Week of Dec. 6, 2010

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Industry Leaders Honoured at 2010 Pinnacle Awards
Kostuch Publications Limited, publishers of the industry-leading magazines Foodservice and Hospitality and Hotelier, honoured the winners of its 2010 Pinnacle Awards after a gala luncheon at Toronto’s Fairmont Royal York Hotel on Friday, Dec. 3. Close to 500 industry executives were on hand to see Montreal-based MTY Group, which boasts $430 million sales, 25 distinct banners and more than 1,700 units, recognized as 2010’s Company of the Year (National) for Foodservice and Hospitality magazine, while Starwood Hotels and Resorts was awarded the Company of the Year (National) for Hotelier magazine.

Other category winners for Foodservice and Hospitality included: Joey Restaurant Group, Vancouver, as Regional Company of the Year, Western Canada; Murphy Group, Charlottetown, as Regional Company of the Year, Eastern Canada; Sal Howell of River Café and Boxwood, Calgary, as Independent Restaurateur of the Year; and MenuPalace.com, Toronto, as Supplier of the Year. Vancouver’s A&W Foodservice of Canada won in the category of Franchise Excellence. The inaugural Chef of the Year award was presented to Jonathan Gushue of Cambridge, Ont.’s acclaimed Langdon Hall. Last year, the culinary icon was named a Grand Chef by Relais et Châteaux, the international association of inns.

Other Hotelier winners included: Sawridge Inns and Conference Centres, Edmonton, as Regional Company of the Year; Geoff Allan, GM of Montreal’s Hôtel Le Crystal de la Montagne as Hotelier of the Year; and Group Lockhart Inc., London, Ont., as Supplier of the Year.

“Since introducing the first industry award in 1988, Foodservice and Hospitality has honoured a diverse group of leaders for their continued success and achievements, representing every facet of the industry, from upscale restaurants to quick-service chains,” said Kostuch Publications editor and publisher, Rosanna Caira. “Each of this year’s winners are distinguished for their contributions to the image of the industry through civic, educational and community involvement, as well as their efforts in establishing innovative concepts in foodservice or hotel management.” Hotelier magazine’s first annual Hotelier of the Year award, representing similar achievement in the hotel industry, was presented in 1994. To read more about each winner, click here

Industry Veteran, Julia Adams, Passes Away
Foodservice industry veteran Julia Adams died Nov. 23 at the Grey Bruce Health Services hospital in Wiarton, Ont. She was 71. The Toronto-born Adams was president of the foodservice cookware manufacturer Vollrath Canada and one of the first women in the industry to obtain a senior position. She is fondly remembered by colleagues and survived by her husband, Paul Adams, her children, grandchildren, brother, nieces and nephews.

Saputo Processed Cheese Recall Expanded
Montreal-based Saputo Inc., the $5.8-billion sales leader in cheese, has expanded its recall of its foodservice and retail processed cheese that may be contaminated with listeria bacteria. The voluntary recall includes some 150,000 kilograms of cheese, valued at approximately $1 million, with said product having been produced on a single production line at one of its Quebec plants. The recall involves sliced processed cheeses branded Faith Farms, St. Albert and Sunspun, plus one no-name product line. Saputo has shut down the line and begun an investigation with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) to determine the cause of the potential contamination. “Saputo is taking these broader precautionary actions to respond proactively to the situation,” reads the company press release. “[It] is placing public health interest first.” For more information, click here.  

CDC Announces Dairy Price Hike
The Canadian Dairy Commission (CDC) has announced a price increase of 1.5 per cent on the milk used to make cheese, yogurt and ice-cream, effective Feb. 1. The Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association (CRFA) has expressed disappointment at the increase, which they lobbied to prevent. “Record-high dairy prices and low disposable incomes are already driving consumers to choose other menu items in our restaurants,” said Garth Whyte, president and CEO of the CRFA. “This price increase will drive dairy consumption down even further.” According to the CRFA, the price of industrial milk has risen by 59 per cent since 1994, while the consumer price index has only increased by 34 per cent. Alternately, Jacques Laforge, chair of the Dairy Farmers of Canada, says cost increases have forced prices up. “If it doesn’t increase pretty soon, there won’t be any farmers,” he told the Canadian Press, when the issue was discussed this past summer.

Tossed Restaurants Coming to Canada
The fresh salad U.S.-based restaurant chain Tossed is coming to Canada. The first of four Canadian locations is expected to open in the first quarter of 2011 in Abbotsford, B.C., according to Fastcasual.com. Under an agreement with Abbotsford entrepreneur Jeff Potoroka the initial store opening will be followed by the launch of four more locations in and around Vancouver Island during 2011. “British Columbia has a reputation for environmental sustainability and healthy living,” said Eric Schmitt, CEO. “Tossed plans to work with the communities and local farmers throughout the Vancouver region to bring fresh and locally produced food products to Tossed’s new customers.”

The average fast-casual Tossed footprint ranges from 1,400 to 1,600 square feet and features a contemporary interior design with a non-cook kitchen. Tossed recently unveiled a new freestanding kiosk version of its restaurant concept that averages 250 square feet and is designed for non-traditional sites such as malls, airports, office buildings and college campuses. Tossed Franchise Corporation opened its first location in 1998.

Fionn MacCool’s Adds Two Locations
Prime Pubs recently announced the opening of Fionn MacCool’s Irish pubs in Orangeville, Ont. and at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport. Located in Terminal 3, the Pearson project is in association with HMSHost. In Orangeville, the new location represents the brand’s first foray into Dufferin County. “We’re excited to offer the people of Dufferin County something new — a comfortable, relaxing, Irish pub that prides itself on Irish hospitality and fantastic Irish-inspired dishes made from fresh, quality ingredients,” said Harold Kaiser, Fionn MacCool’s Orangeville franchisee.  

Starbucks Drives Ahead with Dramatic Growth Plans
Even as Kraft Foods Inc. challenges the Starbucks attempt to terminate a 12-year-old distribution agreement for Starbucks Coffee, Seattle’s Best Coffee and Tazo Tea brands of bagged products in grocery stores, chairman, president and CEO, Howard Schultz, has announced dramatic growth plans. He discussed possible expansion of its consumer packaged goods on a global scale with new acquisitions possible, building multi-daypart sales in its coffeehouses and accelerating international openings. As part of its expansion plans, the first Seattle’s Best Coffee Bar opened as a pilot project in Walmart Canada Supercenters. He told investors the company would look at possible purchases “large and small” as it builds its consumer packaged goods business.

Jeff Hansberry, president of Starbucks’ global consumer products and foodservice division, said in a statement the company is building up the consumer packaged goods, CPG, part of its business. “By reaching customers in the most agile and efficient way across all categories, channels and markets, Starbucks CPG business is becoming a high-profit, important and growing business, with global scale for Starbucks,” he said.

Starbucks execs plan to distribute the company’s bagged products using Jacksonville, Fla.-based Acosta Sales & Marketing as a broker. Acosta helped Starbucks build sales of the new VIA Ready Brew instant coffee to about $135 million in its first year. Cliff Burrows, president of Starbucks Coffee U.S., said growth would be achieved from the existing domestic locations by increasing capacity, expanding dayparts and experimenting with new concepts.

Kold-Draft Appoints Jack Antell VP
Kold-Draft, Erie, Pa., the manufacturer of ice making and bagging machines, has announced the appointment of Jack Antell to the position of vice-president, Sales. An industry veteran, he will be responsible for the overall direction of sales.

Sodexo Wins Top 100 Employers Recognition
For the second year in a row, the editors of Canada’s Top 100 Employers have honoured the Burlington Ont.,-based Sodexo Canada with a special designation, which recognizes employers in the Hamilton-Niagara area for creating an exceptional place of work. “We’re on an important journey to be the very best employer we can be to continue living our mission of making every day a better day for our employees, clients and customers,” said Sue Black, senior vice-president, Human Resources. According to the Top 100 Employers press release, “Sodexo was compared to other organizations and recognized in its industry as having the most progressive and forward-thinking programs.”

Local, Sustainable Top 2011 U.S. Food Trends
The National Restaurant Association’s annual survey of more than 1,500 members of the American Culinary Federation found locally sourced meats and seafood, locally grown produce and sustainability, among the top three trends predicted to show up on U.S. restaurant menus next year. Nutritionally balanced children’s dishes, “Hyper-local,” which includes restaurants with gardens and chefs who do their own butchering; children’s nutrition; sustainable seafood; gluten-free and allergy-sensitive food; simplicity; and farm-branded ingredients, complete the Top 10 list. “The top trends identified by these culinary professionals for 2011 are reflecting larger societal trends, underscoring that American diners are becoming more and more interested in what’s on their plate,” said Hudson Riehle, senior vice-president of the NRA’s research and knowledge group. The most common recommendations for surviving a difficult economy were simplifying menus to save on labour and food costs, offering value specials and increasing marketing efforts. Thirty per cent of chefs said mobile food trucks and pop-up restaurants would be the hottest operational trend in 2011. Eighteen per cent said the biggest trend would be restaurants with gardens, and 17 per cent said it would be all about social media marketing. For more information, click here.

New Venue for 2011 We Care Ski Day
The 2011 Corporate & Family Ski Day of Friends of We Care, in partnership with the LCBO (Liquor Control Board of Ontario) will be held at a new venue, the Alpine Ski Club, Collingwood, Ont., on Feb. 4. For more information, call (905) 841-1223 or click here.

NAFEM Show, Feb. 10-12
The North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers’ (NAFEM) biennial event, The NAFEM Show, has been scheduled for Feb. 10-12 at the Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, Fla. Historically it provides a first look at the newest foodservice equipment, supplies, products and innovations available for the foodservice industry in North America. The 2011 event will feature some 120 new products, a 50 per cent increase from the 2009 show. More than 500 exhibitors have signed up, and there’s 20,000 visitors expected. A complimentary education program will feature workshops from: Peter Sheahan, entrepreneur and author of Flip; Tim Sanders, author of Saving the World at Work; and Brad Barnes, certified master chef (CMC). For more information, click here.

Foodservice Interchange, March 7
The FCPC Foodservice Interchange will take place March 7 at Toronto’s Allstream Centre in conjunction with The CRFA Show, March 6-8. The event is sponsored by Food & Consumer Products of Canada (FCPC). Foodservice Interchange sessions will be held in the morning and in the late afternoon. “We decided to dovetail 2011 Foodservice Interchange with the CRFA Show for delegates to promote industry alignment and provide convenience to our members,” said Lesley McKeever, FCPC’s senior vice-president of industry affairs.

Lakeview REIT Reports Strong Quarter
Lakeview Hotel Real Estate Investment Trust, Winnipeg, has reported its strongest quarterly results since 2008 for the period ended Sept. 30. RevPAR increased from $64.43 in the third quarter of 2009 to $71.13 in the third quarter of 2010 with an 8.99 per cent increase in total revenues. Adjusted Funds from Operations for the quarter were $793,029 compared to -$94,481 in the third quarter of 2009. Distributable Income increased from $273,932 in the third quarter of 2009 to $1,208,354 in the third quarter of 2010. For more information, click here.

Canadian Hotels Shine at World Travel Awards
Travel agents from across the globe voted B.C.’s King Pacific Lodge North America’s Leading Green Hotel 2010. The World Travel Awards were presented at a gala Grand Final 2010 Ceremony held at London’s Grosvenor House hotel. A Rosewood Resort, King Pacific Lodge is a 17-room floating, luxury, wilderness lodge located in the Great Bear Rainforest. Anchored off Princess Royal Island, north of Vancouver, the lodge offers guests an inclusive experience of guided hikes, sea kayaking, fly fishing and wildlife watching. Earlier this year the Lodge was awarded the 2010 Readers’ Choice Awards by readers of Condé Nast Traveler magazine, presented for the third consecutive year as the number 1 resort in Canada.

Other Canadian properties receiving awards in London, in the Canada category, include Vancouver’s Hotel Pan Pacific as Canada’s Leading Business Hotel and Canada’s Leading Hotel; Banff’s The Fairmont Chateau Whistler as Canada’s Leading Golf Resort; Whistler’s Four Seasons Resort as Canada’s Leading Ski Resort; and The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise as Canada’s Leading Spa Resort.

Groupe Germain Opens Second Toronto Hotel
The new 167-room Toronto Hôtel Le Germain Maple Leaf Square is now open. Located in Maple Leaf Square, the $500-million condo, office and retail complex, was conceived and built by Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, Cadillac Fairview Corporation Limited and Lanterra Development Corporation. The room rates for the Groupe’s second Toronto property range from $229 to $1,200 for an apartment. The luxury hotel is distinctive with its ebony marble, glass-and-metal façade with a two-storey glass entrance to the foyer and the main lobby and a 40-seat lobby bar. Guestrooms, which range in size from 400 to 1,500 square feet, include ergonomic workspaces, complimentary Wi-Fi, rainfall showers and luxurious Frette linen and goose-down bedding. Above the beds in each room, oversized photographic images, shot by Matthew Plexman, artfully portray Toronto’s NHL, NBA and MLS professional athletes. With a focus on sustainability, the building incorporates energy features such as low-E windows to provide maximum light with minimum heat loss and dual-flush toilets.

 

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