To Our Loyal Followers,

Here it is the middle of October and my World Series Champion Cubs (never gets old until they are dethroned) are still in the running for a 2peat!! What a fall!!

In real news, according to the Institute for Supply Management, factory expansion had the highest increase since 2004. New orders increased 4.3%, employment rose almost 2% and prepaid advance orders are the highest since 2011. All positive signs. The underlining basis for these increases partly reflects hurricanes Harvey and Irma. I am sure the raging fires in Northern California will also be reflected in the next reporting. Know that those of you affected by these tragedies are still in our thoughts and prayers and we hope for a quicker than anticipated recovery. Good Luck!!

To catch up on the latest foodservice news, please enjoy the latest edition of American Recruiters Global Foodservice News. It again is loaded with up to the minute relevant news which helps our industry stay ahead of the curve. Enjoy the read!

Craig Wilson
American Recruiters
318 W. Adams St. Suite 111, Chicago, IL 60606
Office: 312-780-7510
Our Mission: “To be the highest quality provider of human capital for our clients.”


Carissa Ganelli has Advanced to the Position of Chief Digital Officer

Carissa Ganelli has advanced to the position of chief digital officer at Subway restaurants. She joined the company in 2016 as vice-president of marketing technology and over the past year has played a role in advancing the brand’s digital strategy, said Suzanne Greco, president and chief executive officer of Subway.

“Carissa’s strong commitment to Subway and her digital expertise make her a great fit for leading our digital team and taking them to the next level,” Ms. Greco said. “She is an innovative, dynamic leader with a track record for delivering breakthrough initiatives and implementing digital strategies and technologies.” Ms. Ganelli brings more than 20 years of digital experience to the role, having previously served as c.e.o. and founder of LightningBuy, a mobile commerce platform. She also has held digital marketing and strategy positions with Digitas, and Coopers & Lybrand Consulting.

Recent digital efforts at Subway have included the introduction of a new Subway App, with convenient options for ordering and pick-up, and restaurant upgrades, including self-ordering kiosks, digital menu boards, contactless payment options and other technologies. “I’m excited to be in this new role as the company continues to set the standard for digital innovation,” Ms. Ganelli said. “We are committed to investing in the best technology and the right strategy to connect our customers to the delicious food they have always loved.”  — Source: Food Business News.

Amira Nature Foods Ltd. Announces Appointment of New Independent Director

Amira Nature Foods Ltd.  a leading global provider of branded, packaged Indian specialty rice, announced the appointment of Robert Louis Wagman as an independent director subject to approval at the Company’s Annual Meeting of Shareholders to be held on October 23, 2017. “On behalf of the Company, I want to welcome Mr. Wagman to the Amira team,” said Karan A. Chanana, Amira’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “I am honored to join the Board of Directors at Amira. The Company is a proven leader in their industry and I look forward to working with Karan and his management team,” said Robert Wagman. Mr. Wagman was the President and Chief Executive Officer of LKQ Corporation (“LKQ”), a Fortune 500 corporation listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange, from January of 2011 through June of 2017. As its Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Wagman was responsible for the oversight of LKQ’s operations. Source: Amira Nature Foods.

Grant Thornton Taps Robert Allen to Lead Food and Beverage Sector|

Grant Thornton LLP has named Robert Allen the new Food and Beverage sector leader in its Consumer and Industrial Products industry practice. In this role, Allen will oversee delivery of the firm’s audit, tax and advisory services to food and beverage clients. In addition, he will continue to serve as a principal in Grant Thornton’s Technology Solutions practice. Allen is based in Chicago and replaces Dexter Manning, who retired earlier this year. Allen was a partner and leader of MarketSphere Consulting’s Oracle business until its 2013 acquisition by Grant Thornton. Before his work in consulting, Allen held a variety of roles in the food and beverage industry, focused on plant management, manufacturing, warehousing and distribution, quality, scheduling, procurement and industrial engineering. “Bob is a results-driven, growth-oriented leader with a proven track record in positioning organizations to achieve operational excellence,” said Jeff French, national managing partner of Consumer and Industrial Products for Grant Thornton. “Food and beverage companies are grappling with changing consumer preferences and how best to incorporate advanced technology into their operations, to name just a few trends. Bob’s industry experience, along with his technology background, will be assets to the growth ambitions and success of our food and beverage clients.” Allen received a bachelor’s degree in biology and a master’s degree in management from Purdue University. He is a member of the Association for Operations Management, the American Society for Quality, Oracle Applications User Group and North Central Oracle Applications User Group. – Source: Grant Thornton LLP.

Troy Bader to Succeed John Gainor as President and Chief Executive Officer of International Dairy Queen, Inc.

International Dairy Queen, Inc., a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. and long-time leader in the quick-service restaurant industry, announced that effective Dec. 31, 2017, current President and Chief Executive Officer, John Gainor, will retire. Current Chief Operating Officer, Troy Bader, will assume the role of IDQ President and CEO on Jan. 1, 2018. Gainor joined IDQ in 2003 as Chief Supply Chain Officer. He was promoted to President and CEO in 2008. In his nearly 10 years as IDQ President and CEO, Gainor continued to modernize the iconic 77- year-old brand. Under his leadership, the company has focused on improving the Dairy Queen®fan experience in order to drive system sales and profitability resulting in record reinvestment in facilities, as well as continued world-wide new store development. Berkshire Hathaway Chief Executive Officer and Chairman, Warren Buffett stated, “John has done everything I hoped for – and more – in accelerating IDQ’s growth in the U.S. and internationally. I thank him for both that and for the development of an outstanding successor, Troy Bader.” IDQ places significant value on the active process of talent development and succession planning. With this in mind, Gainor recommended Bader to assume the role of IDQ President and CEO to Warren Buffett. Gainor stated, “I have worked with Troy for most of his time at IDQ. His love of the brand, commitment to franchisee success, knowledge of the vendor community and concern for all IDQ employees is evident every day. I am confident he will continue to lead the system toward positive growth and ongoing success.”

Bader currently serves as COO for IDQ in the U.S. and Canada. He is responsible for leading all IDQ core functions for the U.S. and Canadian businesses, including marketing, operations, franchise development and supply chain as well as our various concept evolution initiatives. Bader joined the company in 2001. Prior to accepting the role of COO in 2011, he served in various executive leadership positions with the company. “IDQ is a strong company with a history of great leadership,” said Bader. “I am honored to be entrusted to lead IDQ and to continue to represent the iconic Dairy Queen brand. I look forward to working with our world-wide team of dedicated employees, franchisees and vendors to grow the brand even further through the delivery of exceptional products, great service and memorable experiences for our fans throughout the world.” – Source: International Dairy Queen Inc.

How RxBar Became a $600 Million Target

Four years ago, Peter Rahal was making protein bars in his parents’ Glen Ellyn kitchen. Today he agreed to sell his company, Chicago Bar Company, to Kellogg for $600 million. “We couldn’t have dreamed of this opportunity,” says Rahal, 31, who co-founded the company that makes the RXBar—made from only eggs, dates, nuts—with his childhood friend, Jared Smith. “We started with $10,000 dollars. We didn’t go to investors. We just f—ing did it.” Two other members of RXBar’s senior staff, including chief sales officer Sam McBride and sales manager Jessie Stewart, also grew up with Rahal and Smith in the western suburbs. They’ve been close friends since their days at Glen Ellyn’s Benjamin Franklin Elementary School and continued on together to high school at Glenbard West. After upgrading from his parents’ kitchen to their basement, Rahal and Smith moved to a commercial space a 242 N. Western Ave. in April 2013. The rest of the year “was a brutal survival period where we learned how to scale,” Rahal recalls. The early days were a struggle “because one, you’re physically making the product; two, you’re not paying yourself anything; and three, your product isn’t cool yet so you don’t have a sense of accomplishment.” They decided to sell online only, after realizing, “Oh my God, there’s too many bars, we can’t get into Whole Foods,” and quickly gained traction. (Today, RXBars are distributed nationally at Whole Foods, Target and other major retailers.) By summer 2014, Rahal and Smith had found partners to help commercialize the business, which allowed them to stop making the bars by hand and begin hiring staff. The company produced about 1.5 million bars that year.

A turning point came in early 2016, when the company redesigned its packaging. The new labels focused on the short, real-food ingredient list and “no B.S.” mantra. “We made the original packaging on PowerPoint, so once we sold some bars we were self-aware enough to realize, ‘Hey, our baby’s ugly,'” says Rahal. “The redesign really changed the business.” This year, RXBar is on track to sell a projected 120 million bars, creating $100 million in revenue. The company, which now counts 75 employees, will remain based in Chicago after the deal with Battle Creek, Mich.-based Kellogg closes, likely by the end of the year. Rahal will remain CEO, reporting to Deanie Elsner, who leads the food giant’s U.S. snacks business. Rahal says he’s looking to hire 40 people and will move headquarters next spring to a new nine-story building at 412 N. Wells in River North. Kellogg’s resources will allow RXBar to keep growing rapidly. The brand, which now has 11 flavors, will continue to expand its offerings and will introduce products beyond bars, Rahal says. With RXBar, Kellogg is acquiring a business that appeals to younger customers and has a strong presence online, CEO Steve Cahillane, who took the job at the breakfast-cereal giant this week, said in a statement. “RXBar is perfectly positioned to perform well against future food trends,” he said. “As the fastest growing nutrition bar brand in the U.S., RXBar has built an incredible business as a clean-label, high-protein food,” a Kellogg spokesman wrote in an email to Crain’s. “RXBar is an excellent strategic fit for Kellogg and helps advance one of (our) goals… to become a global snacking powerhouse.” – Crain’s Chicago Business.

Campbell Appoints Francisco Fraga Chief Technology and Information Officer

Campbell Soup Company appointed Francisco Fraga Vice President and Chief Technology and Information Officer. In this role, Fraga will oversee Global Information Technology (IT) for Campbell, building a world-class IT function that delivers value to the business. Fraga reports to Bethmara Kessler, Senior Vice President, Integrated Global Services.

“The pace of change in our digital world is accelerating and creating opportunity,” said Kessler. “Technology is one of the keys to help differentiate Campbell in a rapidly evolving food industry. Francisco is a thought-leader with a proven track record of converting digital complexity into strategy. His relentless focus will drive IT innovation and create new employee, customer and consumer experiences designed to fuel growth.” Fraga, 44, joins Campbell from The Procter & Gamble Company (P&G), where he spent 21 years in various leadership roles. Most recently, he led enterprise-wide IT services as IT Global Chief Technology Officer. Additionally, he supported P&G’s Feminine Care category as IT Functional Leader. While at P&G, Fraga led the development and execution of the enterprise-wide IT architecture and master plan. He also led the transformation of P&G’s supply chain network in the U.S. by building digital capabilities. Fraga graduated from Simon Bolivar University in Venezuela with a Bachelor of Science in computer engineering. – Source: Campbell Soup Company.

Jackson Add Director of Consultant Services, Sheila Palinkas, to Sales Team

As Director of Consultant Services, Sheila will focus on the Foodservice Consultant community to increase awareness and gain acceptance of Jackson Warewashing products. She will work with Foodservice Consultants, coordinating and collaborating with Consultants to ensure confidence in products, service and operation. Sheila brings a wealth of experience from her tenure working on the foodservice equipment manufacturing side of the industry. She was most recently with the foodservice facilities design firm LMS Development providing consulting and design services to foodservice operators. Additionally she has more than 10 years of service in both Sales and Operations with a foodservice equipment dealership. Combining her background of dealer, end-user, manufacturer and consultant services, Sheila is in a unique position to completely understand the entire process from design to operation. – Source: Jackson Warewashing.

Catering Equipment Center Opens In UK

The National Catering Equipment Centre in Bristol debuted in September as a showcase for a broad spectrum of catering equipment and products from more than 40 suppliers. The specialized facility welcomes industry professionals and catering enthusiasts to come and share ideas, learn more about the products, and get advice from the center’s on-hand team of brand experts. The permanent exhibition space provides visitors the opportunity to see, touch, view and test a wide range of equipment from tableware to combi ovens, and utilize a high-tech demonstration kitchen and training facility. Glenn Roberts, chairman of the Catering Equipment Suppliers Association, cut the ribbon last month. “By allowing customers to try equipment before they buy it, the NCEC will provide a real service to both operators and the supply chain,” he says. “It also has the potential to be a valuable educational venue, providing ‘hands on’ experience to back up knowledge gained in training schemes such as CESA’s CFSP and Principles of Foodservice programs,” Roberts added. “It’s a very welcome initiative.” – Source: FER.

Buffett Bets Big on Pilot Flying J Truck Stops, Buys Majority Stake

Warren Buffett’s company is acquiring a major stake in Pilot Flying J truck stops and it will become a majority owner within about five years. The ubiquitous truck stops, 750 of them in 44 states and Canada, make up the 15th largest private company in the U.S., according to Forbes, with revenue of more than $20 billion per year. Berkshire Hathaway and Pilot Travel Centers announced the deal Tuesday morning.

Initially, Berkshire will buy 38.6 percent of the company that runs 750 truck stops across 44 states and Canada and employs 27,000, but in 2023 that will increase to 80 percent. Financial terms weren’t disclosed, so it wasn’t immediately clear how much of Berkshire’s roughly $100 billion in cash will be used. Pilot Flying J, which is run by Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam, has been under scrutiny in recent years because of a diesel fuel rebate scam that led to criminal charges against several executives. The Knoxville, Tennessee, company paid an $85 million settlement with some of the defrauded customers as well as a $92 million penalty to the government. Haslam said Berkshire is a good fit for his family business. “Our company has been in business almost 60 years, and Warren is the ultimate long-term investor,” Haslam said. “So between his long-term mentality, the fact that he lets the businesses he buys alone to run the business, and of course the fact that he has an almost unlimited source of capital — all those things were appealing to Pilot Flying J.” Berkshire owns Clayton Homes, also based in Knoxville, and its CEO Kevin Clayton is close friends with Haslam, which eased negotiations between the two sides. As part of the deal the Haslam family will reduce its stake to 20 percent and another minority owner will sell by 2023. Haslam said Berkshire’s financial resources will help the company grow by building more locations or possibly acquiring competitors.

Berkshire is an eclectic conglomerate that owns more than 90 businesses, including Geico insurance, BNSF railroad, and several utilities and manufacturers. When the U.S. economy expands, Buffett said Pilot Flying J will provide Berkshire with an additional revenue stream. “Most of our businesses are a bet on the United States,” Buffett said. And Pilot Flying J fits that model well. “It fuels America when you get right down to it. You can look at these highways as the arteries of prosperity in the United States,” Buffett said. Besides owning companies, Omaha, Nebraska-based Berkshire holds major investments in Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Apple and other well-known companies. – Source: The Chicago Tribune.

Bain Capital Private Equity Makes Offer for Zenith Hygiene Group plc

Bain Capital Private Equity, a leading global private investment firm, announced it has, through its investment in Diversey, reached agreement on the terms of a recommended final* cash offer for Zenith Hygiene Group plc, a UK manufacturer of cleaning and hygiene chemicals and related products. Based in Hertfordshire, Zenith Hygiene offers a wide, high quality range of products serving customers in the healthcare, food service, hospitality, leisure and facilities management, pharmaceutical, and food and beverage processing industries. The company employs more than 500 people and generated net sales of £67M in the fiscal year ending February 2017. Bain Capital completed the acquisition of Diversey from Sealed Air in September 2017.

Diversey is a global supplier of hygiene and cleaning solutions that 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. Globally, Diversey employs approximately 8,600 people and generated net sales of approximately $2.6 billion in 2016. Bain Capital has received irrevocable undertakings representing 91.01 per cent of A shares and 100 per cent of the C shares of Zenith Hygiene in issue as of the close of business on 6 October 2017. Zenith Hygiene’s directors, consider the offer to be fair and reasonable and intend to unanimously recommend that Zenith Hygiene Shareholder accept it. The acquisition will be funded with cash from Diversey’s balance sheet. Completion is anticipated to take place during Q1 of 2018, subject to customary anti-trust clearance. “We are committed to growing Diversey’s geographic reach and the addition of Zenith Hygiene would be a first valuable step towards creating a world-class provider of cleaning and hygiene solutions,” said Michel Plantevin, a Managing Director of Bain Capital Private Equity. “We are excited to join Diversey and be part of a group benefiting from Bain Capital’s integrated global platform and bold growth plans for Diversey,” said Ringo Francis, CEO of Zenith Hygiene Group plc. “During the past 20 years, we have successfully grown the business by developing a comprehensive product offering in the UK and Ireland. We believe that all customers will benefit from the combination of both companies’ innovations and application expertise.” “I am excited by the opportunity to build Diversey’s local scale in the UK and Ireland with the acquisition of Zenith Hygiene” said Dr. Ilham Kadri, President and Chief Executive Officer of Diversey. “This combination, with the backing of Bain Capital, would create significant scale and help us serve a broader base of customers in key markets around the world.” * the final offers will be final and will not be increased except that the bidding company for Bain Capital Private Equity reserves the right to increase the amount of the total consideration if there is an announcement, on or after the date hereof, of an offer or a possible offer for Zenith by a third party offeror or potential offeror. – Source: Diversey.

Food Waste in the USA

An estimated 133 billion pounds of food from stores, restaurants and homes was wasted in 2010, according to the USDA. The amount of uneaten food from homes and restaurants in 2008 was valued at $390 per consumer. Most food that’s thrown away ends up in landfills, where it can have negative environmental impacts. Wasted food also can hurt a restaurant’s bottom line. The NRA, with the Food Marketing Institute and the Grocery Manufacturers Association, has taken a leadership role in the Food Waste Reduction Alliance, a cross-industry effort by restaurateurs, supermarkets, grocery stores and grocery manufacturers to define opportunities to reduce food waste. The organization aims to: Reduce the amount of food waste; Increase donations of safe, nutritious food to those in need; Recycle unavoidable food waste, diverting it from landfills.

As part of its role in the FWRA, the NRA recently succeeded in getting Congress and the White House to encourage more food donation by permanently extending the enhanced tax deduction for food donations by smaller corporations. – Source: NRA.

All About Restaurant Sanitation

Restaurants have a natural challenge that just comes with the territory: cleanliness and food safety. It seems not a day goes by without another horror story in the news about contaminated food products. Restaurants get routinely shut down by the Health Department. Even if things don’t get that bad for your business, all it takes is for a delivery person to see a puddle of muck on the floor in your kitchen for a bad word-of-mouth campaign to start circulating about your establishment.

The media reports cases of food poisoning on a daily basis in spite of the fact that the fast food business is flourishing. It seems fast food has become the American way and the public will go blindly forth ordering with the expectation that the food has been prepared in sanitary conditions. From bug problems to breeding bacteria, fast food restaurants especially have countless issues behind their counters. The rules are put into place and enforced by management, inspectors, the Food and Drug Administration, and so forth, are there as the minimum defense, and just the beginning. If you are the manager, awareness on your part isn’t enough; you have to be vigilant in ensuring that every employee knows and follows the rules to the letter. One of the most common causes of food poisoning is bacteria transfer, which is due to food not being properly cooked or kept at the proper temperature. With such a demand for fast food, it is often all too easy for the employees to compromise their duties for the sake of saving time, and before they know it, they’ve served a meal that carries a nasty risk of food poisoning. The rules should be followed every time, not some of the time, as is unfortunately sometimes the case. It is up to the management to see that the employees are properly doing their job, and, of course, effective management makes all of the difference in this endeavor. Close supervision is a necessity to help ensure that the work is being performed properly.

Employees must care about their job and in return feel valued so that they will be more willing to perform their responsibilities correctly. Too often, factors like low pay, long hours, and little recognition makes employees more likely to burn out and do less than what is expected of them. Also, improper training of staff leads to improper fulfillment of job duties. Unclean areas like counters or tables where food has been prepared can also spread bacteria and cause food poisoning. That is why it is important for employees to clean up after themselves and make sure that their work space is kept fastidiously clean. Also, food containers that haven’t been properly washed and stock that hasn’t been properly rotated are havens for bacteria. Employees who don’t wash their hands before returning to their work station can unknowingly spread bacteria and other diseases. That is why it is of the utmost importance that employees wash their hands and also why every fast food restaurant should have at least one sink designated for hand washing only, with properly posted instructions, and including the necessary soap, paper towels. Wearing gloves when in contact with food helps as added protection, but even gloves can touch unclean surfaces just like hands can, so they need to be changed after coming into contact with unsanitary surfaces and items.

Even pests can present a challenge to cleanliness in fast food working environments, so it is important that restaurants are regularly inspected and treated for pests. No one wants an unwelcome visitor in their food, but it does happen more than we’d like to think. If an employee witnesses any pest making contact with the food, the entire amount of food in the container should be discarded.

Hair nets are a good idea for keeping stray hairs and dander out of food. Hats are more often the rule, but less effective in preventing hairs and dander from getting into the food. Wearing long hair tied back in a ponytail or braid is a must. And while we’re at it, today’s generation does need to be made aware that the extreme fashion statements are out of place in a professional kitchen. There are many work environments where dreadlocks, mohawks, and afros present no problem, but the kitchen is not one of them. A fast food kitchen is set up to be convenient, but not always easy to clean. Every establishment should go above and beyond the norm to ensure that food is properly handled. Customers, before ordering their next meal at your restaurant, are these days taking a close look at the employees and the environment if they can. They may not be able to spot what goes on behind the scenes, but they trust their instincts for what they are able to observe. This is one more reason why it’s better not to understaff.

Ensure that your expectations of your employees are reasonable, and hold regular training programs. Even taking a few hours out of a day between meal times to conduct a food safety drill, involving the whole team, will go a long way to promoting healthy practices in your kitchen. Dropping in for a spot check every now and then will also be effective. To prevent your employees from resenting your surprise inspection, show up ready to help out for an hour or so during the shift. You will have an opportunity to set a good example, as well as boost morale by showing the staff that you can work beside them as equals. – Source: Food Editorial Co.

Imperial Dade Announces the Acquisition of Central Paper

Imperial Dade has completed the acquisition of Central Paper Products Co., Inc. The transaction represents the twelfth acquisition for Imperial Dade, a leading national distributor of disposable food service and janitorial supplies, under the leadership of Robert and Jason Tillis, CEO and President of Imperial Dade, respectively. Based in Manchester, NH, and founded in 1948, Central Paper is a distributor of paper, plastic, janitorial and office products serving Northern New England markets in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Vermont, and Maine. Central Paper was one of the founding members of Network Services in 1968. For Imperial Dade, the acquisition of Central Paper represents a strategic initiative to further penetrate the New England region and expand its footprint. “Central Paper’s exceptional reputation in the industry, dedicated customer service, and strong community presence align tremendously well with the Imperial Dade platform,” said Robert Tillis. “We enthusiastically welcome the Central Paper team members to Imperial Dade and look forward to working together to grow the business further.” Matt Kfoury, President of Central Paper, said, “The Kfoury family has built a lasting legacy in Central Paper over the past 70 years. We are confident this legacy will continue under the leadership of Imperial Dade. My brother Fred, my sister Chris and I are excited and looking forward to expanding and growing the business in New England.” “Our vision is to expand our reach both through organic growth and strategic acquisitions of market leading companies and operators,” said Jason Tillis. “The acquisition of Central Paper is another step in Imperial Dade’s strategy to establish our position as the nation’s premier provider of foodservice disposables, paper products, and janitorial supplies.” – Source: Imperial Dade.

Manufacturing in U.S. Expands at a Fast Pace

American manufacturing expanded last month at the fastest pace in 13 years, powered by robust order growth and healthy production, figures from the Institute for Supply Management showed. Factory index climbed to 60.8 (est. 58.1), the highest since May 2004, from 58.8; readings above 50 indicate expansion; Measure of new orders increased to 64.6, the strongest since February, from 60.3; Employment gauge rose to 60.3, the best reading in more than six years, from 59.9; Index of prices paid advanced to 71.5, the highest since May 2011, from 62. The strength of the advances in the ISM’s gauges partly reflects impacts from hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Harvey forced the shutdowns of Houston-area refineries and chemical plants. Many retail establishments, including car dealerships, were flooded in the storms and merchandise was destroyed. Timothy Fiore, the ISM survey committee chairman, said on a conference call that the most direct impact from the storms was in the supplier deliveries index, indicating slower deliveries; that gauge factors into the overall index. Seventeen of 18 industries reported growth in September; only furniture makers showed contraction, according to ISM. While increased factory bookings and production may also reflect a bounce-back from the storm, the nation’s producers had already been on firmer footing because of improving global demand and an increase in U.S. capital spending. The ISM also reported a pickup in its measure of exports as producers benefit from a U.S. dollar that’s weakened this year, making American-made goods more attractive to overseas purchasers. Orders will probably remain strong in coming months as a gauge of customer inventories held close to a six-year low. What’s more, the ISM’s order backlogs index crept up to the highest level since April 2011, helping explain why more factories are stepping up hiring. – Source: Bloomberg.

SIG TO Showcase Good to Go’ Solutions and Innovations at the CBST in Shanghai

SIG, one of the world’s leading solution providers for the food and beverage industry, will be the largest exhibitor at the China International Beverage Exhibition on Science and Technology (CBST 2017) in Shanghai from 22nd to 24th November. At the trade fair booth the company will be presenting innovative solutions along SIG’s three main value-adding thrusts of Product Innovation & Differentiation, Smart Factory and Connected Pack. The guiding theme “Good to go” sets the stage for market-ready innovations that are ideally suited to meet current consumer and industry trends – above all mobility, healthstyle and individualization. The CBST is the only professional exhibition in China that is themed at beverage industry technology. It is held by China Beverage Industry Association, an authorized organization in the industry. With rapid development of the 7 exhibitions in the last 14 years, it has received compliment and increased popularity globally. Visitors will be able to actually see and feel the decisive differences SIG offers customers with its versatile packaging and product innovations and a broad portfolio of advanced automation, processing, service, smart factory and connected pack solutions. – Source: World Press on Line.

Bite Squad Completes Acquisition and Integration of 17 Restaurant Delivery Services, Expanding National Footprint

Bite Squad, an online and mobile food ordering and delivery service, announced it has completed the acquisition and integration of 17 local restaurant delivery companies. These acquisitions represent Bite Squad’s strategy to consolidate the fragmented restaurant delivery service industry and expand the company’s national footprint to more than 30 metropolitan areas across the United States. Aloha2Go, Ashley’s Food, Café Courier Ohio, Chef Shuttle, Delicious Deliveries, Doorstep Delivery, Foodie Call, FoodNow, Gainesville2Go, Goodybag, Grub Cab, Restaurants Express, Room Service in Paradise, Takeout Taxi Maryland, 2 Dollar Delivery, 256ToGo, and 864ToGo are now operating under the Bite Squad banner and are seamlessly powered by Bite Squad’s market-leading technology, operational systems, and a fleet of several thousand W2-employed delivery drivers. “By integrating our premier delivery experience to as many customers and geographies as we can, we continue to achieve rapid growth and efficiencies,” said Kian Salehi, CEO and co-founder of Bite Squad. “Our platform was built to scale, enabling us to quickly integrate acquisition targets and leverage our operational excellence. Now powered by our best-in-class ordering, routing, and dispatching technologies, our thousands of delivery drivers, and our commitment to customer service, Bite Squad customers across all our markets will experience a better, faster, and more consistent service at a lower cost. We have already seen growth begin to take place in our new cities, and our technology continues to produce superior unit economics for food delivery.” – Source:  Bite Squad.
The National Restaurant Association Ready to Summit in Austin, TX

Are you ready for a taste of tomorrow? That’s what we’re serving up at our Restaurant Innovation Summit in Austin, Texas. From Oct. 25 to 27, our Summit will bring industry leaders together to talk about technology and how it is changing the way we do business. Operators, futurists and innovators will share strategies on how to work with tech, not against it. Here are a few of the highlights you’ll experience at this year’s Summit: Cashless America. Is “tap-and-go” the way of the future? Acceptance of contactless payment has taken a bit slower than anticipated, but consumers and merchants are coming around to the idea that going cashless could be beneficial for both of them.  American Express’ JJ Kieley and Union Square Hospitality Group’s Maureen Cushing will talk about creating a customer-first journey from discovery to payment. Hear how they used real customer-behavior data to inform their decisions and implement their companies’ cashless models. Artificial Intelligence and Chatbots. AI is moving from super-science fiction to super practical application. How will machines take operational efficiency to the next level? Learn from several companies, inside and outside the restaurant industry, about how they’re navigating this technology and, more importantly, where it’s headed. Ariele Rosch, creative strategist for Facebook, will explain how this technology will affect your business going forward. Actionable Analytics. Are you looking for patterns and trends relating to your customers’ purchasing habits and behaviors? Big data is no longer a buzz term, but a way to apply information to your long-term business decisions. Panelists Rob Siegel, CEO of HeadsUp Weather, James Park, CEO of Garbanzo, Brian Best, head of interactive engagement for PF Chang’s China Bistro, and Prem Kiran, chief strategy and innovation officer for Fishbowl Inc., will explain how operators are using actionable analytics around marketing, inventory, staffing, and traffic growth, among other things. – Source: The National Restaurant Association.

Collaboration a Key Component of PepsiCo’s e-Commerce Strategy

Mention e-commerce and retail and two names immediately come to mind – Amazon and Alibaba. Yet similar to brick-and-mortar retail, the e-commerce market features a wide variety of competitors. For consumer packaged goods companies, opportunities exist in working with many of them. “ …We have a team of roughly 200 e-commerce professionals supporting our businesses to capture growth in the rapidly emerging e-commerce channels,” said Indra Nooyi, chairman and chief executive officer of PepsiCo, Inc., during an Oct. 4 conference call to discuss the company’s third-quarter results. “It’s made up of seasoned e-commerce and tech professionals, combined with our best entrepreneurial talent from within PepsiCo.” She added that the department is run “more like a tech company” and the company continues to fortify and enhance its full suite of capabilities to improve its performance in the e-commerce channel. “Importantly, we’re increasingly collaborating with our retail customers to make our e-commerce capabilities yet another point of differentiation in our value-added relationships with them,” Ms. Nooyi said. “For example, using big data and predictive analytics to shape real-time marketing messages, dynamic merchandising and tailored offers. Our team is enabling us to drive greater purchase instrumentality and higher basket size for our customers on-line.

” The results of the company’s efforts have been fruitful. Revenues are nearing $1 billion in annualized retail sales, and e-commerce sales in the United States are projected to be up 80% this year and nearly double in China, Ms. Nooyi said. “Our e-commerce business is on fire in China and doubling in size every year,” Ms. Nooyi said. “And it’s becoming a learning lab for us to learn how to do e-commerce for the rest of the world …” She added that the penetration of food and beverage into the e-commerce channel is accelerating. “In many cases, our on-line share exceeds our offline share, and we are gaining on-line pretty much across the board,” Ms. Nooyi said. “While overall penetration of food and beverage remains relatively low compared to most of the categories, it is growing fast and its development is sure to be highly dynamic. And we believe we are well positioned to win in this space.” – Source: Food Business News.

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