Foodservice News & Trends

Breaking news for the full foodservice equipment and supplies distribution channel. Includes information on dealers, distributors, design consultants and multi-unit operators spanning leadership changes, mergers and acquisitions, trends, data and much more.

EMR Adds Marketing Manager in Martin

lowresEmilyMartinEmily MartinEmily Martin was named marketing manager for Electric Motor Repair Company (EMR), a Maryland-based service agent for the commercial foodservice equipment industry. In her new role, Martin becomes responsible for the public relations, advertising, creative development and overall brand management of EMR for six branches serving eight service regions.

Modern-Day French Restaurant Trends

A slew of new-wave French bistros and brasseries continue to crop up around the country. Expect the number of restaurants that celebrate “classic French fare with a modern twist,” to grow this year, says consultancy Andrew Freeman & Co.

The Art of the Bar

Ah, the bar … Like the first sip of a well-crafted cocktail, it can be a pleasant harbinger of things to come or a stand-alone experience savored entirely on its own. Integral to most full-service restaurant operations — and directly responsible for the profitability of many — the bar plays an increasingly important role in generating buzz and creating some of what restaurant guests crave most: experiences that are social, casual, welcoming, open, friendly, engaging, energetic, craft-driven, authentic and unique.

Prep Kitchen Design

Display kitchens and live cooking stations may sell the sizzle and even wind up on Instagram, but well-designed, smoothly functioning prep kitchens and behind-the-scenes elements play just as critical of a role in achieving operational success. After all, that’s where the food products coming into a kitchen’s back door begin their transformation into the specific menu items, specials and signatures that wind up on customers’ plates or out the front door for off-premise consumption.

Cini•Little Names Eisenbarth CEO

Dick Eisenbarth is the new CEO of foodservice consulting firm Cini•Little International Inc. He replaces Diane Dowling, who resigned after serving as the firm’s CEO/CFO. Dowling spent 30 years with the Cini•Little. Eisenbarth will also retain his role as president.

Irinox Adds a Chef to its Sales Team

Irinox North America, a manufacturer of blast chillers and shock freezers for the commercial foodservice industry, added Robert Bratton to its sales organization. Bratton will serve as corporate chef and regional sales manager for Northeast U.S. and Eastern Canada. RobertBratton copyRobert Bratton

PE-Backed Chain Operators Merge to Form Modern Restaurant Concepts

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Lemonade Restaurant Group and Modern Market Eatery will merge to form Modern Restaurant Concepts, a self-described better-for-you restaurant platform. Both Lemonade and Modern Market Eatery are part of a portfolio of companies owned by Butterfly, a Los Angeles-based private equity firm. As part of the transaction, global investment firm KKR will contribute its investment in Lemonade to the merger and become a shareholder in Modern Restaurant Concepts alongside Butterfly and the management team. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Anthony Pigliacampo and Rob McColgan, co-founders and co-CEOs of Modern Market Eatery will lead Modern Restaurant Concepts, while Larry Kurzweil, most recent CEO of Lemonade, will resume his role as operating partner of Butterfly and advisor to the company.

As a result of the merger, Modern Restaurant operates 58 restaurants across 10 markets including Denver; Austin, Texas; Dallas; Phoenix; Washington, D.C.; Maryland; Los Angeles; San Francisco; San Diego; and Orange County. The Lemonade and Modern Market Eatery brands will each continue to operate and expand both in existing and new markets via corporate growth in addition to franchising and licensing, per a release announcing the transaction. “We're excited to continue to work alongside these two highly differentiated concepts to expand their footprint throughout the country and internationally,” added Dustin Beck, Butterfly's other co-founder.

To help drive that growth, Modern Restaurant Concepts hired Jim Sullivan to serve as chief development officer. He comes to Modern Restaurant Concepts from CKE Restaurant Holdings, parent company for Carl's Jr. and Hardee's, where he held the same title. “With Lemonade and Modern Market Eatery under one roof, we will have an offering that will thrive in more markets and nontraditional foodservice outlets across the U.S. than any comparable single-concept company,” said Sullivan. “We look forward to partnering with franchisees and landlords across the country to bring these great concepts to their markets and customers.”