of the executive
leadership team and help position the company as a fast casual concept poised for growth. Helton
will provide leadership, strategy, and direction on franchising and development of the company
nationally. Helton comes to VooDoo with more than 30 years of industry experience. He has
worked in senior leadership roles with some of the premier franchise operations, including
Burger King, Boston Market, and Popeyes. Most recently, he served as an independent industry
consultant offering senior level expertise in the private equity community. “Glen’s extensive
experience and leadership skills are what VooDoo needs as we prepare to expand nationally,”
says Tony Avila, CEO of VooDoo BBQ & Grill. “We are ready to take VooDoo to the next
level, and Glen is key to getting us there.” Founded almost 12 years ago, VooDoo BBQ & Grill
serves customers in the fast- casual dining industry by providing a unique twist with its own New
Orleans–style barbecue in a restaurant segment that is relatively void of fast-casual barbecue
concepts. – Source: qsrmagazine.com.
Joe’s Crab Shack Announces New Employee Ownership Plan
Joe’s Crab Shack and its parent company Ignite Restaurant Group recognized three outstanding
team members and outlined the company’s first employee ownership plan during its annual
conference in Las Vegas this month. Ignite CEO Ray Blanchette unveiled the new ownership
plan, called “I LEAD,” or the Ignite Long-Term Equity Asset Distribution plan. The plan gives
restaurant management ownership in the company through restricted stock awarded on a
progressive five-year plan. “The I LEAD program is an extension of our culture, which is truly a
team environment,” says Joe’s Crab Shack president Jim Mazany. “Now, our management team
members are also owners of the company, which instills pride and allows the team to benefit
financially from their commitment and hard work.” Mazany also recognized outstanding
achievements by three Joe’s Crab Shack team members. Mike Wright - director of the year. A
27-year veteran of the restaurant industry, Wright has been with Joe’s for four years and overseas
operations for the Midwest region. Jerry Gallegos - general manager of the year. Gallegos was
also promoted to Director of Operations as a result of his strong leadership. Christine King awarded the annual PRIDE Award, given to the team member who best exemplifies the brand’s
pillars of PRIDE – Passion, Respect, Integrity, Determination, and Excellence. King is the
general manager of Joe’s Crab Shack in Amherst, New York. “Each of these outstanding team
members not only exceeded goals for operations and sales, they acted with respect, integrity and
matchless determination,” says Mazany. More than 500 team members were present to
congratulate their peers. With the theme of “Uniting Brands, Igniting Leaders,” this was the first
conference held to involve all three Ignite brands, which also include Romano’s Macaroni Grill
and Brick House Tavern + Tap. – Source: fsrmagazine.com.
Thank you for reading The Global Foodservice E-newsletter from American Recruiters!
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