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News in Review     Market Reports    Food Quiz     Industry Discussion         Advertise Here
   Volume 6, Issue 12     March 24, 2006 
Weekly News in Review
Hooters chairman uncertain about airline's future
The owner of Hooters Air is uncertain about the airline's future but he stopped short of saying it would soon shut down. "I just hate to quit. I'm still fighting, but don't expect anything long term," said Robert Brooks.
Read Article    Browse All News Source: USA Today
Chipotle says focusing on smaller restaurants
Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. plans to focus on building smaller restaurants because they bring in more sales than larger units and cost less to operate, a senior executive said on Wednesday.
Read Article    Browse All News Source: Reuters
China Dolls Nabbed in Raid on Restaurant
A police team found out last night that the signature dish of the eatery was China dolls. The restaurant had 20 young China women serving as guest relations officers who kept the male patrons satisfied in more ways than one.
Read Article    Browse All News Source: The New Straits Times Press
Church's Chicken Looks To Sign 1,100 New Restaurant Commitments
The franchising development team for restaurant chain Church's Chicken, Atlanta, last week announced a goal of signing 1,100 new restaurant commitments--150 in the United States and 950 internationally--this year.
Read Article    Browse All News Source: Display and Design Ideas
Little Caesars Plans Expansion in U.S.
Little Caesars chain announced Tuesday that it plans to add hundreds of stores around the country this year, reversing a trend that reduced the number of stores from 5,000 in the early 1990s to 2,000 today.
Read Article    Browse All News Source: AP
Pizza Tossing Turns Pro In Pittsburgh
The culinary sport of pizza tossing came to Pittsburgh Sunday. More than 360 exhibitors were showcased at the Annual Pennsylvania Restaurant and Food Service Expo, which is only open to restaurant industry professionals.
Read Article    Browse All News Source: CBS News
Burger war grows with new 15 pounder
The burger war is growing. Literally. Denny's Beer Barrel Pub, which lost its crown as the home of the world's biggest burger earlier this year, is now offering a new burger that weighs a whopping 15 pounds.
Read Article    Browse All News Source: MSNBC
Chicken nugget inventor dies
The inventor of the chicken nugget and other poulty innovations passed away this week.
Read Article    Browse All News Source: Fast Food News Blog
Shift4 Releases PABP Validated Versions of MICROS 3700 & 8700 Systems
Press Release: Gateway provider designed solution to reduce security vulnerabilities within legacy payment applications and make them compliant with Payment Applications Best Practices (PABP) without requiring merchants to make a significant resource investment.    Learn More...

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Leadership Cameo (Part II): IHOP CEO Julia Stewart
By Peter Langlois

PL: I remember when you were with over at Taco Bell, which places a great emphasis on marketing and media advertising. How important do you, as a CEO, view the marketing function for IHOP?

JS: I held many positions at Taco Bell but never had the opportunity to lead the marketing function. In spite of that I did, and still do, view marketing as the lifeblood of the organization. It is marketing that forms the impressions and feelings that customers have of the brand. They are the group that creates a relationship with the consumer. It is then the operators? role to reinforce those feelings or cement that relationship. Both groups have to work closely together as one cannot be successful without the other.

PL: It seems to me IHOP is unique in the relative high number of franchise stores in the system. What is the ratio of company/franchise stores today, and where are you heading? Why?

JS: IHOP has always been a franchise-oriented company. Today 99.5% of our restaurants are franchised. Traditionally, this number has almost always been above 90%. We will continue to be a franchise company and expect to only operate company restaurants in our test market of Cincinnati, Ohio. We believe that we have expertise in franchising and are able to provide support services that are second to none. We know that if we take care of our customer (the franchisee) he or she will take care of the restaurant guest. That makes us all more successful.

PL: You've made a big commitment to the initiatives being undertaken by The Elliot Leadership Institute. I also know you've been heavily involved in other organizations such as The Women's Foodservice Forum. What are your expectations from investing in ELI--why are you doing this?

JS: I believe that the Elliott Leadership Institute is unique and is making a difference. Like any other investment we make, we will look for a return on that investment. They are offering innovative services that are not available elsewhere in our industry. They are helping us develop today?s leaders and those that will lead us tomorrow.

For more information on IHOP, visit their web site. For seminar information visit

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"Lack of will power has caused more failure than lack of intelligence or ability."

- Flower A. Newhouse

Bakery Equipment
Beverage & Bar
Buffet & Catering
Coffee Equipment
Concessions Equipment
Drink Mixers Food Warmers
Frozen Beverage
Grinders & Choppers
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Ice Machines
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Ovens, Convection
Ovens, Combi
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True Manufacturing
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Management and Personnel - Employee Health - PART 7

Our goal for writing these articles is to give you, the operator, a better understanding of the current 2001 FDA Food Code.

Question: When can my employee come back to work, after being diagnosed with a confirmed case of one of the big four diseases (Salmonella Typhi, Shigella spp., shiga toxin producing Escherichia coli or hepatitis A virus)?

Answer: Release of Food Employees from Restriction or Exclusion. 2-201.13 -

The regulatory authority shall release a food employee from restriction or exclusion to law and the following conditions: A) A food employee who was infected with Salmonella Typhi if the food employee's stools are negative for S. Typhi based on testing of at least 3 consecutive stool specimen cultures that are taken: 1) Not earlier than 1 month after onset, 2) At least 48 hours after discontinuance of antibiotics, and 3) At least 24 hours apart; and B) If one of the cultures taken as specified in (A) Of this section is positive, repeat cultures are taken at intervals of 1 month until at least 3 consecutive negative stool specimen cultures are obtained. C) A food employee who was infected with Shigella spp. or shiga toxin producing Escherichia coli if the employee's stools are negative for Shigella spp. or shiga toxin producing Escherichia coli based on testing of 2 consecutive stool specimen cultures are taken: 1) Not earlier than 48 hours after discontinuance of antibiotics; and 2) At least 24 hours apart. D) A food employee who was infected with hepatitis A virus if: 1) Symptoms cease; or 2) At least 2 blood tests show falling liver enzymes.

Details Available in our Food Safety Area

For further information, contact your local, regional or state regulatory agency.

Another Industry First From The Leader in Safe Food Handling

Protect your business and your customers from foodborne illness -- the most serious concern in foodservice today. Team up with FoodHandler, the industry's #1 name in foodservice gloves, as we take safe food handling to a new, improved level with NSF Certified Gloves -- the first disposable gloves certified by NSF for foodservice use. Our new NSF gloves undergo the industry's most stringent testing for defects, to assure you a level of confidence and security like never before.

View updated pricing and information each week on the website for the following food-commodity markets:

Beef, Veal & Lamb View Detail
Beef production last week was 9.3% greater than 2005. Beef prices have been pressured downward recently but negative beef packer margins are starting to compel packers to decelerate beef output. In turn, the beef markets are steadying and could bounce upward next week. Estimates have this Friday?s USDA report depicting a March 1st record large number of cattle on feed. Cattle supplies in feedlots are building which could temper any beef market increases next month. Beef prices typically move upward in April. Prices per pound FOB from USDA.
Dairy View Detail
February US milk production was 5.5% greater than a year ago due to a 1% rise in the number of dairy cows and a 4.5% increase in milk per cow yields. Although mild temperatures likely contributed to strong yields last month, milk per cow yields are forecasted to remain notably above 2005 levels this spring which should fuel ample cheese and butter output. Engaging cheese and butter prices are liable to persist. February 28th cold storage cheese (7%) and butter (37%) stocks were larger than last year. Prices per pound, except Class I Cream (hundred weight), from USDA.
Poultry View Detail
Chicken production has trended considerably above prior year levels this winter. During the week ending March 11th chicken output was estimated to be 4.9% more than a year ago. It appears that chicken output growth may be slowed this spring by suppliers. Broiler chick placements over the last 6 weeks were .7% lower than 2005. Modestly higher chicken prices may be forthcoming during the next few months. February 28th cold storage chicken leg quarter (180%) and thigh (52%) inventories were larger than last year while breast (.3%) and wing (2%) stocks are less than 2005. Prices per pound except eggs (dozen) FOB from USDA.
Seafood View Detail
The Bearing Sea snow crab fishing season is progressing with 23.4 million pounds landed, roughly 70% of quota. Wholesale snow crab prices have firmed in recent weeks but should remain at engaging levels this spring. Alaska supplies approximately 20% of the US snow crab market. February US farmed catfish output declined 5% from last year. Prices for fresh product, unless noted per pound from Fisheries Market News.
Pork View Detail
Notable gains in pork production are pressuring the pork markets downward. Pork output last week was 4.5% more than the prior year. Pork production this spring is projected to remain 2-3% above 2005 levels due in part to a rise in swine imports from Canada. Many pork markets are moving counter seasonally lower but could stabilize soon. February 28th belly (14%), rib (13%), loin (14%) and picnic (39%) stocks were all less than last year. Prices per pound FOB from USDA.
Produce View Detail
The principal lettuce growing area is transitioning to Huron California. However, recent cool wet weather has delayed the crop and yield growth is likely to be mitigated over the next few weeks. Lettuce shipments should improve next week but erratic lettuce prices may persist into April. Lettuce output will shift to Salinas late next month. The Salinas crop could be delayed as well. As April advances the tomato markets could become volatile as the Eastern tomato harvest moves into Central Florida. Prices USDA FOB shipping point unless noted (terminal).
Oil and Grains View Detail
Carryover soybean stocks going into the 2006 harvest are forecasted to be a record large. Soybean and soybean oil prices are anticipated to trend close to below 2005 levels throughout the next few months. Prices per pound (oils) or bushel (grains) FOB from USDA.
Canned and Frozen Food View Detail
Tomato Products, Canned - According to the CLFP, the March 1st US canned tomato inventory was 5.44 million tons, 16.3% less than 2005 and the lowest March level in 7 years. California farmers are facing planting delays due to cool wet weather. The tomato markets are relatively steady and anticipated spring price decreases may not occur if crop challenges persist. Price per case (6/10) FOB from Supply and Market Report.
Processed Fruits and Vegetables - The ARA initial forecast is for 2006 green bean for freezing acreage to rise slightly (.3%) to 66,000. If realized, plantings would be the largest since 2002. The frozen green bean market is steady. Prices FOB per case from Supply and Market Report.

The Employment Center is your gateway
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into 3 of the most popular sites
in the foodservice industry.
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Breaking Up A Partnership
Been reading this fantastic forum for a while and I figured that you guys could give me some jolly good advice on a rather tricky subject.

My husband and his cousin got into partnership 2 years ago to open a restaurant. My husband had no previous experience (besides waiting tables while at college) but this was his cousin's fourth restaurant. They both figured everything out together before they opened but once they got the ball rolling my husband was left to do all the work since his cousin took the position of being a slient-ish partner, meaning, he would suggest ideas and give his opinion but then it was pretty much down to my husband to run the show.Not surprisingly this meant that he had to work every single day, make many mistakes due to lack of experience and begun to feel that it might be a bit too much for him to handle alone. That's when he asked for my help and I began doing shifts at the front and back, bookkeeping, scheduling, advertising and so on. Two years on he and I run the place without any input with from his cousin. The problem is that now he is asking to see a return on his investment since he has not gotten a penny since we opened, and sadly enough, things seem to be getting a bit awkard as we can not garantee a profit yet. We feel very upset that after all this hard work he now demands that we give him money that we can't afford and he has suggested that maybe we should either buy his share or sell the restaurant. We have talked to our kitchen manager about selling him 25% of his share and we'd buy the other 25%, but it will mean straining our finances. Is there another way to deal with this? and if not, how do you suggest we should go about breaking the partnership?

Have service rules changed?
My partners and I are trying to put a table service scheme together, spelling everything out for servers (perhaps we're kidding ourselves that this will actually make training easier?). We're a fairly casual place, but we still want the service to be thoughtful and consistent. Here's a point we're stuck on: Do we ask the servers to clear the plates once everyone has finished, or do we ask them to remove plates from individuals as they finish? Etiquette dictates the former method, but for a semi-casual restaurant, it seems like people almost expect to have their own plate cleared as soon as they're done. It kindof feels like one of those "damned if you do, damned if you don't" scenarios.

Any thoughts? Does anyone even care anymore? As a server I've gotten major 'tude for trying both methods, so I may be projecting my own experience onto a situation where it doesn't belong. And beyond that, do you think it's going too far to tell servers exactly how to work their table? We're not looking for any Michelin stars, here. Just a fabulous service/dining experience for people who don't have $100 to spend on dinner. Any thoughts would be appreciated, as always.

Music Licenses
Do you know what music licenses a restaurant with a bar will need?

We were used by the Romans to flavor sauces

We were used by the Romans to flavor sauces and vinegar. Over two thousand years old we are native to the Mediterranean region where we were also considered an aphrodisiac. We are both annual and a perennial, thriving in the winter months as well as the dog days of summer. Although it varies from cousin to cousin, we are all rich in carvacrol and thymol. Used in curing of salami were are also a part of that de Provence thing, but we get a lot of competition there. We are very popular in flavoring all sorts of legumes, (we counteract flatulence), and have even been used as a salt substitute. We go all out with intense, peppery flavor, but start late, overuse or overcooking renders us very bitter. We will inhabit any stuffing with great results and while our leaves can be used on their own for teas, we never meet a sausage we didn?t like. Primarily culinary, we have always had tremendous medicinal value. We have been quite effective in improving digestion, increasing perspiration, stimulating the uterus and nervous system, relieving menstrual disorders and soothing sore throats. We do stay away from expecting moms as we have learned that we are just too much for them.

What am I?

Poole?s Castle

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