IRG New Name for Owner of Pizza Delight, Mikes, Scores and Baton Rouge
Moncton-based Imvescor Restaurant Group (IRG) is the new name for the combination of PDM Royalties Income Fund with privately held Imvescor Inc. (formerly known as Pizza Delight Corporation Ltd., founded in 1969 by Bernard Imbeault). The combination transaction between PDM Royalties Income Fund, 7209835 Canada Inc., Imvescor Inc., Imvescor Restaurants Inc., and Imvescor’s two shareholders, General Financial Corporation Ltd. and Delighted Guests Ltd., was created on Oct. 10. Imvescor Restaurant Group shares opened for trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the stock symbol IRG on Oct. 16. The new company has appointed Bernard Imbeault as founding chair emeritus of the board. Ron Magruder, former CEO of Imvescor, has been appointed IRG’s CEO, and William R. Lane, former CFO of Imvescor, is now IRG’s CFO. The directors of ITG are: Rino Volpé, William Dover, David Hawkins, Inouk Imbeault, Jacques F. Lemoine, James S. Peterson and Gabriel Sacratini.
• IRG owns the trademarks and intellectual property for the Pizza Delight, Mikes, Scores and Baton Rouge brands. IRG operates more than 260 restaurants and employs more than 10,000 people in Atlantic Canada, Quebec, Ontario and Alberta, generating a combined $450 million in annual sales. Pizza Delight operates primarily in Atlantic Canada in the family/mid-scale segment. Mikes and Scores restaurants operate primarily in Quebec in the family and casual dining segments. Baton Rouge operates in Quebec and Ontario in the casual-dining segment.
Tim Hortons Opens at Fort Knox, Kentucky
Tim Hortons Inc, based in Oakville, Ont., has opened a restaurant at Fort Knox, a military base in Kentucky that’s also home to the Fort Knox Bullion Depository where the majority of U.S. gold is stored. The company won a 10-year contract to operate the café on the base, 30 miles southwest of Louisville. This is its first location at an American military base (The company operates units on seven Canadian military bases and at the Kandahar Air Force Base in Afghanistan.). In a telephone interview with Bloomberg News, Tim Hortons’ David Clanachan, COO for U.S. and international operations, said the company is focusing its U.S. growth on “non-traditional” locations such as co-branded stores, schools and hospitals in addition to military bases, rather than stand-alone stores. He commented, “We’re a smaller player in the U.S., so we need to be more nimble about some of the things we do.” Bloomberg said the chain’s U.S. division reported an operating loss of US$25.5 million in 2008 while its Canadian units’ profit rose 8.4 per cent to $507 million.
Four Seasons Launches New iPhone App
Toronto-based Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts has added to its digital marketing power with a new iPhone/iPod application that’s created new on-the-go possibilities for both travellers and individual hotel operations. Downloadable for free from the iTunes App Store, the Four Seasons’ app was created as both a functional booking portal to spas, restaurants and other services and as a gateway to “mini-escapes,” as consumers view individual hotel videos and photo libraries. Susan Helstab, executive vice-president, Marketing, commented, “It provides the same convenience and ease in booking/checking availability consumers have come to rely on through more traditional avenues, directly linking to a central e-booking site or on-property phone contact. Plus it offers a portable window into the inspiring and memorable experiences Four Seasons offers.” The new app is the latest of a fast-paced digital marketing expansion that now includes Four Seasons Magazine online, a Four Seasons channel on YouTube and corporate and individual hotel Twitter feeds.
A&W Same-Store Sales Up 0.3 per cent in Q3
Vancouver-based A&W Revenue Royalties Income Fund has reported that A&W restaurants experienced same-store sales (SSS) growth of 0.3 per cent in the third quarter, period ended Sept. 6. It was the company’s 25th consecutive quarter of SSS growth. Year-to-date SSS are up 2.5 per cent. Sales of restaurants in the royalty income pool rose to $180.3 million for the quarter, versus $175.3 million last year. Year-to-date sales increased to $496.8 million versus $477.4 million in the previous year. Royalty income increased to $5.4 million, up 2.9 per cent, and distributable cash increased to $5.2 million, up 2.1 per cent. Year-to-date distributable cash increased to $14.9 million, which is up 3.2 per cent. The Fund plans to pay a second Special Distribution to unitholders this year. Paul Hollands, president and CEO of A&W Food Services of Canada Inc., commented, “The launch of the Cheddar Bacon Uncle Burger in July enjoyed good success and enhanced our position as offering the best-tasting burgers. The continued focus on Cruisin’s the Dub programs also contributed to the sales increases, which are noteworthy when compared to the exceptionally strong same-store sales growth in 2008.”
Priszm Reports Flat Q3 Results — Cash Position Stronger
Priszm Income Fund has reported that sales for its royalty income group share of some 400 KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut restaurants for the third quarter of 2009, period ended Sept. 6, increased to $113.7 million, up 0.1 per cent versus the previous year. Same-store sales growth for the Toronto-based company fell by 0.5 per cent versus the same quarter of 2008 and restaurant costs and expenses increased to $101.2 million from $100.8 million. Cost of restaurant sales improved marginally to $66.9 million. Restaurant operating expenses were essentially flat in the third quarter, at $16.5 million, and income from restaurant operations decreased by $200,000 to $12.4 million. General and administrative expenses decreased to $4.7 million versus $4.9 million in Q3 2008. EBITDA for the third quarter was flat at $11.0 million. Priszm owns a 60 per cent interest in Priszm Limited Partnership, which owns and operates more than 400 quick-service restaurants across Canada. “Our cash position coming off the high summer season is ahead of expectations,” said John Bitove, executive chairman. “This allowed us to not only announce one normal course issuer bid for our units a couple of weeks ago, but also one for our convertible unsecured subordinated debentures today. We believe buy backs provide an excellent return on capital as we strengthen the core of our entire business for the long term.”
Compass Group Canada Top 100 Employer for Second Time
Compass Group Canada has been recognized, for the second consecutive year, as a Top 100 Employer in Canada. The Mississauga, Ont.-based company has also been recognized in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) Top 90 report by the Toronto Star. More than 2,600 companies were included in the judging produced by Mediacorp Canada Inc., evaluated by the editors of Canada’s Top 100 Employers and supported by media partners Maclean’s magazine, The Globe and Mail and Eluta.ca. “To have made this prestigious list for the second year in a row is truly thrilling,” said Jack C. MacDonald, CEO of Compass Group Canada and ESS North America. “This award rightfully belongs on the mantles of each of the 18,400 Compass associates across Canada. They’re responsible for making Compass Group the industry’s leading foodservice and support services management company in the country.” Mediacorp invited 24,000 employers across Canada to apply, each of which had to complete an extensive application that included eight criteria: Physical Workplace; Work Atmosphere and Social; Health, Financial and Family Benefits; Vacation and Time Off; Employee Communications; Performance Management; Training and Skills Development; and Community Involvement. For information, click here.
• Other Top 100 Employers in the foodservice, food or supply services sectors include: Cascades Inc.; Fairmont Hotels & Resorts; Gay Lea Foods Co-operative Limited; George Brown College; Loblaw Companies Limited; Mars Canada Inc.; and Procter & Gamble Inc. Other GTA Top 90 Employers serving the foodservice, food or supply services sectors include: Fairmont Hotels & Resorts; Gay Lea Foods Ltd; George Brown College; Loblaw Companies Ltd.; and Steam Whistle Brewing.
U.S. Foodservice GS1 Group Formed, Endorsed by GS1 Canada
A GSI (Global Standards Initiative) U.S. foodservice team has been established, headquartered in Lawrenceville, N.J.. The Foodservice GS1 U.S. Standards Initiative, launched by 55 American foodservice manufacturers, distributors and operators, has the GS1 Canada Foodservice Industry organization as a founding member. Also supporting the new organization are the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association, the International Foodservice Distributors Association and the National Restaurant Association (NRA). The U.S. initiative recommends the adoption of a common timeline for voluntary individual company implementation of GS1 global standards for company identification and item identification targeting 75 per cent adoption throughout the foodservice industry, measured in terms of revenue, by 2015. NRA president Dawn Sweeney said, “The Foodservice GS1 U.S. Standards Initiative will have tremendous benefits for restaurants, their guests and their supply chain, and is an important step forward in our continuing efforts to ensure the highest standards for our industry.” The GS1 Canada Foodservice Industry group is one of 23 sectors targeted by the Ottawa-based GS1 Canada, the Canadian member of the Global GS1 organization. GS1 Canada recently rolled out the GS1 Canada Product Recall Service, and it initiated the Traceability for Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Implementation Guide for the fresh produce supply chain in August.
Realstar Opens Motel 6 in Kingston, Ont. with Phoenix Prototype Rooms
Toronto-based Realstar Hospitality has opened a new-build, 75-room Motel 6 in Kingston, Ont., conveniently located near Fort Henry, the Royal Military College and Queen’s University. The property is the first in Canada to feature the new Phoenix prototype rooms with in-room microwave and refrigerator. It also offers eight extended-stay rooms with kitchenettes featuring a microwave, refrigerator, stove or hot plate and coffee pot. The hotel has a meeting room, coin laundry, an elevator and offers guests free high-speed internet access.
Culinary Book Awards at Royal Winter Fair, Nov. 6
The 2009 Canadian Culinary Book Awards will be presented at noon on Friday, Nov. 6, at the
Royal Agricultural Winter Fair at Exhibition Place in Toronto, and will be followed by a luncheon for the award-winning book authors. Hosted by Cuisine Canada and the University of Guelph, the event will see the launch of the Canadian Culinary Hall of Fame Book Award and presentation of the Edna Award and the Founder’s Award. The awards are by invitation only. For information: Jennifer Brayshaw, email@example.com or 519-824-4120 x55021.
Chefs Across Canada Support International Chef Day, October 20
Canadian chefs from across the country will join chefs’ organizations from 72 nations around the world on Oct. 20 to celebrate International Chef Day. The program is part of the Paris-based World Association of Chefs Societies initiative to celebrate chefs and bring attention to the profession. (See TheWhat’sOnReport, Oct. 12, “B.C. Chefs to Celebrate International Chef Day, Oct. 20.”) Judson Simpson, president of the Canadian Culinary Federation (CCFCC), thanked the many suppliers who are sponsoring events with local CCFCC Chapters and, in particular, national sponsor Marvin Karenko of Cheemo Perogies in Edmonton. Participating chapters include:
• Calgary — This branch is teaming up with the Community Kitchen Program of Calgary and will participate in the Souper Stars Program to help combat child obesity and child hunger, feeding more than 500 students a nutritious and balanced lunch. All food is donated by the foodservice industry.
• Edmonton — This is the third year that chefs will be providing dinner at Boyle Street Community Services, an inner-city agency that assists people living in poverty.
• Lethbridge, Alta. — Chefs will feed lunch to the underprivileged at the Lethbridge Soup Kitchen.
• Brandon, Man. — Chefs will work with Crocus Plains High School and its culinary arts program to make perogies and offer them to staff and students for voluntary donations. All proceeds will go to the local food bank.
• Winnipeg — In partnership with radio station CJOB and the Corus Network, the branch will be offering a perogies and sausage lunch for a minimum donation of $5, with all proceeds going to Winnipeg Harvest, the local food bank.
• Saskatoon — Working with the Saskatoon Food Bank, chefs expect to feed about 500 people.
• Toronto — A dozens chefs will showcase and sell their culinary creations for $2 to $3 at Yonge-Dundas Square in the heart of downtown Toronto in support of a local charity.
• Waterloo, Ont. — The Waterloo Branch will go to St. John’s Kitchen to serve food to 350 people. The kitchen’s goal is to redistribute food that would otherwise have been wasted.
• Windsor, Ont. — An event is being organized with Jumpstart Student Nourishment Programs, with all proceeds benefiting its activities.
• Ottawa/Hull and Outaouais, Que. — Chefs will prepare dinner for the Mission for Men and for street people, serving between 600 and 900 meals.
ORHMA/Ecolab Offer H1N1 Flu Pandemic Toolkit
A new H1N1 flu pandemic toolkit is now available from the Ontario Restaurant Hotel & Motel Association (ORHMA); it can be downloaded here. Developed by Ecolab, the toolkit offers guidelines to help prevent the spread of H1N1 influenza and includes links to government sites with the most up-to-date information.
World’s First H1N1 Reduced-Risk Restaurant in Madrid
The Associated Press has identified Madrid-based Silk & Soya as the world’s first restaurant with a specific plan to protect against the H1N1 disease. Located in a suburban shopping mall outside of the Spanish capital, it’s taken a number of measures based on the advice of an outside consultant. For instance, servers must have their temperature taken before starting their shifts; menus are washed after each use; tables in the dining room are set further apart than usual; and servers never handle plates of food with their bare hands, using cloth napkins instead. Restrooms are also designed so customers don’t have to fiddle with doorknobs, faucets or light switches and water starts flowing when guests approach the sinks. Washroom lights also turn on when guests walk in; the elevator leading to the rooftop restaurant features a dispenser that squirts a blue disinfectant, which evaporates as guests wring their hands; and between the lunch and dinner rushes, the restaurant opens its windows for a few hours to ventilate. The 43-year-old owner, Cipri Quintas, said it’s not just a publicity stunt. He points out the consultant he used was paid US$1,500 to design the program, and the roomier dining rooms mean fewer tables and less revenue.
CRFA Show Announces Speakers, Chefs for March 7-9 Event in Toronto
Additional plans for the third annual CRFA Show, operated by the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association, have been announced. The CRFA Show will be held at the Direct Energy Centre in downtown Toronto, March 7-9, 2010. Committed speakers now include: Jim Laube, president of Restaurantowner.com — whose 2009 presentation at the show earned the highest evaluation ever for a seminar speaker — has agreed to a return engagement; internationally acclaimed chef Susur Lee (owner of Lee and Madeline’s in Toronto and operator of Shang, a restaurant in the upscale Thompson LES hotel in New York City), will discuss and demonstrate his food artistry; Ron Yudd will speak on ‘Points of Profit;’ Don Fisher will discuss ‘Five Things Operators Must Know About Energy Efficiency;’ and Maximilian Riedel will lead a wine and spirits tasting. Other chef presenters include Lynn Crawford of Four Seasons Hotels and the Restaurant Makeover TV show and Donna Dooher of Mildred’s Temple Kitchen in Toronto.
We Care Announces New executive, chairman Jim Grieb
Friends of We Care has announced its new board of directors for 2010, elected at the Annual
Meeting held on Thursday, October 14. The executive consists of: chairman — Jim Grieb (Flanagan Foodservice); vice-chairs — Jim Greenway (Aramark Canada), David Newcombe
(Extreme Brandz) and Todd Stevens (Smucker Foods of Canada); treasurer — Michael Capotosto (Retirement Life Communities); Easter Seals liaison — Mark Cator (Coolinary
Connection). The directors are: Debora Burton (Fork & Plate Family Grill), Stephen Christie
(Sysco Central Ontario), Lorraine Housego-Dyment (Saputo Canada), Gerry McParlan
(Procter & Gamble Professional), Steven Prisco (Aramark Canada), Nancy Wulff (Lynch
Foods), Carol Moffatt (Topline Ventures).
HRI Has New Partner
Quebec City-based Hotels, Restaurants & Institutions magazine (HRI) is now part of a new publishing group, Les Editions Megapro, effective Oct. 15. Well established in the Quebec market, Megapro publishes Prestige, a high-end consumer magazine. The holding is also involved with food-related tradeshows and wine contests. HRI magazine, founded in 1996 by Robert Dion, remain under his control and will not change from its main mission: to inform and educate the Quebec foodservice market. According to Mr. Dion, “This change is very positive considering tough times in the publishing business. This association is mainly focused on saving on production costs by grouping operations and resources.” HRI will be published four times a year. The reduction of frequency will be balanced by an increase of its web presence by adding new and improved communication tools to be announced later this year.