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To Our Valued Subscribers:

Here it is the middle of August and I hope you and your organization is as warm as the weather. This is a favorite time for me as a sports fan. The baseball races are in full swing, (my Cubs still have the best record in the National League), the NFL pre-season is underway, and college football is just weeks away. Oh yeah there is a lot of basketball and hockey talk as well!! As all of this is going on, I started to do a little research on how great teams and companies continue to be great. A recent article I read, authored by Lolly Daskal, suggest that greatness comes from great leaders and there are some tips on becoming a great leader. Here are a few of the many Ms. Daskal recommends:

* Define your character. The best way to make you stand out is by developing a strong foundational character and sense of integrity. Great leaders are admired because of the character they display and live by.

* Act as the brand and ambassador. As a leader, you are also an ambassador for your brand, your company, your organization. That means who you are and what you do will always matter, so showcase the kind of message you want others to trust. When people don’t believe the messenger, they won’t believe the message. And a third

* Communicate consistently and with candor. As a leader, you must be able to communicate clearly and consistently so those who work for you understand how they can be productive and effective. Now none of these are earth shattering but they did remind me (and I hope you) to be introspective in the way you lead.

Another great way to lead is to be curious; so, see what’s happening in our Foodservice world by enjoying the latest edition of American Recruiters Global Foodservice news. It is always worth the read. Have a great rest of summer.

Craig Wilson

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This was the Culprit of Chipotle’s Latest Foodborne Outbreak

Chipotle revealed Thursday that it discovered the source of its latest foodborne outbreak that sickened more than 600 people at one of its chains in Powell, Ohio. Health officials confirmed that a bacteria called Clostridium perfringens was the culprit, after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) took stool samples from the affected customers. The CDC notes that the toxin usually develops when someone eats food that has been stored at the wrong temperature after cooking. The outbreak, which occurred between July 26 and July 30 at the Sawmill Parkway restaurant in Powell reportedly affected 647 people who said they experienced gastrointestinal symptoms, including vomiting, diarrhea and stomach pains after eating Chipotle’s food products. “We take cancer care personally. With OncoSET, the unique needs of every cancer patient are met through advanced genomic testing.” In a statement to FOX Business, Chipotle’s new CEO Brian Niccol, who formerly lead Taco Bell, said the company “has a zero-tolerance policy for any violations of our stringent food safety standards and we are committed to doing all we can to ensure it does not happen again.” Niccol said once they identified the incident last month, team members acted quickly to close the location and immediately implement its food safety response protocols, which includes a “total replacement of all food inventory and complete cleaning and sanitization of the restaurant.” However, according to a Business Insider report, records show that local health officials in Ohio found several violations related to food not being held at proper temperatures. Specifically, with lettuce and beans not being properly cooled and warmed, respectively. What’s more, two nearby restaurants, according to inspectors, found boxes of raw chicken “leaning on other packaged foods.” Niccol says while this incident only impacted one restaurant, it’s Chipotle Field Leadership “will be retraining all restaurant employees nationwide beginning next week on food safety and wellness protocols.” Niccol, who took the helm following Chipotle founder Steve Ells departure last November after the company faced multiple food illness outbreaks dating back to 2013, has been tasked with turning the burrito chain around. Chipotle shares are down 4 percent Thursday on the news. – Source: FOX Business.

Kona Grill Promotes Jim Kuhn to CEO

Kona Grill Inc. has promoted Jim Kuhn as president and CEO to succeed Berke Bakay, who was appointed executive chairman of the casual-dining chain’s board, the company said. Kuhn most recently served as chief operating officer of the Scottsdale, Ariz.-based grill and sushi bar brand, a position he assumed in December. Bakay succeeds Jim Jundt, who is retiring after eight years as chairman of the board. Bakay will remain with the management in a strategic role, the company said. “Leading Kona Grill over the past six years has been a tremendous honor,” Bakay said in a statement. “We’ve doubled the number of restaurants, started franchising internationally and domestically and have positioned ourselves as a truly unique brand serving global cuisine in a contemporary ambiance.”  Bakay said the executive chairman role will allow him to focus on strategic relationships with franchise partners, landlords, investors and lenders.  “Jim will continue to focus on operations and lead the company toward future success,” Bakay said.  For the second quarter ended June 30, Kona Grill narrowed its net loss to $1 million, or 8 cents a share, from $4.3 million, or 43 cents a share, in the same period last year. Revenues in the quarter fell 9.9 percent, to $42.3 million. Same-store sales declined 12.1 percent from the same quarter last year.  “With cost-savings measures in place and sustainable, the focus for the remainder of 2018 is on execution and driving guests into our restaurants,” Kuhn said in a statement with second-quarter earnings. “We recently revamped our menu with a new design and layout, including the addition of 30 new menu items, and have recently implemented our new Konavore points-based loyalty program to drive guest frequency,” he said. “These initiatives are framed around our mission to make every experience exceptional for our guests.” Kona Grill owns and operates 45 restaurants in 22 states and Puerto Rico. The company also licenses two restaurants, one in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and another in Vaughan, Canada. – Source: NRN.

PepsiCo Names New Chief Executive Officer

Ms. Nooyi will remain chairman of the board until early 2019 to ensure a smooth transition, according to the company. Mr. Laguarta has been with the company for 22 years. Since September 2017, he has served as president of PepsiCo, overseeing global operations, corporate strategy, public policy and government affairs. Previously, Mr. Laguarta served as c.e.o., Europe Sub-Saharan Africa. “Ramon is a strong and proven executive with an outstanding track record growing organically and by acquisition some of PepsiCo’s largest and most important international businesses,” said Daniel Vasella, chairman of the board’s nominating and corporate governance committee. “He keenly understands the evolving needs of consumers and customers and the trends affecting our business in markets around the world. He will bring the depth of experience and innovative thinking that has powered his previous achievements as he is inheriting a well-positioned company poised to continue delivering top-tier performance. “Indra has been a visionary leader who transformed the corporation and led it to unprecedented success. Her leadership skills, strategic acumen, dedication and integrity have been critical to the sustained success of the corporation and the development of top talent.” Speaking on behalf of PepsiCo’s board of directors, presiding director Ian Cook said: “As chairman and c.e.o., Indra has provided outstanding leadership over the past 12 years, serving as a model both within our industry and beyond for responsible corporate stewardship in the 21st century. “She has delivered strong and consistent financial performance, managing with an eye toward not only the short-run, but the long-run as well. As c.e.o., she grew revenue more than 80%, outperforming our peers and adding a new billion-dollar brand almost every other year. And shareholders have benefited: $1,000 invested in PepsiCo in 2006 is worth more than two-and-a-half times that amount today.” – Source: Food Business News.

Tom Martin has joined Borden as vice-president of Walmart Inc.

Mr. Martin was most recently the Sam’s team lead for Quaker products at PepsiCo, Inc. Previously, he was the Walmart director of customer management and the Sam’s director of customer management for the Frito-Lay division at PepsiCo. Before that, he held a variety of senior sales and general management roles at PepsiCo. “Tom is an exceptional leader with extensive industry experience and real success in driving sales,” said Tony Sarsam, chief executive officer of Borden. “We are thrilled to welcome someone with his track record of partnership with Walmart at a time when we are investing to bring world-class service to our largest customer. Tom brings terrific energy and leadership to the Borden team, and I know he will be an important asset as we bring Borden into a new era of innovative growth.” Mr. Martin is the eighth senior leader hired at Borden since Mr. Sarsam joined the company in March. – Source: Food Business News.

As Casual Dining Evolves and Elevates, So Does Boston’s

From the biggest players down to the startups, there’s a feeling around the restaurant industry that a second coming of casual dining has arrived. You see it touching all aspects of the business—service lifted by technology, simplified food preparation with a nod to better execution, new prototypes built around the customer experience—to provide just a small glimpse. But what this means to specific brands is hard to pin down, and one of the reasons this period is among the most transformational in the full-service sector’s history. Boston’s Pizza Restaurant & Sports Bar, however, knows exactly where it fits. “It’s really an interesting situation,” says Jeff Melnick, Boston’s executive vice president. “This second coming of casual dining, where those older concepts have matured, it means now we can come in and have an opportunity be a fresh, new undiscovered brand.”

Boston’s is far from an unknown entity in the space, but that doesn’t mean it’s not prime for a revival of sorts. Melnick, who joined in late April, is a 40-year industry veteran, including an 18-year stint with Chili’s where he started as a manager and ended as regional director of operations in Southern California, responsible for 78 restaurants. Afterward, Melnick served as senior vice president of operations at Red Robin, and, most recently, held the position of vice president of CraftWorks Restaurants & Breweries Inc., where he was brand leader of the Gordon Biersch concept. Throughout the journey, Melnick specialized in helping casual brands reach their potential. And that objective has never been more open, or complex, than it is today. Where Boston’s stands in the debate is rather unique. Introduced to the U.S. in 1998, the chain has the backing of its sister concept, Boston Pizza—a collection of 400-plus locations throughout Canada that doesn’t lack for brand equity. The U.S. version currently features 23 locations across 16 states, and has traveled an up-and-down path in recent years. Back in 2013, Boston’s had 40 restaurants. It started to contract after looking into locations and addressing real estate and demographic missteps, the company said at that time.

In May 2017, the company rolled out a brand refresh at its U.S. stores, repositioning them as “America’s Sports Restaurant,” and placing a stronger emphasis on core products. This included a new company logo and decision to closer align with its Canadian powerhouse counterpart. Boston’s closed out 2017 with 33 franchise agreements signed, and a path to more than double its national footprint. Boston’s dough uses a recipe more than five decades in the making. The evolution of Boston’s system has created some support and distribution challenges, however. Having 23 locations spread across 16 states is a trying dynamic for a franchise system. Melnick says one of his first goals is to spend time in the field and figure out, from talking to operators, how Boston’s can better support its franchisees. “We want to make sure it’s world class,” he says. “Then we can come up with a growth strategy where we can build market share and relevance in some of the markets we’re already in.” Melnick says there’s still due diligence to be done before outlining this strategy, but filling out markets is one that appears to fit. Boston’s wants to support and encourage current franchisees to grow, and that’s likely the best path to do so. “Our No. 1 pillar, as far as being a brand in the U.S., is to support our franchisee profitability,” Melnick says, noting that streamlining purchasing and distribution is an opportunity given the current lack of scale. “To make sure this is a winning combination for everyone. So working around food cost and labor initiatives that will help with efficiency in the restaurants is a top priority as far as I’m concerned.” Fittingly, Melnick’s first day with Boston’s—on April 30—was at the company’s franchise conference in Orlando, Florida. He was able to chat with franchisees from Canada, the U.S., and Mexico, and gauge the brand’s progress and targets from a broad perspective. “There is still a lot of excitement. It’s become multi-generational up in Canada for people who have supported the brand and handed it down to their children and involved them in the business,” he says. “And there’s a real passion for what Boston’s has to offer. That’s why I think it’s such a unique opportunity here in the U.S.” “We have that resonance of our success in Canada,” he adds. “I think I’m blessed with the opportunity. The reputation for our Canadian success is really gaining interest in the states, and that’s something that we’re going to take advantage of.” In addition to guests, this carries weight with current and perspective franchisees, as well as investors, Melnick says. Among Melnick’s realizations was the fact that Boston’s is ideally positioned to be a step above its casual competitors, which is exactly what guests look for in a marketplace flooded with more high-quality options than ever. When the food blurs between limited and full service as it does today, it’s the defining traits and experiential offerings that inspire loyalty. “Before scratch kitchens were even a thing in the casual-dining bspace, that’s what we were doing. We still do that. It’s part of our brand. We’re going to be make it non-negotiable.”— Jeff Melnick, Boston’s executive vice president. Boston’s offers a lively experience for sports fans, and a laid-back vibe for families. But the quality of the food never changes. Boston’s biggest tool here is a two-in-one concept that draws up a distinctly differentiated family restaurant and sports bar under one roof. “We really appeal to guests, especially the millennial families, for more than one occasion. We have a separate restaurant and sports bar patio. We offer catering, delivery. And so I think that allows us to be very approachable,” he says. The rebrand played an important role in helping Boston’s carve out this niche. “A brand reimage is more important than ever,” Melnick adds. “We’re an experience. It’s not just for the food. Since everyone has a screen in their hand, we really have to make sure that our viewing experience is top notch. Guests have to feel comfortable and able to relax and enjoy themselves in order to keep our relevance and top reputation in a competitive market.” Melnick says the Canadian system were the front-runners in Boston’s U.S. rebranding effort. “With their scale we can then take what they’ve done and then adapt it and adapt the brand here in the U.S., as well as Mexico to accommodate flavor experiences, ingredients, and experiential preferences based on the culture,” he says. When it comes to the menu, Melnick says, Boston’s needs to keep the offerings diverse to live up to its rebranding promise. The idea there’s no veto vote in the design needs to apply to the offerings. And that’s something that extends beyond simple variety to quality and trust with the consumer as well. There are 90 menu items on Boston’s menu. Its last update, in May, featured thin-crust gourmet pizzas built using the same made-from-scratch dough that’s been a staple of the Canadian brand for 50-plus years. The creations were: Skinny Carnivore, Potato Bianca, and Pizza Bella. “What’s also special about us is we care about the food experience. So before scratch kitchens were even a thing in the casual-dining space, that’s what we were doing,” Melnick says. “We still do that. It’s part of our brand. We’re going to be make it non-negotiable.” Melnick says casual brands thrive when they allow guests to control the experience. Boston’s has a sports bar side to present a livelier experience. It also offers a warm, friendly atmosphere for families on the other side. And the core qualities thread throughout.

Another unique Boston’s feature, again related to the Canadian concept, is the fact the U.S. franchise is probably two generations behind when it comes to innovation, Melnick says. So the runway for future growth is sizable. This includes everything from online ordering and mobile pay to handheld devices. It flips sometimes, too. For instance, Boston’s U.S. business has a loyalty program Melnick says is a step ahead. The structure of this relationship is essentially like attacking innovation on two fronts. “Canada having the scale that they do, they’re working hard to share what resonates with their guests, and help us discern,” he says. “Technology moves so quickly that we have to make smart choices. North America as a whole, Canada and the U.S, as well as Central America and down in Mexico, we’re going to be working on a united front on that technology to make it more approachable for the guest.” The loyalty program is something Melnick sees as powerful outlet for Boston’s, especially considering how challenging it can be to channel social media with a spread-out footprint. “Loyalty allows us to talk to our own guests, and keep them informed on the experiences that they can have in the restaurant as well as new news in regards to the menu. That’s crucial for us,” he says. – Source: FSR.

The Company Sold its 12.3% Ownership Stake to Inspire Brands

The Wendy’s Co. on Aug. 16 said that it has sold its interest in Arby’s and Buffalo Wild Wings back to their parent company, Inspire Brands, for $450 million. Dublin, Ohio-based Wendy’s had owned 12.3% of Inspire, a legacy of the ownership interest Wendy’s kept in Arby’s when it sold the chain to private equity firm Roark Capital in 2011. At the time, Wendy’s interest in Arby’s was worth $30 million—meaning that valuation increased 1,400% over seven years. At the time, Wendy’s interest in Arby’s was worth $30 million—meaning that valuation increased 1,400% over seven years. Wendy’s said it plans to use the funds to invest back in Wendy’s and buy back shares. The company has authorized the purchase of up to $100 million of its own stock, in addition to its current $175 million share buyback program.

Wendy’s opted not to participate in Arby’s purchase of Buffalo Wild Wings this year, which created Atlanta-based Inspire. But over the years, Wendy’s has received more than $100 million in dividends through its ownership in Arby’s, which has grown considerably under Roark. “The sale of our stake in Inspire Brands for $450 million is a great return on this investment for our shareholders,” Wendy’s Chairman Nelson Peltz said in a statement. Wendy’s expects cash proceeds from the sale of $335 million after taxes. “We have benefited from and enjoyed our partnership with Inspire, and we wish (Inspire Brands CEO) Paul Brown and the team continued success in the future,” Wendy’s CEO Todd Penegor said in a statement. “The opportunity to monetize our investment in Inspire Brands will allow us to invest in future growth for the Wendy’s brand and company, which is our top priority.” – Source: Restaurant Business.

Famous Dave’s Cooks Up Another BBQ Concept

Famous Dave’s has been a blend of innovation and legacy over the course of its turnaround stretch. The barbecue brand’s second-quarter report reflected that strategy and promised more changes, including a fresh concept from its new barbecue star, Travis Clark. Famous Dave’s earned $1.4 million in the period that ended July 1. For perspective, it lost roughly the same amount of money in the year-ago segment. Same-store sales at 15 company-run locations boosted 1.2 percent. The 135 franchised restaurants reported comps declines of 1.6 percent. In Q2 fiscal 2017, those numbers were negative 2.2 and 3.2 percent, respectively. The year before, they were down 6.4 and 4.3 percent. Traffic was also up 1.3 percent in the quarter. But perhaps more notable is what Famous Dave’s has in store.

The Minnetonka, Minnesota-based brand connected with Clark in January, tapping him as its newly created “National Pitmaster.” Clark is a Kansas City phenom. The most decorated pitmaster in the Kansas City BBQ Society since 2013, Clark, along with his team, Clark Crew BBQ, won the title of 2017 American Royal Invitational World Champion, and has consecutively won the most KCBS awards in the past four years. This includes: KCBS Team of the Year (2017 and 2015), Rib Team of the Year, and Brisket Team of the Year. Clark’s barbecue journey logged over 160,000 miles, 160 contests, 41 Grand Championship awards, 20 Reserve Grand Championships honors, and 130 top 10 finishes. Famous Dave’s brought him on to improve consistency across its system, and to help franchisees shore up barbecue tactics and training processes. Chief executive officer Jeff Crivello, who assumed the role in February, has hinted at the possibility of a Clark-led concept for months. At last, Famous Dave’s popped the lid on the upcoming brand Monday afternoon. The restaurant, called Clark Crew BBQ, will open in Oklahoma City in early 2019, with plans to scale. Famous Dave’s doesn’t plan on spreading the brand as fast as its flagship, but said it would rank as “best” in the good-better-best quality scale, per The Star Tribune. This is hardly the only going-on at Famous Dave’s, either. Crivello said in a release the company is “finalizing the design of our new drive-through concept.” This is also something the barbecue chain has suggested in past months. In its last earnings call, Famous Dave’s spoke of a possible delivery-only model, which could fit in 500–800-square-foot spots compared to the typical 5,000-square-foot box. Crivello told FSR in May that it was looking at everything from renting kitchen spaces to creating walk-up locations in an effort to harness the off-premises momentum seen across the restaurant landscape. Famous Dave’s didn’t provide further details on the drive thru for now. What the company did report, though, was success with a recently remodeled location in Coon Rapids that signals a sign of things to come. The store reunited Famous Dave’s with its founder, Dave Anderson, who split with the company in 2015 under previous management, to design a unit with a new look and menu that paid homage to its past. The store reported double-digit sales growth, Famous Dave’s said. According to the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal, Crivello expects to recreate the model in two additional stores—a company-run unit in Maple Grove this summer and another in Westbury, New York. Franchisees would be up next. The Coon Rapids store saw a 16 percent lift in sales, the publication reported. “We look forward to implementing throughout the system many of the improvements from the successful refresh of our Coon Rapids restaurant,” Crivello said in a statement. In Q2, Famous Dave’s revenue declined nearly 24 percent to $14.5 million thanks to the closure of nine-company run stores. Consolidated adjusted EBITDA increased 5.5 percent to $2.7 million. The brand had 150 total units as of July 1, which is 26 less than this time a year ago. Crivello added that the company is looking at ways to boost other channels. “Although catering sales continued to be a challenge, we launched several initiatives during the quarter aimed at growing this line of business,” he said. – Source; FSR

McDonald’s Investing Billions in Restaurant Modernization

McDonald’s Corp. announced plans to invest approximately $6 billion to modernize more than 8,700 restaurants in the United States and the District of Columbia by 2020. The new features in these McDonald’s restaurants will include: Modern dining areas with globally and locally inspired decor, new furniture and refreshed exterior designs; Self-order kiosks; Remodeled counters to allow table service; Digital menu boards inside the restaurant and in the drive-thru; Curbside pick-up for mobile orders, An expansion of McCafe counters and larger display cases. The largest investment, of approximately $448 million, is expected to take place at 840 restaurants in Texas, followed by a $390 million investment in 550 restaurants in California. McDonald’s said it plans to modernize more than 360 locations in New York at a cost of approximately $320 million. – Source: Food Business News.

16 Critical Skills Multiunit Leaders Overlook

Our company spends a good deal of time designing, developing, and deploying multiunit leadership training programs for top foodservice and retail chains worldwide.  While both athletes and musicians can be good at just one thing and be successful, an effective multiunit leader, or MUL, must master several key proficiencies to be effective across his or her region.  Our research shows that the critical skillsets for effective multiunit leadership revolve around seven core competencies: Brand Ambassador, Servant Leadership, Talent Scout, Head Coach, Marketing Guru, Synergist and Goal Getter.  While those skills are easy to list, mastering each one can be more challenging to pick up than a watermelon seed on a linoleum floor. A big reason why is that all leadership is situational; one restaurant may require the multiunit leader’s skill in marketing, another may require help and focus in scouting and developing talent, while yet another needs strategic clarity on budgeting or food safety issues.  The thing is, you can’t just take the skills that made you good at running one unit and simply apply those same skills equally to six, seven, or eight other units; the foodservice industry is neither that simple nor that forgiving.  MULs have to adapt to the unique personality of each restaurant, market and team they serve. The only non-variable is the menu. So learning how to evolve from successful GM to successful MUL takes more than luck and pluck. It’s a complicated learning process that involves a good deal of intuition, improvisation and imagination with heaping helpings of process, procedure and patience, too.

Here are 16 of the more common — and overlooked — performance roadblocks that both new and veteran MULs routinely face, along with a few suggestions on how to overcome them. 1. Not operating at the right altitude. This is evident if the new MUL is doing tasks that should be delegated. Multiunit leadership is a “thinking” job, not a “doing” job. 2. Under-communicating with managers. This makes unit managers unsure of their duties, roles and goals. 3. Taking back tasks you’ve delegated. This is usually because you believe you can do them better, and this severely undermines the confidence, and ultimately the competence, of your managers. 4. Micromanaging. Another confidence drainer, this doesn’t allow managers to improve upon and expand their own capabilities, even if they screw up along the way. It’s OK to make mistakes, as long as you learn from them. 5. Weak strategic orientation. Strategic clarity is a cornerstone of MUL communication and supervision.  The inability to be strategic is a sign of being promoted too quickly. 6. Lack of clarity. This is a communication killer. Without specificity, ambiguity thrives, and ambiguity is the source of most conflict between leaders and teams. 7. No clear understanding of how all the pieces of the business fit together, in the region, the market, across the brand, and relative to competitors and the rest of the industry. 8. Critical-thinking, reasoning and problem-solving skills. This needs to be taught to assistant managers, stressed to GMs and perfected among MULs. 9. How to identify, rank and resolve multiple priorities. Forget “time management.” Teach your management team how to prioritize instead, and how to ascribe and attain incremental shift goals that directly relate to period or quarterly goals. Show them how the skills apply to personal goals as well. 10. How to build, maintain and grow bench strength and a talent pipeline. Will you have enough people to meet your three-year and five-year growth goals? How good is your management team at sourcing talent?  Now is the time to completely reassess how you hire and who you hire.  For every single position in your restaurants, ask this question: “What does the person need to do to be successful in this role and what do the best people do differently?” This will help you sharpen the focus of who to look for and how they perform. 11. How to scale learning to associates. The best MULs teach their GMs how to continuously improve learning and development on a shift-by-shift basis to help them address new challenges and complexities. New POS system, LTO or process? What’s the best way to teach it? (And it may not be the way it’s always been taught.) 12. How to create and execute a stellar first day/first month experience. Onboarding new team members with focus, energy and fun is the foundation of tenure. Make it a priority. 13. How to maximize employee tenure in every position. While your competitors are focused on finding new team members, the best MULs focus first on retaining the “Superkeepers” they already have so that endless recruiting is minimized and you can keep your aces in their places. 14. How to efficiently gather and analyze relevant information.Given the volume of data and reports that MULs are increasingly faced with, it’s no surprise that we’re drowning in information and starving for knowledge.  Make certain your MUL development program devotes generous time to the process of analyzing, interpreting and acting on data. 15. How to reduce complexity in systems, process, operations.Great MULs continuously ask: “Why do we do it that way? What is the reason behind it? Is there a better/smarter way? What if we did it differently? What if we didn’t do it at all?” Challenge the process. 16. Teach teams why in addition to how. When they’re overworked and under-led (by well-intentioned but distracted multiunit leaders) unit-level managers tend to become technicians, not leaders. They’re taught what to do and how to do it but lack an inherent understanding of the why behind operational process and procedure. This lack of understanding undermines both purpose and perspective, which severely restricts the ability to consistently engage, develop and inspire the hourly crew.

As you can see, the role and responsibilities of above-restaurant leadership are complex, variable and demanding. As one area director told me, tongue firmly in cheek: “This job is really easy if you don’t know what you’re doing.” – Source: NRN.

Kona Grill Taps SMG to Enhance Customer Experience

Service Management Group, a global customer experience, employee engagement and brand research partner to more than 500 brands, announced a new partnership with upscale casual restaurant brand Kona Grill. Looking to empower district operators with real-time information and actionable insights, Kona Grill selected SMG for its robust technology platform and industry-leading research capabilities. Established in 1998, Kona Grill offers a global menu featuring contemporary American favorites, award-winning sushi and handcrafted cocktails, made in their scratch kitchen with a variety of unique and fresh ingredients. Built on exceptional experiences and meals that create memories, Kona Grill offers inspiring food, ultimate hospitality and diverse menu options. “With its rich history and expertise in the restaurant industry, SMG is the ideal partner to help us amplify our guest experience program,” says Jim Kuhn, Kona Grill president and Chief Executive Officer. “By offering more than a technology platform, SMG is helping us not only capture location-level feedback, but also uncover actionable insights so that we can continually improve our guest experience.” Kona Grill is using SMG VisitView, a location-level customer experience survey to capture real-time guest feedback across nearly 50 locations. With VisitView data available 24/7 in the smg360 reporting dashboard and mobile app, employees get a holistic view of guest feedback, advanced text analytics capabilities, real-time alerts and more. “It’s an honor to be selected by Kona Grill to help measure, refine and elevate the guest experience,” adds Ken White, SMG Chief Client Officer. “Our breadth and depth across the category, in combination with our location-level measurement platform, allows us to uncover insights that drive loyalty and sales. : Source: News and information presented in this release has not been corroborated by FSR, Food News Media, or Journalistic, Inc.

Why You Need a Left-Handed Steak Knife

While lefties may be in good company—Bill Gates, Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey, and Prince William are all southpaws—they’re members of a small club. Only ten percent of the world’s population is left-handed, which means a lot of basic items (scissors, video game controllers, spiral notebooks) are built solely with righties in mind. That’s why LomgHorn Steak House is celebrating International Left Handers Day (Monday, August 13) with the release of a limited-edition lefty steak knife. The need for such a tool may not be as obvious as, say, that of a left-handed can opener (the standard version is a lefty’s greatest nemesis), but the knife does has its benefits. Steak knives are typically designed with the serrated edge angled towards the right side of the blade. So, left-handers are forced to either cut with their non-dominant hand or saw through their meat with the knife’s duller edge. But LongHorn’s special knives are angled to the left, so southpaws don’t have to put in any extra effort to enjoy their steak. Here’s the catch: LongHorn is only rolling out left-handed steak knives at the three outposts with the highest number of lefty staffers (Des Plains, Illinois; St. Petersburg, Florida; and Millville, New Jersey), and you need to be an eClub member to take one home with your meal (while supplies last). If you don’t live near one of those spots, here’s some more left-handed cutlery you can score online. – Source: Food & Wine on-line.

Steak ‘n’ Shake Wants to Sell 400 Corporate Stores for Cheap

Steak ‘n’ Shake isn’t fooling around with its refranchising plans. The company announced August 13 it’s looking to deal its 400-plus company units (there were 401 in 2017), to “would-be entrepreneurs who want to be hands-on, single-unit owner-operators” for a paltry initial investment of $10,000. For comparison, the initial franchise fee for a Taco Bell operator is $45,000. It’s $30,000 at Blaze Pizza. Per franchise disclosure documents, the initial investment for a classic Steak ‘n’ Shake runs between $1.6–$2.6 million. “I started my company with $15,000 and built a thriving enterprise,” said Sardar Biglari, CEO of Biglari Holdings, owner of Steak ‘n Shake, in a statement. “I want to provide an opportunity to other entrepreneurs who are highly motivated to excel but lack the financial means. What will be important to become a franchisee is not great capital but great ability. We are seeking to harness the power of entrepreneurs and to create a company of owners.” Steak ‘n’ Shake added that the offering to buy into the company as a franchise partner requires operators to successfully complete a six-month training program. The franchise partner would then get 50 percent of the restaurant’s profits. This is a partnership, shared-profit deal similar to the system Chick-fil-A deploys. Steak ‘n’ Shake is looking to quickly shift its business model from a heavy corporate-owned structure to a system run mostly by single-unit franchisees. The company said this would “achieve operational uniformity by marshaling the efforts and strengths of entrepreneurs.” Founded in 1934 in Normal, Illinois, Steak ‘n’ Shake had 110 franchised units and 401 company-run stores in 2017, which was a total decline of 57 from the previous year. The company posted average-unit volumes of $1,839.51 (in thousands) and had total system-wide sales of $939.99 (in millions). The year before, Steak ‘n’ Shake had 568 total units (415 company-run) after adding 17 restaurants from the previous year. It also had higher AUV ($1.9M), and, naturally with more stores, increased system-wide sales of $1,027 (in millions). – Source: QSR.com.

New Menu Items from Krispy Kreme, Dairy Queen, Baskin-Robbins

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts and the Hershey Co. have teamed up to develop the Reese’s Outrageous Doughnut. The donut is inspired by Hershey’s Reese’s Outrageous Bar, which includes Reese’s peanut butter, caramel and Reese’s Pieces candy all covered in milk chocolate. The Krispy Kreme Reese’s Outrageous Doughnut features a chocolate yeast dough donut dipped in Hershey’s chocolate fudge icing topped with mini Reese’s Pieces, Reese’s peanut butter sauce and salted caramel sauce. “This is hands down the most outrageous donut experience we’ve created,” said Mike Tattersfield, chief executive officer of Krispy Kreme. “The Reese’s Outrageous Doughnut strikes a perfect balance of taste and texture sensations with an airy chocolate doughnut, gooey caramel and peanut butter drizzle, and classic crunch of Reese’s Pieces.” Also partnering with Hershey to celebrate the company’s new Reese’s Outrageous Bar is Dairy Queen, which is debuting the Reese’s Outrageous Blizzard Treat. The dessert features Reese’s peanut butter cups, Reese’s pieces, peanut butter and caramel blended with vanilla soft serve. Baskin-Robbins is blending its ice cream with beverages from the Coca-Cola Co. and Monster Beverage Corp. in its new the Ice Cream Freeze. The frozen treats may be made with a choice of a bottled or canned beverage and any hard scoop ice cream flavor. The highlighted combinations are the Monster Energy or NOS Energy and Wild ‘n Reckless Sherbet Freeze, the Sprite and Rainbow Sherbet Freeze and the Coke and Vanilla Ice Cream Freeze. “Our new Ice Cream Freezes are all about ‘friendships’ between delicious beverages and all of our ice cream flavors,” Baskin-Robbins said. “For example, Sprite pairs well with fruit-flavored sherbets, sorbets and ices for a lighter, sweet treat, while Coke and Barq’s Root Beer go well with ice cream flavors for something a little more indulgent. Looking for something to energize you and also keep you cool during one of the hottest months of the year? Our Monster Energy or NOS Energy Drink and Wild ‘n Reckless Sherbet Freeze will do just that.” — Source: Krispy Kreme, Dairy Queen, Dunkin’ Brands.

Chipotle Mexican Grill Testing Bacon

Bacon is making its way to more Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurants following a successful trial at the burrito chain’s test kitchen in New York. In September, eight restaurants in Orange County, Calif., will offer applewood smoked bacon as an addition to burritos, bowls and tacos, before the option is considered for a full-market test. “Consumers have always said ‘everything tastes better with bacon,’ and that is exactly what we confirmed in our New York test kitchen,” said Chris Brandt, chief marketing officer. “We found consumers added bacon to their traditional bowls, burritos, tacos and nachos while also enjoying new items such as the BLT quesadilla with bacon, lettuce, tomato and cheese grilled to perfection.”For now, quesadillas are only available at the test kitchen in New York, and nachos are offered in 10 restaurants with an expansion planned in Denver and Minneapolis-St. Paul area locations in October. The menu item features corn tortilla chips, queso and a choice of meat, beans, salsas and lettuce. In Miami and Dallas, Chipotle Mexican Grill is testing late-night deals, including $2 tacos with the purchase of a beverage after 8 p.m. The participating restaurants will extend hours of operation until 11 p.m. “A cornerstone of our new strategy is to make Chipotle more culturally relevant and to meet our customers where they are with flavorful food they can feel good about eating,” Mr. Brandt said. “We know that Chipotle is a great place to start or end the night, which is why we’re excited to test this pilot with our Miami and Dallas night owl fans.” The company has developed a stage-gate process to test, learn, listen to consumer feedback and iterate before rolling out a new initiative. – Source: Food Business News.

Coca-Cola Acquires Minority Stake in BodyArmor

The Coca-Cola Co. has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire a minority ownership stake in sports drink brand BodyArmor. Coca-Cola may increase its ownership stake in the future under the terms of the agreement. Financial terms were not disclosed. BodyArmor will join the Coca-Cola North America Venturing and Emerging Brands investment portfolio. The brand will continue to operate independently under the leadership of Mike Repole, co-founder and chairman, and the BodyArmor management team. Coca-Cola will become the second largest shareowner in the brand, behind Mr. Repole. “In a fast-moving and dynamic industry, and during a time of unprecedented change at Coca-Cola, we’re challenging the status quo and bringing innovative, boundary-less thinking to our strategic relationships to ensure we are offering the products consumers want,” said Jim Dinkins, president of Coca-Cola North America. “BodyArmor is one of the fastest growing beverage trademarks in America and competes in exciting categories. I have no doubt it will prove to be a strong offering to our system alongside our already powerful hydration portfolio as we accelerate our position as a total beverage company.” Founded in 2011, BodyArmor is positioned as a premium alternative to conventional sports drinks brands such as PepsiCo’s Gatorade. The products contain no artificial colors or flavors and feature potassium and other electrolytes, vitamins and coconut water. The agreement gives BodyArmor access to Coca-Cola’s expansive bottling system, enabling the brand to accelerate growth. Mr. Repole previously co-founded brands including smartwater and vitaminwater, which joined the Coca-Cola portfolio in 2007. “I am extremely excited about this agreement because the Coca-Cola system has an amazing track record of growing explosive brands that consumers love and allowing entrepreneurial start-ups like BodyArmor to continue to be independent and focused on achieving the aggressive growth goals that we set out to achieve when we launched this amazing brand in 2011,” Mr. Repole said. Previously, BodyArmor was distributed by Dr Pepper Snapple Group, which in 2015 acquired a $20 million stake in the company. – Source: Food Business News.

Certain Necco Brands, Equipment up for Sale

An auction for certain brands and equipment of the New England Confectionery Co. will take place Sept. 26-28 in Revere. Meanwhile, a lawsuit involving the sale of the 171-year-old candy maker has a new twist. Round Hill Investments, L.L.C., which bought and then sold the bankrupt Necco in a span of less than two months, on Aug. 8 filed multiple counterclaims in a lawsuit that seeks payment from Round Hill. Round Hill Investments, owned by C. Dean Metropoulos and his sons Evan and Daren, bought Necco on May 31 and then sold the company to an undisclosed buyer in late July. Union Confectionery Machinery, which has a U.S. office in Harrison, N.Y., is representing the undisclosed buyer at the auction, said Jim Greenberg, owner of Union Confectionery Machinery. The undisclosed buyer will keep the brands Necco wafers, Sweethearts and Canada Mints, along with certain equipment, and set up manufacturing operations at another location, not Revere, Mr. Greenberg said. Brands for sale include Mary Jane, Mighty Malts milk balls, Haviland thin mints, Clark Bar and Sky Bar, Slap Stix, Peach Blossoms and Banana Splits.

The brands are for sale now, and it’s possible they all will be sold before the Sept. 26-28 auction, Mr. Greenberg said. The lawsuit centers around how much Round Hill Investments knew about Food and Drug Administration food safety problems at the plant in Revere before buying Necco. Harold B. Murphy, Chapter 11 trustee of the New England Confectionery Co., Inc., filed the lawsuit July 3 in a U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Boston. It accuses Round Hill of “breach of contract and for unfair and deceptive business practices,” alleging Round Hill failed to pay $250,000 due on June 30 and renounced the remainder of its $1 million post-closing payment obligation. The lawsuit alludes to the F.D.A. warning letter that Necco received May 16, or before Round Hill bought the company. The letter said the F.D.A. inspected the Necco manufacturing facility from Nov. 13, 2017, to Dec. 14, 2017, and found evidence of rodent activity and insanitary conditions throughout the facility. The warning letter did not conclude Necco’s remediation efforts were inadequate but reserved judgement, according to the lawsuit. Since Necco had filed for bankruptcy on April 17, the warning letter was e-mailed May 21 to bidders for the company, including Round Hill, according to the lawsuit. Round Hill bought the company in a deal requiring Round Hill to pay the Chapter 11 trustee, Mr. Murphy, $17,330,000, consisting of $16,330,000 in cash at closing and $250,000 to be paid on each of the following dates: June 20, July 30, Aug. 31 and Sept. 30. The deal closed on May 31 as Round Hill made the scheduled payment of $16,330,000. Round Hill Investments filed a counterclaim on Aug. 8, alleging that Mr. Murphy and/or his agents fraudulently induced Round Hill to purchase the assets of Necco.

The counterclaim said Mr. Murphy breached the contract through his actions and asked the court for more than $2 million in damages. “Had Round Hill known the truth, it would never had entered into these transactions in the first place, let alone at the agreed price,” Round Hill said in its court filing. Round Hill acknowledged that it received the F.D.A. letter on May 21 but said Mr. Murphy, before the sale closed, gave false representation that the F.D.A. issues were under control.  Mr. Murphy also gave false representation in saying that insurance was in place for the facility, with Round Hill Investments and its affiliate, Sweethearts Candy Co., L.L.C., also being insured, according to the court filing. After the sale closed on May 31, Round Hill discovered the F.D.A. issues had not been addressed fully, according to the court filing. Damages for the cost to close the facility due to the F.D.A. issues were over $1 million while other damages of over $1 million came because the Necco assets purchased by Round Hill were worth less than the assets would have been if Mr. Murphy had complied with his end of the bargain, according to the court filing.  The Metropoulos family has invested in about 80 entities over nearly 40 years and has reinvigorated such brands as Hostess, Chef Boyardee and Vlasic. – Source: Food Business News.

Papa John’s Offers Financial Assistance to Franchisees

Papa John’s International Inc. is cutting royalties and other fees charged to franchisees in the United States and Canada in response to flagging sales, the parent company said. “The assistance program for domestic franchisees includes certain reductions in royalties, food-service pricing and online fees through 2018,” it said in a news release. “In addition, funds will be provided to support new marketing and re-imaging initiatives consistent with the Company’s new brand direction,” it added. Those re-imaging plans were announced last month and involve removing founder John Schnatter’s image from marketing materials and removing him as spokesman. Schnatter resigned as chairman of the board of directors last month after revelations on July 11 that he had used inappropriate language in a conference call in May. Since then, sales and Papa John’s stock price have slid, as they did in November after then-CEO Schnatter sparked controversy for blaming the chain’s already declining sales on the National Football League’s failure to quell its players’ silent protests during the national anthem. Papa John’s was an official sponsor of the NFL at the time. It has since been replaced by Pizza Hut.

In the aftermath of that, Schnatter moved aside as CEO and was replaced by his anointed successor, Steve Ritchie. But Schnatter later said his resignation as chairman was a mistake. He has sued the company to get access to records to see the decision-making process behind his removal as company spokesman. He also released a statement on Aug. 7, when Papa John’s announced disappointing quarterly earnings, blaming the sales decline on poor management by his successors, who in turn have blamed them on Schnatter. During the conference call announcing quarterly sales, Ritchie said the company was considering offering relief to the franchisees in the aftermath of what he called the “very inexcusable and irresponsible comments from Mr. Schnatter.”

North American same-store sales for the quarter ended July 1 were down by 6.1 percent, but for the period between July 2 and July 28 they were down 10.5 percent. In the release announcing the assistance program, Vaughan Frey, president of the Papa John’s Franchise Association voiced his support for the current management and suggested that Schnatter stay away from the company. “We believe it is time for the founder to move on.” He said. “Steve [Ritchie] is pursuing the right initiatives to reinvigorate growth and recognizes the importance of working together to move forward successfully. We appreciate the assistance being extended to our franchisees and believe the assistance program will help mitigate the impact that the founder’s inexcusable words and actions have had on franchisees.” Papa John’s did not respond to a request for more details about the assistance program, but Forbes, which said it obtained an internal memo from Papa John’s, said that for the third quarter, royalties would be reduced by two percentage points for franchisees whose current royalty rates were between 3 percent and 5 percent, and by 1 percent for franchisees currently paying a 2 percent royalty fee. For the fourth quarter, royalty rates would be reduced by 1 percentage point for franchisees paying a royalty of 2 percent or more. Forbes also reported that the parent company was committing $2.5 million in reduced food prices. Wall Street cheered the assistance announcement: Papa John’s shares opened up by 2.75 percent Monday morning. As of July 1, there were 5,247 Papa John’s locations in 50 states and 46 other countries and territories, including 3,407 units in North America, of which 2,729 were franchised. – Source: NRN.

Food Industry Weighs in on the Definition of Bioengineered

As with any legislative action, the devil is in the details. Following the lengthy debate that led to passage of the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard (N.B.F.D.S.) in 2016, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is working to finalize the regulations that will determine what is and is not a genetically modified ingredient. In early May, the U.S.D.A. published its proposed rule to establish the N.B.F.D.S. The agency proposed to define “bioengineering” as referring to a food “that contains genetic material that has been modified through in vitro recombinant deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) techniques; and for which the modification could not otherwise be obtained through conventional breeding or found in nature.” The proposed rule said the terms “bioengineering” or “bioengineered food” should be used in the labeling. Alternative phrases, such as “genetically modified” or “genetically engineered,” were considered, but they were not proposed because the U.S.D.A. said “bioengineering” adequately describes food products of the technology that Congress intended to be within the scope of the N.B.F.D.S.

In the proposed rule, the U.S.D.A.’s Agricultural Marketing Service offered two suggestions for defining a bioengineered food. The first would not consider highly refined products that do not contain genetic material that has been modified as being bioengineered. Highly refined ingredients, including sweeteners and oils, made from bioengineered crops are chemically identical to those made from non-bioengineered crops according to proponents. The second option includes all food and ingredients produced from bioengineering. The comment period for the proposed rule closed in early July, and, based on the comments from industry stakeholders, there are areas of agreement and some differences of opinion, most notably around what constitutes a bioengineered ingredient. Transparency vs. safety. The Grocery Manufacturers Association argued for full transparency and requiring the disclosure of refined ingredients derived from bioengineered crops in food and beverage products. “Consumers expect to know if a product contains an ingredient that was sourced from a bioengineered crop, so it is essential that disclosure of this information be required under a final rule for the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard,” said Leon Bruner, D.V.M., Ph.D., chief science officer for the G.M.A. In its submitted comments, the G.M.A. added that if consumers do not believe they are getting the transparency and ingredient information they demand, the repercussions will be felt most directly by the companies that make the products. The G.M.A. also said in its comments that U.S.D.A.’s decision on whether to require the disclosure of refined ingredients derived from bioengineered crops will have an impact on the number of products that would be disclosed under the eventual final rule. Roughly 90% of the U.S. corn, soybean, and beet sugar crops are bioengineered. As a result, a substantial number of food and beverage products contain refined ingredients that come from the products. The G.M.A. estimated that excluding refined ingredients from the scope of the mandatory disclosure standard would result in 78% fewer products being disclosed under the federal law. “Our ability to provide consumers with the information they seek — and in a way that they understand — will build trust in brands, industry and government institutions,” the G.M.A. said in its comments. “The ease with which the final regulations enable full disclosure of information to consumers will either support or diminish our ability to engage in a dialogue with consumers about technologies that improve lives, society and the environment.”

The American Beverage Association argued for “a regulatory framework that requires broad transparency and is simple for both industry and consumers to understand and implement.” “As currently drafted, the proposed rule is unnecessarily complicated, in great part because it does not clearly define a bioengineered food and leaves numerous areas open for additional consideration,” the A.B.A. said. “Going forward, A.M.S. should establish a definition that is sufficiently simple to allow companies of all sizes, scope of offerings, and consumers served to understand which foods are bioengineered and which are not, and when disclosure is required, so that uniform and consistent compliance can be achieved. “In particular, we urge A.M.S. to draft a final rule with a breadth appropriate to capture a wide array of foods within the bioengineered food disclosure requirement. If, ultimately, implementation of the N.B.F.D.S. results in disclosure for only a minimal subset of foods, because the regulation is overly complicated or exempts from disclosure a majority of foods consumers would consider to be bioengineered, consumers will undoubtedly be confused. Rather than helping to build trust in bioengineered foods, such a rule will, instead, foster unease among consumers, who will lose confidence in this regulatory effort.” The U.S. Beet Sugar Industry, along with other producer organizations, argued for the first option. “Creating any presumption, even unintentionally, that beet sugar produced from transgenic sugar beets is different and less desirable than its conventional counterparts or cane sugar is not supported by science, is contrary to the intent of the N.B.F.D.S., imposes a costly and discriminatory burden on the industry and has harmful economic impacts throughout the supply chain,” the group said. “It also creates consumer confusion and increases consumer prices for identical products.” The American Soybean Association said that, above all else, the A.M.S. must ensure that the N.B.F.D.S. is a marketing standard and not a health, safety or nutrition standard. “Our overriding concern, however, is that some of the options being considered, if adopted, could harm U.S. farmers and stifle innovation in agriculture by presuming or implying that refined ingredients like sugars and oils, derived from a bioengineered crop, contain modified genetic material when sound science shows they do not,” the A.S.A. said. The U.S.D.A. said it is looking at a compliance date of Jan. 1, 2020, for the N.B.F.D.S. The date is intended to align with the Food and Drug Administration’s proposed rule to extend the compliance date for changes to the Nutrition Facts Label final rule. – Source: Food Safety Monitor.

Inconsistent Food Safety Standards Complicate F.S.V.P. Compliance

Language barriers, personal hygiene and environmental impacts are just a few factors hindering food manufacturers’ compliance with the Food and Drug Administration’s (F.D.A.) Foreign Supplier Verification Program (F.S.V.P.) under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). Enacted to verify that food imports meet the same safety standards as U.S. food production, the regulation requires importers to monitor their foreign suppliers. Sometimes this can be difficult due to cultural differences or how easily suppliers cooperate. Russell Statman, executive director of F.D.A. compliance consultant company Registrar Corp., noted that cocoa suppliers in particular have had a lot of problems. “With the child labor issue, you run up against cultural issues where it’s very difficult to tell a farmer in Africa that their kid can’t work on the family farm,” he said. “They may look at it as us telling them what to do.” Cultural caveats could also serve as pathways for companies to classify suppliers as a high or low risk or how often they check on the suppliers’ compliance with FSVP. Take Guatemala, for instance. “Guatemala happens to be one of the poorest countries on the planet, so you can’t expect their government to have a good food safety program,” said Len Heflich, president, Innovation for Success and Baking & Snack contributing editor. “If I have suppliers in Guatemala and in West Germany and do my risk assessment, I’m probably going to say that the one in Guatemala is the one that is a higher risk than the one in Germany, so I’m going to focus on it more.” The F.D.A. ruled that four countries — Canada, New Zealand, Australia and the Netherlands — have a food safety program equivalent to the F.D.A., which means they are exempt from most of the F.S.V.P. requirements and will have an easier time with imports. However, that doesn’t mean those F.S.V.P. importers don’t have to ensure compliance, Mr. Heflich said. These countries are simply low-risk. “We have bad companies in the U.S., so just the fact that we have F.D.A. here doesn’t guarantee a manufacturer’s food safety,” he said Some companies will look at a supplier and decide it’s not worth the time or money to verify and maintain compliance. On the flip side, some suppliers will say they don’t want to change their food safety procedures for the sake of another country’s regulations. With the F.S.V.P. rule, these decisions strongly affect the supply chain. “The good suppliers are going to get better, and the relationship will get stronger,” Mr. Heflich said. “The bad suppliers are not going to comply, and we’re going to end up having to get rid of them.” F.S.V.P. makes FSMA an even greater gamechanger. Statistics state that the United States imports more food than any other country on Earth. According to the U.S.D.A., more than 190 countries export food products to the United States, which means F.S.V.P. affects all of them. “This is not a national law,” said Cornelius Hugo, food safety professional, AIB International, about the latest rule. “Once that sinks in, you see the magnitude of FSMA. What we call Food Safety Modernization Act is really a worldwide law.” – Source: Food Safety Monitor.

Middleton HVAC Celebrates 20 Years

Middleton Heating and Air is celebrating their 20th Anniversary by launching the HVAC 123 Pilot Project.  They are teaming up with Radio One and collecting school supplies in prep for the 3rd Annual Prep for Success Back to School Drive Saturday, August 25th from 10am to 1pm at the Trinity Family Life Center. Kania Burnette from Middleton Heating and Air and Nathan Thomas from Radio One are here to share the details. Call and use the promo code “Happy Anniversary” for $25 off your service from Middleton Heating and Air. – Source: WTVR.com.

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