The Latest News

FE&S delivers relevant news of the day to the foodservice equipment and supplies marketplace.


The North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers’ board of directors has canceled The NAFEM Show 2021. The association described its decision as being “in response to rapidly changing circumstances caused by the pandemic.” The NAFEM Show was expected to draw thousands of foodservice professionals from across the U.S.

Restaurant industry veteran Roberto De Angelis was appointed to the newly created position of chief experience officer for Friendly’s Restaurants and BRIX Holdings. Both are part of Amici Partners Group.

Packaging manufacturer Novolex has acquired Vegware, an international provider of compostable foodservice packaging headquartered in Edinburgh, U.K. Vegware’s teams in both the U.K. and U.S. are expected to remain with the company following the transition of ownership. The Vegware brand will remain intact as part of Novolex's Eco-Products portfolio of brands and will continue to sell its products under the Vegware label.

Bob Andersen was promoted to president of The Great Greek Mediterranean Grill. He previously served as executive vice president for the United Franchise Group food division that includes The Great Greek Mediterranean Grill and Jon Smith Subs.

Equipment Plus Total Facility Solutions promoted general manager Brad Krodel to president of the North Carolina-based foodservice equipment dealership.

Scott Turbeville was appointed vice president of sales for Carter-Hoffmann, Doyon and NuVu. All three foodservice equipment lines are part of Middleby Corp. He previously was with Nieco, also a Middleby brand.

In a move that its parent company feels may “turbo charge growth,” fast-casual restaurant chains Panera Bread, Caribou Coffee and Einstein Bros. Bagels have come together to form Panera Brands. All three companies are under the ownership of JAB Holding Co. and together they have nearly 4,000 units systemwide.

Hotel & Restaurant Supply, a Meridian, Miss.-based foodservice equipment and supplies dealership, promoted four longtime associates to corporate leadership positions.

Thomas Dritsas was introduced as the concept chef for Whiskey Cake Kitchen & Bar.

Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers promoted Andrew Thengvall to chief development officer. For the last six years, Thengvall served as the fast-casual chain’s senior vice president of strategic growth and chief legal officer. His promotion was in addition to Freddy’s adding two new people to its development team.

Two fast-casual chains have merged to form a single company. One Table Restaurant Brands consists of California-based concepts Tocaya and Tender GreensCombined, the two concepts operate 45 restaurants across California and Arizona.

First Watch, a 420-unit breakfast, lunch and brunch chain, opened a new headquarters in University Park, Fla.

High Bluff Capital Partners inked a deal to acquire quick-serve restaurant chain Church’s Chicken from FFL Partners. The deal is expected to close in the third quarter of 2021 and remains subject to various customary closing conditions.

Hatco promoted Christian Yungbluth to director of global marketing. He joined Hatco earlier this year as the director of business development for Ovention Ovens, a Hatco brand.

Electric Motor Repair Company (EMR) promoted Jamison Johnson to operations manager of the Maryland-based service agent’s Baltimore headquarters.

Foodservice equipment manufacturer Alto-Shaam hired Kasey Klingensmith to serve as regional sales manager, central.

Carroll Bender joins Jackson Warewashing Systems as director of consultant services.

Welbilt has agreed to Ali Group’s all-cash offer of $24 per share and the two companies have entered into a definitive merger agreement. The deal, with an enterprise value of $4.8 billion, is expected to close in early 2022 and has been approved by the boards of directors for both companies.

The National Association of College & University Food Services named Kristina Partridge, director of university dining services for the University of Alabama, as the organization’s 64th president. NACUFS members also elected eight new members to its board of trustees. Patridge has been a member of NACUFS for more than 20 years and served on the board since 2016.