Singer Buys Ashland Equipment

Singer Equipment Co. has acquired the business of Ashland Equipment, the Belcamp, Md., dealer. Ashland has a large contract equipment presence in its home state, Delaware, Virginia, and Washington, D.C., markets, serving healthcare, higher education, K-12, business and industry, and restaurant segments. Rod White will continue leading the new division, which will operate as Ashland Equipment, a division of Singer MD, LLC. He will report directly to Singer President and CEO Fred Singer. “With the addition of the outstanding contract equipment team at Ashland Equipment, the combined company will be able to provide solutions to our customers over a broader geography,” Singer says. “Singer Equipment strives to be the most responsive and knowledgeable foodservice equipment and supplies distributor in the country. Ashland Equipment is known for a similar focus on delivering outstanding service to its customers.” White agrees. “Our customers can expect the same service and attention to detail that has built our company and our customer relationships. This is a wonderful opportunity to recognize greater efficiencies and bring new opportunities to our customers and employees,” he says. “We are excited about the prospects that this partnership brings to our customers, expanding on our traditions of service, responsiveness and expertise.” Singer, based in Elverson, Pa., is the country’s sixth largest foodservice equipment dealer, reporting 2016 sales of $296 million for FER’s Top Dealers. It will mark a century in business next year. “Singer will continue to look for other strategic acquisitions that enhance our ability to service key markets and customers,” says Singer. – Source: FER.

Middleby Corporation Acquires Sveba Dahlen Group

Middleby Corporation acquires Sveba Dahlen Group, a leading manufacturer of high-quality bakery ovens, baking equipment and planetary mixers in Northern Europe. Sveba Dahlen was founded in 1948 and has a market leading position within professional high-quality baking ovens and baking equipment in Northern Europe. The company sells its products under three premium brands, Sveba Dahlen, Glimek and Bear. Middleby, founded in 1888, is a worldwide leading manufacturer of commercial kitchen and bakery equipment, residential appliances and systems for industrial processing and packaging. With more than 50 premium brands between the three business segments, Middleby develops, manufactures, distributes and sells its products worldwide. Middleby is headquartered in Elgin, Illinois (US) and has revenues of c. USD 2.3 billion. “Sveba Dahlen, Glimek and BEAR Varimixer are amazing Scandinavian brands that cater to a demanding segment of the Bakery industry; the company has shown steady organic growth and Middleby will empower the company’s management team to continue to grow and innovate” says Mark Salman, President of Middleby Bakery Group. “It has been an exciting journey at Sveba Dahlen and I believe Middleby as the new owner, will be able to provide us with great support, in particular in the continued international expansion while driving product innovation”, says Peter Larsson, CEO of Sveba Dahlen Group. Source: Sveba Dahlen/FER.

Dealerships Form Strategic Partnership

The continued evolution of the foodservice dealer community took an interesting twist last week with the owners of Massachusetts-based B&G Restaurant Supply forming a partnership with Florida-based Johnson-Lancaster and Associates. The two companies opened a joint office in Westwood, Mass., that will go to market as Eastern B&G Food Service Equipment and will ultimately include foodservice professionals from thee different dealerships. In addition to associates from B&G and Johnson-Lancaster, the new office will feature employees from Eastern Bakers Supply Company, a Boston-based foodservice equipment and supplies dealer that is in the process of exiting the business. “This was their succession plan — to have us take over their operations in a new place,” said Tricia Powers Dambrauskas, chief financial officer for B&G Restaurant Supply. Eastern’s headquarters is in an area considered prime real estate in downtown Boston, which served as an impetus to complete the deal. “We had talks in the past about possibly merging,” Dambrauskas said. “They had been getting offers on their building for years and had received one they did not want to refuse. They had to be out of their building by the end of the year and that kind of got the clock running. But they also wanted to have a plan for their customers, employees and inventory.” While not a complete asset sale, B&G bought some of Eastern’s inventory and hired Eastern’s employees. In fact, Eastern has spent the past six months partially serving its customers from B&G’s Pittsfield location. “Now, all of their salespeople are working from this location,” Dambrauskas said. At the same time it was in discussions with Eastern, B&G was preparing to open a joint office with Johnson-Lancaster. Earlier this year, Johnson-Lancaster had hired Noel Moreira to work in the Northeast. “He was looking for some office and warehouse space and he knew we were looking to get into the Boston area more,” Dambrauskas said. Once the dust settles, the new Eastern B&G office will have roughly 20 people, including 15 former Eastern employees. “A full staff of people came over trained and ready to go. So, it made the venture larger,” Dambrauskas said. The Westwood, Mass., location sits about 15 minutes outside of Boston. The 17,000-square-foot location includes space for offices, a warehouse, a showroom and a distribution center, Dambrauskas said. Come next summer Eastern B&G will take over an additional 20,000 square feet of warehouse space at the same location. B&G and Johnson-Lancaster use different go-to-market strategies, with the former being a strong regional player while the other is a more project-driven company with national aspirations. Despite these differences, the two companies’ business models do share a key common attribute. “Both of our companies have strong backgrounds in redistribution,” Dambrauskas said. “We are used to working with other dealerships to develop relationships that are good for all of us.” – Source: FES.

FAT Brands Enters into Agreement to Acquire Ponderosa and Bonanza Steakhouses

Brands Inc. has entered into an agreement to acquire Homestyle Dining LLC, parent company to the Ponderosa Steakhouse and Bonanza Steakhouse brands (“Ponderosa” and “Bonanza”). Once the $10.5 million deal has closed, Ponderosa and Bonanza will be added to the Company’s existing portfolio of brands that includes Fatburger, Buffalo’s Cafe and Buffalo’s Express. The Company also plans to develop a fast casual version of the Ponderosa concept. FAT Brands’ acquisition of the steakhouse brands feeds into the Form 1-A filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) relating to the proposed initial public offering of its common stock under the recently amended provisions of Regulation A+ pursuant to the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act of 2012, which can be viewed at FAT Brands intends to make history by being the first Reg A+ Issuer listed on NASDAQ to pay a dividend. Individuals interested in learning more about the FAT BrandsRegulation A+ investment opportunity can register an indication of interest by visiting “We are entering into our first major deal since the 2011 acquisition of Buffalo’s Cafe and subsequent creation of Buffalo’s Express in 2012,” said Andy Wiederhorn, CEO and President of FAT Brands. “Once closed, the acquisition of Ponderosa and Bonanza will be one of many milestones as we take FAT Brands public, acquire other restaurant concepts and expand our global reach.” – Source: Fresh. Authentic. Tasty. Brands/ Fatburger.

Harvey Relief Underway by Sweet Tomatoes, Souplantation Restaurant Chain

In the wake of the tragic Harvey deluge affecting so many of its customers in the Greater Houston area, Sweet Tomatoes, with four locations in Houston, and Souplantation in California, are offering the following relief efforts: Free meals to First Responders and other volunteers with appropriate IDs including police officers, firefighters, Texas National Guard members and FEMA personnel at all Houston area locations now through Sept. 15, 2017. A nationwide fundraiser for the *Houston Food Bank, the country’s largest food bank, supporting the vast population who are food insecure. At all Sweet Tomatoes and Souplantation restaurants nationwide, every $1.00 donated by our guests from Sept. 2-Sept. 15, 2017, the company will match up to a maximum of $100,000. On Labor Day, 50 cases of Sweet Tomatoes bottled water was donated to Bethel’s Heavenly Hands about eight miles from the restaurant chain’s flood-distressed Stafford location. “First Responders began dining with us frequently and we continue to welcome more,” said Houston-based Val Matthew, Director of Operations for Sweet Tomatoes in Texas & New Mexico. “We will continue to monitor Stafford shelters and will truck in more bottled water as needed.” Sweet Tomatoes is one of two brand names operated by Garden Fresh Restaurants, with 97 restaurant in 10 states. Souplantation is the restaurant brand in California and Sweet Tomatoes is the brand elsewhere.  – Source: Sweet Tomatoes & Souplantation.

FCPT Announces Agreement to Acquire 41 Restaurant Properties

Four Corners Property Trust, a real estate investment trust engaged in the ownership of high-quality, net-leased restaurant properties is pleased to announce the signing of a definitive agreement to acquire 41 restaurant properties from Washington Prime Group Inc. for a purchase price of approximately $67.2 million cash. The transaction is priced at a cap rate consistent with our investment thresholds and past transactions and is expected to close in two tranches. The first tranche is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2017, and the second tranche is expected to be completed in the first half of 2018, in each case, subject to due diligence and customary closing conditions. There is a separate individual lease for each property, and the leases have a current weighted average remaining term of approximately 8 years. In addition, well over half of the leases cover only the ground (i.e., the tenant built its own building with ownership reverting to the landlord upon lease expiry), so the current rents are lower than if the rent had been set to cover both the land and the cost of the building. The restaurant properties consist entirely of outparcels to WPG properties and are well located within highly trafficked retail corridors in Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia. Approximately 83% of the net operating income is from properties on out-lots to either open air or WPG’s “Tier One Enclosed” properties. None of the 41 restaurant properties or the adjacent WPG properties are currently encumbered by property-level debt. In addition, the portfolio includes 22 different restaurant brands, 15 of which would be new to FCPT’s current portfolio. The 22 brands in the transaction include: McDonald’s (5 restaurants), Buffalo Wild Wings (4), Olive Garden (4), Taco Bell (4), BJ’s Restaurant (3), Red Lobster (3), Chick-Fil-A (2), Starbucks (2), and one each of Arby’s, Burger King, Cheddar’s, Chili’s, Checkers, IHOP, Outback Steakhouse, Panda Express, Panera Bread, Rally’s Hamburgers, Steak N’ Shake, Texas Roadhouse, Wendy’s and White Castle. Of the 41 leases, 32 are with corporate operators and 9 are with franchisees. Bill Lenehan, CEO and Director of FCPT stated: “This transaction constitutes a unique opportunity for FCPT, offering diversity in geography, brand, lease maturity, operators and credit. The portfolio benefits from modest rents, a large majority of corporate operators and strong demographics and traffic counts. While many of the leases have a shorter lease term than those in our existing portfolio, we expect that the low rent-to-sales figures will increase the likelihood of renewal upon lease expiration.” Mr. Lenehan added, “FCPT has significant cash on hand and an undrawn corporate revolver to finance this acquisition, and FCPT would still be well under its stated financial leverage limits pro forma for this acquisition.” – Source: FCPT.

Daniel del Olmo Named CEO of SBE’s Restaurant Arm

Daniel del Olmo, a former executive with Applebee’s and IHOP parent DineEquity Inc., has been named CEO of high-end multi-concept operator Disruptive Restaurant Group, company officials said. Los Angeles-based Disruptive is the recently relaunched restaurant arm of hotel company SBE, parent to the SLS, Morgan and The Redbury hotel brands. The restaurant group includes a number of high-end concepts, including the José Andrés restaurants, The Bazaar in Beverly Hills, and Bazaar Mar in Miami, as well as Katsuya, and Cleo. As CEO of Disruptive, del Olmo will also lead the 26-unit Umami Burger chain — SBE is a majority shareholder — as well as the hotel group’s nightlife division. Del Olmo served most recently as president of Glendale, Calif.-based DineEquity’s international division, growing the Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar and IHOP chains overseas. He served previously as a senior vice president and managing director of Wyndham Hotel Group for Wyndham Worldwide, and he has worked with Amadeus Global Travel Distribution and Melia Hotels International. He joins SBE at a time of planned growth. The company is scheduled to open 19 restaurants and five lounges within the next six months, including a third unit for Cleo in L.A. and the brand’s first unit in New York. Recent openings by the group include Leynia and Doheny Room at Delano South Beach; new Katsuya locations in Dubai and in the Bahamas; and the fourth Umami Burger unit in New York. SBE’s portfolio includes 74 restaurants and 42 lounges around the world, and the restaurant brands generated more than $160 million in gross revenue in 2015, the company said. – Source: NRN.

Zoës Kitchen Announces Departure of Chief Operating Officer

Zoës Kitchen, a fast-casual Mediterranean restaurant group, today announced the departure of Chief Operating Officer, Jeremy Hartley, effective Monday, October 23, 2017. Hartley is leaving the company to focus on personal interests.  “We thank Jeremy for his work and contributions over the last four years and express our heartfelt appreciation for his commitment to growing the Zoës Kitchen brand. He has built a strong leadership team devoted to operational excellence that will continue to provide our guests with a differentiated dining experience. We wish Jeremy and his family all the best,” said Kevin Miles, CEO and President, Zoës Kitchen. Hartley joined Zoës Kitchen in 2013 and during his tenure he helped lead the company through a successful IPO, and the opening of more than 100 restaurant locations. He built a dedicated operational team with an emphasis on the company’s brand promise, core values and culture. “It’s been a privilege and an honor to see Zoës Kitchen through much growth and I’m profoundly grateful to have participated in the company’s success story,” said Hartley. “I leave Zoës with fond memories, great friends and colleagues and as a fan of this unique brand,” he added. – Source: Zoës Kitchen.

Corner Bakery Cafe Hires Chief Marketing Officer

Donna Josephson has joined Corner Bakery Cafe as senior vice-president and chief marketing officer. Ms. Josephson has more than 20 years of restaurant marketing experience in developing and implementing innovative brand strategies and marketing programs, most recently as CMO at Fazoli’s. Prior to Fazoli’s, Ms. Josephson was vice-president of global marketing and CMO. at McAlister’s Deli, and earlier she was south region marketing director at Wendy’s International. She also was executive director of field marketing at Applebee’s International, and marketing director at Chick-fil-A. She received both a bachelor’s of science degree and master’s degree in business management from Ball State University in Muncie, Ind. “Donna brings a wealth of experience in strategically building great brands,” said Frank Paci, chief executive officer of Corner Bakery Cafe. “She is a great addition to our team, and we look forward to her leadership in growing the Corner Bakery Cafe brand.” – Source: Food Business News.

Restaurants Can’t Make Servers Share Tips with Kitchen Staff

As restaurants across the country debate whether to oust tipping, things are getting a little more complicated for restaurateurs in several U.S. states. Earlier this week, California’s 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a previous 2011 ruling that bans restaurants from making servers and bartenders share their tips with back of the house employees, reports the LA Times. Such tip-pooling practices are sometimes used to even out the disparity of pay between the front of house staff, who typically earn much higher wages due to tips, and cooks and dishwashers, who only take home a flat hourly rate. The Times notes that this probably won’t have a huge impact on the current state of things in California, as most of the state’s restaurants do not participate in this practice since it’s “a legal gray area.” But the ruling also applies to six other states where service employees earn the full state minimum, as opposed to the lower tipped minimum, in addition to gratuities — namely Alaska, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, Oregon and Washington. (The lack of a separate, lower minimum wage for tipped workers in those states can further increase the disparity between front of the house and back of the house pay.) The ruling was spurred by lawsuits from workers in several states, including dealers at Las Vegas’s Wynn casino who said management “was taking their tips to share with other workers.” But the service industry isn’t taking this one lying down: According to Nation’s Restaurant News, some industry groups such as the Washington Restaurant Association are planning to appeal the court’s decision, while warning its members that they may “face some legal risk if they did not change the tip pool policies” currently in place. The situation adds fuel to the current debate that’s raging over how businesses should pay their employees in the face of rising minimum wages and healthcare costs. – Source: Eater/Vox Media

Best Practices When Working with a Temporary Kitchen

Sometimes during a foodservice renovation project, a temporary kitchen becomes a necessity when an operator can’t suspend service entirely. Kip Serfozo, managing director of Camacho USA, an Atlanta-based foodservice design firm, has a few tips that can make any temporary structure work more efficiently. As a starting point, think about “the loading dock and how things are going to enter and exit the structure from a food and materials standpoint,” Serfozo says. He recommends setting up the temporary structure more “like a typical building, where you’ve got a loading dock, and the compactor and waste areas in a good adjacency to the building. And because you’re moving so much food in and out, safety is a big issue. Make sure you’re not just throwing up some wood steps.” “Understand how you’re going to clean the facility,” he says. “Make sure you’ve got all the [cleaning] equipment for the front of house and back of house planned out, and where that’s going to be stored.” Estimating the size of the facility accurately is critical for success. “You don’t want to underestimate the amount of space you need for the serving area or seating, or for queuing,” Serfozo says. “I think most people tend to undersize the facility and that can be a big problem.”To guarantee the success of a temporary facility, buy-in from all parties is critical. Serfozo suggests “getting the kitchen [crew] involved early and getting the whole team to the table. Sometimes projects don’t start out with all the stakeholders involved at the beginning, and that’s when things get off kilter.” – Source: FES.

New Lightweight Beverage End from Crown Helps Beverage Brands Enhance Sustainability Credentials

A new generation of lightweight SuperEnd® beverage ends from CROWN Asia Pacific, a division of Crown Holdings, Inc., reduce metal use by over 10% when compared to conventional 202 diameter (52mm) ends. The Interchangeable SuperEnd® beverage end is compatible with seamer tooling used with other lightweight ends on the market.  The lightweight nature of the ends means less aluminum is required for the manufacturing process, decreasing the amount of energy required during distribution. In addition, like all metal packaging, the ends are 100% recyclable and infinitely recylable, making aluminum a permanent resource that underpins the circular economy, where materials can be used again and again with no loss in quality or physical properties. The innovation advances the revolutionary SuperEnd® beverage end technology by further reducing metal use. Since the technology’s launch in 2000, more than 580 billion SuperEnd® beverage ends have been produced by Crown and its licensees, saving over 150,000 metric tons of aluminum, over 2,550 metric tons of coatings and over 1,160,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases. “Innovation and sustainability have served as the backbone of Crown’s philosophy since we were founded 125 years ago,” said Robert Bourque, President of CROWN Asia Pacific. “We are excited to advance the widely adopted SuperEnd® beverage end technology platform even further and to support our customers in their sustainability journeys.” The new Interchangeable SuperEnd® beverage end is commercially available to beverage manufacturers in the Asia Pacific region.  Source: Crown Holdings, Inc.

Heritage Announces Acquisition of Satellite Vending

New Heritage Capital is pleased to announce that its portfolio company Continental Services has acquired Satellite Vending Company, a provider of vending, micro-market and office coffee services in the Detroit market. Satellite represents the first add-on acquisition for Continental, further strengthening its position as Michigan’s largest food services company. Continental provides a wide range of custom dining, refreshment, and event services for more than 700 small and medium-sized businesses, blue-chip corporations, colleges, universities, business and industrial sites, and hospitals and medical centers. The Company’s custom-tailored services range from on-site corporate cafés, grab-and-go markets and traditional vending, to off-premise catering and event services. Continental’s team is passionate about creating engaging experiences with fresh, handcrafted food, helping the company earn a spot on Food Management magazine’s FM 50 2017 ranking of the top 50 largest noncommercial contract dining management companies in the U.S. “Satellite Vending is a perfect complement to Continental’s refreshment services operations,” said Steve LaPorte, President of Continental’s Refreshment Services Division. “Joining forces with Satellite also enhances our ability to reach more customers with our diverse on-the-go refreshment service options.” Melissa Barry, Partner of Heritage, added, “The acquisition of Satellite represents the first of many potential add-on acquisitions for Continental. We look forward to continuing to support the Company as they work towards further growth and geographic expansion.” – Source:  New Heritage Capital

Menasha Corporation Announces Acquisition of Ari Packaging

Menasha Corporation announces that it has acquired ARI Packaging of Alsip, Illinois. The business will operate as part of Menasha Packaging Company, a subsidiary of Menasha Corporation; terms of the transaction were not disclosed. ARI Packaging is a supplier of contract packaging and fulfillment services for merchandising packaging and displays used by consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies. Founded in 2000, the company employs 97 and operates five facilities in three states: Illinois, Virginia, and California. “We’re excited to have ARI Packaging on our team, and we welcome the expanded services we can offer customers, particularly in the e-commerce arena,” said Mike Waite, president of Menasha Packaging Company. “ARI’s capabilities align with Menasha Packaging’s full range of packaging products and related services that help our customers promote, brand and sell their goods online or in a retail store.” – Source: Menasha Corporation.

Refine your Restaurant’s Food Safety Training

Restaurant employees may have different roles – hosts, servers, managers, food handlers and more – but every team member should be trained about food safety. Create clear, thorough training procedures for new and existing restaurant employees, so there’s never a question regarding who’s in the know about food safety measures. To help prevent the spread of bacteria and viruses, engrain the importance of thorough cleaning and sanitizing procedures with your restaurant staff. Here are three implementation tips: Develop a food safety risk mitigation plan. Practice active managerial control throughout the flow of food. This includes anticipating potential foodborne illness risk factors and then controlling or eliminating them, which entails identifying risks, monitoring them, providing corrective action as needed, and management oversight. Build a master cleaning and sanitizing schedule. Look at key timeframes for your restaurant. When do employees’ shifts start?  When are peak times for your customer base? Where are your “hot spots,” or potential contamination areas? This review will allow you to determine your restaurant’s typical cleaning and sanitizing frequency and, ultimately, which employees should carry out these tasks. Make your scheduling document accessible and easy for employees to understand. Demonstrate cleaning and sanitizing procedures. During employee training, show staff how to clean and sanitize food contact surfaces. Also show staff any buckets, towels or other equipment you’ve designated for cleaning and sanitizing purposes; these items should never come into contact with food, due to contamination threats. Walk through how to clean and sanitize these items and how to dispose of any associated waste, like dirty water. Share how they can verify sanitizer concentration levels, according to manufacturers’ instructions. Source: This content was provided by National Food Safety Month sponsor Tork.

Diversey Becomes Standalone Company upon Completion of Its Acquisition by Bain Capital

Diversey, one of the leading hygiene and cleaning solutions companies, announced that the purchase of the business by Bain Capital Private Equity from Sealed Air Corporation is complete. The transaction was previously announced on March 27, 2017. Diversey will now be a standalone company that will include the Diversey Care division of Sealed Air as well as the food hygiene solution business that was part of its Food Care division. Diversey integrates chemicals, floor care machines, tools and equipment, with a wide range of technology based value-added services, food safety services and water and energy management. Dr. Ilham Kadri, appointed CEO of Diversey upon completion of the sale, commented: “As an independent business, we will have the ability to be smarter and more agile than ever before as we introduce enhanced technology and innovation. As we work together with our formidable new ownership, our customers will be our singular focus.” Ken Hanau, a managing director at Bain Capital Private Equity said: “We are excited to invest in expanding Diversey’s long track record of leadership and innovation in the hygiene and cleaning solutions market to help its customers minimize their risks, be more efficient and more productive, and protect their brand integrity.” Diversey serves customers in the hospitality, healthcare, food and beverage, food service, retail and facility management sectors. Diversey’s differentiated products, deep industry experience, unrivalled employee engagement, and evolving digital capabilities put it in a unique position to provide customers with unparalleled solutions to improve hygiene, sustainability and operating efficiency of their businesses. – Source: Bain Capital Private Equity/Diversey

Practicing Food Safety? Here are 5 Things to Know

As National Food Safety Month continues, engaging your employees in best practices is important to them, your customers’ health and the success of your business. Here are five tips every restaurant operator should know: Control risks and hazards through the flow of food. The goal remains the same — keep customers safe. To accomplish this, the CDC advises eliminating these biggest risk factors: Purchasing food from unsafe sources; Failing to cook food correctly; Holding food at incorrect temperatures ; Using contaminated equipment; Practicing poor personal hygiene Establish a strong food safety culture. Two of the best ways are to model behavior and establish reinforcement by leadership. When employees see management practicing proper food safety procedures, they witness how important having those protocols are. Fortify training messaging. To do this, use consistent terminology and, when possible, teach employees in their native languages. Visual aids and participatory exercises also impact the learning process. Encourage employees to ask questions. If they don’t understand a concept or procedure, open communication lines and start dialogue with them. Make it known that senior leadership is committed to helping them understand and that they expect total and satisfactory implementation. Training empowers your employees. The more training your work staff receives, the more they’ll feel valued and act as brand ambassadors for your business. – Source: The National Restaurant Association.


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