News You Can Use
Restaurant Industry Index Rose in March
The National Restaurant Association announced restaurant activity, measured by the association’s Restaurant Performance Index, stood at 102.5 in March, up 0.3 percent from February and its strongest level in 15 months.
The Current Situation Index, which measures current trends in same-store sales, traffic, labor and capital expenditures, stood at 101.8 in March, an increase of 0.5 percent from February, and its fourth consecutive monthly gain.
Access the March RPI by clicking on www.restaurant.org/pressroom/pressrelease.cfm?ID=1244. The NRA expects to release the April RPI at the end of May. Visit www.restaurant.org/pressroom at that time to view the report.
Arby’s Using PayPass At Registers and Drive-Thru
Arby’s Restaurant Group announced it uses the MasterCardw PayPass system to speed up lines at registers and drive-thrus. The system works by customers tapping their PayPass card on a reader to make a purchase.
For purchases in the amount of $25 or less, the PayPass system does not require a signature. Arby’s execs believe the system will make orders easier and more convenient for customers, in addition to speeding up lines. To read more, click here.
National Food Safety Education Month Theme Announced
The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation announced the theme of this year’s National Food Safety Education Month, held in September, is “Don’t Compromise-Clean and Sanitize.” This year’s theme emphasizes proper cleaning and sanitation practices.
The NRAEF will offer free weekly training activities as well as distribute free posters and promotional pieces for industry professionals that reinforce the theme. For more information, visit http://www.nraef.org/headline/headline_318.asp?head_id=4&sub_id=1.
Enodis Offers Deferred Financing on Energy-Efficient Equipment
Enodis is offering the option of deferred payment financing through Sept. 30, 2006, for purchasing the manufacturer’s energy-saving products. The program allows qualified operators to acquire new equipment immediately and then apply for energy-saving rebates from a number of utility companies.
The minimum purchase required to participate in the deferral program is $10,000. In California, businesses can earn rebates of up to $1,000. The total saving potential from efficient equipment varies from 10 percent to 30 percent. Enodis brand lines with such products include Cleveland, Convotherm, Dean, Delfield, Frymaster, Garland, ICE-O-Matic, Jackson, Lincoln and Scotsman.
Pizza Chains at Top of Customer Satisfaction Index
Pizza chains scored higher than burger restaurants in the latest American Customer Satisfaction Index released by the University of Michigan’s National Quality Research Center. Papa John’s scored highest at 79 among quick-service restaurants listed.
Just below Papa John’s was Little Caesar’s at 77 and Domino’s pizza scored 75. Burger King, KFC and Taco Bell tied at 70. To view the report, click on http://www.theacsi.org/first_quarter.htm - all.
American Culinary Federation Teams Announced
The four newest members of the American Culinary Team USA National Team and the 10 chosen for two ACF Culinary Team USA Regional Teams were announced during the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show in Chicago.
The new members of the ACF Culinary Team USA National Team are:
Edward G. Leonard, CMC, AAC - ACF Culinary Team USA Team Manager
Richard Rosendale, CC - ACF Culinary Team USA Team Captain
Joachim Buchner, CMC - Chevy Chase Club, Chevy Chase, Md.
Jamie Keating, CCC - Milliken and Co., LaGrange, Ga.
Daniel Scannell, CMC - Cherry Hills Country Club, Cherry Hills Village, Colo.
Patricia Nash - Westchester Country Club, Rye, N.Y.
The new members of the ACF Culinary Team USA Regional Teams are:
Christopher Desens, CEC - Racquet Club Ladue, St. Louis
Scott Fetty - Pennsylvania Culinary Institute, Pittsburgh
Drew B. Garms - The Greenbrier Resort, White Sulphur Springs, W.V.
Jennifer A. Kopp, CPC - Chevy Chase Club, Chevy Chase, Md.
Joseph M. Leonardi - Johnson & Wales University, Providence, R.I.
Michael Matarazzo - The Greenbrier Resort, White Sulphur Springs, W.V.
Craig Peterson - Hallbrook Country Club, Leawood, Kan.
Timothy Prefontaine, CSC - River Oaks Country Club, Houston
Mellisa K. Root - River Oaks Country Club, Houston
Daryl L. Shular, CCC - The Art Institute of Atlanta, Roswell, Ga.
The teams will represent the United States in major international culinary competitions this year. For more information, visit http://www.acfchefs.org/